Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blog Tour: Of Fire and Stars


Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Expected publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Source: eArc via Netgalley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. "

Thoughts: A standalone fantasy novel? Really? Okay, I'm in. The cover brought my attention to the novel, the synopsis got me invested, and the overall promise of something amazing is why I decided to pick this one up. While it's a cute story and I liked it, I can't say full heartedly that I loved it.

What I loved about the novel: Denna and Mare. I absolutely adored these two. If you're a fan of strong heroines with a lot to offer, this is the book for you. They're very much opposites in a sense, but they also fit well together. Denna is training to be queen of Mynarian, and as most leaders or anyone how has ever tried to work in a group project knows, there will always be people who clash, argue, or simply don't appreciate your opinion. Enter Mare. Mare is Denna's fiancé's sister and her riding instructor. They just click, and I loved reading their love story unfold. It was super cute and definitely put a smile on my face. That's not to say it doesn't come with its own set of complications (like every relationship on the planet), but the times where things were great is what got me through this book

Things I didn't love about the novel: Denna and Mare's relationship was pretty much the only pro for me. The rest of the novel just felt rather bland and very slow-moving. I guess I just expected more. I wanted more action, world building, character building, something, anything!

I felt like the secondary characters were just there to be there, and was it just me or did the horses play more of a complex role than anyone other than the two main gals?

Pacing in fantasy novels usually takes a backseat in favor of world and character building. In this case, the story just goes for it without much of either, and I found myself struggling to get through. To be honest, it probably took me a lot longer than it should've to finish this novel, but I did blow through the scenes that involved Denna and Mare (the pro!).

All in all, while OF FIRE AND STARS had a lot of promise, it just fell a bit too flat for my taste. Honestly, I think I'm in the minority in this case, because I've seen a lot of people online who love, rave, and cherish this novel. This is just my opinion, so don't take my word for it. While it's not the book for me, maybe it's the book for you!


Rating:

2 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT AUDREY COULHURST:
Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.

Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram



Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of OF FIRE AND STARS (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
11/14: What Sarah Read - Review
11/15: A Backwards Story - Mood Board
11/16: Addicted 2 Novels - Review (Welcome, Y'all!)
11/17: Caught Read Handed - Guest Post
11/18: Lisa Loves Literature - Review

Week 2:
11/21: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
11/22: IN WONDERLAND - Review
11/23: No BS Book Reviews - Q&A
11/24: Don't Fold the Page - Review
11/25: Arctic Books - Top 5



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blog Tour: This Is Our Story


Welcome to the next stop in the This Is Our Story Blog Tour! Today, I'll be reviewing this novel as well as posting a giveaway. Enough small talk. Let's have at it, shall we?


Title: This Is Our Story
Author: Ashley Elston
Published: November 15th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: eGalley courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.

Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.

Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own."

Review: Is it cliche to call this book addicting considering my blog's name is Addicted 2 Novels? Well, I don't know how better way to describe it other than that. The mystery, the romance, the twist and the turns, THIS IS OUR STORY will offer you plenty of reasons to stay up late until you reach the very last page.

What originally drew me to this novel, as superficial as it sounds, was the cover. It doesn't give much of anything anyway yet was interesting enough for me to pick it up and read the synopsis. Once I did, I knew I had to get my hands on it.

The novel is told through our main character Kate's POV and sometimes switches to the murderer's POV. Kate is one of those likable characters you root for from the very beginning. Her mom is works for the local DA, which actually lands her an internship with them. Naturally, once the murder case lands on the DA's desk, Kate is instantly drawn to the mystery. She wants to know who killed Grant and find justice. I don't want to go into further details without giving too much away, but I do want to point out that Kate would definitely give the girls (especially Spencer) from Pretty Little Liars a run for their money.

Oddly enough, even though THIS IS OUR STORY is more of a mystery-thriller novel, there is a bit of romance in it. Swoony boys are definitely a plus, but again, I don't want to name names without giving too much away. Just know that if this is something you have to have in all of your novels (*raises hand*), it's there.

All in all, if you're looking for a book that will keep you up in the wee hours of the morning, THIS IS OUR STORY is the book for you. I loved the setting, the complexity of all of the characters, and the overall flow of the story. Piece by piece, my curiosity grew, and though the ending didn't take me completely by surprised, I loved going on the journey to get there.

Really, there's something for everyone in this novel.


