Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Review: Tangled by Emma Chase

Title: Tangled
Series: Tangled #1
Author: Emma Chase
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published: 05/26/2013 by Omnific
Republished: 08/02/2013 by Gallery Books
Genre(s): Contemporary Erotic Romance

DESCRIPTION

"Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without."

MY THOUGHTS (Short and 'Squeet'!)

Tangled is the singularly most hysterically entertaining...anything I've ever experienced! No exaggeration. I laughed so hard my throat hurt—needed lozenges...one...two. I laughed so often my muscles ached—needed ibuprofen...one...two. I enjoyed it so much I'm gonna have a brew and toast Emma Chase for making me so damn happy.

Cheers, Emma! You ROCK!!! Yippee!

My husband read it based solely on the fact that in 16 years he'd never heard me laugh like I did while reading it.  He gave it a thumbs up and laughed quite a bit too!

Recommended for:  Anyone who loves laughing and doesn't offend easily!

HIGHLIGHTS

*stop here or you'll get a taste of Drew's filthy mouth ;)

"For those ladies out there who are listening, let me give you some free advice: If a guy who you just met at a club calls you baby, sweetheart, angel, or any other generic endearment? Don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s so into you, he’s already thinking up pet names. It’s because he can’t or doesn’t care to remember your actual name." ~ Drew

~*~

"But here’s a fact for you—once I’m done, I’m done. I’m not the kind of guy who rides the same rollercoaster twice." ~ Drew

~*~

"First of all, if a chick wants me to respect her, she needs to act like someone worth respecting. Second, I’m not trying to be a dick; I’m just being a guy. And all guys talk to their friends about sex.

Let me repeat that in case you missed it:

ALL GUYS TALK TO THEIR FRIENDS ABOUT SEX. If a guy tells you he doesn’t? Dump him, because he’s lying to you." ~ Drew

~*~

"What’s that? Yes, I went to Catholic school. You’re surprised? You shouldn’t be. My profanity has a certain religious flavor that can only be learned through a lifetime of Catholic education. Jesus H. Christ…Goddamn it…Jesus, Mary, and Joseph…fucking Christ Almighty…holy fucking shit—and that’s just what we heard from the priests. Don’t get me started on the nuns." ~

"When it comes to a woman’s past, no guy wants to hear about it. I don’t care if you’ve fucked one guy or a hundred—keep it to yourself. Let me put it this way: When you’re out at a restaurant and the waiter brings your meal, do you want him to tell you about every single person who touched that food before you put it in your mouth?

Exactly." ~ Drew

~*~

"Oh no. Not closure. Anything but fucking closure. Closure is a made-up word that women invented so they can overanalyze something and talk about it—to death. And then, after it’s been blessed and buried, closure gives them the excuse to dig the poor fucker up and talk about it—some more. Guys don’t do that. Ever. It’s over. Fade to black. The end." ~ Drew


Autograph from the Richmond Author Event 12/14/2013!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Title: Beautiful Stranger
Series: Beautiful #2
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Published: 04/16/2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre(s): Contemporary Erotic Romance

DESCRIPTION

"The all-new scorching sequel to Beautiful Bastard! A charming British playboy. A girl determined to finally live. And a secret liaison revealed in all too vivid color.

Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon’s moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion without a lot of strings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night’s fun. But the manner—and speed—with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup and into her Beautiful Stranger.

The whole city knows that Max Stella loves women, not that he’s ever found one he particularly wants to keep around. Despite pulling in plenty with his Wall Street bad boy charm, it’s not until Sara—and the wild photos she lets him take of her—that he starts wondering if there’s someone for him outside of the bedroom.

Hooking up in places where anybody could catch them, the only thing scarier for Sara than getting caught in public is having Max get too close in private."


MY THOUGHTS (Short and Sweet!)

I am on CLOUD NINE! Max and Sara did that for me. This novel—their story. Everything about this book dazzled me: how much better I thought it was than Beautiful Bastard, how enchanting I found Max and Sara's unusual "courtship", how clever, witty, and hot the dialogue was, how equally I enjoyed reading each of their points of view, and how they communicated so openly even when they were trying to remain "strangers." I really want to know how this novel I was expecting so little from shook me up so much. You know what, I don't want to know. I just need to be able to re-read it when the mood strikes. I mean Max and Sara together are...BEAUTIFUL! *blissful*

HIGHLIGHTS

"We're establishing a pattern here, Sara. You come, you go." ~ Max

~*~

"I got tired of being so old when I was so young." ~ Sara

~*~

Max: “'Do you ever think about how weird it is that we run into each other all the time?' he asked, eyes unreadable."
Sara: "'No,' I admitted. 'Isn't that the way the world works? In a city of millions you'll always see the same person.'"
Max: "But how often is it the person you most want to see?”

