Monday, June 30, 2014

Vote for Remy in the NA Crush Tourney!

Today is the day, y'all! Remy's first match is today and I'd love love LOVE if you could do me a favor and head over to NA Alley and vote for my boy. If you have a minute or two, it would also help me so much if you could tweet/Facebook/etc. to get even more people to vote! If you need more convincing, I'm posting my advocate post below, but it's the same exact thing as the one over at NA Alley, so really you have no reason not to head over, scroll to the bottom, and vote for REMY! ;)

And I added some graphics made by Val from Stuck in Books to my original Team Remy post, if you'd like to share those, as well. (THEY'RE FABULOUS!)


Hello, lovelies! I'm Jessica from Just a Booklover, and this year I have the honor of advocating for Remy from the REAL series by Katy Evans. I know some people have read this series while others haven't, but mostly we're here to talk about how kickass Remy is. So I think I should just get to that, yeah?

Let's start with his personality:
He's very alpha, very protective, and when he wants something, he gets it. He's REAL. He's a good guy--a gentle giant would be a great way to describe him. He's determined and works his ass off to reach his dreams. And he'll do anything--ANYTHING--for his Brooke. His girl. His real.

But since my words will never be enough, here are some quotes from the books:
"You're mine and you need me, and I want you to please come the fuck upstairs with me."

In fact, he's so proud and driven that he's relentlessly taught his body to embrace it. He constantly pushes it to the limits, and I think his threshold for pain might be higher than that of any other athlete I've ever met...

He brushes my hair back and strokes my earlobe. "But if I'd known you existed, I'd have hunted you, I'd have caught you, and I'd have taken you."
"But isn't that what you did?" I ask, smiling.
"Exactly"--he bumps my nose with his, his blue eyes laughing--"what I did."

"I'm getting fat because of yo!" I laughingly squeak.
With a low, sexy chuckle, he lists me up as if I were just the pillow, then tosses the pillow aside, only keeping me to kiss. "You're beautiful."

He laughs in that deep, throaty way of his that makes my skin come alive and all the little hairs on my arms rise, then he kisses my lips in that boyfriend way of his where the kiss isn't meant to arouse us--but just to express some sort of connection--then he surveys me with those adorable black eyes that are now shining very, very much in entertainment.

And now, I think we should get some input from the woman who knows him best. Here's what Brooke has to say about Remy and his beautiful personality:

Remy, Remy, Remy, what can I say about the man who stole my heart the moment he leapt out of the ring to chase me? I knew he would sweep me away, I just never knew how deep and endlessly I’d fall for him. I’ve never, ever, met someone as passionate, as dedicated, and as fierce and untamed as Remington Tate. He’s the one man you know will fight for you, and the one man who inspires me to fight for him with teeth and nail, through thick and thin, blue and black, good and bad. I love his gentle heart, his fierce spirit, his relentlessness and the unexpected purity hiding behind his gruff manners. He’s a beast, a lion, a fighter, a father, my love, and the realest thing I’ve ever fought for.

Next up is looks. I'm going to be frank here, y'all. Remy is prime baby-making material. I mean, come ON. Look at him.

He's sexy as hell. Dear goodness. My own words can't even do justice for our blue-eyed lion, so I'm just going to move on to quotes:
My blue-eyed lion.
His black hair stands up devilishly. The inky Celtic bands across his muscled arms flex as he slowly sips on an electrolyte drink. I see his lorious tanned torso. Those sweatpants riding low on his narrow hips and revealing just the tip of his star tattoo. His bare feet. He looks hot, strong, and cuddlable, and the pulsing energy that seems to radiate from his very being feels like a magnet to me.

I admire his torso and his long, strong legs, his sculptured arms, his narrow waist and broad shoulders. Every muscle in his perfect body is so defined that you would know exactly where one structure ends and the next begins if you trailed your fingers along his magnificent form.
And as he turns even more, I see the washboard abs with eight squares--eight! Yes, it is impossible, but he's got them...and his face.
Oh god, I can't even take it.
The scruffy jaw. The brilliant blue eyes. The sexy smirk. The dimples. He's got a smile on his face; his expression, one that tells you he's got a whole lot of trouble planned for the evening and you don't want to miss it, is playful and boyish.

