Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

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Title: Stir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Published: Oct 1st 2013
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgally for honest review
Rating: 5/5

BLURB:
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

REVIEW:
The story:
Cami is a very driven and passionate character. She know what she wants to do with her life and she's determined not to let anyone steer her off course. Despite her father trying to persaude her to consider going to college, all she wants to do is become a chef like her him and I really enjoyed the grit and determination that she shows.

When we first meet Julian, his surly attitude (especially towards Cami) is understandable. He struggles to adapt to having people help him with everyday things. But over the course of the book we see him figure out a new path for his life and see that his life is far from over.

Cami's father, while quite tough on her, was a caring parent. It was also really refreshing to see a warn and loving step mother! *gasp* You could see she cared for both Cami and her nephew Julian. I also really enjoyed the little arguments between her father and step mom over her 'average American' cooking skills - some very funny scenes.

The romance:
Julian & Cami don't get off to a good start, with them clashing heads numerous times. But slowly they develop a friendship that grows into something more. I loved how vunrubale Julian became when he was with her, not wanting her to see his missing leg or to see him with such a weakness. But she gained his trust and together he overcomes his injury and begins to see a future for himself...and Cami.
There are also some very passionate, and absolutely beautiful romantic moments between them, most notable was a love scene in the forest - one of the most touching and beautiful love scenes I've read.

The Writing:
I really enjoyed Sabrina's writing style, very elegant with the story flowing so naturally. I also loved the empowering messages that she included the story, with Cami deciding not to sleep with her boyfriend Luke because she wasn't ready. We hear through Cami's inner monologue, that although he is pressuring her and it is that social expectation that they would be sleeping together, that she makes the assertive choice that it doesn't feel right with him. I can't wait to read more of her books!

FINAL WORD:
Stir Me Up is a heartfelt story with relatable characters and a truly beautiful romance. With powerful messages woven into the story, this is one of those books that stays with you long after you turn the last page. I highly recommend picking this one up!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: mild - medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild / some minor underage drinking at a party

Stacking The Shelves #10

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves.

It's been ages since I've done a STS post, so this is basically what I've added to my shelves over the past month!!

ARCs for Review:

Storm Warning By E.Lee & C.Quinn

Salt by Danielle Ellison

Surrendering To Us by Chelsea M. Cameron

For Real by Chelsea M. Cameron

Gifted:

Easy by Tammara Webber
Exile by Anne Osterlund
Thanks so much to my lovely Secret Santa for this amazing package that arrived in the mail yesterday all the way from Canada!!! <3

Between The Lines by Tammara Webber
Thanks to Chelsea @ Starbucks and Books!!

Stripped Without You by Brooklyn Skye
Thanks Brooklyn!

Joyfully Yours by Amy Lamont
Thanks Amy!

Purchased:


These signed books by JLA also arrived from Good Choice Reading!!!! Cam's Cookies!!!!

Lux Series by Jennifer Armentrout
Frigid by J.Lynn
Wait For You by J.Lynn
Swag:


Thanks to the lovely Katie McGarry for the bookmark and ribbon, from one of my favourite scenes in Dare You To!


Thanks so much to Jessica Khoury for sending out these lovely goodies :)


Well that's what's new to my bookshelf - what about you?

My Christmas Catch Up Reading List!!

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I don't think I've been this desperate for the Christmas Holidays to start since I was a still in school!!

sigh sigh

Mainly because for the past 4 weeks, work has seriously been testing my patience and my sanity!!! With crazy hours, an uncooperative printer, insanely rude customers with ridiculous pre-Christmas deadlines and bosses who just don't get it!! 

sigh

Add on top of that my freelance work and end of year exams for my Marketing & Management Diploma and it's true, I may have tried taking on too much this year and am more than ready for a break!

I've barely had time to read let alone write reviews and blog posts, but for the next two weeks that will all change!! There are heaps of books that I've been wanting to read over the past year or so and now I'm finally going to read at least some of them (hopefully!). 
So here is my Christmas Holiday reading list!

Endless by Jessica Shirvington
Empower by Jessica Shirvington
I was so worried about how Endless would finish that I waited until Empower was released to read them together. Yes, I know I'm crazy but this series has torn my heart apart so much that I think it was the safest option!

