Blog Tour & Giveaway: Waiting on Forever by Ashley Wilcox

Blog Tour & Giveaway:

Waiting on Forever by Ashley Wilcox

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Parties, sororities and getting drunk.

Oh, yeah. And learning.

This may be true for most college students, but not for Leah Bennett.  College life for her includes studying, working, and excelling in school.  When it comes to the social ladder, Leah is at the bottom.  Popular girls, hot guys and star athletes are of no importance to her, except for one.

Matthew Jacobs.

Matt is the starting wide receiver at SUNY Cortland, the most wanted guy on campus and Leah’s best friend.  Although Leah’s feelings toward Matt run deeper than just a friendship, it is something she would never let be heard because the odds of someone like Matthew Jacobs going for someone like Leah Bennett are slim to none.

When Matt starts showing an interest in Leah that goes beyond friendship, she is dumbfounded and doesn’t believe it is possible – until one weekend that changes everything.

Will Matt and Leah’s popularity status get in the way of having a chance at a real relationship?

Or does status mean nothing when it comes to true love?

3.5 stars

When Matthew Jacobs meets Leah Bennett, he takes an instant interest in her quirky, outspoken ways and she can’t believe he’s even speaking to her.  The reason for her disbelief is evident: he is an all star athlete and she is an artistic nerd.  When their friendship takes off, Leah thinks that all she is to Matt is an online friend. All this time, Matt is showing signs of falling for her. Can Leah accept the truth about Matt’s feelings or will her insecurities ruin what’s in store for them?

Waiting on Forever is Ashley Wilcox’ best book yet. It’s fun and lighthearted, a straight no drama story about college life and falling in love. Leah’s thoughts are unabashed and direct. She makes no qualms about her feelings for Matt and believes that his attention towards her is unrealistic. Matt on the other hand is sweet and possessive, and makes sure to let Leah know that he is falling for her.  It’s an easy and enjoyable read. Not much drama or angst but an enjoyable few hours nonetheless. Their chemistry is steamy and the love that they find is real and permanent. Once Leah and Matt find each other, they work towards attaining a forever together.  There is something to be said about a book as unpretentious as this. It’s a welcome respite because it knows what it wants and it knows how it needs to end. Congratulations Ashley Wilcox!

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See the Next Stops on the Blog Tour!

April 27:  Little Pink Cupcakes

                 Book Whisperer

April 28:  In Wonderland

                 Becca The Bibliophile

                 Hardcover Therapy

April 29:  Madison Says

                 Book Crush

                 Natasha is a Book Junkie

April 30:   Candy Coated Book Blog

                  The Little Black Book Blog

                  The Autumn Review

Book Review: Every Rose by Lynetta Halat

Book Review:

Every Rose by Lynetta Halat


4 stars

Michael Bang has loved Lorraina Dabney all her life. And he let her know it. Every day and with every opportunity he had. It took Lorraina a while but years after he professed his love for her, she realized that she was always his. This is where their story starts. When Lorraina reaches out to Michael as she returns home from school, they pick up where they left off.  For a few amazing months, they live the life they wished they had started out earlier. But both Michael and Lorraina’s pasts have charted a future on totally different paths. Now that they want a life together, they must both learn to live as the individuals they have become and embrace their differences as a couple.

I loved this book!  The soulful, sometimes intense Michael Bang is a character with depth and heart.  All throughout the book, there was a tinge of sadness that I couldn’t quite define. I know it was because of the reality that always seems to emerge when two lovers are such divergent individuals. Michael loved Lorraina with all his heart. She inspired him to become a better person, he saved her from her past.  Lynetta Halat has written such a moving story about love, loss and redemption. Her writing is fluent and evocative. There is feeling in every page of the book, elation and sadness and hope. When I first picked up the book, I didn’t expect to get emotionally attached to the characters. I guess I found out the hard way towards the end of the story when I had an unexpected response to its plot.  I wanted more time with Lorraina and Michael and wished that the author had explored their relationship a little bit more before the story had to end.

Every Rose is a touching account of a girl and a boy and the love that they shared over the years. It is a testament to how people can change for the better because of love. It is also symbolic of pain and suffering and the significance of compassion and forgiveness.  Lynetta Halat’s  debut novel is a love story in a real world with real people.  What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be!

