Review ~ The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass

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The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard

Series: The Selection #0.5 & #2.5

Author: Kiera Cass

Publication Date: Feb. 4, 2014

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian

Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer’s love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated third novel in the Selection series.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon’s life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.

Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen’s life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard’s world that America will never know.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

When I picked up this book from the library, it had been quite a while since I’d been engulfed in the world of the selection. But, I was immediately reminded why I love this series!

The first novella in this book is The Prince #0.5. This is a brief story of Maxon’s life prior to the beginning of the selection. But, you also get a few bonus chapters that show his perspective in meeting America. This story does NOT disappoint! This story will just solidify your love for Maxon, leaving no doubt he should be king – both of the castle and of America’s heart!

The second novella in this book is The Guard #2.5. This story is all about Aspen’s life inside the castle. I’ve seen that a LOT of people haven’t liked this story. I personally think that’s just because of Kiera’s awesome writing. She makes you feel some serious love for Aspen when you soooo don’t want to! I mean, America’s supposed to fall for Maxon, right?!? Well, this story will leave you second guessing yourself. But, it will also give you a glimpse into another possible future for Aspen.

I loved both of these stories. They might have been short, but they quickly tugged at my heartstrings! I couldn’t wait to dig right on into The One after reading these.

I also want to draw your attention to that fact that there are some special features added into this combo book. My personal favorite was the Q&A with Kiera Cass. I loved hearing about where she got the idea for the book!

So, now I’m looking forward to reading the other novellas, and I’m anxiously awaiting The Heir!

Happy Reading,

Alison

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Review ~ Boy Toy Chronicles

boy

Title: Boy Toy Chronicles

Author: Jay McLean

Publication Date: Mar. 3, 2015

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Warning: This book contains mildly inappropriate everything.
*28,500 standalone NOVELLA*

“So…I came up with a plan.

I sat the brothers down and gave them my speech; we’d become male escorts.

The house was split.

The single dudes thought it was great. The guys with the steady girlfriends told the single dudes they were insane.

I promised them all we could make it work without hurting anybody. But we had to be smart about it. We had to keep it off campus. We had to keep it a secret. And in order to do so, we had to target those who wanted it kept a secret as much as we did.

Our target: Filthy rich, unsatisfied, horny housewives.

Keep it high class, so to speak.

And thus began BTC, or Boy Toy Corporation.

Crazy, right?

Crazy genius.”

-Tyler West.

Goodreads * Amazon

*At the time I’m putting this post together, you can get the book free on Kindle Unlimited or just pay 99 cents for your own copy!*

My ****4 Star**** Review

So I have to confess that it was the following quote from the blurb that made me have to read this book: “Warning: This book contains mildly inappropriate everything.”

One of the things I loved about this book is that it’s written from Tyler’s perspective. That alone made this book different from other books that might have the same bent. Some of his decisions and thoughts were a little jacked. Some of the stuff he does is just downright twisted. But, I still found myself liking him. I did wish I could reach in and slap some sense into him a few times.

What can I say about Allie? Hmm. Well, she could be just as frustrating as Tyler, but I still liked her, too, and pulled for them both.

Tyler and Allie grew up as friends, best friends, and they’re both scared about the MORE they both want. I normally LOVE this type of story. For the sake of this story being a novella, though, you really just get the “now” of them. I tend to enjoy getting both the now and then.

There were some of the sexual escapades and actions that I found a bit weird, but overall I really enjoyed it. It kept my interest and had me flipping the pages. It’s definitely a read in one sitting book! Will I read the next book in this series? Maybe, maybe not. Will I read more from Jay McLean? Definitely. I really enjoyed the writing style. One last thing that has no bearing on the book itself ~ I’m not crazy about this cover.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Only For Him @CristinHarber

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Title: Only For Him

Series: Only #1

Author: Cristin Harber

Publication Date: Feb. 24, 2015

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

Grayson Ford and Emma Kinglsey—close since they were kids, opposites in every way. He’s the stuff high school crushes are made of, Mister Popular, and captain of every team. She’s artsy, cute, and not in his league, though fully aware of Summerland’s “I Dream of Dating Grayson Ford” support group.

I can’t say no. The girl’s had my heart since before I knew it went missing.

He hides a life of hell. His father hates him, his mother’s gone. Emma is his only savior, yet she doesn’t know her power over him. She’s the only girl he wants, the only one he could ever tell—though he won’t.