Hidden by Sophie Jordan
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan
I love Sophie Jordan and after I finish the Firelight series I'm super excited to read her new book Uninvited!!

Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck

Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout
Opal by Jennifer Armentrout
Origin by Jennifer Armentrout
Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
Pure by Jennifer Armentrout
I plan on having a bit of a JLA marathon, what could be more awesome than that!!

Lost & Found by Nicole Williams
Easy by Tamara Webber
Eversea by Natasha Boyd
Some NA titles that I can't wait to read, it's just ridiculous that I haven't read these yet!

So have you read any of these books? 
Are there any books that I should be adding to my list?
And what are you planning to read over the Christmas break?

Swoon Thursday #35

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Bitter Sweet Love
Series: The Dark Elements #0.5
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release: December 1st 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 5/5

I was beyond words. He lowered his head, kissing me deeply. When he pulled away, he nipped at my lip, wringing a sound from me that would most definitely embarrass me come light of day. Dez trailed a fiery path of little kisses down my neck, across the curve of my shoulder, and then down, exploring in a way that spun my senses. Sensations raced through me and it was like free falling through the sky.
Flames ignited inside me when his chest came down on mine. The feel of skin on skin was a startling experience. His lips were against mine again, and I wrapped myself around him, wanting and needing to be closer.

I'd like to get closer to Dez too hehe!! As we all know, JLA is the Queen of swoons and this book is no exception!!!
I really loved this novella and it sets up White Hot Kiss perfectly!

So what's making you swoon this week?

Swoon Thursday #34

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Storm Warning
Series: Broken Heartland #1
Author: E. Lee & C. Quinn
Release: December 12th 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5/5

She didn’t think, didn’t consider the consequences of what she wanted, or what it would lead to. Taking a page from the universe’s do-as-I-damn-well-please book, she launched herself recklessly into the arms of the boy she loved.
Somehow they’d made it back to her truck without separating. His breath was ragged as he held her to him, kissing her with the same heated need she was attacking his mouth with.
The groan of the metal door protesting as he jerked it open barely registered in her mind. Rain slapped against her bare skin as he lifted her higher on his waist. She fought to stay in the present, to memorize every single touch, every flick of his tongue against hers, the warmth and the wetness of it.
But the heady sensation of him possessing her, gripping her tightly and pressing hard against her, sent her floating into outer space somewhere.
She breathed into his mouth as the tumbled clumsily into the cab of the truck. “I want you.”
A low groan escaped from somewhere deep in his chest. “I want you too, angel face. But—”
“But nothing. Everyone else gets what they want. Because they take it. I’m taking it. I want you.”
Yanking his white T-shirt over his head, she paused her violent ravaging of his mouth to admire his body. He was lean and muscular, hard in all the right places. Running her hands over his firm pecs and then down to his rippled abs, she thrilled with pleasure at being able to touch him in such an intimate way.
“Ella Jane.” Her name was a plea, but she didn’t know if he wanted her to stop or proceed. The hardness beneath her answered that question. His head lolled back when she pressed her hips down against his. As his warm wet tongue lashed against hers, she gave into the urge to slip her hand down his pants.

Ella-Jane has both Sexy City Boy Hayden & Cute Country Boy Coop chasing after her, so I removed the guy's name from this scene…Mwahahaha!!! You must now read this book to find out which one it is!!

I seriously LOVED this book soooooo much, best YA romance of the year!!!! And who doesn't love a hot and steamy pash in the rain…in the back of a ute :D

ONLY 99c


So what's making you swoon this week?

The Storm Is Coming....STORM WARNING by E. Lee & C. Quinn

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C. Quinn and E. Lee's amazing new novel in their Broken Heartland Series, STORM WARNING, is out today and we are excited to join in the release day launch for it. STORM WARNING is a thrilling Young Adult Contemporary you are not going to want to miss! Check out what we have for you today and then enter to win in the release day launch giveaway! There's also a fantastic excerpt for you. But be aware! The Storm Is Coming...

Title: Storm Warning
Series: Broken Heartland #1
Author: E. Lee & C. Quinn
Release: December 12th 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Sometimes you can’t see the storm coming until it’s too late...

