REVIEW, GIVEAWAY & TOUR INFO – It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501110368 | August 2, 2016 | $16.00

eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501110375 | $7.99

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The newest, highly anticipated novel from beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover.

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Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

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NOTE TO READER – I went into this book as blindly as possible and I am pleased to say it was absolutely worth it. I hope you will do the same for the sake of the Hoover experience. With that said, I will do my best to convey, sans spoilers, what I took away from It Ends with Us.

Prepare to be overwhelmed by what I believe to be one of Hoover’s most poignant books to date. This book is more than richly developed and unforgettable characters. It’s more than noteworthy quotes and witty humor. It’s more than heartbreaking drama and endearing romance. IT IS SO MUCH MORE!

I never imagined fictional characters would cause me to question what I know about myself. I never imagined a story would deliver such a profound message and leave such a lasting impression on me. Through Lily’s story, Hoover’s words resonated in the depths of my soul and left a lasting mark on my heart.

Who I am is the result of my upbringing and the influence of my parents, siblings, friends, religious beliefs and formal education. I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, and a friend – all roles that have shaped me. I am educated and somewhat seasoned at life but I’ve not generally considered myself naive. I thought I understood me well enough to know, without a doubt, what I would do or how I would behave when faced with certain situations in life. I believed I was prepared for and knew my own personal response to the one Lily faced.  But what I discovered is that I have been living in a bubble of beliefs that hold little to no water now that I experienced IEWU.

I AM NAIVE.

In the months since I finished this book, I’ve written and rewritten this review countless times. My heart has not forgotten the story and my inadequate words have frustrated me in my attempts to convey all the things I want to share without spoiling anything. Lily’s story showed me I am naive. But it also taught me about courage and compassion. It taught me about love and loss. It taught me about empowerment and sacrifice. I am grateful for the experience and my own personal takeaway. Thank you Colleen for sharing such an incredibly personal story with such a powerful message.

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

*I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

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Now for the fun….the #ItEndsWithUs Contest!

Enter the Rafflecopter  to win a signed copy of IT ENDS WITH US and a limited edition Everything’s Better in Boston magnet (trust us, you’ll get it after you read the book)! (3 prize bundles in total) Contest is open until August 26th.

 

Don’t miss Colleen on tour for IT ENDS WITH US:

 

BOSTON, MA

Tuesday, August 2nd

BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH

7:00 PM

279 Harvard Street

Brookline, MA 02446

www.brooklinebooksmith.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1765869680321385/

 

MADISON, NJ

Wednesday, August 3rd

SHORT STORIES COMMUNITY BOOK HUB

7:00 PM

23 Main Street

Madison, NJ 07940

www.shortstoriesnj.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1816436548588340/

 

NEW YORK, NY

Thursday, August 4th

STRAND BOOK STORE

7:00 PM

828 Broadway

New York, NY 10003

www.strandbooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1266828406680888/

 

CINCINNATI, OH

Friday, August 5th

JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS

7:00 PM

2692 Madison Road

Cincinnati, OH 45208

www.josephbeth.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/277088292641430/

 

CHICAGO, IL

Saturday, August 6th

ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP

2:00 PM

Meiley-Swallow Hall

On the campus of North

Central College 31 S Ellsworth Street

Naperville, IL  60540

http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/260878437616737/

 

LOS ANGELES, CA

Sunday, August 7th

CHEVALIER’S BOOKS

6:30 PM

126 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90004

www.chevaliersbooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/260712770964176/

 

PHOENIX, AZ

Monday, August 8th

CHANGING HANDS BOOKSTORE

7:00 PM

6428 S. McClintock Drive

Tempe, AZ 85283

www.changinghands.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1188482081195713/

 

HOUSTON, TX

Tuesday, August 9th

BARNES & NOBLE – Town & Country

7:00 PM

12850 Memorial Drive

Houston, TX 77024

www.barnesandnoble.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1755063464713808/

 

DALLAS, TX

Wednesday, August 10th
HALF PRICE BOOKS

7:00 PM
5803 E. Northwest Hwy
Dallas, TX 75231
www.halfpricebooks.com

RSVP and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1714556692137769/

ARC Review – Broken Prince (The Royals #2) by Erin Watt

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These Royals will ruin you…

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

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Patricia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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For all the delicious wickedness, intensity and excitement that Paper Princess delivered, Broken Prince raised the bar to a whole new level. Betrayal and deceit continue to run rampant creating plenty of page turning drama to keep you hanging on every word.

