Wednesday, September 30, 2015

[Review] Broken by Cynthia Eden

Broken by Cynthia Eden
Series: Lost #1
Publisher: Avon
Publishing Date: March 31, 2015
384 Pages
Format: paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 4 stars


The first novel in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden's sizzling LOST series introduces the Last Option Search Team, an elite unit that must protect the only surviving victim of a serial killer.

Ex-SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer is accustomed to the unusual in his job. But when knockout Eve Gray steps into his office, he's rattled. For the mysterious woman is a dead ringer for the heiress thought to be the latest prey of the serial killer who goes by the name Lady Killer.

When Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital, her past was a blank slate. Then she recognized her own face in the newspaper and vowed to learn the truth. Determined to confront the nightmares hidden in her mind, she never expects to find a partner in Gabe.

As Gabe and Eve work together, their explosive attraction becomes irresistible. Gabe knows that his desire for Eve is growing too strong, bordering on a dangerous obsession, but nothing pulls him away from her. And when another Eve lookalike disappears, Gabe vows to protect Eve at all costs. While Eve may have forgotten the killer in her past, it's clear he hasn't forgotten her.

My Review

I won this book as part of a program that Avon Romance was putting on. I had no idea what the book was about, but I really love romances and suspense novels, so romantic suspenses are usually a great choice for me. I was in the mood for a romance book, so I picked this one up off my shelf. I was immediately drawn into the story. Gave is an Ex-SEAL and created the company LOST to help find missing people. But this case is a little different for him since Eve is alive, but missing her memory.

We learn along with Eve who she is and what has happened to her. Like many other suspense/mystery novels I read, I had an idea of who the killer was, but I couldn't be sure. And then the plot twisted and my theory went out the window. I love those kinds of books. I don't want to know from the beginning what happened; I love being surprised throughout the story. This book kept me hooked from beginning to end. I can't wait to start the second in this series!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Review] The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum

The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum
Series: Inspector Konrad Sejer, #11
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publishing Date: Aug. 25, 2015
Format: hardcover, ARC
240 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Rating: 3 stars


A new addition to the captivating Inspector Sejer series, the first since The Caller, from Norway’s finest crime writer.

Carmen and Nicolai failed to resuscitate their son, Tommy, after finding him floating in their backyard pond. When Inspector Skarre arrives on the scene, Carmen reports that Tommy, a healthy toddler with Down syndrome, wandered into the garden while Nicolai was working in the basement and she was cleaning the house. Skarre senses something is off with Carmen’s story and consults his trusted colleague, the famed Inspector Sejer. An autopsy reveals Tommy’s lungs to be full of soap.

When Sejer and Skarre revisit the couple, Carmen, an epileptic, changes her story, confessing that she’d been knocked unconscious by a seizure while bathing Tommy. When she came to, she found him drowned in the tub and, horrified and frightened, threw him into the pond.

But Skarre and Sejer’s doubt is not appeased and the case is reopened. What more could Carmen be hiding? And what lengths will she take to cover her guilt? As Carmen’s own family starts to doubt her, Skarre and Sejer work to find the truth.

My Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I was immediately drawn to this book after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis. I knew I had to read it even though I haven't read anything else by this author. I was a little concerned at first that I hadn't read the other books in this series, but after reading this, I'm guessing they can be read out of order. I didn't feel like I had missed anything by not reading the others. Though reading this definitely makes me want to read some more of Fossum's work. 

This was an interesting book and I really enjoyed reading it. It's a little slower paced than some other mysteries that I've read, but it was a nice change. But even though it was slower, I didn't lose interest and it wasn't missing anything. Inspector Sejer is a really unique character; he lives alone with his dog but there's definitely a lot that has gone on in his life. Carmen absolutely drove me crazy in this book; I didn't like her from the very beginning. It was her mannerisms and personality that just didn't fit with mine. She was too blasé about her child dying and wanted to move on too fast after. And poor Nicolai; he was clearly torn up about Tommy dying and I felt so bad for him. 

