24 April 2014

Review - The Sound By: Sarah Alderson

Title: The Sound
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, 320 pages, (August 1st 2013)
From: bought from Amazon.co.uk
Format: e-book
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

Review: 4 stars -**Contains spoilers**

17 year old Ren Kingston travels to the US, looking forward to a relaxed working summer. Looking after the Tripp’s two children Brodie and Braiden, blogging and reading, seems perfect. But you know things never go that well in real life……

Ren arrives in Nantucket, Boston and is quickly thrown into her role as nanny, despite the fact that she has never even changed a nappy or held a baby before.

Invited out to lunch with the Tripps and their friends; Ren meets the Thorn triplets, Jeremy, Eliza and Matt. These are the privileged kids she’s heard all about. They are stereo-typical rich kids, not wanting for anything and who spend their entire summer on the beach. Initially Ren feels out of place, she’s not as perfectly polished as these teens, but Jeremy soon makes her feel relaxed and a friendship blossoms.

The quiet summer Ren had planned soon turns into a season of events, beach and pool parties and mingling with the rich teens and their influential parents.

After deciding a great way to explore Nantucket is by renting a bike. The last thing she expects is to meet moody and handsome Jesse, in the cycle rental shop. A guy who would get no marks for customer service, but full marks for his good looks. The whole town hates him because he had a fight with Tyler, a friend of Jeremy’s. Despite warnings from town’s other residents; and her initial reservations Ren can’t help but befriend him.

While enjoying the 4th July celebrations, Ren and Jeremy’s relationship nearly takes a step further. That is until Jesse steps in to defend her honour.

After confronting Jesse about what happened; Ren discovers a dark secret. It unravels the mystery of why the townspeople hate Jesse so much. Even though he was only defending someone he loves.
Jesse really opens up to Ren, and I hoped their friendship would develop into something more. Sadly, Jesse won’t put her through any possible trouble that could occur because of something that happened last year.

After a foreign nanny is attacked, rumours start flying around that it’s a serial killer/attacker; another nanny was attacked earlier in the summer and a girl killed the year before. Ren doesn’t want to leave Nantucket, she’s still enjoying her summer and with her new attraction Jesse, she really doesn’t want to leave. Ren is advised by the Tripps to take extra precautions when she’s out if she does stay. However when her Mum finds out she demands Ren returns home to the UK.

While saying goodbye, Ren discovers from an unlikely source that her relationship with Jeremy might not have been all it seemed. There is a way Ren can help a friend in their time of need and uncover the truth, but as with everything there seems to be more than one obstacle in the way to stop her.

The End. What can I say about this? I was completely not expecting who the bad guy was, I don’t know if anyone else will suspect this person either. I will admit to having read the book twice in the process of writing this review, a few months between both reads. I’d forgotten who the attacker was in those few months, so was shocked again when I read it the second time.

The only reason The Sound didn’t get 5 stars from me, was because of the epilogue. I felt it was a little too perfect.

On the whole I liked the characters. At times I did shout at Ren- she didn’t seem sure of herself. I understand living in a different place with new people would be intimidating but she needed a bit more confidence in what she could do. And sometimes needs to be sensible and not be the Bella Swan-esque girl she doesn’t want to be.

Jesse is high up there on my book boyfriend list. He’s gorgeous and a musician, what’s not to love. Although he has had bad experiences, he just wants to protect those he loves. Alderson has a way of writing attractive young men that make you swoon. Please keep this up Sarah!

I love Sarah Alderson’s style of writing. Her pop culture references may not be everyone’s cup of tea but they made me laugh.

The Sound is an easy read, with all the twists and turns of a brilliant thriller, romance and a few life lessons thrown in to wet your appetite. I have already enjoyed reading Alderson’s other book series and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Read if you enjoyed Alderson’s Hunting Lila and Losing Lila.


 

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Title: Love, In English
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: "New Adult"/Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 20, 2014
Add to: Goodreads
Order online: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult"/Adult novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+  
Synopsis He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.
He speaks Spanish. I speak English.
He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.
He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.
He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.
I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.
Until now.Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.

***

To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.

Mateo Casalles is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.

Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.

Something that can never, ever be.

Or so she thinks.
 

Excerpt:

Claudia shrugged and pulled down at her yellow tee. “Not my problem. Eduardo is nice but Ricardo is really nice.”

“How did it happen?” I asked, kinda wanting the sordid details.

She was coy. “The way it usually happens.”

“Did you make the first move?”

Another shrug. “Why not?”

I swear, a shrug and a “why not?” were the Spaniards’ go-to answer for everything.

“Well, then I guess it seems safe—and a little boring now—to tell you that I have a crush on someone.”

Her brows quirked up. “Other than Mateo?”

“What?”

“You are sleeping with Mateo, no?”

“WHAT?!”

“No?”

“No!” I exclaimed, appalled. “Why does everyone keep thinking that?”

“Because you are always together,” she said simply. She took a sip of wine. “The attraction is very obvious. So, I figured you must be sleeping together.”

“He’s married!”

“Yes, but you are not.”