The character development continued to blow my mind as new secrets and old wounds surfaced. The anticipation of not knowing what was coming next made for quite the angst filled read. There are characters I love, some I love even more, and a handful I hate with a passion.

Props to Ella on finally finding her backbone. Given her history of running from her problems, it was nice to see her stand up for herself. I knew she had it in her to kick some ass and I am excited for what is yet to come for her. She deserves to find peace and true happiness with all that she has endured in her young life.

I was angry with Reed going into the story after that jaw dropping ending in Paper Princess. No spoilers here but wait till you read what really went down!!! Beneath Reed’s tough exterior is a boy with a big heart and I was pleased to see more of the vulnerability he’s determined to hide.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing more from Gideon, Easton and the twins. They continue to intrigue me and I know there is so much more those Royals than meets the eye. While I have no idea what will happen in Twisted Palace, I assure you it won’t be enough to satisfy my curiosity about the Royal family.

I am not quite sure what to do with myself now. I am a bundle of nervous energy after that ending…WHOA! Watt has some big shoes to fill after this installment of the series and I can’t wait for the next book. I am definitely going to need a series re-read to give me my Royal fix in the meantime. I am proud to admit I have been Ruined!!!

Broken Prince is book two of a three book series by author Erin Watt, the brain child of authors Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick.

Overall Rating: 5+ Stars

* I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.

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You can contact them at their shared inbox: authorerinwatt@gmail.com

RELEASE DAY PROMO, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

We’re celebrating the release of THE HARD COUNT by Ginger Scott! Check out the excerpt and buy your copy today!

THE HARD COUNT

Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone

Scheduled to release: July 15, 2016

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Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.

 

West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.

 

I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family. 

Life on top. 

Lies. 

My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

 

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.

Quarterback.

Hero.

Heart.

Good.

I hated him before I needed him.

I fell for him fast.

I loved him when it was almost too late.

 

When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.

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“You’re mad at me,” he says, his fingers sliding to mine, his thumb covering the top of my knuckles while the rest of his hands hold my palms.

 

“I’m not mad at you, Nico. I was busy. I have things that don’t have anything to do with you,” I say, still fighting.

 

He chuckles.

 

“You’re still mad at me,” he says, and I glance up just enough to see his smile, all lopsided and perfect, the dimple that he gets when he’s right in its place. I hate him so much.

 

“Why would I be made at you,” I sigh, acting as best as I can while my mind races through all of the reasons I am mad at Nico Medina—not a single one of them really his fault.

 

I meet his challenge, staring back at him, forcing the stern expression to remain on my face, while he looks back at me with perfect lips curved up a hint on one side and unfair eyes that act as target sights. I’m caught in them, and they will not let go.

 

“You’re mad because of some homecoming dance,” he says, and I laugh once because…fuck!

 

“Admit it,” he smirks.

 

“Nico,” I begin, finding it hard to even say his name. “I could care less who you want to go to some stupid school dance with.”

 

“Couldn’t care less,” he says quickly. I tilt my head and pinch my brow. “You said you could care less, but really…you mean you couldn’t.”

 

I jerk my hands away and huff.

 

“Could you?” he says, his hands back in his pockets, his head tilted, angled so I can’t ignore it.

 

I push my tongue in my cheek and shake my head, glancing away, but always coming back to his gaze. His stupid, perfect, eyes and face that I want to put my hand on. The damned lock of his hair that falls forward when his head leans forward, his tongue caught in his teeth. His kissable lips that I felt in a dream and watched speak in class. His arrogance. His confidence.

 

“Gah!” I exhale, shaking my head and focusing on the bricked wall behind him. He stands there with one foot against the wall, his back leaning into it, so comfortable seeing me so uncomfortable.

 

“You make me so mad!” My eyes slide to his, and his lip ticks higher.

 

“I knew you were mad at me,” he nods.

 

I stretch my arms out wide, my eyes wider, and I stare up to the ceiling with another shake of my head.

 

“Fine!” I shout. “Yes, you got me. I’m mad at you! Can I go do class now, please?”