Rating:

5 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N



ABOUT ASHLEY ELSTON:
Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband and three sons. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a certified landscape horticulturist and loves digging in the dirt. Her debut novel, THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING, was published by Disney Hyperion in 2013 and the sequel, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, in 2014. Her latest novel, THIS IS OUR STORY, will be published on November 15, 2016.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of THIS IS OUR STORY (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!


11/7: Bookiemoji - Review
11/8: The Book Addict's Guide - Book Scents
11/9: Fiction Fare - Review
11/10: Adventures of a Book Junkie - Q&A
11/11: Caught Read Handed - Review

11/14: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
11/15: Addicted 2 Novels - Review (You're here!)
11/16: In Wonderland - Guest Post
11/17: Ex Libris - Review
11/18: The Fake Steph - Top 10



Monday, October 17, 2016

If I Fix You Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway




When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .
LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Review: When someone compares a novel to greats like Morgan Matson, Cammie McGovern, and Sarah Dessen, an reader expectation naturally develops. From the summary, it sounded like a deeper YA novel with different types of relationships (romantic, family, and whatnot) at it's core, which is completely up my alley. I must say, IF I FIX YOU did not disappoint.

Jill, the main character, is very relatable in multiple aspects. Though I've never gone through what she did, I can understand the hurt and confusion that can follow with it. The main relationship in the story is that between her and her father. She works at his car shop, and they share a very close relationship with no another. After seeing what she saw, her best friend and the role he played in her mom leaving, I was glad that she had her father around and be the parental figure (even though her father is dealing with his own pain). The love he has for her is undeniable, and though I enjoyed reading about Jill and her journey, her father was by far my favorite character in this novel.

Enter Daniel. Jill has been sleeping on the roof to escape and find some sort of solace. She actually overhears a fight between Daniel's parents and begins to form a connection with him. They seem to just fit together, but you can also tell that Daniel likes to keep a certain distance from Jill. He's obviously hiding something, the question is what.

All in all, while there is heartache in this story, I will say that it's not unbearable by any means. IF I FIX YOU is about healing, finding yourself, family, friendship, and everything in-between.

Rating:

4 Stars




ABOUT ABIGAIL JOHNSON:
Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
10/17: Addicted 2 Novels - Review
10/18: The Irish Banana Review - Fast 5
10/19: PaperTrailYA - Review
10/20: A Book and a Latte - How I Write
10/21: Ex Libris - Review

Week 2:

10/24: Lost In Lit - Guest Post
10/25: Tina the Bookworm - Review
10/26: Fiction Fare - Q&A
10/27: The Petite Book Blogger - Review & Moodboard
10/28: Stuck In Books - Review

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of IF I FIX YOU (US Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Everyone We've Been : Reader Edition

In addition to being about memory and first love, Everyone We’ve Been is also about change. Because of this, I’ve been thinking a lot about change recently and how we evolve as individuals. This led me to thinking about how I’ve changed over time. The history of me is pretty boring (Once I was short. Then I was taller, but still short-ish. The end.), but I thought it might be fun to track how I’ve changed as a reader! Who I was - what books I loved - and who I am now.

The Brand New Reader: My very first independent reading memories are of picture books and short chapter books. I remember loving the Mr Men series, The Giving Tree, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other books by Beatrix Potter.


The Enchanted Reader: I started to really love reading in elementary school. Everything about books seemed endless and enchanting and possible. I fell in love with A Wrinkle in Time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Heidi, Matilda, Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I could go on and on.


The All-You-Can-Read Reader: The next stage in my life involved serialized stories. A lot of serialized stories. I’d find an author I liked and read everything in every series they’d ever written. Some favorites: Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven series, The Famous Five, Babysitter’s Club, The Mistletoe Farm, The Faraway Tree. Basically, if a series had more than three books (and involved secrets and numbers and Enid Blyton), I was in.



The Curious Reader: This phase took place at the end of elementary school and can pretty much be summed up in three words: Sweet Valley High. I remember my parents disapproving of these books, so naturally I devoured them. Then, I started to venture into the adult section. It all just looked so juicy and contraband. Until I read the first few pages of Stephen King’s It. I went running back to books for kids my age.
I’ve still never read It.


The Nonexistent Reader: I went through a sad phase where I didn’t read much in middle school. Maybe I was scarred by the pages of It I’d read, or maybe I was just so focused on surviving middle school. I remember that I missed reading the way you miss a friend you haven’t seen in ages.


