Friday, April 20, 2018

Review: Out of Left Field

Author Kris Hui Lee
Format e-ARC
Print Length 320 pages
Publisher Sourcebooks Fire
Published May 1, 2018

There’s no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.

Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the mound. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side. 

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?

My Opinion

Marnie use to play softball for the high school team, until during her freshman year she choked bad in the playoffs. This led her to quit, she still loves the game but honestly baseball is so much better. Which is why she does the Saturday neighborhood pick-up games. It helps that her best friend, Cody is the star pitcher for their school. Only, he broke his arm during a game with his arch-nemesis Santino. Cody convinces Marnie to try out of the team and to everyone’s surprise she makes it. Too bad none of the guys are liking it (except for Cody). It doesn’t help that she just found out that Santino is about to become a family member. When did life become so hard?

Marnie is an easygoing character with a lot of pop culture references. She is a confident person who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in. When doubt enters her mind, she finds ways to fight it. Cody as her guy best friend, should be off limits in the love department. But the lines between love and friendship are blurry sometimes. This is one of those times. I like how he is supportive of her decision to try out for the team. 

The best thing about this book was the relationships between the four friends.  I love how they were there for each other, and yet still ultimately ends up hurting each other as well.  Real friends look past the hurt and that is what all four of them do.  I wasn't sure at times what was up with Joey (he was kinda a jerk to Marnie) but he does redeem himself.  The chemistry developing between Cody and Marnie was adorable to watch, as was the dynamic of Joey and Sara.

Marnie’s family is a mixed bag of supportive and unsupportive. Her daddy and brother are there for her. Her mom not so much, and I really didn’t get it. Especially, since her mom supposedly use to be supportive. Marnie writes it off as her not being girly enough for her mom, but I call bull on that excuse.

Overall, Out of Left Field is an adorable read that will make you smile. It is heavy on the baseball jargon though, to the point where I thought it was excessive. It was fun though to read about a girl who has a love for a male dominate sport.

My Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote There is only one rule for having a ten-year friendship with someone: like-liking is strictly prohibited.

Other People

Sara- Marnie’s bestie
Joey- Cody’s bestie
Santino- Cody’s arch-nemesis

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday (16) Bookish Boyfriends: A Date with Darcy

Hey y'all, thanks so much for stopping by my WoW!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

In this contemporary YA, a teenager’s favorite literary heroes woo her in real life.

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences.

Why am I waiting?

I am married to my Darcy, so pretty much any re-telling of Pride and Prejudice I am there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (16) Love Beyond Opposites

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Son, she's a good girl. She is not a girl you date for a a week or even a month, or someone you date while dating someone else."

I rolled my eyes. "Dad, I-"

"I'm serious." He looked down at me before glancing at the guitars in the corner. "You have every right to play the field, rock star. But not her. She doesn't deserve to have her heart broken."

Kindle Location 57

Harsh words for Lennon to hear, made harsher since it is his dad saying them. Wonder what he will do?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: Challenge Accepted

Author Amanda Abram
Format e-book
Print Length 302 pages
Publisher self
Published Jan. 25, 2018

Emma Dawson and Logan Reynolds have been neighbors and enemies for as long as either one can remember. Despite the fact their BFF fathers have been encouraging them their whole lives to be friends, they've managed to avoid each other at all costs. Emma thinks Logan is a callous jerk who cares about nobody but himself. Logan thinks Emma is a stuck-up goody-two-shoes with no life. The two couldn't be any more different...which is why Emma is so confused when the Emerson High Computer Club's "Summer Fling Compatibility Test" concludes they're a perfect match. 

But Logan’s not confused. He lied on the test to make his "sometimes girlfriend" think they're not meant to be and now Emma is furious that he made her lose out on the chance of having a swoony summer romance with the perfect guy. Forced by his stepmother to make it up to her, Logan decides to help her win the heart of her lifelong crush: his best friend, Matt. 

He knows how much of a challenge this will be. Matt is good-looking, popular and outgoing. Emma is quiet, bookwormish, and scared of everything. However, Logan is convinced that with some major tweaking, he can transform Emma into someone Matt could fall for. But as the summer heats up, so does their budding friendship… and soon, they may be faced with the biggest challenge of all: falling for each other.

