Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies out there!

I have been blessed with a wonderful dad and an amazing husband who is also a wonderful dad. I was trying to think up a book related blog to dedicate to them, but neither of them are really readers. Well, I guess my dad does read the newspaper, but I’m not going to review a newspaper. My husband does read Motocross and snowmobile magazines, but I really don’t want to read or review one of those. The review would be something like:

The writing was good and I learned something — maybe — but I still have no idea what they were talking about.

That’s an awesome review, right? So, I think I’ll just recommend an author I really enjoy reading instead.

Colleen Hoover.

Have you read any of her books? If not, you should. They are all AMAZING. Seriously, amazing. They are all 5 star books in my opinion. That woman has a way with words. She knows how to bring on “the feels.” Each of her books is truly unique. I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to encompass so many different and cool ideas into them. I can honestly say I’ve never read one of her books that I didn’t absolutely love. Colleen Hoover is also an author that gives back. She’s started a book subscription service called The Bookworm Box that donates all it’s proceeds to charity. So, my recommendation to you on this beautiful Father’s Day is to read something, anything really, by Colleen Hoover.

Stand Alone Novels:

Ugly Love  Confess

Slammed Series:

Slammed (Slammed, #1)   Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)  This Girl (Slammed, #3)

Hopeless Series:

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)  Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2)  Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5)

Maybe Series:

Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1)  Maybe Not (Maybe, #1.5)

Never Never Series (written with Tarryn Fisher)

Never Never (Never Never, #1)  Never Never: Part Two (Never Never, #2)

The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Synopsis:

One evening, Li Lan’s father comes to her and asks her if she would like to become a ghost bride. Li Lan cannot believe that he would be serious. A ghost bride? In 1893 Malaya, it’s rare for people to arrange a marriage with the dead, but the wealthy Lim family wants Li Lan to marry their recently deceased heir.

Li Lan knows she must consider the ghost marriage to Lim Tian Ching, as it would secure her once wealthy family’s comfort for life. As she thinks about it, she is drawn into the Lim family’s secrets and begins to question the mysterious circumstances behind the death of Lim Tian Ching. Her search leads her into the world of the Chinese afterlife.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Ghost Bride is a novel that crosses over many genres. It’s young adult, adult, historical, paranormal, fantasy, romance and mystery all wrapped in one package. I was immediately drawn into the story of Li Lan and the ghost bride proposition. The descriptions were beautiful. I could easily picture the setting in my head. It also had great twists and turns that kept you wanting to read.

My only real problem with The Ghost Bride was the pace of the book. For being such an interesting story with such great twists and turns, it was a really slow read. I had to force myself to continue reading through parts of it. I think the beautiful descriptions I mentioned before might have bogged it down. I mean, I wanted to know what was going to happen. It just took so long to get there. If it wasn’t for the twists in the story, I might not have made it through — which would have been sad since it is a good story.

Overall, I would definitely recommend it to those who like historical fiction and don’t mind a slower pace. The writing really is beautiful and the story is entertaining.

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read and honestly review The Ghost Bride.

The Mistake

The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Publisher: Elle Kennedy

Synopsis:

Briar University hockey player John Logan is living the life — every night’s a party and a chance to hook up with another hot chick. He’s living the life while he can. Logan knows his time for fun is short. He’s got one more year until he graduates and then it’s back to reality.

Freshman Grace Ivers never expected her crush, John Logan, to randomly show up on her dorm room doorstep. And she definitely never expected to mess around with him or that he would want to hang out again. He’s way out of her league. But it did happen and Grace is all ready to hand over her V-card to him — until John proves what a jerk he really is.

John knows he messed up. If he could, he would take it all back. Now, he has to prove to Grace that he can be the guy she wants him to be. But winning Grace’s heart isn’t going to be easy. Grace isn’t a puck bunny and John’s going to have a lot of sucking up to do if he truly wants to win her back.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

If I loved The Deal, then I’m obsessed with The Mistake. It was sooooo good! I truly couldn’t put it down. I even read it while I was curling my hair! (Gotta love reading on a Kindle!)

Elle Kennedy knows how to write her hockey heartthrobs. I didn’t think I would like John as much as I liked Garrett, but I did. I feel funny admitting it, but I loved his cockiness. It was fun to read how sure of himself he was.

