Review ~ November 9

November

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Goodreads * Amazon

*****My 5 Star Review*****

I’m a big time reader. I am always reading. I’m not a big TV watcher and I spend my evenings in a book. I often read from about 8pm till about 2am. I get in other reading during the day, too, as part of my homeschooling my kids. I don’t go anywhere without my kindle. So, the truth of the matter is that I usually have my nose in at least a few books every day.

Now here’s the thing. I finished November 9 Thursday. It’s Monday afternoon and I still haven’t picked up a book. Talk about a book hangover! It’s like I’m stuck!

As usual, Colleen does dialogue so well. Even lacking a great plot, her dialogue would ROCK! Here’s the thing. This plot also rocked. It was really like two major plots all rolled into one, and the first plot was strong enough that if you wiped out the rest of the awesomeness, I still would have given it 5 stars.

I also loved all the bookish talk! It felt like a constant shout out to bookaholics like myself! It was pure awesomeness.

You can expect hilarity. You can expect tears. You can expect an unforgettable story that will stick with you looooong after the last page! HIGHLY recommended to all contemporary romance fans.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review (Emotional Rant) ~ Outlander

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The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4.5 Star Review

Just. WOW. I don’t even know where to start with this review…So many thoughts. So many feelings. Emotional overload…

I am really late starting this series, but the fact that this series has lasted this long and has so many fans, speaks for itself. Where do I fall among these fans. Hmm. I’m still not sure. I just honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. It’s horribly amazing really.

I’m going to do things backwards here and start with the negatives. First, I didn’t think the writing was wonderful – grammatically speaking. Two, sometimes I got confused. But, she means for you to be confused and slowly reveals the answers. This just tends to drive me crazy while I’m confused. Third, Claire got on my nerves so bad at times that I wanted to reach in and slap her. Seriously. She drove me crazy! Fourth, I think the horrible scenes outshine the good ones. Now I don’t mean horribly written. I’m talking ***SPOILERISH*** grit, gore, evil, unspeakable horrible vivid rape and murder. Stuff so horrible I wanted to vomit. I still feel sick.

That leads me to what is good, though. Diana is one heck of a storyteller. I just don’t even have words for how amazing. I was bored the first couple of chapters, but then I found myself so engulfed in this story that God help the man that tried to pry my kindle out of my hands. The scenes were so very gripping and dramatic. My pulse was constantly racing, heart constantly pounding. I wonder how many calories I burned off just reading this book. Jamie completely stole my heart. Diana made me fall for him so completely that I am hating her for what she put him through. It’s fear, and hope, and outrage, and hope, and hate and anger and hatred, and then a little more hope. I’m just still drowning in it all. I honestly can’t say that I’ll pick up the next book. I don’t know if I can handle it. Just. UGH!!!!

The good just wasn’t enough to make me forget. To help me cope.

Warnings: If anything disturbs you, I’ll go ahead and say don’t read this book because it’s probably in here.

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S0, for those of you Outlander lovers out there. I’d love to hear your thoughts here. I feel like I’m drowning in it. I feel like I need to pick up a fluffy and shallow romance, and I usually don’t go for those kind of books.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Sweet Liar ~ Release Day & Review

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Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realize that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4 Strong Stars Review

If you haven’t already read Like Candy, then please go HERE to check out the first book in the series. This review will contain spoilers if you haven’t already read the first book. 🙂 This is such a unique series. There aren’t many YA romantic thrillers out there.

So, I was only 20% in when I encountered my first shocker of the book. The first of several things to come that I didn’t foresee. This story is full of little twists and turns. I got all of the answers I was looking for from book one – What exactly is her father involved in? Is he guilty of a crime? If so, was there a good reason? What is Jonah’s involvement? And his father’s? Yep, but I’m not going to reveal any of those here.

I will say that Candy’s search for these answers will leave you madly flipping pages. There are some very intense, heart-pounding moments in this book. There are some comical moments and sweet moments mixed in, too. The nervous energy is always palpable, though, as you know there’s at least one man out to do Candy harm.

Ultimately, I quite enjoyed this series. I would absolutely read it if Debra decided to write more on it. By the end of the book you will have all the answers you were originally looking for, but you’ll still be left wanting more. Fans of contemporary YA, romance, and crime thrillers will find this a great blend of the three!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Wrath & the Dawn

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One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Mini Review

Oh my gosh. This book. So. Very. Good!!! Oh, Khalid! The weight of the world is upon him, but his heart…I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. May 2016 will not get here soon enough!

