August 29, 2014

REVIEW: Deluge (River of Time #5)

Deluge (River of Time #5), by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Published August 21, 2014
Publisher: Bergren Creative Group, Inc.
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: young adult historical fiction/romance/time travel
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called. 

Three years ago, Waterfall (River of Time #1) was the very first book I downloaded on my brand new Kindle. It was a freebie for a short period of time, and I downloaded it because it was about time travel, which is subject I like. I didn't know anything of the author, Lisa Tawn Bergren, or her previous works. 

I've never been more glad that I one-clicked a book. 

Deluge is the final book in the River of Time series. Lia and Gabi have come such a long way since they were first dropped in medieval Italy. Then they were scared and unsure and wanted nothing more than to get back to their own time. Now, they are fierce and confident and secure in the knowledge that they are where they were meant to be, both literally and figuratively.

They also have the burden of knowledge. Namely that the time of the black plague is nearly upon them. They know full well that all the provisions in the world won't matter if even one person in their keep contracts the disease. And, with each marriage comes spouses and babies which means more people to love and grieve if the plague takes them. It's an extremely heavy burden to bear, and I felt the weight of that on their shoulders throughout the book. 

I loved so much seeing all the different relationships in Deluge and how different they all are. Gabi's and Lia's parents are in their prime. They have a second chance at making their marriage amazing, and they are excelling at it. Gabi and Marcello are newlyweds and soon-to-be first time parents. They are learning how marriage works and that there's a possibility of loving another human more than yourself. Then there is Lia and Luca - the newest couple, not quite yet ready for marriage. Lia's struggling with a lot of fear. She's afraid of taking that step with Luca, knowing she might lose him or a child of theirs to the plague, and not sure if she could handle that. 

All previous books have really been Gabi's story as she came into her own, both as a "she-wolf," as a woman and as the love of Marcello's life. Although Deluge is told in dual POV - both Gabi's and Lia's - this is really Lia's story. She goes through so much in this book. Although, most of her experiences are shared with her sister, Lia seems to bear the brunt of them much harder. She feels more, internalizes more. It seems sometimes that Luca is the only thing that grounds her. 

I will say one thing about Lisa Tawn Bergren. She knows how to go out with a bang. Deluge has absolutely EVERYTHING. There are battles like none that have come before it. The plague is an awful thing, and Lisa made me feel all the sadness that came along with it. The romance as absolutely incredible. The utter adoration the Forelli boys feel for Gabi and Lia was so sigh-inducing. And that ending, albeit completely heartbreaking, was pretty perfect. 

Not all the characters we've grown to love make it out alive. Realistically, how could they? When those deaths happen, I cried so hard. I actually had to take a few breaks toward the end, because there were way too many feels to handle all at once. 

If you have never read this series, I urge you - please give it a try. It's so incredible.

August 28, 2014

REVIEW: Falling In (The Surrender Trilogy #1)

Falling In (The Surrender Trilogy #1), by Lydia Michaels
Published September 17, 2013
Publisher: Intermix
Format: e-book, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) The debut of an emotionally charged and highly erotic contemporary romance trilogy, in which love and trust are the most dangerous games of all…

With a dark past that would have shattered most people, Evelyn “Scout” Keats is doing what no one in her bleak world thinks possible—getting off the streets and leaving her impoverished life behind. She’s a new maid at the luxurious Patras Hotel, and aims to keep her job no matter what. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sacrifice her dignity, or let anyone into her heart. The risk of losing either is just too great.

When hotel tycoon Lucian Patras discovers Evelyn in a compromising position, he uses everything at his disposal to seduce her—a proposition that both surprises and frightens her.

Ignorant to her true circumstances, Lucian relentlessly pursues Scout as a prize to be won. But he is soon given an unforgettable lesson in love and sacrifice when he learns how far Scout has gone to gain her independence and discovers that there are some things money can never buy.

I've found that, for me at least, the best parts of these so-called "mommy porn" books is the escapism it offers. They're a lot of fun and an adequate distraction. But, let's face it - most of us don't read them for their elaborate and beautiful prose. Right? 

So, in that way, Falling In stands apart from the rest. Not only did it satisfy all my girliest bits, but it was really beautifully written too. It's like, the unicorn of mommy porn.

Evelyn was born on the streets, raised on the streets and lives on the streets. Her biggest goal is to work hard enough and make enough money to finally get a permanent roof over her head and three meals a day in her belly. To do that, she gets a job as a maid at the swanky Patras Hotel. By accident, she catches the eye of Lucian Patras, and immediately goes from pauper to princess. Lucian teaches Evelyn so much in such a short period of time. And, amazingly, Lucian learns a thing or two from this uneducated daughter of a junkie. 

