Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Kiss of Deception


Title: Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 8th 2014 by Henry Holt
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Barnes & Noble/ Goodreads


"In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love."

First line: "Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born."


Thoughts: Mind = blown. KISS OF DECEPTION gave me one of the biggest book hangovers I've had in such a long time. I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks. Even as I continued to read other novels, thoughts of Lia, Rafe, and Kaden slowly drifted back into my thoughts. Annoyance followed by excitement crept in as I sat there wondering and questioning what will happen in the sequel. My love and hatred intensified as I thought about the cliffhanger ending. Why a cliffhanger? Why?! Without a doubt, KISS OF DECEPTION is currently in a three-way tie for best book I've read this year thus far.

The novel is told in a very unique way. Though it's not uncommon to have alternating points of views, especially in a fantasy novel, there were alternating chapters told through the prince and the assassin's view. The biggest question I constantly asked myself was which person was which. Is the prince Rafe or is he the assassin? What about Kaden? I don't know. This drove me to the brink of insanity, and I loved every minute of it. The mystery sucked me in allowing me to devoured each and every page.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You would think it would be easy to figure out between the two which one was the assassin. After all, the assassin has to be some kind of jerk, right? WRONG! Both of these guys were completely charming and swoon-worthy. Though Lia is clearly attracted to both, there isn't a love triangle. It's obvious she loves one and not the other. Just please, don't let this person be the assassin.

All in all, I highly recommend KISS OF DECEPTION, especially to fantasy lovers out there. Lia, the heroine, is both likable and smart, which is always a plus. Some people may consider the pacing in the beginning to be a bit slow, but honestly, this is how a lot of fantasy novels are. There has to be some sort of world and character building before the good stuff happens. As for the ending, lets just say it wasn't something I was expecting. Shocking, much?

I do have to mention that KISS OF DECEPTION left me with more unanswered questions than answered ones, but I guess that's why there's a sequel...or shall I say squee-quel? I'll pretty much be squeeing and possibly pacing around my room until the sequel is released, and I get my greedy little paws on it!


Rating:

5 Stars


Favorite Quoites:

“A six-inch blade. I smiled. Did he buy it? It was actually just shy of four—but very nicely weighted—and as Aunt Bernice noted, a little exaggeration was always expected when describing weapons, victories, and body parts.”

“We all have our different skills. You’re patient to a fault, which sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage. I, on the other hand, have the patience of a wet cat. Only on rare occasions does that come in handy.”

“Sometimes we’re all pushed to do things we thought we could never do.”




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging Confessions


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic are your top ten blogging confessions. Let's do this!


1. It's easier for me to write a review for a book I hated as oppose to a book I love. Maybe it's because emotions are high, but I always feel like when it comes to a book I dislike, the words just flow naturally together. As for books I love, my reviews seem to be a blur of adjectives and verbs. "I loved it!", "I devoured it!", "I was completely absorbed in the story.", etc. Fangirling is inevitable.

2. I often feel overwhelmed by ARCs. Hear me out before you judge! I absolutely love receiving them and am beyond grateful whenever a publisher sends me ARCs I either requested or randomly received. The only thing is, I tend to buy a lot of books as well and end up not finding the time to read them. Do you know how many books I have on my shelves that I haven't read yet? Too many. I mean, I still haven't read MOCKINGJAY yet, and part one of the movie comes out in November. *hangs head in shame*

3. For me, taking a break from blogging is often a must. As you all know, blogging is very time consuming. During the months leading up to my wedding, I tried very hard to keep up with my blog but simply couldn't find the time. In the end, I ended up taking a month off mainly because of time, but also because I didn't want to have another thing to worry about or commit to on top of everything else. I usually only take a week or two off a year, but this past spring was a little different.

4. Sometimes, I don't review books I bought and read for fun. This has only happened to a handful of books, but it doesn't make me any less guilty. Whenever I read a review book, I bust out the sticky notes and mark quotes I love or things I didn't like or things I thought were important in general. It's basically the way I read required books in high school and college, and it sometimes makes whatever I'm reading less enjoyable. So, whenever I read a book I bought for fun and loved, I sometimes don't post a review on my blog. I do end up gushing about it on Twitter or Goodreads, and not reviewing it on my blog makes me a bad blogger, especially when I adore the author, but can't I just have something to myself? Something I can just enjoy and not feel forced to work on?

