{Review} Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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Title: Nowhere But Here
Series: Thunder Road Series #1
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 26th 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Source: Paperback ARC provided by publisher for fair & honest review
Rating: 4.5/5
Goodreads  |  Amazon

BLURB:
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Another fabulous book by Katie McGarry, filled with mystery, danger & passion! 

REVIEW:
The story:
Wow, this story is one massive emotional roller coaster! 

Emily has been forced to spend the Summer with her biological father and bikie gang member, Eli, and she's not happy about. Under the belief that her father never really wanted her, she's always been distant towards him and never even really met the rest of that side of her family. All she sees is a dangerous bikie gang that she wants nothing to do with. Including Oz, the young bodyguard assigned to stick to her like glue to prevent a rival bikie gang from hurting her.

But as she spends more time with all of them she starts to realise that first impressions are not always correct and nothing is as it seems. Everyone around her are keeping secrets, and Emily is determined to discover why they are trying the hide the truth about her past. But as she digs deeper in the past, little does she realise she's putting everyone around her in danger, including herself.

The characters:
Emily & Oz have grown up in complete polar opposite worlds. Emily has lived a safe and sheltered life, while Oz has has spent his entire life surround by the bikie way of life. 

Emily is sweet and kind, but very reluctant to open up to her new found family. She's wary of their unfamiliar lifestyle and I could completely understand that. I also loved seeing her grow in confidence, but still remain to true to herself. 

Oz is extremely loyal to The Rein of Terror bikie gang. They've been his family from birth, and he can't wait to patch in just like his father. I loved seeing how protective his was of his surrogate family, and despite what outsiders believe, he is a genuinely good guy. 

The romance:
Who doesn't love a classic good girl falls for bad boy trope. At first these two clash, with both of them making massive assumptions about each other. But as they are forced to spend time together, they realise that they may have been wrong. They grow closer and learn to trust each other, with Emily feeling like she can rely on Oz to keep her safe. Their relationship grew fairly quickly, but it felt natural progression over the course of the book.

The writing:
I've always enjoyed Katie's storytelling and this book is no different. While some people may find her books a little to dramatic, it's the exciting drama that I love the most. Was the ending a little unrealistic? Yes. Did that matter to me? Not one bit. The beautifully flawed characters and complex storyline more than made up for it.

FINAL WORD:
I really enjoyed this story, and being set in the bikie gang culture was quite eye opening. Another fabulous book by Katie McGarry, filled with mystery, danger & passion!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / kissing, heavy petting and discussions of sex
Violence: medium / gun violence, shooting, and death threats
Language: medium / occasional f word
Drugs & alcohol: medium / some minor underage drinking

{Review} TWO OF HEARTS by Christina Lee

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Title: Two Of Hearts
Author: Christina Lee
Published: 5th May 2015
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 4.5/5

BLURB:
From the author of the Between Breaths novels comes a gripping romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

 A culturally diverse & passionate romance mixed with plenty of suspense and intrigue! 

REVIEW:
The story:
After just loosing her father, the last thing Dakota and her family need is pressure from their Native American community to sell their family casino. Dakota belives she can do her father proud and carry on his work at the casino and within the community, but as the pressure mounts, threats against her and their family highlight just how dangerous the situation is getting.

But Dakota has an unexpected person in her corner. Ex boyfriend and US Marshal, Shane, is back in town will stop at nothing to protect Dakota. But as he starts to investigate her father's death, he starts to realise just how much he cares for her and questions what he wants for the future. The question is can they overcome their past difference and the escalating danger to make their relationship work?

The characters:
Dakota is a very serious character. She wants to continue the success and their family casino and is dedicated to being the best she can. She very proud of her Native American heritage, which was fantastic to see. And I loved seeing her vibrant personality come to life around her friends & in particular with Shane.

I loved Shane so much. He's such a strong alpha male type guy on the surface, but he was never dominating with Dakata. While he wants to protect her, he always sees her as an equal - something I love to see!! He's also very respective of the Dakotas heritage and has he's own place in their community - which added a really interesting element to the story.

Also so exciting to see lots of Dakota's brother & best friend, Kai & Rachel (from Christina's previous book Whisper To Me)!! Kai & Rachel actually have their own mini side story that was extremely emotionally and had a real effect on me.

