Juked (Texas Mutiny #1) by M.E. Carter

jukedBlurb: Juked: verb.

/jook-t/
A slang soccer term meaning: faked out, deceived, confused your opponent
See examples Daniel Zavaro and Quincy Watson:

As the rising star in Houston, Daniel has found fame as Captain of his Pro soccer team and the city’s most eligible bachelor. Daniel has everything – except someone special – and that suits him just fine. He doesn’t want, or need, complications.

Quincy has baggage, and lots of it. After a tragic accident spins her world on its axis, she finds herself as a single mother, raising a newborn nephew she never knew she had. Between parenthood, her full-time job, and dealing with the suffocating grief of losing her sister, every day is a struggle.

When they begin to cross paths unexpectedly and often, an unlikely friendship starts to evolve. Feelings change. Lines get crossed. What happens next surprises them both…

Before they know it– they’ve been Juked.

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4 stars

This was a cute, easy going romance.  I didn’t really feel a whole lot of chemistry throughout in it. What I did feel was Daniel’s admirable work ethic and friendliness.  He was sweet and kind.  Not really my kind of guy TBH. I like them a bit more assertive.  He didn’t seem to really care enough about Quincy.  Or else I didn’t see enough for me to really think he cared.  That’s the only thing that really affected the likability of this book.

Quincy was pretty relatable.  She was logical and responsible; both qualities I’m a huge fan of.  She does show the baby a bunch of love and you get to really see the struggle from inept mother evolve to expert which was one of the best things of this book IMO. Again, not a whole lot with regards to chemistry on her part either so the romance bit was a bit bland for my tastes.

The sports bit was nice. We see his team dynamic and how he interacts with his manager which was a nice added layer to his character.

I’d read another by this author.

Curly Carla_small

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Fall Line (Downhill #1) by Tudor Robins


25733669Blurb: 
Everything’s forward.

Those are fifteen-year-old Chris Myers’ words for the year.

The next gate, the next race, his spot on the district ski team; they’re all his for the taking.

Except training is such hard work. And then there’s Jenna – the very opposite of hard work – gorgeous, curvy, and into partying. Into Chris.

Instead of moving forward, Chris is sliding back. Slower times, worse results, and his best friend, Tilly, drifting away.

 

 

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Favorite Quotes

She never meets my eyes. I never even get the tail end of any of the smiles she has for anyone else. Meanwhile a grinding headache builds in my temples. My reflexes are slow, my stamina’s shot, and my temper is on a hair–trigger.

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4 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was unusual in the fact that the POV was entirely male.  At first I was confused because I automatically thought it was female.  Probably because most of the POVs I read are female.  But I really liked his ‘voice’  It was genuine and showed a different side to most male leads I read.  This one was a beta boy for sure and he was super cute.  The fact that his performance in skiiing was actively affected by his personal life was just a great parallel to read about.

Chris has dedication to his craft and knows what he wants to do with his future.  He shows humility when things start to go downhill and takes responsibility for his screw ups.  And I think he shows great courage in asking for help instead of trying to fix everything himself. I really loved how Chris wasn’t cocky about himself.  Too often in YA, the boys are way too arrogant, which we all know isn’t the case IRL.  You could totally see and understand his worry, fear and confusion with his personal life.  He really had no idea what he was doing, poor kid.  And his parents played a bit more of a prominent role than most other YA’s I read, a fact which also made this book stand out for me.

Tilly was a pretty straight forward female lead.  She made it very clear early on what she wanted and what she was on the fence about.  While I think she maybe took her anger a bit too far, placing blame where I don’t think it was so heavily warranted, their were no deliberate misunderstandings in her character and voice.    So that was pretty refreshing in this story.

The skiing was a great addition to the plot of the book. I never used to read sports romances till I met Lenore, but they are fast becoming some of my favorite YA reads.

I’m really shocked this book only has 11 reviews.  It is a great YA, sports romance! Go give this author some love and read it!

Curly Carla_small

 

Relentless (Relentless #1) by Karen Lynch


20427449Blurb:
 Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

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5 stars

This book is free!

So original.  I was expecting one of those paranormal love stories where the boy is immortal and falls for the teenager, but THANK GOODNESS that is NOT what happens in this book.  I mean, you can kinda tell Nikolas is attracted to her but neither of them act on it, which I found refreshing.

Sara is a head strong teenager that has always really relied on herself so I get why she is so independent.  But sometimes she was a bit too impulsive and stubborn in her decisions. She doesn’t do her research and just makes her decision based on one persons info.

