Monday, December 11, 2017

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct
by Leslie Cohen

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Publisher: Gallery Books (January 23, 2018)
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Domestic Life
Print Length: 336 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last.
  

 
 This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen

This Love Story Will Self-DestructBoy meets girl, girl doesn’t even acknowledge him on her radar, perhaps because he is reasonably safe, a little bland, not a bad boy? Eve is anything but stable, mature, she is a dreamer, waiting for her dreams to arrive and unfold themselves in front of her. She likes to think she is living life on the edge, but her own thoughts and insecurities keep tripping her up.

Ben is a young man who thrives on order in a chaotic world. He isn’t worthy of Eve’s notice until years later when their paths continue to cross long after they were “out in the world,” and even then, it isn’t some magically, eye-opening experience, but there is something. The pull of opposites attracting? Eve finally deciding to get off the crazy train and grow up just a little? Ben needing to add a pinch of chaos in his orderly world?

Funny how a character can irritate a reader, especially when she is so realistic, shallow, but far too realistic. Eve is that girl who wants to live life in the fast lane, complete with the drama, the bad choices and the ability to do it all in the shallow end of life. She has been damaged by her past, and it becomes her shield, her reason for why she is the way she is, which is often unappreciative (ie: her stepfather and her attitude towards the man).

I wanted to know more about Ben. Being less “volatile or quirky” doesn’t mean he isn’t just as complex.

Love is a funny thing, there is no rhyme or reason, it’s an attraction that just is. Real love doesn’t worry what others think, it isn’t life in the fast 24/7. Will Eve learn this before it is too late? Perhaps she will never find that “perfect love,” perhaps she will find what she needs as opposed to what she thinks she wants. Will Ben be there to cross her path one more time?

THIS LOVE STORY WILL SELF-DESTRUCT by Leslie Cohen is superbly written, there is no doubt that Ms. Cohen is a gifted wordsmith. She did evoke emotions from me, not sure all were good ones, but I was drawn in, partly because I needed to hope I could find that missing connection, that AHA moment when everything made sense and I could return to reality feeling settled, feeling I could like BOTH main characters. It didn’t happen, but maybe it’s just me, because I DO like Leslie Cohen’s sense of writing style, sharp, edgy and strong enough to create a world where not everyone feels warm and fuzzy.

I received an ARC edition from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest and voluntary review.



#Cover Reveal - Alien Minds by Christina Bauer


Alien Minds
Christina Bauer
(Dimension Drift, #1)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Meimi Archer is living the perfect life. Too bad it isn’t hers.
On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.
So, I’m living the perfect life.
Then why does everything feel all wrong?
My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.
And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories.
Maybe it’s time to pucker up.


Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!

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25 Days of Holiday Steals



Entangled Publishing is celebrating the holidays with 25 Days of Holiday Steals. They will be spotlighting a special steal of a deal each day from December 1st through December 25th. So be sure to check back each day to see what special offer is up for grabs that day!

Today's Steal is... 

Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton is just 99¢!

Grab your copy today!


Unadventurous Lissy McIntyre believes choosing the right man should be based on common sense. She would never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Yes, please. He's got a swoon-worthy body and his kisses leave her senseless. A tropical holiday romance might be what she needs…

When Nick moves to his new job in a small country town, he's stunned to discover that his no-nonsense neighbor and co-worker is the beautiful woman he spent a memorable night with on a tropical island. He's unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can't seem to stay away from the intriguing woman. Nick doesn't do forever but having Lissy around has him thinking maybe he could...  

Get Your Copy

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

And don't forget to check out the rest of our holiday fun here!

Love Garage by Liz Crowe Promo & #Giveaway

LOVE GARAGE
The Love Brothers, Book 1
by Liz Crowe

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen Pre-Release #Giveaway

Enter to Win one of THREE Print Copies
Ends December 18, 2017


The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

My rating: 5 stars

Publisher: St. Martin's Press (January 9, 2018)
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Genre: Mystery | Psychological Thriller
Print Length: 352 pages


 Audible  iBooks  Indiebound 
Amazon   Barnes & Noble  Books-a-Million


 
A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. 