The romance:
I love second chance romances, and it was so obvious to everyone around them that these two were made for each other. The chemistry was perfect and they just seemed so natural together. Lots of misunderstandings and confusions between them make for a complicated reunion - they needed to learn how to talk to each other! But it all felt worth it in the end!

The writing:
I love that Christina knows how to balance a romantic storyline between sexy and sweet. This is an adult novel (not New Adult) and as a result the characters are a little more mature and this is evident in the dialogue between all characters. It was also exciting to see the Native American elements throughout the story. I found the cultural storyline fascinating and it's just so refreshing to see some diversity!

FINAL WORD:
A culturally diverse & passionate romance mixed with plenty of suspense and intrigue!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / several sex scenes
Violence: medium / minor assault
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild

{Tour Review + GIVEAWAY} ALL PLAYED OUT by Cora Carmack

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Title: All Played Out
Series: Rusk University #3
Author: Cora Carmack
Published: 12th May 2015
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by publisher for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

BLURB:
First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. 

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.


REVIEW:
Opposites attract in ALL PLAYED OUT, with plenty of humour, romance and of cause her trademark awkward heroine moments!

The story:
Nell has always been very studious, working hard to complete her college degree earlier than most. But as her graduation looms, she starts to realise that maybe she's missed out on some of those college experience that everyone has. So what does a smart girl do? She makes a list of course! Nell's list of college things, including skinny dipping, college parties & hooking up with a jock. And it just so happens that Mateo Torres is on board for helping her tick some items off that list. 

Teo is all about having wild crazy fun, and he wants to show Nell how much fun he can be. At first their adventures are all innocent fun, but it's not long before they both start to realise that there may be something more between them, than just a hookup. As their relationship intensifies, Teo's past comes back to haunt him. The question is, can their new found romance over it?

The characters:
Wow, I felt such a kinship to Nell, always making lists and choosing the 'safe' option. She's very innocent to the wild side of college life, but you can she that she's desperate to experience it all. It was so refreshing to see her challenge herself to do different things, rather than other characters pushing her out of her comfort zone. The list was her choose, her decision - it was Nell who wanted to make the change in her life, and I just love how empowering that was for her! She's a really kindhearted character and it was great to see that her personality need changed, she's still the same sweet Nell, but isn't afraid to live her life more now.

Mateo, Mateo, Mateo, what do say about you. I always thought he was a little to obnoxious for my liking, partying and not able to take anything seriously. But oh how wrong was I. Yes he's loud and shameless, but there are so many other layers to him. He's had his heart broken before and is just trying to forget by having carefree fun. But Nell changes all that and makes him face the feelings he's tried to ignore. Teo does a lot of growing up in this book, but he's still the shameless confident guy we all love.

The romance:
Loud/quite, outgoing/studious, sporty/academic - Nell & Teo really are the Yin & yang of romance. They are complete opposites in so many ways, and they challenged each other to see things from different perspectives. While things start out as just a bit of fun, soon they begin to develop deeper feeling for each other, and thing start to heat up! There was a lovely balance of genuine chemistry & steamy scenes, which is exactly what I look for in any contemporary romance!

The writing:
Every time I read one of Cora's books, I worry that this might be the one that disappoints me and makes me realise she's not a superhuman robot author unable to write anything but pure awesome…but no, I loved this book just like all her others!!! Her writing is as vibrant and humorous as ever, and of course her trademark awkward heroine moments. I've come to the conclusion that Cora is actually a superhuman robot author and I will love her books forever.

FINAL WORD:
I am absolutely loving this series!! Opposites attract in ALL PLAYED OUT, with plenty of humour, romance and of course her trademark awkward heroine moments!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / some sex scenes
Violence: mild / sports related injuries
Language: medium / some f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium / main characters get drunk



GIVEAWAY:

{ARC Review} MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley

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Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Published: 28th April 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Paperback ARC provided by Harper Collins for fair & honest review
Rating: 4/5

BLURB:
Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

There are birds, pirates, flying ships, magic, singing and so much more that make this the most unique story I've read.

REVIEW:
The story:
Wow, I don't even know where to begin with this review. I was so different to anything I've ever read, and certainly not what I expected from the blurb. The entire world and concept of Magonia is so incredibly unique in every way possible. The book is told from two POVs, however Aza has the majority of chapters with Jason only having a few throughout the book. Aza has suffered from a rare and unknown illness all her life. Everyday she struggles to breath and doctors have no idea how to cure her. It's very difficult to say much about the story without giving away any spoilers, as the majority of this book is something that needs to be experienced as you read it first hand. 