The Prodigal Reader: In high school, I rediscovered my love of reading with books like The Giver, The Great Gatsby (which I hated at the time), A Separate Peace, The Diary of a Young Girl. I was the weirdo who read the required reading books and asked for some more. Then, I discovered newer authors like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen and John Green, and it opened up a whole new world.


The YA Reader: In college, I read a lot of YA. Tons and tons of it. Especially angsty YA. I also loved If I Stay, The Sky is Everywhere, Wintergirls and The Hunger Games and much more. These books felt like home to me. They were an especially welcome break from the Serious Literary Novels that I had to read for classes in college.


The Balancing Reader: I read a bit of everything these days. YA, adult, MG, nonfiction. I don’t read picture books much, though I always enjoy them when I do. I’m also making an intentional effort to read diversely, to buy books with voices that have been missing from publishing for so long and are so very needed. Some books I’ve loved in the last year:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Everything, Everything
More Happy Than Not
The Way Back To You
Suffer Love
Americanah
Wonder



And that’s everyone I’ve been, as far as reading goes. What reading phases have you gone through?



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Everett is the author of EVERYONE WE’VE BEEN (out Oct 4, 2016) and a second untitled novel that she is still hard at work on (both from Knopf/Penguin Random House). She remembers growing up in enchanted forests, on desert islands and inside a magical wardrobe. She would only ever erase her memory of past karaoke performances and certain fashion choices. Her interests include science, Friends, tennis, and reading. She currently lives in Canada where she attends graduate school and writes YA novels.


"Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?"


*Goodreads
*Amazon
*Barnes and Noble
*Book Depository
*IndieBound



Friday, October 7, 2016

Spotlight + Giveaway: In Ruins


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: IN RUINS
Author: Danielle Pearl
Series: Something More, #1
On Sale: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD
eBook: $4.99 USD
Add to Goodreads

The first New Adult spin-off novel in the bestselling YA Something More series by Danielle Pearl!

She wanted to start again. To be someone—anyone—different. . .

Freedom. When Carleigh Stanger thought of college, that was the word that came to mind. Freedom from her unhappy home life. Freedom from high school mistakes. Freedom from the memory of that terrible morning. Only instead of bringing a sweet escape, Carleigh's first campus party traps her in the scornful gaze of the last person she wants to see, Tucker Green.

It wasn't long ago that being close to Carleigh was everything Tucker wanted. But that was before he realized she was just another scheming girl who'd do whatever it took to get her way. Even lie to the guy she claimed to love. Unfortunately while Tucker's brain remembers the pain Carleigh caused, his body only remembers the pleasure . . .


BUY THE BOOK HERE

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Google Play
iBooks
Indiebound
Kobo



THE SOMETHING MORE SERIES

IN RUINS, #1
IN PIECES, #2

Series Page on Goodreads



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who—luckily—doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.

Website
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Goodreads


FOLLOW FOREVER ONLINE

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a Rafflecopter giveaway




Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning


Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)
Author: Jessica Cluess
Published: September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR
Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository

"I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?"


Review: You guys, I haven't read a solid fantasy novel in a really long time. When I saw A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, I thought hey, this sounds good and different. This book basically has everything I love about a fantastic fantasy novel and reminded me that I truly do need to read more of them. I could not put it down. I loved the characters, the magic, the plot, and the story line. Honestly, I loved it all!

Like all fantasy novels, if the world building isn't done well, the book will inevitably fall a bit short. Have no fear. With ASBAB, it felt like I stepped into this alternate Victorian London filled with monsters, magic, and mayhem. I could visualize everything so clearly, and even though I've never been to London before, I this book made me feel like I had. It definitely makes me want to travel more, sans monsters and whatnot.

Now, let's talk about Henrietta, shall we? I truly found her to be an outstanding main character. Everyone who reads this novel will easily find pieces of themselves inside her, and even though she's not perfect (Because who is?), it doesn't takeaway from the fact that she is genuinely a badass character. Speaking of fabulous characters...

Rook. Hello, swoon. We meet again. I immediately fell for Rook and fell for him hard. How can you not? He is just incredibly sweet and loyal to a fault. He would do anything for Henrietta, and how can you not fall for someone like that? Though the romance only plays a small role in the novel, a pinch if you will, I really did love those few swoonworthy moments that had me smiling from ear to ear.

