Before the Blog: My True Love Gave to Me

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

20309175My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and this YA anthology is a really fun way to get into the spirit. Also, when I read this book I hadn’t read any of the authors except for Rainbow Rowell. It was a great way to find some great new authors.

 When did you read this book? 

December 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

YA readers

Release Day Blitz & Review: Red Hot Holidays Anthology

Forget shopping. Forget wrapping. Spend the holidays with these 17 gorgeous alpha males.

They have something they’d like to put in your stockings, because they’re definitely on Santa’s naughty list in these 17 all-new stories.

red hot holidays COVER

AVAILABLE NOW

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About the Book:

NYT, USA Today, and top-selling authors have banded together to bring you 17 all-new, sweet to sexy books about love, romance, and the holidays.

Take a break and rip open this boxed set to cuddle up with these romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance books. These authors have pulled out all the stops, bringing back some of your favorite characters from their bestselling series for one more bite at the fruitcake or penning stories about new characters and new love!

For a limited time, you can pick up all 17 of these naughty men for a really great price! Over 1000 pages of love, laughter, and romance! From billionaires and filthy rich rock stars to undercover police and bear shifters, we’ve gathered all 17 passionate stories in one big box with a bow on top. This heart-pounding collection is filled with confident, sexy, and romantic men you’ll want to spend the holidays with.

AVAILABLE NOW

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My Review: 5 out of 5 stars!

The Red Hot Holidays Anthology is a hot and steamy set of books to get you into the holiday spirit. There is a little something for everyone: contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, second chance romance and more.

One of my favorite stories in the Red Hot Holidays Anthology was Noel by J.C. Valentine. Noel was a nurse trying to avoid falling for her patient, hot cop Hunter. His hot body has her in a tizzy, but she’s going to stick with her oath of not dating patients…or she thinks she is until Hunter convinces her otherwise. Noel was a really fun, steamy read.

My other favorite was Winter Tryst by Mira Bailee. It was a short and sweet second chance romance where a man realizes the mistakes he’s made over the past year with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Those two were my favorites in the anthology, but all of the others were really good as well! A Cub for Christmas by Ella Dominguez was a fun story about an older woman falling for a younger man. Give and Take by Daisy Prescott was a cute story taking place on Whidbey Island that gives a look at the exciting Christmas happenings of several friends. Black Christmas by JC Andrijeski was an interesting Christmas tale about a couple that is apart but that can read each others minds to communicate and be intimate.

Those are just some of the incredibly fun Christmas-time stories that make up this anthology. I would highly suggest reading the Red Hot Holidays Anthology to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s only $0.99!

Stories Included Are:

Perfectly Kissed ~ Lacey Silks Mistletoes, sneaky best friend and an old lady, coerce best friends and former lovers, Millie and Dave, to reunite for Christmas Holidays.

Montreux ~ Blair Babylon Wulf von Hannover and Rae Stone are about to marry in Montreux, but Wulf’s aristocratic father makes one last attempt to derail the wedding.

Home Bound ~ Olivia Rigal and Shannon Macallan Trapped by a storm, a voluptuous architect and a sexy TV news reporter melt the ice by a roaring fire.

A Band of Heather ~ Sarah M. Cradit Colleen and Noah belong to two very different worlds, but a band of heather changes their lives forever.

Christmas on the Run ~ Daizie Draper Wannabe rock star Tristan runs from a dangerous bookie and falls for the girl he’s only using as his perfect escape.

Noel: A Blue Collar Christmas ~ J.C. Valentine Nurse Noel Walker doesn’t date patients, but Officer Hunter Davis won’t give up until he slaps the cuffs on.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski Quintin Black vanishes, leaving Miri alone after a harrowing ordeal in Thailand. Will she forgive him in time for Christmas?

Winter Tryst ~ Mira Bailee One destroyed marriage. Two broken hearts. When Sean visits Lyla to say goodbye, winter’s magic forces the lovers to face the painful truth.

Give and Take ~ Daisy Prescott You never know who will show up at the Sip ’n Stroll in Langley. Someone’s pregnant. Someone’s engaged. And someone’s getting a puppy.

Slow and Steady ~ V. J. Chambers When danger interrupts Christmas shopping, Leigh and her husband Griffin sizzle.

Take Me Home ~ Alison Foster All my Christmas wishes were snatched away by an evil brute. What can you do when the man you hate most makes your mouth water?

Bearfield Snowed In ~ Jacqueline Sweet A hunter tracking her prey finds herself snowed in with a sexy shifter. Is he her mortal enemy or her fated mate?

My Cowboy Soldier ~ Gillian Cherry Holidays draw lovers and families together, except when war tears them apart.