Aza find's herself thrown into the unknown world of Magoina. A land of floating/flying ships in the sky, where she meets her 'mother' Caption Zal and is told she has a destiny to fulfil to save the Magonians from starvation. She's introduced to her Magonian 'partner', Dai, and together they have the power to change not only future of Magonia but the human world bellow. But helping Captain Zal with her plans, might just mean betraying the world bellow and people she loves.

The characters:
Aza is one of the of most sarcastic narrators I've ever read, and I absolutely loved it! Every word out of this girls mouth is coated in her dry sense of humour. Naturally her new world scares her and she has trouble adapting to her supposed 'destiny'. She a loyal character, but her loyalties are tested when her density will mean betraying the life and the boy she's always loved.

Jason and Aza are very similar characters. They are both smart and witty and aren't afraid to bend the rules. When reading Jason's POV it's clear that he's quite an eccentric person, spending days without sleep and counting the number of PI to keep calm. He's also extremely devoted to his friendship Aza, which I just loved him for.

Dai is Aza's Magonian 'partner'. He was a difficult character to read, and I still don't really know what to make of him. He's devoted to Captain Zal's quest, and although he seemed nice enough, I'm not sure if he can be trusted.

The romance:
The romance between Aza & Jason is slow building for the majority of the book. They have been best friends since childhood, and have been there for each other no matter what. Slowly we see that there may be something more between them, but the romance is never really the centre of the story, just quieting building in the background. If there is a sequel, their commitment to each other will be tested even further. I sincerely hope that a love triangle doesn't develop with Dai, but if it does, I'm most certainly Team Jason.

The writing:
While this book does follow the typical YA trope: girl turns 16 and discovers she's from another world, and has destiny to complete, I felt Headley's unique world building and intelligent character voice's ensured this book was like nothing else out there.

FINAL WORD:
This book pushes the limits of fantasy and many times I found myself saying "this is such a strange story". There are birds, pirates, flying ships, magic, singing and so much more that make this the most unique story I've read.

CONTENT:
Sexuality: mild / some mild kissing
Violence: medium / some mention of fighting and 'gore'
Language: mild / occasional f word
Drugs & alcohol: mild

{ARC Review} CHANGING HIS GAME by Megan Erickson

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Title: Changing His Game
Series: Gamers #1
Author: Megan Erickson
Published: 28th April 2015
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided from publisher for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

BLURB:
He controls the game, but she’s rewriting all the rules…

Marley Lake is no stranger to awkwardness, but getting caught watching a dirty GIF by the company’s hot new IT guy exceeds even her standards. That is, until she realizes he's as turned on by it as she is. But with a big promotion on the line, she refuses to let her current dry spell be her downfall. Maybe.

Austin Rivers has no business lusting after the irresistible editor of Gamers Magazine. He's a secret partner in the business—and technically Marley’s boss. One look at that GIF, though, and he’s ready to install a whole lot more than just software…as long as she never finds out who he really is.

But reality’s not as virtual as it seems, and when Austin’s identity jeopardizes Marley’s promotion, he has to change his game or risk losing the only woman with the cheat code to his heart. 

A dirty talking nerd, strong intelligent heroine, and steamy geek lovin'!! 

REVIEW:
The story:
Marley, an editor for a video game magazine, is hard at work when her computer freezes. When IT guy, Austin Rivers comes to help her out, possibly the most embarrassing thing happens, he sees the erotic GIF on her computer that she'd been looking at earlier. But instead of laughing or shaming her for it, it turns out Austin is just as turned on by it as she is.

Marley doesn't want to risk her job, or her chances of a new promotion, but the attraction between her and Austin is like nothing she's ever felt before. Austin dirty talks his way into Marley's life and before she knows it, she's starting to fall for him. But Austin is hiding a secret, one that could risk everything Marley has worked so hard for. Can these two sexy nerds overcome his secrets?

The characters:
Marley is a strong, intelligent women. She's driven and determined to be successful in her job, which she loves. She's also a nerd, one who loves gaming and cosplay. Yes Marley may be the most awesome heroine ever! But behind closed doors she likes a man who can take charge, and it's not until she meets Austin that she'd trusted a man with her fantasies.

