Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid

love hackedBlurb: There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

 

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Favorite Quotes:

It is the burden of the optimist to live a life not knowing why others can’t see the beautiful light within themselves.

“What would I do without you girls?” “Likely eat more ice cream.” Kat patted her hair. “I hate to admit this, but I feel so lost.” I didn’t tell her, because I didn’t think it would help, but all people are lost, to varying degrees. I suspected that it’s only when we love others—through purpose, friendship, romance, or any combination thereof—that we become found.

Desire was like a good soup; it needed simmering.

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4 stars

I liked this one even though Alex was all kinds of wrong for my personal tastes. I just kept thinking that he was very creepy and his mannerisms quite frankly scared me. I would have ran in the opposite direction the very first night. But that’s the great thing about books, what seems crazy in real life is believable in a fictional world.

I love Sandra!  She was analytical just like me.  Well, she was a bit more than me but I loved the way she thought. And I totally identified with her friends view of her.  That she seemed like she had it all figured out and always had a plan.  That is so me!   And I love how held back she was with regards to starting a relationship with Alex. 

While Alex is not my cup of tea, I could appreciate his character all the same.  He had such passion that seemed to temper his possessive mannerisms.  Even though he was a bit selfish in some areas he clearly put Sandra’s welfare above his own personal wants.  Which in the end, made me like him.  Just…like…platonically.  🙂 

The love story was awesome but I gotta say I STILL have no idea what the plot was with regards to bitcoins.  WTF is a bitcoin? That was all a bit too abstract for me to interpret. The cool thing was that Sandra felt the same way so I didn’t feel like a complete idiot reading about it.  

A solid book in the series and exactly what I’d expect for PR.  

Curly Carla_small

Stacking the Shelves — May 20th, 2017

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(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon using Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Curly Carla’s Haul

(All Ebooks unless otherwise specified)

NetGalley ARC Requests Approved:

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  • Why The River Runs (The Riverview Series #1) by JoAnna Grace from Y&R Publishing (Y&R Enterprises LLC) — released April 17th, 2017. Available for purchase now.

Purchased:

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  • Love Hacked (Knitting in the City #3) by Penny Reid.

Freebies I Found on Amazon:

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  • Tear (Seaside #1) by Rachel Van Dyken.

eReaderIQ Freebies:

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Lenoreo’s Haul

(All Ebooks unless otherwise specified)

ARCs from Authors/PR Companies:

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Got It On Sale:

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  • Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs #3.5) by Emma Chase — I actually have a signed copy of this paperback, but haven’t read it yet.  So when I got an eReaderIQ alert that this one was on sale for 99 cents from its usual $2.99, I one-clicked like a boss!!  I prefer reading on my Kindle, so I have a higher likelihood of actually reading it now.  This one’s still on sale!

Promise Me by Vivian Wood

33013742Blurb: Violet Shaw. My Vi.

I made her a promise a long time ago, and she thinks I broke it. But I never stopped loving her. I never will.

I was fool four years ago. I threw what we had away, thinking it was for her own good. No girl should have to wait around for a soldier that might never come home.

Everyday I thought about her; I fought to come back to her.

Now that I’m back in our hometown, I see her everywhere, as curvaceous and tempting as ever. But all she’s doing is pushing me away.

I was her first and I want to be her last.

I just need one chance.

I threw what we had away once — I won’t make that mistake again. Vi is going to be mine.

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2.5 stars

I don’t see what this cover has to do with the story.  And frankly, it irritates me now. He has tattoos, so what?  That is not indicative of anything really.  And why is the woman not represented?  And why is he shirtless?  Not the reason I chose the book and a strike against it after reading it and knowing it has nothing to do with the characters.

The book was ok. I really did not like how much his leaving affected her.  It was like she put too much value on what everyone else thought and allowed it to color her own view of herself.  While I don’t mind a weak female lead, I do expect there to be some kind of growth in regards to that.

But there didn’t seem to be.  She seemed to care even more about what everyone else thought.  And instead of standing up for herself, she retreated almost every time.  The only one she did stand up to was the male. I can’t even remember his name.  He chased her and she repeatedly turned him down.  It got old pretty fast.

I did’t really feel their connection or chemistry.  And I found him a bit overbearing in his pursuit of her.  Plus his backstory was wholly unbelievable.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Curly Carla_small

The Faerie War (Creepy Hollow #3) by Rachel Morgan

fairy warBlurb: Violet Fairdale is in big trouble. Her home is gone, her beloved forest lies in ruins, the guy she gave her heart to has deserted her—and she doesn’t remember any of it. The powerful Lord Draven is taking over, brainwashing guardians into fighting for him. No one is safe from the evil spreading throughout the fae world.

