Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day

29th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Bared to You by Sylvia DayBared to You by Sylvia Day
Series: Crossfire #1
Published by Berkley Trade
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

I hadn’t thought about picking up Bared to You before because I felt it was just riding on the shirttails of the Fifty Shades success, what with the covers taking on the same kind of trend, and since I wasn’t interested in reading Fifty Shades I didn’t give this book a second thought. The reason I did end up reading it is because I got a review copy of the sequel, Reflected in You, and wasn’t going to read it without having read the first one. That’s just crazy! :P

I didn’t really set any expectations for this book and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the writing was actually really good. And it definitely hooks you in right away. What I wasn’t really blown away by was the characters. I thought Eva was kind of a drama queen, always storming off when she was upset. And what was up with her overly-dramatic jealousy?! And Gideon, while very sexy, was so possessive and needy, which are two characteristics I cannot take in a man. Those two things usually do come hand in hand for some reason. I just don’t find the whole “You’re mine! I need you, please don’t leave me.” thing attractive! Yeah, not sexy. Both of their pasts are so painful that I can see why they would gravitate to one another, but it was just way too much drama for my taste.

I did enjoy the moments where they were just being flirty with each other. Their banter could be cute sometimes. I wish we got more of those and less drama. Their smexy moments were also very hot and written really well.

All that being said, I do plan to continue on with the next book and see where it leads, and I hope I like it better. I have read a lot of people saying that this series is better written than Fifty Shades of Grey, so if you’re looking for something like it, maybe give Bared to You a try. :)

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Not Exactly a Love Story

28th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Not Exactly a Love Story

Waiting on Wednesday: Not Exactly a Love StoryNot Exactly a Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis
Published by Random House BfYR
Pub Date: December 11th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

“A fifteen-year-old creates an alter ego to woo his dream girl. Compulsively readable.” —The New York Times

This quirky, flirty, and smart story will appeal to fans of Frank Portman’s King Dork, John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. It’s not exactly a love story . . . but it’s pretty close.

It’s 1977. Fifteen-year-old Vinnie is recovering from the worst case of acne his dermatologist’s ever seen. His girl moved to California without saying good-bye. And the ink on his parents’ divorce papers is barely dry when his mom announces they’re moving from Queens to Long Island. The silver lining? Moving next door to Patsy, everyone’s dream girl. Not that she’d ever notice him. But when Vinnie calls Patsy one night, it leads to a chain of anonymous midnight conversations, and the two develop a surprisingly strong connection despite the lies it’s built on. But as Vinnie gets to know Patsy in real life, it’s clear that both identities can’t survive...

 

This cover is not the most attractive to my eye (edit: updated cover to new paperback edition, which is MUCH better), but the synopsis won me over. It sounds like nothing that is out there right now and it sounds like a lot of fun. Bring on the 70s!!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For 2013

27th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For 2013

This list always has more series than new or standalone books, but I tried my best to mix it up. :) Here we go!

1. Vortex (Tempest #2) by Julie Cross (1/15/2013) – I was a huuuge Tempest fan, but I did read it a year and a half ago, so I’m REALLY excited to finally get to read the sequel.

2. Rise (Nightshade Prequel #2) by Andrea Cremer (1/8/13) – I really, really liked Rift and I love Andrea’s writing. Team Barrow!!

3. Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7) by Melissa de la Cruz (1/15/13) – It’s the FINAL book in the series!! OMG! What am I going to do when this ends?! I love this series so, SO much. Bittersweet…

4. Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare (3/19/13) – OMGGGGG!! This book might just kill me. I can’t wait. Team Will!

5. Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver (3/5/13) – Oh, hey. Another book that is sure to make me physically ill. Just check out my reaction to Pandemonium… Bring it!! Team Alex!

6. Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward (3/26/13) – QHUAY!! AT LAAAAAAST!! We finally get their book and I am SO EXCITED! It’s going to tear my heart out, just wait and see.

7. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (4/2/13) – After loving Statistical Probability, how could I NOT have this on my list. Can’t wait!

8. Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1) by Richelle Mead (6/4/13) – I was very sad when both of Richelle’s adult series came to an end, so I’m really looking forward to this. Like, A LOT! ALOTALOTALOT!

9. Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong (8/20/13) – I love Kelley’s Otherworld series and it sadly came to an end this year, so I’m excited to see more adult books from her. :)

10. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (5/7/13 – still not definite though) – Have you read the synopsis?! This book is going to wrap my heart in a snuggie and cuddle it for always. SIGH! I seriously can’t wait.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

26th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: December 1st 2011
Length: 281
Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

I cannot begin to tell you how THOROUGHLY I enjoyed Catching Jordan. I could not put it down. It was as if the show Friday Night Lights and all of Sarah Dessen’s books had a baby. Yup, that good.

What I absolutely admire most about this book is how authentic these character’s felt. The second thing I like is the fact that there’s a girl who not only is the captain of the football team, but an all-state quarterback. WHOA. I liked that it wasn’t a joke either. I thought, “Oh, a girl on the football team…I bet she gets a lot of crap from the guys.” But NO! They respect her! Everyone does! And I loved that about this story. I loved Jordan’s drive, but I also loved watching her get all girly when facing the hottest guys she’s ever laid eyes on. Those moments when she’s vulnerable and unsure of herself are what really made me connect with her.

But I haven’t told you my favorite part about this book….which is the love interest twist. If you haven’t read this book yet, DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT! ……So I kind of knew Sam would turn out to have had a lifelong thing for Jordan. I saw that one coming. What I did not expect was that Jordan would pick him. They never pick the best friend!!! I was SO happy, y’all!! So, so happy. Because let’s face it, Ty was all that and a bag of chips, but Sam Henry, flaws and all, completely stole my heart. But he was bad sometimes, wasn’t he? I know, I know! He was terrible at times. But I guess there’s only so much a boy can take before he falls off the deep end. I’m just glad he was able to quit being a butthead. SPOILERS OVER, PEOPLE!

So with all that being said, I can assure you that Miranda Kenneally has gained yet another fan in me. I can guarantee that her books will be on my insta-buy list from this moment on. (<–Total Shania Twain moment I had right there. You know you sang it, too.)

Note: This review was written before I read and reviewed Stealing Parker. Check out my review of it HERE!

 

 

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

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally + Guest Post!

21st Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally + Guest Post!Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 242
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

WOW! Stealing Parker was really, really great! I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess lets start with Parker. Parker is a girl whose world was completely turned upside down when her mother decided to reveal that she’s gay. Parker is so lost that I just wanted to jump into the pages, take her hand, sit her down and tell her all the things she’s learned by the end of this book. It really broke my heart to see how lost she was, guys. I FELT for her, I really did. And all those bad decisions! It was like watching a train wreck about to happen. What also really got to me was all the people in her life that turned on her after her mom came out…especially her church. It’s one of my biggest problems with some churches and with people who claim to be Christian, how utterly ugly they are to other human beings. It gets my blood boiling, so lets move on before I start throwing f-bombs on this review. I was also really disappointed with the adults in Parker’s life. Way to be there, guys! I can’t believe nobody thought it strange or thought to talk with Parker about what she’s been going through, or why she quit playing softball so suddenly. Her feelings of abandonment came through so clearly and loudly. I had a lot of feelings with this book, ok! SO MANY FEELINGS!

So I had to be realistic going into this book and knowing that OBVIOUSLY the coach thing was not going to work out. Because while all those fun, flirty moments that developed into forbidden, steamy make-out sessions left me ALL KINDS of hot and bothered, I knew they were wrong. And like Parker questions, why do all those wrong things feel so good?! GAH! All I could do was wait for sh*t to hit the fan. And it was awful ya’ll and I felt so awful for her. Not him. He should’ve known better.

Who Parker does actually end up with is actually a little bit harder to pinpoint at the very beginning. You meet the boys in the book, and while you think it might be the best friend, if you’ve read Catching Jordan you know it won’t be him, so it leaves us wondering if the coach thing is really what we’re going with. I liked the slow development of this aspect of the story a lot because, for me, it gave some unpredictability, which is always nice.

Overall I completely loved this story because of how real it felt. I really love the authenticity and the honesty in Miranda’s writing. I seriously cannot wait to read more from her.

