Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Lux #4


Origin begins just after the events of Opal.

Katy is in the hands of Daedalus. We meet new characters. Katy is tortured in the name of humanity and research.

Daemon will do anything to get her back, including getting himself caught if necessary.

I love Daemon. He is still funny and arrogant but he is completely in love with Katy, 

There are so many shocking events that I don't want to give away. I was expecting some of them not to be true. There are betrayals but there are also new allies in the places where you least expect them.

I was happy to see Hunter's scene from Daemon's POV.

I'm betting that Hunter and Daemon will need to work together in Opposition.

Also, let me mention Archer. I was very happy with his character and I like his storyline. Actually, I was ecstatic with it (insert grin here).

I can't finish my review without mentioning the cover. 

IT IS GORGEOUS. Pepe Toth is the perfect Daemon. 

When the movie finally comes out (I say when because it must happen) it will be very hard to find an actor that can be as great as Pepe is.

Jennifer Armentrout has become a must-read writer. Love her covenant series too and Wait for You. It's going to be hard waiting until next summer for Opposition. At least Sentinel is coming out in November.

5/5 Fangs

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

Heart Of Venom

Heart of Venom
Elemental Assassin #9
Jennifer Estep

Gin Bianco is the assassin named the Spider. We know her, we love her.

She is very protective of her "family" and when Jo-Jo and Sophia are threatened she will do whatever she needs to save them. Anyone against her family is her enemy and she will torture and kill whoever messes with them.

The evil in this book are the siblings Grime and Hazel, they are fire elementals. They have a past with Sophia and Jo-Jo. When Sophia is kidnapped it is up to Gin to save her. She is not alone this time, she gets the help of Owen.

Finally, Owen is back. The character we fell in love with and who was missing from the last two books. He supports Gin in every decision. This book was much better relationship-wise. I liked that we get more info on Sophia's past. Felt bad for her. I hope she finds peace and happiness soon.

I was very happy with the Heart of Venom. I love how cool Gin is and can't wait to read more about her adventures.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Monday, August 26, 2013

Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage

Price Of A Kiss
Reese Randall is a college student.  She has moved to Florida to hide from her psycho stalker ex-boyfriend (her words not mine).  She is living with her cousin Eva.  She meets Hotness (aka Mason) soon enough.  However, Eva tells her she can't have him. There is a rumor, he might be a gigolo.

Resist the hunky gigolo, Reese. Resist!

Mason Lowe had had a tough last few years.  He wishes for woman to see him like something more than a stud. When he meets sweet Reese he tries to stay away, but she won't take no for an answer.  At some point he may need to decide between his job that pays the bills or the girl that he wants.  How will he decide?

I love this book. The heroine was funny, smart and sweet.  Lately most of the books have the heroine broken from a past experience and barely surviving. This is NOT the case for Reese Randall.  She learned from the experience but it didn't define her. She didn't loose her sense of humor or her personality.  I actually think she is one of my favorite heroines to date.
The chemistry between Reese and Mason is amazing. You can see them falling in love. I love their interaction, their bickering.  They didn't hide their feelings for each other.

“Are you seriously going to walk out of here right now after I just confessed my soul to you, cool as a cucumber, without reciprocating at all?” 
“What?” I sent him a blank look. Then I rolled my eyes and reached out to ruffle his amazing hair. “Mason Lowe, if you don’t know by now that I’m attracted as hell to you, you’re freaking blind.” 
He stared at me a moment before muttering, “There. Was that so hard to admit?” 

This book is a winner.  I certainly will look for more books by Linda Kage.
The humor reminds me of KA's style.

5/5 Fangs

Playing With Her Heart (Caught Up In Us #3) by Lauren Blakely

Playing With Her Heart
Jill McCormick is the new understudy in a new theater play.  This is her big break and she is ecstatic.  She finds out in person when she bumps into her new director, Davis Milo.  Of course the best way to celebrate is to invite him for a drink.  It is not because he is super attractive and gorgeous.  Not the reason.
Davis has a few rules and the first two rules is not to date the actresses.  Why is having trouble staying away from the understudy?

This book was great.  I love Davis.  He was super alpha and did the most wicked things to Jill.  Love the funnier side of both.  I like that Lauren Blakely is not big on angst which lets me enjoy the book much better.  We get cameos from all the prior couples including Trophy husband.

3.5/5 Fangs

So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn

So much it hurts
Kaitlyn falls in love in high school.  Trevor is the one guy everyone likes and wants around.  She should be lucky to be his girlfriend.  Soon, he shows his true colors.  Kaitlyn lives a life in fear.  This is until she meets Chris King.  A new kid who comes straight out of juvie. He is mysterious but they share a connection.  Chris helps her whenever she needs him.
Years later they meet again. Now, Chris is part of a band. They never forgot each other but now Kaitlyn is married and has a kid.  Can she leave her family for a chance to be with Chris?

This was hard book to read.  Kaitlyn doesn't trust anybody with her secrets.  The only one who she lets in is Chris.  She had friends and family but she never approaches or trusts them.
Also, I have issues with cheating and her friends seem to be eager to let her stray when she has the chance.
And the worst part was the ending.  I understood why it had to be that way, it just didn't make me happy.
2/5 Fangs

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sneak Peak
A Little Too Far Excerpt (A Little Too Far #1) by Lisa Desrochers

A Little Too Far

Sneak Peek of A LITTLE TOO FAR by Lisa Desrochers

Exclusive excerpt from the hot New Adult novel out September 17, 2013 from Avon Impulse!

Dear Reader, 

What if the thing you always thought was wrong turned out to be the one thing in your life that’s truly right? That’s the question at the heart of A LITTLE TOO FAR. 

I confess I’m not easy on my characters. I love to write angst and anguish. Twenty-year-old Lexie Banks did not escape my wicked ways. She finds her heart pulled in two different directions, but, unfortunately for Lexie, both directions lead to very off-limits men. So what do you do when your heart is taking you somewhere that the rest of you can’t follow? This is what Lexie spends nine months abroad in Rome trying to sort out. 