It's interesting to watch this story unfold and find out what happened to Tommy. It's definitely a book that kept me interested and I'm glad that I was given the chance to read this!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[Review] *Tour* Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Cold Fury Hockey # 4
By: Sawyer Bennett
Released September 8, 2015  


The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure is on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. 

I've read the other books in this series and really liked them! They're fun, full of hockey (yay!) and romantic. And if you've read any of my other reviews, then you know I'm a sucker for guys with kids. There's just something about reading about the love of parents and children. Ryker's little girls are so cute and he clearly adores them. 

I also really love strong female characters and Gray is definitely one of those! She's the only female general manager of a hockey team and knows that she has to show the world her ability to do the job. But I love that she knows it might not be completely worth it if it means giving up her chance for a family. This really is a sweet book and I'm so glad I had the chance to read this one. Can't wait to see what else Ms. Bennett has in store for us.

Link to Follow Tour:  

Goodreads Link: 

Goodreads Series Link: 

Buy Links:   
Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
Other Books in the Cole Fury Series
ALEX: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo
GARRETT: Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo
ZACK: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

About the Author
USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

Rafflecopter Giveaway 
(Select Loveswept Ebook Bundle)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and this one:
(Ryker Jersey)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[DNF Review] I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Publishing Date: Oct. 8, 2013
327 Pages
Format: hardcover, library


I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday.

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world. 

My Review

Unfortunately, I didn't finish this book; but before anyone gets upset, I just want to say that it's not Malala herself that I didn't like (I think she's incredibly courageous), it was the book. I found myself getting bored with the history and politics of the book. The first chapter was very interesting and started out with the day that she was shot. But then it went into the history of how Pakistan was created, the political atmosphere, etc. I wasn't that interested in it. I wanted to learn more about Malala, not her country's history, because, while I think that's very important, I can look that up on the internet. I set the book down one day when I needed to do something, and didn't pick it back up. Then I got the notice that it was due at the library and I returned it. I feel really bad - I wanted to love this book so much because I think she's fascinating. The book just wasn't doing it for me. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

[Review] Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publishing Date: Aug. 4, 2015
Format: library, hardcover
272 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Rating: 3 stars


Fearless, candid, and incredibly funny, Lauren Holmes is a newcomer who writes like a master. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves.

In “Desert Hearts,” a woman takes a job selling sex toys in San Francisco rather than embark on the law career she pursued only for the sake of her father. In “Pearl and the Swiss Guy Fall in Love,” a woman realizes she much prefers the company of her pit bull—and herself—to the neurotic foreign fling who won’t decamp from her apartment. In “How Am I Supposed to Talk to You?” a daughter hauls a suitcase of lingerie to Mexico for her flighty, estranged mother to resell there, wondering whether her personal mission—to come out—is worth the same effort. And in “Barbara the Slut,” a young woman with an autistic brother, a Princeton acceptance letter, and a love of sex navigates her high school’s toxic, slut-shaming culture with open eyes.

With heart, sass, and pitch-perfect characters, Barbara the Slut is a head-turning debut from a writer with a limitless career before her.

My Review

I'm generally not one to read short stories; I've never been too interested in them. But I heard about this book and wanted to give it a chance because people were raving about it. It's a very interesting collection of stories from Holmes and I enjoyed most of them. I wasn't entirely impressed with the first few short stories because they didn't capture my attention. However, that being said, they were still full of honesty and humor. 

The last half of the book was much better for me. I really liked the stories and couldn't wait to keep reading more. I really think the one story told from the perspective of a dog was one of my favorites! Crazy, right?! I wasn't sure if I'd actually like that one because I've never read anything from an animal's perspective, but it was a lot of fun. The namesake of this book, Barbara the Slut, was another great story that I wish I had more of. I really liked her character and wish I knew how her life turned out! She's a fun girl! And the story about the law school graduate working at a sex toy store? So much fun. 