Now check out what Miranda Kenneally has to say about the importance of making mistakes…

Guest Post

The Art of Making Mistakes: Why messing up is one of the most important things you can do.

I love reading reviews of my books. I always listen to what people have to say in hopes I can make my writing better. However, there’s one thing I’ll never change about my books, no matter what: I’ve seen some readers get upset when my characters make mistakes.

My characters make big mistakes and small mistakes. Some decisions have serious repercussions on the life of not only my main character, but sometimes on the lives of others.

When I was a teenager, I did some very dumb things. Like, one time my parents told me I couldn’t go to the Aerosmith concert, but I took their car and went anyway. My parents got really upset. Sure, I loved the concert, but afterwards I had to live with the guilt of hurting my parents and doing something I knew was wrong. They grounded me for a month!

Another time, I told a friend a serious lie because I thought it would impress her. She was always doing things that were “cool” and I wanted to feel cool too. I wanted her to think I was worthy of our friendship. Instead of thinking I was cool, she told a bunch of people what I said and spread the gossip about me all over school. What made it especially bad was that some people knew it wasn’t true. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. And I was sad that my “friend” wasn’t a true friend. But I learned from the mistake. I learned not to lie anymore, and I learned that true friends will love me for who I am, not what I’ve done.

When I’m writing a book, I’m not scared to have my characters screw up. If we don’t screw up, we can’t learn, and then we can’t become better people.

 

 

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

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler + Guest Post!

15th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler + Guest Post!Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pub Date: October 1st 2012
Pages: 320
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4 Stars

She never thought a kiss could kill...

Samantha didn't mean to hurt anyone. She was just trying to fit in...And she wanted to make Zee a little jealous after he completely ditched her for a prettier girl. So she kissed Alex. And then he died—right in her arms.

Sam is now the school pariah and a media sensation. Consumed with guilt, she'll have to find strength that goes way deeper than the fastest time in the 200–meter butterfly. Because if she can't figure out how to forgive herself, no one else will either.

I was both nervous and really interested to read Who I Kissed just after reading what this book was about. A girl kisses a boy to make the one she likes jealous and he dies because of what you had as a snack? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump into what appeared to be an emotional book. I’m glad I decided to just go with it.

While Who I Kissed is an emotional book, I never felt like it was dragging me down into some dark hole. It deals a lot with grieving and guilt, and with making not so right decisions, but it gives a sense that things will look up soon. That this is just a rough patch.

I liked the story very much. It opened my world up to how serious a food allergy can be. Not that I didn’t think it wasn’t serious before I read this, but not having anyone in my life having to deal with such issues didn’t really put it in perspective for me. I now feel a little more educated. Thank you, Janet Gurtler. I was so glad that this book didn’t turn into a witch hunt story though, where Sam is ostracized for what happened with Alex. I don’t think I could’ve handled people not seeing this for what it was, an horrible accident.

I enjoyed the characters as well. I wasn’t a fan of Sam’s decisions most of the time, but I can understand why they happened. I was just glad she came around in the end. I enjoyed Sam’s dad and aunt a lot, and it was nice seeing family so involved in the main character’s life. The romance was a little rocky in this one, but it was to be expected due to the circumstances.

All in all, I really liked this book. It reminded me of Sarah Dessen’s books a little bit, which is always a very good thing, as I love Sarah Dessen. This won’t be the last I read of Janet Gurtler either. I plan to pick up her other books soon.

Now check out Janet’s wonderful guest post below, where she explores her inspiration for the book and her character development of a girl who has to learn to forgive herself for a tragic mistake that upends so many lives.

Guest Post

Coming Up for Air

I haven’t made a secret of the fact that this book was inspired by my son, Max, a cool dude who happens to have a severe peanut allergy. This book takes my worst fears and puts them it into action. I used to joke with Max that before he kisses a girl, he has to ask her what she had for lunch. Or dinner. He doesn’t find it funny anymore.

We did have a talk when I decided to write this book. I told him that though it was fiction, it was partly to raise awareness of the dangers that kids with allergies face. And I told him of course, that it was something I never ever wanted to him to deal with. So no kissing girls. Ever. Ha ha. Not really the last part. He didn’t find that funny either.