As alliances are forged between the remaining free fae, Vi struggles to reclaim her identity and figure out where she belongs in this new world. When someone from her past shows up, life gets even more complicated. He brings with him a long-forgotten weapon and an ancient prophecy that places Vi at the center of the fight against Draven. With the future of the fae world at stake, can Vi carry out the prophecy’s instructions before it’s too late?

 

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4 stars

I felt this was a great ending to a wonderful series. Even though it shows it is a seven books series, this is the last story with our MC’s in them.  The others go on and focus on other players in the same world.  I will probably read them in the future but not right now.

For those of you that pay attention, this is one of my all time favorite series, I have read it about three times so far and I’m sure I will read it again in the future.  Violet is just my kind of gal!  She is smart, stubborn and shows real growth throughout really making me love her all the more.  There is nothing more crappy than a stagnant MC.  It kills my enjoyment of a series.

And Ryn is my kind of love interest.  He is patient, supportive and passionate about Violet without being domineering and possessive.  He also exhibits a life outside of their relationship which is sooooo refreshing.  In fact, they aren’t really with each other for most of this book.

The ending was wholly unpredictable for me (the first time I read it)  and I really enjoyed the twists throughout the story.  Highly recommend this series for those who love YA Paranormal.

Curly Carla_small

Field of Schemes by Jennifer Coburn

17458431Blurb: Newly widowed Claire Emmett leaves Los Angeles so she and her eleven-year-old daughter, Rachel, can have a fresh start in the picture-perfect suburb of Santa Bella, California. But the simple, quiet life she seeks is nowhere to be found in the town where soccer is king and parents are far, far too involved in children’s sports.

When Rachel is scouted for an elite travel team, Claire is sucked into a world of high drama, backstabbing and deceit. The team manager plots a Wall Street-style hostile takeover. Parents sabotage players, serve as sports agents, and trade sexual favors for playtime.

Off the field, Claire must navigate the brave new world of the suburbs and build a life that doesn’t revolve around kids’ sports. Nothing is simple in Santa Bella, though. Claire’s neighbor is an outrageous flirt. She stumbles upon some dark secrets and unwittingly becomes the target of a very powerful enemy.

As Rachel’s team moves to the State Cup championship, Claire must develop a game plan of her own. It’s time for her to fight back and show her daughter what it means to be a soccer mom who plays to win when it matters most.

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DNF

Originally, the title, cover and blurb drew me in.

But…..It was slow, and the same things kept getting repeated. Like how hard it was for her to move on and the fact she likes to run away when things get tough.  They just didn’t seem to be progressing fast enough to hold my attention.  And I guess I have an issue with this but….the TELLING! OMG, there was so much telling.  I was just not interested enough to move past the slow parts.
Curly Carla_small

Hook by Elisabeth Grace

Blurb:
29379163From USA Today Bestselling Author, Elisabeth Grace, comes her most suspenseful, sexy, and thrilling book yet!

Women loathed me without even knowing my name. Men coveted the very idea of me.

Escort. Call girl. Prostitute. Hooker. Wh*re.

I’d heard it all. Done it all.

Over the years I’d felt a lot of things about my occupation…but not regret–never regret. I had my reasons for doing what I did and nothing and no one had ever made me question them.

UNTIL MARCO VALENTI.

He’d changed me and I’d naively fed into the fairy tale.

But Marco wasn’t my Prince Charming. He had secrets of his own. Secrets that would eventually rip away everything I held dear.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — OK, so I will admit that I tend to shy away from mob/mafia feeling books, and with a name like Marco Valenti and a guy with secrets, I had a hunch something like that would appear.  It’s the same as I shy away from Motorcycle Club books, I just have a hard time falling in love with a hero who does questionable things.  But the hooker part intrigued me.  And since the author is going to be at a signing event I’m attending, and gave away this book for free, I figured I’d give it a shot.  And I must say, I was actually pleasantly surprised for the first more than half!!

For one, it was nice to have a woman in a questionable profession who isn’t some virginal girl, but who owns the choices she’s made to get where she’s at.  And who doesn’t regret them.  And when you learn why she’s chosen this path for her life, I could buy it.  A son with MD can NOT be an easy financial burden, especially as a young single mother.  And I think that’s particularly where our heroine shines, in her love for her son Daniel.  I really felt her love for him, her worry, and you could see the different choices she was making to truly give him the best life possible.  And I LOVED that she had goals outside of that too.  Like, with the amount of money she was making, she could have just coasted, but she was going to school, and she had dreams of something more.  It really made her a more interesting and 3 dimensional character.  That caught me by surprise, and I was impressed with that.

