CHVRCHES is probably my favorite electro-pop trio. I’ve yet to see them live though, and I always worry favorite bands won’t live up to my live show expectations. haha This is their latest single and I already find myself dancing to it anytime it comes on. Enjoy!
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....
For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.
For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.
As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
I’ve been a fan of JR Ward’s BDB series for some years now, and was so excited to find out she was writing a new, completely different series. I would definitely say The Bourbon Kings is a “setup” book. So much information and people are thrown at you. Lets see if I can break it down a little…
The Bradford Family – Bradford Bourbon Company
Virginia Bradford + William Baldwine: Parents. Current patriarchs of bourbon dynasty. Her status in this book is: unavailable. He is running the whole business. He’s also an asshole.
Edward Baldwine: Oldest son. He was the golden child, being groomed to run the business into the next generation. His dad does some really awful things to him that we only know at the surface level right now. He’s currently a very broken man, physically and spiritually. Oh, and he’s in love with the rival bourbon dynasty’s eldest daughter.
Lane Baldwine: This is really Lane’s book. He’s in love with Lizzie, the head gardener, or horticulturist if you’re fancy, at his family’s estate. He married Chantal Baldwine out of obligation and left Kentucky right after. He’s now back and ready to set everything right between him and Lizzie, starting with getting a divorce from Chantal. Easier said than done…
Maxwell Baldwine: Dunno. He appears in flashbacks, but his current location is unknown, so he’s not in this book.
Gin Baldwine: Oh, poor Gin (short for Virginia). Gin’s life is all about parties, men, and drinking. I think she really believes that’s all she’s good for, which is really sad. Got pregnant at 17, dropped out of college her freshman year because of it, the love of her life and her live to hurt one another, and her dad has essentially sold her to the highest bidder. Seriously, her dad made a financial deal to marry her off to this awful man. Also, she has some really heartbreaking scenes in this book. :(
Well, that’s the Bradford family for you!
The Bourbon Kings is a soap opera at its finest. JR Ward has given us some really juicy, unputdownable drama in this book. There’s romance, suspense, mystery, and I feel like we’ve only scratched the surface. Can’t wait to read more!
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.
Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can't get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.
It's not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma's name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go even when you know you have to say goodbye.
Where Sea Meets Sky was really HOT. Like, sexytimes were ON POINT. And there were a lot of sexytimes in this book. I have to say that while hot, they weren’t necessarily appealing to me. I’m not an outdoors person, so a lot of the places where the sex took place were not for me. See, this is a road trip across New Zealand story, which was AMAZING. I loved all the New Zealand stuff… but it lead to unappealing (for me!) sexytime places. I just mean things like tents, van, hostel, against a tree once… that sorta thing.
Josh was HOT AF. In fact, I kept picturing this…
I did have a harder time liking Gemma, but it wasn’t a major thing for me either. I really enjoyed Karina Halle’s writing so I’m looking forward to reading more from her.
The author of I See London sets her sights on Washington, D. C., with a sexy new series about three sisters, the secrets they keep, and a powerful blog with a knack for exposing scandals...
Jackie Gardner knows all about dirty little secrets. The illegitimate daughter of one of the most influential senators in Washington, D.C., she grew up surrounded by the scandals and shadows of politics. Now that she's landed an internship with a powerful political consulting firm, she's determined to launch her career and take this city by storm.
William Andrew Clayton was born for politics. He knows the drill: work hard, play discreetly, and at all costs, avoid scandal. At twenty-six, his campaign for the Virginia State Senate is the first step to cementing his future. It's time for him to settle down, to find the perfect political spouse. He needs a Jackie Kennedy, not a Marilyn...
When Jackie meets Will in the bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel, sparks fly. But the last thing Will needs is to be caught in a compromising position, and an affair with a political candidate could cost Jackie her career. When what began as one steamy night, becomes a passion neither one of them can walk way from, they must decide if what they have is really love, or just another dirty little secret...
Flirting with Scandal was a really fun book! The characters had great chemistry. They were sexy and really honest. The scandal part of the story was like a ticking time bomb and Chanel Cleeton handled it very well. There was THE FIGHT, but it wasn’t overly dramatic which I SO appreciated. I was really surprised at how young they were because they were very mature, but it didn’t take away from the story for me. Really liked this one. Can’t wait for the next in this series!
And because I showed you my Josh, I HAVE to show you my William Andrew Clayton:
I know, right?
About Chanel Cleeton
Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.
Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
Thank you Sourcebooks and Netgalley! This was adorable; I really liked Maya’s vibe, all the music, and her relationship with Jesse. It was great to see how they progressed over days/weeks/months and felt believable despite his celebrity status. I especially loved their Ferris Bueller day!! And her friend Dave. And SAM AND JORDAN!! It got a little cheesy in the second half but I read it in an afternoon so I obviously enjoyed it :) Her family was wonderful and it was a great summer read. “You know I wish that I had Jesse’s girl…”
Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
I really loved this, I’m so glad I gave it a chance!! I had a few issues but overall I thought it was wonderful. While I certainly understand the comparisons to the Lunar Chronicles, Stitching Snow is unique and stands on its own, while still being perfect for fans of that series. Essie is self-sufficient, badass, and brave (she cage fights!) and I loved the droids, especially Dimwit. I also loved learning about Essie’s past, and Essie’s relationship with Dane (total hate-to-love). They learn to work together and trust each other despite many obstacles. The setting and worldbuilding was extensive but not confusing, the villains were disturbing, and I loved all the Snow White allusions throughout the story. I’d definitely recommend it for fans of Cinder, fairy tale retellings, sci fi, awesome characters, and standalones! (Reading Challenges: FairytaleRC, 365 Days of YA)
"Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul."
Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There's plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.
Serafina's hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
Thank you Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley! Serafina was a great surprise. I loved the writing and the atmosphere of the Biltmore Estate and surrounding grounds. For some reason I thought the book would be set in England but it was set in the South which added a lot of grit and character to the story, as well as Serafina herself. The Chief Rat Catcher! The book starts off on a unique and macabre note, it was fantastic. I loved that it was a historical fiction mystery mixed with the supernatural. It was engaging, well-written, scary, mysterious, and captivating. The word choice and vocab was interesting and one of the things I enjoyed most. I also loved the graveyard scene in the woods. “Rest in peace and don’t return.” So creepy!
Serafina’s friendship with Braeden was really wonderful; I liked getting to see her open up and work together while still keeping the essence of herself and her bravery. My only caveat was that the ending seemed abrupt, a little too tied in a bow. I thought there would be more of a giant struggle with the antagonist, or some consequences for Sera and her father. But it actually made it better for its intended MG audience. I would recommend this book without hesitation to people who enjoy historical fiction, mysteries creepy supernatural stories, friendship, brave and resourceful girls, and grand old-fashioned storytelling.
About Miranda Kenneally
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com
So TOMORROW Ginger (GReads!) and I will be going to see The Avett Brothers in concert and I could not be more excited! I may cry. I do that every now and then when seeing bands I’ve loved for years for the firs time. Actually, when Ginger and I went to see Snow Patrol I cried a little. haha What can I say, I love my music.
So I picked THIS Avett Brothers song because I love the lyrics. I mean, I love a lot of their lyrics but these especially. I also love how it breaks down in the middle. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to link up and visit the other participants!
In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.
When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.
Thank you to Penguin Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this title.
Confession: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables although my mom tried to get me to watch Avonlea as a child. But I always meant to and I like to read retellings and modern twists on stories. I was drawn to Ana of California by the premise, as well as the lush summer feel of the cover. Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me and I wasn’t able to finish, but I can definitely see it working for the right reader!
The writing was lovely; I really loved the descriptions of Garber Farm and Hadley. Living in Northern California, I’ve seen similar small communities and can picture the quaintess of the town. And the delightful description of Abbie’s kitchen reminded me of a rustic Pinterest wedding or an HGTV kitchen! Well-built, farm chic, and cozy. Abbie was my favorite character; she had an interesting backstory and lots of warmth, while I didn’t feel like we got to know Emmett as well.
I had mixed feelings about Ana. I appreciated her story and learning about her difficult life and her attempt to make Garber Farms a good situation. But the way she talked confused me; she sounded naive and too adult all at once. It was the way she spoke and her choice of words, but maybe that came from all her time spent in the library. And the extreme politeness seems like a product of her experience in the foster home system. But something about her speech didn’t ring true to me, sounding weirdly poetic. I liked her as a character though! And I liked her willingness to work hard and open up to new people.
This is a slower-paced, read-it-on-the-beach-or-back-porch kind of novel, which is perfect for summer. I had some trouble connecting emotionally with the characters but I think readers looking for diversity mixed with nostalgia for an old favorite wrapped in picturesque writing will enjoy Ana of California. I hope the book will work for you if you decide to give it a try!
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been left to rot and forgotten by the world.
But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains' only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?
Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.
Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent's daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon's eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.
Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen's daughter, Evie, doesn't know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she's a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal's little tricks.
Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he's not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon's eye.