~*~

Max: “'What's going on?' I asked, gauging her expression. 'Talk to me.' She leaned into me again."
Sara: "Don't want to talk."
Max: "Sara, I don't mind being your distraction but at least be honest with me about it. Something's wrong."
Sara: "I'm fine.' But she wasn't fine. She wouldn't have come here if she were.
"Bullshit. You're breaking your own rules by even being here. This is better—this is real—but it's also different and I want to know why.”

~*~

Max: "'Rugby. Come watch my match today. Or, if you prefer, meet us all for drinks at Maddie's in Harlem afterward.' For what felt like a week she remained silent.
'Sara?'"
Sara: "I'm thinking."
Max: 'I walked across the room and fidgeted with the blinds at my window overlooking the park. "Think louder.'"

~*~

“The way you seem nervous makes me think you don’t know that I’m in love with you.” ~ Max

~*~

“When I say ‘I love you’ I don’t mean that I love what being with you does for my career, or I love how often you’re willing to shag. I mean I love you. I love making you laugh, and seeing how you react to things, and getting to know the little things about you. I love who I am with you, and I’m trusting you not to hurt me.” ~ Max


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay



Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Series: Standalone
Author: Katja Millay
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Self-published: 09/05/2012
Republished by Atria: 11/13/2012
Genre(s): Contemporary New Adult

DESCRIPTION

"I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances."

 MY THOUGHTS

The Sea of Tranquility was so much more than I expected from the description. Even being aware of how much it is adored by its readers, it was still more. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime stories that readers are constantly in search of. I would go so far as to say it's a modern day classic; it's a novel that is so much more than a book. It's an investment in time and in the characters—all of whom are worthy of our curiosity, our empathy, and, ultimately our esteem.

It's a book rife with symbolism. Symbolism where the mundane transcends the obvious: chairs and pennies and sawdust and ice cream and even running. Where not sharing your secrets doesn't prevent someone from really knowing you. Where an "unacceptable" outward appearance won't keep everyone away. Where everything doesn't have to happen instantly or in haste to be fascinating. Where name meanings speak volumes, and where second chances are worth fighting for.

Katja Millay writes intricately complex characters, so multifaceted that they are many things—any thing but predictable. I would recommend this book to every reader, but I would stipulate that your state of mind is critical. Be prepared to devote yourself to it. Let it engross you. Keep your distractions to a minimum. This story is a journey best taken with consideration as your reading companion.


HIGHLIGHTS

"If self-adoration were cologne, he would be the boy you couldn't stand next to without choking." ~ Nastya

~*~

“It's a little bit devastating being surrounded by people who can do what you can't anymore. People who create. People whose souls don't live in their bodies anymore because they've leached so much of themselves into their work.” ~ Nastya

~*~

“I know at that moment what he's given me and it isn't a chair. It's an invitation, a welcome, the knowledge that I am accepted here. He hasn't given me a place to sit. He's given me a place to belong.”  ~ Nastya

~*~

“We're like mysteries to one another. Maybe if I can solve him and he can solve me, we can explain each other. Maybe that's what I need. Someone to explain me.” ~ Nastya

~*~

“I don't really care what people say about me. I'm fine with lies and rumors. It's the truth I don't want being told.” ~ Nastya

~*~

“I haven’t started counting yet. I wonder if it’s just me or if it’s like that for everybody; that every time someone dies you start counting how much time has passed since they’ve been gone. First you count it in minutes, then in hours. You count in days, then weeks, then months. Then one day you realize that you aren’t counting anymore, and you don’t even know when you stopped. That’s the moment they’re gone.” ~ Josh

~*~

“People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their business because they won't be happy unless you are. You're supposed to be who they think you're supposed to be and feel how they think you're supposed to feel because they love you and when you can't give them what they want, they feel shitty, so you feel shitty, and everybody feels shitty. I just don't want that responsibility.”  ~ Nastya

~*~

Nastya: “'Just so you know,' I inform him, 'one day, I’m going to get tired of sharing your affection with that coffee table and I’m going to make you choose.'”

Josh: “'Just so you know,' he mimics me, 'I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.'”

~*~

“Maybe one day you'll come back. Maybe you never will and that'll suck, but you can't keep doing this. The blame and the self-loathing and the bullshit. I can't watch that. It makes me hate you for hating yourself. I don't want to lose you. But I'd rather lose you if it means you'll be happy. I think if you come back with me today, you'll never be okay. And I'll never be okay if you aren't. I need to know that there's a way for people like us to end up okay. I need to know that there even is such a thing as okay, maybe even good, and it's out there and we just haven't found it yet. There's got to be a happier ending than this, here. There's got to be a better story. Because we deserve one. You deserve one. Even if it doesn't end with you coming back to me.”  ~ Josh

~*~

“I don't know how to say it—after all this time, I'm not even sure that I can—but I have to break her last rule, because if she knows nothing else, I need her to know this one thing.

"'I love you, Sunshine,' I tell her, before I lose my nerve. 'And I don't give a shit whether you want me to or not.'” ~ Josh