Existence (Existence Trilogy #1) by Abbi Glines

existenceBlurb: Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with, is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules.

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5 stars

This author will be at Book Bonanza 2018 so I thought I’d try her stuff out.  And I kinda loved it. It was pretty classic paranormal love story.

Pagan is hard headed and stubborn.  I really like how she copes with her unique ability. She doesn’t necessarily shy away from it, but attempts to help them, at least some of them. I admired that about her character, she didn’t shy away from the unknown. And she didn’t try to know all there was to know about her ability either, she just….allowed it to be a part of her as much as it was without forcing anything.  It was organic and worked well in this story.

I really loved how her and Deaths’ relationship evolved.  It was a slow simmer that came close to boiling over a few times.  He was a smart ass know it all with a gooey center.  The lovingly way he watched over her as she slept when she was scared and when he sang to her was enough for me to wish for my own reaper to come sweep me off my feet.

They had a more mature relationship than most teenagers, of course because of their other worldly knowledge. One of the best things about this book though is their ability to be intimate with each other without it getting physical!  Just lovely. I’ll definitely be reading more of this author in the future.

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Promise to Keep (Promises #2) by Jessica Wood

PTKBlurb: I’ve loved her since we were seven. We were best friends. We even made a pact to marry each other if we were both still single at thirty. I grew up thinking I would always love her for the rest of my life.

But I was proven wrong. Because the first time I made love to her turned out to be the first time I hated her. It became the first time she hurt me, and the first time I wanted nothing to do with her.

Today, nine years after the day that broke us apart, we are both thirty and single, and fate decided to intervene. I finally discovered that the reasons behind her betrayal were far different from the ones I’d created years ago in my mind.

Now I’m torn between my hatred over what she did and my undying love for the one girl who I’ve held close to my heart for most of my life.

But is the truth enough for me to forgive her?

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Favorite Quote

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Anonymous

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2 stars

Real disappointed in this book… I got this book back in 2015 and I’m pretty sure my reading tastes have changed because while I loved the first book, I was less than impressed with this one.

It seemed it was just the same story but from the male MC’s POV.  So really I just read the same thing.  Not to mention the premise was completely unrealistic and I know I know, its fiction and so doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic. However, even in this world there are some rules that apply.  And I just didn’t believe it.

The blurb describes the story in a nutshell. But honestly it just drug on and on before it got the part where I was finally getting new information.  It was filled with a bunch of past tense things that were intended to give us depth of character and background but we had all that from the first book so it ended up just feeling like fluff to hold folks over to the next book.

Now don’t get it twisted, I do enjoy alternate POV’s with the same story but this one was just poorly executed IMO. Not gonna finish this series which is a bummer because I hate when I bail on a series.

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The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia #3) by C.S. Lewis

the horse and his boyBlurb: Narnia . . . where horses talk . . . where treachery is brewing . . . where destiny awaits.

On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

 

 

 

 

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3 stars

My daughter really wanted us to keep reading this series so I pushed through this book but I was never really a fan of this story. I think this might be my least favorite CS Lewis book in the Narnia series.  My daughter loved it though.  She was very excited to read it and I think we may have finished it faster than TLTWATW.

I found Aravis to be a bit spoiled and overbearing.  We see the potential for her character to grow but it happens at such a slow pace for me that I kinda just gave up on her.  Shasta seemed to be a bit of a pushover, never really coming to any conclusions on his own.  Just kinda letting events happen to him as opposed to facilitating them himself. And the horses seemed to be more of just extras to tie in the Narnia theme.  Their personalities reflect Shasta and Aravis, making them less likable to me due to lack of originality.

I did enjoy the hermit quite a bit along with the king and the young prince as well. I could have spent more time getting to know him more.  Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are the ones I wanted to learn more about really, but they were only in it sparingly.  The good news is, my favorite book in the series is next so yea, more Pevensies!

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Shattered Stars (Broken Skies #3) by Theresa Kay

36480990Blurb: Unexpected allies. Unexpected betrayals. Unexpected abilities.

The last thing Jax Mitchell ever wanted was to be a weapon. Her abilities are unpredictable at best, but with her twin lost, there’s no one else with enough power to take on Jastren and his mental manipulations. She doesn’t have to do it alone, though. Not only can she rely on the unwavering support of Lir, Rym, and her human friends, she also ends up with help from a surprising source.

Meanwhile, her twin brother Jace—his body controlled by Jastren, and the shattered pieces of his mind locked inside—has become a monster. The struggle to hold on to what’s left of his humanity has left him weak and more confused than ever before. Every thought, every impulse, and every memory has the potential to destroy him—and everyone else around him.