All that was quotes from Brooke, but maybe she has a little final thought on Remy's looks? Brooke?

Remington? I don’t think there will ever be a day when I look at him and not feel weak in the knees. He’s a god in every way and, judging by the female attention he gets, I’m sure he very well knows it! Everything from the glimmering lights in his eyes, to his cocky dimples, to the raspy scruff on his hard jaw, the tan, rippling muscles on his body, his perfect mouth; sometimes I catch myself staring at him unawares, letting myself enjoy his masculine perfection. I could just eat, drink, and breathe Remy Tate and never want anything else, he thrills me, he fills me, and best of all, he loves me.

Remy's a great guy. He loves hard, he fights hard, and he's 100% REAL. To give you more of a taste for our man, check out this video:

That's him. Our Remy. Protective. Strong. Fierce. Loving. REAL.

I cling to Remington, and he tightens his arms around me and slowly rocks me, his entire body shaking almost like my own as he speaks into my ear. "I got you, little firecracker, I got you right here in my arms."

Blow him a kiss, and he'll catch it.

Overcome with the impulse, I blow him a kiss.
He catches it and smashes it to his mouth.

Give him your hand and he'll give it a kiss.

Remington seems to take pity on her and seizes her hand. He buzzes his lips across her knuckles, and she begins to scream hysterically.

Give him your love and he'll love you back.

It hits me like adrenaline, like a shot of tequila that flies straight to your head, the way his fans love him. The way he loves them back. The way he loves me.

He's Remington Tate, people. Our Riptide. He may not be perfect, but he sure as heck is absolutely real.

So vote for Remy! And if you need a little more motivation, here are some final words from Brooke:

RIPTIDE! All the way! Remington not only the best book boyfriend, he makes the most perfect husband. I’m wearing my ‘Riptide’ colors right now. What will you guys be wearing on fight day?

Need even MORE motivation? Heck, even if you don't. Remy himself would like to say a little something:


Blog Tour: Ex-Factor & Unbreakable by Elisa Dane (Reviews & Giveaway)

Click on the banner above to see the full tour schedule!

Ex-Factor (Diamond Girls, #1)Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane 
Release Date: April 14, 2014
Pages: 207
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Series: Diamond Girls #1
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads:
Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl. 

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it. 

But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died. 

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself. 

Ex-Factor is book 1 in the Diamond Girls series from Elisa Dane.

This is one of those books that pretty much sucked me in right from the start and didn't let me go until the end. I started this book with every intention of pacing myself as I read, but I ended up flying through it in a day. There was so much I liked about this book, and though it was not perfect, I still highly enjoyed it.

The characters were real. They had real feelings, problems, and thoughts, and I connected with them well. The main character, Nev, was the one who narrated the story, and I definitely felt her struggle throughout the story. Not saying I didn't roll my eyes at her a time or two, but she was overall a good character. And Bodie, her guy. Goodness I heart him. He was just fantastic. I kind of wanted to slap a bit of sense into him a few times, but he ultimately won me over with his sweet, swoon-worthy ways.

The romance worked for me. In all ways. I would have liked things to have been straightened out between Nev and Bodie earlier than they actually were, but that's almost always something I want, so this book isn't hurting me any. They were cute and I wanted them to be together.

I enjoyed the plot and liked the general message. It's a serious thing, and I liked that it wasn't taken lightly. I somewhat felt like the situation was dramatized a little bit, just in the things that were said. I get why it was like that (since we couldn't actually SEE what was going on), but it seemed like sometimes things were said that we all already got. Like at one point a girl said something to the effect of "she's going to drive--DRUNK!" and I was like...yeah. I got that. Other than those little things, though, I liked the seriousness of the topic.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed reading Ex-Factor. I liked the characters and their stories, and going through their struggles that felt real. Plus, I loved the swoonage. Ex-Factor may not be perfect, but I'd say it's definitely worth reading.


