Book Review: This Girl by Colleen Hoover

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

Book Review This Girl by Colleen HooverFirst, let me say that the Slammed series is what made me love self-published authors. I came across Slammed when it popped up on my recommended reading list. I read it in one sitting and bought the second book before finishing the first. When I found out that This Girl was coming out, and it was a look back on the first book from Will’s point of view, I was counting the days and pre-ordered it the first day it was available. To say I had high expectations is an understatement, and I was a little anxious it wouldn’t live up to them. This Girl not only lived up to those expectations, it went beyond anything I could imagine.

This Girl is a look back on the beginning of Will and Layken’s (Lake) story and other parts in Will’s life that impacted them, all from Will’s perspective. It picks up immediately where Point of Retreat leaves off. Lake wants to understand what was in Will’s head when they met and everything that happened before today. “I have your future, now I want to know your past” as Lake says it. Will is hesitant to relive some very painful memories and open up on some things that Lake is unaware, but he concedes and begins to tell his side of the story. It flashes back to different stories of the past and brings you to the present to see the consequences.  As he explains his POV, it gives you the complete picture. It allows you to crawl in the mind of Will, to understand the what, when, why and how. When you read a book from one point of view, you make many assumptions as to why a story goes in one direction versus another; you wonder what is happening to the other side of the story. This Girl answers all those questions and in some of the most unexpected ways. It is written beautifully & executed perfectly. I had my doubts that it could work so well, I should know better to doubt Colleen, she is brilliant. I wanted so much to read Slammed and Point of Retreat again before reading This Girl, but I was impatient. Yet reading this took me back to some of my most favorite parts of their story, and some of the more painful parts. This book made me love Lake and Will even more. The book ends with a beautiful epilogue that made me laugh and cry.

Reading This Girl is bittersweet for me. I loved reading it, couldn’t put it down, and yet never wanted it to end. I am sad to see this brilliant series come to an end. I adored each character, each story line, and each butterflying word. (Yes, I meant to put butterflying and when you read the first book you will understand why)  If you have not read this series, you need to. This is not a standalone book, to understand the story you need to start from the beginning. The story is beautiful, heartbreaking, sad, joyous, and every emotion in between. And this book…THIS book, completed the story. I look forward to reading these books again & again for many years to come.

Book Review This Girl by Colleen Hoover

About the Book

There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache. Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

About the Author

I love music. LOVE music. Namely The Avett Brothers, Lumineers, Pink, Eminem. I have eclectic taste? If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

I’m addicted to diet pepsi and could tell you in a taste-test which restaurant it came from. It’s a serious addiction, I tell you.

I get stoked whenever I get a message from goodreads saying I have a new friend request…so request me, dangit!

If you want to know when I have new books out or just want to be inundated by random, pointless blog posts, follow me at www.colleenhoover.com

Avoid my Twitter at all cost. It’s propaganda.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.

Book Review: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Guest Review by Tiff Nichols

Book review I've Got Your NumberEvery once in a while, a gal needs something light to read—a good, funny romance with endearing characters, hilarity, and hijinks. When I find myself pining for a fun read that really pulls me in, I turn to one of my favorite authors of romantic comedies, Sophie Kinsella. You might recognize her as the author of the popular Shopaholic series, but Kinsella has written quite a few hilarious standalone novels as well. The one I read most recently is I’ve Got Your Number.

Sophie Kinsella is a champ at creating lovable characters, and she doesn’t disappoint here. I adored Poppy Wyatt from the first chapter. She’s a bright, caring, and witty physiotherapist in London who is all set to marry Magnus Tavish, the man of her (and many other girls’) dreams. Like most of Kinsella’s female leads, Poppy finds herself the heroine in a comedy of errors.

During an afternoon tea with her girlfriends, Poppy manages to lose both her heirloom engagement ring and her cell phone in quick succession. As luck would have it, she finds a discarded phone in a trash bin. Poppy grabs the phone in a panic and gives the number to the hotel’s employees, who have promised to keep an eye out for her ring.

The hijinks begin immediately. Turns out the phone belonged to successful businessman Sam Roxton, whose personal assistant chucked the phone into the trash after abruptly quitting her job. Poppy convinces Sam to let her keep the phone until the hotel calls to tell her they’ve found her engagement ring. She soon finds herself immersed in Sam’s electronic life—both business and personal. Sam, of course, is none too happy about her snooping, but Poppy, with her wit, common sense, and desire to help in every situation, eventually becomes invaluable to Sam.