Severe Storm Warning Tip #1:
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #2:
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #3:
They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

Situated just outside of Oklahoma City, Calumet County is divided into two drastically different communities: Hope’s Grove and Summit Bluffs. One is the small backward town where dirt roads lead the way to field parties and railroad tracks. And the other, a sprawling suburb where paved drives lead to the landscaped lawns of the wealthy and over privileged.

For five teenagers smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, summer is heating up fast. The winds of change are blurring the invisible line that divides the rich and the rural.

One has a secret. 
One has a crush.
One has been lying. 
One will get caught.
And one might not make it out alive.

They’re from two different worlds…but one summer is about to change everything.



EXCERPT:

Hope’s Grove was small. Everyone knew about her parents, and she was already dreading facing them since the news of her dad’s affair had hit. But facing them without her brother and her best friend would be her worst nightmare.
After the girls had said their goodbyes and she’d watched her friend’s taillights fade down the drive, Ella Jane scuffed her boots along the winding dirt road that led her home.
She was about halfway there, watching the sun sink low in the evening sky, when the unmistakable rumble of a pickup truck came barreling down the road behind her. She stepped aside to let it pass without looking back. But it didn’t pass. It slowed practically to a stop right next her.
She turned, wondering what the heck the driver’s deal was. There was more than enough room for him to go around. But the smiling face beneath the backwards trucker hat sent the words on the tip of her tongue swirling away with the dust the truck had riled up.
She bit her lip and grinned. Warm brown eyes gleamed in her direction. “Hey there, Ellie May. Need a ride?”
She rolled her eyes. Why Brantley Cooper couldn’t call her by her actual name was beyond her. But as long as he was talking to her, she really didn’t care much what he called her. He can call me ‘flower’ if he wants to.
He was a year older than her and a year younger than her older brother, Kyle. Smack in the middle of their ages and grades in school and usually smack in the middle of their arguments. Coop kept the peace. Balanced them out perfectly.
The three of them had met at the same time as kids but Coop and Kyle had become like brothers instantly. She’d always tagged along wherever they went. Kyle had whined about it when they were younger but Coop always made her feel welcome. He held doors open for her so she didn’t get left behind, made sure to invite her despite her brother’s protests, and lately he’d even stopped by and hung out even when Kyle wasn’t home. And this year, she’d be a junior and Coop would be a senior. With her big brother away at college, she couldn’t help but fantasize about what might happen if she and Coop spent time together alone.
“Hey, Coop. Lynlee just left so I was just…” She glanced toward home. Kyle wasn’t back from football camp yet, and her mom was baking herself to death, trying to keep her mind off of everything.
“Yeah, I heard the Wicked Witch was moving west. You up for some fishing? I have to drop my bike off at the house but we could swing by the lake after.”
She should get home. She knew she should. Should order a pizza and convince her mom to take it easy for a night. Except…it was Coop. And in all her sixteen years, he was the one boy she’d never been able to say no to.
“Yeah. Yeah I’m up for it.”

About C. Quinn and E. Lee:

Whether you believe in destiny, divine intervention, or just plain ol' dumb luck, several things happened in 2013 that caused E. Lee and C. Quinn's paths to cross. It may have been that the stars aligned perfectly, or the fact anytime Luke Bryan was mentioned on a social media site both of them were tagged, or maybe it was just that their small town roots and country girl attitudes were magnetically drawn together—calling out to one another, “Y'all should write a book!” Despite geography keeping them apart—Lee in Illinois and Quinn in Alabama—they did. Thanks to three-hour phone calls, ridiculous amounts of online chats, and umpteen Google Docs—Storm Warning is the first book in their edgy new Young Adult series,  Broken Heartland.

Links:

TRAILER


GIVEAWAY

25 Days of Book Boyfriends: Ryan Stone

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Let me introduce you to...


Ryan Stone
Age: 18
Hair: Blonde (usually covered in a baseball cap)
Eyes: Light Brown 
Relationship Status: Dating Beth Risk
Appears in: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Ryan's Best Quotes:

“I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.
She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.
"It's our rain Beth."
Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.” 

This overwhelming, encompassing feeling is love. It's not perfect and it's messy as hell. And it's exactly what I need.” 

“When Beth struggles for words it means she's on the verge of saying something worth hearing. Her emotions confuse her. Maybe tonight, she'll finally find the courage to say the words I'm longing to hear.” 