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.
 
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between UsIt isn’t often that a book has the power to leave me speechless, or better yet, in awe of the complexity and the brilliant delivery that appears to be the unraveling of a woman scorned but turns out to be that woman’s quest or mission as she unravels the truths behind the calculated lies that shattered the woman she once was and created a Picasso-like rendering of who she has become.

He swept her off her feet, gave her the world, and treated her like a prized possession and that began her fall from marital grace. That is when the “other woman” came in and that is when Vanessa knew she had one mission in life and it became her obsession, even as the rest of the world moved on, even as her world was imploding around her. And. Nothing. Would. Stop. Her.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is dark, mysterious and heavy with atmosphere. It is riveting, it is gut-wrenching and it will show both the worst of mankind and the best. It will leave you speechless. It will leave you in awe of the complexity of this tale, the complexity of relationships and power and control. It will leave you raw, witnessing human frailties, human cruelties and manipulations. It will leave you in awe of the sheer power of human determination and the will to survive, damaged, flawed and a little broken.

Each page will hold another revelation, another piece to the puzzle and yet, until you have that last piece, nothing will fit. But after that final page, after that final piece is in place, you will have the truth, warts and all.

Powerful, powerful reading, worth re-visiting again and again, because there will be something you missed the last time around, because no one is as they seem.

I received an ARC edition from St. Martin's Press!



 
 

Enter to Win one of THREE Print Copies
Ends December 18, 2017

Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak Blitz and #Giveaway


Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast
Melanie Karsak
(Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Publication date: December 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Steampunk
In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.
When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn’t hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.
But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.
Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.
See how NY Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.
EXCERPT:
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
The sky overhead darkened, and in the distance, I heard the rumble of thunder.
Oh no. No, no, no.
I looked up at the sky. My head swam.
I needed to find shelter.
I turned to go back to the path, but when I did so, I didn’t see the path, nor the ring of mushrooms, nor anything else vaguely familiar.
Once more, the sky rumbled.
I felt the first of the raindrops on my head, but luckily, the thick leaves overhead sheltered me somewhat. As the storm rolled in, the forest grew dark.
I cast a glance around.
It didn’t matter which direction I went. Eventually I would find the shore once more.
Turning to head out, however, I spotted a bluish colored light in the distance. A house? A fire? A lantern? A…something.
“Hello?”
No reply.
Turning, I followed the bluish glow. I headed deeper into the forest, chasing after the light, but soon found its source. It was a mushroom. The glowing mushroom had been sitting on a rise. It had played a trick on my mind. Then I spotted another glowing fungus, then another, and another, all of which held an incandescent blue light. They grew in a straight line. Without a better recourse, and feeling half suspicious of the supernatural, I followed the glow of the blue mushrooms as the rain pattered overhead, the sky rumbling. I followed the blue lights deep into the ancient woods, aware that I was passing other sacred rings. I walked past a mound of earth, a barrow, the final resting place of some ancient person—and some said a passageway to the Otherworld—as I hurried deeper into the woods. Surely I would find the shoreline soon.
Lightning cracked overhead.
Then, on the horizon, I saw golden light. A fire? I squinted my eyes, trying to make out the shape through the trees, but my head ached miserably. Leaning heavily against my staff, I moved toward the golden colored light.
The forest thinned. The glowing mushrooms led me onward toward the glow of the yellow light in the distance. Praying to find someone—anyone—I followed along, well aware that my quick exertion had my stomach rolling. Black spots wriggled before my eyes. The line of mushrooms ended. To my shock, I’d blundered to the center of the island and found myself standing outside the gates of a castle.
I gazed up at the enormous structure. It towered over me, a black silhouette on the horizon. Light glowed through one of the windows in the upper floors. It was raining in earnest now. Not waiting a moment longer, I pushed the gate. It swung open with a creak.
It was pouring.
I leaned my walking staff against a metal bench in the perfectly manicured garden, then grabbing my skirts, I ran for the castle door. As I rushed, lightning flashed. It created an odd illusion on the bushes and flowers around me. For a moment, they all seemed to glimmer like metal under the bright light.
My temples pounded. My stomach rolled. I raced through the heavy rain to the castle door.
Hoping whoever was at home would forgive me for letting myself in, I pushed open the castle door and crept inside.
The place was eerily silent.
“Hello?” I called. “Is anyone here?”
Breathing deeply and quickly, I realized the moment I stopped that I was not well.
I cast a glance toward a roaring fireplace nearby. A chair was seated before the hearth, a glass of something dark sitting beside the seat. I heard a strange clicking sound.
“Hello?” I called again, but this time, my head began to spin. I put my hands on my hips, trying to catch my breath. I closed my eyes. Everything was twirling.
Footsteps approached.
“I-I’m sorry I let myself in but…” I began then opened my eyes.
Standing before me was a massive automaton, its silver eyes staring coldly at me.
A nauseous feeling swept over me, and my head swam. Black spots danced before my eyes.
“Pardon me. I think I’m about to—”
Faint.
But the word was lost.
And so was I.


Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

#GIVEAWAY

Disney’s Belle Funko Pop
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Writing Journal
Beauty and the Beast Light-up Rose Cup from Disneyland


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A Shine That Defies The Dark by Jodi Gallegos Blitz and #Giveaway


A Shine That Defies The Dark
Jodi Gallegos
Published by: Changing Tides Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.
After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.
Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.
When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.
EXCERPT:
The air was dense with the heat and moisture of late spring in the bayou. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked nearby, and the gentle slush of water slapped against the shore.
The trail was uneven and difficult to traverse in the dark. Dixie and I grasped at each other to keep from falling. The T-strap shoes I’d worn didn’t have a terribly high heel, but my ankles threatened to roll with every step nonetheless. I was sure Dixie’s higher heels would be the end of her if we didn’t find even ground soon.
I lifted the hem of my trumpet skirt, the material thin and ragged. It wouldn’t stand many more repairs. I didn’t want to risk it being snagged by the loose twigs that swiped at us as we followed the dark trail.
The faint sounds of zydeco music drifted on the air and made its way through the trees. A happy chirping melody from an accordion and fiddle filled the night. The tension I’d been carrying floated away with the buoyant melody. My heart began to beat in time to the scratching tempo of the frottoir, and I might have begun dancing right there had my ankles not threatened to roll yet again.
Just as I was about to declare that no moonshine was worth a forced march through gator-infested swamps, the trees opened up and I saw a barn at the edge of a pond. Yellow light seeped through the open doors and between the weathered slats. There were a few cars parked along the structure, as well as in the clearing behind it, and two horses were tied to the low-hanging branches of a tree near the door.
The Granger boys hadn’t so much set up a speakeasy as they’d taken possession of an abandoned barn and opened the doors for anyone willing to take the risk along with them.
“Look, Ophelia, it’s perfect!” Dixie laughed. She grabbed my hand and pulled me through the line of people streaming toward the doors.
I stopped short and pointed to the roof of the barn. “That boy has a gun.”
Simon Carre ambled past me. “There’s two in the trees and one over there, too.” He pointed toward the field, but didn’t stop walking.
Dixie pulled on my hand. “Claude Moret’s gang beat Tully Bishop near to death for settin’ up his own business,” she said. “The Grangers ain’t about to take that chance. Besides, the danger’s what makes it fun.”
Dixie’s enthusiasm was infectious. My reluctance was serving no purpose. As cautious as I’d intended to be during our illegal escapade, apprehension melted away as soon as I passed through the open doors. For the first time in five months, I felt like I was just a girl again. Tonight there was no sadness. My only responsibility was to enjoy life back in the most vibrant place on earth.


Author Bio:
Jodi is a YA writer, black belt, registered nurse and case manager for a busy home health agency. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lightning Crimes by Chrys Fey (Disaster Crimes, #2.5)

Lightning Crimes
by Chrys Fey

My rating: 4 stars

Series: Disaster Crimes - Book 2.5
Publisher: Chrys Fey (December 12, 2016)
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Print Length: 22 pages
Available from: Amazon
*Lightning Crimes is a short story between Seismic Crimes and Tsunami Crimes.

