Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young | Cover Reveal

the breakup support group by cheyanne young cover reveal
The Breakup Support Group
Cheyanne Young

Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

After four years of first love bliss, Isla Rush just got dumped.
Any hope she has of winning her ex-boyfriend  back 
is    shattered    when  the   town   rezones      her 
neighborhood, forcing her to spend senior  year  at
a wealthy high school in the next town over.
With a broken heart consuming her soul, Isla can’t focus on anything, except maybe Emory Underwood—a ridiculously hot guy who dates a new girl almost every day. She can’t help but crush on him, even though it’s wrong.
When memories of her ex make her cry in second period, the school counselor sends Isla to a club that meets during lunch. The Break-Up Support Group is a collection of broken-hearted misfits who are all helping each other heal.
Just when Isla’s heart is finally on the mend, Emory shows up, forced to atone for all the broken hearts he’s caused over the years. While hiding her massive crush, she helps him understand the seriousness of breaking a heart.
In turn, Emory offers to help Isla get back on the dating scene by agreeing to be her fake date for the homecoming dance. Isla gladly accepts the ruse, because if anyone can make her into a desirable girlfriend, Emory can! There’s just one small problem.
Isla’s little crush on Emory might be exactly full blown. And a homecoming fake date with him could push her over the edge to possibly uttering the “L Word!”
Isla can’t afford another heartbreak so soon after the last one. She will have to resist his charms, refuse to look into those dreamy eyes, and above all else, not make the mistake of letting him kiss her.
If only she hadn’t let her guard down at the end of the night, under the light of her porch in a toe-curling kiss moment of weakness. And now, after months of Break-Up Support Group therapy, and with a heart fully on the mend, Isla has just handed it over to a guy who knows full well just how to break it.

Author Bio:
Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults and is the author of the City of Legends Trilogy. She doesn’t miss a cubicle one bit.
Cheyanne lives near the beach with her daughter and husband, 
one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely  plotting 
to take over the world.
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Thank you Xpresso book tours for hosting this cover reveal.

The Bulletproof Boy by Loretta Lost | Cover Reveal

the bulletproof boy by loretta lost cove reveal
The Bulletproof Boy
Loretta Lost

(Sophie Shields, #2)

Publication date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance

At twenty-seven, Sophie Shields is given the opportunity to meet her biological family for the first time. But with one ex-foster father murdered, and Benjamin Powell stalking her, she is hesitant to build more family connections. Sophie considers hiding out in a remote desert location with the person she loves most, just until the danger passes; but an innocent woman has been killed in L.A. by the same monster who shot her brother. She feels compelled to help Detective Rodriguez and bring justice to Cole.

Meanwhile,    in    Washington    D.C., Sophie’s  job  
at  the  CIA  waits  for  her,  and her   ex-boyfriend  
Zack   is   begging  her   to  return  home.  For  the   
first  time, Sophie  is   feeling    torn   between  her 
separate lives  and  identities.  But when  Benjamin  
starts  becoming  more  aggressive in his  attempts
to  find her,  no identity  or  location might  be  safe
any longer…


All  Cole ever  wanted   was   to be a  successful architect, with  Sophie at  his side.   But   life  always 
seems to get in the  way of their  happiness,  and he has been patient for over a decade.  Now,  after a 
recent brush with  death,  Cole is  done waiting. He  will  go   to great  lengths  to  show    Sophie  that 
nothing else matters but their future, and he will not allow her to run away again…

Sequel to:

Author Bio:
Loretta Lost is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories where very bad things happen to good people. Mystery, tragedy, and danger complicate her unique romances between characters who will do anything to protect each other.
In the two days of summer that she  gets  in  Canada, she grows a  garden 
of  the  hottest   peppers   in  the world. She   loves   using  these  peppers
to torture her guests and challenge their manhood.This could  be  why  she
isn't married.

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Thank you again Xpresso book tours for hosting this cover reveal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Persephone ( Daughters of Zeus #1) by Kaitlin Bevis | Audio Book | A Book Review

Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis Audio Book Book Review

I can't remember how I have gotten an audio book of Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis. Maybe I won this in a giveaway. I remember last September, there were about twenty authors who were giving away audio books daily for a few days. Anyway, thank you Kaitlin Bevis.

This is the second audio book I have on Audible and the first one I finished. I am really new to audio books and the first time I tried to listen to it was really confusing and disorienting. I was told by one of the authors, who gave me one of the the audio books, that I will eventually get used to listening to it. And I did. I find this very useful during long commutes and hours of travel. I don't like reading in a moving vehicle because I get headaches trying to follow the lines of the book, so listening to one would be really good. Also, I would like to keep my good eyesight. I don't want to have to wear eyeglasses to be able to see clearly.

