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Ready to Wed – Cindi Madsen

Happy Tuesday darlings!

After my unseemly wallowing in unemployment, I am getting back into the swing of things with a new book review! The lovely folks at Entangled Publishing offered me a chance to review Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen. And as always, I lept at the chance. Not only is Cindi a lovely person, I enjoy her writing, so it’s always a pleasure.

In a nutshell:

Dakota Hallifax is 100% type A. (Having those tendencies myself, I appreciate this.) So being a wedding planner is readytowedpretty much the perfect occupation for her. But how do you plan the biggest wedding of your career when your wedding just crashed and burned with a no-show groom?

Just when Dakota is sure that her life is a total mess, her childhood best friend Brendan West moves back to town. He helps her pick up the pieces.

The Good:

There’s a lot that I loved about this book. I’m a total sucker for happily ever afters, and this book has an awesome one. No, I won’t tell you what it is.

Beyond that, I like Dakota. I can relate to being something of a control freak and can sympathize with her mother issues. I also like the fact that in spite of the utter blow of having her fiance stand her up at their wedding (mental note: do not get married on a cruise, because awkward if it doesn’t work), she doesn’t completely fall apart.

True, I wanted to slap her when she actually considered giving the jerk another chance, but really, who can blame her? Been there, done that.

Then there’s Brendan. Who doesn’t love a genuinely nice guy? Especially one who swoops in with a nice broad set of shoulders just when you need them? It doesn’t hurt that he’s a hottie and wears suits to work ūüėČ

Jillian, Dakota’s catering bestie, is awesome. She’s all snarky and no nonsense. She’s the kind of friend that everyone needs at least one of. Completely supportive in every way, but doesn’t pull punches or sugarcoat things.

I also love her color coding system for bride moods. It’s kind of awesome and I may just steal it for my personal mood ring.

The Bad:

There’s that whole getting stood up at the altar thing, that’s bound to give any girl (or guy!) nightmares about getting married. Just breathe through it and keep reading! It works out.

Overall:

This is a great read. It hits you in all the feels and I admit to getting a tad weepy there at the end. I hope to see Jillian’s story at some point in the future.

Where you can buy:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Ever by Jessa Russo – Re-release!

[So. This happened on Sunday, September 1. And because I’m a total ding-a-ling, I missed the big day. But goshdarnit, Jessa Russo is amazing and wonderful and I want to post this and do what I can to help out ūüôā If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, do it! You won’t be sorry ūüôā I know that some of it is out of date, but the important information is there!]

 
Happy Release Day, EVER! 
 
 
To celebrate EVER’s¬†rebirth, and Jessa¬†Russo‚Äôs first step into the indie self-publishing world, she is giving you the¬†first chapter of EVER for FREE! Yup! FREE! You can read along, decide if you¬†want more, then click on one of the buy links below to grab a copy for
yourself! *Paperbacks available soon!
 
Check out the FREE first chapter HERE. 
 
We’re also having some fun on Twitter
(details below), and Jessa has also compiled TWO prize packs of super awesome
stuff!
 There will be one (1)
lucky winner in the US, and one (1) lucky winner Internationally! Want to
know what we’re giving away? 
 
 


***GIVEAWAY FUN!***

The winner(s) will receive the following items:


 

US ONLY Prize Pack (ONE winner):

Set of 4: custom Frankie4Ever / Toby4Ever Coasters (2 of each) + Signed EVER bookmarks +

Signed paperback copy of EVER by Jessa Russo (YA)

Complete set* of The Darkness Falls Trilogy e-books from Krystal Wade (YA)

*Includes WILDE’S FIRE, WILDE’S ARMY and WILDE’S MEADOW

Signed paperback copy of EYRE HOUSE by Cait Greer (NA, adult content)

Paperback copy of THE CHARGE by Sharon Bayliss (YA)

Paperback copy of SEALED WITH A CURSE by Cecy Robson (A, mature content)



INTERNATIONAL Prize Pack (ONE winner):

E-book of EVER by Jessa Russo (YA)

Complete set* of The Darkness Falls Trilogy e-books from Krystal Wade (YA)

*Includes WILDE’S FIRE, WILDE’S ARMY and WILDE’S MEADOW

E-book of THE CHARGE by Sharon Bayliss (YA)