I adore Rome, and was able to relive my time there in Lexie’s Roman experience. Rome has a life of its own, which I tried to bring to the page in a way that would allow my readers to experience it even if you’ve never been. I hope you enjoy reading about Lexie’s journey as much as I enjoyed writing it. 

Happy Reading! 

Lisa Desrochers 

Chapter One
My ex is a douche. A point made all the more clear when I bump into Stacey 

McCarran at the Forever 21 in the mall.
“Lexie,” she drawls, flipping her long, bleached-blond hair over her shoulder and 

putting on a sympathetic pout. “I was so sorry to hear about you and Rick.” 

It’s a lie, and she knows I know it. She was after Rick the whole time we were in high school, and from the knowing smirk underneath that fake pout, I’m guessing they’ve already done the deed. I wonder if she even waited an hour after we broke up to call him. 

Sam steps away from the rack she’s perusing, holding a sheer, black tank top with beading around the low V-neck. “Stacey,” she sneers, stepping up next to me. Katie is next to her, glaring thorns at Stacey. I can always count on my friends to circle the wagons. 

I shrug. “Things happen.” Like your boyfriend of three and a half years turning into a cheating bastard when you aren’t paying attention. Yeah. Things happen. 

“Well,” she drawls, flicking through a rack of cotton shorts, “everyone was shocked. We all thought you two would end up married.” 

So did I. 

Rick and I had talked about marriage. When I came home for summer break after freshman year, he was the one who brought it up. He was the one who started talking about where we should live after we graduated from college. We’d been voted the couple most likely to make it in our senior yearbook. I’d scribbled my name on countless scraps of paper, trying to decide whether to hyphenate or just change my last name from Banks to Hamilton. 

So when Sam texted me she’d heard that Rick was seeing someone at school, I chalked it up to the rumor mill. 

It wasn’t the rumor mill. Or it was, I guess. It was a combination of my boyfriend being an asshat and the rumor mill. 

When I got accepted to Notre Dame, there was no question I was going there because, 1) it’s a great school, and 2) it’s Catholic, which my parents insisted on. But it’s also, 3) really far away. A whole bunch of our classmates, including Rick, went to San Jose State because it’s so close to home. I guess Rick was too stupid to realize that you can’t screw half the campus when the place is swarming with friends of your girlfriend and not have a single one of them notice. So the rumors spread. 

The stupid thing? Rick gave me a promise ring for Christmas. He did the whole spiel about how I was the love of his life, and he knew we’d spend the rest of our lives together, blah, blah, blah. 

The stupidest thing? I fell for it—until we were in his bed the night after Christmas. We were technically engaged to be engaged, so I felt justified reading through his texts when he got up to go to the bathroom and peel off his condom. 

Yes, it was a douchey thing to do, so maybe I’m a douche too, but it wasn’t just what Sam had said. People were looking at us funny when we went to a party at Rick’s best friend’s house the day after I got home. It was like they were all whispering behind my back, and some of my friends were shooting me sympathetic glances even though no one said anything. I was feeling super paranoid. 

So I looked. 

Not only were there texts from at least three different girls, but a few pictures too. The pictures were mostly of him sitting with girls in his lap, or dancing. In one, he was kissing a blonde with big boobs, but it didn’t look like more than just a peck on the lips. Bad, 

but not totally incriminating. But the texts ... some of those were pretty raunchy. I didn’t have time to read them all, but I scanned enough of one conversation to know that the rumors were true. 

My heart scrunched itself into a tiny knot, and my chest was so empty, I didn’t even hurt right at that second. The hurt came later and stayed for a really long time. Just then, in Rick’s bedroom, humiliation filled the empty space instead. I was sitting on the edge of his bed, holding his phone in my hand when he came back from the bathroom. “You fucked her in your chemistry lab? Seriously?” 

His eyes went wide, and all the blood drained from his face. “It’s not what you think.” 

Adrenaline rushed my bloodstream at his denial, and I shook with rage. “Really? That’s the best you can do?” 

“Lexie, she’s psycho. She, like, stalks me all the time.” 

I turned the phone and swiped through the texts. “Which one? Becky? Gina? Or is Helena the stalker?” 

He grimaced and rubbed a hand down his face. “Shit.” 

I hurled the phone at him, and it hit his shoulder and ricocheted off. He didn’t even grab for it on its way to the floor, where it bounced off his foot onto the carpet. “You son of a bitch,” I growled, yanking my clothes on. 

“Lexie, wait!” he said as I pushed past him to the door.
I spun and flung his ring in his face. “Screw you!”
And that was the end of three and a half years with Rick. 

He called and texted almost every day during the spring semester, but I deleted them all without looking. My friends from home were good about avoiding the topic in their texts, 

so it became easy to pretend Rick had never existed. I was two thousand miles away, and he couldn’t just pop by and surprise me, so I felt reasonably safe. But when an opportunity to get even farther away and spend my junior year abroad in Italy came up, I jumped all over it. 

By the time I got home for summer break a few months ago, I felt pretty good. I was over Rick. I’d thrown myself into my studies and was going into my junior year at Notre Dame near the top of my art history class. That had won me the scholarship for the year abroad in Rome from over thirty applicants. 

Still, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of spending my summer watching Rick screw his way through our old classmates, so I’ve spent my days since I got home absorbed in my Rosetta Stone software and feel pretty confident I’ll be able to 1) find a bathroom (Dove passo trovare il bagno?) or 2) tell someone to go to hell (Va ’al diavolo!). My friends have been cool about avoiding the parties we knew he’d be at, so I’ve managed to make it all summer without so much as a glimpse of him. 

And now I’m two days away from heading to Rome for my junior year, with the possibility of staying the summer for an internship if they like me. 

Life is good, and I’m not going to let Stacey rub my face in the parts of it that aren’t. 

“Yeah, well ... see you later,” I tell her as I turn for the register. 

“Bitch,” Sam mutters as we walk away, just loud enough for Stacey to hear, and I can’t help smiling. She hands me the top and a short, black skirt she’s holding. “These are a mandatory purchase. The beading around the neckline will draw attention to your best assets,” she says, cupping my boob in her free hand. 