I'm going to admit it right here right now…nerds are my absolute weakness and Austin Rivers is oh so nerdalicous. He might be a socially awkward nerd, but that doesn't mean he's not sexy…oh no, Austin is one of the sexiest dirty talkers ever. Some of things he said made me spontaneously combust on the spot! Austin is a nerd who likes to take control…he's an Alpha Nerd!!

The romance:
While Marley & Austin both have a lot in common, like their love of video games, I loved that they were still very different characters. She's a lot more outgoing, while Austin is quite reserved and shy. Marley brought out he's fun side, making him smile and laugh, both things he hasn't done in a while. These two also heat things up in the bedroom…or cinema lobby, or supply room…oh yeah, these two have some very sexy little adventures! The best part about their romance is that fact that it's not all sexy, the actually chemistry between them is perfect and makes it all so much hotter!

The writing:
I am a huge Megan fangirl and when I discovered she was writing a Brazen novel I couldn't have been more excited! This book has all the charm and wit as her previous novels, but with that wicked dirtiness we all love from a Brazen book! I love how Megan incorporated both character's nerdiness into their love scenes, like the one while playing a video game, phew that was hot! Oh and a cosplay love scene may be one of the most amazing things to happen in the history of ever!!!!

FINAL WORD:
A dirty talking nerd, strong intelligent heroine, and steamy geek lovin'…CHANGING HIS GAME is the perfect, intelligent, steamy romance novel!!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / several sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium
Drugs & alcohol: mild 

{ARC Review} THERE YOU STAND by Christina Lee

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Title: There You Stand
Series: Between Breaths #5
Author: Christina Lee
Published: 21st April 2015
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 4/5

BLURB:
From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male standalone romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…

Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York—so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.

As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery—and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.

The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him—whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long—and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever… 

With swoony male heroes, intriguing backstories and a pair of scene stealing dogs, THERE YOU STAND is a fabulous NA romance!

REVIEW:
The story:
There You Stand follows the relationship of Cory, a tattoo artist and Jude a mysterious British skateboarder. And yes it's as awesome as it sounds. Cory & Jude's mutual love of dogs provides the perfect meet cute at the local skate park, and sets their romance up perfectly. It gives them some common ground and leads to a few impromptu run-ins at the park. 

As these two grow closer, it becomes clear that they have a few obstacles overcome before they can have their HEA. Jude's hiding something about his past, something that scares him and also makes him want to push Cory away to protect him from the demon's he's fighting. Cory won't let go of Jude that easily but when he discovers the truth, will it be too much for their new relationship to handle?

The characters:
Cory always came across as very happy & confident, nothing really seemed to phase him. But now that we get to know him better, we see a lot of that is a front. He's still dealing with a tragedy in his past and it still affects him years later. Cory is such a 'nice guy' and I reckon he'd be an awesome friend to have.

Jude is very quite and has very little dialogue to begin with, but he had such presence is every scene. Just one word from him could have such a dramatic effect. As the story progresses we learn why he's reluctant to talk or open up, and we get to see the real Jude underneath, who is such a kindhearted man.

Cory's dogs, Ace & Chopper, add so much to the story I had to mention them. Their interactions with Jude & Cory give a great insight into their personalities. And of course dogs are always awesome for supplying some hilarious & heartwarming scenes too!

The romance:
I loved seeing the progress of their friendship to lovers. It was natural and never felt rushed or forced. They get to know one another, develop a friendship and as the chemistry between them grows it develops into something more. They were such a beautiful couple and seeing them grow to trust and respect each other was awesome.

The writing:
I love Christina's writing. Her books are always jam packed with emotions and there is never a dull moment, and she always has the perfect balance of heartwarming & steamy scenes.

FINAL WORD:
With swoony male heroes, intriguing backstories and a pair of scene stealing dogs, THERE YOU STAND is a fabulous NA romance!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: strong / several descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild / minor references to bikie violence
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / minor references to drug dealing

{Blog Tour} Tiffany King's Beach Reads!!

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Title: Turtle Bay
Series: Season's Of Love #1
Author: Tiffany King
Published: 20th March 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:
If you're a teenager in a small, rural area, how do you exist when your eccentric, free-spirited parents are the town freaks everyone laughs at?