“I don't lose. Do you hear me? I don't lose and that includes losing you. I'm done being kept in the dark. Im done feeling like you're slipping right past me. You are not saying goodbye to me. I'm in love with you and you love me back. You are staying.” 


Interview with Ryan:

Hi Ryan, thanks so much for stopping by today! We just have a few quick questions to ask you, so lets get started!
Q. When you first saw Beth at the Taco Bell what was your first thought?
I thought Beth was one of those hardcore Skater Girls. Beth can definitely be rough around the edges, but she’s far more sensitive and caring than I originally thought. 

Q. What is your idea of a perfect date with Beth? Where would you take her, what would you do?
I would love to take Beth to a Cincinnati Reds game. She’s never been to a professional game. Beth might act like she doesn’t like baseball, but she does. I can tell by how she watches me and talks to Scott about it. After the game, I’d take her back to my house and we’ll hang out by the pond on the back of the property. That’s a special spot for us. 

Q. Tell us about the most romantic thing you've ever done? (I think I might know the answer to this already ;)
Beth has trust issues which if you knew her past, you’d understand. When I told Beth that I loved her, it freaked her out. She doesn’t handle emotions well so I gave her a bottle of rain. I told Beth I loved her then kissed in the rain so I wanted her to have something tangible to hold onto when doubt would start to nag at her. 

Q. Do you and Beth have a special song?
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean. It reminds us of all those nights she’d sneak out to see me.

Q. Can you describe Beth in 5 words?
Tough, loyal, raw, strong, beautiful. 

Q. Beth has a very strong and independent personality, does this sometimes cause a few…um fiery discussions between the two of you?
Beth is tornado searching for a small town to destroy. It’s her personality and try as she may, she can’t stop it. To be honest, I love it. Beth says what she means and means what she says. There aren’t many people like that. Does it lead to a few fights? Yeah, but that leads to some passionate making up. 

Q. Where do you see the future going for you both?
We’re both headed to college. Beth wants to become an ER nurse. I’m going to spend the next year figuring out if I have a shot at the pros while working on my writing.
We’ll be doing all of this together.

Q. We know how much you love baseball, but what other interests do you have?
Writing is a huge passion of mine. I like to read and I also love to hang out with my friends.

Fast Five:
Guilty pleasure: Ice Cream
Quirky habits: I tap my pencil against the desk when reading questions to tests.
Pet peeve: Batters who take too long stepping up to the plate.
Life motto: I don’t lose.
Biggest fear: Losing Beth.

Thanks so much for joining us today Ryan, Beth is certainly one lucky girl!

Swoon Thursday #33

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

To set the scene, 20 year old Julian is an ex-Marine who lost his leg and struggles to adjust to a prosthesis.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Stir Me Up
Author: Sabrina Elkins
Published: October 1st 2013
Age Group: Mature Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5/5

I close my eyes and the stream fills my ears and there are squirrels up overhead and I listen to them and hold onto the trunk. Julian’s mouth is warm and riotous. We’re kissing deeper and more urgently, then fumbling with clothes. His breath is sweet against me; my body is unsteady though. 
“I’m tipping.”
“I’ve got you.” 
“Promise?” 
“Yes, of course. Wrap your arms around me.” 
I do and Julian clings to me, and then he pushes into me and tears brim in my eyes. Because this is amazing and I know he feels whole like this, standing on two legs over me; he’s whimpering like he’s overwhelmed, and the tree shakes and sways and a single leaf falls into the water and the current carries it off. “I don’t deserve this,” he whispers.
“Yes, you do.” He grips me, loses himself and gives and surrenders and there’s a great stillness while the forest holds us so close we can scarcely breathe. I lift my hand, after awhile, and stroke his hair.

The past few weeks I've had some really sweet swoons, this week I decided to spice things up with a nice steamy swoon!

So what's making you swoon this week?

{Blitz & GIVEAWAY} One Wild Night by Magan Vernon

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Title: One Wild Night
Series: Part #1 in Forever Wild Serial
Author: Magan Vernon
Release: December 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB
One Wild Night Can Change Everything

Valerie Wilder doesn’t do serious relationships. She also doesn’t usually wake up in Vegas next to a male stripper…

A male stripper who happens to be her new husband.