“Will you please not feel me up in public?” I mutter, taking the clothes and shoving her away. 

“My job, whether you like it or not, is to be sure you don’t come home without experiencing all Rome has to offer,” she says with raised eyebrows and a knowing smile, “and this outfit will guarantee it.” 

Sam and Katie are two of a revolving group of about ten of us who hung out together all through high school, but they are the ones I’ve kept in closest touch with after we all left for college. Sam is deceptively feminine, with long, auburn waves and ivory skin. And she’s curvy in a way that turns guys’ heads. What you’d never get from her appearance is she’s totally kick-ass. Confidence wafts off of her like a strong scent. She’s put her brown belt in karate to use teaching self-defense classes at the women’s shelter for the last few years and is by far the most outspoken of the three of us. But she also isn’t great at keeping confidences confidential. I love her but don’t really trust her, if that makes sense. 

Katie, on the other hand, has always struggled with her weight, and, therefore, her self-esteem. I think she’s beautiful, but she always lets her dark hair hang and dresses a little frumpily. She’s generally quieter and more reserved than Sam and tends to blend into the woodwork. I feel like I could talk to Katie, except she’s best friends with Sam, and I’m not sure which loyalty would prevail if push came to shove, so I don’t. 

We make our purchases and head to the Applebee’s for lunch. The hostess seats us at a booth near the bar. 

“Here,” Sam says, reaching across the table for the bags I’m trying to wrestle into my side of the booth. “I’ll put some over here.” 

I hand the big Neiman Marcus bag over the table to her and keep the smaller ones. She takes it and wedges it against the wall as Katie slides in next to her. 

“Can I start you ladies off with something to drink?” 

Suddenly, all the oxygen is sucked out of the atmosphere, and spots flash in my eyes. I can’t even look at the end of the table where the waiter stands, but I hear Katie’s gasp and know it’s him. 

Oh, God. 

“Hi, Rick,” Sam says, her voice dry. “Give us a minute, okay?” 

There’s a long pause where no one says anything, but I feel the weight of everyone’s gaze. I hate that the first thing to flit through my mind is an inventory of my appearance. I showered this morning without shaving my legs, then pulled my wet, dirty blond hair back into a high ponytail with a mother-of-pearl clip—by far the nicest thing I’m wearing. I rubbed a little foundation over a few zits on my chin and threw on some mascara, not really caring too much what I looked like. My layered tanks are old and stretched, and my khaki shorts are too baggy in the butt. 

I look like shit. 

I don’t want to care what Rick thinks. But, damn it, I do. 

“Yeah ... okay. I’ll be back in a few,” he answers after a beat. 

“Damn, Lexie,” Katie hisses when he’s gone. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know he worked here.” 

I thought I had this. I thought I was past him. So why, when I glance up and see him walking away, does my heart skip a beat? 

Sam grabs the bag she had just stuffed near the wall. “Let’s go.” 

I force myself to stop chewing at the inside of my cheek and breathe a shaky breath. “No. I’m not going to let him do this to me. I’m not going to keep living like I’m the one who did something wrong.” 

Katie’s expression is all sympathy. “Everyone knows it was him, Lexie. You don’t have anything to prove.” 

“I’m fine,” I say, glancing up to where Rick stands at the bar. “I’m not going to be able to avoid him forever.” 

Sam sets the bag down, giving me the skeptic’s squint. “You’re sure.” 

I nod and pick up the menu. “I had my heart set on the turkey club croissant, and I’m not going to let my dirtbag of an ex deprive me of it.” 

We peruse the menus, and, a few minutes later, Rick is back. I look him in the eye this time, and damn, he’s still gorgeous. His straight blond hair is longer than when I saw him last, naked in his bedroom, and partially covers his amazing blue eyes. He looks really classy in the white button-down and thin black tie they have him in. “Are you ready for drinks?” 

I clear my throat. “Iced tea with—” 

“—extra lemon,” he finishes for me with that sideways smile that always sets off butterflies in my stomach. “I remember.” 

“Diet Coke.” Sam’s voice lashes out like a whip, and Rick turns to her and Katie on the other side of the booth. 

“Anything for you, Katie?” he asks.
“Just water.”
He nods. “I’ll be right back for your order.”
Katie leans across the table as he walks away, and whispers, “That wasn’t so bad.” “Speak for yourself,” I mutter. 

“I say we order a bunch of stuff a little at a time ... you know, to make him work for it, then stiff him on the tip,” Sam says, glaring at his back as he steps up to the bar. 

“Nope,” I say. “He’s just any other waiter. I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he even gets to me anymore.” I straighten up in my seat and look at him. “Because he doesn’t ... mostly.” 

“It’s your show, Lexie,” Sam says, “but after what he did, if it were me, I’d leave scorched earth. There’d be no mercy.” 

I slide out of the booth. “I’m going to wash my hands. If he comes back, order me the turkey club croissant, light on the mayo.” 

The bathrooms are next to the bar, so I have to walk past Rick on my way. His back is to me, and a petite blond waitress is standing next to him, rubbing her arm against his. 

“... tonight if you want. I can promise you a good time,” she says as her fingers curl against his thigh and squeeze. 

My stomach lurches, and I take a wide berth and walk faster, but before I make it to the bathroom door, he calls my name up the hall. I’m tempted to pretend I don’t hear him, but I know he’s coming up behind me fast. He’s close enough he’d know I’m pretending. Which means he’d know he still affects me. 

“What?” I say, spinning on him. 

He stops a few feet short of me and jams his hands in his pockets. “How have you been?” 

“Great, Rick. I’m just fabulous,” I spit. “Are we done?” 

“Look, I know I was a jerk,” he blurts as I spin for the bathroom. 

I don’t turn around. “You weren’t a jerk. You were an asshole. There’s a big difference.” 

“Fine. I was an asshole. I’m really sorry.”
I start moving again. “Sorry doesn’t cut it.” 

“I still love you, Lexie. I can’t get past it.” 

There’s a desperate hitch in his voice that claws at my heart and stops me cold. 