Marco was a bit harder to love, but I also didn’t hate him.  He had some spectacular moments (such as how he handles Daniel), and I loved how forceful he was about reminding our heroine that she is not just her profession.  I thought the balance was good.  He could be a bit…emotionally volatile?  Or something.  That wasn’t really a turn on for me.  But he had lots of sweet moments as well.

Honestly, I almost rated this one a full 4 stars because I really enjoyed the first part, even despite some reservations…  But I started to get a bit impatient/bored near the end of the book, b/c I had forgotten that it was a duet, and so I was wondering when we were going to get some resolution.  Answer?  We weren’t.  Cliffhanger.  Which is fine.  It was my fault for forgetting.  And so it just lost a bit of the good steam it had going.

So what were my reservations?  Well, what exactly drew Marco to her in the first place?  He was quite infatuated.  That was mitigated in that at least we got to see them get to know each other, so I could accept the development of the relationship past that point.  The name thing was a bit weird too…it went on longer than I was anticipating.  And it did pull a few things directly from Pretty Woman, which I didn’t feel like it had to be so close (the kissing thing, the opera).

And then we get to the ending.  Well, I’m a bit of a skeptical girl, so I don’t buy it all.  It felt a bit like a cheap play on emotions.  And I REALLY don’t like where that takes our heroine and hero.  In fact, the ending didn’t make me super keen on continuing on (despite the fact that having a cliffhanger is supposed to do the exact opposite).  So I read a few bad reviews for the next book, and I know darned well that my personal tastes are going to run towards that end of the spectrum, so I think I’ll just leave it at this.  Once that decision was made, I read some spoilers so I could at least have a question answered.  No regrets.  Enjoyable book, just not quite in my wheelhouse enough to continue on.

Lenoreo_small

The Prince & The Player by Tia Louise

Blurb:
34305655Let the games begin…

Runaway Zelda Wilder will do whatever it takes to secure a better life for her and her sister Ava. Crown Prince Rowan Westringham Tate will do whatever it takes to preserve his small country.

“Playboy Prince” MacCallum Lockwood Tate will do whatever it takes to steal Zelda’s heart…

When Zee is blackmailed into humiliating the brooding future king, she never expects to be pulled into a web of international intrigue–or to fall for Rowan’s naughty younger brother Cal.

Cal is determined to capture the sexy player, but Zelda is in over her head with very dangerous men. Time is running out, and it may be too late for the prince to save this player.

Cinderella meets Ocean’s Eleven in this CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE featuring secrets, lies, royal high jinks, scams and double-crosses; breathless, swooning lust, cocky princes, dominant alpha future-kings, and crafty courtiers, who are not always what they seem.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — This one started a bit slower for me, I was enjoying it, but it wasn’t blowing me away.  It ended with a blast though!  It just sped right up and kind of overwhelmed me!  But strangely, even though it ends on a cliffhanger, I haven’t decided if I’ll continue.  Probably not.  While I thought the plot/action was very intriguing, I wasn’t completely sold on the romance and characters, which are kind of the things that most draw me into a story.

I had a few problems with the romance, and I think one of those problems stems from the fact that there are TWO love stories in this book, and that while it is dual POV, we get to read from the heroine of ONE COUPLE and the hero of the OTHER COUPLE.  Which is kind of cool and unique, but ultimately not satisfying for me.  Basically I didn’t really get to focus on either couple well enough, and since I didn’t get to see both sides of each love, I didn’t really buy into the emotions necessarily.  Obviously some romances are written in single POV, so you don’t need to see both sides to buy a love, but then the author really needs to show me what the other half is feeling through our POVs eyes, kwim?  Does that make sense?  And I really did not get a feel for what Cal or Ava were feeling…  Ava maybe a bit moreso, but honestly I felt like I didn’t really get much from that love story at all, it felt more pushed to the background.  So it kind of felt unnecessary.

And BOTH couples suffered from a lot of lust that didn’t transform into love for me at all.  I guess Ms. Louise was trying to go for insta-love or something, and I definitely felt the lust, but I have NO IDEA what drew them to each other (BOTH COUPLES) other than physical attraction.  I guess I don’t mind that quite as much if we get that development later in the relationship, like I’ll give it a pass.  But I NEVER really got a feel for what they were so infatuated with wrt their partner, besides the physical attraction.  I really needed more emotion.  Maybe it’s because the love story I felt I got more of was Zee and Cal, and he was just so blunt and dirty talking and kind of forceful, that I didn’t understand what made Zee different to him than the others.