Fans of Aladdin, I can’t imagine you not LOVING this book.
This isn’t an Aladdin retelling, but Aladdin’s story plays a role in the book. A key role in keeping Shahrzad alive. But, that’s only the beginning of the story.

This book can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike. If it was on the big screen it might rate a PG-13 for some language (rare) and violence.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Like Candy Tour, Review & Giveaway

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Like Candy

Title: Like Candy

Series: Candy #1

Author: Debra Doxer

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Genre: YA Mystery/Romance

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Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.

Goodreads * Amazon

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

AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! This book will have you pulling out your hair!!! Debra will bring you right off the edge of your seat and then POW! You have to wait until the next book… I’m talking cliffhanger of epic proportions! The kind that make you want to write Debra up, and pray that she’s already written book 2 and stashed it somewhere, and that you’ll be lucky enough to miraculously get your hands on it in the very near future. LIKE NOW!

The whole story is laced in mystery and you slowly get clues dropped as to what’s going on. The chemistry between Jonah and Candy is soooo intense that you at times will feel certain they are destined for each other. But then, you’ll wonder if there’s any possible way. Will familial loyalties get in the way? Or maybe even Candy’s need for revenge, particularly in dealing with her own variety of mean girls.

Candy and Jonah have both had to endure great traumas in their lives, and they’ll have a moment when they think they can make things better for each other. I’m just hoping that ultimately happens, but I’m dreading the wait and the possibility that they might not.

Giveaway (INTL)

balloons free

•$50 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of Like Candy

Enter Rafflecopter HERE!!!

Tour Schedule

About the Author ~ Debra Doxer

debra

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.

Blog * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

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Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Law of Moses

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Title: The Law of Moses

Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: Nov. 27, 2014

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Paranormal Romance

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Review

Book. Hangover.

This story. Just wow. There are so many things I love about this book that I don’t know where to start.

Beautiful writing, right from the beginning. This story is so full of thought provoking insight. I copied several passages down just so I could chew on them later. So many profound truths.

But this book is so much more than just beautiful writing. This book will make you FEEL! It was breathtakingly beautiful. Love and loss. Fear and hope. Dread and excitement. Prejudices that will leave you angry.

This story is also a mystery – a paranormal/supernatural mystery. Some nasty crimes are committed. The plot will twist in unexpected ways.

Moses. Moses. Moses. What can I say about Moses. He’s a heartbreaker. He has a curse…or a gift? His life has been beyond hard. He’s created his own law to overcome it – to not get hurt again. He’s been the victim of extreme prejudice and in return he’s become prejudiced. Georgia comes along and makes it hard for him to keep his own laws. He’ll do anything to protect her, though, including from himself.

Here’s the thing. After reading the little snippet you can find with the synopsis, I was quite frankly dreading reading this book. That would have been a error of epic proportions. This was my first Amy Harmon book, but it definitely won’t be my last!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ A Date With the Devil

A Date of the Devil

A Date of the Devil

Title: A Date With the Devil

Author: Kira Adams

Publication Date: Contemporary Romance

Genre: May 31, 2015

The Monster.

In one moment, my entire life was ripped away from me. I ignored the warning signs until it was too late. Until I became the victim.

He took my life away from me; my freedom, my courage. I’ve lived my life in debilitating fear since that fateful day.

The Savior.

He was there the day it all went down, and he’s been by my side ever since. He’s been the only thing that’s kept me going.

He’s my best friend, but he wants more. I’m terrified to lose him. I’m terrified he’ll leave.

One tried to kill me.

One brought me back to life.

I’ll never be the same person again–that girl died when the match was dropped. Too much has already been stolen from me.

It’s time to take back what’s mine.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3.5*** Star Review

Let me start with my own misconception here. Somehow I thought the “Monster” and the “Savior” were going to be the same guy. I was wrong. I’m not even sure what gave me the idea to think this, except maybe the cliché of it. I’ve been reading lots of stories lately where this would have fit. Anyways. There’s a really bad guy and the good guy.

Let me start with the bad dude. He’s a really, REALLY bad dude. I’m talking crazy. The book starts out giving you a glimpse into extreme domestic violence. It’s ugly. Not for the faint of heart. However, it’s short lived.

Enter good guy, Tyson. Tyson has been there for Bryce since the night of the brutal attack. He becomes the best friend while Bryce recovers. Her attack was so devastatingly brutal, though, that she doesn’t even want to step outside.

This story picks up about a year after the ill-fated night of the attack. You’ll get glimpses of both the past and the present. Some tough issues are dealt with in this story, but ultimately I would call this a love story. It’s a short and quick read that kept me constantly flipping the pages.