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Blog Tour, Book Review and Giveway: The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life by Michelle Pace and Tammy Coons


Blog Tour, Book Review & Giveaway:

The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life

by Michelle Pace and Tammy Coons


4 Stars!

When Nicole loses her husband Ryan under very tragic circumstances, her perfect life is shattered. She moves to Jefferson Point to be close to Ryan’s family.  Her friends, Avery and Lauren try to help her start over. Nicole, Avery and Lauren are three very different women with very different lives.  Each of them has taken different paths in their search for an ideal life. Each of them lives with regret. There are secrets revealed that help us to see that what we behold is not always what is real.

This book is a heartfelt story about three women and their search for happiness. When Nicole marries Ryan, everyone thought she was going to have the perfect life. There were cracks in the surface of their marriage that occurred long before she lost him. Avery is a smart and independent woman with a broken engagement to Jason.  Lauren and Jack’s relationship are in dire need of rekindling. These women learn that happiness comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes it comes when you least expect it and in the most unconventional way. Once they let go of their preconceived notions, they each learn to embrace what was standing in front of them all along.

Aaron and Shilah represent this change  for Nicole and Avery.

The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life gives us an honest look into three women’s struggle to survive their past and present relationships. It is about finding love and losing oneself in the never ending search for joy and contentment.  It is a thought provoking read that elicits various points of views on the roads we take to achieve fulfillment.  Michelle Pace and Tammy Coons deliver an emotional story that makes you believe in taking risks and granting second chances.

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About the Authors:

Tammy Coons is the youngest of 7 children and lives in Illinois with her husband, Casey and three children Skyler, Sawyer and Savana. Tammy graduated from Scott Community College in 2010 and holds a diploma in Health Information Technology. In order to pass time while seeking employment in 2010 she decided to update Fury, one of the many stories she and Michelle have written together in the past 20 years.

Michelle Pace is a RN living in Texas with her husband, Les. She has two daughters, Holly and Bridgette, and one son, Kai. A singer and actress in her youth, Michelle has always enjoyed entertaining people and is excited to continue to do so as a writer.




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Blog Tour & Book Review: Hunted by Lorenz Font

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Book Review:  Hunted by Lorenz Font

Book Excerpt:

“There really isn’t a second scenario, we’re dead set and conceptually right about the first one.” Pritchard chuckled. Harrow hissed under his breath, unable to control his hunger any longer. “You need to feed. I know Tor rudely interrupted your dinner. Intel confirms that needle in your pocket, meant you’re not advocating the spread of the disease, am I right?”

Harrow shuddered before nodding. His could feel his strength fading and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. This human, in all of his infinite wisdom, should give him his neck and be done with.

“I know what you’re thinking Harrow,” Pritchard laughed without humor. “I’m not the enemy here, or your dinner. I will take you to a cell for now, where you will be fed donated blood until we find a cure for that ailment.  Neither of you are prisoners here, but until we are certain that you’re not a threat to us humans, you will not be allowed to move around freely.”

Pritchard rose to his feet. “Follow me,” he told Harrow.

“What about these damn cuffs on our leg, we’re not animals you know.” Tor said and his voice thundered through the room.  He was already up on his feet and facing off with Lambert, who was sporting a push dagger, notably of Dangeran material.

“They are trackers, in case you are out there,” Lambert motioned with his hand. “We will know how to find you.”

“Just like we’re dogs, right?” Tor said distastefully.

“Yes, but very special dogs,” Lambert said, taunting as he grabbed Tor’s elbow and shoved him forward to follow Pritchard and Harrow.  They were already walking down the long corridor that eventually led them to a windowless suite. The furnishings were top-rated, lavish to be exact. There were two king-sized beds, a state of the art sound system sitting next to a giant television, expensive looking art adorned the wall, and plush carpeting to boot.


4 Stars!

Harrow Gates is living with a disease that has caused him to go on the run. He is hunted by both vampires and humans alike for fear that he may infect many more. Jordan (Just Jordan) is on the run as well. She is seeking revenge from the vampire who killed her parents and transformed her into one of them.  Little does Harrow know that he is being tracked by Pritchard Tack, a well known billionaire in desperate need of Harrow’s help.  When Harrow and Jordan learn about Pritchard’s mission, they commit to helping him find a cure for the other infected vampires including Pritchard’s daughter, Allison.  Harrow and Jordan also help to protect others from the leaders of the Vampire Council, Demetrius and Goran who feast on humans and are hell bent on procreating their lineage.  And although Harrow knows that he can never be close to Jordan without the risk of infecting her with his disease, he has hopelessly fallen in love with her.

