Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Wish You Were Here by Renée Carlino


You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks. 

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse. 

Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment. 

Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.   

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“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.

“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”

“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said.
“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we-"

"We were practically naked every second of the day.” 

“I like that.”

“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”

“What are they like? Our children.”

“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”

Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?

His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.

“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be."
I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.” 



Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com   


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Summary: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores (Via Goodreads.com).

Pages: 497

Release Date: June 27th, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars


I have been highly anticipating The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. It was one of the few books I preordered this year. For the last six months, I have heard nothing but rave reviews, but I unfortunately did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. To my delight, the characters were absolutely adorable and lovable; however, the plot was forgettable and, at times, I had a difficult time engaging with the story. 

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is based in the 1700s and follows Monty as he takes a year-long tour of Europe with his best friend, Percy, before Monty will be forced to settle down and take over his father's estate. His sister, Felicity, is also along for the first part of the tour until she is dropped off at finishing school. Of course, everything goes awry when Monty steals something and he is also forced to confront his more than friendly feelings for his best friend. 

Monty, Percy, and Felicity were the best part of the book. They all possessed strong personalities and brought the story to life. I was excited to learn that Felicity will be getting her own book, The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, which is expected to be released in 2018. I also loved the relationship between Monty and Percy. They were absolutely adorable together and I want to see more of them. It was interesting to see each of the characters interact with their time-period. Each of the characters possess at least one trait or feature that their society dislikes and attempts to control since it contrasts with their ideals. It was fascinating to learn about each of the characters and how they cope with their "flaw." I also loved the addition of the Author's Note, it provided valuable resources and information to some of the issues and politics addressed in the book that were unable to be fully flushed out in the story arc.

While the characters were a joyful and rambunctious bunch, the story was rather forgettable. I read The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue in eight days, a few days of those eight I did not read the book at all. During the few times I put it down, I forgot some of the references they made to previously revealed things, such as why Monty was kicked out of boarding school. The plot and the storylines of the book were not boring by any means, but I had a difficult time absorbing them. The amount of information thrown at me was not too much, I was not engaged as much as I should have been in the story. The story was compelling at times, but sometimes the plot would stretch itself out for too long. Even though the story was long, I do not feel that the book had closure. While we will probably be seeing Monty and Percy in The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, I wish we would have learned more about their ending. Mackenzi Lee had originally sworn she would not write another book with these characters, so she should have given her readers a little more because that was supposedly the last time we would have visited these characters. I am glad there is more to come, but she should have provided a bit more at the end of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. She would have left all three of her characters too soon if she had not agreed to write a second book. It was left too open-ended for all of the characters. I wanted more resolve for the supposed only book featuring these characters.

Another issue I had with The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was it's map. While I typically love the inclusion of maps, the map featured in The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue featured spoilers. Obviously the plans for the European tour go awry and the characters' journey to unexpected places, but I hate the fact that the reader learns where they travel before they even start the story. I wish the map at the beginning was either a basic European map that features all the cities they travel to as well as other European cities or featured the original course they had planned to take. Before each section of the book that introduces where the characters are, the reader could have referred to the basic map at the front to see where they were or the map with the original route could be featured in each section with a section of the new route added. While this issue was not a major one, I would have preferred to have been surprised where these characters traveled to. I wanted to feel as though I was on a detour, too.

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was a cute YA Historical Fiction book that also featured some heavy topics. It was perfect to read during the summer, especially on a road-trip to Chicago like I did. I am excited to read about Felicity's journey in the The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy as well as possibly see some familiar faces. I recommend picking up a copy of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue if you have not already, it is an enjoyable and intriguing read. Unfortunately, I did not completely love it, but The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue was enjoyable and worth the read.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nevernight (Nevernight #1) by Jay Kristoff

Summary: The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge? (Via Goodreads.com)

Pages: 427

Release Date: August 9th, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Nevernight was the last book my local library chose to read this summer for their teen book club. Although I finished it over a week ago, I am still having a hard time pinpointing my rating of this novel. My rating of Nevernight continually fluctuates from 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5. Nevernight was an enjoyable read, but it did not live up to the hype surrounding it. While the story was addictive and the setting and the world was unique, intriguing, and quirky, the story line was not cohesive and the characters were mediocre.