I shook my head adamantly. “It’s wrong. I don’t want to be the other woman. I’ve seen my dad go for the other woman, and I can’t put Mateo’s daughter through that,” I said. “Or his wife,” I quickly added.

“That doesn’t mean that you can’t have feelings for anyone else.”

“Yes, it does mean that.”

“Maybe you are meant to be together.”

“We’re not! There isn’t even a together. We’re just friends. I haven’t done anything about it, and so far my feelings are totally one-sided.”

Claudia got up off the couch and brought a pack of cigarettes out of her front jean pocket. “If you think it is on the one side, you have not seen the way he looks at you.”
She walked over to her small patio table and pulled out a chair. I got up and stormed after her, my nerves dancing excitedly.

“What do you mean, the way he looks at me?” I asked, lowering my voice in case there were people around listening. I felt like bouncing off the walls.

She slid the ashtray toward her as I sat down. “You do not see it. But I do. I think everyone does. He looks at you like…like you’re his favorite food.”

“Favorite food?”

She lit her cigarette. “Yes. You’re like his favorite food in the whole world. He wants to have you, eat you, devour you. He thinks about you all the time, craves you. But he cannot have you for one reason or another. Perhaps you upset his stomach. Maybe he is on a diet, yes? All he wants is a taste, but he cannot even have that. That is how he looks at you.”

I sat there, stunned, as some of her smoke blew in my face. That’s how Mateo looked at me? Like he wanted to eat me? I was pretty sure that’s how I looked at him. Just last night I was contemplating nibbling on his earlobes.

“And yes,” she said, leaning closer to me, a small smile on her lips, “that is also how you look at him.” Great, a mind reader. “But you are more subtle about it. You try not to let everyone know. But, we know.”

“There is nothing to know,” I reminded her, poking the table with my finger for emphasis. “We are not sleeping together. He is married. I have a crush. That is it. The end of the story.”

“A crush?” she questioned. “Vera, I think you’re in love with him.”

No fucking way. Not love. That did not happen with me, not ever and not now.

“You can’t fall in love in a week,” I told her heatedly.

“You can fall in love in a second,” she said with a snap of her fingers. “The heart has no regard for time.”

With that sobering thought, Claudia told me about her ex-boyfriend and how they fell in love at first sight then took the conversation back to Ricardo and their exploits. I envied her so badly right then and there. She could fawn over Ricardo, kiss him, fuck him, and no one would ever bat an eye. It was okay for them to be together. It wasn’t forbidden.

I gulped the rest of the wine and left her apartment, heading back to reception to meet Cristina for my next one-on-one, my mind and heart and hormones all over the place. Lo and behold, Mateo was walking up the path toward me.

He was on the phone, smiling.

His shirt was off and slung over his shoulder, exposing his bare chest, abs, and arms.

Holy fuck.

For a moment, I was sure that time had stopped. Or maybe ever single nerve, cell, vein, bone, muscle in my body just slowed as I took him all in.

From his thick-veined forearms to his sculpted shoulders and broad chest peppered with neatly-trimmed chest hair, to his six-pack abs, he had, by far, the best body I’d ever seen on a man. He kept himself in fine-ass shape, looking more like a young athlete than anything else. He and David Beckham had more in common than I thought, although David’s skin tone wasn’t as mesmerizing. Mateo’s color was amazing, just beautiful, this dark, golden bronze that covered him everywhere. I wanted so badly to just touch him, to lick the sheen of sweat off his skin. I bet he tasted like victory.

And to think this was the man that Claudia said wanted to taste me.

I really, really wanted to believe her.

Meanwhile, I was just standing there like I was melting into a puddle of myself. I clamped my mouth shut as he walked past and I heard him say into the phone, “No, mi tesorito, it was easy, I didn’t injure myself.” He was beaming, talking about the game, to his wife. To his tesorito. And he called their relationship complicated? This was complicated.

He winked at me in acknowledgement, his smile becoming broader. I tried to smile back but it wouldn’t come. I just stared at him, feeling stupid, foolish, and strangely rejected. In a perfect world I may have been his favorite food, but it still wasn’t what he got served every day. I turned around and walked down the hill, my heart feeling like a pincushion.

“Vera!” I heard him call out from behind. I stopped and nervously glanced over my shoulder. He was holding the phone’s receiver to his chest, grinning at me. “I need to ask you your question.”

“What?” I asked, hoping it was quick.

“Who is your favorite Spaniard here?”

Seriously?

And yet I couldn’t lie to him.

“You,” I said, more to myself than to him. Then I turned around and walked away as quickly as I could.




4785031 
About the Author:

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term "Hybrid Author." Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she's a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA...whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

Find Karina Online:

 
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23 April 2014

Title: Sweet Ruin (University of Branton #3)
Author: Nazarea Andrews
Publisher: A&A Literary, 252 Pages (March 13th 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: It’s good to be on top… Asher Knox has it all. Girls, wealth, a career most would kill for. He’s just landed the biggest job of his career. And he’s miserable.

She’s fighting her way from the bottom… Megan Beauchamp has no illusions about why she was chosen to be Asher’s PA. She’s pretty, and down to earth, and everything the Hollywood star always falls for. Too bad Megan is just paying her dues and has no interest in anything but advancing at her PR firm.