At first, it felt like the author who was also the one narrating was talking very fast. About three or four chapters later, either I got used to her pace or she had slowed down. I was already enjoying myself. The voice changes for each character was what I was always waiting to hear. It was such a novelty to me. The narrator/author made sure that there was a difference in the voices when each character is speaking. I was really impressed. Book reading is truly an art in its own. Fantastic job on the reading!

The story. It's a retelling of Persephone and Hades' love story. Yes, as obvious as the title is. I have read the original myth of Persephone and I think this story is a really good spin from the first version. I really enjoyed listening to this and I can't wait for the next book. I love mythology and a sucker for re-telling. I feel fortunate to have this book though how it came into my Audible inbox is still a bit of a wonder, nevertheless I am so grateful it ended there.

I love how Hades is portrayed in here. Usually he is portrayed as the bad guy and this was such a good and welcome change. I like this version of Hades. I think this is the best version of him so far in all the re-telling I have read. I am really for Poseidon, if I were to choose from the three Olympian brothers. But this Hades is really someone you can fall in love with. I think it was really brilliant to make him into a smart and good guy in this book. I think this book might start a Hades fan club. I would gladly sign up for it. 

Persephone was also portrayed as a strong and stubborn girl. I can't help but like her and also relate to her. I think all teenagers are all headstrong and this version of Persephone just about had the enough amount of stubbornness that will endear her to everyone. She's smart and is not delusional as to the things she can or not do. I really enjoyed her character and I don't think there was ever a time or a part in the story where I thought that she should have done better. I like how she rolls. I like how she thinks and I think she was pretty mature for her age.

I was really eating up the story. Like a bird, I was picking pomegranate seeds right from the authors palm, so to speak. I was hooked from the beginning to finish. There were no parts of the story where I was lulled to sleep. I was awake the whole time though my body was telling me to go to bed since it was around 1 AM but I wanted to finish the story. And because I finished the story in five hours non-stop, Audible gave me a Mount Everest badge. It says I finish a title that is longer that 50 hours. Yey! Right, I think listening to an audio book felt longer than just reading it. But the five hours didn't feel like 50 because I was having a grand time in the underworld. It wasn't as dismal as it is famously made out to be.

I give the book 5/5 pomegranate fruits. The story is a refreshing take on Hades' character which to my opinion has never been done before or if there was one I have never heard of it. I could easily fall into the shoes of Persephone. It was I how felt the whole time listening to it. It was like I was Persephone and no longer a third party to the conversation. That was how the story sucked me in. I didn't mind anyway since I was having the time of my life. The underworld didn't seem that hideous, scary or miserable at all. I was devouring the story right to its last juice drop. I actually looked forward to reading more audio books since I really had a wonderful experience with this one. I am so looking forward to get a fill out of the second book of the Daughters of Zeus series. Whose story could it be next? I am so stoked for it.

Since this is my first time to actually spend time on an audio book, I did not know how to take note of quotable lines or passages in the story. Now, I realize there is also a bookmark feature in Audible which can play back the part you really like. I guess, I'll have to use that one on the next audio book reading.

Quarterback (Alpha Billionaire Bad Boy Romance #1) by Jess Winters | ARC | A Book Review

Quarterback (Alpha Billionaire Bad Boy Romance #1) by Jess Winters Book Review

I got a DM from the author on Instagram asking if I wanted to read and review her book. Whenever I get messages like this, I feel both excited and honored. Excited because I am offered to read a new book. In most cases it has not been published yet and the word ARC is just music to my ears. And even if the book has been published, I would still not pass on the opportunity to read it, especially if I would be getting it free. Honored, because I am really just a an infant in the blogging world. I started my travel and book blog January of this year and so far, I have around 2,100+ views on my book blog. I am not going to over analyze what that number means but I am just glad that I have time to finally be able to blog. It has been in my mind since forever and finally, even though my personal circumstances are not ideal, it has been a blessing to be able to do this. So, being fairly new in this arena, I am just thrilled to have some authors or publishers approach me and ask to review a book. If you are a fan-girl, hands up! I usually say yes, though I have said no to one only because I had been reading a lot of the same genre and I wanted to take a rest for a while. I wanted to read something else different. Thank you again Jess Winters for the opportunity to read your work.