This book was such a pleasant surprise for me, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did! First off, the main character, Harrow is a flawless depiction of a strong, valiant, intelligent and principled hero. The fact that he is troubled only helped contribute to the enigmatic  effect that he has on the story.  Lorenz Font has brilliantly created  a vampire you would love to love. Add in a headstrong but romantic heroine as well as a wonderful cast of characters from Pritchard and Allison to Tor and Cyrus, Lambert and Rohnert.  Vampires and humans all coexisting together with the same noble goals.  The banter between them was very entertaining and the premise of the story kept me engaged until the very end.

Lorenz Font’s book highlighted the essentiality of the human soul and the healing power of love. Whether it be the love of a father, of a brother, of a sister, friend or lover. Love can change things, can redeem hurt, can soften one’s heart.  Pritchard Tack thought that he had to work hard to convince Harrow to stay at his facility and help find a cure for Allison and the others. In the end, it was Pritchard who really saved Harrow and Jordan from living a life of anger and regret. For in each other, they found that the past can only help to strengthen their future. Leave it to me to put a romantic spin on a vampire story. Mission accomplished.

About the Author:  Meet Lorenz Font


Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. Hunted, the first book of The Gates Legacy trilogy, is her debut novel. Written in forty-five days, the grueling writing schedule was a personal challenge, even though she thought it was madness at first.

 She enjoys dabbling in different genres with an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.

 She currently lives in California with her husband, children, and two demanding dogs. Lorenz spends most of her free time writing while also working as a Business Office Manager for a skilled-rehabilitation hospital.

Book Review & Author Interview: Plastic Hearts by Lisa De Jong

Book Review & Author Interview:

Plastic Hearts by Lisa De Jong


4 Stars!

Alexandra Riley has always obediently lived her life according to her parents’ wishes.  Enrolled in a prestigious school in  NY, Alex is well on the way to pursuing a career in medicine. Her relationship with her childhood friend, Ryan, seems to be going well.  But there is so much more to what Alex wants out of life that nobody knows about.  During her first semester at school she decides to enroll in a class that represents her true passion – Art.  It is in this class where she gets to meet Dane Wright. Dane is sexy and dangerous and from the wrong side of the tracks. They are immediately drawn to each other and a relationship develops.

All her life, Alex has lived in a plastic world. It is a world filled with managed expectations, stature and focus on social standing . Everything in her world is manipulated for the sake of appearance.  Being in love with Dane has given Alex respite from this kind of life. He is genuine and real, and encourages her to be herself.  Dane represents every reality that Alex has never experienced.  He has gone through so much strife in his life that Alex is a breath of fresh air for him. The couple thrives in their own world while Alex is away at school. But when her sister Gwen’s wedding approaches, Alex must decide whether to let Dane into her plastic world at the risk of displeasing her parents.

Plastic Hearts is a story of a young girl’s struggle to exert her identity in a life that has been planned for her since the day she was born.  It is also about a coming of age for two people who must decide who they are and what they want to stand for.  It was heartbreaking to read about Alex’s internal battle against hurting her parents and the possibility of losing their love. As a dutiful child, it took so much of her to go against their wishes and continue her relationship with Dane. The last few pages of the book were especially moving for me because it showed a determination in Alex that she didn’t have when she first embarked on this journey.  I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next chapter in the life of Dane and Alex.

An Interview with Lisa De Jong

BBB: Congratulations on writing your first book! What inspired you to write Plastic Hearts?

LDJ:  I’ve been a writer since I was young but stopped after college because life got in the way.  I became an obsessive reader a couple years ago and realized how much I missed writing.  I came up with the concept of Alex, a lost girl seeking love and acceptance and sort of built around her.  I will never write a book that doesn’t have a life lesson buried in it and this one was about following your heart and redemption.

BBB:  Did you have real life inspirations for the main characters of your book?

LDJ:  Alex is me in so many ways.  Growing up, I thought the “good” life was one where everyone around me was happy with what I was doing and the choices I made.  As I grew up, I realized I hold the key to my happiness.  This was the life lesson I wanted Alex to learn through the events in Plastic Hearts.