Unbreakable (Diamond Girls, #2)Unbreakable by  Elisa Dane 
Release Date: June 4, 2014
Pages: 223
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Series: Diamond Girls #2
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads:
Perception is everything to sixteen-year-old Olivia Brown. With her freakishly hot boyfriend, volunteer work at the local animal shelter, successful beauty channel on YouTube, and well-earned spot on X Factor Cheer's elite level five Diamond Girl team, Livvie's the girl every other girl wants to be. At least, that's the illusion she's aiming for. 

But Livvie's seemingly perfect life is anything but. Lying about the bruises her boyfriend gives her, and cowering beneath his raging temper becomes a regular way of life until she unwittingly witnesses her drunken neighbor beating his step-son, the town bad boy, Reid Tate. 

For Reid, vulnerability is the enemy. Opening up, and letting people in gives them the power to disappoint. Growing up with a co-dependent mother and an abusive alcoholic father, Reid has endured all the disappointment he can stomach. 

But when his pretty, do-good neighbor witnesses his step-dad beat him to within an inch of his life, and not only call the cops, but keeps quiet at school about what she saw, Reid wonders if maybe, just maybe, he's found someone he can finally trust. 

UNBREAKABLE is book two in the Diamond Girls series from Elisa Dane. EX-FACTOR is an Amazon bestseller in three categories in the United States, including Girls in Sports, Teen Sports and Teen Sports and Hobbies. 

I love how this book contained a bunch of things I LOVE in novels. It had characters that were pretty darn cool. There was a perfect amount of romantic elements. There was a common issue between the protagonist and her boy toy. Honestly, this book had SO MANY things within it to make me love the crap out of it.

Livvie took time for me to like. At first, I was adjusting to how different she seemed between the first book and the second. She felt like a whole different character in this one. Ultimately, I liked her, but it was still weird at first. She is also a character that needs to chill and COMMUNICATE. Her issue made it hard for her to feel comfortable telling people, I understand (seriously--I UNDERSTAND), but that doesn't change my feelings. Especially her communication issues with Reid. It took me until close to the end to completely like Livvie, but I respected her and her situation the whole way through the novel.

Reid was my favorite kind of guy. He was a bad boy who didn't exactly make nice with loads of people who he didn't know for a while. Something of a manwhore before Livvie, but he didn't show that in this story, so I couldn't hold it against him. He was a bad boy who was actually a nice guy with his own troubles. And goodness gracious, I heart him something fierce.

The romance made me feel happy inside. It was so sweet to see Reid become the kind of person who helped his girl bake desserts and whatnot. And he was so protective. They made my favorite kind of couple--not exactly surprising, considering he was my favorite kind of guy. 

I enjoyed the plot of this one even more than the one of the first book. This one tackled a different topic, and this one was tackled in a much smoother fashion. I LOVED watching the characters deal with their situations and make it through in their own ways. The plot paired with Elisa Dane's writing worked for me positively. I just enjoyed this book oh so much.

Overall, I absolutely loved Unbreakable. I adored Reid and I swooned so much for him. Reid and Livvie's story isn't completely smooth, but it was enjoyable and felt real in so many ways. I can't wait for the third book in this series, so I can fall in love with another work from Elisa Dane!

I'm a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!
I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it's my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you'll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

Author Links: 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings 
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Pages: 398
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Source: Gifted
Buy It: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads:
An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

I've been extremely excited about this book ever since I first heard about it goodness knows how long ago. Just the words on the cover make this book pique my interest, "She's trained to survive. He's programmed to kill." I mean, sounds crazy awesome, right? In theory, this book seems wonderful. The actual execution of this idea, however, turned out to be somewhat rocky for me.

I really liked the characters. It took a while for Meadow to grow on me, but she eventually did. I liked how strong and confident she was, and I loved how she was determined to protect her family--especially her little sister. I didn't like how she very often assumed she knew best, so she jumped to conclusions several times. I get why she was that way, but that doesn't mean I liked it. I totally loved Zephyr, though that guy confounded me more than once. Just when I thought I had him figured out, things changed. Still, he was so in awe of Meadow and that endeared him to me so that when he got perplexing later in the story, I was sort of...okay with that.