 

Nico snickers, and I cross my arms over my chest. He pushes forward from the wall, taking a few steps toward me. On instinct, I take one back, but not far enough from his reach. He reaches for my hand again, and I hug myself tighter, tucking my fingers under each arm for protection. I’m throwing a fit now, but I’m this far in, there really isn’t any way to undo it.

 

Nico holds my elbows when he’s unable to get to my hands, and realizing how ridiculous I would look spinning out of his hold, I give in and let him. His touch is gentle and warm, and I wish I could just get over myself and take his hands back in mine. But I’m scared. My bottom lip shakes with nerves. Nico’s eyes glance at it, so I pull it into my teeth. I want to hide every weakness from him, but eventually I’ll have to curl up inside myself. I have too many.

 

“Why are you mad at me, Reagan?”

 

He says my name, and the word falls from his lips soft and sweet. No judgment, no challenge. My lip falls loose from the hold of my teeth and my eyes flutter shut for a long blink. I open again to find him waiting, still looking at me.

 

“I don’t know,” I say, with a small shake of my head.

 

“But you are,” he says, and I nod with the same slight movement, sucking in my bottom lip and breathing through my nose.

 

“Yeah,” I say, my lip falling away and my eyes only able to look at his cheek.

 

I’m holding myself tighter than I ever have, my fingers actually digging into my sides, my nails rough against my skin through the fabric of my gray Cornwall sweatshirt. Nico doesn’t flinch once. His eyes stay on mine when I give in, and his expression doesn’t shift from the gentle, sweet one he’s held.

 

His right hand lets go of my elbow, moving to the few strands of hair resting against my forehead, falling over one eye. Nico takes them with his thumbs, moving them behind my ears, his eyes watching his movement then settling back on mine.

 

“You’ve worn your hair down ever since I said I liked it,” he says.

 

I breathe in long and deep, letting myself feel this moment—all of it. I have worn my hair down. I did it hoping he would touch it, but never once actually thinking he would.

 

“That’s how I knew,” he says, and my forehead crinkles. He smiles on one side, repeating the gesture and moving the long wave of blonde hair from my face again. “That’s how I knew I was more than just some guy you wanted on your dad’s football team.”

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A touching YA tale about embracing the unexpected, overcoming adversity and the magic of football to both divide and unite a family and community.

I was drawn to this story because I love football and I love reading stories about football. This August marks the beginning of my 17th year as a Texas High School football coach’s wife. So I have an understanding of the Hard Count, the life of a coach’s wife and raising a teenage daughter who only knows her dad as a coach. This book truly hit home for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Nico had me swooning and wishing for someone of his caliber to gallop into my daughter’s life. I could go on for days about this boy. He had a beautiful heart, was a hard worker and he was passionate about those he loved. What more could you want!!!

Reagan reminded me of my daughter. She was graced with title of fieldhouse rat from birth and being around sports is all she has ever known. She is quite the combination of sass and tenacity with a colossal competitive spirit. I would say those same things about my daughter. Heaven help the boy who actually has the balls to ask her out as my husband is quite intimidating.

Reagan and Nico were fun. I loved their banter and the tenacious way they faced off with one another.  It made watching them succumb to their feelings quite enjoyable.

There were quite a few side characters that added plenty of page turning drama to the story. Superiority complexes and entitlement were at the center of the controversy and I assure you that garbage absolutely happens. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, much to my dismay. It’s crazy how football has the power to tear down or build up a community. The tearing down was definitely heartbreaking and difficult to read at times. But it warmed my heart to see a community rally around the sport I love.

This was my first title from Ginger Scott and I am pleased to say it won’t be my last. The writing was great, the characters were well developed and the story kept me engaged. There were a couple of chapters that interrupted the flow of the story and retracted from my experience. Otherwise, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading Ginger’s other books.

Overall Rating 4.0 STARS

I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.

 

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

 

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

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RELEASE DAY PROMO & ARC REVIEW – The Sapphire Affair (Jewel #1) by Lauren Blakely

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Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hires him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.

Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.

Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.

But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…

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There is a reason Lauren Blakely is my number 2 most read author. She consistently delivers well written stories with likeable characters and swoon-worthy romance. The elements of scandal, suspense and steamy chemistry made The Sapphire Affair quite the entertaining read.