It was fun to watch the unconventional alliance develop between Poppy and Sam. They go from complete strangers, a bit annoyed at one another and reluctantly sharing a cell phone, to acquaintances who give each other advice via text and phone conversations.

The story is fun, the characters are endearing, and the laughs are abundant. There’s enough mystery on all fronts to keep you guessing throughout. Also, there are footnotes, a clever nod to Poppy’s distinguished and scholarly in-laws-to-be. (“Magnus says footnotes are for things which aren’t your main concern but nevertheless hold some interest for you. So. This is my footnote about footnotes.”) They’re filled with fun little tidbits that are intended as asides to the reader, e.g. “What kind of movie starts with a mother fish and all her little glowy eggs being eaten by a shark, FFS? It’s supposed to be for children.”

If you’re looking for a serious read that you can really think about, a protagonist who will be a role model for the ages, or something to satisfy your feminist side, this is one of the last books I’d recommend. But if you’re like me and enjoy the occasional jaunt to the land of “chick lit,” then I highly recommend I’ve Got Your Number. I give the book five monkeys, because anything that makes me stay up all night giggling and reading is worth it.

Book Review I've Got Your Number

About the Book

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows, het phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

About the Author

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as Twenties Girl, Remember Me?, The Undomestic Goddess, and Can You Keep a Secret? She lives with her husband and children in London, UK.

About the Reviewer

Tiffany Nichols is a writer, editor, and avid reader who lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and two dogs.  She enjoys music, crocheting, craft beers, and not sharing her cell phone with strangers. You can find her at WriteEditRepeat.com.

FREE BOOKS!

Because We Love You

free books

freedigitalphotos.net/adamr

Free reads. Scary and yet so tempting. Actually, we’ve found some stories, series, and authors we love by taking a chance and downloading that free ebook.

In the spirit of being helpful this week, we’ve compiled a list of a few free reads by small press and self-publishers. The list is not by any means complete or all-inclusive, just titles that came to our attention this week that we thought we’d post. Most of the links are to Amazon and Kindle, but you can click on the publisher’s page to go to their website for other versions. Some we’ve read, some we haven’t, so if you have, give us the scoop! Or if you have any to add, definitely let us know! We love hearing about new books and new authors.

Carina

Fatal Affair – Marie Force

Photographs & Phantoms – Cindy Spencer Pape

Ellora’s Cave

Stolen Hearts – Karen Erickson

Masks – Evangeline Anderson

Second Sight Dating – Marianne Stephens

Harlequin

Has a ton free, check their website here

Samhain

Temporary Arrangement – Karen Erickson

Hotter Than Hot – Tina Leonard

An Introduction to Pleasure – Jess Michaels

The Wild Rose Press

Moondrops – Sarita Leone

A Reason to Fly – Aysel Quinn

Under the Moon Gate – Marilyn Baron

Marrying Molly – Linda Hope Lee

Tempted by Adam – May Williams

Self and other Pub

A Hidden Fire – Elizabeth Hunter

The Governess Affair – Courtney Milan

Measure of Devotion – Caethes Faron

Dancing with the Duke – Suzanna Medeiros

Book Review: Amity of the Angelmen

Guest Review by Rachael Clipson

book review amity of the angel menAmity of the Angelmen by T. C. Slonaker is a book that keeps you on your toes.  It is a great book for those who just want a good read or for those struggling with their faith. I often found myself wondering if the story could actually happen or not. What if your best friend was half angel??

Amity, the main character,  has had a great life as the preacher’s daughter until she finds out some interesting news. It turns out she is God’s messenger.  She asks many of the same questions that I would ask if in that position. I found myself taking a walk in her shoes. I often thought, what if God is telling me to do that? She is a strong character, but has times where she is like any other teenager and can’t find hope in her situation. She has a great friend though that helps her find hope for her mission.

Mackenzie is a very young man trying to find his place in God’s plan. He happens to find himself in the middle of Amity’s mess when Mrs. Sheridan drags him to rid Her house of evil. He becomes Amity’s best friend and protector. He seems to be the only person she can turn to. But with Mackenzie becoming a priest he can’t have close secular relationships. Where will this leave him and Amity?