For sixteen-year-old Rainbow Honeywell—or Rain, as she insists on being called—the answer was to become the queen of all pranks. She never wanted to be a troublemaker, but the label quickly stuck when everyone in Huntsville, Kansas, became a target. All she wanted was to deflect the negative attention off her parents, but Rain's plan backfired to the max, landing her in a heap of trouble with the local authorities and expelled from high school.

An unexpected inheritance offers Rain an opportunity for a new beginning when she and her family move across the country to the quaint beach community of Turtle Bay, Florida.

Determined to make the best of her second chance, Rain vows to walk the straight and narrow, hoping her parents will fly under the radar while she soaks up some fun in the sun, sandy beaches, and hot, tanned guys. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong new friends, and a late night party lands her back in the kind of trouble she had been hoping to avoid. As the newbie in town with a record, Rain takes the brunt of the punishment when an unforgiving judge chooses to make an example out of her and slaps her with enough community service hours to keep her busy until she is old and gray.

Facing the harsh reality of paying for the actions of others while atoning for her own past sins, Rain is paired up with Josh Shaw, a judgmental local lifeguard whose love for the beach and the environment is eclipsed only by his distaste for those who trash it. As far as Josh is concerned, Rain is guilty and got what she deserved, regardless of her side of the story. To make matters worse, a tropical storm sits in the Atlantic, threatening to wreak havoc on the small beach community.

Things slowly change as Rain begins to appreciate her surroundings through Josh's eyes, proving she is not the person he thinks she is. Their feelings for one another blossom as the tropical storm grows into a hurricane and bears down on Turtle Bay. With impending danger looming, the small beach community must come together in order to ride out the storm. 

TIFFANY KING'S BEACH READS!:
Beach reading is one of my most favorite kinds of reading. I mean, talk about the perfect backdrop; A gentle breeze blowing off the soft crashing waves, warm sunshine on my face and comfy cool sand under my back. Add in some chocolate and ice cold Diet Coke and I can't think of a better way to get lost in a delicious book. 

When I was asked to gather ten of my favorite beach reads, I quickly discovered I had quite the dilemma. How could I possibly narrow it down to only ten? There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of books that I've adored. In the end, I narrowed my list down to books that could be finished in one sitting. The list is diverse, but each one would be a great addition to the perfect beach day. Besides, variety is the spice of life, LOL. So, without further delay, here's ten of my most favorite beach reads, in no particular order.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
How to Seduce a Band Geek by Cassie Mae
Every Day by David Levithan
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Whispers and Wishes by Hollie Westring
Dante's Girl by Courtney Cole
Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

{Release Day} Turtle Bay by Tiffany King

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Title: Turtle Bay
Series: Season's Of Love #1
Author: Tiffany King
Published: 20th March 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BLURB:
If you're a teenager in a small, rural area, how do you exist when your eccentric, free-spirited parents are the town freaks everyone laughs at?

For sixteen-year-old Rainbow Honeywell—or Rain, as she insists on being called—the answer was to become the queen of all pranks. She never wanted to be a troublemaker, but the label quickly stuck when everyone in Huntsville, Kansas, became a target. All she wanted was to deflect the negative attention off her parents, but Rain's plan backfired to the max, landing her in a heap of trouble with the local authorities and expelled from high school.

An unexpected inheritance offers Rain an opportunity for a new beginning when she and her family move across the country to the quaint beach community of Turtle Bay, Florida.

Determined to make the best of her second chance, Rain vows to walk the straight and narrow, hoping her parents will fly under the radar while she soaks up some fun in the sun, sandy beaches, and hot, tanned guys. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong new friends, and a late night party lands her back in the kind of trouble she had been hoping to avoid. As the newbie in town with a record, Rain takes the brunt of the punishment when an unforgiving judge chooses to make an example out of her and slaps her with enough community service hours to keep her busy until she is old and gray.

Facing the harsh reality of paying for the actions of others while atoning for her own past sins, Rain is paired up with Josh Shaw, a judgmental local lifeguard whose love for the beach and the environment is eclipsed only by his distaste for those who trash it. As far as Josh is concerned, Rain is guilty and got what she deserved, regardless of her side of the story. To make matters worse, a tropical storm sits in the Atlantic, threatening to wreak havoc on the small beach community.