I prefer books that are consistent. If a book features several chapters that alternates from the past to the present, I expect that to happen throughout the novel. I would prefer the novel to continually do that instead of stopping after a few chapters. For the first few chapters of Nevernight, the beginning of the chapters feature Mia's past and the second half features her present. While that formatting style initially confused and frustrated me, I grew used to it and was annoyed when it stopped. I disliked that throughout the book Jay Kristoff would begin a particular format and then promptly stop using it a few chapters later. I prefer consistency because it gives structure to a story that Nevernight lacked at times.

Another formatting issue I had with the book was it's use of footnotes. At the bottom of most pages, footnotes would provide readers with extra backstories or explanations. While a couple of the footnotes helped me better grasp the world, most of them featured useless information that only confused me more. The information in the footnotes could provide valuable information later on in the trilogy, but much of the information was useless at the time and only made my reading experience more difficult. It is hard to filter out valuable information in the beginning when the author is throwing too much information at you. It was difficult deciphering what was important and what was not because it was so early on in the book. The beginning of Nevernight was confusing because the reader is dropped into the story and has to delve into Mia's past and present spontaneously. While I commonly enjoy books that feature a similar format, it was too much information early on. The information would have been better suited revealed at a later time.

No matter the amount of information being thrown at the reader, Nevernight was an addictive story. The writing, world-building, and Mia's journey was an intriguing combination that created a fantastic story. Although I struggled to engage with the story until page 50, I could not put the story down once I truly immersed myself into the story. The narration was fantastic and allowed the story to take shape. Without this particular narration, I would not have finished the novel. The narrator had a sense of humor I understood and appreciated. It gave the story personality and liveliness. The world of Nevernight and the system of religion and the different suns was also a fascinating piece of the story. The world was extremely unique and it was amazing to learn more about it. It was devised well and was a great contribution to the story. It made for the perfect backdrop of Nevernight

Unfortunately, the characters of Nevernight were nothing special. While I did enjoy Tric, none of the characters were that notable. They never hooked me into their lives or their backstories. The reader knew the bare minimum about any of them. Understandably, they are training to become world-renowned assassins, they cannot share everything with Mia, but none of them stood out or captured my heart. They were two-dimensional characters that I could have found in any other fantasy novel.

Nevernight was an enjoyable fantasy book that I am glad to say I have finally read. Nevernight's sequel, Godsgrave, is expected to be released on September 5th of 2017 and I plan to read it sometime in the future. After finishing Nevernight, I am not compelled to immediately preorder Godsgrave, but I do plan to read it in the future. In Nevernight, Jay Kristoff laid the groundwork for an intriguing trilogy that I am interested to finish. While Nevernight was not entirely what I expected, it was an enjoyable enough book to compel me to continue reading the trilogy. I must admit though, if I do end up purchasing Godsgrave, I will be purchasing the UK edition to match my UK copy of Nevernight. For whatever reason, I dislike the US covers of the trilogy. The AUS/UK covers on the other hand are gorgeous. Even if I did not plan to read Godsgrave, I might still have compulsively purchased it because the covers are so beautiful. Please let me know in the comments below which covers you prefer, the US or the AUS/UK editions!

AUS/UK Editions of 
Nevernight & Godsgrave


US Editions of 
Nevernight & Godsgrave

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Tour: Covetous (The Marked Mage Chronicles #2) by Victoria Evers + Giveaway

The Marked Mage Chronicles, Book #2
 by Victoria Evers

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Release Date: July 14, 2017

Heaven Wants Me Dead.
Hell Wants Me As Their Weapon.
And I'm in Bed With A Devil.