I hung on every word and my mind was constantly assessing the clues as the story unfolded.  There were some suspenseful moments that had my heart racing and my nerves zinging with anticipation. The sexual tension was off the charts and I found it comical and sometimes frustrating as Steph and Jake denied their attraction. I was equal parts fascinated with the clues as I was with the blooming romance.

I adored Jake! He most definitely lived up to my expectation set by his predecessors. Blakely boys are generally known for being charming, passionate, and possessive. But they are are also known for being sensitive, witty and extremely loyal. What more could you want in a swoon worthy book boyfriend!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment of the Jewel series and I am anxious to get my hands on book 2, The Sapphire Heist, which continues Steph and Jake’s adventures.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.

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Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor.

A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than forty times.

Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers.

 

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW – Wicked Heart (Starcrossed #3) by Leisa Rayven

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: May 17, 2016

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Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will create a scandal that echoes around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

*This is the third novel is the STARCROSSED Series BUT, it’s 100% standalone

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BRAVO!! This most certainly deserves a standing ovation. I was nervous going into this book because I was curious if Liam and Elissa’s story could live up to my love for the first two books in the series. I am beyond pleased to say YES IT DOES & THEN SOME! I am not normally a shouty capital and exclamation point kind of reviewer but those are highly deserved for that experience.

To say I loved the story is a huge understatement. Rayven once again brings her theatrical background to the story but magnified the drama with some big screen flare. There were paparazzi and a few undesirable characters determined to muck things up and I loved watching those scenes unravel. And let’s not forget the secrets and lies that kept me guessing as the story unfolded.

The connection between Elissa and Liam was intense and undeniable. Watching them fight the pull was frustrating but watching them succumb was nothing short of MAGICAL. If you enjoy  romance, angst and drama – Hollywood style, then this book is perfect for you and is best enjoyed after reading Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet. This is definitely a favorites for 2016 and I can’t wait for what comes next from Rayven. She is a MUST READ author for me.

Overall rating: 5 Stars

I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1)

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Broken Juliet (Starcrossed #2)

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LeisaWriting has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)

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ARC REVIEW – One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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ONE TRUE LOVES by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Atria/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776903 | June 7, 2016

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From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a PeopleMagazine pick and a “Best Book of the Summer” by Glamour andUSA TODAY—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

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PRE-ORDER LINKS – RELEASE JUNE 7th

Amazon USBarnes & Noble | Apple | Google | Kobo

Patricia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

ALP PatriciaReview Owl

I’ve been in a bit of a review rut of late so I am going to change it up a bit for this book. Let’s call this Ode to One True Loves – Patricia’s Profession of Love

I love the way Taylor Jenkins Reid made me experience the story concept as if it was the first time it’s ever been told. I hung on every word as if my life depended on knowing what would happen next. The anticipation of seeing how it would play out was intense and so fulfilling it in the end.

I love the way these characters struck a chord with me, each in their own way, and made me feel so passionately about them and their happiness. They were well-developed likeable characters that felt very real to me. They left their mark on my heart and I won’t forget Jesse, Sam or Emma.

I love the way my heart hung in the balance just as Emma’s did – teetering between the past and the present. She fiercely loved two very different men who brought two very different realities to her world. Emma’s journey to self-discovery was equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming.

I love the way my emotions were never really stable. I cried happy tears, sad tears and even just because tears. This is the gift of Taylor Jenkins Reid. She is a master at delivering stories brimming with emotion and ensures you feel every single thing.

I love the way this story made me to reflect on the two great loves I encountered in my life.

I took an incredible journey with this story and my heart is full of love and appreciation for every minute I shared with these characters. I hope you will take the journey for yourself and experience the writing excellence of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Overall Rating – 6 STARS

*I was provided a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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TJR-Author-Photo-cred-Elly-Schaefer

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an essayist and novelist living in Los Angeles and the acclaimed author of Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Before becoming a writer, she worked in entertainment and education.

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ARC REVIEW – Stay Until We Break (Hub City #2) by Mercy Brown

 SUWB

Title: Stay Until We Break

Author: Mercy Brown

Release Date: June 21, 2016

Publisher: Intermix a Berkley/NAL Imprint

ALP Synopsis1

Twenty-one-year-old Sonia Grant, a business major, has big plans for a career in the music industry. So when she’s offered the job of tour manager for her best friend’s band, she jumps at the chance for some real life experience. When her number one crush, bassist Cole McCormack, jumps her the first night on tour, she hopes she’s in for three weeks of some hot backstage action, too. But Cole turns out to have more up his sleeve than she or anyone realized.