Long before the character of Sam came to life for me, I remember hearing a story in the news, similar to the storyline in WHO I KISSED, about a child dying from a ‘peanut butter kiss’. It stuck with me as a parent of a peanut allergy kid. How horrifying it would be for everyone. Including the child who accidentally caused a death. I also remember hearing a story about a kid at a birthday party who died when the knife used to cut the cake (peanut free cake) was tainted with peanut butter. I don’t know if that story was true, but when you have a child with allergies those types of things make an impression.

As a parent of a kid with severe food allergies, you get used to people who don’t understand the severity of the allergy. People who complain about not being able to take a peanut butter sandwich to a peanut free school when it is “all their child will eat.” On one level, I totally get that. Confession. I LOVE peanut butter. But on the other hand, something innocent has the potential to cause my child harm, or even cause death and I don’t want to let that happen. I’ve had to shake off my loathing to make people uncomfortable. I have to speak up. I understand that most people don’t mean harm when they send a peanut butter sandwich to school or open a bag of peanuts beside me in the airport. But I have to ask them to put away peanuts or nuts when my son is around. Or to ask their kids to wash their hands after eating something with nuts before playing with my son.

My strongest argument for why other people should care is — how would YOU feel if your child (or you) caused the death of my son. I know I would feel pretty darn awful (to put it mildly), but what would it do to your child and/or you? How could a child possibly deal with something like that? How could a parent possibly deal with their role in something like that? And the thing is, it’s possible.

It’s about taking ownership of that possibility, but also dealing with the consequences of a very honest mistake. WHO I KISSED looks at how an innocent girl, who unwillingly and unknowingly is involved in the death of a boy who dies. A boy who is allergic to peanuts. It’s about thinking how that would affect you? How would you cope? What would you do?

Ultimately, like most of the books I write, I think there’s also hope in this book. And some lighter moments too. I created two characters, Aunt Allie and Fredrick to help Samantha deal and also to help the reader deal with the emotional intensity of the book. Plus there’s hot boys. I like them too.

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Almost Truth

14th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: The Almost Truth

Waiting on Wednesday: The Almost TruthThe Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Published by Simon Pulse
Pub Date: December 4th 2012
Buy the book! | Goodreads

From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....

At first, I was all “ooooh, I like that coverrrrr!!” Then I read the synopsis and was all “Whoa…that sounds SO GOOD!! WANT!!”

And that is why it’s my pick this week. The end. :)

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want On A Deserted Island

13th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Want On A Deserted Island

Can you say Hardest Topic Ever?! Well it is. But I narrowed it down. For you. :P Here we go…

OutlanderMy Numero Uno

1. Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon – I know! You’re SO surprised. It’s one of my all-time favorites. And it’s lengthy! And SO MUCH happens!

My Contemporaries …they will prevent me from losing my humanity and becoming a beast out there on the island. You’re welcome, post-rescue world.

2. Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman – I know what you’re going to say…Why not book 1? Well, that’s because I love book 2 more, ok! I LOVE IT!

3. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – Bat. bat. bat. I need someone to remind me how uniquely beautiful writing can be. Jandy will remind me.

4. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen – Dexter. Duh. Ok, fine, not just because of Dexter, but because it’s my favorite Sarah Dessen book and she’s coming with me, dammit!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater5. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen – Wes. Yes, just Wes this time, that’s it! :)

My Fantasies (no, not THOSE fantasies! But stay tuned…) …to help me escape the reality of the fact I’m stuck on a deserted island.

6. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Because it’s gorgeous! And who doesn’t want to read a gorgeous book over and over?

7. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare – Because it’s my favorite in the series and I need Jace with me on the island.

8. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare – Have you MET Will? You should. I’m taking him with me for sure.

Succubus Blues by Richelle MeadThe Smexys …listen, I’m only human. And an adult. I need some smexy times in my books for *cough* personal reasons? *cough* Yeah.

9. Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead – The characters are SO GOOD! And my book husband, Seth, is in this series. I actually want to be like Georgina, minus the Succubus part, of course.

10. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward – Oh, the Brotherhood will keep me…entertained. ;) You betcha!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks

12th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Echoes at Dawn by Maya BanksEchoes at Dawn by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #5
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: July 3rd 2012
Pages: 307
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline--an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister--has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is running out...

