Lucid (Brightest Kind of Darkness #2) by P.T. Michelle


51nxggdxa4l-_sy346_Blurb: 
 Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t.

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5 stars

This one is my favorite book in the series so far in my re-read.  I didn’t realize I’d forgotten so much.  The cover has been changed which is a shame because I really liked the original one better.

This is a great follow-up to the first one and not at all where you would expect the story to go.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve followed this series for so long.  I really liked how her powers evolve. In fact, her whole character evolves.  One of the things that stuck out for me in this YA is the fact the fact that her life didn’t become so entwined with the romance she had with Ethan to the exclusion of most else.  It was nice to see her deal with everything without him in the picture for most of the story.

Don’t get me wrong, he may be gone, but he certainly isn’t forgotten.  It was just nice to see it really focus on the main plot with very little romance.  Most paranormal’s that I read have a very strong romance sub-plot.  In exchange of that, we see the MC evolve and get a better sense of depth.  This story is very intense so it was easier to follow without the added romance and the added drama that it brings.

And her family is not one-dimensional in this.  Again, in the YA’s that I read, parents have very little presence in the story but in this one her bond with her family is strong and consistent throughout.  Not just her parents but her aunts too,  it brings another layer to her and the story.  I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae

33401722Blurb: Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t  sure if she’s ready to move on.

Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

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5 stars

I’m running out of ways to say I love CM’s writing! It just doesn’t get old for me. Her stories have such originality and this one was no different. And the cover is lovely too.

She nailed both characters feelings of guilt and attraction.  The warring emotions took me on a roller coaster ride that I’m still feeling the high from. I loved how Kennedy stepped outside her comfort zone with Aaron. Especially when they didn’t have the answers to why they were feeling this way.  They accepted the not knowing and just went with it. They both had some defining moments that I can’t share because of spoilers but suffice it to say, it was beautiful.  Aaron seemed to really struggle with his worthiness of receiving love and happiness.  I identified with that so hard!  (Really who doesn’t at some point in their lives) But I kinda wanted to strangle him when he tried to ignore or suppress his feelings.

The whole story had an undercurrent of meant to be or an outside force in play.  And while I struggle with believing those kinds of situations happen, it was cute none the less. I loved how she ended the story.  The sex scenes were very juicy and I’d love to see more of that from CM. I think she could do well in this genre.

I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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Adapted for Film by Stacey Rourke

adapted-for-filmBlurb: Aubrey Evans is living every author’s dream; her sizzling romance novel is being turned into a blockbuster film. She would be celebrating this momentous event, if she wasn’t busy fighting over every tiny production detail with the maddeningly cavalier director, Kole Camden.

When news of their heated rivalry hits the gossip columns, drastic measures must be taken to save their sinking project. In an elaborate PR hoax, she is publicly linked to Greyson Meyers, the swoon-worthy star of her movie. A whirl-wind love affair is staged for the couple to mirror the steamy chapters of her own books.

Can the introverted author resist the charms of Hollywood’s sexiest leading man? Or will love find her in the City of Angels?

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5 stars

I finished this book in damn near one sitting.  It was drenched in sarcasm.  And I loved it. I’ve had this book in my queue for a while now. I don’t recall how I got it but I needed a break from my series reads and the Sci-Fi book I had been reading. (H.G. Wells is hard to read for too long) I immediately loved it.  From beginning to end this book screams wit, snark and lots of humor!

I laughed so much during this book you guys.  I could not put the damn thing down.  The pretend romance was not what I would have expected so that was fun.  It was more realistic. I mean, I remember people in high school that wore sex appeal like a second skin, which is how Greyson came off.  But I do like the fact he wasn’t a douche, which is usually the case with the sexy ones.  I honestly liked him better than the actual love interest.

The main plot was pretty predictable but the WAY it was written was what hooked me.

The only thing I found a bit off was the Camden and Aubrey’s attraction.  We could see where it was headed but we never really see ‘the moment they fall’ ya know.  Then it just skips to them being in love.  Its hard to explain without spoiling the book but that’s the best I can do.

It didn’t have any impact of my likability of the story though.  It was a quick, funny read that I could see going back too when I need a break from life.

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Brightest Kind of Darkness (Brightest Kind of Darkness #1) by P.T. Michelle

bkodBlurb: Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

 

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5 stars

I have been meaning to finish this series for ages but the last book just came out last month and then I figured its been so long I should probably reread them.  So this is my second turn with this book. And I gotta say, it was even better this time around.

First off, the cover, I’m not really a cover kind of gal but this cover is beautiful right? This is the first series I am finishing in the new year.  My goal is to finish ten series this year.  I think I’ll hit that goal.