The futures of both the humans and the E’rikon are on the line, but as ulterior motives and political machinations are revealed, it becomes clear that the betrayals aren’t restricted to only one species. Can Jax and Lir get everyone to work together in time to prevent the two species from destroying each other? Can Jace find some measure of redemption for all he has done? And will Jax be able to harness her powers… without losing herself in the process?

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5 stars

This story was fast paced and attention grabbing from the first page. This is not some easy plot that you can guess at the 30% point.  No, it makes you think and gasp and cry and rage!  And if you are a fan of Sci-fi like me you will appreciate not only this story but HOW it was written. It’s almost a throw back to the older authors with their deep world building and danger from multiple directions.  Such great story telling.

Jax is one of my favoritist and most memorable characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.  I could read about her forever.  She’s feisty, intelligent, responsible and incredibly vulnerable.  She has no qualms about fighting for what she believes in. One of the things I love about her is the fact that half the time she is playing it by ear. She has no idea how to handle everything going on around but she just doesn’t quit!  I can relate so hard to that you guys.  She is forgiving and isn’t too proud to accept help when she needs it.  I mean, yeah she can be a stubborn little shit too but the good outweighs the bad.  🙂

Lir is so understanding, like the perfect counterpart to her wildness and impulsiveness.  He grounds her when she needs it and doesn’t try to control her when she gets wild.  He just accepts her as she is and loves her.  This little alien boy has grown and matured over the course of this series. I think maybe even the most in this book TBH.  I really enjoyed this aspect of their relationship. It evolved into something we don’t often see in a Science Fiction/Dystopian.

I’m sad to see this story end, hopefully we can get a novella from her cause I need just a little it more to satisfy my love of this world and all its players.

Curly Carla_small

Finding Me (Xtreme Bachelor) by Caylie Marcoe

finding meBlurb: People remember Nicki Montgomery as the girl who tried to win over BMX rider and Xtreme Bachelor, Travis Grayson. She was all smiles and snark, which made her the most hated girl on reality TV and the perfect choice for the first bachelorette to have her own show.

Twenty extreme athletes vying for your attention should be every girl’s dream, but all Nicki can see is that she’s being shipped off to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and every single date includes some type of physical activity. Neither of which fit with her elite Chicago lifestyle.

The biggest problem with going on the show is Nicki doesn’t want to play the part. She doesn’t want to be hated. Everything from her smile to her perfect family life is fake and she’s sick of living the lie. All Nicki wants is for someone to see the person she really is.

When the final choice is made, Nicki has to be ready to break a few hearts to find what she needs, maybe even her own.

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5 stars

I don’t even know how to begin this review.  I may be a bit bias, I mean, did you see the dedication?   I may have cried when I read it. This book was such a breath of fresh air in a closed off room. I’m a sucker for a great love story and this one fit the bill and then some.  I LOVED it.  It’s highly original, full of witty dialogue along with some pretty steamy scenes.  And the chemistry!  ::swoon::  Dear god, she writes them so effing good.

I had a love/ hate relationship with Nicki throughout the book.  I felt how sincere she was in her want to change, not only how people saw her, but how she saw herself as well.  And we get to know Nicki on a very personal level in this book.   And it was glorious, she was such a well rounded character.  At times I found her to be a bit immature and petty making me a bit irritated and then, BAM! She would show this inner strength that just astounded me.  The author made me FEEL so many emotions with regards to her that I realized how much I had actually come to care about this character. And while I do tend to become invested in the characters of the books I read, this one will always hold a unique place in my giant book heart.

And Nicki isn’t the only one who shined in this story.  Bridget was what I would expect my BFF to say to me.  She supported Nicki throughout and gave her the tough love she needed when Nicki started to back slide into her old ways.  Cooper was….well I don’t want to ruin it for you.  😉 But suffice it to say that all the guys were distinct and memorable.  Especially…… LOL, no I could NEVER do that to you guys.  I will say the one she ends up with was NOT who I had thought it would be.

Go go forth and read it!  I promise you will not regret it.

Curly Carla_small

From the Wreckage (From the Wreckage #1) by Michele G. Miller

From the wreckageBlurb: “In a matter of minutes on a Friday night, I lost my school, my identity, the security of my first love, the personality of my sweet fearless brother, my best friend, my town, everything as I knew it. Everything changed.”

“Minutes – that’s all it takes to change your entire life. How do you deal with that?”

For high school senior Jules Blacklin surviving the storm is only the beginning. Faced with the new reality of her life, she must find a way to rise From The Wreckage and answer the question – how do you get back to normal, when everything that was normal is gone?

 

 

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5 stars

I absolutely LOVED this story!  I only wish it was not a series.  Gosh it just made me feel so much!  Talk about intense.  My heart was beating hard throughout the entire book. 