“Those girls ... I was a moron.” I hear him moving closer as he talks, but I don’t turn to look at him. “I haven’t touched anyone else since winter break. I don’t want anyone else, Lexie. I want you.” He lays a hand on my hip, and I swear at myself when I shudder. He gently spins me and tips my face up with a finger under my chin, so I’m looking into his eyes. “I always will.” 

He leans in very slowly, watching me the whole way. I can’t even tell you why I don’t pull away from him, but as he presses my body between his and the wall, not only don’t I pull away, I kiss him back. 

Chapter Two
His fingers thread into my hair as his other hand grasps my hip and pulls me into the 

curve of his body. It feels so good. So familiar. So easy. 

It was always easy with us. I want that back so badly that I let myself get lost in the feeling ... until someone brushes past us on their way into the bathroom, snapping me out of my fantasy. Because that’s what it is, a fantasy. He took what we had and threw it away. There’s no way I can ever trust him again. 

He leans in again, but I splay a hand on his chest before his lips reach mine. “Don’t, Rick. I can’t do this again.” 

His fingers glide down my cheek and trace my lips. “Just think about it, Lexie. Please,” he says, letting me go. “I still have the ring. It and my heart will always be yours.” 

“But your heart wasn’t always mine. You gave it away to Helena and ...” I throw up my hands, frustrated, when I can’t remember the other girls’ names, “anyone else who wanted it.” 

“They never had my heart. It was just sex. That’s it. It didn’t mean anything.” His face scrunches, pleading with me to understand. 

My heart climbs up my throat at his words. “How can you say sex doesn’t mean anything? We lost our virginity together. I’ve never been with anyone but you because it means everything.” 

He purses his lips and hangs his head. “I was so stupid.” His eye flick to mine again. “Tell me what to do to fix this. I’ll do anything.” 

“I just need to think.” This time, when I turn for the bathroom, he doesn’t stop me. 

I wash up and splash some water on my face, then stare at my shaking self in the mirror. How can I still have feelings for him after what he did? How is there any part of me that isn’t totally repulsed by him? 

“Hey,” Sam says when I get back to the table a few minutes later. “You okay?” 

“Have you ordered yet?” I ask. 

Her gaze flicks across the restaurant, and I’m guessing she’s looking at Rick, but I don’t follow it to find out. “Prince Charming hasn’t been back. I think he was waiting for you.” 

I throw a ten on the table to cover the drinks and grab my bags. “You were right. I can’t do this. Let’s go.” 

We collect all my stuff and head to the parking lot. Katie pushes the button on her key fob to unlock her battered, yellow Beetle, and the alarm starts blaring as all the lights flash. 

“When are you going to get that thing fixed?” Sam yells, slapping her palms over her ears. 

Katie clicks the key fob again, and the shrieking stops. “Sorry.” 

Sam looks the Beetle over with disdain. “We definitely need a new ride.” 

“You don’t like it, you can walk,” Katie says defensively, patting her car on the roof like a dog as she pulls open the driver’s door. “So, what happened?” she asks me as we climb in. 

I slouch into the backseat. “He says he still loves me.” 

“Don’t do it, Lexie,” Sam warns, strapping herself in shotgun. 

I tip my head back into my seat and stare at the stained roof of Katie’s car. “Why did he have to turn out to be such a douche?” 

Sam slouches deeper into her seat. “The sad truth is, I think it’s in the DNA— somewhere in that Y chromosome is the douche-bag gene.” 

I lean my head into the window and close my eyes, focusing on making the twenty minutes to my house without crying. I know it’s over. I’ve known it for months, but 

somehow time isn’t making it easier. Whoever said time heals all wounds was a big, fat liar. My heart still remembers what we had and how it felt to lose it. 

When Katie drops me at home, Trent’s motorcycle is in the driveway, but the house is quiet. 

“If that stepbrother of yours is looking for an end-of-the-summer fling,” Sam says, flicking a glance at the bike as I get out, “you know where to send him.” 

I roll my eyes at her. 

She leans out her window. “You think I’m joking, but I’m going to jump that boy’s bones sooner or later.” 

“He’s probably out with his friends,” I say, waving a hand at the house. “Go find him and jump away.” 

She bangs the side of the car with her palm. “Go fuck some Italian boys and forget about your dirtbag ex.” She grins. “And send pictures!” 

I lean in and hug her, then move around to Katie’s side, where she’s out of the car, waiting. “Thanks for taking me shopping,” I say, looping an arm around her shoulders. 

She hugs me back. “I’m so jealous.” 

I pull away and smile. “I’ll be in touch.” 

She climbs back into her seat. “You better.” There’s a waver in her voice, and I realize she’s tearing up. 

“I will. And I’ll see you when I’m home for winter break.” 

“Bring home a hot Italian!” Sam calls from across the car. 

I can’t help cracking a smile as I turn for the house. I slide my key into the front lock and pushed the door open, then wave at Katie and Sam. Katie gives a bleep of her horn, and they pull away from the curb. I watch until they disappear around the corner, then head upstairs. 

I climb the stairs to my room two at a time and dump my bags on the floor near my closet. But what Rick said keeps cycling through my brain. 

I still have the ring. It and my heart will always be yours. 

I thought we’d be together forever. But then he ripped my heart out in the most humiliating way possible. I don’t think I love him anymore ... but what if I never find anyone else? What if that was my one shot at true love? We were so happy. Why did he have to fuck it all up? 

“Damn you!” I grab a picture frame off my dresser—one that has a picture of me, Sam, and Katie at graduation that I put in over the top of a portrait of me and Rick at prom— and heave it at the wall between Trent’s room and mine. It shatters, leaving a gash in the blue paint next to my collage of favorite sketches. 

I sink into a sobbing heap on the carpet, glad I have the house to myself. I don’t need an audience for my meltdown. 


Trent’s voice comes through the door, but I can’t catch my breath to answer. So much for no audience. 

The door hinges creak as he pushes it open and pokes his head through the crack. He has a minor case of bed-head—his chocolate brown curls smashed on one side—and his wrinkled gray Loyola Wrestling T-shirt and well-worn jeans look slept in. “Hey, you okay?” 

“Yeah ... great,” I heave between sobs. 

