Saturday, May 23, 2015

Giveaway: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Happy Saturday everybody! We've got a giveaway for you today and it's one I personally (Jamie) am excited about as Every Last Word is one of my anticipated reads PLUS you also are going to get a chance to win Tamara's other novels as well.

If you're excited about Every Last Word already, scroll down to enter! But if you haven't heard of it, I'd suggest check out what it's about and see if it's your thing and then try your hand at winning below!

About the Book:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

About the Author:

Tamara Ireland Stone ( is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a "beautifully written, unique love story," and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.


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One (1) winner receives the complete Tamara Ireland Stone collection:
  A copy of Every Last Word;
Plus copies of Time Between Us and Time After Time.
Guidelines to enter

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
 Prizing and samples provided by Disney Hyperion.
You must be 13 years or older to enter.
Winner will be contacted via email and has 72 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.
Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Julia Reviews The Scoundrel and the Debutante by Julia London

Title/Author: The Scoundrel and the Debutant by Julia London
Publisher/Year Published: May 2015 by Harlequin Books
How I got this book: I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Why I read this book: I enjoyed the last book in this series, so of course I am going to read the third
Rating: 3.5 stars

The dust of the Cabot sisters' shocking plans to rescue their family from certain ruin may have settled, but Prudence Cabot is left standing in the rubble of scandal. Now regarded as an unsuitable bride, she's tainted among the ton. Yet this unwilling wallflower is ripe for her own adventure. And when an irresistibly sexy American stranger on a desperate mission enlists her help, she simply can't deny the temptation. 

The fate of Roan Matheson's family depends on how quickly he can find his runaway sister and persuade her to return to her betrothed. Scouring the rustic English countryside with the sensually wicked Prudence at his side—and in his bed—he's out of his element. But once Roan has a taste of the sizzling passion that can lead to forever, he must choose between his heart's obligations and its forbidden desires.


I read a lot of family trilogies or series books in the historical romance genre, and I have to say that Julia London's Cabot Series is a new book every time. Well, you may be asking, of course it is! What a silly thing to say? But I have seen too many times where you pretty much just get the same story again with a slight deviation to make it seem unique. This is not the case here.

Prudence is tired of her sister's scandalous behavior ruining her chances at a happy life. After being unmarried into her twenties, she is not quite sure what to do with herself and falls into a morose outlook of the world. Her sisters decide that just what she needs to be cheered up is to go see her friend who just had a baby. I see a flaw in their logic.

Out of sheer desperation just for a break, she agrees but while waiting for her family friend to pick her up in their carriage for the ride north she meets a stunningly gorgeous and cutely befuddled American gentleman, Roan. Throwing caution to the wind, she decides to purchase a ticket on the public coach to spend more time with this handsome foreigner until her stop where she can rejoin her party. Hi-jinks ensue.

Let me just say there is a lack of ball rooms and ton parties in this book that makes it a nice refresher. It's sort of far-fetched in its realism, but it was enough of an adventure that I was along for the ride. Roan and Prudence are quite interesting leads. They have a good chemistry between them but still hold their own as characters. Prudence, for what I know of her from the last books, seems to sort of morphed into her sisters along the way, but the fact that she is aware of it make it okay.

The story has a pretty fast pace until about the last third where it sort of grinds to a halt. It's still engaging but not as much as the first two thirds. So it was sort of the same problem I had with the last book. I will say that I did read it in one plane ride, so it was definitely something I didn't want to stop reading.

If you enjoy previous Julia London novels, or Regency Romance with a twist and a fun adventure, this is a good pick. I don't think it is necessary to read the other two in the series before this one. There are minor spoilers but nothing too big.

It's not my favorite, but not horrible either. So a solid middle of the road read that put a smile on my face.

Thanks to Harlequin for providing me the ARC for this review.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lori's Pre-Summer Reading

I know--it's still the middle of May and summer doesn't officially start until June 21.  But for all intents and purposes it's summer in Oklahoma (well, except for today; it's freaking cold today!).  So I've been thinking about books that make me feel summery.  Not my official Summer TBR list, but definitely something to think about in the meantime.  My pre-summer reading, if you will.

Here are a few that I've come up with:

1.  Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion  This book of essays would be a fantastic one to take just about anywhere you might go this summer--the beach, a road trip, the pool, the backyard.  One of the things I really like about essays is that they're really accessible and you can read one in one sitting or read them all or whatever.  She really covers the gamut here--writing about writing, profiles of celebrities, and just generally writing about life in California in the 1960s (and who doesn't love reading about that?).  I've read a couple of Didion's essays in this collection, but am looking forward to diving in and reading more.