Things slowly change as Rain begins to appreciate her surroundings through Josh's eyes, proving she is not the person he thinks she is. Their feelings for one another blossom as the tropical storm grows into a hurricane and bears down on Turtle Bay. With impending danger looming, the small beach community must come together in order to ride out the storm. 

{ARC Review} Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

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Title: Leaving Amarillo
Series: Neon Dreams #1
Author: Caisey Quinn
Published: 17th March 2015
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

BLURB:
Nashville meets New Adult in Neon Dreams, a dramatic, sexy series from bestselling author Caisey Quinn, about a country band’s rocky road to fame—and the ambition, dreams, and love of the people who make the music.

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

A feisty heroine, a beautifully flawed hero and a deeply intense 'forbidden' romance. Leaving Amarillo is a novel that will set your senses on fire!

REVIEW:
The story:
Dixie Lark and her brother Dallas have been friends with Gavin since childhood. And now touring as a band they are closer than ever. But Dixie has always felt more than simple friendship towards Gavin and believes he feels the attraction too. But despite this he's never made a move because of the promise he made her bother, that he'd never go there with her. Dixie knows touring will mean spending 24/7 with him and she's going after what she wants!

I must admit, 'older-brother's-best-friend' tropes are one of my all time favourites! The whole protective older brother forbidding he's friend and warning him off her, is always a winner. This book does end somewhat up in the air, which has left me begging Ms Q for the next book, Dallas's story!!

The characters:
Dixie is a feisty little character and I loved that she knew what she wanted and went after it. She's extremely selfless and will do anything to make her brother's dream of stardom come true, even if that means denying her own wishes.

Gavin is a rough and beautifully flawed character. He's hiding secrets about a dark period he went through while Dixie was at college. He seems ashamed and feels undeserving of Dixie's love, which for me made him all the more worthy *sigh* He's loyal, so much so that he's willing to break his own heart trying to keep a promise to his best friend Dallas - a promise Dallas had no right to ask for.

Dallas is a bit of mysterious character to me. He's extremely determined to make it in the music industry and very dedicated to his work. It's quite an intense character and I can't wait to see more of him in his own book to see the real Dallas.

The romance:
It was really refreshing to see the girl going after the guy for a change. Dixie puts herself out there by confronting Gavin about the obvious attraction between them and refuses to let him hide behind her brother's warning. The chemistry between them is super hot and it's clear that they both have feelings beyond lust and sexual attraction. They both care about the other and will do anything to see each other happy. And once these two finally give in to their feeling…WOWZAR do things get HOT!!

The writing:
I'm a huge fan of Caisey's books and I personally feel this is her best work yet. The characters are all really well developed with strong backstories, which created dynamic relationships between all three main characters.

FINAL WORD:
A feisty heroine, a beautifully flawed hero and a deeply intense 'forbidden' romance. Leaving Amarillo is a novel that will set your senses on fire!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / several descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium / references to drug use & dealing

{ARC Review} Shaken, Not Stirred by Sawyer Bennett

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Title: Shaken, Not Stirred
Series: Last Call #5
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: 17th Mar 2015
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 4/5

BLURB:
Casey Markham is a man-eater in a rut. Swearing off relationships may keep her heart safe, but she's beginning to question if her casual flings will ever leave her satisfied. She's wondering if it's finally time to let go of the past and stop letting history control her future. 

Bad boy biker, Tenn Jennings can't get Casey off his mind. A chance encounter with the beautiful blond has left its mark, and now he's determined to prove her wrong about everything she thought she knew about men. 

It’s safe to say… Casey Markham has met her match. 


Hero is an ex marine, bike riding cowboy - enough said

REVIEW:
The story:
We've all read the story of the MC who is against love & commitment, but I just love that this time it's about a woman. Casey is all about having carefree fun and has her rules about not getting too close to any man. But all that starts to change when she meets, Tenn. He's a ex marine, bikie who grew up on his family's ranch, and the perfect guy to shake up Casey's world.

Casey's past pain goes much deeper than being dumped or cheated on. It's more about being made to feel worthless and underserving of true love. Never wanted to feel cheap again she's locked her heart away and jumps from one casual meaningless fling to the next. At the first sign of commitment she runs. But Tenn is having none of that. He challenges her in all aspects of her life and for the first time she's starting to believe that maybe she could have more. However Tenn is hiding things about himself, fearing it will scare her away, but when she finds out, will their new relationship be strong enough to convince Casey not to keep running? 