All in all, I highly recommend A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING to any YA fans there who want to go on an epic journey. The intrigue alone will keep you up until the very last, heart-stopping page. If you're a fan of THE BURNING SKY and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, this is the book for you!


Rating:

5 Stars


Monday, October 3, 2016

Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Title: Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu (Illustrator)
Expected publication: October 18th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository


"The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless."

Review: I've been sitting here for longer than I'd like to admit wondering how to tell you fabulous folks how much I practically worshiped and devoured GEMINA without giving too much away. Should I tell you about the...well, no. Or how...no, not that either. Ugh! What I will say is it's a fantastic novel that, even though it's a sequel, can also be read as a standalone (But it's truly best to read ILLUMINAE first). From the beginning to the end, flipping through the amazing story, I never once felt bored nor did I ever want to put it down. It's a fall must read!

GEMINA starts off right where ILLUMINAE ends. We have a new set of main characters. For those wondering, the previous main characters from ILLUMINAE do make appearances, but just be read for a new cast and crew. Hanna is an easy character to fall in love with, and you'll also easily swoon for Nik. I will say the sci-fi element is definitely stronger in this one versus the romance, however, I found this to make the story much more thrilling than the previous novel.

There's so much I want to say and just as much as I can't, but just know that this book will leave the rushing and rushing until the shocking end. To be honest, I very much enjoyed GEMINA more than ILLUMINAE. I know, how is that even possible? This writing duo just keeps getting better and better.

Sadly, my ARC did not have any illustrations in it, but never fear- I've preordered my copy and will be able to see the gorgeous illustrations come October 18th. Put it on your must-read list ASAP.

Rating:

5 Stars


Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Knopf Books, I am giving away one copy of Gemina to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below,. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends October 31st.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Die Young With Me (With Giveaway!)



Welcome to Day #9 of the Die Young With Me Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus (9/20/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rob and 10 chances to win a copy of Die Young With Me, as well as two chances to win a Punk Rock Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!


5 Musicians I'd Love to Meet
Living or Dead
by Rob Rufus

Over the years I’ve met tons of musicians.  Some of them you would have never heard of, and some of them are all over TV and magazine covers – either way; I’ve been pretty lucky.  But there is also a downside to meeting musicians you idolize – sometimes, they’re assholes.  Sometimes your musical heroes are drugged up, or creepy, or just plain boring as hell.  Sometimes they’ll even try to sleep with your girlfriend (and that’s a bummer, take it from me).

So when compiling this list, I tried to keep my past experiences in mind.  All of the musicians below are ones that I’d not only love to meet, but they are musicians I believe are wholly represented by their art.  Because when you’re meeting your heroes, my stance is – the less surprises, the better.



BILLY BRAGG

Billy Bragg is one of my favorite songwriters.  He’s like the British Woody Guthrie, but with a better sense of humor.  We once played a festival together in Florida called Harvest of Hope, the proceeds of which were going to migrant farm workers.  Because it was for charity, Billy Bragg flew over from England and played on his own dime.  He didn’t want to take any money away from the cause.  He was the only headliner who played for free.

Unfortunately, the cost of putting on the concert bankrupted the organization.  Brutal, right?  But I was taken by how selfless Billy Bragg was – he practices what he preaches, and he knows how to insult people with grace, a trick I’d really love to learn.



DEAN MARTIN

I would’ve loved to hang out with Dean Martin for the exact opposite reasons that I’d love to meet Billy Bragg.  I mean, can you imagine?  Movie stars, Playboy bunnies, starched collars of thick wool suits, and enough hair products to make your eyes bleed.   The booze would be flowing like, well, booze!  Come on Dino, sign me up!



ELVIS

Hail to the king, baby – who wouldn’t kill to hang out with Elvis?  But in the end he stuck close to his moron redneck friends, leeches that were sucking him dry and making a mockery of his legacy.  If just one of those Memphis Mafia guys had been real with Elvis, maybe he’d be alive today.  Let me join the Memphis Mafia, Elvis, come on!  I’ll shoot straight with you dude, I swear.



TIM ARMSTRONG

In my opinion, Tim Armstrong is one of the best songwriters around, period.  The front man for one of my favorite bands, Rancid, we’ve played the same festivals many times but I’ve never met him.  He’s a painter, writer, producer, DJ, actor, and everything else under the sun – the man is a serious artist.  I just wanna vibe with this motherfucker till I get on his level…or close. 