5. I delete review requests from people who don't take the time to read my review policy. Honestly, I don't do it to be cruel or mean or to say I'm too good for this. That's not how I function. If someone isn't going to take the time to read my review policy, why should I take the time to read and review their book? Also, my name isn't "Addicted 2 Novels". It's Lena. It's also not Leanba or Anna or Lebron James. It's Lena. The least someone can do is get my name right.

6. I hate recommending books to my good blogging friends. I love more things than I hate, and my friends sometimes hate the things I love. They're judging me... eek! No, I know they're not judging me, but it's so hard to recommend a book to someone who reads as much as you do. THE PRESSURE! I just can't.

7. BEA scares me. It totally does! The only reasons I would go to BEA are for the people and the parties. I'm always jealous of the parties everyone goes to, but what if I don't get invited to them? Half the reason I want to go is gone. Also, I've seen photos of how incredibly hectic it is, and I've also heard horror stories involving biting, pushing, and shoving. I'm 5 feet tall. If you push me, I'll fall, and who will be there to save me?

8. I suck at posting reviews on time. I try so hard to post reviews the week of the release and fail more than I'd like to admit. Do you know how many drafts I have saved on my blog? Too many my friends. Too, too many.

9. I get annoyed whenever people rate books on Goodreads they haven't read yet. Can someone please explain this to me? I don't care if it's one star or five. If someone hasn't read a book yet, they shouldn't rate or judge it. Didn't like the previous book in a series? What does that have to do with the current/next book? Love every book an author has written? That's great, but why do people give a book five stars before the author is even done writing it? Calm your pits, people!

10. My nickname should be "Sucks At Leaving Comments". I do, and I hate myself for it. I keep telling myself I'll be better at leaving comments on other people's blogs, but I still stink at it. Ack!






There you half it, folks! What are some of your blogging confessions?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Poolside Reading And Other Various Fourth of July Things


That's right, I just posted a photo of apple pie/crisp/whatever you want to label it! At any rate, Happy 4th of July to all of you American bloggers, friends, and readers out there. Is there anything better than a three day weekend? Maybe a four or five or not having to go to work at all, but I'll take what I can get. It's pretty much a trademark in our household to celebrate this weekend with fireworks, sitting by the pool/lake/beach, bbq-ing, and aweosme outdoorsy things, even if we (or maybe just me) aren't very outdoorsy.

Since I plan on spending my weekend by the pool reading, I thought I'd share some of my favorite poolside books with you guys. Here we go!




Before we dive into our weekend of fun in the sun, let's not forget what today stands for. It's Independence Day, and far too many soldiers have lost their lives fighting for our great nation. For those who make it back, the majority struggle with PTSD or with the everyday lifestyles that we've all grown accustomed, if not spoiled, to. SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL helps remind us to pray for not only our brave soldiers but also their family, friends, and loved ones. Really, it's the perfect 4th of July read.



Ahh, is there anything better than small vacation towns? How about summer romance? I cannot tell you guys enough how much I simply adored WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. It truly is the perfect beach read.



Whenever I read the title of SINCE YOU BEEN GONE, I can't help but start singing the Kelly Clarkson song in my head. At any rate, this is such a great summer read or really a fabulous book in general. It's about friendship- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's fun, complex, sometimes difficult, but overall perfect. Read it, yo!



In my world, Sarah Dessen is a staple as far as summer poolside reading goes. I cannot tell you how much I love this book or really count how many times I've reread it. ALONG FOR THE RIDE is one of my favorite SD novels, tied with THIS LULLABY.



For you campers out there, THINGS I CAN'T FORGET is the book for you. For you noncampers out there, this book is still for you. Right now, I'm stuck between whether this one or Miranda's upcoming novel (BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE) is my favorite. Anywho, it's easy to devour this book by the pool/lake/beach and accidentally get sunburnt because you lost track of time. I know this all too well.




