• Splintered - AG HowardSplintered
  • A Matter of Fate - Heather Lyons
  •  inescapable - amy a bartol
  •  graceling - kristin cashore
  •  someone to love - addison moore
  •  breaking beautiful - jennifer shaw wolf
  •  the perfect game - j sterling
  •  the edge of never - ja redmerski
  •  independence - shelly crane

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Hiatus


Over the last handful of months I have been busy getting ready for my departure for the U.S. Army. The time I could devote to this blog was limited and I wasn't been able to keep up with it the way I would have liked. So, I am sadly putting Bookish Diversion on an indefinite hiatus because, for the foreseeable future (7-10 months), I will not have any time to devote to reading. I'm hoping to get back into blogging and sharing my love of books when time permits. 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Elaphantine Publishing Press Release!

While sharing marketing tips and discussing cover art, independent authors Amanda Aksel, Heather Hildenbrand, and Sara Panek all came to the same conclusion; wouldn’t it be great if there was a publishing house that offered all the resources of traditional publishing, while still allowing the creative freedom of independent publishing? They set out to create their vision, and Elephantine Publishing was born.


Elephantine is a collaborative publisher. Their goal is to partner with authors to turn a love of writing into a successful career for years to come. They work side by side with authors through every step of the publishing process to create a unique and professional title to share with the world. Using strategic marketing, Elephantine provides their authors with industry tools and resources to build readership and grow sales.

Elephantine’s aim is simple: To provide access to all stories worth telling, whether or not the words fit into a neatly labeled box. Words that resonate in your bones. Stories you’ll never forget.

Become a part of the herd!
Read the guidelines and submit your query.





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Thursday, March 27, 2014

{Review, Interview & Giveaway} The Man Test by Amanda Aksel


The Man Test
by Amanda Aksel
Source: Provided by Author
Available as of March 25, 2014
Amazon
Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions.

In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?

Overall Rating
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Review
Everyone knows I love Heather Hildenbrand. Well, one of her friends wrote a book and was looking for reviewers so I told Heather to pass my info along. Talk about best idea ever. Amanda Aksel wrote a charming debut that left me feeling a wide range of emotions and changed my view of some topics regarding men.

No woman ever thinks that her man will cheat... until they walk in on it. Marin Johns thought everyone had that one special someone out there waiting for them, that everyone could have what her parents have, a happily ever after.

There are no words that could convey how amazingly awesome this book is. Marin was amusing to say the least. When I say amusing I don't just mean her comments and actions, I'm specifically talking about her thought process. I couldn't help but laugh my way through her story. She was out to prove that all men are lying, cheating bastards (pardon my French), and in the process turned into a basket case and I could see all the ways every choice she made could go wrong. It doesn't help that she herself is a couples therapist and should know better. I LOVED it.

So what specifically did I enjoy about this book? I loved that Marin reacted exactly as I would have had I caught a guy cheating. I found it ironic that a couples therapist happened to be the one it happened to and it resulted in this huge ordeal. I also liked that one of her best friends was anti-relationship and fully supportive of her "test" while the pro-relationship/happily-ever-after-can-happen other best friend told her not to do this. It's like she had her own personal devil and angel on her shoulders.

While I am completely and entirely in love with the story, at times I felt like I lost faith in men. I mean, I know this is fiction and what not, but being a psychology major I'm starting to question whether humans, as a species, were made to be monogamous. While I questioned the ability of a man to stay faithful, I also thought about what spurred Marin's idea to prove all were cheaters. It all started with a suggestion and that just goes to show what the power of suggestion can do.

Overall, I highly recommend The Man Test to anyone who wants to be amused by a therapist. It was witty, clever, and ingenious. Definitely my favorite read so far this year.


Interview
with Amanda Aksel
Pet Peeves? Everyone has them. Could you tell us about a few of yours?
I think pet peeves are so strange, even mine. I have two main pet peeves. Toilet paper should roll from above, not below. If yours is wrong, I will change it. The other is when adults make exaggerated excuses for getting out of things like projects or a day at the office. You’re a grown-up, if you can’t or don’t want to do something just say so. I don’t need a song and dance.

If you could choose to have any superpower, what would you want and why?
I’ve always loved the notion of witches flying on brooms. I want that superpower. Sometimes I have dreams I can fly, and it’s very freeing.