LUCINDA WILLIAMS

I’ve never had a crush on a woman’s talent the way I do on Lucinda Williams.  She is just unreal to me on every level, and writes songs that will rip your heart out of your chest, fuck it up, stomp on it, brush it off, and then carefully re-insert it.  She’s one of the bravest female artists I can think of, and I would really love to get a chance to tell her how much I appreciate it, and how much I’ve learned from her songwriting.

If you have artists that you’d like to meet, it isn’t as hard as you’d think.  Just hang long enough and they’ll appear, bedazzled and sparkling and…human.  Don’t forget that part.  They’re just people – and, like a lot of people, they sometimes let you down.  Sometimes it is better to know them through their art, it’s often more reliable and very rarely has bad breath.


*****

Stop by Once Upon A Twilight tomorrow for the last stop on the tour!

Blog Tour Schedule:

September 19th - Mundie Moms
September 20th – BookHounds
September 21st – PageTurners
September 22nd – The Ravenous Reader
September 23rd – A Dream Within a Dream

September 26th – Positively Book Crazy
September 27th – Crossroad Reviews
September 28th – Book Briefs
September 29th – Addicted 2 Novels
September 30th – Once Upon A Twilight


Follow Rob: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?

When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.

While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music. Die Young With Me is a raw, honest account of a brave teen’s fight with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.


About the Author: Rob Rufus is a musician and writer living in Nashville. His band, Blacklist Royals, has released two full-length albums and played in sixteen countries over the past five years. Rob has written articles for Modern Drummer, Amp Magazine, Digital Tour Bus, and many music sites. Rob also works closely with the cancer community, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Stupid Cancer Podcast (the largest advocacy/support organization worldwide for teens with cancer), and Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can find him online at robrufus.net, on Twitter @rob_rufus, and Instagram @dieyoungwithme_official.


GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY


  • Two (2) winners will receive a Punk Rock Prize Pack featuring a finished copy of Die Young With Me, an exclusive poster, a mix tape (ft. an excerpt of the book), Die Young With Me switchback comb (not pictured), and Rob Rufus punk rock vinyls
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 10/2 at midnight ET
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blog Tour: The Storybook Knight Review


Title: The Storybook Knight
Authors: Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty
Published: September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…"

Review: I honestly didn't know what to expect when I was first introduced to THE STORYBOOK KNIGHT. The covered definitely drew me in, and the story itself also sounded intriguing. Why not give it a go? What I found out was the cover and the summary (though both fabulous) do not do this book justice. Once you tear open the first page, you'll truly see how elaborate the illustrations are. There's no detail left behind, and to top it off, I was blown away by the limerick.

THE STORYBOOK KNIGHT is a fantastic adventure, probably more suited for kiddos 4 and up. I truly believe they'll enjoy each and every bit of the story, and there's always some new piece to catch every time you go through the artwork.

Rating:

5 Stars



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Max At Night Review


Title: Max At Night (Max)
Author: Ed Vere
Published: September 3rd 2015 by Puffin
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Meet Max - the mighty kitten and New York Times bestseller.

This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It's way past Max's bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight...

Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped... Witty and heart-warming, this stylish and beautifully illustrated book is the perfect bedtime read."


Review: What a great bedtime story! The illustration was just too cute, and the story itself is just as charming as sweet little Max. This is a wonderful picture book for both girls and boys of all ages.

First off, I loved where the story took us with the whole search for the moon. Like I said before, Max is a charming kitten who simply wants to say goodnight to the moon. I loved how the illustration completely focuses on Max and his journey, and everything else was merely background. He stumbles across a few obstacles that has you guessing how he'll find his way to say goodnight, which I believe will intrigue both children and adults. Part of me does wish the story itself was slightly more elaborate, but all in all, a great book to help tuck in your little ones at night.

I can't wait to read this to my soon-to-be little one to help tuck her in at night.

Rating:

4 Stars



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: Holding Up The Universe


Title: Holding Up The Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository


Review:
This book! This book is so powerful and has so much soul that it completely touched me in so many different ways. From the writing to the characters to the overall story, I was completely moved and, needless to say, devoured this novel in one sitting. What do you expect when it's written by Jennifer Niven?