Now, let's talk about treats. While apple pie seems to be an American signature dessert, I can't help but declare and fangirl over my love for macarons. I've been on this CRAZY macarons kick lately and simply cannot get enough of these delectable treats. In fact, I even took a macarons baking class. Low and behold, for I have created heaven in bite:




Needless to say, these are easily becoming my favorite poolside treat. Well, this and a pitcher of margarita...because I'm an adult and can do what I want! I have three awesome macaron recipes: Chocolate with a salted caramel filling, lemon with a raspberry buttercream filling, and earl grey with a chocolate filling. Honestly, you can mix and match any of the fillings, and they all taste great. If you're interested, email me at addicted2novels(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd love to share these recipes with you!




Regardless of what you guys do this weekend, please remember to be safe, enjoy a book and have fun. Till next time, this is Lena signing out.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Best Kind Of Broken


Title: Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Published: March 4th 2014 by Forever
Genre: New Adult
Source: eGalley courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher (also bought!)
Amazon/Goodreads


"Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer."


First line: "If my bastard neighbor uses all the hot water again, I will suffocate him in his sleep."

Thoughts: Ironically enough, my blogging bestie Karen from For What It's Worth recommended this book to me. The only reason I say ironically is, if you know her, you know how insanely picky she is when it comes to books. I'm the queen of 3-5 stars, and she's the ruler of 1-2 star reviews. Plus, the fact that she recommended a New Adult novel is pretty much unheard of. Alas, like most books recommended to me, I went into reading BEST KIND OF BROKEN with somewhat high expectations. Is it as cute as Karen claims it to be? You guys, it's even cuter.

This isn't a long book. I easily zoomed through the pages and devoured it in just a few sittings/treadmill reading runnings. BEST KIND OF BROKEN is told through both Sarah "Pixie" and Levi's point of views. From the very beginning, the angst and chemistry between the two is clear. The only question is why do they claim to hate each other when this clearly isn't the case? As the novel progresses, you get glimpses of the past- a complicated history with more than its fair share of tragedy. Of the two characters, I couldn't tell who I wanted to reach out to more. Pixie loses herself in her art but even then, it's not what it use to be. It's much darker. Levi, on the other hand, is simply lost. He use to be a star quarterback and go to parties, but now he just works as a handyman at the Willow Inn. The craziest thing is, both Pixie and Levi clearly need each other, but they simply can't get it together.

Unlike plenty of NA books out there, the relationship between these two starts slow and builds into something more. It's not this sexfest, and honestly there aren't really that many romantic scenes. The tension is there, but neither of these two characters just lose it and jump each other in some dark hallway. It grows into something more and once the two finally get to that physical euphoria, whoa. I couldn't help but swoon, giggle, and kind of do that thing where you pull the book closer to your face even though you can see it just fine. I like to think of it as my lust reading zone. You guys, it was really hot, and I'm so grateful the author didn't just leap into it. It made these steamy scenes all the more worthwhile.

Overall, I really enjoyed BEST KIND OF BROKEN. Heck, I liked it so much I ended up buying the ebook because hey, I sense a reread in my future. Without a doubt, I cannot wait to read PERFECT KIND OF TROUBLE and other books by Chelsea Fine.



Rating:

4 Stars


Favorite Quotes:

“'You can't sit next to me. You'll ruin my game.'

"'What game?' she says. 'You're a white guy wearing a gold chain. You have no game.'”

“I always thought losing my virginity would be a memorable event with fireworks and theme music and maybe a parade afterward. But no.”

“'You are not my friend, Pixie. You are a piece of my heart and a part of who I want to be.'”





Friday, June 27, 2014

Feature Friday: Nowhere But Here

Nowhere But Here Cover


Title: Nowhere But Here

Author: Renée Carlino

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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About Nowhere But Here:


Nowhere But Here Cover
A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.


Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.



With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.


USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.



Amazon | iTunes | B&N

 


To read an exclusive bonus short from Nowhere But Here, click the following link: Nowhere but Here bonus scene




About Renée Carlino:

renee carlinoRenee's first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven't gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she's a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80's movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

 

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each blogger's most anticipated books. This week my pick is I WANT IT THAT WAY by Ann Aguirre.


"Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it."


Why I Can't Wait: Umm, hello? It's by Ann Aguirre. She could write a book about how to cultivate ant farms, and I'd read it. I love that she wrote a contemporary novel. Her character development is phenomenal, so I'm anxious to see how everything will play out in a very non-end of the world setting. Eek! EXCITED!

Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Harlequin HQN

*Add it on Goodreads

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2)


Title: Breakable (Contours of the Heart #2)
Author: Tammara Webber
Published: May 6th 2014 by Penguin Berkley
Source: Finished copy courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
Amazon/Goodreads


"He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat."

First line: "I woke with a jerk, screaming."

Thoughts: For those who know me well, EASY is quite possibly one of my favorite books of all time. Even though I have a finished copy on my bookshelf, I also have the ebook on my Kindle app. You know, just in case I need a quick fix. One of the reason I loved EASY so much is because of Lucas, a character so complicated, I could never quite figure him out. When I heard Tammara was writing a book told in Lucas' point of view, I screamed cheers of joy. Immediately, I could hear chants of "Lucas, Lucas, Lucas" in my head. Now, the bigger question is how was it? Did it live up to the all of its hype? Overall, yes. Yes it did.

Each chapter starts off with Landon's point of view and ends with Lucas'. The novel immediately begins with Landon waking up in the hospital after his mother's death. For those who have read EASY, you know how closed off Lucas is to this subject, but you're not sure why or really the circumstances. That comes much later in EASY, but in this case, it jumps right in. Landon struggles with the loss of his mother, the guilt, and the distance his father places between them. How is someone suppose to just move on with their life? Honestly, if it weren't for the Hellers, I wouldn't know how Landon made it as far as he did. Mrs. Heller was Landon's mom's best friend, and soon enough, the entire family accepts him as one of their own. Yet, as most people do, he still struggles with the pain and is ridden with guilt.

Lucas. What a funny guy. When he first sees Jacqueline (who he calls Jackie until they finally meet), he quickly becomes her Edward Cullen stalker. What do I mean by this? Well, he looked her up on the class seating chart and immediately went into Facebook mode. When he found that her page is set to private, he checked out Kennedy's. That's where he learns how long the two have been dating, looks at photos of her, the works. It would be flattering if it weren't so creepy, but hey. People do it all of the time, so it makes it normal, right? Right? Moving on...

I absolutely adored Lucas' dry sense of humor. He has this dark, brooding personality mixed in with a lightheartedness that he only shows towards Jacqueline. I loved that he was a no BS type of guy, yet hides his "Landon" persona when it came to getting closer with her. His struggle with telling her the truth was both entertaining and slightly adorable. He also has this prince charming side, though he's not the romantic "randomly buy you flowers" type of guy. Needless to say, I fell even more in love with him than before.

After a while, I started referring to Landon/Lucas as LanLuc. The alternating personas took me a second to get use to, but I eventually did and enjoyed it. Though I very much enjoyed Landon's story, I personally found Lucas' more entertaining. I love viewing the events from EASY from his point of view. There were certain things he did in EASY that I found to be a bit a-hole-ish, but after reading his thoughts, I now understand why.

All in all, BREAKABLE will most certainly satisfy fans of Tammara Webber. I think I enjoyed EASY more, but it doesn't mean I didn't devour BREAKABLE in two sittings (as work often gets in the way of reading time). I personally think Francis the cat is my favorite character in this book, but maybe it's because I really, really love cats. Needless to say, I cannot wait for the author's next novel. Will she continue writing about this world or will she move on to another one? Either way, I'll definitely need to get my hands on it ASAP!


Rating:

4 Stars


Favorite Quotes:

“Everyone isn’t logical. Everything doesn’t make sense in the end. Sometimes you have to forget about explanations or excuses and leave people and places behind, because otherwise they will drag you straight down.”

“Luck could be earned and created. It could be discovered. It could be regained. After all - I'd found this girl. I'd found my future. I'd found forgiveness. My mother would have been happy for me...”

“I wanted to put on earphones and plug into her and know what she was hearing when her fingers performed.”