Falling In had a Pretty Woman vibe to it. An uneducated girl from the wrong side of the tracks happens to be in the right place at the right time to meet a handsome, ridiculously rich man. He's captivated by how unlike the rest of his world she is. How real and untainted she is by money and power. And, inevitably, they fall in love. 

I absolutely love how completely and utterly different Lucian and Evelyn are. She can't even read, and he's a billionaire real estate tycoon. But, Evelyn isn't stupid. At one of their first meetings, he starts to teach her chess. He definitely has an interesting way of motivating her (strip chess, anyone?), but she picks it up quickly. Evelyn is honest and innocent and honorable. She's everything Lucian is not used to. 

Lucian is taken by her very quickly. She tries to walk away several times, and every time Lucian comes after her. He's super intense and controlling, and yet Evelyn handles him. She puts him off his game, and I loved seeing him out of sorts. I got the impression that doesn't happen often. 

Falling In is told in dual POV, but it's done a little differently than what I usually see. Part I is told entirely from Evelyn's POV. Part II is in Lucian's and Part III is back to Evelyn. The final chapter is told in Evelyn's friend Parker's POV, and it sets things up for the next book in the series. There's sure to be fall-back from the deal Lucian made to save Evelyn's life (seriously - read this book). 

Falling In was poignant and so super sexy.  The chemistry between Lucian and Evelyn was amazing. This series has started off with a bang for me, and I can't wait to read the rest of their story.

August 27, 2014

RELEASE DAY EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Follow (Social Media #1)

Vaughn Asher and his ego are finally here! JA Huss is releasing a novel in six parts, starting with FOLLOW (Social Media #1), which is out today! Each part follows every two weeks until all six are out.

8/27 - FOLLOW
9/10 - LIKE
9/24 - BLOCK
10/8 - STATUS
10/22 - PROFILE
11/5 - HOME

Follow (Social Media #1), by J.A. Huss
Published August 27, 2014
Publisher: Science Future Press
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon

(From Goodreads) #Women.

I fuck them. I use them. I pay them off. I find another. My demands are never denied. My contracts are always signed. They submit to me. Willingly. Completely. Temporarily. This is how it's always been.

Until I saw that filthy tweet.

@VaughnAsher My bare pussy. Your tongue. #ThingsIThinkAboutToGetOff

"FilthyBlueBird" thinks she can tease me with hashtags and then hide behind a Twitter handle? She thinks I wouldn't be more than happy to #RockHerFilthyWorld? She's wrong.

Her online fantasy is about to collide with her public reality, and it's about to happen... now.


My name is Grace Kinsella and I’m a filthy tweeter.

I can turn a hundred and forty characters into living sex. I can string words together in a way that will make you wet your panties with lust. I can make a man blush before he even gets to the hashtag. I am famous for pithy filth.

In fact, my girlfriends and I have an online Facebook group called the Filthy Blue Birds. And we’re not the only ones. The world of pithy filth is booming, friends. There are endless groups like ours. There are legions of shy girls who come alive when faced with the hundred-and-forty-character challenge. And there is a very special place online where we meet, challenging each other to achieve a new level of smexy typing.

I call that Twitter list Dirty Heaven. I made it up, like literally I’m the freaking founder. So Dirty Heaven is my kingdom and I’m the queen.

I’ll stop here to take a bow.

Besides being a list, Dirty Heaven is an online competition that happens on Twitter every Saturday night across the world—yes, we have filthy tweeters from all walks of life. At 8 PM Eastern the FT’s come alive and each league puts up their best and brightest. You get one tweet, one hashtag, and one chance to shine.

I don’t win anymore, it’s simply not fair. I’m now the judge. But back when we were first putting this together my tweets took me to Dirty Heaven time after time after time. That’s back when we used to have the competitions nightly and the group was small. Just fifteen or twenty of my closest online stranger friends. Each competition we had an online muse and we took turns choosing who would benefit from our blush-inducing prose. Sometimes the girls picked models or rock stars.

I only ever had one muse and his name is Vaughn Asher.

Yes, the Vaughn Asher. A Hollywood legend. He started out in the boy band 2 Far Out, then when his angelic voice changed as he hit puberty he graduated into Disney sitcoms. Most child actors would fade after that, never able to make the transition. But Vaughn Asher doubled down on the workouts—gaining the title of Most Envied Body in Hollywood six years in a row from Buzz Hollywood Magazine—and the preteen wannabe turned into an action-hero heartthrob overnight.