Quarterback is a steamy adult romance about a quarterback and the daughter of the coach. Yes, totally against the rules. That fairly sums up the book. It was really really short. Around 50 pages. I wanted it to be longer. I wanted it to explore more some of the aspects of the plot. The plot is very promising. I don't think I have read anything similar. I wanted to see how the plot could be span into something more that would make my eyes bulge with wonder.

I give the book two footballs. I wanted it to be longer. It felt like I was just reading an excerpt. It was too short. I think a hundred pages shorter than most books. I think it was shorter than a novella. It was disappointing because I think the plot contains a lot of promise. It should have been explored and more characters were introduced into the story. The relationship between the two main characters should have been expounded. Details on how they met, how they started out and how their relationship evolved. The ending also was very vague. It somehow hinted that there might be a next book and it could also be taken that it was just it. But since this was intended to be a series, there is surely a next book. The ending was good but it would have been better if there was a hint of suspense at the end. Something that would want the readers to beg to get the next book out as soon as possible. There should have been a very tiny teaser of what might be waiting for the readers on the next book. I just felt that aspect was lacking too.

I am really sorry but I did not enjoy the book. I don't hate it. It took a while for me to come up with this review because I don't know how I should write this, knowing how I felt about it. I can't emphasize enough that the plot was intriguing but it was not enough. I strongly felt that there should have been more. Yes, the operative word here is mooooore. The pages should make the readers glued at the same time can't wait to get to the end. Hopefully, book two will be better that this one. 

Release Date: October 12, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Operation Earth (Project Ark #2) by L. T. Gibbons | A Book Review

I won this paperback copy as a giveaway through Goodreads. Thank you again L. T. Gibbons. 

Operation Earth (Project Ark #2) by L. T. Gibbons Book Review

This is book two of Project Ark. Operation Earth is about the preparation of both humans and Usonians to go to earth to convince the people to implement some changes to save the planet. On the other hand, some of the best people in their fields like arts, architecture, etc. are sent to Usonia to help in the development of the planet and to prepare it for the next wave of Earthling migrations.

Though this book is already the second in the series, it can still be read alone. I was glad that even if I didn't read the first book, I was still able to understand the story. The flow of the story was a bit slow for me. Probably, because for almost the entire book, it dealt with life in Usonia and then how the ambassadors to Earth were faring in their mission to promote and encourage change. Nothing much happened. Nothing very note-worthy. I am not saying that I was bored with the story. It was just that it was a too easy read. Things were just peachy. I was telling myself the there is definitely something big that is going to happen and I was eagerly anticipating for it. The whole story could not be just all warm and cozy. The worst thing our main characters had to deal with so far were just common teenage problems. I was thinking the whole time, there should be something more. And there it was. I almost wanted to give up on the idea that something big is coming because I thought I was made to wait already too long. Good thing, it still made it to the last chapter. Thankfully. Relieved. The big explosion that I had been waiting for finally came. Finally, the author delivered! I was a happy camper after that. I slept without having disappointed.

I enjoyed the story even though the whole time I was waiting for that surge of adrenaline to happen. And I was made to wait quite a while. I was glad that aliens are pictured as similar to humans except they were just physically superior with clearer skin, taller and really good looking. I was glad that they did not have horns or made out to be reptilian or anything else. Usonia could be akin to Utopia where everything is good and everyone gets along. A planet where its inhabitants subsist on organic produce. This book is definitely telling us to go back to the basics - to plant our own vegetables, raise our chickens and livestock so we can have fresh food everyday. It's telling us to start doing our share in saving our planet. To reduce our carbon footprints, reuse and recycle to minimize the harmful effects we are causing to the environment. I also appreciate that this is a YA book so the young people would be made more aware of state of our planet.

I give this book 3/5 stars. I think the book was too short. I would definitely want to read the first book and the next one. This was a very relaxing read but always be prepared for surprises that might be waiting at the end.

You Earthlings and your inhibitions. You're only inhibited because your society demands it. A society intent on suffocating free will, independent thought and individual behavior. It's sad that people here need alcohol to let go and just be themselves, without worrying what everyone else thinks.
- L. T. Gibbons, Operation Earth - 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In the Hands of the Unknown (The Field Researchers #1) by A. E. Hellstorm | A Book Review

In the Hands of the Unknown by A. E. Hellstorm Book Review

I chanced upon the author's Facebook page and she was asking if anyone wants to review this book. I can't remember if I have read the blurb but I think it was H.P. Lovecraft that made my decision. I am familiar with the name. I am sure since he is so popular, some of you have heard of him too. But unfortunately, I have not read any of his books. And this book was based on the world created by that famous author. So, I was curious. And since it's October, the traffic on the the entire social media was all about Halloween. I was thinking this was a good scary book to read. I have not read a lot of horror novels. There is only one that is on top of my head - The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. So, as evidenced by this post, I got a copy of the book. Thank you again A. E. Hellstorm.