A Cub for Christmas ~ Ella Dominguez This May-December romance burns up the pages when Aricelli realizes that unwrapping her Christmas package is only half the fun.

Rosy Cheeks ~ Amity Wilde Good things sometimes come in unlikely packages. When an online flirt stumbles into Karen’s very real life, he might be just what she needs.

A Beary Merry Christmas ~ Jazzmyn Wolfe After a season of frustration and pain, will curvy Kassandra and Brendan finally have a beary merry Christmas?

Alec’s First Christmas ~ Felicia Tatum Daphne and Zander welcomed their baby Alec, and his first Christmas has magical surprises.

Order Now and Start Your Celebration Early

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Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined — Wait! What?!?!

 Has anyone else seen this yet? It came out TODAY! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. It sounds like so much fun to read! C’mon closeted Twilight Saga fans, you know you’re going to read it. I really want to! (Hint, hint to my lovely sister. It would make a great birthday present.) I only wish it wasn’t like $13!

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer.

Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.

Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.

Proof of Forever

Proof of ForeverProof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Publication Date:

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis:

After their final summer at Camp Okahatchee, Joy, Tali, Luce and Zoe drifted apart. They were supposed to have stayed best friends, but each went their own way. They’re not really sure how it happened, but it did.

Now, two years later, Joy requests their presence at Camp Okahatchee’s reunion night. As they recreate a picture from the last summer together, a photo-booth transports them back in time to that very summer.

The girls must race against time to re-create the past so they can return to the present. Reliving the past isn’t as easy as it seems. The same secrets that tore them apart the first time, threaten to do so again. When the summer is over none of them will be the same.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

So, I have to admit when I requested Proof of Forever from my library, I didn’t realize it revolved around time travel. I’m not sure how I missed that when I read the description. It’s blatantly obvious. I was a little worried when I re-read the blurb that I wouldn’t like the story because I’m not really a sci-fi reader. But the time travel in this book didn’t have a sci-fi feel. It was definitely a contemporary YA novel.

The writing in Proof of Forever was beautiful. I enjoyed how the author rotated between Joy, Tali, Luce and Zoe’s POV. What I loved most about the novel, though; was the way each character went from being self-centered to self-aware. It was cool to see each of them realize things about themselves and how it affected their relationships with everyone.

The only complaint I have is the big secret isn’t really a big secret to the reader. I could totally see what was coming. That wasn’t that big of deal to me.

Proof of Forever was such a fun summer book to read. It was filled with friendship, romance, and fun summer camp experiences. It made me think back to my days as a summer camper. (When did I get so old?) I enjoyed it a lot.

The Medium Path

The Medium Path 1600x2400 (Ebook)The Medium Path by Elizabeth Davies

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Publisher: Romance Beckons

Synopsis:

Ruby is a 103-year-old ghost. A spirit guide to be exact. It’s her job to help new spirits go on to the light when they die. It’s a pretty simple job until Ruby starts noticing that some of her spirits are disappearing into darkness. In order to find out what’s happening, Ruby seeks the help of a medium who can see her and other ghosts. As Michael helps Ruby search for the answers, Ruby finds herself dealing with emotions she never expected to have.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve admitted before that I’m not a big paranormal romance reader. For some reason, I just have a harder time getting into the stories. I have a hard time identifying with the non-human characters. I do like variety in my reading, though, so when the author asked if I would be willing to read and review The Medium Path, I said yes.

I’m really glad I did. The story grabbed me from the beginning. It was a really different ghost story. The concept of the spirit guide intrigued me. I liked how the spirit world was set up and the twists in the story were excellent.

The only thing I didn’t really care for in the story was the Ruby-Michael aspect. To be honest, it was the fact that Ruby was a ghost and Michael was a human. It’s definitely the having trouble connecting with the non-human character thing in this one. There were just a couple parts that weirded me out. That’s it. Otherwise, I loved the story.

I would highly suggest The Medium Path to mature readers that love a good ghost story or paranormal love story. There are sexual situations and some violence in this book.

Thank you to Elizabeth Davies for the opportunity to read and review The Medium Path.

Split Second

Split Second (Pivot Point, #2) Split Second (Pivot Point #2)  by Kasie West

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis:

In Pivot Point, Addison Coleman was forced to choose between living with her mother in the Compound or her father in the normal world. After Searching for the best potential future, Addie chose to stay with her mom. She can’t believe she chose to stay because this future seriously sucks.

First, her boyfriend used her. Then, her best friend betrayed her. Now, she’s the object of the entire high school’s gossip. Things really couldn’t get any worse.  Luckily, Addie’s going to get a break from it all when she visits her dad for the winter break. She’s hoping everyone will have forgotten her relationship with Duke by the time she returns.