Just thinking his name makes me sigh. He’s so freaking gorgeous. That messy dark hair that makes him look like he just rolled out of bed. Those tight abs that just make you want to drag your tongue all over them to see if they taste as good as they look. And that package, boy. He’s never done any nudes so I have to use my imagination, but my imagination is vivid. I have a very clear picture.

Besides, you know what they say about a man’s thumbs, right? Well, Vaughn Asher has incredible thumbs. And large feet. They say that too.

Yes, doing filthy things to his six-foot-two frame has been my idea of Dirty Heaven for almost three years now. I’d like to say I’ve said everything imaginable about him, but that’s not true. I never run out of ideas. It’s like my brain only exists to compose a one-hundred-and-forty-character sentence that will turn him red.

That’s my fantasy. That’s my fairy tale. Vaughn Asher doing things to me that can only be said in a hashtag.

About the Author

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Learn more about JA Huss --> Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


Enter this INTERNATIONAL giveaway for a chance to win:

--50$ Amazon Gift Card
--Signed copy of Follow
--Swag pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 26, 2014

REVIEW: Follow (Social Media #1)

Follow (Social Media #1), by J.A. Huss
To Be Published August 27, 2014
Publisher: Science Future Press
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) #Women.

I fuck them. I use them. I pay them off. I find another. My demands are never denied. My contracts are always signed. They submit to me. Willingly. Completely. Temporarily. This is how it's always been.

Until I saw that filthy tweet.

@VaughnAsher My bare pussy. Your tongue. #ThingsIThinkAboutToGetOff

"FilthyBlueBird" thinks she can tease me with hashtags and then hide behind a Twitter handle? She thinks I wouldn't be more than happy to #RockHerFilthyWorld? She's wrong.

Her online fantasy is about to collide with her public reality, and it's about to happen... now.

In today's technology-driven world, we have embraced social media for one main reason - it furthers our ability to communicate with strangers and to step outside of our comfort zone while hiding behind a laptop of anonymity. You can say whatever you want to whomever you want in a Facebook post or a Tweet, and they never have to know it was you. 

So, can you imagine if you ever came face-to-face with your online obsession? If you posted all these dirty, sexy things about him, not ever imagining for a single second that he would ever know it's you, but then he finds out? Yeah - I'd be freaking out too. 

It's only natural that Grace Kinsella, a.k.a. @FilthyBlueBird, freaks out a little when she runs into her celebrity crush, movie star Vaughn Asher, at a tropical resort. Especially since she's spent years sending dirty tweets to him. Imagine her continued surprise when he takes notice of her and seeks out her company all on his own. She thinks it's a dream come true, except it turns out he's into BDSM, and that's WAY outside of Grace's comfort zone. She can't help but be intrigued by the things he says and the pleasure he offers, but being intrigued and actually participating are two very different things.   

I. Loved. This. Book.

You have to know what a monumental thing this is for me. See, dom/sub books are usually not my thing. I have just always had such a hard time reconciling that type of relationship with the strong, confident female MCs I love. It's kinda freaky how JA Huss reached into my brain, grabbed hold of my thoughts on this subject, and put them in Grace's mouth. Grace was very back and forth on her feelings on the matter for the duration of the book, and I have to think that that is very normal. She is strangely fascinated by the thought of it all, but when Vaughn tries to teach her, she balks when it makes her feel humiliated and cheap. But... it's VAUGHN ASHER. And, back and forth she goes.

I am so intrigued by Vaughn - I can't wait to see what he's going to do next, because I'm sure it'll be something unexpected. He is multi-faceted. One moment, he is charming, sweet and attentive. The next moment, he is domineering, insulting and petulant. I think Vaughn isn't used to being challenged and turned down - especially by a common fan. I also think he thought Grace would fall in line with just a little coercion, a wink and an orgasm. But, she didn't, and I think it actually made him like her even more. Despite his need for control, the fact that Grace was uncontrollable was just what he needed.

Follow is the first of six novellas in the Social Media series. Each one will release every two weeks, starting August 27:

Follow - August 27
Like - September 10
Block - September 24
Status - October 8
Profile - October 22
Home - November 5

Although Follow was on the long side for a novella, it still ended way too quickly. I can't wait to find out what happens next, especially with how Follow ended... 

COVER REVEAL: Like (Social Media #2)

So, now you know all about Follow, the first in JA Huss' new adult erotic Social Media series. Want to see the cover for LIKE (Social Media #2)? Trust me - you do.