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He's unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he's fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time...hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it's pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

I have been somewhat intrigued by Rio, though I can’t say his was the book I was dying to read. I think part of it is that he isn’t a Kelly. When the main character is a Kelly, you get a lot more of the whole family dynamics, and that’s what I was essentially missing in while reading Echoes at Dawn. I was missing the Kelly clan!

Normally I also don’t complain about how quickly relationships develop in romance novels, but I really don’t get where Rio and Grace’s sprung from. Aside from their sexy intimate moments, I didn’t feel sparks. I also didn’t understand where their undying love for each other came from.

I did feel the story picked up for me in the last third of the book, but maybe not enough to really make an impact on my final thoughts on it. I really wanted to love it like the other books in the series but it was just not to be the case. The actual story wasn’t the problem for me, it had all the same great, action-filled elements that we see in this series…it was just I didn’t connect with these particular characters. I will for sure be continuing with the KGI series though. No doubt about that.

 

About Maya Banks

Maya Banks is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance.

She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

8th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini SinghSlave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Series: Psy-Changeling #1
Published by Berkley, Penguin
Pub Date: September 5th 2006
Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
Format: Audiobook | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Dive into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind—and none of the heart…

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”— the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was….

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy co-existence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

I’ve been a fan of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series since it first came out, and so I’ve always wanted to try Psy-Changeling. The only problem is that there’s like a billion out in this series already! So the challenge of starting at the beginning was a bit overwhelming at first. I figured the easiest way to get to them would be via audiobooks, and when I saw Slave to Sensation on sale on Audible.com, I jumped at the chance to own it and finally get started on this series.

The world of the Psy-Changeling series is one of power. The Psy control the world and the Changelings are considered an inferior species. I loved learning how it came to be this way and it was such an interesting and somewhat insane idea from the Psy. Turns out they think emotions is not for them. No, thanks. I’m good not having feelings ever again. Emotions are messy and they drive us to do crazy things! Lets get rid of them. That’s pretty much how it went down.

I loved seeing the moments when Lucas would question if Sascha was a normal Psy, and also the unwanted reactions Sascha would have for Lucas and his world. I really liked both characters but didn’t find any attributes that made me looooove them.

I did guess correctly as to who was behind the attacks, so there was no element of surprise for me there. What I really did love was the dynamics of the pack. I found the other members intriguing enough to continue the series.

The narrator, Angela Dawe, does a fantastic job with this audiobook. Her pacing was dead-on and her dramatizations felt very genuine and were fantastic. Since she narrates the rest of the series, and I enjoyed her work, I may consider continuing it via audiobooks. I’m looking forward to getting to know these very intriguing Changelings a little better.

 

About Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Waiting on Wednesday: Chantress

7th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday: Chantress

Waiting on Wednesday: ChantressChantress by Amy Butler Greenfield
Series: Chantress Trilogy #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub Date: May 7th 2013
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1668, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nate, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion…

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

 

This book sounds completely unique and original to me! I haven’t read anything remotely like it. And the setting is one of my favorites too. Can’t wait!!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Audiobook Narrators

6th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Audiobook Narrators

I picked this topic because I get asked for audiobook recommendations from time to time. The reason the topic is narrator specific, and not audiobook specific, is because there are certain narrators who’ve read several books I loved.

This list only includes narrators I’ve listened to (obviously), so if you have favorites that you want to suggest, feel free to give their names/books in the comments section! Or if you just want to agree with some of mine, that too. :)

Each of their names will be linked to their page on Audible.com, where you’ll be able to see the books they’ve narrated.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman1. Dan Bittner – Dan’s voice was once describe by Maggie Stiefvater as “sex on a stick.” I could not agree with her more. His most notable performances for me are those of Cole from Maggie’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and, my favorite, Adam of Where She Went by Gayle Forman.

2. Khristine Hvam – Ms. Hvam is one exceptional narrator. Her characterizations are to die for!! She never disappoints. Some of my favorites from here are Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, Frostbite & Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead (don’t know why just those two :(), and Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready.

3. Julia Whelan – Julia has narrated some popular books, like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but the ones I’ve listed to are The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, and the Need series by Carrie Jones. Check out the many more books she’s narrated!