So, what did I not like? I’ll warn you that this will be spoilerish, but I’m not sharing how it all wraps up. Up to this point, I’ve really just clarified the synopsis and expounded just a little. Okay. So my yuck with this story is Tyson. In the very beginning I LOVED him. I thought the story was heading to a wonderful best friends to lovers tale. But, not very long after meeting Tyson he decides to lean in for a kiss that is rejected. He pretty much decides to have a hissy fit and avoid her. It’s the whole I can’t be your friend when I’m in love with you. This works in a lot of stories – stories where you’ve been along for the ride a while and you get the passion. Unfortunately you aren’t getting much of the friendship to understand his feelings. Then he rushes to fill her spot, which really had me questioning how much he actually cared for her at all.

Ultimately, I think some will really enjoy the story and others will be like me and find fault in Tyson. I wasn’t in love with this one, but I’d definitely try another Kira Adams story as I enjoyed her writing style and she kept me interested.

Happy Reading,

Alison

ARC Review ~ Never Always Sometimes

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Title: Never Always Sometimes

Author: Adi Alsaid

Expected Release Date: Aug. 4, 2015

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance/Drama

Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3.5*** Star Review

Let me start with saying that I was completely wrong about the direction of this story. It’s for the most part a fast paced read that held my attention. The writing style suited me perfectly, but the direction the story took wasn’t for me.

Julia is your typical teen facing issues of a broken home, but hers is a unique situation. She’s been raised by her two dads that adopted her. They love her and she loves them, but she’s constantly trying to gain the attention of her birth mother who remains just out of reach for her. Most of her life choices stem from trying to gain her mother’s attention.

Then there’s Dave. Dave’s also from a broken home of sorts. But his is the result of having a deceased mother. In the beginning, his world revolves around being Julia’s friend.

Julia and Dave have relied fully on each other. They don’t need anyone else or their clichés. But, when they decide to try to spend the last couple months of high school doing the cliché thing to do…well, everything changes.

Warning!!! From here on out my review will be spoilerish so I can share exactly what I disliked about the story, but without giving away how it ends. You can email me if the ending matters to you. I know personally I wouldn’t have been dying to read this book if I would have known how it would all turn out. Here goes the spoilers, though. You can expect a triangle. You can expect cheating. You should not expect a perfect love story about two best friends falling in love. There’s no angst. It’s just really quite depressing in many ways.

I’d recommend this to fans of YA drama that don’t care if things all work out in the cliché way. This book is definitely NOT a cliché.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Eleanor & Park

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Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: Feb. 26, 2013

Genre: Mature YA Romance/Coming of Age

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Review

I LOVED this book. Loved it. It was everything real and deep and intense that exists when two teens fall in love. Then add in the fact that they totally didn’t even want to fall just made it all the better. Then throw in that they’re two misfits, not the typical heroes and heroines of your modern day romances. What can I say? It was just awesome!

My only complaint would be that I wanted MORE. LOTS MORE! It was just so beautiful and so ugly all wrapped into one.

Mostly it was the extremely slow paced falling for each other that sucked me in. The intensity in just a single touch that pulled me in – a touch as simple as one hand to another. The FEELS were just simply wonderful! I don’t know what took me sooo long to finally read a Rainbow Rowell book, but I’m so incredibly glad that I finally did!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Point of Retreat

Series: Slammed #2

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: February 25, 2012

Genre: Contemporary NA Romance

Hardships and heartache brought them together… now it will tear them apart.

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’

Goodreads * Amazon

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

Oh, my gosh. I thought I was going to have to kill Will!!!! Seeing how he’s totally rockin’ the book boyfriend spot right now, that ain’t cool! I mean I was seriously freaking out over half of this book. FREAKING OUT!!!! Oh, and as soon as I got some happy – DREAD!

Yes! I felt severely anxious. You know. Heart pounding. I had to remind myself to breathe. I just knew something was going to happen and that I wasn’t going to like it. I KNEW!! Oh, but I didn’t because what I thought was going to happen is so not what happened. Does that mean I shouldn’t have been scared – NO! If I didn’t know CoHo likes her HEAs then I really would have LOST it. Seriously!

But, I’m never sorry I spend time in her books. I’m talking kick my heels on my bed, squealing in delight happy! You’ll pick up some great advice along the way, too. Like, don’t waste too much time ‘carving pumpkins.’

I’m butterflying positive this book rocks! Now, onto This Girl!!

Happy Reading,

Alison