E-book of BROKEN FOREST by Eliza Tilton (YA)

E-book of THE VALENTINE CHALLENGE by Marisa Cleveland (A, mature content)

E-book of THE GATHERING DARKNESS by Lisa Collicutt (YA)

E-book of 1,000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS by Connie Michael

ENTER HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway | a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

***TWITTER FUN!***


We’re also going to be tweeting a bit today, to celebrate not just EVER’s re-release (hashtag: #EVERTrilogy), but also playing up a major theme of the book–Ever’s love for her deceased best friend. We’ll be tweeting the theme with the hashtag #IfICouldBringBack and then sharing who we would bring back and why, or what we’d do with them, etc.

So, sticking with EVER as my example, the main female character of the series may tweet something like this:

#IfICouldBringBack Frankie, I’d finally tell him the truth. That I’ve loved him since we were in diapers. #EVERTrilogy¬†



Who would you want to bring back? An old flame? A relative? Maybe a famous author or dignitary? Think about it and join in the fun on Sunday, 9/1/13! We’ll see you on Twitter!

 



***BOOK DETAILS!***

 
EVER
The EVER Trilogy, Book One 
By Jessa Russo
September 1, 2013
 

Seventeen-year-old Ever‚Äôs love life has been on hold for the past two years. She‚Äôs secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he‚Äôs completely oblivious.¬†Of course, it doesn’t help that he‚Äôs dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.¬†


Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.


Some girls lose their hearts to love. 

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.
 
 
Purchase Links:
Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Facebook (The EVER Trilogy)
Jessa Russo’s Links:
 
 
 

Stay tuned for the second book in the trilogy, EVADE, set to release on October 1st, 2013! 

You can now add EVADE on Goodreads!


 
Remember to follow EVER’s 9/1/13 re-release day FUN on Twitter with these hashtags:¬†


 
#EVERTrilogy
and 
#IfICouldBringBack
 
 
 

ONE – LeighAnn Kopans

View the electronic details here.

OR

Get the paperback version here.

I am cheerfully setting work aside to do a very, very long overdue review. I’m sure by now, we’ve all gathered that I love to read. I set my reading goal for the year at 150 books, but to be perfectly honest, I blow it out of the water. I’m also discovering that I like doing the whole review thing as well. Mostly because I want other people to like the books I like.

In this case it isn’t JUST about the book, although it’s freaking amazing. It’s also about the author. LeighAnn Kopans is one of the lovely people I stalk follow on Twitter. She is the very definition of awesome. ONESweet, inspiring, encouraging, supportive, and just generally a terrific person.

Does this really make her book better?

Hell yes, it does. No amount of love will make a bad book, good. But it definitely makes a great book, better. Because you sit there reading this terrific novel and in the back of your head the whole time is the knowledge that you know the author (even if it’s just through Twitter) and she is a truly fantastic human being. My joy in her success made reading ONE an even better experience.

Fortunately, for those of you who don’t follow LeighAnn around like a puppy, ONE is completely amazerful all on its own!

The Blurb:

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly ‚Äď too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub‚Äôs purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed.¬† Now it‚Äôs up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything – and everyone – she loves.

The Good:

The story is amazing. A fun, different take on superpowers. I read through it super fast to the exclusion of all else. There were many glares and sighs as my nose was stuck to the screen of my Kindle, but it was so worth it. Seriously, if I had all the moneys I would buy copies of this to just leave lying around for people to pick up.

This isn’t your usual spandex wearing superhero story. It goes deeper. I love the fact that in order to fly, you need a combination of powers that work together. I’d honestly never thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. Which is part of the draw for me. It makes me think: Oh yeah, that’s totally how that would work if we had superpowers.

LOVE IT!!

I also love the characters.

Merrin is such a great heroine. She’s smart, strong, and she knows what she wants. She loves fiercely and fights like hell to save her family. I just want to hug her.

Elias is totally swoon worthy. He’s the sort of boyfriend every girl should have in highschool. He’s sweet, confident, supportive.