This story is unlike any that I have read before.  With her dreaming and his emotion stealing its very original.  I really love how their relationship evolves so effortlessly.  The first time I read this I didn’t really think it played a huge role in the plot but reading it a second time I noticed that Ms PTM can right emotions so fricking well.  Their emotions flow so easily in tandem with the main plot its easy to overlook them at first.

And I liked how her family wasn’t just a passing thought.  Too often in YA novels the parents and/or other family only play in the background.  This is not the case with this book.  She weaves them into the story and gives them dimension and depth.  And that’s one of the reasons I have kept tabs on this series since its inception in 2011.  I am excited to finish it and at the same time weary of the end.

Highly recommended to all YA lovers.

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Make Lemonade (Hope Falls) by Cassie Mae

make-lemonadeBlurb: Beth’s dream has always been Disneyland, and with the way life has been going, a trip to the magical world was just the ticket she needed. But with a broken transmission halfway there, Beth and her boyfriend Ben get stranded in the town of Hope Falls, and she is not in the best of moods.

As things continue to take a dive, Ben is determined to turn this situation around. With a knack for fixing cars and a ring in his pocket, he prepares to turn the sourest lemon into the sweetest lemonade, all for the woman he loves.

But the problem might just run deeper than a broken down car and a delayed vacation.

 

 

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5 stars

I love the concept of Kindle Worlds. Different authors writing stories in a shared world. How cool is that?  I know a few other authors who write these books. And while this is a short story, it still carries a great emotional weight for me.  That is a tough thing for novellas to do, as I usually don’t become too emotionally attached to them.  But, I felt this story in my bones.  And honestly, I was a bit scared as I read it.  Reading about intangibles has always been a bit scary for me.  I don’t know why.

I myself have not been diagnosed with depression but I know many friends and family that deal with it.  As an outsider looking in, I identified with Ben’s character right away.  He wanted to fix it.  (I’m a fixer) Then questioned himself as a catalyst. (Is it something we did?) I can’t imagine the courage it took for Beth to open up about something so personal and ask for help.

It felt so real, literally I have witnessed a similar situation so those feelings came bubbling back up to the surface. And I could attempt to imagine what Beth was feeling, while in reality have no idea.  I imagine a helplessness not knowing what was wrong and so being unable to know what to do.  As a bit of a control freak, I know this would mess with my head.

Little side note about my past: I was raised to believe that depression was not ‘real’ and it was a controllable condition. That whoever claimed to have it was either too sensitive or just a complainer.  That admitting you needed help was weak or a character flaw.  It took many years for me to break away from that contemptuous outlook.  I still struggle with it from time to time.

At any rate, I feel like Beth showed me that its okay to not be okay.  And I think that lesson is one we need to hear more often.  Because no one is perfect, yeah? So if you like love stories with a dose of reality you’ll like this one.  Go visit Hope Falls and fall in love.

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Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti

justice-ascendingBlurb: Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

 

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5 stars

I’m so happy with this series!  I have received them ALL through Netgalley and I can’t wait to get the next one. But I’m conflicted!  I was expecting this to be a trilogy.  But it looks like there will be more books in this series since the sociopathic president and the VP aren’t dead yet and they so need to die. I’m happy I get to keep reading the series but dammit I really wanted him to die!

This is my fave book in the series so far and I’ll tell you why. 🙂 This is not a story of a soldier finding his love with a civilian – which has been the progression of the characters so far.  She switches it up in this one with both MC’s being soldier.  And it was a totally different paradigm than her previous books in the series and I love it.

First off, Texan Tace Justice is smexy! Super smexy! Super duper smexy! I really loved how self aware he was.  He knew he had OCD and he was obsessing about Sami.  He was very mush internally conflicted because of it.  He knew it wasn’t normal.  He was one of those guys you could always depend on and he enjoyed being that person.  He was proud of his long family line of texas rangers and couldn’t wait to be a part of that legacy.  Watching him struggle and come to terms with the fact it will never happen formed a soft spot in my heart for him.

Sami seemed to have a bit more dimension for me.  In the beginning she seemed a hardcore hand to hand combat expert with a background in law enforcement.  As the story progresses we get to see her feelings start to shine through.  And the dynamic of having a female soldier and how she is treated different but equal at the same time.  It’s written quite beautifully.

There was a lot more action and sex in this book.  Their chemistry was instant and escalated quickly.  It gave me tummy warmth to read it.  The solidarity exhibited by this new militant group is quite heart warming.  The trust is there and when someone fucks up it’s dealt with swiftly and not used against them at a later time.  They are a family and all that that entails.  They are flawed and forgiving.  And I love that about these characters.