Even though the first few stories weren't my favorite, I really enjoyed this book. It makes me want to pick up some more short stories and start reading The Art of Racing in the Rain (a book from a dog's perspective that has been on my shelf for too long). 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday 9.11.15

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
- Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
- Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
- If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This Week's Question: Undiscovered Talent - Tell us about a book you loved but no one else seems to have heard of? It can be new or old, any genre. Let's spread the love! - Suggested by Becky's Barmy Book Blog

I really loved this book. I read it a few years ago, but it's one that really stuck with me. It's not a very light read and there are some serious issues in here, but I promise it's worth the read. I'm actually thinking a re-read is in the near future (: Check out the Goodreads page here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Don't be ashamed...

We've all probably heard of slut-shaming. But what about book-shaming? How many times have we seen what someone else is reading and think (or say) "You're reading that?!" Think about it. We've all probably done it when we saw someone reading or raving about Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm pretty sure I've done it. And the more I think about it, I'm not proud of it. 

Don't be ashamed of what you love to read. Whether it's romance, fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, mysteries. Over the last few months, I've realized that it really doesn't matter what I love to read. I shouldn't be ashamed of the fact that I love reading romance novels. Some people might think they're all works of fluff; but I don't. I love reading stories about love and romance and happily-ever-afters. I also really love mysteries; I try to figure out who-dun-it, but it doesn't always happen. Now these aren't the only kinds of books I like to read, but my point is, we shouldn't worry about what other people, other readers, think is "okay" to read. 

Sometimes it's not quite so direct as someone saying something; it could be a passive aggressive post in the blogging world or just the perception The time I feel like this happens the most is when I go to write a review and I see how other people didn't like it as much as I did. But that shouldn't change my thoughts on the book I read. Sure, it might make me think about it a little more, but generally it doesn't change my opinion much. Just because someone else doesn't like that book, or that genre, doesn't mean it's less or inferior to other books or genres. 

Life's too short, and there are too many books to not read what you like. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

[Review] *Tour* Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry

Delayed Penalty 
by Sophia Henry
Pilot's Hockey, #1


She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.

Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college. Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player—until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.

Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.

After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.

Link for Tour:

Purchase Links: 

My Review

I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review. 

I'm a pretty big hockey fan, so any change I get to read a book about hockey players, I'm in. I knew this is one that I wanted to read right when I saw it. Aleksander plays for the Detroit Pilots and Auden translates for her grandpa's business when she has a month off of school over winter break. She assumes she'll be translating documents again, like previous job assignments from him, but she learns that she finally gets to be a Russian translator for a real person, and she couldn't be more excited when she learns its a hockey player. 

This was a fun book to read. In addition to being a hockey fan, I'm a sucker for guys who can speak a foreign language. And Aleksander is hot. They're both struggling with things from their past, and they've learned to trust each other with these secrets. I really liked watching these two characters grow and learn who they really are. Although they have a really fast romance and fall in love quickly, they still spend time apart and aren't completely obsessed with each other, which I appreciate as a reader! 

About The Author

Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Review] The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen 
Publisher: Books on Tape
Publishing Date: March 22, 2011
Format: audio, library
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Length: 7 hours 38 minutes
Goodreads rating: 3 stars


It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.

My Review

I'm not sure when I first saw this book or what draw me to it. I really love the cover so maybe that's it. Regardless, I got the audiobook from the library and wanted to start it right away. I don't think I really knew what the book was about before I started it, and didn't look at the synopsis until I was about halfway through. It's a pretty interesting book; there are a few big things going on, but overall anticlimactic. That's not necessarily a bad thing, either. It's a book with a steady story and two women learn to live the lives they've always wanted and find out who they are meant to be. It's a book about friendship, love, family, and history. While a skeleton is found at the Blue Ridge Madam, it's not really a mystery; the man whose body is found is just another part of the story and just another part to Paxton's and Willa's lives. Maybe I would have felt differently about this if I had read the book, or listened to it over a shorter period of time; it took me a while to get through this one.