If we were to take a look at your nightstand, what book(s) would we find?
Let’s see, I have Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live, Cindy Chupack’s The Longest Date, and the first Game of Thrones, which I’m getting through little by little.

When you aren’t writing what do you enjoy doing?
I love laying out on the beach, doing things around the house (cleaning and organizing), or watching my favorite TV shows like Greys Anatomy or Sex and the City.

Name 3 things you always have with you when you are writing?
My laptop, the internet (for research), and a nice cup of tea.


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, can you name a few songs that were playing or inspired you while writing The Man Test?
Music inspires so much of my writing. I’m planning a blog post on this topic. The funny thing is I can’t listen to music and write at the same time. I get so distracted by lyrics. But I do create playlists that I listen to when I’m working on a project. There are so many for The Man Test like Little Lies by Anna Ternheim and Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. The most notable would be Hazy by Rosi Golan and William Fitzsimmons. If The Man Test were a film, Hazy would be the feature song.

Can you describe The Man Test in 10 words or less?
Can a heartbroken couples therapist prove all men are cheaters?

Where did you get the idea for this book?
I’ll never forget when it happened. In April 2008, I was working in a real estate office, and all of the sudden I was struck with inspiration. I quickly wrote down the barebones outline (girl is heartbroken, girl meet boy, etc.). It was like the idea came just for me from the universe or God. I had to write it.


Are any of the characters based off of people you know?
Truth be told, I have a few characters loosely based on people I know. The characters are exaggerated versions of those people. They know who they are . . .


Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Yes, I think many women, and men too, have been in a situation where they’ve become suspicious of their partner’s fidelity. You are not alone. I hope The Man Test will allow readers to live vicariously through Marin’s experience and bring some light to a dark topic. Happy Reading!


Giveaway
The martini glass can be found here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



About the Author
Amanda Aksel is an author with an affinity for love. Becoming a couple’s therapist was her “backup” career, and after completing her BA in Psychology she was on her way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time. The Man Test is Amanda’s debut novel, and now she plans to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.


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Friday, March 14, 2014

{Spotlight} Uncovering You by Scarlett Edwards



Uncovering You
by Scarlett Edwards
Series: Uncovering You (#1)
Available March 27, 2014
When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what's waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.

Reality is much worse:

A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.

I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:

J.S.

Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:

Resist and die.

Or submit, and sign my life away.

Excerpt
     In the dark, the hours all mesh together. I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about the vile collar around my neck.
     I need to find some way to get it off. My fingers have explored every millimeter of it. There is no weakness to be found.
     Every minute that goes by brings me closer to tomorrow’s confrontation. What will the contract say? What demands will my captor have of me?
     It does not matter. I will never sign that filthy sheet of paper. I will never willingly surrender my freedom.



Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{Cover Reveal & Giveaway} The Man Test by Amanda Aksel

Cover Reveal
So I'm super excited to share with you a book I will be reviewing on March 27th! This book was funny, witty, and definitely worth a read. 


The Man Test
by Amanda Aksel
Available March 25, 2014
Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions.

In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?


Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author
Amanda Aksel is an author with an affinity for love. Becoming a couple’s therapist was her “backup” career, and after completing her BA in Psychology she was on her way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time. The Man Test is Amanda’s debut novel, and now she plans to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.


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Friday, February 14, 2014

{Review} Unmaking Marchant by Ella James



Unmaking Marchant
by Ella James
Series: Love Inc. (#3)
Source: Provided by Author
Available as of February 12, 2014
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Marchant Radcliffe, owner of the exclusive Love Inc. brothel, is no stranger to darkness. He lost his parents in a plane crash and since college has harbored a secret almost too terrible to bear. He keeps his head above water by pouring his energy into his business—and he’s thrived, despite the dark blot on his soul.

Then, after ten years of good fortune, Marchant’s skeletons start to peek out of the closet, tossing him down a trail of ruin that begins with arson and could end with murder. Because he’s kept his struggles private, he has no one to pull him back from the brink.