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Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

Blurb:
23337863USA TODAY Bestselling Romantic Comedy Series

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the back roads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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My Review:
5 stars — My wonderful co-conspirator, Curly Carla, loaned this book to me through Kindle (which we both didn’t think was going to work since I’m in Canada and we Canadians can’t loan books, BUT IT DID!)!!  And I adored it so much I immediately upon finishing went out and bought it so I didn’t lose my multitude of highlights…

YOU GUYS!!!  I’ve been so worried that something was wrong with me, since my previous Penny Reid reads (*snort*) have not been stellar successes.  But it appears I just hadn’t found my match as yet.  Apparently I’m picky or something.  I don’t know, it just seemed that there was so much good in her writing, but I would inevitably be rubbed the wrong way by something or other.  BUT NOT IN THIS BOOK!!  This book was a delight from fricking beginning to end.  It was full of happy sighs and goofy grins and tummy tingles and great guffaws.

I actually own book one but have not read it yet, but I really needed a book for my Platypire Diversity Challenge since the theme for the month of January was “Body Positivity”, and I *knew* Sienna was a plus sized girl, so I thought SCORE!  Plus, extra bonus points since she is also a person of colour!  So it was kind of a lame reason, but I can’t believe how well it worked out for me.  I was honestly sucked in from the very first page.  Or rather, I had previously been sucked in by the first page because I’d read an excerpt (and promptly wishlisted this book), but it just continued to suck me further and further as the book went along.

Sienna was a delight.  She was silly and sassy and confident but with a hint of vulnerability.  Her internal monologue about being a plus sized actress had me immediately highlighting and wanting to high five her.  She also had an interesting family dynamic, that while it didn’t come into play a LOT, it made an impression on me.  And her first encounter with Jethro is just so….well, quite frankly, I swooned right along with her.

Jethro was just EVERYTHING I was needing in a hero.  He was this bizarre mix of confident, sweet, flirty, charming, damaged, vulnerable, complicated and deep.  But I’m right there with Sienna, the thing that drew me to him was just how genuinely and effortlessly good he was.  This is not to say that he doesn’t have his flaws, but I understood them.  And I just can’t gush enough about him.

And quite frankly, while they were both amazingly unique and intriguing individuals, it was their dynamic with each other that had me just glued to the pages.  They were exactly as Sienna described them — so EASY with each other.  They fit like puzzle pieces.  And even the conflict that arose between them made sense and ran its course and didn’t overly frustrate me, but allowed me to see their relationship grow and change.

I ADORED Ms. Reid’s note at the end about how Sienna Foster became Sienna Diaz.  I really appreciate that she took the time to try to make Sienna as authentic as possible, and it really shows.

I’m definitely excited to read more in this world.  I don’t know if I’ll have quite the same luck as with this book, because these two were just tailor made for me, but I’m so intrigued with all of the brothers (and Ashley) and their love stories, either already told or still to come.

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Thomas’ Heart (Judgement of the Six Companion Series #4) by Melissa Haag


33010788Blurb:
 Thomas’ race is dying. To protect those left, the Elders create a safe haven. However, the safety of their sanctuary is threatened by the cause of their kind’s decline. A human. But, she’s not like the rest; and despite his hatred of humans, Thomas wants her for his own.

When females start dying while trying to reach safety, Thomas realizes it’s no longer just humans who pose a threat, but desperate males. Thomas must secure his place at Charlene’s side as leader of sanctuary, or everything they’ve worked together to build will crumble, and any hope of a future for Thomas’s race will die.

 

 

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5 stars

I was surprised at my interest in this book.  Although I suppose I shouldn’t be, it seems if I don’t like the girls story, I love the guys.

This story was different due to the fact that this is the beginning of the cycle.  (You would understand if you read them all) We get to see how some of the elders came to be.  Along with some insights into the enemies camp and the extent of their influence to the shifters and the damage they have done.  Not to mention how far they will go for control and power.  These bad guys are INSANE!

Since no one knows who Charlene is, she gets a very different welcome than the other judgments.  It was nice to see a different POV.  Thomas may be one of my favorite out all the guy novels so far.  I feel like his character had the most growth because of the difficulty they went through striving to bring order to a pretty lawless and violent species.  He didn’t want her there at first, even though she was clearly his mate.  This was telling for me in several ways. His pride in the old ways conflicted with the fact that he knew his race would die out if they didn’t change.  The parts where he started to realize this and was opposed by his own species was very intense to read.