In the Hands of the Unknown  is about  a FBI team called Field Researchers. Any case that is out of the ordinary and leaning towards the bizarre is assigned to this team. There are three members of the team. One is our main character - Miriam Goldblum. So, there was one of these cases. It was a girl who died after coming home from camping. And the facts surrounding the cause of death were very disturbing. The team will soon find out that this case is far more complicated and sinister than any they have ever worked on. Will our three friends be able to get to the bottom of this?

It was late in the night when I started reading this. The lights were out and the rest of the house was asleep. I prefer to read at night because by then I would have finished my chores and I won't have to worry about anything interfering with my reading. So, a few chapters in to the story, I was starting to feel cold and thought I should not be reading this in the dark. Well, the air conditioning unit is on, so that would explain the cold. And as I said, every one else was sleeping so lights were out. I was reading an e-book, so the lights were not an issue. I just realized that the atmosphere was all set for the story and my imagination started running to where it shouldn't. I started looking around the room and tried listening for unfamiliar sounds. Yes, the first few chapters had me feeling a little creepy but I could not put the book down. I was thinking, "this is just a story. Horror movies are far scarier than this because of all the sound and effects. I am just reading. The only sound I would be hearing would just be my breathing and that should not scare me". I was trying to reassure myself by giving my self a pep talk.

In short, I did not finish the book. I had to sleep too.(Sounds like an excuse?) The next day, after lunch, with the sun so bright by our terrace, I picked up where I left off. And to my dismay, it was not as exciting as the last time I was reading it. Not because the story was not interesting anymore but because it was warm and sunny. I had to admit, the dark and coldness of the night added to the thrill. It felt like I was really there with the FR team and examining the dead bodies. Like how it is when the hair on your neck stands on its end and you have goosebumps all over your arms.

I was still glued to the book, even though there was a noticeable difference in the ambiance. Like some character in a horror movie who was not supposed to open the door or follow the sound, but can't help but do it anyway. That was how it was for me. I had to finish the story fast. I wanted to get to the end as soon as possible. Same with the characters in the story, I had to find out too what or who was the source of all these strange incidents. 

This is probably, one of the best horror stories I have read. In the end, it wasn't that scary after all. My imagination got the best of me. I finished it with the sun in all its glory but it did not dampen my enthusiasm to still enjoy it. In the end, this felt like a mystery/suspense and less like horror but I still had a great time. But the first few chapters were really creepy (shivers). I would love to read more of the next assignments of the FR (Field Researchers) team.  I felt like an honorary member already having to go through this with them. I think I can handle the next one, even with the lights out the whole time.

I give this 5/5 Faberge eggs. You will have to read the book to know about the Faberge  eggs. I  am keeping  my mouth  shut. No, I  am not giving any clues. Trust me, it will be a  very exciting and a creepy experience. You don't want to miss it.

I did not find any quotable lines in the book but I have one really good trivia about chai tea. And for all those tea lovers out there like me, here it is:

Chai's not the exact word for what were drinking (tea). It's Masala Chai, which means "mixed-spiced tea" in Hindi. Masala Chai,was originally used in India as herbal medicine and the earliest mention of this particular kind of tea is from Ayurvedic medical texts. Mostly to improve digestion and clear up mucus. The Ayurvedic traditions has a lot to do with the body and mind connections.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho book review

A very close friend from Manila visited me here in Cebu and brought this book to read while waiting for her flight. Truth be told, this book did serve its purpose. Her flight to Cebu was delayed for more than 8 hours. She had finished the whole book and her plane has not yet arrived. And to think, my friend is not exactly a book nerd. She reads on occasions and this is one of those times. The end of the story is, she gave the book to me since she was done reading it. Thank you again Prizy for the gift. This is an addition to my growing Paulo Coelho book collection.

Manuscript Found in Accra are papyruses written in three languages - Hebrew, Arabic and Latin, found by Sir Walter Wilkinson in 1974. Their origin was traced back to the city of Accra, outside the Egyptian territory. The author met Sir Walter's son in Wales when he was promoting one of his books and mentioned about the manuscript. Then in November 2011, the author received a copy of the text mentioned in that meeting. The book is a transcription made by author of the said manuscript.

It is a superb source of wisdom for the troubles and fears that beseech us. I, for one found this very useful. It simplifies the complexities of some of the concerns and issues that plague us in our daily lives. It is wisdom of ages that will never become obsolete and will continue to enlighten human existence, even in the years to come. 