“That was stupid. Sorry.” He comes into the room and crouches next to me, rubbing my back. 

I wipe my forearm under my nose. “Sorry to wake you up.” 

His deep brown eyes are all concern. “No biggie. What happened?” 

“Nothing.” But then Rick’s face when he said he still loved me flashes in my mind, and I heave another sob. 

“Come here,” Trent says, pulling me off the floor by a hand. He tows me to the bed and sits, pulling me down next to him. I tuck my head against his solid chest, and he wraps me in his strong arms and rocks me like a baby. He hums as he rocks me, and I know the tune instantly. My heart melts a little, remembering the first time he ever sang it to me, four years ago. 

Trent’s thing, like his mom’s, is music. Julie teaches piano, and by the time I met Trent the summer before his freshman year, he could play almost anything. When our parents got married two years later, Julie tried to teach me, but I don’t really have the patience for sitting at the piano for a half hour each day to practice, so after about a year of trying, she finally stopped forcing it on me. But Trent couldn’t get enough. He taught himself guitar and started his first garage band that year. They played together all through high school. Now he’s a music performance major at Loyola. With my fetish for the visual arts and his for music, between the two of us, we have the arts pretty well covered. 

All my tight muscles begin to soften as his fingers knead my shoulders. This is what only he can do for me. What he’s always done for me. 

Dad and Julie started dating the summer before I started eighth grade. By the time they got married, when I was fifteen and a half and Trent had just turned sixteen, we all knew each other pretty well. 

Trent and I got comfortable around each other pretty quickly, even before we were officially a family. We’d hang out and play Warcraft when our parents were on dates, and one or the other of us would just start talking. A lot of the time it was about our parents. I’d 

gone through a rough patch around that time, missing the mother I never knew and blaming myself that she was dead—which the shrink said was partly because there was a new mother figure in my life and partly because of my raging hormones and my growing awareness of my own mortality. Put whatever psychobabble label you want on it, all I knew was I hurt. I’d tell Trent how I thought I killed my mom by being born and how I wondered if that made me a murderer. He said it didn’t, but I always thought he only said it to make me feel better. I’d usually end up curled around him in his beanbag chair after I started crying. 

Other times, he would talk about how his dad and his new wife wanted him to go live there with his twin half brothers. I begged him not to, and he said he never would. He told me how his father used to take him to his peewee baseball games on Saturdays when he was little, and how there was a “friend” that he always met there while Trent’s team played. And how he’d tell Trent to stay put with the other kids while he helped his “friend” with something at her car. And how he left for work the day after Trent’s seventh birthday and never came home. And how all Trent really remembered was Julie’s crying all the time. And how his dad and his “friend” had the twins just a few months later and got married as soon as the divorce was final. 

From there, we just started telling each other everything else. He’s the only one who knows all the sordid details of my love life—things too embarrassing for even Sam and Katie. I’ve confided all of it to Trent, in detail. Like how, graduation night of our junior year, when Rick and I were in the backseat of his dad’s car in the process of trying to lose our virginity, he couldn’t figure out the condom in the dark and ended up tearing it. And how we’d done it anyway, without protection. When my period was three days late, Trent had been right there with me, sweating out each day until it came. He had gotten in Rick’s face when we started dating at the end of sophomore year and gave him the standard brotherly warning about treating me right. And when Rick screwed around on me, Trent made good on his promise and decked him. 

But that’s just the kind of guy Trent is. 

With effortless charm, classic good looks, a quick wit, and an impeccable sense of style, he’s basically a six-foot, two-hundred-pound people magnet. I doubt there’s anyone who’s ever spent more than five minutes with him who doesn’t consider him a friend. 

He graduated from high school the year before me and left a wide swath of broken hearts in his wake. I’m convinced that more than half of my friends in high school were only friends with me because they hoped I’d hook them up with him. “I can’t believe you’re related to Trent Sorenson! He’s so hot!” is all I ever heard, even from Sam and Katie. Hell, I’d even crushed on him a little when our parents first started dating. 

Though he’s not one to kiss and tell, I get the solid sense that the trend of endless friends and countless broken hearts has continued into his first three years in college. But what I know that no one else does is that things aren’t as easy for Trent as he makes them seem. 

Only I know how deep his father’s leaving cut. He hated his dad so much that, when our parents got married, he wanted mine to adopt him, but his dad wouldn’t let that happen. Trent feels like his father made him an accomplice in his mom’s undoing. No matter how many times I tell him it wasn’t his fault, he beats himself up constantly for not having seen what was going on. And he’s never told anyone else, including Julie, what happened during all those peewee baseball games. He feels that guilty. 

Only I know that the reason he’s never panned out to be the college wrestler everyone thought he would be is that his heart just isn’t in it. He’s wanted to quit since freshman year to focus on his music, and the only reason he hasn’t is because he’s afraid to disappoint Dad. 

Only I know that since sophomore year at Loyola, he’s wanted to quit school altogether, but he knows how much that would disappoint Julie, who thinks any musician worth his salt needs classic training. 

He’s miserable, and only I know it. 

But our big secret—the one we spit swore to each other we’d take to our graves? We were each other’s first kiss. 

It was the day after my fifteenth birthday, about five months before Dad married Julie, and it was one of my bad days. I was in Trent’s lap in his beanbag, crying over how I’d killed my mother fifteen years earlier, and he wiped the tears off my face and told me everything was going to be okay. He rubbed my back and pulled me to his shoulder, and the next thing I knew, we were kissing. The kiss was tender and sweet, and it lasted for a long time. I still remember how gentle his hands felt as he hugged me closer and that his lips tasted like bubble gum. But the instant it was over, we knew it was wrong. He just looked at me for a minute, then cleared his throat, and said, “We can’t do that anymore.” 

I nodded, we spit in our palms and shook on it, and that was that. 

It’s always been easy to talk to Trent. Just knowing he loves me unconditionally— that he’ll never judge me, and I don’t have to hide who I am from him—it makes me feel understood. And he’s never stopped holding me when I’m upset. Like now. 