Jack and Libby are such wonderfully written characters, flawed in every way you and I are, yet still striving to be better. Yes, there's definitely bullying in this book, and yes, you will feel hurt, but there are moments where you'll be swooning and smiling so hard that you think your lips are going to fall off. It makes up for all the times you're cringing and wanting to simply throw the book across the room just to be done with it. Let's be honest, you don't know true happiness unless you've encountered the deepest of sorrows.

I could go deeper into the story, but I feel like it would ruin it for everyone. Just know that this book offers so many lessons including finding peace in who you are and not who everyone thinks you should be. I feel like I grew as a person after reading HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE and others will as well. For anyone who feels offended by the summary, know that the author drew in both her's and her friend's personal experiences, and it is in no way meant to be offensive. Personally, I feel it's meant to help others and let them know they're not alone.

Rating:

4.5 Stars



Friday, September 9, 2016

The One Real Thing Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway + Excerpt


Title: The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1)
Author: Samantha Young
Published: September 6th 2016 by Berkley
Source: Finished copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….


Review: There is absolutely nothing better than curling up with the latest book by one of your favorite authors. Samantha Young just has this incredible talent for sucking you into a story from the very page...Heck, first line! THE ONE REAL THING is not an exception to this. It's quirky, fun, sexy, and just downright good!

The two main characters are easy to love. Both find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. You have Jessica, a doctor at the Wilmington prison who stumbles across some letters that ultimately lead her to a life changing journey. If you've ever read THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks, it kind of reminded me of Logan's journey sans angst. Then you have Cooper, a man whose ex-wife cheated on him, running his family bar (with angst!). When these two collide, as cliche as it sounds, sparks flew. Their chemistry is electric. You could feel the sexual tension and oh, when they finally got together...Wowsas! I loved them together more than I did when they were apart. I loved that the author chose to have them build that sexual tension rather than rush into an insta-love relationship. This made me devour the book even faster.

The novel is told through both Jessica's and Cooper's point of views. One thing I found odd was that Jessica's POV was written in first person and Cooper's in third. I wonder if the author did this so readers would relate more to Jessica than Cooper? Either way, it was a little odd to me, but it didn't necessarily take anything away from the overall story.

From the quaint beach town to the sizzling romance, I highly recommend everyone check out THE ONE REAL THING. If you live in an area where the weather still permits, take it to the beach or pool with you, drink a couple cocktails, lay back and enjoy. It really is the best way to savor this fabulous novel.

Rating:

4.5 Stars





Excerpt: Why did it feel like having sex had complicated things so much? Usually sex was complication-free for me.

But before that night I’d been completely sure that Cooper was interested in exploring something more with me, and now I was freaking out that his interest would wane now that he’d had me.

I shook my head slowly. “No. It was good.”

He scowled, his arms tightening around me so much there wasn’t an inch of space between us. “It was better than fucking good, Jessica.”

I scowled back and pushed at his chest for some breathing space. “Well, I’m sure you’d know all about that.”

“What the fuck does that mean?”

“You use the word ‘fuck’ a lot.”

“It’s a good fucking word.”

I was tempted to laugh at how disgruntled he sounded and he seemed to catch my amusement because his hold on me eased.

“What’s going on in your head, Jess?”

I thought about evading this conversation. I’d never had to have an adult, open conversation with a man about sex. However, I realized, somewhat reluctantly, if I wanted something more with Cooper Lawson I was going to have to give him more than I was used to giving.

I couldn’t change his past, but I could figure out what it was he wanted in the future by just being honest and asking the question.

“You still want something with me, right? This”—I gestured behind me to the table—“it wasn’t just about sex.”

“No,” he said. “It’s not just about sex.”

As I heaved a sigh of relief, he let go of my waist to cup my face in his hands, dipping his head down to mine so our noses almost touched. He stared deep into my eyes and I shivered. I felt like he was trying to see right into my soul.

“I’m in this for the long haul, Doc. I was before you walked into my bar tonight, but now, after the best fucking sex of my life, after how wild that was, there’s no way I’m letting you walk out of here without me.”
And there he went doing it again.

His words resonated deep within me along with giving me that deep, sexual belly flip of arousal.

My fingers curled into the top of his biceps. “Best sex of my life, too,” I murmured. “It stunned me a little. Confused me . . . I thought maybe . . . you . . . this was old hat for you . . .”