After a breakup with her longtime fiancé, Suri Dalton, daughter of one of Silicon Valley’s tech tycoons, has nowhere to go except her BFF’s new penthouse in Las Vegas. The last thing Suri is looking for is a man, but after drowning her woes in wine on the flight over, she stumbles into a torrid make out session with a beautiful stranger—who just so happens to be Marchant Radcliffe, playboy and literal pimp.

Despite an immediate attraction, Suri writes Marchant off as exactly the sort of guy she should avoid. Until Love Inc. goes up in flames, Marchant winds up at the bottom of a swimming pool, and Suri is the only one around to pull him out.

What happens when what you see isn’t what you get? What do you do when destiny is too alluring to resist and too dangerous to survive?

Overall Rating
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Review
I read Selling Scarlett as soon as it was released and when I heard about Taming Cross, I jumped on it. Unmaking Marchant was no different. When Ella James sent me my review copy on release day I was beyond ecstatic. When I found out that I had a snow day the following day, I hunkered down and read to my hearts content.

Like Selling Scarlett and Taming Cross, Unmaking Marchant followed two other characters around, Marchant and Suri. If you've read Taming Cross, you'll remember a fire... well, Unmaking Marchant picks up just before the fire takes place. We get a nice look into Marchant's life and get answers to questions we didn't even know we had. I enjoyed his and Suri's beginning, but I don't think any story in this series will be as good as Selling Scarlett. This one ends on a cliffhanger. If one sentence was removed, it wouldn't, but needless to say I'm dying for the next book.

Overall, it was definitely a good read. I usually check my progress (percentage wise) while I read, but with this story I went from 47% to 95% and didn't even know it. So, I got lost in it. If you want an book that will make you fall in love with Marchant, if you weren't already, pick this up. If you haven't started the series yet, I highly recommend it. 


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{Release Day Blitz} Unmaking Marchant by Ella James

Purchase on Amazon or B&N
Marchant Radcliffe, owner of the exclusive Love Inc. brothel outside Vegas, is no stranger to darkness. He lost his sister in childhood and his parents in college. Since his best friend helped him finance the Love Inc. ranch almost ten years ago, Marchant has drowned himself in business—and he’s thrived, despite the heavy secret that has plagued him since his parents’ deaths.

Then, after ten years of good fortune, Marchant’s skeletons start to peek out of the closet, tossing him down a trail of ruin that begins with arson and could end with murder. Because he’s kept his struggles private, he has no one to pull him back from the brink.

Except for Suri Dalton.

After a breakup with her longtime fiancé, Suri, the daughter of one of Silicon Valley’s tech tycoons, has nowhere to go except her BFF’s new penthouse in Las Vegas. The last thing Suri is looking for is a man, but after drowning her woes in wine on the flight over, she stumbles into a torrid make out session with a beautiful stranger—who just so happens to be Marchant Radcliffe, a playboy and a literal pimp.

Despite an immediate attraction, Suri writes Marchant off as exactly the sort of guy she should avoid. Until Love Inc. goes up in flames, Marchant winds up at the bottom of a swimming pool, and Suri is the only one around to pull him out.

What happens when what you see isn’t what you get? What do you do when destiny is too alluring to resist and too dangerous to survive?

About Ella James
Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, find her on Facebook at facebook.com/ellajamesauthorpage and follow her blog, www.ellajamesbooks.com. Questions or comments? Tweet her at author_ellaj or e-mail her at ella_f_james@ymail.com.

Links


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

{Mini-Review} The Sweetest Game by J. Sterling


The Sweetest Game
by J. Sterling
Series: The Perfect Game (#3)
Source: Purchased
Available as of December 25, 2013
Amazon
This is the third (and final) installment in Jack & Cassie's story!

“It’s one hell of a sledgehammer to the chest when your baseball career comes to an end. It’s like you finally realize that baseball never loved you back. All the sleepless nights, the hours spent at the gym trying to stay fit, the conditioning, the training, the mental preparation, the holiday’s missed, the birthday’s passed, the memories you didn’t get to make with your family…all for what? It’s not like baseball lost any sleep over you. She didn’t stay awake for nights on end trying to figure out how to make you a better player. She didn’t care. Baseball’s a business. A sport. A game. And as much as my entire life has been wrapped up in it, it’s time to let it go.”
- Jack Carter

Overall Rating
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Review
When I heard that J. Sterling was writing a third and final book for Jack & Cassie, I about died. Jack will forever and always be my number one book boyfriend. After all the ups and downs that those two faced in The Perfect Game (my review) and The Game Changer, they deserved a bit of happiness. The Sweetest Game could not have been a better ending to their story. Hell, it couldn't have had a better ending...that epilogue was heartwarming and I cried happy tears. While this final installation provided them with one small blip, the way they worked together and handled everything that life tossed at them (in the end..) made me wonder if any couple today has that kind of life. The Sweetest Game had me bawling my eyes out, laughing hysterically, and just overall happy and amused. It was the perfect ending for the perfect couple. If you haven't started this series do so, if you have, why haven't you finished it?!