T. C. Slonaker has written a wonderful Christian mystery that leaves you begging for more! It makes you realize that God has a plan for you even if you don’t know what it is yet.
Book Review Amity of the Angelmen

About the Book

Amity David is not human, as the seventeen-year-old pastor’s daughter had thought she was. Her life has now been upturned and possibly set aright with the help of Mackenzie Abel, a young priest as conflicted about his calling as Amity is about hers. Blindly searching for answers together that will serve God’s intent, the two also struggle against feelings they have developed for one another. Can Amity trust the alleged angel who told her she is descended from a demon? Part of her hopes not because, if true, it means she is being called to help free others like her from the ties of her evil heritage through war. What happens when a being created out of evil, is called to fight on the side of good? And what if this evil being thinks she is a good person, only to find she is not even a person at all?

About the Author

Tracy enjoys her life as a wife and mother of three in just outside Reading, PA. She still has a soft spot for kids and an eagerness to use her degrees in Elementary Education by using them as Director of Christian Education at her non-denominational Christian church. She has also learned to love running, and has not given up her childhood fondness of sports (playing softball and watching football). She gives thanks to the Lord for all His good gifts. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and connect with her on Goodreads. You can find her book for purchase on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or the Martin Sisters Publishing website.

About the Reviewer

Rachael lives in a very small town in East Tennessee, where she attends Roane State Community College, majoring in Elementary Education. She loves to read whenever she gets the chance. You can follow her on Twitter @Rachy355.

J to tha M: What We’re Reading

Discover New Books

bad hockey romance

© Orangeline | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

J: I read a book last night

I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t sleep

so on I read

it was cute

tired trope, but still cute

M: Oh, yes?

J:  I liked the hero so much I kept going

Falling for Her Fiance by Cindi Madsen

one of those BFFs turned lovers while pretending to be engaged things

M:  I’m not a huge fan of the fake marriage or engagement trope

but I am willing to overlook a lot if I like the hero

J:  he was the everyguy

and the heroine was one of those girls I couldn’t get mad at

she had her personal issues, her reasons for holding back, but they weren’t the usual madness

they were more family and financial, which was a breath of fresh air

of course, there was past-love drama

but they weren’t villains

and the hero, adorable and likeable, just kind of fell softly

hints at how he was protective of her before realizing his feelings

how he’d drop everything for her, but not in a whipped, she-demands-it way

M:  ooh, I do like that

J:  so yeah. They were very likeable

I rooted for them

and she spends most of the story thinking he’s still in love with his ex and tries to do the right thing by letting him go

because, believe it or not, his ex is actually a nice person

M:  that’s a nice change

J:  see?

there wasn’t a thing about it that made me >.<

even as used as the trope may be

M:  I can read it if it’s done well and with originality.

make me believe, you know?

J:  yes

then there was Kathryn Quick’s Ineligible Bachelor

Also another BFF turned lovers

also cute and well done

also an adorable hero

though there was some “we hate skinny bitches”

but it worked, because, well, who doesn’t believe women who go on reality shows are looking for attention?

M:  that sounds fun and different

J:  it was cute

you know me and my fluffcloud

don’t mess with it

M:  I do tend to take a blowtorch to your fluffcloud sometimes

J:  you do

M:  I read a couple this week, but there were issues – suspension of disbelief, editing, the slightly overdone/predictable/typical dramz

but they had all the feels and really swoony heroes

Listed by Noelle Adams and Translation of Love by Alice Montalvo-Tribue

I think one was 99 cents and one was free

so, worth the shot

J:  ohhhhhh, Listed. A bucket-list marriage

bucket-list books are always iffy

M:  The heroine suffers from a mysterious virus that will kill her in 3 months

hence the suspension of disbelief. it was a little convenient, but it was explained better than I’d anticipated later in the book

J: and a reformed bad boy

fully reformed or just simmering under the surface?

M:  Oh, yes, the hero – Paul – was great

and it wasn’t insta-love or sex, but nicely developed

and he was just super swoony

super rich, of course, also convenient

but the story was pretty well-written and had a lot of feels despite that

J:  did you finish Elizabeth Hunter’s new one – Blood and Sand – already?

M: Almost done. I’ll finish this afternoon

seeeexyyy

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but yeah

I really like. That was my winner of the week, hands down

J: Also, August can’t get here soon enough for the next Kate SeRine

M: Hah – so you liked the first two in the series?

J:  jeebus, yes

M:  I love her imagination

J:  seriously

I want to roll around in it

plus her heroes are delicious

utterly

M:  They are. So sexy and masculine without being all Alphaholey

J:  yes! gah

Nate in RED was just so

so

*shiver*

dangerous and dark and sweet and…

I loved Seth in the second book, but for some reason, Nate spoke to me

the whole loving from afar thing always gets me

M:  Nate was such a perfect balance of studly and vulnerable without going too far in either direction

it’s hard to hit that perfect balance in a romance hero

how we like to see men that are sensitive but still *men*

and it seems I’ve read too many lately that have been way wrong

J:  hahahaha

the sobbing hockey player?