And I guess that’s the other thing.  While I didn’t dislike any of the main characters, I also did not fall in love with any of them.  They were all ok, but maybe because the narrative was split between 4 main characters, I never really got a lot of development of any of them.  And I must say that they all acted a lot younger than their ages.  The girls felt like teenagers (particularly Ava, who is supposed to be 21), and the boys felt like college age.  *shrugs*  Which, some people really do behave that way at those ages, but I don’t understand why in their particular case.

And while I felt like Zee was a bit naive with Reggie, I did end up enjoying the suspense and action that the book ended with.  I was on the edge of my seat wanting to see how it was going to play out.

So yeah.  Not a bad book, just didn’t have enough of what *I* personally enjoy the most in my favourite books to keep me captivated.  Oh well, not every book is a match for every reader.

Lenoreo_small

Déjà Revu May 15th, 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

True Colors (True Love #2) by Anyta Sunday

34284561Blurb: Oskar used to be Marco’s best friend. His everything. His sunshine yellow.

But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.

Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.

Afraid of falling in love.

Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?

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4 stars

I ca’t really say much about this book except, it was great.

First of all, I love Marco!  I loved how he attempted to move on but when he realized he couldn’t he accepted it and reassessed his options.  I loved how hard he worked to earn forgiveness.  I loved how determined he was even in the face of his own personal shit he had going on in his life. He put others before himself.  He made mistakes and owned them. And he forgave himself.  I just….:sigh: I love him.

Oskar….not so much.  He came off a bit too whiny for me TBH.  His refusal to forgive and keep holding onto his pain and hatred were a huge turn-off for me. I’ma huge believer in the power of change so that’s probably why I had such a hard time with him.  But he did end up redeeming himself in the end, so he wasn’t so far gone that there was no return from the island of assholes.  He was a great support system for Marco’s sister and he was close with his family so there was some depth to see.

And holy shit, the sex scenes!  I mean, they seemed a bit too intense with this love story but damn I think I may have blushed while reading them, which doesn’t happen very often. 😉

I received this ebook in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

Curly Carla_small

Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye

34311819Blurb: York, England, 1912

Kent was a pack outcast. His shifter instincts cruelly muted, he was collared and kept as a stray. Until he was offered his freedom—for something in return. He must rescue Hadrian, an alpha held hostage in the wolf highlands. It’s a pleasure for Kent to follow the captive’s scent, one so wild and virile it gives him a rush. Though he despises being treated like a mutt called to heel, he’ll gladly fall to his knees for an alpha like Hadrian.

Hadrian has never met anyone like this damaged wolf warrior. His savior who licks the blood from his wounds and who arouses in him feelings he doesn’t understand or want to control. But Hadrian suspects that more than desire binds them. It’s betrayal. Pawns in an elaborate and feral deceit, they’re now caught in the deepening maze of a vengeful shifter world, where navigating the mysteries of the heart could prove just as unpredictable and dangerous as the enemies they face.

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3 Stars

I had a hard time feeling the chemistry in this one.  It was kinda choppy and it switched back and forth from attraction to danger too quickly I felt.  Also, the progression of the story didn’t flow very well with their developing feelings.  For instance, they would be traveling together and share heated looks with very little dialogue.  Then they would  *ahem* ‘do stuff’ and I couldn’t see how they got there. I couldn’t understand how they knew what each other felt without saying something more profound.

The plot was a good one but could have been explained a bit better.  Something along the lines of Hadrain being low on the alpha totem pole until several higher ups die. Then everyone wants a piece of him so Kent is hired to bring him to Tabitha. But its not really explained very well because I never knew if she meant to help him or to harm him.  If it was explained, I didn’t catch it.

And I never did understand WHY Tabitha wanted to  help him or why Felicity helped them.  And I didn’t get Kent’s backstory.  Why are wardens bad?  Because it seemed like it was just the ones who put the collar on Kent. But references are made to them being evil, yet Felicity helped them.  And Kent’s ailment wasn’t really explained in detail. Is he a half-shifted wolf? Or is he a wolf kept in a constant state of in-betweeness? Can he ever be made a full wolf? Or is being made a full wolf just a symbol and he doesn’t physically change?  It was all kept very mysterious.  But it was so mysterious that I never really found out what he was.  And it wasn’t made clear if in this world shifter’s were a common occurrence and everyone knew about them or if they were all in hiding from humans.

Just….a lot of confusion all around for me.

I received this book in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

Curly Carla_small