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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

{Review, Interview & Giveaway} Tell Me When by Stina Lindenblatt



Tell Me When
by Stina Lindenblatt
Source: Provided by Publisher
Available as of January 20, 2014
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Amber Scott should be enjoying life as a college freshman. She should be pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She should be working hard to make sense of her precalculus math class.

She shouldn’t be waking up her college roommate with screaming nightmares. She shouldn’t be flashing back, reliving the three weeks of hell she barely survived last year. And she definitely shouldn’t be spending time with sexy player Marcus Reid.

But engineering student Marcus is the only one keeping Amber from failing her math course, so she grudgingly lets him into her life. She never expects the king of hookups will share his painful past. Or that she’ll tell him her secrets in return, opening up and trusting him in a way she thought she’d never be able to again.

When their fragile future together is threatened by a stalker Amber thought was locked away for good, Marcus is determined to protect her. And Amber is determined to protect Marcus…even if that means pushing him away.

Overall Rating
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Review
When I received an email asking if I would like to review this book, I jumped at it. I wanted to know why this girl woke up screaming in the middle of the night and why she had the nightmares. The idea of this story intrigued me and I had to read it. Stina Lindenblatt did a wonderful job hooking me from page one.

The two main characters, Amber and Marcus, are social opposites. Amber is a shadow of herself and isn't easily trusting of anyone. While Marcus had a rough childhood and has turned into a womanizer because of what he went though. Anyone could see how Amber's trust in Marcus would be nonexistent, yet they become close in the time they spend together.

The story itself was fantastic. I didn't expect some of the things that occurred, but I also guessed a lot of the gory details. I loved that we got to see everything from not just Amber's side, but Marcus's as well because they both have wounds that are trying to heal and to understand why one of them does something is heavily dependent on where their mind is at. This story wouldn't be nearly the same if we only got to see it from one side. I also enjoyed the supporting characters, specifically Amber's roommate. She was such an annoying little she-demon, but we find out why towards the end.

There are two things that I can think of off the top of my head that bothered me with this book. First, Marcus gives Amber a nickname... Kitten. Being the huge booknerd that I am, I recognize this nickname from The Perfect Game by J. Sterling. I don't want to say that other books can't use or incorporate the same nicknames that are used in other stories, but the first time I saw "Kitten" while reading I automatically thought of Jack and Cassie. Second, after reading, I never really understood why the story was titled "Tell Me When." Normally you get the sense of why books are titled how they are while reading, but I still haven't figured it out.

Overall, Tell Me When was a quick read that kept me interested. My two little qualms are just personal issues that have nothing much to do with the stories content; therefore, it shouldn't deter someone from picking this book up. If you want to read a NA story that will keep you coming back for more, you've found it.



Interview
With Stina Lindenblatt
Pet Peeves? Everyone has them. Could you tell us about a few of yours?
When it comes to books, it drives me nuts when authors end the story on a cliffhanger. I don’t mean the kind of cliffhanger found in Catching Fire. At least the story problem was resolved before the cliffhanger ending. It’s the ones where you wonder if the author forgot to include the final pages of the book that annoy me.

Other pet peeves include leaving kitchen cupboard doors open. I don’t know what it is about them, but I always manage to hit my head on the doors. It also frustrates me when crossing the street at a pedestrian crossing and cars don’t stop. I mean, do they really think they’ll get to work quicker by hitting a pedestrian?


If you could choose to have any superpower, what would you want and why?
My superpower would be anything that would make cleaning my house super quick and super easy. But not only that. The house would be sparkly clean once I’m finished. Like most writers, I never seem to have enough time to clean the house. Deadlines come first. And what can I say? Running helps me when I’m stuck with a plot point. Cleaning toilets doesn’t have the same effect, though I wish it did.