I’m stronger, bigger, more of a man than he’ll ever be, but because I ruined his life, I’ve taken his crap, his attacks, the vulgar nature of his existence.

Until she discovers Gray’s embarrassment, his humiliation. Emma fights for him, for a chance. Theirs is a Cinderella story that she believes impossible. But as the layers peel back, it’s just a guy who needs a girl in order to keep breathing.

My mind is already doodling Mrs. Grayson Ford in imaginary notebooks. He has no clue where my head is at… But, given that I didn’t see what just happened coming, maybe I have no clue where his head is at either.
______

* ONLY FOR HIM is the first book in the Only series, all of which will release in Spring 2015.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

Nothing I have ever experienced has anything on this moment, and Gray’s lips haven’t even touched mine.

That gives you just a little taste of the awesomeness that is packed into this short and sweet novella. I’ve found that few authors can pack a serious punch in a novella, but Cristin pulls it off nicely, leaving you wanting more. A LOT MORE! This is one of those stories where you’ll zip through the pages on an emotional overload. The characters are easy to connect with, and you’ll feel what they feel.

She ends this on one heck of cliffhanger, too. The good thing is that book 2 has already been released, and the whole series will be released before the end of spring! Not too much waiting.

I recommend this to all contemporary romance lovers that don’t mind cliffhangers. If the cliffhanger bothers you, then just wait on the full series to be released!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Maybe Not @colleenhoover

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Colleen Hoover, the New York Times bestselling author of Maybe Someday brilliantly brings to life the story of the wonderfully hilarious and charismatic Warren in a new novella, Maybe Not.

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

I’m so happy that CoHo decided to write this story! I was intrigued by Bridgette and Warren’s relationship when reading Maybe Someday. If you haven’t read Maybe Someday, you can still read Maybe Not as a stand-alone. However, it will contain spoilers for Maybe Someday. My recommendation is that if you haven’t read the first book, then go ahead and do that first!

It’s a fun romance despite the fact that Bridgette has had a rough life. Bridgette is a rough character, but the meaner she is, the more Warren is attracted to her. I really loved finding out there was a reason that Warren was addicted to porn – hilarious! It’s a steamy read, but there’s depth, too, as you see Warren trying to tear down Bridgette’s walls. Colleen is able to pack a punch with just a few words.

Why 4.5 stars instead of 5? Well, I really don’t have any complaints about the story. It just didn’t hit me as strong as her other novella, Finding Cinderella, which remains my favorite CoHo story to this date. I save my 5 stars for those that stand out amongst the others. I definitely recommend this to all the CoHo fans out there, and anyone really that’s into contemporary romance with a bit of steaminess!

About the Author ~ Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover

I love to write and I love to give away things that I write, so follow me on my Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/authorcolleenhoover

Twitter and Instagram: @colleenhoover

I host a book-a-day giveaway on my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. I give something away every single day, so don’t miss out!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Happenstance 2 by Jamie McGuire

happenstance

Release Date: September 9,2014

Erin Easter was now Erin Alderman, because Erin Alderman was dead.

In the second installment of this USA Today bestselling series, follow protagonist Erin, a high school senior in tiny Blackwell, Oklahoma. After a terrible accident leaves two classmates dead, Erin learns that she was switched at birth. Shortly after, she moves into the home of her true parents, Sam and Julianne Alderman, transforming Erin over night from pariah of Blackwell High School, to the only child of one of the most affluent couples in town.

Also being pursued by her childhood crush, Weston Gates, the dream she once had is now reality. But when Erin stumbles upon secrets that gives her the answers she’s been searching for, she also finds a truth she never wanted to know.

My ****4 Star**** Review

This story picks up right where the first book left off. You can check out my short and sweet review of book 1 HERE.
There were times in this story that Erin really had me pulling for her! I love that she’s a smart girl and doesn’t display the typical ditziness you usually see in books when it comes to high school girls. In this book I especially enjoyed seeing the support from her parents.I love Sam, and was awed by the talk he had with Weston concerning Erin. It’s nice that this book wasn’t just about Erin and Weston, but about Erin and her new-found parents as well.
This is a novella as well as the first. I look forward to reading the 3rd final novella in the series set to come out in 2015.

Warnings: language

About the Author ~ Jamie McGuire

jamie

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Her most recent novel, Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written bestselling contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster, and the Providence series.