The best part about their relationship, for me anyway, is that neither of them loses their sense of self. Yes, they’re in love and they can do amazing things together. But Merrin never gives up being herself or tries to be different to make Elias happy. Theirs is a healthy relationship that makes me all kinds of happy.

No bad. Just read it. You won’t be sorry!

Take it Like a Vamp – Candace Havens

This review is so horribly overdue, I cannot EVEN begin to say. All I can do is apologize profusely for the lack. Work blew up like nobody’s business and I’ve been running to exhaustion since about mid-May. Again, my deepest apologies to the ladies at Entangled and to Ms. Havens (whose work I really enjoy).

I could fill the whole blog post apologizing, but really, no one is here for that. Nor should you be!

View the details here.

In my fogged and totally out of it brain, it took me a minute to remember the book and why the name Candace Havens was so familiar. Well DUH. She was one of the authors featured¬†in A Riveting Affair – A Steampunk Anthology. All the squees. I really love this woman’s work! I reread the first line of Take it Like a Vamp and immediately remembered the entire story. It’s pretty darn groovy.

Casey’s best friend is a super hot guy, and really, who doesn’t wish they had one of those! Hers also happens to be a vampire, a rather high ranking one at that. Naturally, Casey doesn’t believe that she is good enough for the hottie¬†but still manages to¬†end up right in the middle of a vampire power struggle with said hottie wrapped around her little finger.

I know what you’re thinking, but the truth is, no. Vampire stories never get old. They’re a whole lot of fun to read and this one is no exception. TakeItLikeAVamp

The Good:

I love Casey. She’s a terrific character. While she has insecurities, they aren’t enough to where she lets people walk all over her. She’s got some serious fight going on. One of the things that I really enjoy about her as a female lead is her strength. Yeah, her man is all kinds of alpha and intimidating, but she holds her own and stands up to him. Repeatedly. She insists on a partnership. For this alone I could totally kiss the author. In a non-creepy way, honestly. It isn’t just Nick she stands up to, though. She also kicks some serious ass when his psycho ex (from like a hundred years ago) shows up and tries to take a bite (literally) out of her.

Nick is the hottie, head of the council, vampire. He’s a pretty good guy, who has fallen in love with his neighbor. It’s sort of cute how he tries to resist her, being a vampire and all. But boy, does he jump at the chance to have Casey, when he has to get married, or else. He’s kind of a dumbass for not just telling her straight out from the get go that he thinks she’s amazing, but guys are silly like that sometimes, and where’s the fun in

Now, I know that I should be all swoony over Nick, and don’t get me wrong. He is totally swoon worthy, but his bff Linc totally steals the show. He’s got all of Nick’s swooniness and a smart ass sense of humor on top of it all. Every alpha male needs a best friend who keeps him grounded and tells him how things are without sugar coating, and Linc is that guy. I’m pretty sure he has his own book, but if he doesn’t yet, he really needs one!

The Bad:

There’s not a lot that I could pick out that irked me in this one.

Casey, while initially down on herself, really came into her own and shined like mad by the end of the book. Her self-esteem improved, but NOT just because she had a man. So there was nothing there to piss me off about her. I related on all kinds of levels. She’s really a wonderful character.

Overall:

Candace Havens had already impressed me in A Riveting Affair and she did so yet again with Take it Like a Vamp. I really enjoyed this and am seriously considering another read through. The writing is great and the characters develop really well. Especially my girl Casey! I highly recommend giving it a read, you won’t be disappointed!

Two Weeks Til ONE!!!

Two weeks till One

That’s right! ONE will be all official and stuff in just two short weeks. I ‚̧ Leigh Ann a bunch, she’s a sweetie and I’m totally stoked to be able to tell everyone how much I love her book. Seriously, it’s awesome!

And I have the comic to prove it!

part4-2

If you would like to see the rest of them, you can find them at the blogs of all the lovely people below! There will be more coming up, so keep your eyes on Leigh Ann’s twitter ūüôā

Tuesday, May 28th – Installment #1

Jolene at Pen and Muse

Catherine Scully

Amber Maudlin

Kat Ellis

Wednesday, May 29th – Installment #2

Clare Davidson

Jessi Shakarian

Rebecca Mahoney

Thursday, May 30th – Installment #3

J.A. Ward

Elyse G (@brainywordsmith)

Jamie Krakover

Friday, May 31st – Installment #4

Jani Grey

JC Lillis

Rachel Solomon

Monday, June 3rd – Installment #5

Megan Whitmer

Helen Boswell

Michelle Smith

Chasing Mrs. Right – Katee Robert

View the details here.