He’ll throw it all away…Luca James knows what he wants. And he’s waited a long time for the window to open—when it does, he’ll walk away from the career he’s built for a chance at something real.

When Megan’s boss threatens to fire her, Luca and Asher convince her to leave town with them. Between bad hotels and pit stop confessionals, the three are drawn closer together. And the lines blur even more in Branton, where Megan is forced to look at everything she left behind. But when the boys want more, Megan will be forced to choose between the men she loves and the life she thought she wanted. And in a town like Branton, the secrets she keeps won’t be hidden for long.

Warning: for mature audiences. Two sexy men + one sassy heroine = hot sex.

Review: 4 Stars - Sweet Ruin, the third title in author Nazarea Andrews University of Branton series is another wonderfully written title of the inter woven lives of friends and family living or from Branton. Each title is a stand alone which focuses on a new couple, yet couples from previous installments do make appearances so while reading these titles in order isn't mandatory to understand it is suggested. This way you get the full background on all characters new and old.

In Sweet Ruin readers have a chance to spend some time with Megan Beauchamp who we've been introduced to in the first book. Her sister has made an impact on the small town of Branton and on characters from the previous two books. For Megan she wants to get out from under her sisters shadow so she leaves to make a name for herself in Hollywood. While there she becomes PA to a Asher, Hollywood star on the rise and has to deal with pushy family trying to hold her back.

Asher keeps her on her toes and busy leaving Megan very little personal life. He wants do to things his way and doesn't like being told what to do or how to do it. Megan does her job well and knows how to keep him in line and when he needs a break from everything, he's likes to take off and disappear leaving Megan with the rather difficult task of keeping him on track and to get him where he's supposed to be. They are attracted to each other however Megan wants to be taken seriously so she keeps Asher at an arms length.

Megan also has two best friends. One being up and coming Star and model Luca James. He's about to win the roll of his life starting in a huge movie with Asher. And he's never been shy about being attracted to Megan.

So, nothing goes quiet as it should for either of these three characters and can I just say I was NOT expecting what Nazarea had for us and this story. I was shocked, entertained and engrossed from start to finish. The twists and turns that happened near the end of the book came fast and had me gasping after the last page of the book. Where the reader is left made me cringe and I have to say she pretty much nailed it when it comes to a cliffhanger. WOW!

These three characters work so well together and while I didn't warm to Luca as quickly as I did to both Megan and Asher in the end, after I knew his story and what makes him tick I was hooked. These three characters each have some heartbreaking moments due to feelings and issues from their past and I liked watching the three not only learn the good but the bad or rough aspects from their pasts.

In the end I have more than enjoyed this series and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Thankfully we'll get a chance to revisit these three to find out. I know I can't wait! Nazarea has a wonderful way of writing characters that only get better with each book she writes. One thing that I love about this author is the fact that each series she writes has a definitive different voice from the next making each book and or series a pleasure to not only read but to look forward to.

With Nazarea you always know you'll be reading something highly entertaining and well written. I recommend all of her books old and new and am looking forward to reading her next book, no matter the series. One thing, make sure you check to see which titles are “New Adult” and Adult as she does write in both categories. So, go buy and read!

 

FINDING HAVEN by T.A. Foster Releasing May 15th, 2014

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: Power. Money. Control. Love.
He has all but one.


When movie star, Evan Carlson, discovers his girlfriend’s picture with another man splashed on the cover of gossip magazines, he decides he’s had enough of his fishbowl life and attempts to outrun the media frenzy his relationships have become. Driving until the road stops, he ends up on the remote and quaint Perry Island, where a heartthrob can blend in like the locals and be a beach bum as long as he wants. All that changes when Evan meets Haven Owen, aspiring songwriter and the girl he just can’t get enough of. A summer romance turns into something much deeper and Evan gets tangled in his own web of lies to keep Haven in his life. But when his ex tracks him down, Evan learns there are some things you just can’t outrun.


Is the cost of love, losing all control?  
Add to: Goodreads

I can't wait to read this one! Looks and sounds pretty amazing! Really looking forward to it.





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AUTHOR BIO:
 
T.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.

She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Links:

Blog: http://www.tafosterauthor.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/tafosterwriter Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAFosterauthor Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster


GIVEAWAY!!! 
 
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"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.


Title: Fan Art
Author: Sarah Tregay
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, 368 Pages (June 17th, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.

Title: Guy in Real Life
Author: Steve Brezenoff
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, 400 Pages (May 27th, 2014)
Add to: Goodreads
Pre-order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Synopsis: From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story in the vein of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.

Two YA titles this week that I've been looking forward to for forever now and thankfully we don't have too much longer to wait!!! And I LOVE these covers too. Both are eye catching and I'm eager to see them on book shelves.

Can't wait!

*covers are always subject to change.

 

GIVEAWAYS!!!


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"Some of the best things in life can be found in the pages of a good book..." Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile. I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Middle Grade, Young Adult and "New Adult" genres. (I occasionally take adult titles to review as well.) If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email.

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