Her friends Roland and Peter are awesome if a little immature.  I love how loyal and protective of her they are.  And when she makes a mistake, they are there to support her as well as telling her what an idiot she was for trying to do it alone.  I wanted Roland to make a move because he seemed to be closer to her but their friendship was just a very close platonic one.  Roland was very sensitive to her situation, and Peter was a staunch defender of her choices, always down to help her shenanigate.

Nikolas was a run of the mill alpha male.  Proud, always thought he was right, over-protective bordering on stalker-ish.  And good looking.  I was really glad he didn’t try anything romantic with her because I felt his character needed some more growth emotionally in order to make a real effort to be in a relationship.  I suspect that it was foreshadowing for the next book.

I would definitely recommend it.

Curly Carla_small

 

Paperglass (War of the Princes #2) by A.R. Ivanovich

paperglass.jpgBlurb: Surviving a narrow brush with death convinced Katelyn Kestrel that she must never return to the war-torn Outside World. Safe again within the sanctuary of Haven Valley, she has forced herself to forget Rune Thayer, the young Dragoon soldier who had sacrificed everything to save her.

Katelyn’s struggle to adapt to a peaceful life is undone when she is assaulted by a classmate, triggering her powers with devastating consequences. The authorities learn of her rare Abilities, and a web of troubling mysteries unravels around her. She finds that an unfortunate twist of fate has delivered Haven prisoners to the Prince of Shadows, and he will stop at nothing to discover the valley’s secret location. Katelyn must find and rescue the captives or witness the destruction of everything she has ever loved.

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Favorite Quotes: 

And just like that, I stepped firmly onto the hardened soil of my worst nightmare.

“Sometimes I dream that I don’t hate you.” His words were a cup, brimming with honesty and pain. “Then I wake up. It all comes back. I remember what you did to me—how wicked life is.”

“This is it,” Rune said, looking up at the mouth of the hall. “The moment where we live for our luck, or die for our decisions.”

5 Stars

According to Goodreads, this book has two different titles.  This one is called Paperglass, the other one is called Dragoon.  Both are titled as book 2 in The War of Princes series but they are the same book. I chose this one because this is the only one available on Amazon.

This book totally threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting the turn it was going to take.  The supporting characters take a more prominent role in this one. Which really makes this story deeper.  I mean, even if they didn’t have more spotlight time the story would have been great, it just added that extra layer to the story though, ya know? 

The stakes are higher, the love is deeper, and the magic is more powerful.  We learn more about the politics of the both worlds in this one and the author adds more world building as well; making this story really come alive to me.  The first book was great, this one was better.  

I’d like to point out that I loved how the author was able to change her characters temperaments and make me believe it.  This is a tough thing to do IMO.  I can’t wait to see what adventures Katelyn and Co. go on in the next book. 

Curly Carla_small

Blood Solstice (Tale of Lunarmorte #3) by Samantha Young


10775474Blurb:
 In the final installment of The Tale of Lunarmorte, Caia is caught between the most powerful beings in her world, and they are all desperate to use her for their own means. While Caia struggles to find her purpose, tragedy strikes close to home, and time runs out.
Now she must decide if she will join the extremists she was trying to destroy… or bring them all down on her own terms…

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3 stars

I don’t like this cover either.  I don’t really get what it has to do with the story itself.  And honestly this story took a wild turn for me.    The ending was underwhelming to say the least.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around how easy it was for her to beat the big bad.  And we never find out what her ‘special’ power is.  That was a huge loose end that needed to be tied up IMO.

So let’s see, you would think after ALL the trials and tribulations Caia and Lucien go through, they would have a strong relationship.  But nooooo, surprise surprise, he still doesn’t trust her to be able to take care of herself and respect her decisions.  Not that Lucien is the only one who suffers from stupidity, Caia is an idiot about the whole situation.  Sorry to be mean about it but this series started out so good and just went downhill for me making me really angry and maybe a bit bitter as well.

Although I will say that once again, Jaeden and Ryder’s story saved this book from being a total loss for me.  I felt her pain, I felt his anger and hopelessness.  They had such a traumatic experience that I cried. I cried a lot at that one part.  You know which I mean Lenore, right?  Anyway,  if it wasn’t for the side characters in this story I may have DNF’d this book, which is sad because it’s the last book in the series.

I don’t really have much else to say about this story, as a whole it was good,  this last one just was a bit irritating for me.