After just a couple of days in Dallas, Addie meets this guy, Trevor. He’s cute, but she can’t help but wonder why she’s so attracted to him. It’s almost like she’s met him before. Addie wants Trevor to like her, too, but it seems like he has something against her.

Back home, Leila can’t help herself and opens the letter Addie gave her before she wiped her memory. Leila needs to learn how to restore memories. She’s not sure how to do that, so she enlists the help of a guy named Connor.

As Addie starts to get to know Trevor, the normal and Compound world start to collide. Leila and Addie are doing everything to they can to get Addie’s memories back, but someone may not want that to happen.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Split Second was an awesome follow up to Pivot Point. It was the same, yet different. Instead of alternating between two potential futures like Pivot Point does, it alternates between Addie and Leila’s POV. When I started reading, I was wondering if I was going to like that. I didn’t really care for Leila in the first book. She didn’t seem like a very good friend by the end. Leila totally redeemed herself in Split Second. What she was willing to do for her best friend was awesome. I also liked seeing more of her relationship with her family. And I loved her interactions with Connor. He was a really great addition to this story.

Reading Addie’s one POV was so much easier in Split Second than it was reading two of them in Pivot Point. I got the Addie I liked in this one. Which was weird considering she picked the potential future I didn’t enjoy reading the first time. It was fun to see how she dealt with meeting Trevor again. I do wish I got a little more Trevor in this book, though. He was such a great character in the first book.

As for the storyline, Split Second was just as interesting as Pivot Point. It started right where Pivot Point left off and kept going. It was faster paced than the first book, but I think that was because you weren’t alternating between potential futures. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I absolutely loved it. I would highly recommend reading it if you liked all or parts of Pivot Point.

Other books in the series:

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

Pivot Point

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1) Pivot Point by Kasie West

Publication Date: February 12, 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis: 

Addison Coleman is a Searcher. A searcher is someone who, given a choice, can look into the future and see both outcomes. Her ability has been really helpful in making good decisions. She’s hoping it will do the same with her latest choice.

When Addie’s parents tell her they are getting a divorce, they want her to use her gift to decide which one of them to live with. Choosing wouldn’t be a big deal if both of her parents planned to stay in the Compound, a secret paranormal society created for those with special abilities. But her dad is planning on living five hours away in the “Norm” world, while her mom is staying put.

Addie’s Search suggests two very different potential futures. If Addie chooses her mom, she’ll stay at the compound and continue to develop her special ability. Duke, the popular high school quarter back, will take an interest in her. She will get to hang out with her best friend for the past ten years, Laila. Nothing will really change. It should be the perfect choice, considering she loves her life.

If she moves to the Norm world with her dad, she’ll be the new girl at a regular high school. She will have to hide her abilities and make new friends. Addie will meet Trevor, an injured football player and aspiring artist, and his friends. Trevor will become her new best friend and, for the first time, she’ll feel like someone really gets her.

It’s a tough choice made tougher when her dad starts consulting on a murder case that has an effect on both futures. Addie will have to decide between the lesser of two evils.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pivot Point is a hard book for me to review. I have a love-hate relationship with it.

It starts out in present day with Addie being given the choice to make between her parents. Once she Searches the future, the book alternates back and forth each chapter between the potential futures. When I think about it, it’s actually a really cool idea — BUT (and that’s a big but) I liked one potential future way more than I liked the other. That made it very annoying each time I switched from the future I liked to the one I didn’t. I would just be getting sucked into the story, only to have to read one I didn’t really like. It was frustrating. I hated it.

That being said, after reading the entire book, I get why Kasie West set it up the way she did. It was actually perfect. I was able to see how the same events could affect both futures. It made the ending all that more powerful. Kasey West just might have used her special abilities to make me like one side of the story more than the other…

Now for what I absolutely loved: Kasie West’s writing. She had me laughing from the beginning with “hotlicious.”  I loved Addie and her parents. I liked how they were a bigger part of the story than most YA fiction parents. I don’t think Kasie West could have picked better abilities for them. I know this was more of a fantasy/science fiction YA novel, but I found it to be a really great contemporary romance read as well.

When I finished reading and closed the cover, I felt torn. I loved so much of this book. I totally would have given it 5 stars, but I just kept thinking of my frustration at times. Even though I know the parts I hated help make the story stronger, I couldn’t get past the fact that I didn’t like them. That’s why I took away a star. I still highly recommend reading it. I think it has a little something everyone will like: romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, family relationships.

I’m looking forward to starting on the sequel Split Second soon. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Addie next.

Note: I wasn’t going to review Pivot Point until next week, but I noticed the ebook is on sale for $1.99 right now! I wanted to make sure you would be able to take advantage of the deal if you’re interested in reading it. Download it from your favorite ebook provider now!

Other books in this series: