Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Was Scared to Read

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Halloween Freebie!This week, my choice is Ten Books I Was Scared to Read.

I probably to need to explain a little more about my topic choice. I don’t do scary, so these are books I was scared to read for reasons other than being scary.


1. The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

I’ve read several of Amy Harmon’s books. I’m always hesitant to start one because I know it will be an emotional journey. For some reason, The Law of Moses has scared me the most. I had to pick it as a book group read to make myself start it. That’s really sad because Amy Harmon is an amazing author.

2. Sugar & Gold by Emma Scott

Sugar & Gold sat on my NetGalley shelf for months before I picked it up because I was scared it was going to wreck me like Scott’s Full Tilt duet. I also was a little scared of the “paranormal” stuff that was included. I don’t normally do paranormal.

3. See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

My friend picked See What I Have Done as one of our book club picks. I didn’t know much about Lizzie Borden, but the whole ax-murderer thing freaked me out. I wasn’t sure how descriptive it was going to be.

4. Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

I was scared to read Marrow for all sorts of reasons. First, I had read Mud Vein prior and it was a stressful read. Second, I read something where Tarryn Fisher had mentioned she wrote this book after watching a video where a child had been beaten. That freaked me out. Third, it’s written by Tarryn Fisher. Her books are always deeper and darker than I’m prepared for.

5. A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

I wasn’t so much worried about the emotional impact of A Different Blue as I was with other Amy Harmon books. What scared me about reading it was that it has a friendship/relationship between a student and a teacher. Those aren’t my favorite.

6. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I was definitely scared to read The Lovely Bones. I wasn’t sure how I would handle the murder of a teenager. The fact that it was narrated by her also creeped me out a bit.

7. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Another book club book. Stillhouse Lake scared me because I wasn’t sure how descriptive the whole serial killer thing was going to be. Plus, I knew what a great writer Rachel Caine was. I knew she could write a scary story.

8. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

I guess my book group really pushes me because this was another one they chose. I was intimidated by this one because anything set during WWII in the concentration camps is emotional and scary.

9. Illuminae by Amy Kaufman & Jeff

If you know me, you know I don’t do Sci-Fi. I especially don’t do space travel stuff. This book is all about space and AI. I knew the format was super cool, so I had to give it a try. That didn’t make me any less hesitant to start it.

10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I read Six of Crows because of the hype monster surrounding it. If it hadn’t been well loved by just about everyone, I wouldn’t have picked it up. I don’t normally like fantasy. I have to admit I was a little scared I wouldn’t like it.


Even though all these books put some fear in me, I’m so happy I read them. I loved them. I guess it’s good to face your (book) fears!

Release Blitz: Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Lovers Like Us

by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Like Us Series #2
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene lives by his actions, and his actions say he’s the best at whatever he does. As a 24/7 bodyguard and the new boyfriend to Maximoff Hale, protecting the headstrong, alpha billionaire has never been more complicated. And one rule can’t be bent:

Keep your relationship secret from the public.

Farrow is confident he’s the best man for the job. But a twist in Maximoff’s fast-paced life sticks them with the rest of Security Force Omega and their clients.

On the road.
In a sleeper tour bus.
For four rocky months.

Sexual frustrations, check. Road trip drama, check. Awkward bonding, check.

But Farrow couldn’t have accounted for a high-risk threat (identity: unknown) that targets Maximoff before the ignition even turns. And it hits Farrow — someone has it out for the guy he loves.

Every day, Maximoff & Farrow’s feelings grow stronger, and together, they’ll either sink or swim.

Damaged Like Us

by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Like Us #1
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks

Don’t date your bodyguard.
It was the one rule he had to break.

Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible — the twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. By noon, lunch can turn into a mob of screaming fans. By two, his face is all over the internet.
Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth.

He is certified American royalty.

When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who’s known for “going rogue” in the security team — and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff’s sexual fantasies.

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. Flirting, dating, and hot sex falls far, far out of the boundary of his bodyguard duties and into “termination” territory. But when feelings surface, protecting the sexy-as-sin, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated.

Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.

About Krista & Becca Ritchie

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Krista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and identical twins—one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek—but with their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Now in their early twenties, they write about other twenty-somethings navigating through life, college, and romance. They love superheroes, flawed characters, and soul mate love.

They are the New Adult authors of the Addicted series and Calloway Sisters spin-off series, and you can find them on almost every social media, frolicking around like wannabe unicorns.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter

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Review: Dr. Neuro by Max Monroe

Dr. Neuro
Series: St. Luke’s Docuseries, #3
Author: Max Monroe
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Max Monroe LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I’m Dr. Nick Raines.
Brain surgeon and notorious over-thinker, I take the analytical approach with everything, until I can determine the best, carefully calculated plan of action. It’s no shock the producers of the popular reality series The Doctor Is In have decided to call me Dr. Neurotic.

Besides my more than full-time job as Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m a single dad and my number one priority is my daughter.

But life had plans to add another priority to my list.
Charlotte Hollis. Outspoken, impulsive, and beautiful, she’s everything I didn’t know I was craving.

She makes me wonder What if?
,
What if I don’t have to be alone for the rest of my life to give my little girl the father she deserves?

It’s a battle—my battle: Head vs. Heart.


I have to be completely up front and honest here for a minute. Dr. Neuro most likely would have been a five-star read for me had I not read Scoring the Billionaire first. If you haven’t read either book you’re probably wondering why. The star of Dr. Neuro, Nick Raines, was not portrayed very nicely (for good reasons) in Scoring the Billionaire. That had an effect on how I viewed him going into Dr. Neuro. He completely redeemed himself in this book, but I still had the ghosts of his past in my head the entire time.

So, yeah, I was surprised to find that I liked Nick. He may have made some poor decisions in the past, but he was a changed person. Everything he did in life, he now did for his daughter Lexi. Their relationship was sweet, and I loved reading about the two of them. Despite having a great job and Lexi in his life, Nick was still missing something. That something was Charlotte.

Charlotte was a hoot. She knew what she wanted and went for it. I loved that she had no problem putting herself out there. Charlotte had just what Nick needed. She brought spontaneity and fun to his life. I adored their relationship, including all the ups and downs. I especially liked the clever way Max Monroe created the climax.

Another thing that surprised me about this book was how little the docuseries was in it. There were mentions here and there, but it wasn’t as prominent as it was in the first couple of books in the series. I didn’t miss it, but I thought there would be more.

Overall, Dr. Neuro was a great romance read. It brought back some characters I’ve loved from past novels and introduced me to some fun new ones. Dr. Neuro was also filled with the humor I’ve come to expect from Max Monroe. I would highly recommend it and the rest of this series to readers who like rom-coms.

Review: Scandalous by L.J. Shen

Scandalous
Series: Sinners of Saint, #3
Author: L.J. Shen
Publication Date: September 21, 2017
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

They call him The Mute for a reason.
Hard, cold and calculated, he rarely speaks.
When he does, it’s with disdain.
When he does, his words aren’t meant for me.
When he does, my stomach flips and my world tilts on its axis.
He is thirty-three.
I am eighteen.
He’s a single dad and my father’s business partner.
I’m just a kid to him and his enemy’s daughter.
He’s emotionally unavailable.
And I am…feeling. Feeling things I shouldn’t feel for him.
Trent Rexroth is going to break my heart. The writing isn’t just on the wall, it’s inked on my soul.
And yet, I can’t stay away.
A scandal is the last thing my family needs. But a scandal is what we’re going to give them.
And oh, what beautiful chaos it will be.


Trent Rexroth was pretty damn scandalous. That’s for sure.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from Trent when I began reading Scandalous, but it wasn’t quite what I got. I must not have remembered him quite correctly from binge reading the Sinners of Saint series earlier this year. Or maybe that whole The Mute thing is what got me. Trent was way more crass than I was prepared for. He wasn’t a nice guy, and he didn’t care. The only one who got the nice side was his daughter, Luna. Trent did what he needed to do to get what he wanted.

Edie was one of those things Trent wanted. He tried to avoid this want because she was only eighteen to his thirty-three, but Edie didn’t make things easy for him. She was more mature than most young adults her age, and a darker view of the world and love. Trent and Edie had a love-hate relationship. Most of it felt like hate, but the love slowly built.