Paulo Coelho as always, never fails to impart wisdom in its truest essence. Wisdom in its rawest form, without any taint of prejudice or malice. He is like a light for those that needed enlightenment. I have always found his books very moving and introspective. They make me examine my life in a different angle and shed some explanation on the doubts that festers within. Manuscript Found in Accra is a simplified self-help book. It is like a manual for day to day living. It screams how to live your life better. It openly tells you to just read it every time you are in doubt, in fear, restless, and caught up in all other human emotions that often stop us in our tracks. If you experience any of these emotions, just go to that chapter where it breaks it down to an atom which makes it less of a burden. It becomes more of a thing to be understood, overcome, and mastered; instead of an ax that's hanging over our heads.  This book seems to make things clearer and a little less daunting. It tells you that life is not that all bleak. The dark clouds will soon clear and that there is always hope. Although sometimes, hope is not that always obvious and visible.

I give this four stars. Though in truth, I need not rate this book. I think this is one of those books that is exempt from any rating. There is no measure as to how this book will help or affect the person who reads it. It gives light. Four stars because I wanted it to be like the other books he has written. I wanted it to be a one cohesive story but this one does not come in that form all throughout the book, though I appreciate the background story he laid out about the manuscript and how each nugget is imparted. I don't know if I am making sense but I just felt there was something missing in its form but the substance is not lacking. I know, substance over form. I just want to say there is just this feeling that there should have been more. I just can't put my finger on it.

There is nothing wrong with anxiety. 
...we will have to learn to live with it - just as we have learned to live with the storms.
For those who cannot learn to do so, life will be a nightmare. 
- Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra - 

This Book is Random by E. Gerald Buffington | A Book Review

This Book is Random by E. Gerald Buffington Book Review

I won this book as a giveaway from the author for YASH Fall 2016. Young Adult Scavenger Hunt. Thank you again E. Gerald Buffington.

The book is a collection of random day-to-day funny experiences and smart observations by the author. Yes, exactly what the title says - random. There are no chapters. Just a hodgepodge of thoughts and ideas. Whatever tickles the fancy of the author while he is trying to face daily life. You will find here really smart musings that will make you think - "Yeah, that's what I thought too" or "I was asking the same thing". These are thoughts just about anything and they are all over the place, literally and figuratively. This is probably the only book in history that did not need editing. The author has unabashedly spoken what some us dared not ask for fear the question or observation might be too silly. The author channeled out his curious inner child. Just mundane stories that the author had written and spoken out loud which seemed to have taken a life of their own. They have become immortalized and you can't help but think and wonder about them too. There is no taking them back. They are out there for the whole world to ponder.

I enjoyed reading this book. A lot of smiles, nods of agreement, laughter at the hilariousness of the situation and sometimes a raised eyebrow because I did not get the joke. Must be the culture difference. Probably, it was too-Canadian. And some of these jokes that I did not get are still haunting me to this day. I need to understand and get them. Maybe, not today but in the next time I read them. 

I give the book three stars. Just a random rating for a random book. I just like three. Don't ask. This is a light read. When you feel like you have too much on your mind, this is a good book to sort-of clear the cobwebs and just not think at all. Don't expect a "Eureka moment" here.Though, you will still want to use your wits to get some of the punchline but it is not required. What you would you know? This is just random. 

I wished there should have been more random thoughts in the book. I think the author have forgotten some. Maybe he can do a second volume?

Here is a random sample:
I was doing research the other day...
 Let me rephrase.
 I saw it on Facebook! 

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Stormy Kisses by Various Authors | A Book Review

This is a collection of six short stories by different authors. As the title suggests, a common factor in the stories is rain and storm. Before the start of each story is a brief summary.

Here are the list of the stories, their authors and some quotes. Be prepared to fall in love, over and over and over again. 

Love Right by Rebecca Rode
...there are hundreds of Ones for us, men who bring out the best in us, who complement different parts of our personalities - who bring strengths to our weaknesses. Men who can literally complete us in an infinite number of ways, And sometimes you're lucky enough to find one who transcends the ratings altogether.
Waves of Deceit  by Donna K. Weaver

You can't fight indifference, but hate you can turn around.

Secrets in the Storm by Cindy M. Hogan
She was just a bad experience I had to have on my way to finding you.

