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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Touching Scars by Stacy Borel Review

"With you, there's no such thing as imperfection. If I closed my eyes right now, my memories wouldn't do you justice."  - Stacy Borel

 I read this book because Stacy Borel is one of my new favorite authors. I read her book Bender (see review) and I wanted to read something else by this author. That's when I came across Touching Scars...WOW just WOW....this book is so emotionally charged, it drags you through each of the hells the characters are experiencing and doesn't let go. The only complaint....I wanted a little more on Kat's back story and what lead up to the nightmare she's hiding.

Kat is a tough gal who is dealing with the demons of her past or more like hiding from them. She's a bartender who is trying to make something of her life and loves tattoos. Then you have Timber, the man dealing with his own demons after losing his entire squadron in Afghanistan. My heart broke for Timber...I mean literally broke. Both are trying to fight their issues on their own but what they don't know, is that they need each other to survive and conquer the demons.

Kat and Timber know each other from high school but their paths only crossed once, yet that's all it took. Their paths cross again when Timber moves to a small town in Texas to find work at an oil rig. Kat lives in the same town and works as a bartender in the only bar around. It doesn't take long for Timber and Kat to reunite but both have issues that neither one is ready to let the other know about.

I loved Kat and Timber's story and the build up to their love for one another. The way they both rescued one another stole my breath! I think the part of the book that almost gave me a heart attack was when Timber walked into the bar with "the creep"!!!! I was like WHAAAAATTT?!?!?

Stacy Borel is really becoming quit the author and I will read anything she writes so if you want a great love story with some action and heartache mixed together, read Touching Scars!

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey Review

“Love comes in many forms. It’s not always sweet. Or comfortable. Sometimes it’s selfish and consuming. Volatile."  - Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey can do no wrong in my book! That woman could write her stories on a toilet paper roll and I'd devour it! This story was no exception!  

This is the story of Willa Peet, who you may remember as the smartass, goth girl sister of Ginger Peet in Protecting What's His (Line of Duty #1). Willa is now growing into her own woman and trying to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. She breaks up with her boyfriend Evan and takes off to Ireland where she's won a contest for one of her photos.
Ireland is where Willa meets dark haired, blue eyed hunk of Irish gorgeousness Shane Claymore. He is the owner of the Claymore Inn where Willa is staying for her two weeks in Ireland. He's also a race car driver for the Formula One circuit. The connection between Willa and Shane is instant and smoking hot! I mean come on...what girls panties wouldn't evaporate into thin air over a dirty talking man with an Irish accent?!?!?!

I absolutely loved Shane and Willa's story. There was so much angst within both characters that it broke your heart yet at the same time it made you want to fight for the both of them! I freakin LOVED the ending and how Willa found Shane and got his attention (you'll understand once you read the book) but it was epic in my eyes! Again, Tessa Bailey can do no wrong in my book and I will continue to read everything she writes!


Monday, July 14, 2014

More Than Him by Jay McLean Review~

"I don't think anything, or anyone, is ever going to keep me away from you. I love you way too much. You're my heart, my world, my light." -Jay McLean, More Than Him

Something tragic happens at the end of More Than Her. Logan fights through it, trying to protect Amanda more than caring for himself, but he couldn't stop what happened. Seeing something so terrible happen to the one person he loves more than anything in the world makes him feel ultimate guilt and depression. In true Logan fashion, he runs. He runs from his feelings, he runs from the girl, and he runs from what to do next. He thinks he's running to protect her, because she deserves better. Little does he know, she doesn't hold him responsible at all and all she really wants is for him to come back to her.

Logan spends a year with Doctors Without Borders. He needed to get away, but he had to do something when he went away. He spends the entire time in a post-Amanda state, focusing on her, thinking mainly of her, and how much he misses her. Logan spends that time trying to process his own feelings about what happened, and deal with the anxiety and depression that resulted because of it.

Logan comes back to town and runs into Amanda at a party. It's like no time has passed for him- she is still the light in his darkness, his everything. Amanda still loves him, too. She's beyond hurt that he left her, but he's her person and she can't not be with him. They get back together almost instantly because their love for each other is that intense.

While they are happy to be back together, they know they've got some big things to overcome. One of the major things Amanda is concerned with is Ethan. Amanda doesn't want to let people know she and Logan are back together because she's afraid they'll judge her for how easily she took him back. She's also afraid Ethan will kill him for hurting her, again. When Ethan discovers that Logan and Amanda were hiding their relationship, you start to think Amanda might've been right...