Along with the characters working well for me, the plot didn't do so bad either. It took a bit to really get into the book, but after that point it held my attention pretty well. I was there with Zephyr and Meadow trying to figure out what the stars was going on. I was also a fan of Lindsay Cummings' writing style. It just felt so unique to me, and somewhat simplistic. That fit well with all the bloody kickassery going on within the story (which I loved).

While I liked the characters and the plot was fine, the world and the world-building fell flat for me. I spent way too much of the novel confused as to what was going on. I mean, there's a point where that's fun. It's mysterious and riveting. This book crossed that line for me, though. The world was like Zephyr--I kept thinking I knew what it was like, but then it changed somehow and I got confused again. It was fine for Zephyr, but the WORLD should have rules. It should be set so we can understand it. I have a feeling more of my questions will be answered in the next books in the series, but I would have liked a better grasp everything NOW, in this book. 

Overall, I liked The Murder Complex. I was a huge fan of Zephyr, and Meadow grew on me. The plot was bloody and fast-paced after the initial introduction to the story. My only wish is that the world would have been better explained in this novel. All that said, I do plan on sticking around for the sequel to see where the story goes for these characters I do enjoy. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Love, Honor, & Hope - A Benefit for the United States War Veteran's PTSD Foundation

Love, Honor, & Hope - A Benefit for the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation Eight authors are joining forces to support one fantastic cause. Beginning June 24, 2014, Love, Honor, & Hope, an anthology of eight full-length novels, will be available for 30 days at the low price of $0.99. That’s right, just 99 pennies. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.


PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, affects approximately 19% of the military men and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq—and that’s just those who have been diagnosed. The percentage is expected to grow as more of our military members seek treatment. It’s a heartbreaking trend for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedoms, especially with benefits being cut and promotions being threatened.


The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation is a non-profit charity that focuses on providing FREE care to combat military members, both active and veterans. They can’t do it alone, which is why we’ve made the decision to step up and do something. All eight of the authors have their personal reasons for supporting this cause. Cherime MacFarlane, author of Heart of the Hunter said, “For me, it’s the way a very quiet man, my uncle, receded into the background whenever a family function took place. I did understand he came back from WWII that way. A young man, easy going and quick to laugh became a recluse. My father also served in WWI, as did a second uncle who returned far from the mischievous young man he was before the war claimed his youth. I was a young mother during the Vietnam era. I had friends who did not come back from Vietnam. I had other friends who did come home but were permanently damaged by the things they saw. For me, this is an opportunity to give back something to the men who served their country when the call came. My uncles and father are gone now, but I do hope, in some small way, to pay it forward for them. This is a tiny step, but as the man once said, every journey begins with that first step.”


It’s easy to sit back and talk about helping our veterans and active military members. To step up and help is something all together different. We are answering the call for help. Will you answer? All it takes is for you to log on to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and spend 99 cents, and then hopefully share the great news on our labor of love. Not only will you receive eight full-length novels for your enjoyment, you will also tell our men and women who suffer from this terrible and debilitating illness that we’ve got their backs.


Love, Honor, & Hope is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble from June 24 to July 23. It includes the following full-length novels:
Out of the Box Awakening - Jennifer Theriot
Early One Morning - Aubree Lane
Lost and Found - Jennifer Yarbrough
Scary Modsters - Diane Rinella
Tropical Dreams - Kelly Cozzone
Sisters of the Night - Linda Lee Williams
Heart of the Hunter - Cherime MacFarlane
Piece of Heaven - Sammie J

Love, Honor, & Hope - A Benefit for The United States War Veteran's PTSD FoundationLove, Honor, & Hope - A Benefit for the United States War Veteran's PTSD Foundation 
Release Date: June 21, 2014
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description from Goodreads:
For 30 days eight authors bring you 8 novels in Love, Honor, & Hope. All proceeds benefit The United States War Veteran’s PTSD Foundation.