He gave me a crooked grin. “You think I make a habit of fucking women in my bar.”

“You could,” I said. “You are definitely a man who could pull that off.”

Cooper threw his head back in laughter and I pressed my body deeper into his to feel his joy.

And then he wrapped his arms around me and hugged me.

Just as I’d suspected, he was a really good hugger.

When he pulled back he was smiling gently at me. “You’re the only woman I’ve had in my bar.” He let me go only to take my hand in his. “No one sits at that table anymore.” He gestured to the scene of the best sex we’d both ever had. “It’s now a shrine.”

“You can’t do that!” I was mortified at the possibility of people finding out why there was a table in Cooper Lawson’s bar that no one was allowed to sit at.

“I can. It’s my bar. I think I’ll even carve ‘Coop and Doc were here’ on it.”

Finally getting that he was joking, I made a face. “Funny.”

“You’re slow on the uptake tonight,” he teased.

“My brain was just frazzled by the orgasm to beat all orgasms.”

He squeezed my hand. “You up for more brain frazzling?”

I shivered at the thought. “Definitely.”

His eyes darkened. “Let’s go back to my place.”

Exhilarated by the prospect, I followed him, and it wasn’t until we’d stepped outside the bar into the cool night air that I said, “I don’t suppose you know where my panties are?”

“I do, actually.” He led me to the back of his bar to the parking lot. A dark-colored GMC was the only truck there.

“Um . . . could I have them, please?”

He stopped me at the passenger side of the truck, pressing me up against the car. “Why?” he whispered against my lips before he kissed me deeply. He came up for air a few seconds later. “You’re not going to need them where we’re going.”

The nagging pressure between my legs increased. “You are so very, very good at stringing the exact right words together.”

He kissed me again.

“You’re just good with your mouth in general,” I murmured.

Cooper grinned and brushed his lips over mine. “In the truck, Doc.”


Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous people at Berkley, you can enter to win 1 of 5 copies of THE ONE REAL THING. Did I mention it's open to international participants as well? Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Papillon Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway




Title: The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon (Papillon #1)
Author: A.N. Kang
Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: Finished copy received by the publisher/tour in exchange for an honest review
Goodreads

Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home?

Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

Review: You guys, this book is TOO stinking cute! As a fellow cat lover, I couldn't help but grin like a maniac as I flipped through the pages and read the story. Yes, I was cheesing HARD!

Papillon (which is French for "Butterfly") is a cat who is so fluffy that he actually floats. His owner loves him so much that she starts trying to weigh him down to get him to stay. The thing is, he doesn't want to be weighed down. He wants to float, float, float, and explore.

From the illustrations to the quirky and darling story, I simply loved every minute of this picture book, especially the part that involved costumes. You'll see. I truly cannot wait for my little girl to be born already, so I can read this story to her over and over again. I also can't wait to see when and where Papillon's next adventure will be.

Oh, and be sure to take off the cover jacket once you get your hands on this book. What's underneath is precious!

Once you're done reading, you'll want to pick up your cat and cuddle with her/her for days!

Rating:

5 Stars


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT A.N. KANG:
A. N. Kang (www.annakangdesign.com) was born in a little town in South Korea, with endless rice fields around her house. She grew up entertaining herself with picturebooks, and drew constantly. After moving to the United States as a teenager, she graduated from art school and began to design jewelry, greeting cards, and holiday installations all over New York City. She now lives and works in New Jersey with her sassy cat, Papillon. This is Kang’s debut.


Be sure to follow the rest of the tour!

9/4: The Irish Banana Review
9/5: Addicted 2 Novels
9/6: Mundie Kids
9/7: That Artsy Reader Girl
9/8: Vi3tbabe
9/9: FangirlConfessions
9/10: Owl Always Be Reading

Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of PAPILLON (US Only)

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Show Me How Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Title: SHOW ME HOW (Thatch #3)
Author: Molly McAdams
Published: August 23rd 2016 by William Morrow Impulse
Source: eARC courtesy of the publisher/tour in exchange for an honest review
LINKS: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

After her first love was ripped from her grasp four years earlier, Charlie Easton was sure she would never be able to trust anyone with the shattered pieces of her heart again. That is, until Deacon Carver forces himself into her life, and makes those pieces swirl in chaos. But Charlie doesn't know how to let him in… until a stranger stumbles upon a notebook filled with her innermost secrets, and shows her how.