“I’m guessing this is about Rick,” he says, and I hear the edge to his voice. I hiccup and nod.
“What me to kick his ass again?”
I snivel. “Would you?” 

“Anything for you, Lexie,” he says with a squeeze of my shoulders. “Tell me the whole sad story.” 

I love how my name sounds when he says it. When he sings, his voice gets a little gravelly when he gets to the really emotional parts, and he says my name like that, with just a hint of gravel. 

I breathe deep to get my thoughts straight. “Sam, Katie, and I went to the Applebee’s at the mall. I didn’t know he was working there this summer.” 

“Hmm ...” With my cheek pressed against his muscled chest, I feel Trent’s hmm more than I hear it. “Let me guess: He’s sorry and he wants you back.” 

“He still has the ring.” 

He combs his fingers gently through my hair, and goose bumps prickle my scalp. “And you’re thinking about it.” 

“Does that make me totally sick?” 

“Yes. I think it does.” 

I shove away from him but then see the smile in his eyes. “I miss being with him ... the feeling like we belong together. I miss being that close to someone.” 

“You still have me,” he says with a wink. 

I narrow my eyes at him. “And I miss the sex.” 

His eyebrows go up. “He was that good?” 

I shrug. “I don’t have anything to compare him with, but when we were together, I knew he loved me. I guess that’s what I miss.” 

He pulls me back into his strong arms. “Love pretty much blows, but, for what it’s worth, I think you’ll regret it if you take him back.” 

“What if it was just a mistake? He says he won’t do it again.” Part of me is desperate to believe it, but as I say it, I realize I don’t. 

“Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
I pull away and look at him. “Have you ever cheated on anyone?” 

He contemplates that for a second. “I’m not going to say I haven’t pissed a lot of girls off, but I prefer to do it honorably. If it’s just a hookup, I make sure they know that before anything happens, and if I’m with someone and I want to hook up with someone new, I break up with the one I’m with first.” 

I roll my eyes. “So chivalrous.” 

“Say what you will, but I’ve never been anything less than straight up with any girl I’ve ever been with. I’ve never lied or gone behind anyone’s back. Ever.” 

As much as it sounds like it would suck to be one of his many hookups or dumpees, it’s hard to argue his point. 

He pulls away from me, and I shiver, suddenly cold. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” He stands and moves to the door, then gives me his signature lazy smile before disappearing into the hall. 

I grab a tissue from the box on my nightstand, blotting my eyes and smearing off my ruined mascara, and a few minutes later Trent is back with two tumblers, each with about an inch of dark amber liquid in it. 

“Drowning sorrows this big calls for a double shot of Randy’s scotch,” he says, handing me a glass. “Good thing your dad springs for the good stuff.” 

We both knock it back, and my face pinches involuntarily. But once I’m past the initial burn, I feel my insides start to warm. 

“Warcraft?” he asks with a nod at my TV. 

“Yeah, sure.” 

“Nothing like a good troll slaughter to help you forget all your shit.” He gets the game all queued up, and, by the time he hands me my remote, I’m starting to feel all warm and gooey inside from the scotch. I slide back and lean into the stack of pillows on the headboard. 

Our first quest involves more blood than usual. My avatar, Galidrod the elf, powers through a troll barrage easily. I imagine Rick’s face on each one as I shoot them, and they explode in a shower of purple guts. It’s totally therapeutic. But then Trent’s avatar, who he for some reason made human and named Jethro, is wounded as he takes out the last orc, and Galidrod, who, through my unparalleled Warcraft prowess, has accumulated massive healing powers, has to save him. 

“So, what should I do?” I ask once Jethro is up to full strength again. 

“Run like hell.” 

“But I miss him.” 

Trent shakes his head and pauses the game. “You don’t miss him. You miss the idea of him.” 

I set my remote on the nightstand and turn on my hip, facing him. “What does that even mean?” 

He lifts my legs and loops them over his, rubbing his palm against the grain of the three-day stubble on my calf. “You were together for a long time. You thought you’d be together forever. It was what you knew, and now you’re out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to want to go back to the safety net.” 

He just so totally hit it on the head. I want the safety net. But the problem is, the safety net has a huge freaking hole in it now. It’ll dump me on my head if I trust it. 

But it still hurts. 

“You’re right. I miss the idea of him.” 

“It sucks,” he says with a small nod. 

I sigh and shift deeper into the pillows. “But what if he was supposed to be The One?” 

“He wasn’t.” 

“How do you know?” 

His hand pauses on my leg, midstroke. “Because he never deserved you.” 

“What if I never find anyone else?” 

He stares into my eyes for what has to be a full minute before saying, “You will.” 

An electric tingle zings through my insides, and the next thing I know, his lips are pressing against mine. I don’t even know who made the move. 

But it doesn’t stop there. 

Kissing Trent is like sticking my toe in the ocean and suddenly being in over my head. I’m drowning in him. I don’t know whether it’s him or the scotch, but as his tongue edges my mouth and slips through my lips, desperation like I’ve never felt before swells inside me. Years of suppressed desire rear up, and, suddenly, I’m starving for him. The only thing I know for sure is, if I don’t have him right now, I’ll die. 

My heart gallops in my chest as I slide down on the bed and pull him down with me. 

“Shit, Lexie,” he breathes between kisses. “What are we doing?” 

I grab fistfuls of his thick brown curls and pull him to me, smothering the question on his lips with another kiss. 

He doesn’t resist when I pull off his shirt, then mine. He doesn’t try to stop me when I wiggle out of my shorts and thong and kick them to the floor. He moans deep in his throat as my fingers trail over his cut abs and pop the button of his jeans. And when my hand slides in under his waistband and finds his erection, he stops breathing altogether. 

Never during any of it, even once we’re both naked on my bed, does any part of me feel like we shouldn’t be doing this. All of a sudden, he isn’t my stepbrother. He’s everything I’ve ever needed.

Wethering The Storm (The Storm #2) by Samantha Towle

Wethering The Storm
Jake and Tru are together.  The book starts with them on an island taking a needed break just after The Mighty Storm ends.  Too soon they have to go back to L.A. to his bachelor pad house and to his fame following them everywhere the go.
Besides Jake's past constantly been thrown on Tru's face, there is the question of family.  Jake seems against the idea of having kids. Is this a deal breaker?  Yes, it might very well be.