M:  ugh

I hate to speak ill of anyone’s hard work, I really do

especially when I know other readers are enjoying it, even if I didn’t

but…yes. I had to bail when the hero is on his bedroom floor in a ball sobbing and clutching the ring he was about to give the heroine moments before The Big Misunderstanding

and the hero’s sister, because she’s mad he hasn’t called her in two months, kicks him in the gut so hard he spends the rest of the scene puking

O.O

and >.<

Who does that?

J: I know you want me to read and form my own opinions, but life’s too short

M:  Well, a lot of people really like it, and that’s cool. It just wasn’t for me. I was barely hanging on until that point, but that was my “I’m out” moment

I don’t mind some Misunderstandings, as long as they’re somewhat reasonable and believable

but when they make me throw my hands up and be all “normal people do not DO that!”

but again, I do realize a lot of the time that’s just me

I have a tendency to, you know, ask questions, listen, and talk to people before I throw a total conniption and refuse to have any contact with them for months

J:  exactly

M:  although I haven’t had a good conniption in a while.

brb

Book Review: Vigilant by Angel Lawson

Guest Review by Michelle Schaffer

Book review for Vigilant by Angel LawsonVigilant was a very interesting story. The story never lagged, it was full of twists. I enjoyed the characters, especially the main character. This is a book that I would purchase and would read again. I very much enjoyed this book and I like how the author developed the story.

The story focuses on the life of Ari Grant, a caseworker for troubled youths. Ari is caught in an armed robbery and rescued by the Vigilante as the book begins. The Vigilante is known around Glory City to come to the rescue during time of need. Ari receives the benefit of the Vigilante more than once, at just the right time. We follow Ari’s life as she struggles to help the kids assigned to her, struggling what to do for them to overcome a city that seemed to have given up on them. All the while suffering personal turmoil due to the livelihood, in which the Vigilante steps in. The plot twists and turns, in unexpected ways. I had part of the story figured out early on while waiting for our main character to figure it out. Though there were a few turns in the story that were completely unexpected. It is well developed and easy to follow.

I really adored the superhero line of the story in which someone is watching over everyone, waiting in the wings at a time of need. But what I relished was the development of the main character Ari. I was captivated with the writing, watching Ari survive what life gives her, how she copes with life with her tattoo habits and late night clubbing and the relationships she fosters in her life especially with her roommate Oliver. I simply love her. She isn’t perfect, far from it. The best compliment I can give is she is real and written so beautifully.

My hesitation on giving this book five monkey review is the editing. I would be completely engrossed in the story, anxiously reading the next development, just to be pulled out by an editing error. The book has some errors, not on every page, just enough to frustrate me. One error being the wrong character name in which I went back and reread several pages to ensure I wasn’t mistaken. However these errors shouldn’t hinder you from reading this book, it is worth it! The story closes leaving the door open for more opportunities to continue the story, but not leaving unanswered questions. I sincerely hope the author continues the story, I know I would read a sequel!

Book Review Vigilant by Angel Lawson

About the Book

Ari Grant spends her days helping the troubled youth of Glory City, and her nights trying to feel something other than the cold numbness that has settled in her bones. For years, she satisfies this urge with trips to the tattoo parlor or late night clubbing, but everything changes when she becomes a victim of an armed robbery.

She manages to escape notice from the gunman, a former client, but only because she’s saved by Glory City’s own Vigilante. A hooded man who has impeccable timing when it comes to those in need.

It seems Ari isn’t the only one trying to save lost souls or looking for a life outside their job. She’s caught the attention of Nick Sanders, a handsome attorney at juvenile court. Solid and steady, he seems the perfect fit, but Ari has developed an obsession with Davis, the mysterious and sexy director of a local fight club that rehabilitates delinquent boys.

Each of these men fight for the less fortunate, but not everyone has altruistic motives. When Ari’s female clients begin to disappear, she can’t figure out who to trust. Soon enough it becomes obvious that while Ari watches over the kids of Glory City, someone else has taken to watching over her.

About the Author

Angel Lawson lives in Atlanta with 2 mini-superheroes, one big-superhero wannabe and a growing herd of pets. She spend her days creating art out of words, glue and glitter while chasing away zombies, serial killers and ghosts at night. She is the author of FanGirl, The Wraith Series and an adult romance, Serial Summer. The third book in the Wraith series will be released in December 2013. Follow Angel Lawson on her WebsiteTwitter, and Facebook.