A quickie divorce seems like the answer, but the Nevada legal system doesn’t think so.  When her new husband suggests flying back to Chicago with Valerie she accepts, wondering if one night in Vegas could turn into something much more.

NOTE FROM MAGAN:
I get asked a lot, What is a serialized novel? A serialized novel is basically like a TV show. It’s broken up into episodes. Each story is about fifty pages long, perfect to read in one or two sittings. Each installment will come out every three weeks with six of them total in a season. Each episode will have its own story that will add to the big picture. The basis of One Wild Night is that Valerie Wilder wakes up married to a stripper in Vegas. Each episode follows that story with little plot twists and turns in between.



About the Author:
Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. When not writing she spends her time fighting over fake boyfriends via social media. You can find her online at www.maganvernon.com.



GIVEAWAY

{Promo + GIVEAWAY} Storm Warning by E. Lee & C. Quinn.

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We are excited to be apart of the Promo Blitz gearing up for the December 12th release of 

"Storm Warning" 
book #1 in the Broken Heartland Series 
by E. Lee & C. Quinn. 

This is a mature YA series sure to set your hearts a flutter. Check out all the book & author info, links, exclusive teaser and early review below then enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win one of the following prizes: 

$200 Amazon Gift Card, A Kindle Paperwhite, $25 Amazon Gift Card, $20 Amazon Gift Card, E. Lee Prize Package including a Signed Book and Storm Warning Swag, C. Quinn Prize Package included a Signed Book and Storm Warning Swag, GTBC Prize Pack including Book Bag & Assorted Book Swag, or one of six (6) eBook copies of Storm Warning to be sent on release day. 

Good Luck & Happy Reading!

Title: Storm Warning
Series: Broken Heartland #1
Author: E. Lee & C. Quinn
Release: December 12th 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Add to your TBR: Goodreads
Broken Heartland Series: Website
Find it on Facebook: BH Page

BLURB
Sometimes you can’t see the storm coming until it’s too late...

Severe Storm Warning Tip #1:
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #2:
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Severe Storm Warning Tip #3:
They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.

Situated just outside of Oklahoma City, Calumet County is divided into two drastically different communities: Hope’s Grove and Summit Bluffs. One is the small backward town where dirt roads lead the way to field parties and railroad tracks. And the other, a sprawling suburb where paved drives lead to the landscaped lawns of the wealthy and over privileged.

For five teenagers smack in the middle of Tornado Alley, summer is heating up fast. The winds of change are blurring the invisible line that divides the rich and the rural.

One has a secret. 
One has a crush.
One has been lying. 
One will get caught.
And one might not make it out alive.

They’re from two different worlds…but one summer is about to change everything.

THE CAST


EXCLUSIVE TEASER

"He’d spent the rest of the evening thinking about kissing her. Judging from the way she watched his mouth as he told her goodnight, he was willing to bet she’d done the same."

AUTHORS:

E. Lee 
Born and raised in the middle of a Midwestern cornfield (not literally, that would be weird), I’ve spent my entire life imagining stories. Stories where the right guy always gets the right girl, first kisses are as magical as they are on the big screen and anything is completely possible if you believe.

Although this journey began years ago, it recently took on a whole new life. After years of devouring hundreds of Romance, YA and New Adult novels, I had an epiphany... I should write a book. And I did it!

If I’m not reading, writing, enjoying drinks with my amazing group of girlfriends or chasing around a sarcastically funny kid, I’m probably watching television shows that were created for teenagers, while my husband teases that I’m too old to watch them.

Links:
On Twitter: @elwrites

C. Quinn
I write New Adult books about country girls finding love in unexpected places. <3

Wearer of cowgirl boots, writer and avid reader of New Adult romance, lover of wine, addicted to chai tea lattes. Brand spanking new author of soon to be released books including Girl with Guitar and Keep Me Still (which may or may not include spanking).

Gemini, wife, mom, and former high school English teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. I spend my days chasing a three year old and hiding away with my Macbook. I spend my nights writing because sleep is overrated.

I love hearing from readers and other writers, and those freaky hybrids like myself!
On Twitter: @CaiseyQuinn


GIVEAWAY