Curly Carla_small

River Cast (The Tale of Lunarmorte #2) by Samantha Young


22012723Blurb: 
Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance…

Swept into the world of the Daylight Coven, Caia is caught between her loyalty to the Daylights and her new insight into the hearts of the Midnights. As more obstacles are thrown in her and Lucien’s way, Caia is pushed further adrift from him and Pack Errante. With no one to turn to, Caia has to make the most difficult choice of all…

Who does she truly belong with? The Daylights or the Midnights?

 

 

 

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4 stars

The first one was a lot of background information but once you got all that down it got a whole lot more interesting.  Except for the whole, “We refuse to be mates just because” thing.  That actually really fucking annoyed me, I don’t understand it.  I would have nipped that shit in the bud but thats just me. I personally would have never got with Lucien in the first place because I’m not a pushover like Caia is.

This book had a lot more stuff going on.  There was a lot more political intrigue and espianoge and I really enjoyed that in the book.  One of the things that kind of was like a burr under my skin was the fact that Caia was playing a political game when I felt that she should have been playing a straight forward game. She was trying too hard in my opinion.  And allowing for way more respect to Marita than I ever would have given her. I feel like that is what got her in trouble.  She doesn’t have to answer to Marita, she is the head of the Midnight Coven.  They are equals.  Marita was very overbearing about it and treating her as if she was her subject, when in fact Caia should have made it very clear from the beginning, “Bitch, lets not get this twisted”  I think thats where her downfall was with regards to the political aspect.

I don’t even understand the whole Lucien/Cair relationship thing.  The only way their relationship made any kind of sense was because he was a shifter alpha.  And they are known to be very agressive, possessive and domineering.  But she is an alpha too, so it didn’t make sense.  With her being as independent and strong magically and politically, I don’t know why he felt the need to hover.  She could very clearly take care of herself and yet he still acted like she was this fragile thing.

But I will say this, one of my favorite things about this book was Jaeden and Ryder’s story. Oh lordy, it was good.  Their story was just like the frosting on the cake.Jaedans character was really well written.  Ryders levity helped to even out her rough edges which I quite enjoyed.

And the way they kind of threw Rueben in there. At first it was hard to figure his role out, even by the end of the book I was still scratching my head.  But it came together very nicely, there was no loose ends, everything was tied up.

This book was great.

Curly Carla_small

 

Moon Spell (The Tale of Lunarmorte #1) by Samantha Young


10439599Blurb:
 Enter a world of fierce wolves, stunning magic and romance…

It’s bad enough feeling different among the human crowd, but feeling different among wolves?

No one said returning to her pack would be easy, especially after ten years without them, but seventeen year old Caia Ribeiro is unprepared for the realities of the transition. Raised in a world where kids aren’t scared by bedtime tales of the bogeyman but by the real life threat of enemy supernaturals who might come creeping into their community to kill them in their sleep, Caia is used to the darkness; she’s used to the mystery and the intrigue of the ancient underworld war she’s bound to by chance of birth. What she’s having trouble with are pack members treating her with wary suspicion, the Elders tucking secrets behind their backs out of her sightline, and her young Alpha, Lucien, distracting her, with a dangerous attraction, from her decision to uncover the truth.

But as the saying goes ‘the truth will out’ and when it does, Caia will only have so long to prepare herself before the war comes pounding on their door threatening to destroy the safe, secret lives of the wolves… and the girl they protect.

YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up.

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4 stars

I don’t like any of the covers.  I think they don’t really have any relevance to the story.  And I disagree with the age rating but that is just me.

Soooooo, this book really took me for a ride!  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  The only thing I had a hard time with was ALL the back story.  My goodness another book could have been written for all the information I had to learn. Why do authors do that? ::shrugs::

Lucien was a typical alpha male.  I admit to having a weakness for the shifter variety.  He came off as very solid and approachable to me.  Not necessarily the traits I’ve come to associate with alpha’s.  I really like how their romance blossomed naturally and slowly.  But, bad Lucien for keeping secrets, and not just like minor ones, but MAJOR ones.  If it was me, I would have dumped your ass with no looking back.  But I’m a cold hearted SOB.

Caia was a bit harder to read.  Having only known isolation her whole life I could really feel her apprehension with being thrust into this new world.  She handled it very well I think. Not really giving into what people thought of her.  She never caved or backed down from a challenge.   And although she had a hard time fitting in initially, she didn’t let that stop her from doing what she knew to be right. She risked others wrath to make sure people knew where she stood.  I liked that about her character

There was heaps of political intrigue and espionage.  I actually really love that in my fantasy books, it gives it a deeper layer to sink into.  More meat for the story ya know? At any rate, I’m really looking forward to the second one.