Nobody knows that Cole is on the road to party like a rock star one last time before quitting his dream to take a more practical job and settle down. What he hadn’t planned was to fall in love with a girl he believes is out of his league. Will Cole play out the rock star fantasy he thinks Sonia wants from him, or tell her the truth and take the chance that she’ll either break his heart or make an even bigger dream come true?

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This book was on my short list of most anticipated releases for 2016. I became smitten with these characters in Brown’s debut book, Loud is How I Love You, and I was excited to be back in the world of SOFT with the gang. Though I am not normally drawn to rocker stories, Brown’s characters and writing style won me over in LiHILY and I was anxious to see how Sonia and Cole’s story would play out.

I liked Sonia and Cole and I enjoyed watching them succumb to their feelings. There was definite chemistry between them and that produced some sweet moments and some seriously HOT moments. The band shenanigans and road trip mischief added some comedic relief to the challenges they faced on the road and provided some entertaining laugh out loud moments.

I had high expectations going into this story and I was disappointed that it came up short for me. I wanted more of Sonia and Cole – more of their backstories, more of them falling in love and more of them together. I understand this is a rocker story but I struggled to remain engaged through the overwhelming details of band life. SUWB certainly conveyed Brown’s experience with and affinity for life in a band and though it was not a favorite for me, it was an enjoyable read.

Overall Rating: 3 STARS

*I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Mercy Brown is a retired indie rock front girl turned author and LOUD IS HOW I LOVE YOU is her first book. LOUD is a New Adult novel and will be published by Intermix (Berkley-Penguin) in January 2016. LOUD is based, very, very loosely on Mercy’s experiences fronting bands in the 90s. A follow-up will be published in June 2016.

Mercy is represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency.

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Spotlight Review – Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt

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ALP Synopsis1

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

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Patricia is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

 

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Paper Princess is a captivating tale of family ties, friendship and the mysterious space between set in the twisted and salacious kingdom of Royals.  This book consumed me and I was completely enthralled with these characters. The story was gloriously intense, full of mind boggling twists, drama to boot, EPIC revenge and a jaw dropping ending that is sure to leave you begging for more.

I went into this book because of the promise of some good YA drama. Rest assured, this story delivered that and then some. There were characters I loved and characters I loved to hate. There was plenty of head shaking and outbursts from me while reading and I enjoyed every wicked minute.

There is so much we have yet to learn about the Royals and I for one can’t wait for the next installment. I loved the ending – LOVED IT!! I don’t generally mind cliffhangers if it makes sense to the story. This one was HELLA good and I am most certainly counting down the days until book two, Broken Prince, which is due to release July 25. Paper Princess is book one of a three book series by debut author Erin Watt, the brain child of authors Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick.

Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars

* I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share one creative imagination. Their greatest love (after their families and pets, of course)? Coming up with fun–and sometimes crazy–ideas. Their greatest fear? Breaking up.

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Spotlight Review – Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

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SWEAR ON THIS LIFE by Renée Carlino

Atria Books Paperback | ISBN: 9781501105791 | 320 pages | August 9, 2016 | $15.00

eBook: Atria Books | 9781501105807 | 320 pages | August 9, 2016 | $7.99

ALP Synopsis1
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

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Sometimes you come across a book that just resonates with you. It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing that stood out because everything about the story enamored you. Swear on this Life is one of those books for me. It’s been nearly two weeks since I finished and I have yet to really move on from Jase and Emiline.

Renee set the bar pretty high for me with Before We Were Strangers and I am pleased to report this book is of similar caliber. Deep rooted emotion, rich character development and a heartbreakingly beautiful love story fill the pages of Swear on this Life. It was difficult to read at times because my heart ached for all these two encountered and endured. But I was renewed by their determination to rise above their circumstances.

It was quite the experience to see the two stories unfold in parallel. Traversing the separate but related storylines was relatively seamless and I applaud Renee on a job well done. If you enjoy love stories that are brimming with emotion and that will stay with you beyond the final page, I highly recommend Swear on this Life.