To be honest, I was worried about the whole Hannah thing. I was picturing something very awkward that I wasn’t going to want to read. Luckily, that didn’t happen and we got an amazing story in John’s hook up with Grace.

Grace was a great character. Her strength to walk away and take care of herself first was awesome. Books with strong female characters, like Grace, are great examples for readers.

So…Yes, you need to read The Mistake! I don’t think you necessarily have to read The Deal first, but it does reference people and situations from it. And just like The Deal, it’s a NA novel and for mature readers only.

Other books in this series:

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)

Some Favorite YA Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

I was thinking back on some of the books I’ve read this year. Having only recently started A Novel Glimpse, there are some really good books I didn’t get to review. I thought for fun, I would give a list of some my favorite YA books I’ve read so far this year. They are in no particular order. Some have been around for a while, while others are new. Maybe my list will inspire you to read one of them.

Saint Anything   Vendetta (Blood for Blood, #1)  This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales  Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles  V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver  The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick  Never Never by Colleen Hoover  Home is Where You Are   The Distance Between Us

Bright Side

 Bright Side (Bright Side, #1)Bright Side by Kim Holden

Publication Date: July 4, 2014

Publisher: Do Epic, LLC.

Synopsis:

Kate Sedgwick is the epitome of optimism. Nothing seems to get this girl down. Which is a surprise coming from a such tough childhood. Her disposition is so sunny that she’s even earned the nickname “Bright Side” from her best friend, Gus.

Kate is about to fulfill one of her dreams. She’s leaving sunny California to go to college in cold Minnesota. It’s hard leaving her best friend, Gus, and everything she’s known, but Kate has no doubt it’s going to be amazing.

What Kate doesn’t count on is meeting Keller Banks. She’s having a really hard time not falling for him. It’s hard when he’s cute, funny and smart. Kate’s never felt this way before. She’s starting to rethink her no falling in love stance.

The closer Kate and Keller get to each other, the more each worries that the secrets their hiding may ruin everything they have with each other.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

EPIC. Kim Holden does epic.

Seriously. Bright Side is one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life. It was incredibly funny, smart and sweet. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much or cried so hard reading a book. I haven’t read a book this inspiring since I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes a couple of years ago. I’ve already purchased it’s sequel, Gus.

I’m not going to say anything more about the story. I think Bright Side is a book best read without knowing too much. What I will say is this:

READ THIS BOOK NOW! 

Oh, and grab a box of tissues while you’re at it. You’re probably going to need them.

Other books in this series:

Gus (Bright Side, #2)

The Deal

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1)The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: February 24, 2015 

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent

Synopsis:

Hannah Wells is crushing on Briar University’s star football player in a major way. Making eye contact with him in their Ethics class is enough to turn her to mush. She just needs to get up the nerve to talk to him. If only Hannah’s past experiences with men weren’t keeping her from doing just that.

Hockey player Garrett Graham cannot afford to fail his Ethics class if he wants to keep playing for Briar. It looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen, if he can’t talk Hannah Wells into tutoring him. Garrett was hoping his way with women could help him sway Hannah, but she’s the only girl at Briar who seems able to resist his charms.

When Garrett notices Hannah’s crush on a Briar football star, he knows he can use the knowledge to his advantage. Garrett convinces Hannah that he can help her win her crush. The plan is fool proof — until one kiss turns into more.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Deal will be going on my list of favorite New Adult romances. It was so much fun to read! Garrett and Hannah’s bickering was too funny.  I found myself laughing so many times.  I liked that Hannah didn’t put up with his “king of hockey” attitude and didn’t fall all over him like all of the other girls he was used to. They were so cute together. I also liked that not only was this a romance, but each of them was dealing with a deeper issue. It was cool to see them help each other through those issues.

Another thing I really loved was Garrett’s hockey team roommates. Their interactions with each other couldn’t have been more perfect! It was exactly what I would have expected from a bunch of players living together. I can’t wait to get to read more of their stories in the future! I’m starting on the next book in the series, The Mistake, right after I finish writing this!

The Deal is definitely a book I would recommend. Just a warning to readers — It is a New Adult and not YA read. There is sexual content and alcohol references, so it is for mature readers only.