If we were to take a look at your nightstand, what book would we find?
At this moment, I’m reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. I’m like a Jodi Picoult virgin. Normally you’ll find a New Adult or edgy YA novel on my nightstand.


When you aren't writing what do you enjoy doing?
I love photography, especially the close-up variety, and I love to read. My newest hobby is checking out Pinterest. I mean, where else can you go and find hot guys, steamy romance, and cuddly kittens? It’s like a tiny patch of heaven all on the computer.


Name 3 things you always have with you when you are writing.
• Diet Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink coffee so this is my caffeine fix.
• My computer. Sometimes I use my PC and sometimes my MacBook Air. It depends what I’m doing.
• Scrivener. It’s an amazing software for writers that I can’t survive without.


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, can you name a few songs that were playing or inspired you while writing Tell Me When?
I wish I could listen to music while I write. Unfortunately I’m easily distracted. If I play songs, I only end up singing (badly) along with them.


Can you describe Tell Me When in 10 words or less?
It’s a sexy story about finding hope, forgiveness, and love.


Where did you get the idea for this book?
I remembered something I once read about stalking. College students are at the highest risk of being stalked than any other population (if you exclude celebrities and the paparazzi who stalk them). While in university, I had to deal with a stalker. Fortunately the outcome wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I researched the topic and decided to write about the life of the victim after the stalker is caught.


Are any of the characters based off of people you know?
There’s a bit of me in both Amber and Marcus, but probably more so with Marcus. He uses sex to deal with his emotional pain, much like I did in university. Other than that, unless it was subconscious, I didn’t base my characters off anyone I know.


Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
If you ever suspect you’re being stalked, take it seriously. Stalking can be emotionally traumatic and might end up becoming deadly for yourself or a loved one. If you’re in an abusive relationship, the abuser might add stalking to his list of faults and that too might lead to deadly consequences. Get help! Don’t become a statistic.


Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Friday, January 10, 2014

{Review} Thief by Tarryn Fisher



Thief
by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me With Lies (#3)
Source: Purchased
Available as of July 21, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Note to Self

Love is patient; love is kind.
Love doesn't boast or brag.
There's no arrogance in love;
it's never rude, crude, or indecent-it's not self absorbed.
Love isn't easily upset.
Love doesn't tally wrongs.
Love trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.
Love will never become obsolete.
I'll fight for her.

Thief

Caleb Drake never got over his first love. Not when he got married. Not when she got married. When life suddenly comes full circle Caleb must decide how how far he is willing to go to get the aloof and alluring Olivia Kaspen back. But for every action in life there is a consequence, and soon Caleb finds out that sometimes love comes at an unbearably high price.

Overall Rating
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Review
I read The Opportunist (my review) and Dirty Red (my review) the other day. They were both quick reads that I enjoyed. While Thief is no different, it didn't end with a bang like I'd hoped. The series as a whole was amazing because each book tells the each characters story as a whole from both the present and the past and then goes further with the next book. In Thief I loved seeing everything from Caleb and all questions from the first two books were answered. I loved seeing that some scenes weren't as bad as they'd looked. You could go as far as say that Thief is Caleb's redemption. I'm in love with this series and if you haven't started it yet I recommend picking up The Opportunist. You'll get hooked... I promise.


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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

{Review} Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher



Dirty Red
by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me With Lies (#2)
Source: Purchased
Available as of December 21, 2012
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Dear Opportunist,

You thought you could take him from me, but you lost. Now, that he's mine I'll do anything to keep him. Do you doubt me? I have everything that was supposed to be yours. In case you were wondering; he doesn't ever think about you anymore. I won't let him go....ever.

Dirty Red

Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn't. Her marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.

Overall Rating
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Review
As you all know I read The Opportunist (my review) the other day and absolutely loved it. Going into Dirty Red I wasn't sure how I'd feel considering it was from Leah's point of view. Needless to say I've read, and enjoyed this book. While it was a lot of waiting around for Leah to get her just deserts, it was amusing. There was never one time while reading this that I felt any twinge of sadness for Leah's situation. If anything this story made me dislike her more which I didn't think was possible. She begged and pleaded for the shovel that would dig her grave. I am very firmly team Olivia and cannot wait to start Theif. If you've read The Opportunist or are just now looking into starting the series, it won't let you down.