Wicked Lovely4. Nick Landrum – Nick reads books two through five of the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr. He is exceptional. Love him.

5. Elisabeth Rodgers – Elisabeth won me over with her characterization of the Georgina Kincaid/Succubus Blues series by Richelle Mead. She just captures the tone I imagined for the whole series, from characters to setting to plot.

6. Jim Frangione – Jim reads some of my favorite romance novels, including The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward, and the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series by Lori Foster. I think he should read most romance novels in my opinion. :)

7. Jesse Eisenberg – Jesse hasn’t narrated many books, but he does narrate Holly Black’s White Cat series and he does it incredibly well. Love it!

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell8. Caitlin Greer – Caitlin needs more narrating gigs because she is SUPER! I was really impressed with her work on What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell, and I really like her on the Hush, hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick.

9. James Langton – I’ve only listened to two books narrated by James, but I thought he was so good. He reads Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon Lexicon series, except I don’t know if we’ll ever get the third book in the series on audio. :( That is a true tragedy. It does look like he has a big body of work though, and I bet they’re all just as great.

10. Eileen Stevens – I really love Eileen’s narrations on both The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting and The Dark Divine series by Bree Despain. She also has a big body of work and I plan to get more books narrated by her soon. :)

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

4th Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Review: Easy by Tammara WebberEasy by Tammara Webber
Series: Contours of the Heart #1
Published by Berkley Trade
Pub Date: November 6th 2012
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

I’m happy to be today’s stop for Tammara Webber’s EASY Blog Tour!! Please check out my review and Tammara’s favorite scenes from the book below! Then enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy! You want it, trust me. :)

Also, be sure to check out the full tour schedule over at Tammara Webber’s blog for more great reviews, guest posts, interviews, and more chances to win!! Tomorrow’s next tour stop will be at ROMANCE BOOKS FORUM.

To say the first chapter of Easy is intense is probably an understatement. Easy opens up with a very intense, graphic attempted rape scene. It definitely rattled me, and I was completely not expecting it. I’ve never been in that position, but reading that definitely put me in the state of mind and it was terrifying! Thankfully, Jacqueline is saved by a stranger that night, Lucas. But he wouldn’t stay a stranger for long. I wondered if the book would be heavier than I anticipated, but I soon got my answer. It was a very well done, emotionally balanced book.

The moment Jacqueline and Lucas start to interact with one another I knew I was in for some delectable tension. Their heated stares, their quiet conversations…it was so dang sexy! Not only is Lucas hot, but he is such a good freaking person too. He’s the perfect combination of compassionate, protective, passionate, intelligent male…all wrapped in that hot exterior. I seriously melted. And his story tore the heart out of my chest and put it in a blender. So devastating!! Then there’s Landon. The super witty, flirty, intelligent Econ tutor who we, as well as Jacqueline, only get to experience through email. I seriously LOVED those parts of the book. I could have had a whole book of just emails between him and Jacqueline. And while it’s not quite a love triangle, it’s definitely an interesting and fun part of the book.

I was very impressed with how Tammara Webber shows us the different situations in which girls were raped. I think she picked perfect situations where the girls might not want to come forward for fear of blame or shame but stresses that it isn’t their fault. Maybe someone out there who comes across this book will see something of themselves in one of those stories and will get something positive from it. At least, that’s my hope.

Also, high five for giving Jacqueline such an incredible best friend. I was really hoping that it wouldn’t turn out to be one of those situations where the BFF turns their back on them only to realize later she was wrong to do so. Nope, this best friend stuck with her and stood up for her and I loved it, because I believe that girlfriends who do this are a more realistic portrayal. Maybe more so in a college environment than a high school one, but loyal best friends do exist moreso than the ones that stab you in the back.

I had very high expectations of this book. Lots of my favorite bookish people looooove it. If this is the case for you, you have no idea how dead-on everyone is. Expectations exceeded! I can guarantee Easy is a book that will take hold of you from the first page and won’t let you go until the last. I, myself, read it in one sitting. Don’t miss it!!

Tammara’s Favorite Scenes

a) What was your favorite scene to write and why?