Deacon Carver is known for sleeping his way through the town of Thatch, as well as the surrounding cities—something he used to take pride in. But that persona has haunted Deacon ever since he decided to leave that life behind for the girl he wants more than anything: Charlie Easton.

But when another girl falls into Deacon's life, allowing him to be himself without judgment for his past, will their conversations hinder his relationship with Charlie … even if he's never seen her?


Thoughts: To be honest, I didn't read the prior two novels before reading SHOW ME HOW. Like most NA novels, it can be read as a standalone, but I'm thinking it would've been better as a set. At any rate, I feel like this kept me from truly connecting to the characters. Yes, SHOW ME HOW does give you a bit of a recap to everyone's background, how their relationships are, and where they came from. It definitely has spoilers for the other two novels, but as the reader, you already know most love interests typically end up with together and with a HEA. With all of this said, though I liked SHOW ME HOW, I never really loved it.

The story starts off with Charlie. You can already tell she's a very shy girl with issues that go beyond merely wanting to fade into the background. Though I liked that she adored romance novels (win!) and is a great mom to her son (double win!), I truly never connected with her. She was there but she wasn't, and even though half of the book is from her point of view, I kind of feel like the other characters stood out more. I felt awful for her whenever certain things were said, but other than that, I just found her a bit ho-hum.

Moving onto Deacon. Okay, I don't understand how he can go from despising Charlie to falling for her in such a short time frame. Yes, he completely misunderstood a situation and was genuinely apologetic about it, but he still did really (for a lack of a better word) dumb things that just didn't compute with me. I liked that of all the characters in the book, he grew the most, but I never really swooned over him, which I found disappointing. I'm a swoony kind of gal, and he just didn't do it for me. I will say that I think he would make the most amazing friend in the world, if he will just let you in.

Now, Charlie and Deacon together. Truthfully, I never really felt the chemistry between the two. It felt rather forced, and I couldn't get over why either of them were ever attracted (outside of physical attraction) to each other. How many times will Charlie get mad at Deacon and have Deacon try to apologize? I understand why she was upset, and Deacon did constantly put his foot in his mouth, and because of this, I felt like the majority of their relationship was based on arguing. Also, Deacon never questioned who "Words" was? How strange is that? I felt like it was rather obvious.

I know my review is very critical, and it seems like I didn't enjoy it at all, but I really did like the story. I loved Keith and his supapowers. Who will he be today? He's adorable, and probably my favorite character in this whole novel. I liked Graham's humor and how caring he can be to those he loves. Grey is a wonderful sister-in-law, friend, mother, and person, and though I felt Jagger was a little too protective sometimes, I was comforted by the fact that Charlie had him as a big brother. Both Jagger and Charlie lost in the parent lottery game, but they definitely won in the siblings one.

All in all, SHOW ME HOW was a well-written story with diverse characters and a great small town vibe. Though I didn't love it, I did like it. This was my first Molly McAdams' novel, and I definitely plan on checking out her other books.


Rating:

3 Stars






ABOUT MOLLY MCADAMS:
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm ... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.

LINKS: Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | tumblr



Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Week 1:
8/29: Bookish Lifestyle - Review
8/30: Addicted 2 Novels - Review
8/31: Stuck In Books - Review
9/1: What Sarah Read - Review
9/2: Who RU Blog - Q&A

Week 2:
9/5: Books, TV, and More! - Q&A
9/6: BCS Reviews - Review
9/7: Rebel Mommy Book Blog - Review
9/8: Chapter By Chapter - Review
9/9: Novelgossip - Q&A

Giveaway:
$25 (USD) gift card to the ebookseller of choice for 1 winner


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Monday, August 8, 2016

Every Little Thing Cover Reveal




Addicted 2 Novels is so excited to be part of the cover reveal for EVERY LITTLE THING by New York Times bestselling author, Samantha Young! The second book in the new Hart’s Boardwalk series returns to the picturesque Delaware beachside town for another heartfelt and sexy story…



Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.
Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

We can’t wait for Bailey and Vaughn’s story! But in the meantime, we’re looking forward to the first book, The One Real Thing, that goes on sale September 6th! Pre-order the first book in the Hart’s Boardwalk series today!



Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…

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iBooks
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About the author: Samantha Young is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series, including Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Echoes of Scotland Street, and Fall from India Place, as well as the standalone novel Hero. She resides in Scotland.

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