The characters:
On the surface Casey is a just a wild fun loving girl, and her aversion to relationships is simply her not wanting to be tied down. But as we get to know her better we see that she's been hurt before and isn't willing to risk her heart again. On some level she also doesn't believe she's good enough for true love and will always be a man's fling. But I really enjoyed watching Tenn show her that she deserves better and that he can be the one to give her that.

Tenn is an ex marine, bike riding cowboy - what a lethal combination. Or as Casey says: "You like have all the hot guy tropes covered." Despite his initial description making him sounds like a typical bad boy hero, he's actual extremely sincere and a really sweet guy. He has a 14 year old daughter from an ex wife and absolutely adores her. He's not at all a cliche character and has a really unique personality, and sometimes almost came across as shy. I really loved this guy!

The romance:
After being hurt in the past Casey has a very negative outlook on love. Despite her being upfront from the beginning that she's not interested in a relationship, Tenn knows there is something special between them and is determined to capture Casey's jaded heart. The chemistry is off the charts and slowly Tenn manages to break down her walls and show her that love and respect is something she deserves.

The writing:
I love how Sawyer's books are always new and exciting, and it never feels like your reading the same story with slightly different leads. She also continues to find new and interesting ways of writing love scenes. No one can possibly accuse her of being repetitive or boring. Two words: Horseback ride… *slow claps*

FINAL WORD:

Hero is an ex marine, bike riding cowboy - enough said

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / descriptive sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild / several scenes set in bar

{ARC Review} The Only Way by Magan Vernon

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Title: The Only Way
Series: Only #4
Author: Magan Vernon
Published: 18th March 2015
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 4/5
Goodreads  |  Amazon

BLURB:
William "Tripp" Chapman has always been the black sheep of his family's political dynasty. His oldest brother works on Wall Street, his youngest-groomed for the senate. And Tripp is the brother known for wrecking his Porsche after a drinking bender and winding up in rehab.

On the night of his father's presidential election he takes a detour and meets a waitress at a local hole-in-the wall. Samantha "Sam" Green is just as broken as he is, but covers it up with enough snark so no one tries to get too close.

When Sam gets kicked out of her apartment, Tripp agrees that she can crash on his couch until she gets on her feet. But as they grow closer physically, the ghosts of their past threaten to burden their new relationship

The Only Way they can overcome their demons is to face them instead of running. Can Sam help Tripp find his way or will their own battles bury them further?

The Only series is a series of standalone novels. You do not need to read one in order to fully understand the other. M/F. HEA

The Only way is a beautifully raw and gritty story on the dark world of addiction and mental illness, and provides the reader with a sense of hope.

REVIEW:
The story:
Tripp has hit rock bottom, after checking out of rehab for drug addiction and depression he's trying to rebuild he's life. But being the black sheep in his family and feeling shame for dragging his family's political name through the mud, recovery is anything but easy. And meeting a feisty waitress by the name of Sam certainly wasn't in his plans, but he can't deny his attraction to the sexy red head. After helping her out of sticky situation and offering her refuge on his couch until she can find a new apartment, the two develop a close friendship. However they are both reluctant to pursue anything romantic and destroy the first real friendship they've ever had. But how long can they deny their true feelings?

The characters:
Tripp may be the black sheep of the family, but he still has a heart of gold. He wants to change his life and be able to help others who a dealing with similar issues. But he does have a self sabotaging personality. As soon as something positive happens, he has a tendency to destroy it. He grows a lot and still has a lot more work to do, but he definitely works hard to become a better man.

Sam comes across as a tough, confident character who just gets on with life. But underneath that tough exterior is a girl who's desperate to find her place in the world. She a has a dry and wicked sense of humour, which I just loved.

The romance:
I really loved the the romance between Sam & Tripp doesn't 'heal' Tripp's addiction. While Sam is supportive in his recovery they both realise this is something he needs to do for himself. It was also great to see them develop a friendship first, before anything romantic really happened, it made their chemistry much more believable.

The writing:
Mental illness and drug addiction are not easy topics to write about. Finding the balance between light and dark, while being realistic with the approach is tricky. I loved that Magan didn't make the journey easy on the both her characters or the reader. But at the same time, I was left feeling hopeful about Tripp's future, which as a reader is extremely important.