Back to You by Jo Noelle
I've never thought of water as being a destructive force. It's so fluid, life giving, peaceful. 
...I'll never forget its power, like a brick wall moving through this little canyon, destroying. All from little drops of water. I'm enthralled by the incredible power before us. 
Twisters and Textbooks
It hadn't felt like closure - it had felt like ripping bandages off wounds that were still as raw as the day she created them
Zoey's Place by Rael Branton 
Though I was healed, there were still ghosts in my past. There would always be, and they would color my future. They wouldn't control me or my choices, or decide my happiness, but sometimes the wounds of my past still hurt almost more than I could bear.

Sweet & Sassy Anthology: Stormy Kisses by Various Authors Book Review

These were really great stories. I like them all. Each has a unique story line and I wished they were longer. I can't decide which one was my favorite. I enjoyed them all so much. They were sweet but not sappy.  All the women in the stories embodied strength of character. They were not hapless maidens waiting for knights in a shining armor to save the day. Though, the men were there nevertheless to make sure our heroines were safe and gave them more strength when doubts started to set in. I like that the stories spotlighted empowered women. Women who are really good, if not excel in their careers.

The stories were all well-crafted and the authors really spent time trying to come up with a really great plot. It was a delight to be reading these stories and I can't help but feel the tension and danger the characters had to go through. I was transported to the various scenes in the stories. It brought back happy memories like the first time I tried to zip line over a forest. And I wish that one day  I could ski in the slopes of Colorado. All these stories brought back similar experiences that made me relate to the characters and the circumstances they were in.

I give it 4/5 dark rain clouds. This is an excellent collection. The stories were really inspiring. They make me want to fall in love over and over again. I would love to read them all in full version.

Thank you This is in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mixing Business With Pleasure (Books 1 and 2) by Ace Gray

Strictly Business by Ace Gray book review

Strictly Business (Book 1)

I decided to read this book because I got an ARC of the third book - Family Business, which is to be released on October 21, 2016. I wanted to know the whole story before I got on to the third installment. At least, I know what to expect.

Kate Elliot is the founder and CEO of Vesper. It a high-end active clothing line. She is in control of her life and business. Not until she met Nicholas Bryant, the CEO of Bryant Ventures. These two are competitors but they are drawn to each other like magnets. Will Kate be strong enough to avoid Bryant? She has to or her heart or her business will surely crumble.

Yes, this comes with the warning - contains mature content. It is recommended that this should be read somewhere less crowded. We don't want the oldies frowning or raising their eyebrows on you when they see the cover. Yes, a lot of steamy sex. I was actually raising my eyebrows when I read the first time Kate and Nicholas meet. I was - seriously? I didn't think the story or the book was off to a good start.

And more hot scenes coming up. Yes, most part of the book were like that. I was disappointed. I was expecting some story but I think it came late. It did not come out until almost the last few chapters. I think the author was letting her readers enjoy the steamy sex so they will all be surprised when she doles up the real meat of the story. It happened to me too, the surprise. Okay, I admit, very slightly enjoying the steamy sex. I guess it was too much in one story. Anyway, I wish there was a lot more going on than just a lot of sex. The good part did not come until I almost thought that this was a waste of time. I mean I've read Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, all three. And this one seems to be giving out the same flavor. I was looking for something different. Fortunately, the author had it, except that I think she made the readers wait far too long. 

I give the book three handcuffs. I would have written off this book if not for the amazing save at the last part. I agree, it was nicely done which makes me want to read the next book. Hmmmm... Maybe, that was the plan all along? Get them bored to their wits and then wake them up with a sting. Yeah, I get it.

Bad for Business by Ace Gray book review

Bad for Business (Book 2)

The story picked up exactly where Strictly Business ended. Right on the dot. 

This book is gratefully a lot better than the first book. I know, Miss Gray was holding out on us. Still a lot of steamy sex but there was more emphasis on the plot. I think this was a great improvement from the first one. And Miss Gray started on giving out her surprises which are totally unexpected. This book made me start to like the story but I was still wary to be fully taken in. It still has a slight likeness to Fifty Shades of Grey. You know, a hot and handsome CEO who likes to have sex a lot. Good thing the likeness  ended there. I think this book had a lot going on unrelated to sex which is what I wanted. I am not really into this genre so I had high expectations. I wanted it to be something I have not read before and would grip me without the help of those hot scenes. And this book did it. So, this book set the mood for the third book - which is anticipation. A desire for more surprising events that would be more memorable than those that happened in bed.

I give Bad for Business three and a half handcuffs. And by now, I should have known that Ace Gray has a habit of making you want for more. But I was still surprised when she did it again on the last part. It wasn't unexpected but still I was not ready for it.