Dane is my perfect man.  I think the best guys are the ones with a balanced mix of good and bad.  I will say that my husband is the sweetest guy ever and I may have gotten a few ideas from him. J

BBB:  Did you know that you were going to be writing a series instead of a standalone book?  What helped to influence your decision to do so?

LDJ: It was always meant to be a two book series.  Plastic Hearts concentrates on Alex’s issues with a glimpse into Dane’s background.  Glass Hearts will concentrate on Dane’s issues with a glimpse into where Alex stands with her unresolved issues from Plastic Hearts.  There’s also the progression of a relationship that I want to show from one book to another; Dane and Alex have a lot more to say.

BBB: What are your favorite qualities about Alex and Dane?

LDJ:  I love Alex’s ability to learn from her mistakes.  It may not happen as quickly as some may like but I really liked that some of these lessons took awhile.  She’s young and I think most of us struggle with some aspect of ourselves when we are young.

I could go on and on about what I love about Dane but more than anything, I like his honesty.  He’s been though so much but he’s able to strip it all away and just be Dane.  To be honest, I love everything about Dane…I may be a little too attached.

BBB:  Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where and when do you write best?

LDJ:  This may sound weird but if I’m writing during the day, I need to do it in a coffee shop with my ear buds in.  At night I can write anywhere but I’m learning the couch is not the best place; I instantly start falling asleep.  I’m most creative in the evening and least creative in the morning, which doesn’t surprise me because I am not a morning person.  I can’t function until I’ve had my morning latte. J

BBB:  What challenges did you face while writing this book?

LDJ:  I started out with an outline for the whole book and it was too constricting.  I would write a scene and then the characters would start leading me in one direction when my outline told me to go in another.  I decided to listen to my characters and ditch the outline.

Also, let me tell you…I’m a prude.  I absolutely hate writing “naked” scenes but I did it with the help of some alcohol.  I’m starting to get a little better but I will forever dread writing them.

BBB:  Any lessons you learned while writing this book? Any message you would like to impart to the readers of your book?

LDJ:  Never give up.  There were many times I wanted to just scrap the whole idea of writing a book but I kept pushing through because I wanted to feel what it was like to accomplish something like this.  I can tell you it feels wonderful and I would do it all over again.

BBB:  Name one of your most recent favorite books and tell us why you loved it.

I find it very hard to read while I’m deep in the writing process but I have been doing some beta reading.  I highly recommend In the Air by Crystal Serowka, which will be released April 7. Why?  I HEART Samson.  He’s the mixture of arrogant and sweet that I love.

My absolute favorite book of all time is The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher.  It twisted my heart in a way that I didn’t know was possible..especially from a book.

BBB:  Any other new projects we can look forward to in 2013?

I’m working on Glass Hearts, which will be out the end of June 2013. I’m also working on a standalone project, which should be out in September of 2013.  I’m not saying much about the standalone at this point but I will tell you that the story hurts my heart to even write.  It’s raw and emotional yet true and realistic.

Thank you so much for having me!

Book Review & Author Interview: Surrender Your Love by J.C. Reed

Book Review & Author Interview:

 Surrender Your Love by J.C. Reed


When Jett Mayfield meets Brooke Stewart at a bar, the sparks fly and the two can’t seem to stay away from each other. Brooke ends up working for Jett who comes up with an “agreement” aimed to keep their personal and professional lives separate. When  Jett takes Brooke to Italy to negotiate the deal of his career, she goes all out in trying to help him to secure the sale.  As Brooke and Jett navigate through their business and intimate relationship, Brooke finds evidence to make her doubt that meeting Jake was ever a coincidence.

Surrender Your Love is the first installment in a multi-part series about  a strong alpha male and an independent female who develop a sexual relationship only to fall in love in the process.  J.C. Reed’s writing is well composed and fluent. The story line, however, is a little bit too familiar. Brooke Stewart is supposed to be a headstrong and career minded woman and yet she agrees to enter into a sexual relationship with her boss.  She also opens up to him about her past only a few days into their relationship. There was a potential for the characters to impart a more meaningful impression if the author had taken more time to cultivate their respective qualities.  I was disappointed that I could not connect with Brooke because of the conflicting traits she exhibited early on in the story.  Although the sexual tension between them was engaging, their love scenes were predictable and recognizable.  I think that there is great capacity for the author to develop some backbone for Brooke in Part 2 of this series.  She seems to have grown one towards the end of this book.  J.C. Reed has managed to pique my interest enough to look forward to the continuing story of Jett and Brooke.  Brooke certainly deserves this second chance to redeem her personal convictions and self-respect.