Out of the Box Awakening - Jennifer Theriot: Olivia has the picture perfect life. She’s got it all and doesn’t want things to change. Swept from her life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Everything she thought she knew is about to come crashing down. Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. His peace lies in the flow of music pouring from his guitar. What happens when the married woman and the handsome sexy widower are thrown together by fate? 

Early One Morning - Aubree Lane: He was the dark haired deity with a salacious smile. 2600 miles away Terence Javier’s senior portrait was being drooled over by a teenaged all-girl choir. Years later Marrisa runs into the choir’s heartthrob, Annie, catches the red eye and foils her plan. This envious act uncovers a scandalous affair, and their lives will never be the same. 

Lost and Found - Jennifer Yarbrough: 
Olivia's life drastically changes in the blink of an eye when she and her family are in a tragic accident that leaves her the only survivor. Flash forward to a year and a half later when her best friend Claudia forces her out of the house where she meets multi-millionaire Cash Kingston. Cash has his own inner demons, but all of that changes when he meets Olivia. Will Olivia take him up on his offer to work for him or will she run back and hide from the world where she felt safer? 

Scary Modsters ...and Creepy Freaks - Diane Rinella: Rosalyn lives out of her time—bringing ridicule for her eclectic wardrobe and far-out music collection. Niles’ offbeat character is the perfect complement—but he possesses a critical flaw. Rosalyn accidentally summons Rock deity Peter Lane back from the dead. He’s the precarious puzzle piece that brings sense into her world. Since Niles can defeat his challenge by helping Peter avenge his death, how far will he go to secure Rosalyn’s heart? 

Tropical Dreams - Kelly Cozzone: Betrayal and death permeated Tiana Alexander’s past and threatens to rip apart her future. Bringing Tropical Dreams to life is the culmination of facing all life has dealt. David Murphy walked into her club and made her want to trust and love again. Can David keep her alive long enough to find out who is after her? Can he put aside his own demons for her? Can they overcome deceit, betrayal and more death? Or will life finally take its toll! 

Sisters of the Night - Linda Lee Williams: Meet Emaline, Juliana, and Gretchen...not your usual "sisters." Emaline...beautiful and beguiling. Will a regular man break this vulnerable vampire's heart? Juliana...glamorous and alluring. Will this arrogant vampire end up losing the love of her life? Gretchen...lovely and enchanting. Will this powerful vampire be able to hang on to her charming but fickle vampire lover? Three "sisters," three love stories...Will they have a happily ever after? 

Heart of The Hunter - Cherime MacFarlane: Jay Leighton, back from Afghanistan, lives in the Copper Basin. Alone, the hunter is trying to heal. The last thing he needs is to be brought face to face with the pretty new teacher. His head is not ready his heart is lost. Leda, just out of school, has no time for love. There is something in Jay she needs. Leda worries about her reputation. She should stay away from Jay. Who is the hunter here? 

Piece of Heaven - Sammie J: Aaron Calnan has seen enough of the horrors of war. He wants to put it behind him, take his life in a new direction. But when he takes a strange military posting for an organization called RUM, he has no way of knowing the challenges he will face. His decision takes him into unknown territory with unexpected twists and turns. Then, one encounter changes everything and Aaron finds his life turned upside down. Will he finally find his own piece of heaven?

Monday, June 23, 2014

NA Crush Tourney: Team Remy!


It's that time again, people! The NA Crush Tourney starts TOMORROW. Tuesday. The 24th. 

This year, I am absolutely HONORED to be the advocate for Remy from Real, Mine, and Remy by Katy Evans. I'm not sure if you know this, but I am absolutely IN LOVE with this guy. I literally squealed when I found out that I get to be the one to advocate for him. Heck, I'm still smiling about it. 

As in both of the other crush tournies I've advocated for, I'm going to need help. I'm going to need all of the people who heart our blue-eyed lion to come out and help me work his way through his matches. 

How can you help?

A few ways.