As always, the disclaimer: The lovely and awesome Heather Riccio sent this my way for a review.

Fortunately, I don’t think that Heather is capable of sending me a book that isn’t like totally amazing.¬† chasing

I loved this book on many different levels. Not the least of which was how steamy with a capital S it was! Whew!

The Good:

First, the characters aren’t perfect. I know that they aren’t in most books, but there are times when the character flaws are annoyingly minor. Which is not to say that I don’t also enjoy these stories, because I do. However, I always love to see characters who are struggling under the weight of some very serious issues.

Ian has borderline (or maybe not so terribly borderline) PTSD, which has resulted in anxiety and makes it hard for him to function in social situations.

Why this is awesome: Mental illness is something near and dear to my heart and Ms. Robert handles it delicately and beautifully. Ian isn’t broken, he’s just struggling to handle something that puts a bit of a cramp in his style. It doesn’t define him and he won’t let it. Sure, his mom doesn’t get it at all. But the rest of his friends and family do. And they don’t push. They’re there for him and offer quiet, firm support. This pleases me.

I like Roxanne, too. She has some serious (and understandable) relationship issues. But she also recognizes that it’s a problem and actively tries to fight against it. Sure, she screws up (a few times), but she keeps trying because she realizes that Ian is worth it.

I took special joy in Roxanne and Ian putting his mom in her place. I might have cheered a little.

The Bad:

I’d have liked for Roxanne’s struggle to be a little less internal and to have seen her reach out a little more for help. Only because I don’t think that it’s something a person can work through all alone. Then again, she reaches out to Ian, so… Ya know. Since that’s my only “I wish…” I call it a win.

Overall:

Totally a must read. I felt all warm and fuzzy at the end. I also read the excerpt from Wrong Bed, Right Guy and really want to read that now, too. And Nathan’s story. I feel like such a hussy having all these book crushes lately!

Falling for Her Fiance – Cindi Masden

View the details here.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I will cheerfully read anything at all that Heather Riccio puts in front of me. This is no exception. I swear, I’ve gotten some amazing reading material from this woman and I heart her tons for it!

I received a copy of this book to read for review purposes and *sigh* have added yet another book to my growing pile of books to buy. (Please send winning fallingforherfiancelottery numbers so I can buy ALL THE BOOKS!)

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before (which means I probably have ad nauseum) but I have wildly varied tastes in my reading material. I love everything from gory horror, to sweet happily ever afters, to torrid erotic romance.

Falling for Her Fiance is one of the sweet, makes you go “awww” and get misty eyed variety. And yes, I did get misty.

Book Blurb:

Danielle and Wes have been best friends since college, so when Wes needs a date for his sister’s wedding and Dani needs a partner for her company’s retreat, they devise the perfect plan: a fake engagement to get through both events unscathed. Adrenaline-junkie Wes can prove to both his ex and his family that he’s well and truly moved on, and serious-minded Dani can prove to her boss that she’s worthy of the promotion he seems to only want to give to a family-oriented employee.

But amid the fake swoons, fake kisses, and forced proximity, neither expects the very real feelings that develop. There’s nothing more dangerous than falling for your best friend…but what if the landing is worth the fall?

The Good:

Dude, I so totally loved this book. It was a very fast read, simply because it pulled me along and I didn’t want to stop reading it. That’s always a good sign!

Add to that, Dani and Wes are just too adorable. Their friendship is amazing and it’s sweet to watch them stumble through trying to figure out how to be in love. While pretending to be in love. Yeah.

I loved how Dani and Wes complimented each other and I was¬†rooting for them from the start. It was¬†one of those “It’s about darn time!” things when they finally admitted it to each other.

The Bad:

Honestly, there really wasn’t any bad for me here. I had all the warm fuzzies.

Overall:

This is one of those sweet stories about falling in love that make you walk away feeling good about life. A must read for anytime you need a pick me up or just to feel happy.