A freak lightning storm unleashes its energy on Central Florida. Bolts of lightning crash to the ground. Torrential rain soaks everything within seconds. And the power goes out, casting Beth and Donovan’s apartment into darkness. Beth is already on edge after receiving a menacing phone call several months ago, and this storm doesn’t help with her nerves. 

Donovan tries to distract her from Mother Nature’s tantrum, but someone else has other plans. When they find the front door to their apartment wide open, they soon realize it isn’t an accident. Someone is in their apartment with them.

What crime can happen as fast as lightning?

Lightning Crimes by Chrys Fey (Disaster Crimes, #2.5)

Lightning Crimes (Disaster Crimes #2.5)If you have ever been in a lightning storm, you know how scary they can be. If you have experienced a Florida lightning storm, you REALLY know how unnerving they can be, because sure enough, most of the time the power goes out. That is exactly what happened to Beth and Donovan, but while the thunder was crashing, the lightning was arcing across the sky and they were pitched into darkness, Beth noticed something was not quite right. Someone chose that night to break in and make their escape, leaving both Beth and Donovan realizing just how vulnerable they are, because this was more than a random guy trying to get out of the rain, this could be their past coming back to haunt them.

Short, tense and a perfect way to test out a new romantic suspense series, LIGHTNING CRIMES by Chrys Fey is a quick escape with an electric charge in the air!


Heart of Thorne by Maggie Way

Heart of Thorne
by Maggie Way

# MIA WINTERS is a down-on-her-luck young woman, trying to chase her dreams in Chicago. Her life is thrown to the wind when a man from her past arrives unexpectedly.
ROMAN THORNE. Best friend. College sweetheart. Passionate lover. Once upon a time, he was everything to her. This is however is not a pleasant reunion – they were unexpectedly torn apart two years ago and have not spoken since.
Not to mention he’s now engaged. So why is he back? Why does he still look at her like he used to? Why are the sparks between them are hotter than ever, the emotions deeper, the love intensified?
Filled with shocking revelations, intrigue and a heart-stopping twist, Heart of Thorne is a sizzling romance that captures the beauty of love and the pain of losing it.
If you were given a chance at true love but it meant loosening your morals, would you take it?

Heart of Thorne by Maggie Way

Would your “true love” ask you to compromise your morals for sex-filled, secret rendezvous while his public façade benefits his wealth, status and corporate goals?  Mia Winters faced that dilemma when Roman Thorne walked back into her life two years after they were “torn apart.”

Mia has tried to pick up the pieces of her life and move on, she has admirers, friends, but she still pines for the one man who once was her best friend, her lover, her everything, until his family’s wealth, position and corporate dreams became his or he became their puppet to manipulate at will. 

Was Mia living in a dream world? Was the real Roman a figment of her heart’s imagination?
Now he is back, he wants her, but he is also engaged to marry into more power, a corporate merger, so to speak, for show, for his family, for his wealth.  He has also given Mia an “opportunity” to be in his life, because he loves her, but not enough to stand up to his family, to be a man.

Either Mia becomes his dirty little secret, his kept woman or he is out of her life for good.  

There is no denying that Maggie Way knows how to spin a tale that is intriguing, mesmerizing and repulsive at the same time. HEART OF THORNE is a tale of love, heartbreak, power and manipulation.  It is a story of sending one’s moral compass into the Bermuda Triangle of Fantasy. 

I found Mia to be weak, caught up in a fantasy she has been building since she lost Thorne, failing to thrive or to move on with life. Thorne clearly hasn’t the spine to be the man Mia thinks he is. 

Maggie Way’s quality of writing isn’t in question, she scraped every one of my nerves to the bone! She has left me reeling with the lack of integrity within her characters, their moral weakness and particularly Mia’s lack of self-respect, her blinders, even when confronted with the fiancé, (whose dark truths are being protected by Thorne - hmmmm). 

Good writing that evoked emotion, weak characters that raised my ire, a little too convenient “marriage arrangement” with the fiancé, there was only one adult in this tale and he is the one Mia rejected.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Maggie Way specifically for review purposes. This is my honest review.