- You can take one of these handy dandy #TeamRemy buttons and go crazy with them. Make them your profile pics, post them on your blogs, tweet them as you tell us how much you love Remington Tate, and anything else you can think of. You spread the Remy love like it's going out of style.

*There are just a couple I threw together right now. If you have your own, tweet it or email it to me and I'll update this post with more!*

*These next ones were made by Val from Stuck in Books, who is made of awesome*

- VOTE FOR REMY. Of course. His first match is *Tuesday, July 1st.* I'll post a link here (along with my advocate post) so you can head on over and vote for our boy. 

- Sign up to help out/for reminders!
The previous two times I've advocated for book boys, I've done this, and I feel like it's super helpful in reminding people when to vote, updating them on progress, and getting the links out. It also helps me get a grasp of who may be able to help me come up with stuff along the way (make graphics and whatnot). 

I do not use any information you input in the form for anything but Remy and this tourney. The moment the tourney is over, I delete the list and that's that. This is just for our Riptide. :)

So if you'd like to sign up for email reminders on when Remy's matches are, and updates on his tourney progress, or would like to help me out with making graphics and whatnot (because that's not exactly my forte--as you saw above--but I try!), please sign up through the form below!

If you have trouble seeing the form, you can see it HERE.

If after trying that link, you still can't see the form, shoot me an email:
makesmeworse12 [at] gmail [dot] com

And if you have #TeamRemy stuff, my twitter handle is @jessbooklover

Thank you all so much for being awesome. It's about to get REAL, y'all!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Crave by Violet Vaughn (Review & Giveaway)

Click the banner above for the full tour schedule!

CraveCrave by Violet Vaughn 
Release Date: June 15, 2014
Series: Fire and Ice #1
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review
Buy It: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads:
Casey Cassidy is a girl who gets what she wants. 

Determined to get over Jason and find a man that wants a family, she moves to Breckenridge, Colorado.

Landing a job skiing every day, Casey finds Blaine Johnson - a wish come true. A hunky surfer turned ski instructor, he checks off every requirement on her list.

Except for the one she forgot to add.

Blaine has a secret. A secret so big it keeps intimacy smoldering, when Casey needs fire. No matter how hard she tries, the embers won’t ignite. Can she live without passion to get the family she craves?

When Jason comes to town, Casey questions everything she wished for. Their consuming love threatens to explode and ruin her dream. Will she have to choose between a family and the love of her life?

I went into this book looking for a fun romance. The synopsis indicated that's what this book would be, and though I also sort of expected the story to be the same old-same old, I was still excited because I genuinely thought I'd enjoy it. I am now pleased to admit that this novel surprised me in how it played out, and I was very much taken by this story. I enjoyed it so much.

First and foremost, I loved that the MC, Casey, was going after what she wanted. She wasn't waiting for or expecting Jason to change. She was doing what she wanted with her life. I like that she went for it. I don't like how quickly she was to go looking elsewhere, but I can respect her choices. She was strong, she was kind, and she was determined. All very good and admirable traits for a protagonist to possess. 

The guys were magnificent. I can absolutely understand why Casey had a hard time sorting out her feelings. Jason was kind and outdoorsy, and he loved and respected Casey to no end. Honestly, he was so great it bothers me they ever broke up. But it happened, and they both moved on and that was that. Then there was Blaine. He was the seemingly perfect package for guy to settle down and make babies with. If the situation were different, I would have been totally cool with Casey ending up with Blaine. He liked kids and was great with them, and he was just as kind and understanding as Jason. Plus, he definitely loved Casey. Goodness, I love BOTH of these guys. I want a Blaine and I want a Jason. 

The romance was fabulous. It was more based around feelings of love and growing feelings and whatnot than smexy times, but that doesn't mean the novel is completely devoid of those moments. I liked the way Casey's emotions changed toward Blaine as time went on, and how she dealt with how she felt about Jason in the process. It all just fell into place in a great way.