Grey was my favorite and reminded me of Jim.  And they hint of Jim’s future in this pack at the end of this book guys so keep your peepers peeled.  Wini is in this one again – she has a pretty prominent role in this book.  We see the progression of Mary and Gregory – in fact, a whole lot of holes are filled in this book.

I was never a fan of Charlene and I gotta say this book didn’t change my opinion of her in the least.  She came off as over-aggressive and even a bit condescending at times.  Thomas was no angel either. He constantly used every advantage available to him to get his way. I’m just glad he was called on it.

The ending brings us back to current timeline. I’m very interested in reading the rest of this series.

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Leo Tops Aries (Signs of Love #1.5) by Anyta Sunday


33554843Blurb:
 Why did Theo ever bet that a Leo could outwait an Aries?

Blue balls have never been so blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 stars

This book is FREE!

Yes, this book is about what you think its about! A sensual steamy experience from beginning to end! Theo is too cute for words.  His unfamiliarity with his new lifestyle is oddly endearing and not at all clumsy or awkward.  This is a fabulous follow up to Leo Loves Aries.

I found Jamie to be a bit over smug in this novella.  His described facial expressions came off that way to me.  And I loved their competitive interaction with regards to their bet.

But holy hell this book was explicit!  And tastefully so.  My cheeks reddened and I had to fan myself multiple times to cool down.  I would advise you to read the first one so you can experience their full depth of characters.

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Make Lemonade by Cassie Mae

Blurb:
Make Lemonade.jpgBeth’s dream has always been Disneyland, and with the way life has been going, a trip to the magical world was just the ticket she needed. But with a broken transmission halfway there, Beth and her boyfriend Ben get stranded in the town of Hope Falls, and she is not in the best of moods.

As things continue to take a dive, Ben is determined to turn this situation around. With a knack for fixing cars and a ring in his pocket, he prepares to turn the sourest lemon into the sweetest lemonade, all for the woman he loves.

But the problem might just run deeper than a broken down car and a delayed vacation.

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My Review:
5 stars — I beta read this book, which sometimes makes it hard to review, but not in this case.  It was basically a masterpiece as written and I just spent a lot of my time swearing at Cassie for making me cry (for realz, poor girl took some abuse in the comments).

So how does she do it?  I don’t get it folks.  I don’t get how Ms. Mae writes these masterpieces of realism and awesomeness, but she’s done it again.  Honestly I shake my head.  It’s like she has a direct line to my consciousness and thoughts and feelings and decided to put them all in a novella, and rename the heroine Beth.  You know what that shows?  It provides incontrovertible proof that I’m not alone.  That all these feelings I feel, are shared by so many.  That depression is a stupid jerk that should be taken out back and shot.

Seriously though, this little novella took me through the wringer.  And part of that is because it hit so freaking close to home.  I highlighted so many passages and commented with “I’ve felt that!” and “I’ve been here!”  For that reason alone this book was a masterpiece for me.  Because it made me feel validated, and represented, and even loved.  And through Beth’s relationship with Ben (we’ll get to him), it reminded me that the dark times are sprinkled with awesomeness.  That experiencing depression does not preclude you from having these amazing moments.  Heck, Beth and Ben reminded me of my hubby and I.  They really and truly are the epitome of relationship goals.  And not because everything is easy, but because it’s NOT.  Because they struggled.  But they made it through.

And it was so heartbreaking to watch Ben struggle with his side of Beth’s depression.  To see how it could bring out his own insecurities.  I just wanted to hug him to freaking death.  He is pretty much the most amazing guy (though not without his own flaws), and I just can’t even right now.  Seriously.

So enough with the heavy.  Because while there is heavy, there is a heck of a lot of light in this novella too.  And I cannot even tell you how much I laughed and smiled and just lit up inside reading about Beth and Ben’s romance.  I LOVE that Ms. Mae is not afraid to give us an established couple and show us that even they still have a story to tell.  From the bowling to the whole Disney day, my heart was just FULL.

I hate saying this, b/c it feels disloyal, but I do believe I have a new favourite Cassie Mae couple.  Beth and Ben were amazing.  And even though it’s not a full blown book, I’m pretty sure it’s trying to take top place as my favourite Cassie Mae book.  I don’t know if it’s because it hit so close to home, or if it’s because she basically just wrote awesomeness personified, but it was a treat.  It was everything my heart was wanting and needing.  I know I always sound like one of those people who’s being disingenuous with my effusive praise, but I guess Ms. Mae just writes what I want to read.  I’m never afraid to state my whole opinion, but in this case I have nothing but good to say.  *happy fulfilled sigh*

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