Other books in the Off-Campus Series:

The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)

What a Girl Wants

What a Girl Wants (Fillmore & Greenwich, #1)What a Girl Wants (Fillmore & Greenwich) by Kate Perry

Publication Date : June 15, 2015

Publisher: Phoenix Rising Enterprises, Inc. 

Synopsis:

Ariana Warren has always felt like she didn’t quite fit in her family. Her father, mother and sister all found their talents early and quickly. Ariana has spent years searching for hers, but she’s finally found it in her natural skin care line. She loves her small business. If only that was good enough for her businessman father. But it’s not and now he’s sicking his business associate on her.

Sebastian Tate has returned to the U.S. from his extended visit to London to fulfil a debt to an old business partner. Edward Warren wants Sebastian to help his daughter, Ariana, expand her skin care line. Once he sees the skin care line, Sebastian knows he can accomplish this goal — if only Ariana was willing to accept his help…and his love.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Kate Perry never fails at delivering books that make me smile. Her stories always make me happy. They’re filled with fun, interesting and sometimes odd characters. I love how they’re always finding their happily ever after, while also finding themselves at the same time. I also really enjoy how Perry always works in a secondary love story into her novels.

As for What a Girl Wants, it was fun getting to know Sebastian from the Summerhill Series a little better. He always seemed like he might be hiding something in that series and it was finally nice to find out what that was. I liked how his business minded personality melded with Ariana’s free spirit approach to life. I would have liked to read even more of his life in the novel. The storyline mainly revolved around Ariana.

Ariana was definitely my favorite character in What a Girl Wants. I liked the storyline involving her family as much as I liked seeing her falling in love with Sebastian. It was really cool to see how her family viewed her compared to how Ariana viewed herself. I think there are a ton of people who can identify with the feelings Ariana had.

I also thought Esme the psychic was a cool addition to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing what she has in store for the characters in future Fillmore & Greenwich books. I can’t wait to read about George, the mechanic.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with a Kate Perry contemporary romance novel. They’re filled with great relationships, laughs and some fun, steamy scenes. Not to mention, they always end with a happily ever after. I like that even though they’re part of a series with related characters, you can easily read each novel as a standalone.

I would like to say thank you to Kate Perry for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of What a Girl Wants.

Amber to Ashes

Amber to Ashes (Torn Hearts, #1)Amber to Ashes (Torn Hearts #1) by Gail McHugh

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

Publisher: Atria Books

Synopsis: 

Amber Moretti made it through a tough childhood, one horrible moment defining her entire existence. Now, thanks to her amazing foster parents, Amber’s starting college and getting a chance to start her life over. No one there will know about her past. Nor will they know how she used to escape from the memories that still haunt her.

But just as one moment defined her childhood, another moment will define her life now. When Amber walked into the college dining hall, she never expected to meet and connect deeply with one man, let alone two. She’s always kept herself emotionally unavailable to men, but she can’t help but need both of them now.

Brock Cunningham and Ryder Ashcroft may be completely different in looks and attitude, but they both want Amber in the same intense way. Brock is the hunky football player that every girl wants. Amber can’t help but be attracted to his slick words and the way he wants to be everything she needs. Ryder is Brock’s opposite. He’s tough, tattooed and pierced. His every word disgusts Amber….until he kisses her. Then, she feels powerless to his touch.

Quickly, Amber finds herself falling for these two men. She knows she can’t possibly be in love with each of them, but she finds it harder and harder to fight her feelings for them. Amber knows she’ll be forced to choose to between Brock and Ryder, but she has no idea what would lead up to her decision.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Um….Wow. I’m not quite sure what my reaction should be after reading Amber to Ashes. This book was so gritty, dirty and all sorts of messed up…but I think I liked it. It’s hard to say because, while I was really disturbed by most of the story, I couldn’t put the book down. It was crazy. Every time I thought the story couldn’t get any more disturbing, it did.

I wanted to know how everything was going to play out for Amber and her need for both Brock and Ryder. Each character was so messed up with their own issues that all together they were just one gigantic disaster waiting to happen. I couldn’t see how this could end positively for any of them.

I really liked how most of the book was in Amber’s POV, but that I also got a sprinkling of Brock and Ryder’s as well. That really helped shape their relationships with each other — especially Brock and Ryder’s relationship. Which was a good thing, considering how Amber felt about both of them.

My least favorite parts of the book were the violent ones because I’m just not into violence. BUT I will admit the violent parts were a good addition to the storyline. They made this more than just a love triangle story.