I was just your average seventeen-year-old girl, until I was Marked. Some may sell their souls; mine was taken. Not only are angelic hunters out to kill me, but Hell's deadliest Mage—the devilishly charming Crown Prince of Lust—is just as desperate to get his hands on me...again. No, he doesn't want me dead. This seductive trickster only has one thing on his mind: making me his new blushing bride.

He can call me his "mate" all he wants. I'm not about ready to sign my soul away into eternal damnation, no matter how gorgeous he may be. But after two months on the run, I realize I can't escape the ugly truth. If I wish to fight another day, I may just have to make a deal with the worst kind of devil. The kind that loves me.

I thought I knew what rock bottom was, but this is only the beginning. As the great poet once said, "Hell is empty and all the devils are here."

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“Talk about bad timing,” laughed Sam. 

I rolled over on my mattress to see him staring out my side window. “What is it?”

“Your new neighbor’s just arrived.”

Hanna had spent most of the past hour stealing looks, hoping for even a glimpse of the guy in question with no such luck. Despite the humor in Hanna’s horrible timing, I still groaned. The view in question looked literally right out into the neighboring window not ten feet away, guaranteeing zero privacy. So it was official. I’d have to keep my window shades permanently pulled from here on out. 

“Sure it’s not just one of the movers? They’re all pretty young,” I said.

Sam chuckled. “Trust me; this guy isn’t dressed for the job. He’s not really dressed, period.”

What?” Curiosity got the better of me. I climbed off the mattress, joining my friend at the window. 

Sam sidled aside and flipped on the light switch to admire my new setup as I went to the music dock, using its location below the window as an excuse to steal a casual look across the way. I didn’t even have to make a song selection. As soon as I touched the radio, Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know” suddenly started playing. I scooped up my phone, which was synced with the device, searching for the song in question. Since when was this on my playlist?

“What’s wrong?” asked Sam, clearly noting my bafflement.

Before I could so much as articulate a single syllable, my eyes instinctively shot up to the window at the sight of movement across the way. That building heat in my chest roared to life, making my knees out-and-out buckle.

Sam wasn’t kidding. My new neighbor wasn’t wearing much of anything, apart from a pair of black jeans that hung dangerously low, revealing the chiseled V-shaped section of his lower abdominals that rivaled Apollo himself.  

I outright gawked, feeling my phone slip from my limp fingers. It clattered on the hardwood, but I didn’t care. I just kept staring.

This couldn’t be.

This couldn’t be.

This couldn’t be.

My new neighbor slipped on the matching black dress shirt in his hands, but didn’t bother buttoning it. Instead, he simply rolled the cuffs up his sleeves just enough to display the black metallic tattoos brandishing his left arm.

“You okay?” Sam reiterated.

I didn’t move—couldn’t move.

My neighbor.

He all so casually looked up, not the least bit surprised to find me ogling at him, and straightened the collar to his opened shirt. That taut frame flexed as he raised his arms, lazily resting them on the top of the opened window. A slow, devious smile pulled at his lips.

Finally regaining control over my body, I stumbled back a step, still unable to peel my eyes away from him. I whirled, preparing to bolt for the door. I was cut short though, smacking into something—hard. 


I’d run right into him.

“Geez!” he yelped.

My momentum toppled us over, and I landed on top of him as he smacked down on the area rug.

“Owww.” He winced with a laugh, and I rolled off him with an apology. “What’s with you?”

Ding dong!


He couldn’t possibly have gotten over here that fast… 

I shot up from the carpet, ignoring Sam’s insistency, and raced for the staircase.

“Don’t answer the—” I rounded the banister, just in time to see my Aunt Jenna pull the front door open. Crashing to a halt at the bottom of the landing, I was paralyzed in place as magnetic icy eyes and bleached blonde hair greeted me on the other side of the entryway.

“Hello, lovely,” Blaine purred. 