Let’s get to know a little about J.C. Reed and her new book. Read on to find out more about this author!

An Interview with J.C. Reed:

BBB:  Congratulations on writing your first book! What inspired you to write Surrender Your Love?

JCR:  I think the characters were the biggest inspiration. Especially Jett had been lingering in my mind for years. I kept thinking about his story but I wasn’t sure I could write a chapter, let alone a whole book. One evening, when the kids were in bed, I just sat down and tried to put a few words to paper. Just a paragraph, I thought, but the words kept flowing and before I realized it, I had written an entire chapter. I couldn’t sleep that night because the characters kept circling in my mind. I saw Jett and the estate, I saw Brooke and her tragic past, and I knew I had to finish this story no matter what, even if it meant working past midnight or early morning.

BBB:  Did you have real life inspirations for the main characters of your book?

JCR:  Yes. All characters in my book have little inflections of people I have met and known. Especially Sylvie was inspired by one of my best friends.

BBB:  Did you know that you were going to be writing a series instead of a stand alone book?  What helped to influence your decision to do so?

 JCR:  Surrender Your Love was supposed to be a stand alone book but as I wrote ‘the end’ I realized there was so much more story to tell and I couldn’t let go of the characters yet. So the sequel, Conquer Your Love, was born.

BBB:  What are your favorite qualities about Brooke and Jett?

JCR:  I like that they’re so passionate about one another. They’re dedicated, protective, and they want the other to the point of letting go of everything else. Both learn the importance of compromise, of giving and taking in equal amounts. My favorite qualities are their strong will and confidence.

BBB:  Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where and when do you write best?

 JCR: I tried to work at my desk so many times, but have found that the best place to write is in the living room on the couch when it’s dark, be it dawn or late at night. I like to write in the morning but unfortunately that’s not always possible with two young kids so I have a tendency to write after midnight often until 3 a.m. Whenever I’m very tired or feel stuck, I listen to music.

BBB:  What challenges did you face while writing this book? 

JCR:  Writing can be quite hard. I went through around six more or less challenging stages while writing Surrender Your Love. When I hit the third and probably most challenging stage, I was at 20,000 words and all of a sudden the entire writing process slowed down. At some point I thought I was never going to make it and I grew frustrated with myself. I had to combat my own frustration and force myself to stop expecting too much in too little time. Once I realized I don’t have to put so much pressure on myself, the words started to flow again but I still went through extreme emotions ranging from ‘I’m never going to write another book’ to ‘this is too tough, I won’t make it’. Another challenge was that the more the story progressed, the more I became obsessed with the characters. Jett and Brooke were on my mind day in, day out and I started to neglect everything else. I had to learn to deal with that obsession.

BBB:  Any lessons you learned while writing this book? Any message you would like to impart to the readers of your book?

JCR:  When you feel like writing, chase after your inspiration and write everything down immediately. If you let too much time pass, the ideas are either forgotten or poorly executed. The best parts of a book are those written when you feel your characters’ emotions rather than have a distant memory of them.

BBB:  Name one of your most recent favorite books and tell us why you loved it.

JCR:  That’s a tough question because when I have time to read, I devour 3 to 4 books at a time and usually end up loving or liking them all. The most recent book I have read and loved was Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner. She’s a great author who never fails to amaze me with her talent. Other recent books I have read and enjoyed were by Barbara Freethy, Sylvia Day, Maya Banks, and many more. They’re all amazing authors who are able to create fantastic characters and a storyline that is gripping.

BBB:  Any other new projects we can look forward to in 2013?

JCR:  Conquer Your Love will release June 1st. There’s also a new project I’m currently working on featuring a secondary character from Surrender Your Love. I have so many book ideas I’d like to put to paper and share with my readers but unfortunately there aren’t enough hours in a day ☺

Double Review: Hunger for Justice and Heart for Justice (Books 1 & 2) by Kerri Williams

In anticipation of the Blog Tour for the Third and Final Installment of the Moore Trilogy by Kerri Williams, I thought I would post my previous reviews for the first two books. I know you will enjoy this Trilogy as much as I did!

Hunger for Justice (Book 1) by Kerri Williams

4 stars!

