Book Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole


Title: Letters from Skye
Author: Jessica Brockmole
Published: July 19, 2013
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Rating:  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif

The Summary:
A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

The Review:

I haven’t read a lot of historical romance, it’s generally a genre I shy away from. My mom picked this book up, read it, and told me that I needed to read it. It stayed on my to-be-read mountain for a long time, and I finally broke down and started to read it. Overall I liked it. The character were well written, and so real. I could picture them in my head, and the story-within-the story and the way that Elspeth’s and Margaret’s stories weave together and intertwine.  This is a pretty heavy read, considering the time period and the character’s voices.

It’s a wonderful read, full of emotion, hope, love, loss and personal growth. The story is great, the settings and the letters transcending normal narrative. I enjoyed it a lot. I don’t think it’s the book that’s going to sway me into really loving historical romance, but it didn’t put me off of the genre at all. I’ll probably go scope out my library and see what else I can find.

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Book Review: Heels of Love by Phoenix Rayne

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Heels of Love by Phoenix Rayne
Published: September 26, 2013
Publisher: G. Street Chronicles
The Rating:  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif  photo kasa_zpsdf6a064a.gif (3.5 rounded up to four)

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book to read for review by the book tour manager. I am not being paid for this review.

The Summary
When Cricket Hooper moves to Seattle she only has a couple of goals—find a job and an apartment near her friend Chelle, and basically to live a quiet, normal life. However, it isn’t long before life becomes far from normal.
When a mysterious man helps get her car out of the mud after she makes a wrong turn, she finds herself in his thrall. He wines and dines her, quite literally, and before Cricket can stop it, things are steamy and serious…very serious.

Cricket is thrown aback when Jyme turns out to be more than a simple fisherman, but then she isn’t telling all of her story either.

The Review:
I like Cricket, she’s a great well written, full figured, real woman. She has a great friend in Chelle and I really enjoy their interaction. And this might be totally trivial, but it makes me happy when books I read are set in Seattle. I love that city and I go up there every chance I get. Heels of Love is a slick, fast paced sizzling romance, with hot hot hot scenes. What I like is it’s not love at first sight and explores the concept of lust at first sight, and two adults being in a relationship without a lot of labels. I’m interested to see where this book goes in book two, as book one ended on an emotional punch. Jyme is a character that I initially liked, but a couple of things happen within the story that made me pause and reconsider my feelings on him. His and Cricket’s relationship as it evolves takes on some seriously challenging emotions, conversations and events, and at times he really kind of scared me.

This is a good book, and I enjoyed reading it. There’s plenty of action, and real life situations with a bit of mystery and the unknown thrown in. If you’re looking for a great real romance, I suggest picking up Heels of Love. There were a few things that pushed a couple of my own personal buttons, but it didn’t take away from my liking this book and the joy I got reading it.

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Book Review: Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson

Shattered Ties by K.A. Robinson.

Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: K.A. Robinson Publishing LLC
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary:
With a former supermodel mother and a rock-and-roll legend father, Emma Preston has the best of everything. Nothing is as perfect as it seems though. After her parents divorce, she’s forced to live with her mother in a private Santa Monica community. Ignoring their parental roles, her mother becomes more focused on climbing the social ladder while her father is off on tour.

Growing up in a trailer park with his mother, Jesse is used to people looking down on him. When his mother begs him to submit an application for a scholarship to one of Santa Monica’s top private schools, he never expects to actually get it. When he does, he is forced to attend school with a bunch of rich kids. He ignores their stares as they judge him for having tattoos and a less than impressive car. As long as he has his surfboard and the guys at the tattoo shop, he knows he can make it through.

When Jesse shows up on the first day of school, Emma can’t help but be intrigued. Her mother would never approve of Emma talking to someone so poor, but she doesn’t care because something about Jesse draws her to him.

Jesse tries to hate Emma, but he discovers that he can’t resist her. Forced to hide their relationship from Emma’s mother and everyone else around them, things start to fall apart. When Jesse’s friend, Ally, decides to interfere, things go from bad to worse.

Can they survive their first love? Or will they be left with nothing more than shattered ties?

Disclosure: I was sent this book as part of a book tour. I am in no ways compensated for this review, and all thoughts are my own.

The Review:
It’s tried and true story of a ‘bad’ boy and a ‘good’ girl falling for each other, but it really works, and puts a refreshing twist on the story. Jesse is a boy from the other side of the tracks, significantly less wealthy than his school-mates, after getting accepted to an exclusive private school on scholarship. Emma is a sweet girl, the daughter of a superficial wealth and status obsessed supermodel, and a rock-and-roll musician. I really liked these two characters, they felt real, and they were interesting to read. I quickly became invested in them, and their story which is so much more than the stereotypical trope fest that these books can grow up to be.

I’m not normally one of the mixed narrative story telling, but here it works. We get both Jesse’s and Emma’s views and thoughts, and experience through their eyes what’s happening around them. The story itself has a nice pace, blending romance and real life issues together. The characters and the world go together really nicely as well–transporting the reader back to high school, complete with the social aspect and ‘it’s all about who hangs out with who’ aspect of the scene. There are a couple of characters that I didn’t like, and they added the drama/angst necessary for a few things to continue on with the plot.

The ending is nice, leaving the book open for it’s partner which comes next year. Some people would consider it a cliff-hanger, but I feel that it’s a nice, soft opening for the next book, which I will be picking up because I’m entirely too invested in this story. It’s a great first love, coming of age new adult story, and I highly recommend it.

Purchase Shattered Ties:
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Book Review: Adorned by Georgeann Swiger


Adorned by Georgeann Swiger
Release Date November 4, 2013
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush Imprint

Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif (4.5 rounded up to five

The Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Adorned for review purposes by the pr unit of the publishing house. I am not affiliated with Entranced Publishing and I am not receiving compensation. All thoughts are my own.