You do know me. Because I begin and end with you. 
- Ace Gray, Bad for Business (Mixing Business with Pleasure #2) -

Family Business (Mixing Business With Pleasure Book 3)

Double Take (The Serial Killer Unit #1) by Allie Redman | ARC | A Book Review

Double Take by Allie Redman Book Review

I saw  the author's post in Twitter asking if anyone wanted to read and review her book. I replied to her tweet and wa-la! I got an ARC. Thank you Allie Redman.

This is the first of The Serial Killer Unit series. FBI Agent Dawson Freeman was forced to return to his hometown to solve a double murder. This murder has the same MO as the double murder that happened ten years ago. It seems that the killer is connected to him and only Dawson can solve the case. Going back to his hometown reminds him of the tragedy that befell his family and revisit old wounds that were never healed. Will Dawson find the killer before he gets to him first?

This is a fast-paced chase. This was like my favorite TV series Criminal Minds only I am reading it instead of watching. The events were rapid-fire. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I heard myself exhale deeply. It felt like I was also physically drained following through all the things Dawson had to do in order to catch up with the killer. It seemed like Dawson will always be many steps behind him. And the whole time I was thinking that surely, the killer would be in one of his circle. Thank God, he wasn't. And I never in any way could figure out who the killer was. Like the Dawson and the rest of his friends, there was absolutely no clear clue as to the identity of the killer. The clues given were pretty generic. No wonder Dawson was having a hard time figuring it out. Just like in the TV series, the one thing the lead to the identity of the unsub (Unknown Subject, FBI term for suspect used in Criminal Minds) was the time difference between the first murder and the next one. I thought that was really a very useful clue. But that alone would not have pointed out the killer. Thanks to all the very helpful friends of Dawson who joined to crack the case. I love that his friends have all very interesting personalities that add more color to the story. 

One other thing that I love about the book is the adding of the kid characters. They were so cute and smart. They at least lighten the seriousness of the story. Children really give off light and that was what exactly portrayed here. 

There were also life quotes featured from other authors like Lao Tzu and Paulo Coelho. It was my first time to hear this quote and is my favorite. I think it's going to be my strength-infusing mantra in times when my confidence and courage falters. It somehow successfully described my life in one sentence. I feel teary-eyed just reading this line.
I am full of wounds and still standing on my feet.
  - Nikos Kazantzakis - 

I was absolutely high on this story even though it felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I am a big fan of mystery, suspense and thriller stories. It's been a while since the last one I read. The only thing I did not like about it were the cheesy love declarations and promises between Dawson and Sam. I think they were overdone. I mean, I get it. They love each other and would do anything to stay together in spite of danger and death lurking near but it was way too much. I understand that they should have been together  like more than ten years ago but they were just too mushy.This was a mystery story, right? 

I give the book four knives. I would love to read the succeeding books in the series.

...still carrying around everyone's burdens on your own. You're the master of your own hell.
- Allie Redman, Double Take -

Release Date: October 21, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Family Business (Mixing Business With Pleasure #3) by Ace Gray | ARC | A Book Review

Family Business by Ace Gray Book Review

I saw the author's post on Instagram asking for anyone who wants to do a review of the book. I sent her a DM and I was emailed an ARC. Thank you again Ace K. Gray.

This is the third installment of the Mixing Business With Pleasure Series. I have not read any of Ace Gray's books so before I read this one I started on the first two books - Strictly Business and Bad for Business. I have a separate post on books one and two. I had them in one post. The link is on the bottom.

Mixing Business With Pleasure is about two successful business CEO's in New York who are physically, emotionally and sexually drawn to each other. Kate Elliot and Nicholas Bryant are just what each other needs but their relationship has never been easy. In this third book, the ghosts of Nick's past are now crawling back into his life and want a piece of it. Will they or their relationship survive?

This time, the book has lesser sex scenes in it but the intensity has not toned down. Yes, this is more intense than the previous two books, both in the story line and sex scenes. Fortunately, the events are more demanding and fast-paced. A lot of things were happening that kept me glued to it. More surprises , explosions and unexpected turns. If not for the hot scenes, this book would have definitely been a one-of-a-kind pure suspense ride. I admit, I honestly enjoyed this and I think this is the best of the three. And to top it all, there is a cliffhanger at the end. I am sure, this is not the last will hear of Kate and Nicholas. I can't wait.