2.  Ruby by Cynthia Bond  I've got this one in my purse as I sit at Starbucks writing this post.  I plan on diving in after I hit "publish," even though I should be studying for the LSAT.  This one takes place in Texas.  Inexplicably this setting just makes me think of the heat.  This one has received a lot of attention, particularly since it was selected as an Oprah Book Club read, but don't let that deter you.  I've heard that it definitely lives up to the hype.

3.  Walden by Henry David Thoreau  I always want to read this when it warms up, especially if I'm spending a lot of time at my grandparents' house.  I love the thought of completely getting away from it all and seeing what you really and truly need.  I've spent a lot of time this spring getting rid of the clutter that has been choking me.  Summer is known for diving into fiction.  But I think that it is also a perfect time to dive into a slow-moving (though short) memoir.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  :)

4.  The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas  Summer seems like the great time for a nice, plotty adventure, you know?  This book is supposed to be sheer entertainment, with tons of swords fighting and rescuing the damsels in distress.  I think this will be a fun and light read by the pool.  Plus, I am excited to read about the character who is supposedly the ultimate badass female villain.

5.  The Unwitting by Ellen Feldman  Lastly, summer is the perfect time to read a thriller.  It's hot.  People are irritable.  Passions rise.  Read a thriller.  About a disappearing husband.  Who keeps big secrets from his wife.  This one takes place in 1950s Manhattan amongst the literary elite.  It has Cold War goodness and intrigue.  And the mystery of what on earth happened?  Definitely looking forward to that.

What books do you have on your shelves that are making you think of summer?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jamie Reviews A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court Of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Yes, book 1.
Published: May 2015
Rating: 4.5 stars
I received this book from the publisher for review consideration.

Oh man, I LOVE Sarah's Throne of Glass series and I made this the first book I read in 2015 because I had faith she would give me the kind of good reading omen for the rest of the year. And ACOTAR proved to do that. 

I've never been super into fae in my reading but I trusted Sarah and HALLELUJAH for once in my life I was into a fae storyline. I loved how Sarah was inspired by fairytales like Beauty & the Beast and others but it was SO it's own story that I would forget it was a retelling of sorts.

I loved Feyre, she was strong but not like in that typical badass way. More so in that "life has knocked me down but I keep going way." She was resourceful and observant and smart and I liked that. I've seen some people fault her for staying with her awful family but I actually understood it -- making a promise to someone has since passed away carries a lot of weight on you plus FAMILY. I speak from experience. 

I loved the characters so much -- especially all the guys -- Tamlin, Lucian and Rhys. Leave it to Sarah to create a harem of hot guys. But, hotness aside, Sarah just is so talented in bringing characters to life and I felt like a lot of these characters had so much depth to them. There are some great secondary characters and characters I can't wait to get more of.

It was definitely steamier than most of what you find in YA and to be honest I'm not sure I'd even classify it as YA (particularly because they are quite older if I remember correctly)? I loved how sexy it was personally. STEAAAAMY.

I loved learning more about the fae world and all the history and getting to know the characters and then I was unprepared for how action-packed it would get and how I'd be a woman obsessed trying to race through the book. The THINGS happening in the kingdom were so interesting and I just wanted to find out more and then OH the end my heart was just RACING and thinking up ways to get my hands on book 2. It was a page-turner, that's for sure. TWISTS AND TURNS AND SO MUCH GOODNESS.

To sum it up: I LOVED this start of a new series. I didn't think I would be into the fae (wasn't ever much of a paranormal person) but this was totally gripping with interesting characters, a world I'm so intrigued by, romance and a lot of OMG moments.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Julia's Top Ten Romance Books for People who Read Other Genres

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

As romance is the thing I do best, I figured I could share the love this week, literally and figuratively, by giving some recommendations to people who may want to branch out but are overwhelmed and don't know what to look for.  I am going to try to limit the list to things I have read, but I may not be able to for some genre's because I read a set niche. So let's do this.

If you read Science Fiction, you'll like...
-Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher - I actually reviewed this one back in the day and I remember being really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. My review has a good summary, but it has aliens, trying to colonize an alien planet. Worth the time!

If you read Young Adult contemporary, you'll like...
- The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand - I have not read this one but started reading the second in the series before I was distracted away. I was enjoying what I was reading though, and every time I see it mentioned I think of Anna and the French Kiss, which makes no sense since I've read neither and have no idea if they relate besides being set in France maybe. But I think Florand writes in a way that would translate well for the YA reader looking to move to romantic fiction. Someone will have to read this and tell me if they are similar or not!

- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpsion - I've mentioned this before and I'll say it again. This is a lovely book. It's full of all the romance and light on the sexy-times if that isn't your thing. It's a quick read and a heart warming book! My review

If you read Dystopian (and don't mind a bit of heat), you'll like...
- Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha - This one has an erotic twist, but is still really good. The story features a girl thrown out of the city and having to learn how to fend for herself in the outside world. But she meets this gang and one of the members... check out my review on Booklikes.

If you read fairy tales, you'll like...
- When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James - A historical romancey play on Beauty and the Beast. Hell, I could have done this whole thing on Beauty and the Beast retellings. This is pretty recent but another good one is Beauty by Robin McKinley

If you read paranormal, you'll like...
- Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon - The Dark-Hunter series was something I was really into about ten years ago. It was inventive and fun, and this is the first book. The more recent books in the series are kinda meh, but the first 6ish are pretty good. This one and Dance with the Devil are my favorite.

If you read Steampunk, you'll like...
- The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook - I think this is like required reading for steampunk people, but just in case it isn't on your radar, this is the first book in the Iron Seas series. I really enjoyed it enough to give up sleep while on a work trip. My review.

- Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster - I can't choose between the two of these. They are both so good! So I picked both. This series just is better and better with each book. Kiss of Steel I picked up on sale and enjoyed immensely. Vampires roaming the streets, clockwork mechanics, a whole victorian society. Outstanding. My review.

If you read Historical Fiction, you'll like...
- The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne - From the last list I did of historical recommendations a few years ago, "This one was my first review here at TBTB. Oh the days. Let me summarize. This is a spy romance. The spy story is super interesting and because the whole plot isn't a "big misunderstanding" or some other relationship centric thing it may be an easier book to get into over some other romances for a newbie."

- The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran - I really think this book would translate well because it is set in such a rich historical world. The hero is torn between the white culture of his father and the Indian culture of this mother. The heroine is in India because of her fiance. The backdrop of British controlled India kept me turning pages!

So what about you? Do you have any questions about the romance genre? Have you been wanting to try one but aren't sure where to start? Comment and I will see if I can help you out!

Also link up your Freebie post in the linkie below! I can't wait to check them all out!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bridget goes to BEA!

I've been blogging for about four and a half years now, and I never thought it would be much more than a solitary hobby. I had no idea that I would be joining such a large community or that I would meet so many great people through blogging. I also never knew that there were enormous conventions just for people who like books, but the first time I heard about BookExpo America, I knew I had to go one day.

This year, that dream is finally becoming a reality, and I'll be going to BEA next week! (And meeting our fearless leader, Jamie, there!!)

And guys, I'm totally overwhelmed. Like whoa.

There are times when there are five different things on my schedule and times when there's nothing. Since this is my first time, and I'm not a huge fan of crowds, I'm almost dreading it because I'm so afraid I'm going to miss out on something that I want to do! I'm going to at least some sessions in the blogger conference, but there are also some authors signing that day who I don't want to miss. Then there are sessions that are hours long but a few things that are only 15-30 minutes during those long sessions that I would love to duck out to see...but I'm guessing it doesn't work that way. There are also so many books I want to pick up—check out my blog tomorrow for the ones I'm most excited about on Top Ten Tuesday—and I hope I bring a big enough bag!!

So basically, I'm wondering if any of you have ever been before and if you have any tips! (And if you're going again this year, let me know because I'd love to meet you!!) 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lauren Reviews The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
PublishedJanuary 2015 by Riverhead Books
Acquired: Purchased from Amazon
Rating: 5 Stars

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I felt every single character's feelings... I felt angry, depressed, hopeless, hopeful, satisfied, imaginative. Rachel isn't a character I can relate to, but she allowed me to see alcoholism from a different perspective. I was around an alcoholic for most of my childhood and in my early teenage years. I was never an enabler and I have pretty strong views on drunks in general. That being said, Rachel is an alcoholic. She has blackouts and knows the consequences of drinking before she takes a sip, but still decides to drink at some times. This small aspect of the novel angered me, but it was integral to the story.

Rachel rides the train every day and observes the people around her. Her daily commutes to and from home take her by the same house, where she become slightly obsessed with the couple living there. One day she sees something different than the usual. This enrages Rachel and she takes her anger out by drinking more alcohol and harassing her ex-husband. Then she blacks out. Feeling guilty and not knowing what happened on a very important night, she starts investigating herself. She rips off small pieces of paper, writes down details, and then stuffs them in her purse. She wanted to be a part of something, but we find out quickly that sometimes it's not good to be in the inner circle. My favorite quote in the book...

"Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis."

I enjoyed this novel to rate it 5 stars. I don't normally read thriller/suspense novels, but this one surprised me. It is very hard to review this novel without giving details that I know a reader would want to discover themselves. So I'm basically saying to quit reading everyone's reviews and just go buy this book. I promise... you'll thank me later.
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