Carlos: Cruella de Vil's son may not be bravest, but he's certainly clever. Carlos's inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon's eye and ending the banishment for good.
Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll just need a little help from her "friends." In their quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain't so bad.
The Isle of the Lost follows the children of Disney’s meanest villains. The villains and their children have been banished to an island and trapped under a dome so they can never leave. The “good” Disney characters like Belle, Beast, Sleep Beauty, and all their children live across the river in Auradon. The story follows Mal, Maleficent’s daughter, Jay, son of Jafar, Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil, and Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen. On the island these kids are learning to be just as bad as their parents.
The book is a really fun read especially for those who love fairy tales and shows like Once Upon a Time. This is a new take on the lives of our favorite villains, and even better we get to see what their children are like. The kids of the villains try their hardest to be just as wicked as their parents to make them proud. Just because these Disney villains have kids don’t think they’ve gone soft. They are just as bad as they were in their stories and are doing their best to make their kids just like them. Mal, Carlos, Jay, and Evie all have interesting dynamics with their parents. These villains aren’t exactly the warm and fuzzy types, and all of the kids are just dying for their parents’ approval.
I really enjoyed seeing the adventures and schemes that the kids got up to. They go through quite a change during the book and learn that they don’t always have to do everything on their own and they don’t have to be like their parents. They all start to become a little more comfortable in their own skin.
We also meet Ben, the son of Belle and Beast, the future king of Auradon. Ben is conflicted because he doesn’t know if he’ll be as good of a leader as his father. He starts to wonder about the way the kingdom is run, and questioning whether or not his father’s way is really the right way. I loved the glimpses into Auradon. All these characters are supposed to be living their “Happily Ever Afters” but nothing can ever be perfect. There are many citizens of Auradon who are not happy with the way things are.
When I finished the book I realized that it’s a prequel to a Disney Channel movie “The Descendants” since I liked the book so much I will probably check out the movie too. Just to see what Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos are up to.
Another note, if you get the chance to listen to the audiobook, do it! The narrator is great, she has that dramatic fairy tale voice that really draws you into the story.
About Melissa de la Cruz
MELISSA DE LA CRUZ is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling series Blue Bloods, which has three million copies in print. She spent many summers on Shelter Island, which served as the inspiration for the fictional town of North Hampton. She lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs with her family.
I’ve been a long time Coheed and Cambria fan, so when I saw they had a new single out I jumped all over that business. It’s their first ever non-conceptual album and so far I like the direction it’s taking!
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.
Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.
This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.
I had a hard time with this list, because I didn’t know how to classify “hyped.” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to list books hyped by pubs or by fellow bookish nerds. This is a combo of both, so here it goes!
Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she's acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she'll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn't exactly Lizzie's biggest fan.
But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you're ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks... and that she'd like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he's not the kind of guy who'd ever reciprocate.
Until he does.
Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.
Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.
So while I was sitting around wondering how I’d write my review of Last Will and Testament, this song came on. It instantly caught my attention because it fit Lizzie and Connor. The lyrics are exactly what they felt for each other, the music is sexy like them, and the feel is warm and romantic at is core. So if you’re looking for the feel of this book, here you have it…
Song: “Fallingforyou” by The 1975
What time you coming down?
We started losing light.
I’ll never make it right
If you don’t want me around,
I’m so excited for the night,
All we need’s my bike and your enormous house
You said some day we might
When I’m closer to your height
‘Til then we’ll knock around, endlessly
You’re all I need
Don’t you see me now?
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you,
Don’t you need me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you,
And on this night and in this light,
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Maybe you’ll change your mind
I think I’m falling, I think I’m falling
I’m caught on your coat again
You said, “Oh, no, it’s fine,”
I read between the lines
And touched your leg again, again
I’ll take you one day at a time,
Soon you will be mine,
Oh but I want you now (I want you now)
When the smoke is in your eyes,
You look so alive,
Do you fancy sitting down with me? Maybe?
You’re all I need
According to your heart,
My place is not deliberate,
Feeling of your arms
I don’t wanna be your friend,
I wanna kiss your neck
Don’t you see me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Don’t you need me?
I, I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
And on this night and in this light
I think I’m falling, I’m falling for you
Maybe you’ll change your mind
“The Serpent King is a book you won’t be able to resist or forget. The Southern boy in me savored every syllable and the reader in me fell in love with every page.” —John Corey Whaley, National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very public fall from grace.
The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia . But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending—one which will rock his life to the core.
Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and, at times, comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one’s true self in the wreckage of the past.
I’ve been looking forward to this cover reveal for a while now and I was not let down! It sounds really good too.