Bookish Activities, Giveaway, Release Blitz

Release Day Launch + Giveaway: The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby

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From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes a sexy, new standalone contemporary romance in her Fusion Series, THE BEAUTY OF US, out now! Grab your copy today and get to know Trevor and Riley!

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About THE BEAUTY OF US:

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooksKobo

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   “There seems to be an explosion in the jackass population,” I reply, and sigh, passing my glass to Kat for a refill.

   “Where are you meeting them?” he asks, and I bite my lip.

   “I don’t want to tell you.”

   “Online,” he says with a nod.

   “I didn’t say that!”

   “Didn’t have to. If you met him at the gym or the grocery store, or somewhere else in person, you wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

   “I’m not embarrassed.”

   “Yes, you are. Otherwise, you wouldn’t mind telling me.”

   “Fine.” I sigh and rub my forehead with my fingers. “I met them online.”

   “Stop that,” he says.

   “I don’t know where else I’d meet people,” I reply. “I’m at work at least fifty hours a week. I don’t do school or clubs or church, and I rarely go to the grocery store because I always eat here.”

   “I could stop feeding you,” Mia interjects and I toss her a glare.

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Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre

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AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME (2B Trilogy #2)
Author: Ann Aguirre (Website | Twitter)
Publication: September 30, 2014

SYNOPSIS

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

GOODREADS
Purchase links: Amazon | iBooks

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Years of pent up feelings. I already saw these characters getting together but then I’m just clueless on how they’ll get to that point of their lives.

We’ve been previously introduced to Lauren in I Want It That Way as Nadia’s best friend who dropped out of college and decided to return to their small town in Sharon, Nebraska. My first thought when Ann Aguirre pulled that “drop out – return to their town” scenario was “Oh how fitting for Lauren and Rob’s character to meet-up again”. I was really giddy and at the same time apprehensive about it. I’m not so sure if Aguirre just used it for their characters to cross paths again. But then looking at it now that I’ve finished reading the book, it was a fitting move for Lauren’s character and it was something she actually needed to do.

In IWITW, Lauren pretty much kept everything about herself locked in and didn’t offer to open up to Nadia. Until the latter part of the book which isn’t that much of an explanation to everything. So here in ALAYLM, we were able to figure out what triggered her actions in the previous book. Apparently, Lauren has a severe social anxiety. She gets all panicky when thrust into situations which involved huge crowds and even meeting new people. She even resulted to creating this another persona/identity to cover up her real self and getting herself drunk just to surpass those kinds of circumstances.

In this book, we see Lauren addressing her issues and seeking professional help in dealing with it. I love the fact that she tried to fix herself on her own. She knows she needed to do it to be whole and before being fully into a relationship. Lauren exhibited such growth and maturity.

Rob Conrad is the brother of Lauren’s best friend, Nadia. It was revealed in IWITW that Lauren has a crush on Rob since they were kids and at present her feelings for him stayed the same. In her world, Rob is the perfect guy and a true boyfriend material.

“Don’t change for her, okay? You’re great the way you are.” – Lauren

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Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: The Contract by Melanie Moreland

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the contractTHE CONTRACT
Author: Melanie Moreland (Facebook | Twitter)
Publication Date: May 16, 2016

SYNOPSIS

A tyrant by day, a playboy by night. That is the reputation that precedes Richard VanRyan. He lives life the way he wants, no concern for the opinion of others. He cares for no one, is completely unrepentant, and he has no desire to change his ways.

Katharine Elliott works under Richard as his PA. She despises him and his questionable ethics, but endures all the garbage he sends her way, because she needs the job. Her end goal is far more important than the daily abuse and demands she tolerates from her nasty tyrant of a boss.

Until the day, he asks her for something she never expected. A new role with a personal contract — fiancée instead of PA.

What happens when two people who loathe each other, have to live together and act as though they are madly in love?

Sparks.

That’s what happens.

Can the power of love really change a person?

GOODREADS
Purchasing links: AMAZON| iBOOKS

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Hate to love. Involvement of contracts. Jerk changing his ways. Nothing unique about the plot but Melanie Moreland definitely put those tropes to good use and added her own flavor to it. 

The Contract by Melanie Moreland is embedded with some of my favorite tropes and so I found myself gobbling it up page after page. It’s an easy read that offers a good kind of drama and slow burn romance (which I love so much). The story is fairly predictable and cliched but instead of being turned off by it, it made me even more eager to finish the whole thing. I became so curious with the events that transpired from point A to point B and I can say that Moreland surely knows how to create a good build up and has a way of evoking emotions out of her readers.