The tornado was a great catalyst for the love story! I mean, wow, totally impressed with the writing.  The way the characters were changed and yet struggled to come back to a new normal was written brilliantly!

I could totally identify with their conflicted emotions.  I liked how mature they were, they realized that nothing is guaranteed and used that in a positive manner.  For instance when they realized their feelings for each other, they didn’t jump right in but both were open and honest with each other about why they felt this way and talked about if it was just because of the trauma they shared.  It added an additional layer to their already deep characters. 

And they didn’t leave the families out in the cold in this book either.  They were three dimensional characters, which I totally dug because most YA’s tend to forget to fully build the parents and siblings, instead choosing to put more into the MC in the book. Something I’m not really a fan of in this genre but I deal with it.  It was just nice to have a well rounded novel that was more than just your typical teenage romance.  

I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future.  

Curly Carla_small

Play With Me (Grover Beach Team #1) by Piper Shelly

play with meBlurb: What if you had to do the one thing you hated most to get the guy you loved to notice you?

Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.

Lisa Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she’s a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Lisa craves, she’s just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she’s prepared to play ball to get her man.

The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school… Ryan Hunter.

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5 stars

This was a great YA story.  I loved how quickly we got to the reasons.  And how there was no long drawn out misunderstandings with regards to their feelings.  I mean, it was a little bit built up but for the most part the unrequited love wasn’t the main focus like I thought it was gonna be.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good unrequited love story but this one went a totally different direction and it was a nice change of pace for this genre.  

Ryan Hunter is seriously a smooth guy.  He didn’t try to pretend he didn’t care while at the same time he wasn’t like over the top about his feelings either.  When I usually read about popular guy’s in school trying to get with the girl they is usually very aggressive.  And Ryan wasn’t like that at all.  It was all just so natural, the way he treated her.  And the way he was there for her, helping her trying to get the guy without putting the moves on her.  It was nice, their chemistry felt real. 

She wasn’t in denial about her feelings either. We get to see her struggle with who she thinks she loves and her growing feelings for Ryan which made it more believable for me.   And the ending!  I did NOT see that coming.  Seriously a great novella. I’ll have to check out the others in this series as well. 

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Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott

lickBlurb: Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is certain, being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

 

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5 stars

Dude!  I don’t know why but I loved this story!  Drunken marriage in Vegas doesn’t usually appeal to me but for some reasons these characters called out to me is a visceral way.  I believed it.  Their wanting to work out the marriage. It was odd that I felt this way because I was never one to dive head first into a nearly insta-love book.  But I loved it.

David was the tortured artist. Very classic character, and I really enjoyed watching his struggle with knowing his wife didn’t remember them getting married.  He seemed truly upset. I will say that his emotional immaturity got on my nerves a bit, but he seemed to be aware of it and actively trying to resolve his issues.  I liked how they got to know each other while not putting their very real chemistry on hold.  That was one of the good parts of their story, kinda just going with how they felt.  She was a little bit country, and he a little bit rock and roll.  And it fit.

I liked the fact that Evelyn didn’t remember getting married to him but still realized that there was something there worth trying for.  Most people would chalk that shit up to alcohol, but Ev felt for this person even though she didn’t remember him.  She felt bad for inadvertently hurting his feelings with her memory loss.  And she wanted to make sure he knew that it wasn’t intentional and she would try to not do it in the future.

And can I just say that while angry sex isn’t a turn on in the least, this author wrote it so well that I enjoyed reading about it.  The climax was trope but again, it just seemed to fit.  And I loved how slowly they got to know each other.  It made everything seem more realistic.  I am definitely going to be reading more in this series.

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Dirty Little Mistake (Dirty #2) by Amber Rides

dirty little mistakeBlurb: At eighteen, Brenna Cooper turned her back on her boyfriend-hopping, drug-addicted mother. She fought her way from poverty and heartache into a life she’s proud to lead. Now twenty-two, Brenna has four years of hard work behind her and a bright future ahead of her. She’s careful and cautious and keeps her nose clean. Always. Or almost always anyway.

Five weeks ago, Brenna received some news that hit her hard and she slipped from the straight-and-narrow path.

It was just one mistake.
One party.
One too many shots of tequila.
One little one-night stand with her muscle-for-brains neighbor, Ian.
And it’s behind her.

Or it would be if it weren’t for the teeny, tiny matter of the positive pregnancy test.

Now, Brenna is terrified of following in her mother’s footsteps. She needs to tell Ian about the baby. Soon. And she needs help finding a way to do it.