FINAL WORD:
The Only way is a beautifully raw and gritty story on the dark world of addiction and mental illness, and provides the reader with a sense of hope.

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / some sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium / some f words
Drugs & alcohol: strong / main subject has drug addiction
Other: main theme addresses mental illness and depression

{ARC Review} Every Move by Ellie Marney

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Title: Every Move
Series: Every #3
Author: Ellie Marney
Published: 1st March 2015
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Mystery Romance
Source: Paperback ARC provided by publisher for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

BLURB:
The sequel to Every Breath and Every Word.After the dramatic events of London, a road trip back to her old home in Five Mile sounds good (in theory) to Rachel Watts, with her brother Mike in the driving seat. But when Mike picks up his old buddy – the wildly unreliable Harris Derwent – things start to go south. Back in Melbourne, Rachel’s ‘partner in crime’, James Mycroft, clashes with Harris, and then a series of murders suggest that the mysterious Mr Wild – Mycroft’s own personal Moriarty – is hot on their tail. When tragedy strikes, Rachel and Mycroft realise they’ll have to recruit Harris and take matters into their own hands…

A Sherlock inspired, urban crime thriller with realistic characters and a passionate romance, what's not to love?!

REVIEW:
The story:
In this dramatic climax to this action packed series, Mycroft and Watts (Wattscroft) are back and ready to solve the mystery of Myscoft's parent's deaths once and for all. But their investigation will be anything but easy. Rachel is struggling to deal with their near death experience in London. Plagued with nightmares and unable to cope with being hugged, it's clear Rachel's fears stem from PTS. Her response is completely natural, as was Mycroft's, who blames himself for dragging Rachel into this mess. He hates seeing her in pain and struggles with his fear of something bad happening to her. And things are only getting more dangerous for these two. Mr Wild is closing in on them, and even the Police can't track him down. Wattscroft are joined by Rachel's brother Mike and his friend Harris as they try to outsmart the elusive criminal. In a heart pounding series conclusion, can these teenagers outmanoeuvre the twisted mastermind of 'Moriarty'?

The characters:
Rachel Watts is the kind of female heroine YA needs more of. She's strong and selfless, but she's not unrealistically invincible. After all the things she's gone through in the past few months she she struggles to deal with everything, and has to dig deep to overcome her fears. I previously said I wanted to be best friends with Rachel, but I've changed my mind, I want to BE Rachel.

Mycroft has always been good at compartmentalising. He's usually so focused on solving the mystery in front of him, that all the 'real life' stuff doesn't really register. But we see a new side to Mycroft, a more vulnerable side, and it was beautiful to see him learn to deal with new and unfamiliar emotions, especially when it came to Rachel. He's trying to understand his feelings for her and protect her at the same time. Simply put, I love him.

The romance:
The romance between Mycroft and Rachel is one of my favourite in all YA books. Their relationship started out sweet and innocent and has grown into something deep and passionate. We get to see them take their romance further and yes there are some little sexy times to be hand - which Marney handled just beautify with the perfect mix of awkward, sweet and sexy.

The writing:
I have loved the writing in all three books in this series, but in this last book Marney's writing was flawless. All the characters have their own individual voices, with Rachel's country slang shining through. The prose was just stunning, with such beautiful language;


"It's about five am, when the night still cups the world gently In its hands and the air feels cold and damp, like the insides of clouds."

"...we have no more permanence than water, and I am just one of the many animals absorbed by the minutiae of my life under the cold finger of the moon."

"There's a glow beyond the windows: sunrise here is like a miles-distant explosion, radiant pink and orange bleeding over the sky."


I also loved how Marney has taken a realistic approach to her characters' behaviour, in particular Rachel's struggles with PTS. So often we see so called 'normal' teenage characters go through traumatic experiences only to come out the other side all happy and unaffected. To see both Mycroft and Rachel deal with their fears was refreshing and gave a raw honesty to the story.

FINAL WORD:
This is one of my all time favourite series and I just love that it's by an Aussie author and set in Australia too! A Sherlock inspired, urban crime thriller with realistic characters and a passionate romance, what's not to love?! Every Move is the perfect conclusion to this stunning YA series!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / discussions of sex, fade to black sex scene
Violence: medium-strong / descriptions of dead bodies, autopsies, gun violence and murder
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium / main character is a smoker, some underage drinking