Naturally, a major fight ensued. Logan felt like he deserved it. Amanda was ticked at Ethan for hurting him. Ethan is angry he left her. Ethan slowly regained some trust in Logan when he saw the way Logan treated his sister. Amanda continued to fall for Logan, but was still holding on to some anger and hurt that he'd left her. She couldn't convince herself that he'd never leave again.

Logan decided to share some of his journal entries with Amanda. He kept a journal during Doctors Without Borders where he expressed his truest feelings, without worrying about any repercussions of his thoughts or feelings. He shared the heartbreaking journal entries with Amanda and she fell even more in love. Seeing all he went through and knowing how he felt about her, was the ultimate way for  Amanda to regain her faith in him.

This book has the HEA that you definitely crave for Logan and Amanda. I think Amanda is a great female lead character, but the thing that really sold me for this book and the one before it, was Logan. His heart is so big and he loves so strongly. He had a horrible, tragic childhood but he moved past it. He grew up into a strong, smart, amazing guy and didn't let his past effect him.

"You know he feels everything, right here. In his heart. And he loves, fiercely with this passion and emotion that's all Logan. Every part of him. He gives you every single piece."

More Than Her by Jay McLean Review!

"I can't give you much, or anything at all. But when I say those words to you, it won't just be words-it will be me giving you something that means something. And you deserve to know that, to feel that. So please, let me be the first to say it-- because I need to at least be able to give you that...and when I do-- those three words will be yours, forever. And so will I."- Jay McLean, More Than Her

Logan, Logan, Logan. Now, I thought I was taking on Jake Andrews as my new book boyfriend, but Logan-- he's changed the game! Logan makes me want to scream, cry, laugh, and everything in between. He's infuriating, but heartbreaking. He's everything you want, and everything that could break you. He's mesmerizing, but dizzying. But, he was none of that until Amanda.

"...this is the moment I knew what it felt like to lose everything I never had." 

The attraction between Amanda and Logan is instant. It's one of those love at first sight stories and Jay McLean does a beautiful way of telling us about it. It's not easy between them to begin with, but once they get together...fireworks. It's a perfect first date, and then Logan never calls. For a year. Never calls... for a year! 

A year goes by while Logan still thinks about her and misses her. The entire year he wants to call her, wants to talk to her, but can't get himself to do it. When they run into each other again, it's clear Amanda wants nothing to do with him. She's infuriated, but can't help the attraction she feels towards him. She wants him, but she can't trust him not to break her heart all over again. 

Amanda can't resist him, no matter how hurt she felt in the past. Sparks fly, we fall in love with Logan and Amanda together, and they are both happier than they've ever been. Then, the real world comes crashing in. Logan's past catches up to him and threatens his future. Will either of them be able to overcome it?

You've got to read Book 3 (More Than Him) to find out what happens! I will say this, though- I've read Book 3 and it is TOTALLY worth it! :)

More Than This by Jay McLean Review~

"I'm thinking that maybe I'm really far from more than a lot liking you, Mikayla Jones." - Jay McLean, More Than This

This book was intense. It was overwhelming, heartbreaking, humorous, and healing. This is the story of Mikayla and her rescuer, Jake Andrews.

The book starts off with Mikayla going to prom with her boyfriend, James, and her best friend of several years, Megan. This is about the point where you start hating James and Megan.

After discovering what crappy taste Mikayla has in friends and boyfriends, Mikayla is introduced to Jake. Jake takes her in, makes her forget her hurt, and makes her laugh on what she thinks might be the worst night, ever.

Then, the night transforms into the worst night you could ever possibly imagine.

This is the point where you say, Thank you God for Jake Andrews. Jake is there to hold Mikayla, comfort her, provide for her, be her solace in a time where solace is very difficult to find. They barely know each other, but yet they find themselves in the other person. 

We're introduced to Jake and his wonderful group of friends. We've got Dylan (the big, strong, quiet guy totally in love with Heidi), Logan (the supposed playboy jerk), and Cameron (the good guy who's totally devoted to his Lucy). This group of people make a family. They are there for each other and they band together and include Mikayla in that family when they barely know her and she needs love more than anything else. 

I fell in love with all the characters in this book. One of my favorite quotes in it was from Cam, when he was talking about his Lucy and her love of her e-reader/reading...

"'To whoever wrote Fifty Shades of Grey,' Cam eyes the sky like he's thanking the Lord. We all laugh and drink." 