Curly Carla_small

Breaking up with Barrett (English Brothers book #1) by Katy Regnery

Breaking up with barretBlurb: Barrett English, aka “the Shark,” is the fair-haired, first-born of the English brothers, and the CEO of the oldest, most prestigious investment banking firm in Philadelphia. He rules the boardroom with an iron fist, refusing to take no for an answer and always getting his way.

Emily Edwards, a first-year doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, grew up in the gatehouse on the outskirts of Barrett’s childhood estate. The daughter of his family’s gardener and housekeeper, she was always looking through the window of privilege, but forced to remember her place at the very periphery of the kingdom.

When business partners suggest that a fiancee might soften Barrett’s image over business dinners, he approaches Emily for the “job” of fiancee. And while love wasn’t necessarily on Barrett’s radar, he begins to realize that Emily always has been. But will his take-no-prisoners boardroom tactics work on the heart of the woman he loves.

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5 Stars!!!!

Holy crap this book is awesome!!!!  This book was just what I needed. It has depth of character, a decent plot and the emotional intensity I love when reading romance. Its not all about the physical.  That shows me a different side of the same coin.  Layers people! Layers!

Characters:

Emily: she is emotionally mature but at the same time has intense feelings that she doesn’t know how to hide.  The way the author wrote Emily was so perfect!  She was level headed, yet spontaneous and loving. The balance the author weaved between physicality and emotion was just brilliant!  One of my favorite parts is when she realizes he needs more than a love interest, but a partner to trust and share with.  ::Sigh::

Barrett: He is like an alpha male but not. I don’t know how else to put it.  He was confident and demanding in business.  But when it came to her, her wasn’t overbearing.  You could see he respected her for more than her body.  He wanted more from her than just sex, he wanted time with her.  Just to be around her.  And that, I think, makes him one of the most sexiest men I have ever read about.  My favorite scene with Barrett is when his mother comes in and he is is bed.  OMG, it was hilarious.

They had some sick chemistry!  The steamy scenes made me blush.  I also loved how the author incorporated every aspect of their lives into the book for great background, such as Emily’s schooling and family along with Barrett’s family and business.  It really helped me get a full picture of their dynamic past as well as how their relationship would work in the long run.

The climax to this book was subtle but poignant.  It was written so gracefully . Something I lack but can appreciate in others.  Well done! Katy Regnery, you have a fan in me.

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His Christmas Gift by Sarah Mayberry

27407659Synopsis: Since tragedy estranged defense attorney Jenna Macintosh from her family, she’s done her best to pretend Christmas doesn’t exist. Not so easy this year when she needs to work with client Lacey Gallagher, who is living on her brother Sawyer’s Christmas tree farm. All those fragrant pines dripping with twinkling lights are bad enough, but when disaster strikes, Jenna is stuck alone in a wooded cabin with Sawyer, the hottest man she’s ever met.

Experience has taught Sawyer Gallagher that smart city women like Jenna don’t want men like him, but when Jenna falls ill, he must abandon his plan to keep his distance and soon he’s trying to work out ways to make her his—and not just for Christmas.

Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Nh1u15

Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27396223-his-christmas-gift

3 stars

First impression is cute, predictable, slow simmer, uhm and the L word got dropped pretty quickly after they consummated their relationship which I thought was a little weird but it was a good story. Totally in the whole Christmas spirit.

There’s this thing that authors do that I noticed in my reading… I don’t know if I’m getting technical or if I’m dissecting the crap outta this book but… So when authors want to evoke a strong emotional reaction from a character or a reader, what they do is they put them in close quarters for extended periods of time because that forces an attachment faster.  Now I’ve read this many times in books.  Many, many, many times and I’ve noticed it’s become a pattern.  It’s very predictable and while it’s not a bad thing, it’s not always a good thing either.

I may be way off (or a little bitchy) but I felt it wasn’t necessary.  I understand why the author does it and I understand that in some instances it is necessary but it didn’t have to be that way for them to have that kind of emotional connection.  To me that was a negative on the book. I took away another star for predictability. Man, I’m kinda mean today huh?

Other than that it was a cute story, it had a great pace.  I didn’t really connect with Sawyer as much as I connected with Jenna.  He seemed too gruff and not emotive enough if that makes sense. He didn’t express himself well, I thought.  I suspect that was the authors intention but I didn’t like it.

But I tell you what: the sex scene was….Whoa!  Really good, like smoking hot!

I will probably read more Christmas books by her because it comes every year.  But for now I think I am gonna try some other ones.

Curly Carla_small