The sorority meeting. What Katie had to say and how she said it was the definition of leadership – and it could have gone either way. After I wrote it, I walked away from the computer shaking.

b) What was the most difficult scene to write?

That’s a tie between the reveal of Lucas’s past and the opening scene. I would say the latter from a writing standpoint, because I probably set a personal record for rewrites. It had to be technically correct, emotionally truthful, and not slide into anything gratuitous (or seem to). I wanted to convey the various levels of Jacqueline’s fear and shame as she focuses her attention on something rationally irrelevant (the possibility of her friends getting busted for drinking) while in her own mind, she begins to make the assault into something other than what it actually was.

c) Most romantic scene in the book, without spoilers!

The scene just before the brownies :)

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

1st Nov 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Reviews, Reviews by Jess

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini TaylorDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2
Published by Little, Brown BfYR
Pub Date: November 6th 2012
Pages: 513
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.

Student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlightfinds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

This review is both easy and difficult to write. Easy because I get to tell you how much I loved every word, every punctuation. Difficult because the right words–the proper words–don’t seem to come to me.

Where to even begin?! I guess let’s start with the fact that this was one dark book. There was very little to be happy about really, what with a war taking place and all. So much death…days of blood and starlight, indeed. I think what helped me not get sucked into the darkness of the book were those moments of humor and love and sweetness. I think that had we not had those moments, brought to us not by the people we expect, this book would have been such a downer. So thank you, Laini, for giving us them when you couldn’t give us who we wanted. Geez…cryptic much, Jess? ;) I’ll tell you one thing…if you’re expecting this book to be a Karou and Akiva reconciliation book, it is not. What Laini Taylor has given us in regards to them is a much more realistic plot, where characters have to first find and forgive themselves before moving on to a real, lasting relationship, if that’s even possible for them. These characters have grave decisions on their hands that don’t revolve around their love story, and as much as I would have loved more romance, there wasn’t really a place for it for them just yet. I didn’t feel let down by this at any point because I saw the greater picture, so hopefully you won’t feel gypped either.

Once again, the setting painted such a vivid picture. I could taste the sand and feel the heat from the desert where Karou spent her days. And I could imagine so perfectly the countryside and mountains that were scoured throughout the course of the story. The battles and the blood and the magic, all so incredibly vivid!

Karou is so changed in this book. She’s ruled by guilt, and characters around her completely take advantage of that. Most of the book I just wanted her to get up and kick some butt! But sometimes it takes the help of quite a few others to get  even a sliver of confidence back when you’re that low on yourself. And Akiva. *sigh* My poor, broken-hearted Akiva. He somehow found strength to choose to fight for so many things he thought were lost to him, including his own life. He held on to hope against all odds. Oh, Akiva. I love you so.

I also fell a little bit in love with quite a few secondary characters: Zuzana, Mik, Ziri, Hazael, and yes, even Liraz. They add so much depth to this book. This story could not have turned out as amazing without them. Some really surprised me and my heart broke for others, but all in all, they all have my heart.

There is a twist at the end that completely had me jumping off the couch exclaiming, “HOLY SHIT!”, as many of you who follow me on Twitter or Goodreads may have seen. I completely did not expect that!! It was such a genius move! I really thought Karou had made a horrible move in this particular moment, but wow…GENIUS!

So now here I sit, going over this book over and over in my head. I can’t let it go! My heart is completely owned by this series. How am I to wait a whole year for the next book?! How, I ask! I have a feeling fans may be split on their feelings toward Days of Blood & Starlight, but I have faith that they will see the purpose of this installment and why it was written the way it was. I’ll be on the side that finds it completely beautiful. *gets comfortable in her seat* But whatever you do, I implore you, do not put off reading this for very long.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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News You Can Use: Maria V. Snyder Makes Jess a Very Happy Girl

31st Oct 2012 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2012, Press Releases

poisonstudymagicstudyfirestudy

 

I’m such a huge fan of this series, and I in no way expect more books to ever come. I was completely happy with where they left off! But, THIS! This just FREAKING ROCKS!

I was reading my email in bed this morning, as I do every morning to wake myself up, when I came across a newsletter from Maria V. Snyder, where she announced the following:

 

YESSS!! More, please!!!

Are you guys as excited as I am?!

 

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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