*I was provided a complimentary copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Renee Carlino pictureRenée Carlino is the author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, and Before We Were Strangers. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

 

 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ, EXCERPT & REVIEW – Julia by Ashley Pullo

Title: New Amsterdam: Julia (New Amsterdam #1)
Author: Ashley Pullo
Release Date: March 11, 2016
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Inspired by the captivating stories from Humans of New York, and the narrative structure of a television mini-series, Ashley Pullo lends her unique voice to a new series releasing this fall. Combining her unmistakable wit and distinct writing style, New Amsterdam will feature a trio of petite novels chronicling the lives of three women as they define love in NYC.
Julia Pierce is a popular wedding columnist for a highly-respected NYC newspaper. She creates modern fairy tales by penning editorials about wealthy couples with spectacular wedding venues. Julia is cautious and cynical, and appears to have horrible luck with romance, but finding true love is closer than she realizes.
When Theo returns with his beer, he sits down at the table and pushes his plate to the side, watching as Juliabites off the heads of the helpless cubs. “You know,” he says, lining up the five colors of bears in a single file, “there’s a lot of debate about the flavors of gummi bears.”
“They all taste the same.”
“You’re wrong, little grasshopper. The red, your bear of choice, is actually marinara sauce.” He pops the red raspberry gummi in his mouth and chews with his eyes closed. “Orange is a favorite among Cheetos lovers – which goes great with banana cream pie.” Theo eats the orange and lemon bear, keeping his smile at bay while he continues. “Now the colorless wonder of this guy,” he pinches the pineapple bear between his fingers, “is the biggest secret in the candy world. I’ve heard rumors ranging from LSD to old man jizz, but I know a guy, who knows a guy, who works at Haribo … and I can tell you, off the record, the clear bear is silicone.”
“You’re so full of shit, Theo Barnes.”
He holds up a hand. “Let me finish.” Taking the last remaining bear from the lineup, he mutters, “Poor, poor, unlovable green. What did the flavor green ever do to you?” Theo holds the bear between his thumb and index finger, and speaks directly to its disfigured face. “I know, fella. It sucks to be tossed back in the bowl. But I will eat you, green gummi!”
“So what’s the flavor of green, according to Theo?”
Lobbing it at his sexy mouth, he reveals, “Oh, it’s definitely strawberry.”

PATRICIA’S REVIEW

A brilliantly crafted story of friendship, love and the utopia where the two converge.

I was captivated by these characters and the witty banter that graced the pages of this charming story. Pullo does a fantastic job of producing characters you can’t help but love and engaging stories full of heart. But the exceptional way she depicts the setting adds a unique touch facilitating a full escape into the world of her stories.

I adored Julia and Theo. Their banter was fun and their chemistry was exciting but their respective stories were beautiful albeit heartbreaking. The selfless way they stepped up for a friend in need warmed my heart and solidified my love for them.

This story may be short in length but it’s rich in substance. This is the second installment in the New Amsterdam series and I am eagerly awaiting the third, Darby, Release Date TBA.

*I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Rating: 4 STARS

New Amsterdam: Tess (#1) | Released Oct 2015

Thessaly Sinclair owns an artisanal shop in the historic Seaport district of Lower Manhattan. She’s savvy and charming, and appears to have it all, but a romantic hang-up is holding her back from experiencing true love.

**From the Author**
New Amsterdam is dedicated to the Humans of New York

In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project – to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York (St. Martin’s, 2015).

Patricia’s Review HERE

New Amsterdam: Darby (#3) | Release date TBA
Inspired by the captivating stories from Humans of New York, and the narrative structure of a television mini-series, Ashley Pullo lends her unique voice to a new series releasing this fall. Combining her unmistakable wit and distinct writing style, New Amsterdam will feature a trio of petite novels chronicling the lives of three women as they define love in NYC.
Darby Wallace is an anthropologist reporting human interest stories for a trendy online magazine. She watches people, studies their habits, and then gives them an interesting narrative – but her own life is a spiraling disaster of bad decisions. Selfish and careless, Darby must seek the help of a mysterious stranger in order to understand the power of human connection.
**Residing in New York with her husband and two children, Ashley Pullo is an author, an entertainment blogger, and an advocate for cultural literacy.**
Hey y’all!
NYC is an amazing place to find inspiration – the random and the ordinary that make up reality. My writing showcases inspired ideas, as well as my love for dichotomy, authenticity, pop-culture, and humor.
Dreams need chasers.