The ending, though. The ending killed me! What a cliffhanger! I’ll definitely be reading the next book because I have to know what happens.

If you’re interested in reading this book, I’d just warn you ahead of time to be prepared for a lot of sexually explicit encounters (one F/M/M), violence, and drug use. The story will suck you in and then twist and turn in ways you aren’t expecting. It’s an entertaining read, but in it gets messier and messier the deeper into the book you go. It’s definitely not for someone expecting a HEA filled with sunshine, rainbows or unicorns.

Thank you to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Amber to Ashes.

The Sound of Glass

The Sound of GlassThe Sound of Glass by Karen White

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

Publisher: NAL

Synopsis:

In The Sound of Glass, young widow Merritt Heyward inherits the childhood home of her dead husband, Cal. Merritt abandons her life in Maine to move to Beaufort, SC, where she hopes to learn more about the husband she lost. Before she can even move into her new home, her step-mother and the half-brother she’s never met show up, complicating Merritt’s life even further. Together, they begin to unravel Cal’s past and learn to be a family again.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s hard to pick out one favorite thing about The Sound of Glass. I truly loved everything about it. The narration moved smoothly between the three narrators: Merritt, Loralee and Edith. The combination of the plane mystery and the family relationships made the novel fast paced and hard to put down.

Although, I do have to admit I had a favorite character. I adored Loralee and her Journal of Truths entries. Her wisdom was refreshing. I also liked that she saw the best parts of Merritt and wanted more for her. I was inspired by how Loralee dealt with the hand she was given in life and how she was raising her son, Owen.

Merrit was a character I had a love/hate relationship with. Just when I would be annoyed with her actions and start to dislike her, she would explain herself or Loralee would think of something her husband had told her about Merritt and I would like her again. Seeing her growth throughout the entire novel was very fulfilling.

Edith’s glimpses of the past really shaped how I saw not just Heyward family, but Cal and Merritt’s relationship as well. I liked how her perspective helped tie the whole story together.

The only thing more that I wanted out of Karen White was a chance to hear a part of the story through Gibbes’ POV. There must have been so much running through his mind! He was such a cool character.

The Sound of Glass is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. That doesn’t surprise me, as I always love anything Karen White writes. She truly knows how to mix mystery, romance, family and the Southern landscape into beautifully heartbreaking and fulfilling tales. I would highly recommend any of her novels.

unDefeated

unDefeated (Wayward Fighters, #3)unDefeated (Wayward Fighters, #3) by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Synopsis:

Undefeated is the third book in the Wayward Fighters Series. The story continues from the end of Tapout and is in Spencer and Olivia’s POV’s.

Spencer’s trip to rehab has finally brought him to terms with the gambling addiction that ruined every good relationship he had. His goal now is to stay away from those he loves and prevent them from facing any future harm his addiction could bring. But when he has no where else to go after rehab ends, he find himself on Olivia’s doorstep.

Olivia tried to give Spencer the support he needed to face his addictions. He made it pretty obvious he didn’t want anything from her. So when Spencer shows up on Olivia’s doorstep, she hopes it will bring them closer together. But Olivia has demons of her own and her insecurities with their relationship may cause her to self-destruct. Will their relationship give them the strength they need to survive their addictions or cause them both to spiral out of control?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

In the previous books in the Wayward Fighters Series, it was hard to find anything redeeming in Spencer. He caused so much pain for Jami, Ally and Olivia. I wondered if I was going to like reading unDefeated with him as one of the narrators. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while I didn’t absolutely love him, I didn’t hate him so much anymore. I may have actually started to like him by the end! Reading from Spencer’s POV about his background and his struggles with his addiction made him more human and less of a monster. The way he tried to take care of Olivia in her lowest points, really helped redeem him. I could finally see what she saw in him. I loved how their relationship started bringing out the best in each of them. I also loved the way he dealt with the fall out of his actions and their impact on his relationship with his best friend, Jami.

Overall, unDefeated was a great story about love, friendship and the ongoing struggle with addiction. I think fans of the series will be extremely happy with Spencer and Olivia’s story of redemption.

Other books in the Wayward Fighters series by J.C. Valentine:

Knockout (Wayward Fighters, #1)  Tapout (Wayward Fighters, #2)