I really liked this story, but I didn’t fall completely in love with it. L.J. Shen’s writing was amazing, but I didn’t always feel Edie and Trent’s connection. It felt more like a sex than love thing, but that’s the way I think it was supposed to feel. Neither of these two were in it for love at first. Love was just something that ended up happening to them. I would have preferred for the love to dominate the story, but this is a Sinners of Saint book. Overall, Scandalous was a great dark love story.

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud
Author: E. Lockhart
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


Genuine Fraud was an interesting tale. E. Lockhart continued to give the reader the unexpected with it. Genuine Fraud began in the present and each chapter went back in time. The effect was that I felt like I was reading the story backward. The story continued that way all the way until almost the end. It made for a great guessing game. Each chapter divulged just enough to make me keep reading.

I have to admit that I got a bit bored in the middle of the book. I think it’s because I was frustrated. I just wanted to know what the deal was with Jule and Imogen! Once I got to that part, the story flew again for me. I loved the ending, and thought it was very clever.

Overall, Genuine Fraud was a fun read. It was a darker read, but light at the same time. It had great foreshadowing and a cool set up. It was the perfect book to read on my vacation.

Cover Reveal: Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new standalone romance about a flawed hero and the woman he can’t forget.

Spider, a sexy and forbidden new standalone, arrives November 13th!

Title: Spider
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: November 13th, 2017

Cover Designer: Shanoff Designs

Model: Amadeo Leandro

Photographer: Wong Sim

SPIDER-FINAL-FULL.jpg

He calls himself Spider.

I just know him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate places next to me on the airplane.

I didn’t who he really was . . . future rock star . . . my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought he’d never see me again. He would.

Everyone warned me about him.

They told me he was careless and ruthless and screwed up.

They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.

Maybe I should have built a fortress to keep him out.

But I crumbled instead.

They say an unbreakable thread connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2zcQDni

Spider teaser blogs 2

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About the Author


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to dystopian books and all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.

When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and paints old furniture.

Connect with Ilsa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorilsamaddenmills/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilsamaddenmills
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2k6L96J
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jjRzlD
Website: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/

Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.


I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. I wanted to love it, but I didn’t. I didn’t hate it either, though. Without Merit  fell in the realms of “Huh…Well, that was interesting.” Interesting because I didn’t have strong feelings about it one way or the other.

When Without Merit started off, I was a little surprised at the writing. It wasn’t what I have come to expect from Colleen Hoover. I’m not sure if that’s because this book was marketed as a YA novel (I still think it falls in the NA category, but that’s just me.), or because it felt almost like a one big stream of consciousness. I felt like I was living in Merit’s rambling brain, and it was a little exhausting. I did get some relief when she was interacting with other characters. Thank goodness.

I didn’t immediately like Merit. It’s probably safe to say that I never liked her at all. I never connected with her. I understood her thoughts and feelings and how her life was shaped, but that didn’t endear her to me. She had some hard truths to deal with, and I commend her for finally standing up for herself and telling her family how she felt. Setting herself free allowed her to grow and make new discoveries about the life she lived.

As for the other characters, I didn’t like them either. They were just as messed up as Merit. I was curious about their secrets, though. That’s probably what kept my attention. I needed to know who they were and what they had done. Well, I did like Sagan. He seemed like a great guy and his advice was priceless.

Without Merit touches on some tough topics, and it did that in a way I haven’t seen before. Whether or not it will resonate with readers is hard to say. I liked the outcome of the story, but I felt like so many things were glossed over too quickly. Mainly Merit’s depression. I won’t go into it too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but I didn’t feel like her condition and her actions were taken seriously enough. Maybe that’s because everyone in the story was messed up. I don’t know. I did like the advice Merit was given toward the end and how the truth changed how she perceived everything.

Without Merit most likely isn’t going to be one of those books everyone falls in love with. It’s one of those books you have to read for yourself and craft your own opinions about. I am sure there are going to be a ton of people this book helps with healing. There’s going to be another set of people it alarms. I don’t feel there’s a right or wrong way to feel about this book. It just didn’t have much impact on me personally.