Ridley James has a shady, crappy decision filled past. He’s the first to admit that the ages of thirteen to seventeen were nothing to be proud of. He bounced from foster home to foster home, girl to girl, and fake I.D. to fake I.D. Five years ago, though, his terminally ill aunt took him in and helped him turn his life around. Before she died, she made him promise a few things. Ridley would stay on the clean path she’d led him to. He’d stay out of trouble. Most importantly, though, he’d look out for her son – his cousin – Ian.

He was doing well.
Until he and Ian moved into his new house a month and half ago and they met his pretty, sweet – and drunk – neighbor.

Ridley knows his only choice is to pretend Brenna has no effect on him. Especially since she came flying out of Ian’s room the morning after their housewarming party, begging him to forget he ever saw her.

He was doing fine with that, too.
Until Brenna came asking for his help – in becoming Ian’s girlfriend.

Now, Ridley is trying to keep his hands and his feelings to himself, struggling to understand why a girl like Brenna is interested in his cousin at all, and fighting to keep his promises to his aunt.

The closer Brenna gets to Ridley, the farther she gets from making her confession to Ian. The more Ridley gets to know Brenna, the less control he has.

Both are keeping secrets. And neither is prepared for the truth.

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5 stars

Even with the unbelievably of the intentional misunderstandings going on ALL over this book for suspenseful purposes, I really loved it.  The author would throw in those deliberate misunderstandings and I would get ready to throw the book, then….she would retreat just a smidgen, giving me a taste of the romance I so wanted to see.  Thereby pulling my attention back in and making me want to finish the book.  

Well played Amber Rides, well played indeed.  

Brenna was so young and naive.  I felt great pity for her, and not in a good way.  I mean, it was expected she had no idea what she was doing since she had no mother figure in her life to teach her, but I don’t think she gave the other people in her life enough credit personally.  She made up for her lack of knowledge in these types of situations by giving in to her uhm…baser desires.  She was a super cute horn dog trying to force a square peg in a round hole and she failed, quite hilariously.  The dialogue in this book is fricking fantastic by the way. And quite possibly saved me from DNF’ing this book on more than one occasion.  

Ridley, man this dude was all kinds of hotness.  Smart, vulnerable, strong, patient, understanding, loyal to his family and did I mention he bakes!  Yes, please!  He was a bit of a glutton for punishment but I’ll be damned if his weakness for helping Brenna didn’t just push right over the edge in love with him.  

I had no idea this was the second in the series and now I want to go back and read the first one.  I’m a fan and will certainly keep my eye out for more books by this author in the future.  

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Storm Gathering (Scorpius Syndrome #4) by Rebecca Zanetti

Storm GatheringBlurb: Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…

As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes with Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world. 

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Favorite Quotes

She really didn’t know him, but there was something honorable about letting a friend die in peace and then keeping a promise. Man, life had changed when hunting and killing made sense to a scientist like her. So much for holding out for a nice and peaceful, geeky guy.

Miss Julian gave me a foundation, but I was still damaged. Even when I found brothers in the military.” Greyson captured Moe’s chin between his thumb and forefinger. “With you, I feel whole. Like there’s hope somehow. I forgot that it even existed. In the apocalypse, you gave me hope.

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5 stars

I think this is my favorite book in this series so far.  Greyson is this ‘still waters run deep’ kinda guy.  And RZ gives him more depth than her previous male characters I think.  Or it might be that the stakes have risen so high in this series that it just seems that way. Either way, he’s my favorite.  His attention to detail in every aspect of his life is quite appealing to me.  His struggles keeping his group safe  while attempting to maintain a  precarious truce with other groups in the area was pretty impressive.  

And while I can’t say I felt the same for Maureen AKA Mo, I can still admire her spunk when it comes to being in between what she thinks is right and moral in a world where very little of that exist anymore.  She is faced with tough decisions about where her loyalties lie.  Rather than choosing which side she is on, she sees the big picture, and somehow convinces others to move past their individual agendas toward a more common goal.  And in the end I came to really like her gentleness and problem solving demeanor.  

One of the best things about this series is the fact that while I’m generally on the fence with alpha males,  but their reasoning for becoming possessive, dominant figures is written wonderfully.  Yes they are possessive, yes they are dominant and at times come off as chauvinistic.  But the post apocalyptic world doesn’t run on morals and vulnerability.  Those things can get you killed quickly and they know that while they have to be these hard men, they can also be vulnerable.  But only to those special people in their lives that they trust. It’s a constant push and pull between seemingly opposite views.  But RZ balances both traits in these men that makes them so attractive to me as to not even care about the alpha-ness that resides in them.  

That’s a unique talent in my opinion.  So go get you this series.  It is AWESOME. 

Curly Carla_small