The rest of the book basically tells the story of Jake and Kayla and their life. They go off to college together. There are good times and bad, but through it all Jake's love for Kayla is everlasting. He's there for her, he knows her, and he'll do whatever he can to ease her pain and restore her heart. 

This was a great read to me. It was a little over the top with the dramatics and angst stuff, but it was still really good. Definitely worth the read, and I am REALLY looking forward to reading Logan's story next!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Perfecting Patience (Blow Hole Boys #1.5) by Tabatha Vargo - Review

“There's a funny thing about scars. You can cover them up and hide them, but no matter what you do, they're always there.”
Tabatha Vargo,
Perfecting Patience

 Ughhhhhh okay I just needed to get that out first. This is the continuing story of Patience and Zeke and while it's better than the first book, Playing Patience, it's still just missing a major a house missing walls something.

Patience is now in Florida going to school and playing soccer through the University. Zeke is playing with his band and has hit the big time. These two still have their issues, they still love each other and they try so hard to cover up their darkness instead of working through it. That's where I think this book really just fell flat for me. 
I honestly feel this story could have been so much more but instead we are just kind of jerked around for awhile and when things start to get interesting you're yanked in a different direction. It's like being in a car that's set on cruise's just a steady pace that really never accelerates. Patience ends up getting addicted to pain pills because they help her with her panic big surprise there considering what she went through but it was sooooooooo predictable ughhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! I just wanted more for this story but instead all you get is a book with no solid story line that was just really was disappointing. I loved Zeke. I loved Patience. I didn't love the book but I also can't hate it because I just feel for what Patience and Zeke represented...the light in the darkness.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Just One Song by Stacey Lynn Review!

" I don't want you to forget them, Nicole. They're a part of you and they always will be. I'm not asking you to let them go. I just want you to make room for me, too." Stacey Lynn, Just One Song

Ah, this book. It's definitely a book that will tug at your heart strings. I appreciate Stacey Lynn considering her reader, though. This book is about Nicole, and her life after her husband and son are taken from her in the worst way possible. I appreciate Stacey's writing in that she didn't spend the first half of the book getting the reader to fall in love with Mark and Andrew, and then kill them off. This is not to say you don't feel the sadness and the hurt she's experiencing as a widow, but it doesn't totally stomp your heart out like it could. 

Nicole grieves. She's been going through the motions and just getting by after her late husband and son were killed in a car accident. She wants to learn to live again, but needs a little help from her friend, Mia. Mia and Nicole decide to go out on the town one night. Little did they know what one night could do! 

Enter, Zack Walters. Nicole approaches Zack in a bar, on a dare, to try to get him to buy her a drink. Zack's hesitant of her intentions, but only until he finds out she has no idea who he is. Zack is one of the biggest rock stars in the country. He had slipped into the little whole-in-the-wall bar for a drink before soundcheck with his bassist, Jake. Nicole is attracted to him instantly, and likes him for him. 

Zack is instantly taken to Nicole. Of course he thinks she's gorgeous, but he also loves that she seems to like him, want him, for the person he is- not the rockstar everyone sees him as. Zack can't remember the last time he felt wanted for the person he is and loves. At this point (as the reader), I just wanted to squeeze Zack's cheeks and tell him of course someone will love him for him! He's handsome, thoughtful, loyal to a fault. Zack falls for Nic almost instantly. So much so that he asks Nicole to come on the rest of the tour as a photographer. Nicole likes him and knows this will help her move forward in life, so she says yes. 

Throughout the rest of the book, we see the budding romance of Nic and Zack. Zack is ever patient and focused on Nic and doing whatever he can to get her to see how much he cares about her. Nic is hesitant because she's still grieving and doesn't really know how to move on. Because of all these complicated emotions, Nic tries to shut Zack out sometimes or run away. He always chases her, though. She finally lets him catch her. 

"I'm standing here next to the man I love, who I don't know how to be with, introducing him to the man I first loved and don't know how to say goodbye to." 

I loved this part of the book. I love that Nicole introduced Zack to Mark and Andrew, and brought him into this as a way to start their beginning and say goodbye to what once was. It was emotional, raw, and beautiful. 