I have to tell you that I liked Jake in this book so much more.  He was sweet, he was honest, he was there when Tru needed him the most.  He proved himself to me. I still had reservations since I couldn't forgive him for Boston.  But that Jake is long gone. He has been replaced by a swoon worthy Jake.  He steals this book with every thing he does.  There are so many great scenes in this book it is hard to pick just one.  The funniest one had to be the scene with Tru's doctor.

“Jake scratches his forehead. “Yeah, I know people generally have sex while pregnant, but it’s just that I, um… well, I have…” He thrusts his hands through his hair, and i can’t help but smile at his struggling, wondering where on earth he’s going with this. “Look, I have a huge penis,” he states, looking Dr. Glamazon dead in the eye. I burst out laughing immediately clamping my hand over my mouth.” 

I'm glad to know the next book is about Tom.  It's his time to find love.  I'm hoping his HEA is a certain lady who told him no.  His tattoo made me laugh.

Jake I Tru Love You.

“The girl who, twenty-four years ago to the day, stepped into my life with her big brown eyes, her hair in pigtails, sucking on a lollipop as she stared across at me through the garden fence and said, “I’m Trudy, you want a lollipop?” I let out a laugh as tears fill my eyes, realizing today’s date is August 31. The day Jake and I met.” 

4/5 Fangs

The Club, Part 2 by Clare James

The Club, Part 2
Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

Part 2 starts just where book 1 finishes.  Gabe being the awesome guy he is sends her breakfast in bed.  This is sweet but makes Stevie wonders about what's next for them.
We finally see the Club but Stevie doesn't have all the information necessary to make an informed decision.
Can she forgive Gabe?

I am starting to hate serials. Why? because I want all the story now.  I can't wait to know what is going to happen next.  Will I forgive Gabe for omitting vital info? I don't think so.  I wonder how Stevie will.  Don't get me wrong Stevie and Gabe have great chemistry and Clare James sure knows how to write steamy scenes.  I'm hoping for the best.
Now, I'm going to sulk until September.
4/5 Fangs

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

Kiersten Rowe is starting college. She lost her parents and she has been dealing with depression. For her, this is a major step.  Luckily she meets a great roommate and her cousin Gabe. But when she meets her new RA, she is shocked to her core. Wes Michael is not only the quarterback but also super smart, smoking hot and her new RA. Wes immediately likes Kiersten, but he doesn't want to get attached. He has a secret and wants to avoid falling for her.  Now, if only we could always get what we wished for.

Let's start by saying how beautiful the cover is.  Look at Wes - he's gorgeous.

Now, let me tell you what I liked about the book:

-This is a story of love and hope. It gives you a desire to live life to the fullest.
-Love the way they meet and the "eight pack".
-I love his nickname for her and for himself (Lamb/Wolf).
-I thought Angela's character was inspiring.
-Love the to-do list
-Her uncle - best uncle ever.
-Gabe was awesome- we just need his book next. ( A girl can only hope).

4/5 Fangs

Friday, August 23, 2013

When You're Ready (The Ready Series #1) by J.L. Berg

When You're Ready
Clare Murray lost her husband 3 years ago. He died from brain cancer. Clare has been a single parent for the last few years. When her daughter Maddie gets a concussion and she rushes her to the emergency room, the last thing on her mind is finding a guy that stirs something she has given up on.

Logan Matthews has never fallen in love. This is the reason for why his marriage failed, but when he meets Clare and Maddie he immediately feels like he's found what he's been missing. Unfortunately, fate may have other plans.

Love their love story. I like stories about a second chance at love. Clare and Logan were believable, and great together. Maddie was super sweet. Leah, Clare's best friend was hilarious and I want to read her story, hopefully with Declan. I enjoyed this book and will recommend it for when you want a sweet story to take you away for a few hours.

4/5 Fangs

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Undressed (The Manhattanites #1) by Avery Aster

Lex Easton is about to loose everything she has struggled for.   Her famous father left her with nothing and she started her company from scratch while remaining out of the spotlight.  Now her livelihood is at stake.  She must convince Prince Massimo Tittoni that he must continue to supply her with the fabrics needed for her clothes line.
Prince Tittoni has decided that he won't continue to supply the fabrics to her company and he will start his own clothes line.
However, things change when he meets her and his attraction towards Lex doesn't diminish. But can Lex go back into the spotlight??

I liked the premise of the book.  The characters were interesting.   I just felt like the connection between Lex and Massi needed more time to build up. Also the sex scenes were over the top.  I did enjoy the last few chapters.  

3/5 Fangs

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


More Than This

In one night my fairytale ended. Or it may have begun. This is my story of friendship and love, heartbreak and desire, and the strength to show weakness.

One night I met a girl. A sad and broken girl, but one more beautiful than any other. She laughed through her sadness, while I loved through her heartbreak.

*This is our story of a maybe ever after.*

He was right. It made no difference whether it was 6 months or 6 years. 
I couldn’t undo what had been done. I couldn’t change the future.
I couldn’t even predict it. 
It was one night.
One night when everything changed.
It was so much more than just the betrayal.
It was the Tragedy. 
The Deaths. 
The Murders.
But it was also that feeling.
The feeling of falling. 

You may go ahead and add it to your TBR on Goodreads

Ready to buy it:


I was so lucky to score an interview with Jay. I hope you enjoy it.

I want to start by thanking you.  Your book was wonderful and made me feel so many emotions.  When I finished your book I was smiling. 

Aw, that's so good to hear. I love a happily ever after in a story. I'm glad you we're smiling

I really love Jake.  Is Jake based on someone you know?

I'd like to say he's based on my partner, haha. But no, I think he's based on every girls dream guy. I think there's at least one quality in him that most girls would want in a boyfriend/husband/their forever. 