Most of the plot wasn't hugely groundbreaking, but there was one twist that I positively LOVED. For several reasons. But other than that, while the plot did satisfy me, it irked me as well. So much could have been avoided if Casey and Jason had just talked things out in the beginning. If they'd discussed WHY he didn't want kids or like holidays. I mean, I feel like the happenings with Blaine needed to happen (and I am beyond glad they did), but I also wished we could have known what was going on with Jason. That isn't the kind of thing where you go "I want kids" and then the other goes "oh, well I don't" and then BAM. Over. Not when you love each other the way Casey and Jason did. You talk about it and go from there. But it's okay. 

Overall, I had a great time reading Crave. I loved the writing and the story, and ended up with a happy feeling when it was all said and done. I definitely plan on reading the next book, Release, and I have no doubt it'll be just as fabulous as this novel turned out. 

Violet Vaughn
Violet Vaughn writes New Adult Romance in her home in New Hampshire.  She lives with her husband, two teenagers and three Portuguese Water Dogs.  An avid skier she taught skiing and snowboarding before she started her family and now skies every winter weekend for enjoyment.  Summers are full of hiking and running with her dogs.

Author Links: 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck 
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Pagecount: 403
Publisher: Sterling
Series: The Tiger Saga #1
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Buy It: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads:
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Tigers are my favorite animal and shifters are my favorite paranormal creature. When those two are mixed, it only makes sense that I'd be all over that like white on rice, yeah? And I was. I enjoyed this book so much, both because of the characters and because of their story their story. I can already tell this is going to be an addicting series.

The story is told in first person from Kelsey's POV. Honestly, Kelsey isn't the greatest MC in the world. She can be annoying. And some of the stuff she says feels forced. She's very much a Mary Sue. Lucky for her, she had the other characters around her to make her seem not so bad. With the others around, I could deal with Kelsey. Oh, wait. KELLS. She wants to be called Kells. Yeah. Okay.

Ren is the love interest and a total gentleman with an alpha male streak. Makes sense, considering he's part tiger. The gentleman side balances out his somewhat controlling side so that he's not super annoying. I was actually a huge fan of Ren. I want things to work out for him and Kelsey. Though, I am Team Kishan. Kishan is Ren's brother, and yes. They have one of those brother-rivalries revolving around a girl. I don't care, I like them both anyway. I know it's kind of a trope, but in this case it doesn't bother me so much since the guys don't spend too much time moping around about it. The situation usually only gets brought up when Kelsey asks questions.

So yeah, I'm Team Kishan (who is freaking awesome), but I want Kelsey and Ren to be together. I actually think they're great together. And Ren deserves some happiness after the crap his life has been. Kishan does, too, but I don't think he and Kelsey work as well as she and Ren do. The romantic aspects in this story were both frustrating and a great relief. More so on the relief. I love romance, and Ren is so, so great at saying the sweetest, most perfect things. And he says some of it in a different language, too, which definitely works in his favor.

The adventure and culture aspects of this story are interesting and fun. Though there were several instances where I felt like I was drowning under a mound of info-dump, I still appreciated the fact that the topics were different from the usual stuff. I enjoyed learning the new stuff, and I was actually really interested in it all. And the journey, searching, adventures were a great time. Ren was always there, and we know how I feel about him. He was all protective, and I was all like YES KEEP MAKING ME FEEL HAPPY. So it was a win-win thing. The plot flowed pretty well, save for the info-dumps. I managed to wade through those fairly quickly, however, so it didn't take long to get back into the parts I more enjoyed.

Overall, I love the premise of this series and I enjoyed this first installment so much. The guys are definitely worth swooning over, the adventure is just plain fun, and I am absolutely dying to dive into the next book. I'm already addicted! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

May Monthly Re-Read (Significance by Shelly Crane)

Monthly Re-Read is something I'm going to be doing every month in 2014. I'm going to re-read one book a month and then blog about it. To learn more and see the post where I introduced the idea, click HERE. 

I know, this post is super late! I was kind of in the middle of graduation craziness the first week-ish of this month, so I'm just now getting a chance to finish up this post. Sorry, y'all!