I did not think that I would actually enjoy this book. The title alone, seems very steamy as it is. I am not really into that genre though once in a while I chance upon them. Yes, I have read Fifty Shades of Grey and this book seems to be on that same plane though this is not really a BDSM. I think that is what I least like about the book which is really minor. It has a similar tone as Fifty Shades of Grey though I think this one, the female protagonist is really bad ass and is way better. A stronger character, feisty and more spunk. Absolutely not the tamed or sweet kitty type. Kate always surprises me with each facet of her character that she reveals. I am just as surprised as Nicholas. Also, I think the writing is better in this book. So why did I sign up for this book?  I signed up to read this one because it got me at ARC. Yes, I feel like a kid on Christmas every time I see the word ARC. As long as it says ARC, I would like to get my hands on it. I would not mind the genre. And I would love to be surprised and proven wrong. This book did good on both counts. I am glad. It's true, some books just find you.

I give it four and a half handcuffs. If you happen to read the series, from the first book to the third, you would notice the development of the story and the writing. As the story progressed, your attention is also demanded more. If you read the first book and thought it wasn't that engaging, that was what I felt too. But good things come to those who wait. And the author has made good on that promise. Even better on this third installment. I think it will be far greater on the next one. Congratulations Miss Gray! Definitely worth my time. Thank you.

Can I say now move over Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey? Here comes Kate Elliot and Nicholas Bryant. 

Release Date: October 21, 2016

Mixing Business With Pleasure Books 1 and 2(Strictly Business and  Bad for Business)

When It Holds You (It Series #3) by Nicki Elson | ARC | A Book Review

When It Holds You (It Series #3) by Nicki Elson Book Review

This is the third installment of the It Series. I have not read the first and second books. I usually read the previous books in a series so I would at least know what to expect. For this one, I skipped it because I have overdone myself and had received a lot of free books that I need to review. Good thing this is a stand alone. I will probably just go back to those two books when I have the time.

When It Holds You is the story of Ciff Walsh. He is a lawyer by profession and an avid online gamer by night. He is in love with his best friend Trish but she's in love with someone else. So, Cliff decided, maybe it's high time for him to let go and move on which is easier said than done. On the virtual world, Cliff met a fellow online gamer named PlanetClaire and developed a friendship with her. Then, PlanetClaire had a very unusual proposition which was very tempting. Cliff's curiosity got the better of him. He agreed. And the rest will definitely shock you, just like Cliff and Claire.

I felt sorry for Cliff. He was too caught up in his wish for the girl to finally fall in love with him that he somehow forgotten that there are other fishes in the pond. Good thing he realized it before he eventually made a grand fool of himself. I like that he finally acknowledged the signs and honestly came out with his feelings to his best friend. I think that was a very bold move and I commend him, even if he got his heart broken but at least the torture has ended. I would way, Cliff is the epitome of nice guys finish last.

I think I hate Trish. I am sure, anyone with half a brain would notice what she was doing to Cliff. Not that she's dumb but her actions were totally not the best. I totally understand why Cliff would misinterpret them. 

I think the story started slow. Pretty much just Cliff moaning about his unrequited love for his best friend. Though, this is sort of a breath of fresh air since I have not read a lot of books with guys so hung up on someone, except on mystery and crime books where the guy kills the girl. Don't worry, this is not an if-I-can't-have-her-no-one-else-can story. But I was not so into it and I just wanted to just breeze through so I can reach the end. I think the story could be summed up in two parts. First, Cliff is in love with Claire. Then, Cliff realizes Claire will never be his, so he has to move on. And move on he did. But this is not to say that the story is not worth reading at all. You will be shocked. Just like I was which totally blindsided me. I did not see it coming. I truly welcomed the surprise. If not for this, I would have thought this would have been a downer. I definitely appreciate the punch that the author kept until the right moment. Very nicely done.

Again, I did not expect the big revelation. It was really surprising and I think this was the best part of the whole story. I am happy for Cliff that finally things are looking good on the love front. And smart of him to realize that he won't end up with his best friend. Someone more suited for him is there somewhere, maybe hiding in the virtual world.

I give the book three stars. I think the good parts of the story only started when Cliff developed a friendship with PlanetClaire. The rest were just the background story which I didn't really find fascinating and can be ignored. I liked that it ended well and that Trish is not anymore the center of Cliff's universe. Yeah, definitely not a fan of Trish in this story. One thing that the book is telling everyone is that not all best friends end up with each other or are meant to fall in love. Some just are meant to stay just that - best of friends. Some people are lucky enough to find love in the virtual universe. And that there might be some really nice guys hiding behind an online character or alias. 

I promise not to become your crutch but you've got to let me be the soft cushion you land on before you pick yourself up.

- Nicki Elson, When It Holds You - 

Release Date: October 19, 2016

Thank you Nicki Elson and for the ARC.