All the secondary characters in your book especially Jake's friends and his parents were wonderful. (I wanted to be part of that crowd). 
Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?
Honestly, I had in my head Jake's group of friends, and a rough outline of what they we're going to be, but I really think it was the dynamic of Cam and Lucy that bought it all together. I'm an avid reader (if you couldn't tell from my The Sea of Tranquility reference). Before I wrote this book I used to read a book every two days. I wanted to create a character that most readers of my book could relate to and that's Lucy. I love Lucy's character and I can't wait to write more about her. 
As far as Jakes parent's go...there was no real inspiration for them, but I knew they had to play a heavy role in the story, and I was kind of aware of the amount of YA/NA books out, where parents were absent and I just wanted something different. 
What I really wanted to do with these characters was just make them real. And I think that's why a lot of people like the secondary characters.

What do you like to read when you are not writing?  Do you have a go-to author?
I like to read anything New Adult, and sometimes I like really immature cheesy Young Adult novels. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I love angst and sexual tension and the works and sometimes I prefer just light fluffy reads...but always in the romance genre. Always. 
I wouldn't say I have a go-to author, but I will always read anything by Colleen Hoover and Shay Stahl.

How would you describe your book in one sentence?
An emotional rollercoaster.

Do you listen to music while you write?  and If you do what do you listen to?
Sometimes. It depends on the scene I'm writing. When I write the emotional scenes I like to have quiet, so I can pour out as much of myself into it.

Can you tell us something about Logan's book?
Logan's book is called More Than Her and I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the year. I've actually re-written parts of it in the last few days. It continues right where More Than This finished. All the characters will be returning and additions of a couple more that weren't in the first book. We get to see a little more Cam and Lucy and Heidi and Dylan in this one.

My favorite character was Jake.  Do you have a favorite character too and why?
Apart from Jake and Kayla, i would have to say Logan. I really fell in love with him when I was writing and even before this one was complete I was already thinking of his storyline.

Which character was the hardest to write?
Kayla. Without a doubt. She was so broken, but I didn't want to make the story about her heartbreak. It was really hard to find that fine line between heartbreak and moving on...and when to do it...and how she felt during it all. Just all of it was so hard. And the hardest thing-I think-was trying to remember her age and maturity through the process. 

Which scene was your favorite?
My favorite scene was when they got home from her Aunt Lisa's wedding, when Jake's parents show her the room, and when Kayla tells Jake about how her parents met. I don't know if you picked up on it, but it was the first time that Kayla actually told Jake, without telling him directly, how she felt for him.

Do you plan on writing more books about other characters besides Logan?
I'm going to see how Logan's book goes. I was going to write a Cam and Lucy Novella, but the more i think about their story, the more I want to tell all of their story. It's a beautiful one, and one you'll get a hint of in More Than Her.

Can you tell us when Logan's book release date is?
Unfortunately no. When it's done I'll be shouting it from the rooftops.

Are you more a chocolate or an ice cream girl?
Chocolate! Because I can take it anywhere and hide the fact that I'm eating it from my kids. 

Alpha male with green, blue or brown eyes?

What do you do to relax?
I used to read, but since writing More Than This I haven't been able to concentrate on another story apart from Logan's. So, at the moment, it's write...

Do you want to tell us more about yourself?
I think I've exhausted myself to the point of your boredom.

Thank you so much for the interview. You are my first.
Yaye! I hope we both did good. You're one of my firsts too. And I'm so glad you enjoyed MTT.

Thanks for taking the time to support me.

Isn't she nice???
Thanks Jay.

About Jay McLean:
I am the author of Mature YA / New Adult contemporary novels, MORE THAN THIS and a soon to be released sequel, MORE THAN HER. I enjoy reading and writing books that make people laugh, cry and swoon for dreamy book boyfriends. When not doing either of those, I can be found looking after my two little boys, and being completely awkward in most social situations.
You can find Jay on:
Facebook Twitter - @jaymcleanauthor Blog Goodreads

Jay will be donating part of her sales from More Than This from 19th Augusts to 19th September to The Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society. Click the link for more info   Link 

Facebook Party:
We are having a FB party throughout the tour.  Jay will be sharing some of her deleted scenes with us. Here’s the link:

Jay is giving away $20 amazon voucher and 10 ecopies of More Than This.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lost and Found (Emi Lost & Found #1) by Lori L. Otto

Lost & Found
Nate Wilson and Emi Hennigan have been friends since high school.  They are best friends.  A decade later they both have multiple failed relationships.  Most of their significant others are jeaulous of Nate and Emi's friendship.  Nate loves Emi but doesn't think he is worth it.  Emi loves Nate but doesn't think she can be his ONE.

This story is frustrating at times.  I hated seeing Nate with other women.  I wanted to scream at them: How dense can you be?  Nate loves you. You love Nate.  Just say it. JUST SAY IT!!!
Just when I thought everything is finally right in this world everything crumbles.  Don't know if I can continue this series.
3/5 Fangs.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stripped by Jasinda Wilder

Grey Amundsen only wanted to dance.  Coming from a very conservative home where her dad who is a preacher and had the final say was hard.  Her mother was the buffer between them.  She was the one who sent Grey to dance classes but when her mother is gone Grey decides she needs to pursue her other interest film.   She has a college scholarship in LA. Her father is against it but Grey won't be deterred.   In LA money is tight.  She goes against her better judgement and she starts Stripping.
One night everything changes.  Dawson Kellor, the most wanted actor is there and when they meet in the VIP room their worlds implode.  Soon they can't escape their connection.

I enjoyed Stripped. Dawson was my favorite character. He knew what he wanted and he did anything for Grey. He protected her and did some sweet things for her.  He was there for her during the worst times.
It is not very long and it's something you can read in an afternoon.
3/5 Fangs

The Club by Clare James

Stevie Sinclair just got dumped.  She has been with her boyfriend for a year and this is probably her longest relationship.  She looses her apartment at the same time.
With no where to go she decides to stay at a hotel.  Here she meets Gabe Shannon and things will change for her.

This is a serial. You will read this story in less than 1 hour. We get to experience Stevie's self pity party and later on her desire recover from this.
I like the introduction of Gabe.  This is what Stevie needs. Gabe seems all alpha male.  I will definitely read the next one.
I love Clare's Before You Go series.
4/5 Fangs