My Opinion

Emma’s dad and Logan’s dad have been best friends forever, their mom’s as well. They are even accepting of Logan’s step-mom (his dad was a widow). They dreamed that Logan and Emma would be friends but that didn’t happen. Logan was always the little demon boy next door who terrorized Emma growing up. Until their parents finally gave up on them and accepted that they would not be friends. Now that she was about to begin the summer before her senior year of high school she has two goals- organize her book collection and find love. That is where the Summer Fling Compatibility Test comes only Logan screws it up. Add it to another thing Logan does to mess with Emma.

Logan knows he is dating someone that has snakes in the head. He needs her to break up with him, not the other way around. And so he lies, big time on a compatibility test of all things. When his step momma finds out she does what any good momma would do and guilts/threatens him into fixing it. Kinda proud of his step momma right now. So he comes clean with Emma and tries to fix it.

Emma and Logan together right from the start have sparks. Sure they may be sparks of hate and annoyance but they are there. Reading those colors turn brighter to sparks of love and joy was pretty heart-warming. Neither one of them tries to hide who they are from one another and regardless of what the other things they tend to accept each other on the surface. I like that both of them push the other to be better without realizing it. That is until Grace gets involved. Ironically she is the first Grace I have met that I did not like.

This one brings all the feels, and they are brought about naturally. It played almost like a 1990s love story of She’s All That or 10 Things I Hate About You. Favorite scene is when Emma is babysitting, it will probably be one of your favorite scenes as well. Especially liked how both sets of parents were involved in their children’s life. A feel good read that will have you laughing at loud. Here is hoping the author turns this one into a series.

My Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote “You’ve already destroyed me enough for one day.”

Other People

Grace- mean girl, Logan’s ex
Matt- Logan’s bestie

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon

Author Kerrelyn Sparks
Format e-ARC
Print Length 448 pages
Publisher St. Martins Press
Published March 27, 2018

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart? 

My Opinion

Dragon shifter novels are my jam! If there is one coming out I am so there, ready to love the mean, typically hunky slightly angry dragon and hoping all the while that they can be tamed. So, as soon as this one came out I was there. Give it to me, please! Only, I didn’t realize that this was book three in a series. Normally I read a series in order, so it did throw me for a loop when I realized half way through that this one was the third book. At least then all the inside stuff that I was missing made more since to me.

Gwen is an Elf, one who was raised away from other elves on a magical island where people born like her are sent. She has created her own family with a group of girls that were also sent to the island, her “sisters”. She was playing with her niece who got kidnapped by a dragon, so she does what any loving aunt would do and hitches a ride with the same dragon to protect her niece. Once they are delivered to the royal family, she promises the brother of the king (Silas) to find out what is poisoning his people as long as her niece stays safe. 

Silas is a good royal brother, he wants only for his brother to be a great king. He is happy out of the limelight and does not understand what is going on with either his brother or his wife. He will do anything to protect his people though, even it means trusting an elf. I love when he reacts to Gwen’s affection for a dragon. He is a good general for his people, and he does put their needs over his own.

Gwen has faced a lot of racism over who she is. The suitors in her sisters country are none to kind about what they really feel. So she keeps to herself and her family. Letting a dragon in was a big step, can she dare let a human in? I loved her interactions with the dragon, with humans sometimes not so much. She seemed to be more open with the dragon and less prone to insecurities.

The chemistry between these two is slow to build. Once it happens though, sparks begin to fly. The book starts of a little on the slow side, which was probably the author laying the groundwork for the world building. The dual points of view was a nice touch but after a while, I felt that the switching began to make the book seem like it was repeating itself.

I do recommend this one if you are looking for a good dragon shifter book. However, if I could have it to do over again I would probably have read the series in order.

My Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote “I’ve fought enough battles, seen enough of my people die, to know that success is never guaranteed.”

Other People

Eviana- Gwen’s niece
Dimitri- Silas’ besties
Aleksi- Silas’ besties
Brody- Gwen’s bestie

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (15) Ash Princess

Hey y'all, thanks so much for stopping by my WoW!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinewhich spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

Why am I waiting?

Feelings for an enemies son, a heart sister, and revenge. Why wouldn't I be waiting?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (15) Hex

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

And I wasn’t raised to believe in coincidences. Poltergeists, witches, and wendigos, yes. Coincidences, no.

Hex Kindle Location 43

“My dad told me just last week that if something happened to him, I should come here and get you. Protect you.” He said the last bit without a hint of irony. I considered kicking him again just on principle.