16141393Claire Moore is on a mission. She is determined to find those who killed the dearest people in her life – her father Peter and her brother Jim, both members of the NSW Police Force. Claire has angered a few people by relentlessly trying to find the answers to their senseless deaths. Enter Talon Baker, her brother’s best friend who disappeared from her world shortly after Jim was killed. Talon is also in some kind of trouble and needs Claire’s help because he knows that his situation and the death of his friends may somehow be related. Together, Talon and Claire must race against the clock to figure things out before their killers catch up with them.

This book has it all– action, suspense and romance. Kerri Williams has written a fast-paced and engaging story about a headstrong and determined young woman who has made it her life’s purpose to bring her family’s killers to justice. Claire leads a lonely life focused on revenge. Talon’s unexpected return brings more than her emotions back to life. She welcomes his help. They both share a pain of losing the same people.  Talon becomes her protector and her weakness. Claire is no longer alone.

The main characters are a perfect mix of stubborn resilience, soulfulness and passion. The story follows Claire and Talon on the run from people they don’t know, accusations they don’t understand and situations they can’t control. The only constant that they have is each other. Flashbacks of their times together are highlighted throughout the chase. Their history becomes the source of their trust. I related to the smart exchanges between Talon and Claire, the sorrow in their voices and in their thoughts. The author has cleverly woven their story into the current dilemma that they face.  I enjoyed the intermingling of the heart pumping action scenes with the tender moments of their redeveloping relationship.

When a story has you doubly vested, it grabs your full attention and holds you in until the very end. Not only was I anxious to find out who killed Jim and Peter but also whether or not, after everything, Claire and Talon could have a future together. I loved both answers. I can’t wait for more.

Heart for Justice (Book 2) by Kerri Williams

4.5 Stars!


The second installment in Kerri William’s Moore Trilogy picks right up as Claire and Talon are trying to lead a more or less normal life after the ordeal that they had just gone through. She now has a family she can call her own and is surrounded by people who love her. Claire is still the same feisty, bullish woman intent on getting justice for her father and her brother. Now that she knows who their killer is, it becomes more personal for both her and Talon. He is determined to give Claire her closure even if it means walking away from her.  When Claire is called back to her town for a crime that hits close to home, old feelings emerge and she is not sure that she wants to revisit that part of her past. Talon tries his best to protect her from further hurt, but he knows that she needs to relive what happened to help the other victims and to capture the perpetrator.

Kerri Williams is coming into her own as a writer. Not only is this second book much more well- written but it packs so much more heart and romance without sacrificing the swift and heart pumping action we have come to expect from this series. Claire and Talon are finally expressing their love for each other but the remnants of their past remain unsolved and thus threaten their future together. The difference from the first book rests in the author’s newfound ability to render her main characters’ emotions on paper. Despite their pain, there is so much tenderness between Claire and Talon. You can feel it, you can see it. You want to help ease their anguish but you know that you can’t change the truth. They have to face it and face it bravely. And Claire does just that. Despite Talon’s efforts to shelter her from harm, she faces it head on. What changed?  This time she is so sure that a life without Talon is no life for her at all.

The cast of characters from Book I are back, and so is the danger and suspense brought about by old and new personalities. The story continues to move at a quick pace and Claire’s coup de grace at the end of the book just warmed the heart of a hopeless romantic like me. I am attached to Claire and Talon. There’s just no denying that.  Bring on Book Three!

Have You Seen These Reviews?

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker15990969

What a captivating read! Ten Tiny Breaths is a moving story about pain and suffering, survival and forgiveness.   The author’s touching portrayal of two young people experiencing the pain of losing a loved one is eloquent and heartfelt.  Kacie’s pain is so palpable and real that I ached for her hopelessness.  When Kacie and Livvie move to Miami to start a new life, we are introduced to many characters who symbolize a different stage in Kacie’s catharsis and healing. Every single one of them brings a different meaning into Kacie’s world. From the first time she learns to hold Storm’s hand, to the lightness and laughter of Mia, to Cain’s genuine concern, Dan’s protectiveness over their new family, to Trent and his determination to make her happy again. All these people have lost something in one way or the other and have yet learned to make the most out of what they had. For years after her family’s tragedy, Kacie felt like she was underwater, drowning and immersed in her personal sorrow. As she expresses her feelings for Trent – “He’s like ripe watermelons after a lifetime of thirst. He’s like air after years under water. He’s like life” – her love for him becomes her saving grace. It helps her to realize how much she wants to live. How much she wants to forgive. How much she needs peace.  Once she accepts her love for him and for her new family, she finally understands the meaning of her mother’s constant words. In a way like no other, Storm, Mia, Ben, Tanner, Cain, Nate,  Livvie, Dr. Stayner, Carter  and Trent are her ten tiny breaths of new life.