Richard VanRyan is such an asshole and I want to smack him. I’m not a violent person but that was the exact thought that popped into my head the first time Richard and his assistant, Katharine Elliott, had an interaction. He made her run errands here and there, he kept on judging her, he yells at her – just uses his authority in full. It’s bad. Despite him being an asshole, I still carried on reading because I was interested on how his character will be redeemed and I was excited to see the changes in him (and on how he acts towards Katy). 

And Moreland did not disappoint. 

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Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

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Book Cover - Infinity + One

INFINITY + ONE
Author: Amy Harmon (Website | Twitter)
Publication Date: June 8, 2014

SYNOPSIS

When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds?

Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die.

Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life.

One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?

With that choice, the clock starts ticking on a man with a past and a girl who can’t face the future, counting down the seconds in an adventure riddled with heartbreak and humor, misunderstanding and revelation. With the world against them, two very different people take a journey that will not only change their lives, but may cost them their lives as well.

Infinity + One is a tale of shooting stars and fame and fortune, of gilded cages and iron bars, of finding a friend behind a stranger’s face, and discovering love in the oddest of places.

GOODREADS
Purchasing links: Amazon | B&N 

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Infinity + One we meet two characters who by fate (or whatever we call it that), met and embark on a journey together. We have Bonnie Rae Shelby who’s a superstar and has everything in life. But would love to run away from it just to find herself and have shot in making her own choices. Then we have Finn Clyde, who went through a lot in his past and all he wants now is to have a chance at life. Be able to fully live it.

Was it just me or the story’s pacing was really slow? There were moments where I would like to put the book down already and just pick it up in another hour to be able to finish it. Even the vibe of the story at first was eerily calm but you know it by instinct that there’s something big that’s bound to happen in the next chapters. The calm before the storm.

But when little by little they started opening up with each other, oh that’s the part where my attention picks back up. Finn Clyde definitely got my attention with that past he had. I felt and cared a lot towards his character. He broke my heart many times and I just wanna give him a hug. Through the course of the book, you’ll be able to see huge developments towards Finn’s character. We’re in luck because this book was told from dual POVs and it definitely helped a lot in distinguishing those developments.

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Book Reviews, Books, Uncategorized

Book Review: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

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Truthwitch

TRUTHWITCH (The Witchlands, #1)
Author: Susan Dennard (Website | Twitter)
Publication Date: January 5, 2016

SYNOPSIS

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

GOODREADS
Purchase links: Amazon | Book Depository

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Oh hell-gates, Truthwitch is such an impressive series starter. 

Truthwitch basically follows the story of the Threadsisters, Safiya and Iseult, who are on the run after encountering such doomed dealings. One thing lead to another and the next thing they know a Bloodwitch (someone who has the ability to sense and control their blood), named Aeduan, is hunting them down. Oh ho ho, that’s just the beginning of it. Safiya and Iseult find themselves in the middle of political machinations, truces, battles and mystifying religious connections.

Susan Dennard created such a complex, rich and vibrant world. As I flicked through the first page of the book, it made me feel like being transported into a new world wherein unknown adventure awaits for me. I love the fact that there’s no information dumping. It’s wherein terminologies are being shoved on our throats as early as page one so it’s out of the way already. Here in Truthwitch, we’re on our own. Us, readers, have to grasp whatever it is being presented and introduced to us as they come. It sparked an element of surprise in me because I never know what I and the characters will be facing next. Once I got the hang of the world, terms and everything, I completely breezed through this book. Though, I need a guide-like novella or something for me to get really acquainted with every single thing that involves all the Witchery stuff in Witchlands.

I do think that Truthwitch has a great pacing – story wise and as the book that will set the movement of the series. A lot of hints and conflicts were dropped in this book as to where the series could possibly go. So I can see a lot of back stories and mysterious elements entering in the sequel (and the next books after that) and I do think will do wonders again for the world building. We are not just going to pick up where we left off but we’ll surely be digging deeper into the heart of everything where this story is built upon. Going back to Truthwitch, there was no room for any dull moment in it. It’s packed with detailed and intricate action sequences, lull moments wherein we get to know more about our characters and their world and numerous curveballs thrown into the story. There were times when the story gets predictable, like you clearly know where it is heading and your theory is actually correct. But then, how you get to that certain point of your theory and the moments following that will leave you breathless. I tell you, it’s an intense roller coaster ride.

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