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Monday, January 6, 2014

{Review} The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher



The Opportunist
by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Love Me With Lies (#1)
Publisher: Self Published
Source: Purchased
Available as of February 3, 2013 (first published Nov. 14, 2011)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Olivia Kaspen is a sharp tongued manipulator used to always getting what she wants. With just one exception-Caleb Drake, the one she foolishly let slip away. After a chance encounter brings Caleb back into her life, Olivia finds herself wanting a second chance with her first love, and asking herself how far she is willing to go to get him back. Her only problem is a red head named Leah, Caleb's new love. Olivia must fight for what was once hers, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

Overall Rating
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Review
The Opportunist has been on my radar for a long time now and I'm happy I finally got a chance to read it. I could go on and on about how much I loved this story, but I'll keep this relatively short...

I loved Olivia and quickly became attached to her because I can see some aspects of myself in her... like how I hate showing my emotions and letting my guard down because I hate being in a vulnerable position. She was manipulative and underhanded, but she did show some remorse each time she did something conniving. On the other hand we have Leah, the current love interest. I could not, for the life of me, stand her. She was as bitchy as they came and I'm not sure I would have treated her the same way Olivia did. The man of the hour, Caleb, came from money, but didn't flaunt it like he could have. He was very level-headed and gentlemanly.

This book is unputdownable. Yes, I did just make that up, but it really is the best word...er, non word?...to describe this book. I loved the story line and the flashbacks. While reading I could never completely pinpoint how it would end; I had an idea, but no solid 'I know what's going to happen!' and at times I questioned some of the small details. By the time I finished reading it was 5am and wayyy past my bedtime. I kept saying 'one more chapter' every time I got to a good stopping point, but carried on with my reading like any good bookworm would.

Overall, this book was a fantastic read and I'm looking forward to finishing the rest Dirty Red and starting Theif. If you haven't picked this series up yet, do so. I can guarantee you'll love it.


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Friday, January 3, 2014

{Review} Hopeless by Colleen Hoover



Hopeless
by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Purchased
Available as of May 7, 2013 (first published Dec. 17, 2012)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Overall Rating
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Review
Colleen Hoover is an amazing writer and I find it sad that this is the first book of hers I've read considering I've had Slammed and Point of Retreat on my shelves for a while now, but have yet to pick them up. I even have a signed, first edition of Hopeless from when Colleen first published this book herself on my shelf and it took me getting a kindle copy to read it. *Head falls in shame*

I love it when books suck you in from page one and keep you enticed and excited the entire time you're reading. I love it when books make you cry (endlessly) because you feel so close to a character, almost as if you are the character, and their pain is your pain. I love it when books rip your heart out only to slowly mend it back together. I love it when I fall in love with a fictional character. Hopeless is all of these.

If I wrote down all my thoughts about this book I would give away the whole story and I don't want to do that. So I'll go with the short and sweet version of what I want to tell you... I immediately fell in love with Sky. She was homeschooled all her life, but entering high school for her senior year without her best friend, the one person who pushed for her to make the leap. Because of her best friend, she already had a reputation and she handled her first few days with grace. She embraced it in a way and I envied her ability to let things roll of her back. It showed how strong she was when she didn't really believe she was all that strong. Getting into the heart of the story and the gorgeous boy with dimples... Sky was cautious because he was so different from all the others and I loved that she didn't give in and fall at his feet immediately. I loved that Holder made mistakes and wasn't made to be this god-like character that could do no wrong. The characters Colleen Hoover gave us weren't cookie cutter, run of the mill, YA/NA characters who fawned over the love interests and explained away their faults. Hopeless is one of the more real books I've read and I loved that nothing was perfect for any of the characters, that there were stories within stories, and everything was tied up and explained by the last page.

Overall, this book was heartwrenchingly beautiful and it made me love and hate reading all at the same time. So much heartache was thrown into this book, but I'm so happy I read it. If you haven't read a book by Colleen Hoover I can't really say much or look down my nose at you because this one was my first, but I can tell you to go pick up this book. So much love for Dean Holder.


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