Significance (Significance, #1)Significance by Shelly Crane
Release Date: June 2011
Pagecount: 387 pages
Publisher: Indie
Series: Significance #1
Source: Bought
Buy It: Amazon | B&N

Description from Goodreads
Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track, but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating - barely - and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.
Then she saves the life of Caleb and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.
They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.
Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.

Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

Before I even start anything, I just have to say that right now, as I type this, Significance is free on Amazon. FREE. You should grab it. Seriously, go. I'll wait...

Okay, great. First and foremost, I have to say that I LOVE this book and I LOVE this series. Why? Well, because of all the LOVE, of course. I've always been taken by the idea of soulmates--from the very first time I saw them mentioned in Twilight, through L.J. Smith's Night World series, and through everything I read until now. It's a freaking awesome concept, that there is ONE person out there for you, that's perfect for you, and that it's an actual, likely possibility that you find each other and face the world together. Very romanticized, but that's not surprising. I'm always in for romance. Y'all should know that by now.

So I read this book at the very end of 2012. Like, it was the last book I read that year. On the last day. I flew through it, and I freaking adored the crap out of it. I was totally Jonesing for the next book and the whole rest of the series the moment I was through with the first. I loved Caleb and his family and what they were and the fact that they all got a significant. Goodness gracious, how awesome would it be to have your very own? I mean, sure. It'd be somewhat odd and weird to get used to with the whole being connected and all, but I think the benefits would greatly outweigh the negatives.

My favorite thing about this book was the happy, tingly feeling it gave me. The book even FEELS sweet as I read it, and goodness knows I heart me some sweetness. So that's why I picked this one to read this month. I want a walk down that sweet, lovey-dovey lane. It's exactly what I need right now as school winds down and I ease into summer. Plus, I've been wanting to re-read this book for a while now. Partly because of everything I just explained and partly because there's another book in this series coming out this year! I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

So yeah. Loads of excitement going on over here. And since I'm all excited, now is the perfect time to go reeeeeeead. I've been wanting to start all day, but I needed to write this first, so... ;)

Every single time I read this book, I am left feeling all happy and bubbly. Every single time without fail, it has this effect on me, and I love it so hard. This book is such a comfort read for me, and perfect considering I've been a busy little bee as of late. It's nice to chill out and read a book that not only chills me out, but makes my heart feel fifty shades of happy, too.

If we're being completely honest, this story has lots of holes. Lots of places a person could point out and hate the book for. Lots of places a person could have issues. But I feel like this is the kind of book people can really enjoy if they open their mind. Completely. Don't get all critical. Just sit down and ENJOY, you know? Because this book is full of sweetness and so worth enjoying. I did notice and do notice and always notice the parts that don't quite add up. But I also wave them off and move on. I acknowledge they're there, and I'll never say differently. But those little things aren't really important to me, so I don't let them effect how much I heart this story.

Caleb and Maggie are adorable. Seriously, they are the cutest couple and I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing them get together every time, even though I know how it all goes. I love their first moments and I love their growing together and I love their bits of awkwardness. I love everything about these two through and through. Their silly little argument, and struggles, and LOVE. They're perfect for each other.

The whole premise of this book and series is something that I adore. Soulmates and 1+1=US is an idea that I always like to see in stories, so long as they make sense. I don't really mind insta-love the way lots of people do, and I have to say that I definitely prefer insta-love to a love triangle any day. Especially when it's Caleb and Maggie-style insta-love. It just makes me feel so HAPPY.

And that's what it comes down to for me when I read this book. I enjoy it to no end and it makes me happy. I could re-read it a million times and that could remain true. For that reason, I rate this book 5 stars. On Goodreads, since I don't actually rate books in Monthly Re-Reads, but you get what I'm saying. When I can re-read a book as many times as I've read my favorite parts of this book (aka, THE WHOLE FREAKING THING) and how much I PLAN to read this one again, I think it deserves a lot of credit.

So thank you, Shelly Crane. Thank you so much for writing a story that makes me fall head over heels every time I pick it up, whether that time is the first or the twentieth. I loved Significance the first time I read it, and I want to cuddle it now. I'm fairly certain that's never going to change. :)