Hex Kindle Location 172

You gotta handle it to Parker, at least he is trying. Not so sure that Mac appreciates it though.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Book Trailer Saturday (14) Crave Me

Some people believe you can fall in love at first sight. When it comes to books I believe those people. Book trailers are an excellent way to fall in love at first sight. I hope to feature a book trailer here every Saturday to help you fall in love at first sight...

In Crave Me, it’s time for the sole sister in the family to discover love. 

Wren O’Brien isn’t your typical female. As the only girl from a loud Irish family with seven siblings, she prefers fast cars to lip gloss and bad boys to good men. It’s the reason she’s nursing a wounded soul and keeping her distance from a dangerous ex.

Evan Jonah is running an empire and just moved from the lavish thoroughfares of London to the gritty streets of Philadelphia. When he walks into the nearest dealership, he’s expecting to find a reliable vehicle to handle the brutal winters, not a sexy female car rep with killer legs.

Wren doesn’t know why “Hotness in a Suit” asked her out. She doesn’t expect a great time or a night of passion that knocks her on her ass. But that’s exactly what Evan shows her.

She also never counted on how hard and fast she’d fall. But men like Evan—good men with even better hearts—don’t desire tough-talking Philly girls for long.

Evan has never met a woman like Wren. But he’s up for the challenge and ready to prove her wrong.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Review: Phoenix Fire

Author S.D. Grimm
Format e-ARC 
Print Length 432 pages 
Publisher Entangled: Teen 
Published March 5, 2018 

After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have. 

My Opinion 

There are light Phoenixes and dark Phoenixes born into this world. Phoenix’s are created to protect humanity from the things that go bump in the night (monsters). If you die as a Phoenix, you come back but without your memories (they seem to hit you sometime during puberty). You are not infinitely immortal though, as you lifeline can come to an end. 

Ava starts to have glimpses into a previous life, which to be honest has her questioning her own sanity. That is until Nick and Cade show up. She has brothers and one of them is her twin! How does Wade fit into everything and why are things that go bump in the night after her? Sometimes a girl has to trust herself, to find the answers to the hard questions. 

Ava is has a tough outer shell, a product of the foster system. She is wary of those that try to get to close and yet she can’t protect herself from liking her current foster family. She tries to keep people at a distance but that didn’t bother me too much. 

The book is told by multiple points of view- Ava, Nick and Cade’s. It was a lot to take in as all three have different tones and personalities. Switching points of view so often did make me a little sea sick. Just when you got to the heart of the scene, puff it was gone. I almost wish that the author had just written the book in one point of view, the second one in another’s and so on. An added bonus to the sea sick feeling was that the book also jumped timelines. So I felt that these two combined were a bit too much. 

Regardless of this, I did enjoy the book. The background and mystical aspect were enough to hold my interest and make me want to know more. I am anxiously waiting to find out how they respond to Gwen’s attempts to harm them. 

My Rating 3 out of 5 stars 

Favorite Quote “I see you’re still taken with your little pet.” 

Other People 

Gwen- mean girl 
Yuki- Ava’s bestie 
Kelsey- Wade’s sister

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (14) Furyborn

Hey y'all, thanks so much for stopping by my WoW!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other. 

Why am I waiting?

New series, love the cover, elementalist, assassins. Kinda just want to get lost in this world for a few hours.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (14) My Fake Valentine

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
37776171• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Don't worry, I'll make sure she behaves.  Besides, she's much more interested in getting back at me.  She'll probably even bring you a nice present.  I wouldn't take her up on any offers of friendship, though."

My Fake Valentine page 108

Not really sure how I am feeling about this one.  I want to like it but Mia is a little too woe is me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (13) The Emerald Sea

Hey y'all, thanks so much for stopping by my WoW!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The dazzling conclusion to #1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead's The Glittering Court series.

Meet Tamsin, the Glittering Court's hard-angled emerald. Her outsized aspirations make her a fierce competitor, rising to the top of the ranks. But when the ship she boards for the New World is tragically lost at sea, she is quite literally thrown off-course.

Why am I waiting?

I love that this series goes through the same events with each of the girls. It is a unique reading experience and one that I enjoy. Tamsin was my least favorite of all of the girls because well she was ambitious and a bit of brat. I am hoping that her experience mellows her out a little.