After that, it's all sweet love on the love train between Nic and Zack, except for Zack's evil on again off again ex. She creates a bit of drama and brings out Nicole's feisty side, which Zack loves. Unfortunately, the ex takes it too far and there's a time where you're really concerned what the outcome will be. Nicole starts questioning whether Zack is really all in with her, if he's really totally loyal to her. A little later, things get cleared up and Nicole realizes Zack has always and will always be only hers. She feels silly for ever questioning him, and I'm over here like: 

How can you question Zack Walters?! Anyway, I know I left it a little vague on what happens as the big drama at the end of the book, but that's because I don't want to spoil it for you! It's a good read and there is a series, but it's based on different characters so you'll get the whole HEA for Zack and Nicole in this one! 

Keep Reading!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Marked by the Vampire (Purgatory #2) by Cynthia Eden - Review

"I kill because I'm a vampire. That's sort of our thing."

I absolutely love Cynthia Eden! Her books are always sexy, adventurous and mysterious. Marked by the Vampire is the second book in the Purgatory series. The first book is The Wolf Within, which I did not read first and I think that's why I was a tad bit confused at first. I loved the story but there were times I felt like we were moving right along and then we would come to a sudden halt and make an abrupt turn and derail. I don't read paranormal stories often but if they are written as well as this author, then I think I will be reading more!

Dr. Olivia Maddox is a psychologist who studies criminals to determine why they become such monsters. Well that's where you could say curiosity killed the cat! She is able to gain access to a Paranormal Jail call Purgatory. This is where the paranormals (werewolves, vampires, etc) are placed when they turn on humans and kill. Purgatory is described to look like Alcatraz and is pretty much a hell hole. 

Purgatory is where we meet Shane August, undercover FBI agent who is sent to Purgatory as a "criminal" to see where the loopholes are coming from within the prison. Shane is a very old, very powerful, very sexy vampire! Did I mention he's super sexy, and dark and....okay moving on!

I can't go into too much detail because this is a fast paced book and a lot happens! Again, I suggest you read the first book because things will make more sense! Olivia ends up being saved by Shane when all hell breaks loose at Purgatory. You end up realizing very quickly that there's something "special" about Olivia because the wolves and vampires that she does get to interview find her "scent" very appealing and very "different." If any of you watch True Blood you'll kind of understand the whole "special scent" ordeal! Olivia is a Djinn...and when I first read that I was like WTF?

A Djinn is something I have never really read about in any paranormal book I've read. It's pretty much a very powerful witch, wizard, something or another that can unleash hell on earth for the humans if used incorrectly. It was very confusing trying to figure it all out!! And I think Olivia was feeling the same thing because she had no clue what she was!

I did enjoy the story but felt is wasn't up to par with how this author normally writes. But it was dark and sexy and every time Shane bit Olivia I about melted into a pool of OMG-ness. I mean when a hot vampire states "You will ask for my bite" you can't really turn that invitation ever! I will be reading the next book because now I'm interested!

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon Review!

" Maybe it was because I was raised in Appalachia, raised in faith and poverty and little else, but I believed in things like fate and destiny. I believed in angels, and I believed in God's ability to direct our paths, to guide us and move us in unseen ways, and I believed in miracles. Suddenly, Finn Clyde felt like a miracle, and I felt sure that Minnie had sent him to me." Amy Harmon, Infinity + One

Spoilers ahead! 

So, this was a 3 star book for me. I'm actually surprised that was the case. I expected this great, wonderful, big, beautiful story because that's how I felt about Harmon's Making Faces but I just didn't get that in this book. I know I'm probably going to be shunned by my fellow Goodreads/Amy Harmon fans...

I still enjoyed the book, I just didn't fall all over myself about it. I felt like it was one long plot point. Long may be the operative word as I felt the whole Bonnie and Clyde trip was a little long, drawn out, and as to be expected. I get the Bonnie and Clyde race across the country reference of course, but I just wanted a little more. As a reader, you knew they'd eventually get caught. You knew the ride was going to end. You knew that they would end up together. I just wanted a little surprise, a little something different. There's no doubt Amy Harmon is a great writer. She can create characters we love and want to keep reading about. However, I just couldn't get fully behind this book. Why couldn't Bonnie just be a big girl, pick up the phone, call her Gran and say I'm taking a break- see you when I see you? She was an adult, after all. Finn was my favorite part of this book. Finn had depth and good character development and I felt myself rooting for him above all else in this book. I liked that they were both twins and had lost their other twin so that connected them. I also enjoyed William and the other travelers they met along the way. Overall, it was good. I don't feel like I wasted my money, but I'm wishing for another novel like Making Faces!