About the Reviewer

Michelle is a lover of books, all shapes and sizes, but a big sucker for a great romance and the search for a new fictional boyfriend! When not taking care of three demanding persons in her home, one being the man she married and the other two co-created with her husband, she works full time in a job that pays the bills. She dreams of down time to lose herself in another book since she has more books on her TBR list than she does food in her refrigerator.

J to tha M Review The Elemental Mysteries Series

Four Book Reviews in One!

elemental mysteriesSince our scheduled reviewer was unable to make the deadline, we decided to post a J to tha M chat about a series we both read and really enjoyed. Hope you do, too!

M: So, that rec you gave me last week.

The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter

That Kindle is doing the job and making you read more – yay!

J: Heh, yes. Did you like?

M: I really did. Ate them up.

J:  the most impressive thing about these books is that they’re self-published

I know she works with an editor or several

M: I think the most impressive thing is the world building, to be honest

Vampire clans coming from each of the four elements and being able to manipulate them

the self-publish adds to the interesting, though

her books are a great example of self-pub done right

elemental mysteriesJ:  I really think so, too. What was amazing was that I didn’t THINK I was super attached to the characters in the first one – A Hidden Fire – but I still couldn’t wait to read the next one – This Same Earth. So apparently I was connected. And then The Force of Wind, and A Fall of Water.

M:  yes, exactly. I felt there were some minor issues with the first one – pacing, some editing, small stuff like that – but I was so happy to find she fixed those little irritations in the subsequent books

I think in fixing those issues, it allowed me to make that strong connection I wanted but just didn’t quite get in the first one

J:  Another surprising thing was how much I actually rooted for the heroine. I mean, she managed to get herself kidnapped every time she turned around, but she wasn’t whiny or weak

M:  yes, she did a great job on that balance

making the heroine strong and self-sufficient while still having human weakness in a vampire world

and then toward the end – yeehaw. B was an awesome badass

J:  Oh, and real vampire fights. Hallelujah! I don’t usually seek out vampire books, and it actually surprised me when this one was

but I was excited to see real action

not lots of worry for nothing

elemental mysteriesM: and well-written real action

J: ohhhhh

and the love scenes

the way the vampires mated and drew strength

M: mm, yes

it’s similar to BDB in that they get strength in feeding from their mates

which is a huge sexy trigger, I think

and she managed to do it very well and very uniquely in the world and mythology she built

J:  hmmm. I still haven’t read that

it’s kind of funny to see the different vampire mythologies

how they cross and mirror and then take off in another direction

elemental mysteriesM:  lots of fun things to work with when writing about vampires

but speaking of all the sexy triggers…

Giovanni

J:  oh hey

the name is enough

M:  I mean, she hit just about all those triggers and made him believable and not over the top

Gorgeous Italian renaissance man. Ruthless and unbeatable fighter. Deadly killer. Protective, faithful, loving.

and a fire vampire

I mean, come on. That was awesome.

A vampire who can control fire

J:  without killing himself

also important

so he’s specialer

M:  just the mental image she painted of him walking toward his enemies with blue flames licking all over his upper body, ready to blast them out of existence

Yep. Sexy.

elemental worldJ:  and then there’s Carwyn

adorable

and set up beautifully for his own book – Building from Ashes

M:  yes

and I love how the characters are not all purely good or purely bad (except Lorenzo – he’s a great villain)

she manages that balance very well, too

shows the real flaws like we all have and makes you cheer for them

J:  he seemed a little….dimwitted for a villain at times

but then that was a great device, too

because dumb people are often more dangerous than the smart ones

M:  I didn’t exactly see it as dimwitted, more like he let his personal vengeance get in the way of world domination

that was his flaw

I went through all four Gio and Beatrice books this past week, and am halfway through Carwyn’s story

J: Yay! Glad you liked.

M: Oh, yes. I really did. So glad I continued on to the second. I feel it’s much stronger, as is the rest of the series. Isn’t A Hidden Fire still free on Amazon right now? I need to go buy the next in the spin-off series.

brb

Book Review Elemental Mysteries

About the Author

Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College in the Department of English (Linguistics) and a former English teacher.

She currently lives in Central California with a seven-year-old ninja who claims to be her child. She enjoys reading, writing, travel, and bowling (despite the fact that she’s not very good at it.) Someday, she plans to learn how to scuba dive. And maybe hang glide. But that looks like a lot of running.

She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Cambio Springs series, and other works of fiction.