Ten Tiny Breaths. “Why Tiny, not deep? Do you think it matters if they’re tiny or deep?” Ten tiny breaths. Ten Tiny steps. It’s a long road to absolution and forgiveness but once you get there, seize those moments. Feel them. Love them.

Betwixt by Melissa Pearl Betwixt cover

Nicole and Dale are polar opposites. She is the popular high school beauty and he is the social outcast “juvie”. They have a shared attraction to each other, but she is just too cool to admit it. When Nicole finds herself hovering in limbo, Dale is the only one who can hear her. She needs him to find her body before it is too late!  In the process of searching for her, Dale and Nicole learn a lot about each other, their hopes and dreams and the past that has defined who they are in the present.  Saving Nicole from death will not come easy.  If and when Dale is able to recover Nicole’s body in time to save her, Nicole must make peace with her past and resolve to change her future.

I loved this book! It was fast paced, engaging and I absolutely got lost in the story. I think it was mainly because the narrative extended itself in bits and pieces during the overall premise of the book, which was the search for Nicole before her body succumbed to the elements in the forest.  Nicole’s spirit was able to travel and witness her family and friends’ reaction to her disappearance. She was able to watch her shallow life and superficial relationships unfold. She was able to see who Dale really was and how he cared about her for the right reasons. The symbolism brought about by Dale’s religious beliefs was also a very good tie in to Nicole’s lack of faith and credence in fate and redemption.  There is a reason why Dale was the only one who could hear her.  And as the story develops, we realize that they are not polar opposites at all. As Nicole’s walls slowly tumble down to reveal her pain and heartbreak, Dale is there to assure her that her life is worth a fighting chance.

Have I mentioned how much I enjoyed this book?

I Love You to Death by Natalie Ward

What would your life be like if it was surrounded by death?16004045

Natalie Ward’s portrayal of a young girl struggling to survive the many painful events in her life is both heartfelt and expressive.  The story is well written and the flashback events are fluent and cohesive. Oh, and I have to tell you. I liked the playlists that were included at the beginning of every chapter.  As the story unfolds, you begin to understand the reasons for Ash’s reluctance to have healthy and enduring relationships. To Ash, nothing in her life can ever be permanent. As she painfully recounts every event that has lead her up to this point in her life, this is where it starts to become a little bit too coincidental, a little bit unbelievable.  I found myself thinking over and over again, “oh no, don’t tell me…”, as each new person’s story began.  What happened to Sam alone would have been enough to drive a person over the edge. But did it have to happen to all of them? Was Ash’s experience with Sam not enough to provide the basis for the rest of the story? That the power of someone else’s love can heal even the most broken of hearts?  This review therefore offers up a contradiction in more ways than one – although I did not get lost in the book, it did hold my ardent attention until the very end.  I did root for Ash and wished for her eventual happiness. No one deserves the anguish of losing so many people in one lifetime.

While in Flight…..

I enjoyed every single book that I read in the past two weeks. They are certainly worth mentioning:

Incidental Happenstance by Kim De Salvo

I loved the innocence of Tia’s love for Dylan. What an original way to meet the love of your life! The development of their relationship was also very real and comprehensible.

Love Left Behind by S.H. Kolee

It took a long time for Jackson and Emma to live their story and celebrate their love. But it was worth the wait.

Losing It by Cora Carmack

Romantic!  When Garrick and Bliss finally got together, fireworks and sweet, sweet love had me swooning 30,000 feet in the air (no, literally, I was on the flight to Paris).

The Unwanted Wife by Natasha Anders

No joke. I had a choked up feeling the whole time I was reading this book. I felt so much for Theresa’s plight but the ending was a little bit predictable.

Butterfly Weeds by Laura Miller

One can only hope to be loved by Will through more than ten years of Julia’s indecisiveness. I wanted to read about more of their life togther after Julie “surrendered her war”.

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