The Review:

If you’re looking for something a little unexpected and a lot different in the YA world, pick this book up. It’s a great start to what’s looking to be a promising series. It took me a couple times to get past the first chapter, I haven’t read a lot of first person/present tense books, but don’t let that deter you. This story sucked me in so quickly, and I really grew to love Anya. She’s a great character who finds that the life she’s had, isn’t what she expected. The story itself is a set up for her to become a protector of humanity. The catch being her death. Enter Micah, the heavenly solider who is to aid her transition from the mortal coil to something greater. I really love the interaction between Micah and Anya, it’s believable and sets up for some really amazing chemistry. I like their scenes together, and I like what’s started to take form between them.

I like this take on angels and the ever present struggle between good vs. evil and humanity caught in the middle. It’s a great read, and one that I really recommend. It sets up the series well, the characters are believable with great chemistry. Sam and Celeste were great characters, and all around, I really liked this book. So when you get the chance, pick this up. You won’t regret it.

Purchase Adorned:

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Cover Reveal and Teaser! What’s Left of Me by Amanda Maxlyn

Good morning everyone! Today I have the opportunity to share with you all the cover and a teaser of the debut novel from Amanda Maxlyn, What’s Left of Me.

Book Title: What’s Left of Me
Author: Amanda Maxlyn
Release date: December 13, 2013
Goodreads: What’s Left of Me
Cover Designer: Mae I Design and Photography Mae I Design and Photography on Facebook

Summary:
Life works in mysterious ways.
Four years ago I became known as the girl with cancer.
I refuse to cry.
And I refuse to give in.

A relationship with a man is the last thing I’m looking for right now, but one night with Parker changes everything. He is persistent, and he knows what he wants. Me.
He doesn’t treat me like I’m fragile.
But he doesn’t know, and I’m not ready to tell him.
What if it changes everything?
Tragedy found me when I was seventeen.
Love found me when I was twenty-one.
My name is Aundrea McCall, and this is my journey.

Would you like a teaser? I’ve got one.

Teaser:
I’m grateful when I reach the door to the ladies room that there isn’t anyone around. I reach for the handle when I hear from behind me, “Not going to use the men’s room again?” I know that sexy voice. It’s the same one as earlier this evening in this same area.
With my heart picking up pace, I turn around smiling sweetly, “No, I’m going to sit down and pee this time.” My smile spreads a little wider and I say a silent thanks to sweet baby Jesus for letting me find my voice this time.

He doesn’t respond. He just steps closer to me with the corner of his lips spreading upward.

I don’t breathe.

I can’t breathe. Not when he is this close.

God he smells amazing. Like a mixture of spice and mint. Maybe a hint of beer too. It’s the type of scent that would awaken a primal desire within any female, and good God do I feel awakened.

“You ran off before I could thank you for the dance earlier.” No, thank you. His voice is a faint whisper and his face is now so close that our noses are almost touching. I glance down at his very attractive red lips just as the corners of his mouth move up into the most beautiful smile. Shit. He knows I’m looking at his lips.

I’m transfixed by him. In this very moment, I would do whatever he said or answer to any name he called; even if it was one of those fluffy names like baby or princess. All I can think about is the desire flowing through my body for those lips to be on mine. I would take him in this hallway. There I said it. Or, did I think it?

Do something.

Anything!

I look back at his lips.

I lick my own.

I can’t think about anything but wanting to feel his lips against mine. All thoughts go out the window of me not being able to pick up a man at a bar. I don’t care, but I will say any cheesy pick up line if it means I get to go home with him.

I know he’s watching me. He has to be thinking about my lips too because just then his tongue comes out licking his own. I try to think of something else to do, but nothing comes to mind. I feel him close the distance between us. He puts a finger under my chin for the second time tonight lifting my face so I’m looking right into his eyes. Without taking his eyes off mine he speaks in a quiet, low, raspy whisper, “I’m going to kiss you now.”

Without waiting for my permission, his lips crash down against mine. He takes my top lip into his mouth tugging ever so gently. I let out a soft moan as his tongue lightly traces my lips- tasting me. I can smell the fresh mint and beer off his breath and all I can think about is tasting it. I grab his neck brining him closer -opening my mouth- inviting him in. He groans as I wrap my arms around his neck running my hands through his hair.

Shit, if I die tomorrow, I can die a happy woman knowing this was my last kiss.

His tongue enters my mouth and I meet it with my own. He reaches down to lift me up and I let him. I wrap my legs around his waist just as he slams my back against the wall in the corner of the hallway. There’s a rush of pain that shoots down my legs causing me to cry out. He must take that as a cry of pleasure because he kisses me harder.

I feel my dress rise all the way to my waist exposing myself for anyone that walks by. My head falls back against the wall and he immediately starts kissing down my chin to my neck, then up to my earlobe bringing it into his mouth biting down. “Do you want to get out of here?” He whispers so softly into my ear I almost don’t think I hear him correctly. When he asks me again I just nod in agreement. Afraid if I were to say anything it wouldn’t be yes, and I really want it to be yes.

Setting me down, he runs his hands over my dress laying it back into place, then grabs my hand and starts speed walking away heading towards the red exit sign.

What’s Left of Me. Copyright 2013. Amanda Maxlyn. Unedited and Subject to Change.

About the author:

I am the mother of two little boys, married to the love of my life, and living in one of the smallest towns in Minnesota. When I’m not chasing or cleaning up after my boys (yes, all three), I can be found writing or snuggled up with my kindle, a glass of wine, and spending time with my fictional friends and family.

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