Jamie now lives in Enid, OK with her three children and husband Jeff, who is a real, live cowboy. They share their 30 acres with six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4464118.Jamie_McGuire
Website: http://www.jamiemcguire.com/
Twitter: @JamieMcGuire

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Beast Part 1 by Ella James

Beast

FROM HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY
At twenty-one years old, third-generation movie star Cal Hammond was on top of the world. He had more money than God and more women than any man could need. But when a night of debauchery ends in tragedy, he forfeits a life of luxury for a ten-year prison sentence at La Rosa, California’s most violent prison.

TO A BRUTAL BEAST
Eight years later, a ruthless, cunning man runs La Rosa from the inside. He is known simply as BEAST. All the wardens fear him. All the gangs obey him. He speaks to no one but his inner council. What he says is law.

NOW ONLY SHE CAN SAVE HIM
Annabelle Mitchell’s father is the warden at La Rosa. He deals as dirty as his trustees, and after years of smooth relations with Beast and the gangs he runs, Holt lands on the powerful prisoner’s hit list. That very afternoon, Annabelle pays a surprise visit to her father’s work, hoping to use her new counseling license at a place she thinks she could make a difference. When she catches Beast’s eye, he releases the warden and grabs the daughter. The price for the warden’s error is not death. It’s his precious Belle.

My ****4 Star**** Review

This novella is just 65 pages long in ebook format, so I don’t know that I have tons to say about it, but I’ll have a go at it. First thing, I have seen a couple reviewers rave about this one. I’m not going to. Nothing against them or the book, because it’s really just a matter of tastes. I’ll say that in one aspect I’m put off completely by Beast’s character, and yet it’s like a train wreck that I can’t help watching. I still have to keep reading to know what’s going to happen next, and so I give the 4 stars. Is this one of those stories that I could go on and on about how in love I am with the hero? No, I’d even say that as of right now, there is no hero in this story, unless of course you’re looking for a giver of good sex. But, when that comes from the man that can beat your dad to a pulp in front of you, that hot factor loses its steam.

I must be a gluten for punishment, though, as I’ve already picked up the next book…

About the Author ~ Ella James

Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, find her on Facebook at facebook.com/ellajamesauthorpage and follow her blog, http://www.ellajamesbooks.com. Questions or comments? Tweet her at author_ellaj or e-mail her at ella_f_james@ymail.com.

Ella is represented by Rebecca Friedman of the Hill Nadell Literary Agency.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Starstruck in Seattle @Juliet_Madison

starstruck

Aspiring actress Anna Hilford might only have a small role in a leading television drama, but she longs to be dreamboat Karl Drake’s leading lady. Sick of being loveless and overlooked, Anna seeks the help of intuitive love coach, Lulu, from LuluTheLoveAngel.com to give her the courage and determination to follow her destiny.

But fate has different ideas, Lulu has undisclosed power, and Anna is about to realise that life happens while you’re busy making plans…

add to goodreads

amazon

My ****4 Star**** Review

To sum this story up, I’d say it’s a cheesy, cute, modern day fairy tale. Yes, it’s a little bit cheesy in places, but heavy on the cute so it works. While this is a novella, it’s the third story I’ve read of Juliet’s and she has yet to disappoint. This story had a much different feel from the other two I read from her, but I still very much enjoyed it. She even added in a little fantasy element with Lulu the Love Angel. It made me think of some of Debbie Macomber’s Christmas stories.

I look forward to reading more from Juliet. I’m eyeing Haunted Ever After as my next pick of hers. There’s some mild language, but other than that it’s a clean, cute short story for those of you looking for a quick dose of something sweet!

*I won a kindle copy of this book and I’m giving my honest review just because I want to! Oh, and because I think you should check out Juliet Madison’s books!*

About the Author ~ Juliet Madison

Juliet Madison

Juliet Madison is a naturopath-turned-author with a background in dance, art, internet marketing, and perfume sales (yes, she was one of those annoying people in department stores who spray you with perfume). Nowadays she prefers to indulge her propensity for multiple careers by living vicariously through her characters. She likes to put those characters into extraordinary situations and take them on a challenging journey to discover their true passion and inner strength, weaving in some laughs, tears, romance, and sometimes a touch of magic along the way.
Living near the beach on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales, Australia, Juliet spends as much time as possible writing and coming up with new ideas, while doing her best to avoid housework.
Juliet is a proud member and volunteer with The Romance Writers of Australia and she loves to interact online with readers and writers via twitter (@Juliet_Madison), and facebook (www.facebook.com/JulietMadisonAuthor). She can be contacted through her website at http://www.julietmadison.com where readers can also download some free short stories.

Happy Reading,

Alison