*      *      *

VICTORIA EVERS is a debut paranormal fiction writer who feels really awkward referring to herself in the third person.... When she's not vacationing in Narnia, you’ll probably find her reading, watching horror movies, spending time with her AMAZING family, or daydreaming about the newest story in her head.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Blog Tour: League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis I Review

League of American Traitors

Publisher: Sky Pony
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Historical

Synopsis: Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. . .

 When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.

Like a mash-up of National Treasure and Hamilton, Matthew Landis’s debut spins the what-ifs of American history into a heart-pounding thriller steeped in conspiracy, clue hunting, and danger.

I love history, but not in the old, awful, kill-me-now-please kind of way. My passion is convincing my students that the past is actually hilarious, shocking, tragic, disturbing, and altogether UN-boring. While getting my graduate degree in History at Villanova, I realized that there was yet one more way to do this: write contemporary young adult books laced with history to convince my students that past isn't as awful as they think. That’s a huge reason why I wrote The Judas Society.

Some other stuff: I love poetry but don’t understand it; I want Gordon Ramsay to give me a fatherly hug at some point; I tend toward the unapologetically dramatic; and (to my great shame) I didn’t read the Harry Potter series until last year. I’m also really good at covering up patent insecurities with self-deprecating humor (like this joke).

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Rating: 4/5 Stars

I absolutely love history! I plan to major in Anthropology or Archaeology in college. While I generally prefer world history to United States history, APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) was my favorite class last year and one of my favorite classes so far in high school. League of American Traitors was one of my most highly anticipated releases and my most highly anticipated debut of 2017. I randomly stumbled upon it on Goodreads and was highly intrigued. League of American Traitors was an enjoyable read, but I was slightly disappointed by it.

The plot of the League of American Traitors is elaborate and truly unique. It was the most fascinating part of the story and made some of the other deficiencies bearable. The story follows Jasper as he navigates his new-founded heritage as the last direct descendant of Benedict Arnold and the secret societies plaguing America's past. The True Sons of Liberty and the League of American Traitors are formed by the heroes and villains of U.S. history, receptively. Learning the history between and behind each group was intriguing and made for the perfect plot of this story. I could have read countless stories based in these secret organizations. They were illusive and thrilling, making for an addictive plot. I also loved the included history in League of American Traitors, even the historical characters and events that were fabricated. I also really appreciated the references to APUSH. I have read many historical fiction novels, but none of them have been quite like the League of American Traitors

The characters of the League of American Traitors were simply average Young Adult characters. Nothing about any of them made them stand out from the hundreds of other Young Adult characters I have previously read about. I felt as though I learned little to nothing about any of the characters. While the plot surprisingly wrapped up well for the novel being so short, the absence of the character's pasts and personalities were the cost of that. I wish the characters would have been given more time to properly develop or unravel. They felt extremely two-dimensional. In the Historical Disclaimer, Notes, and Acknowledgements I was able to gauge Matthew Landis' personality in a few pages, while I never found the personality of his characters in the 200 and so pages I spent with his characters. I will note that I did appreciate that Jasper was 17, because I recently turned that age, and that he lives in Pennsylvania, because I also live there. No matter those similarities, I have yet to learn of any hidden ancestry.

I highly recommend preordering a copy of the League of American Traitors for it's release, August 8th, or reserving or requesting a copy at your local library. The League of American Traitors was a thrilling and intriguing journey that I would gladly retake. If that did not intrigue you enough, the last line of the League of American Traitors is going to be my senior quote for the yearbook, you can read it and find out what my senior quote is! While the characters were average, I loved everything else about the book. Matthew Landis' debut was not as fantastic as I had originally hoped, but it was his debut. I am curious to see how he will grow as an author as he continues writing. I already have Matthew Landis' next novel, The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody, added to my to-be-read list on Goodreads and you can also add his next novel on Goodreads here. I had hoped to attend the launch party of League of American Traitors since I only live a few hours away, but unfortunately I will be in Chicago during the launch party. I wish Matthew the absolute best! 

by Matthew Landis

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