LIKE is the second of six novellas in the Social Media series. Each one will release every two weeks, starting August 27:

Follow - August 27
Like - September 10
Block - September 24
Status - October 8
Profile - October 22
Home - November 5

August 25, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Frayed (Connections #4)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Frayed (Connections #4), by Kim Karr
To Be Published September 2, 2014
Publisher: NAL Trade
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) He didn’t think, he didn’t question—he just acted.

What she wanted, she took—without regard. It was only one night, but it changed everything.

After losing his fiancĂ©e, Ben Covington is unsure he’ll ever love again. But when he sees Bell Wilde, he’s so deeply drawn to her, that he’s thrown for a loop. Maybe it’s purely sexual chemistry that’s igniting this spark between them...or maybe it’s his second chance at love.

Bell has just gotten her life back on track and may not be up for the challenge of Ben Covington. But once they’re reunited, there’s no holding back—even if a secret from Bell’s past just might shatter them both.

Okay Ben. Okay. I forgive you for your previous transgressions. Although my heart will always belong to River, I've decided now that you're pretty cool too. We're good. *fist bump*

After a tough year, Ben has finally turned a corner. He's determined to put aside all the bad feelings and things that caused him to stumble before. That includes Bell, River's sister, and the one he cheated on Dahlia with. But, when he sees her by chance, he realizes that getting over her will be much harder than any of the other vices he abandoned. 

I had a hard time starting this book. I was never Ben's biggest fan. Cheating is a hard line for me. And, when I found out that Ben had cheated on the woman who later became his fiance, he was essentially dead to me. I wasn't quite sure he deserved a HEA like River, Xander, Bell, Aerie and Dahlia. But, Kim Karr hasn't let me down yet, and I'm loving the Connections series and wanted to continue with it beyond this book. I hate not knowing things, so I figured, Ben's story was one I had to endure. 

But, although I can't say I love Ben like I love the other men in this series, I can honestly say, I no longer have a big problem with him. He definitely made a lot of mistakes in the past, but he made huge strides to rectify them. And, the people in his life that should have a problem with him recognize that and have made amends as well.  

It was obvious at the end of the novella Blurred that Ben was drowning his sorrows from the break-up with Dahlia in all the wrong ways. He was indulging in women and alcohol - both to excess. And, he really was a complete jerk. He seemed a different man in Frayed, though. He finally has his head screwed on straight and is ready to turn his life around.

Bell and Ben actually make a great couple. Bell is feisty and strong and has her own issues from the past that are currently affecting the possibility of them having something together. She has a lot of guilt and bad feelings she has to sift through. And, Ben helps her through it. I loved watching them fall in love all over again. Their dates were sweet and, I have to admit it, the chemistry between them was undeniable. 

One of the best parts is seeing the other characters' lives continuing to unfold while we watched Ben and Bell get their stuff together. We get to catch up with River and Dahlia, Xander and Ivy and Aerie and Jagger. I love how all these characters' lives are intertwined - and, especially now with Ben and Bell together. Things were set up at the end of Frayed for the next book with Caleb. I can't wait to see where everyone is then.

August 21, 2014

REVIEW: Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3)

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3), by Molly Harper
Published December 29, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Star
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire, Gabriel, has always been unpredictable. But the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her. 

Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly-renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby . . . or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is becoming a matter of life and undeath...

There was so much to love in Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. Jane finally grew a backbone in regards to Gabriel and his big secret. Zeb and Jolene start a family. Jane gives Ruthie a piece of her mind. And Dick... is Dick. 

Gabriel has been keeping a secret from Jane for awhile, and when he invites her on a vacation to Europe, she thinks he's finally ready to come clean and focus soley on her. Instead, they kinda sorta break up, and Jane returns to Half Moon Hollow sad and really pissed off. To distract her wayward thoughts, she throws herself into the opening of her new bookstore and the preparations for Zeb and Jolene's impending family. But, then Gabriel returns, and Jane starts receiving death threats. Jane's undead life is waaaaay more exciting than what she had bargained for.

One of my bigger issues with earlier books in this series is that they sometimes have a tendency to be too goofy. Don't get me wrong - I love the humor in this series. In every single one, I have laughed out loud - frequently. But, sometimes, I just want Jane to stop joking about everything and be a woman of action. People walk all over her, and I suppose part of the charm of the series is that she's a vampire and could wipe the floor with most everyone if she wanted to. Yet, she continues to let her family and her community treat her like crap while she laughs it off.

And, lately this secrecy with Gabriel has been driving me freaking crazy. A guy claims he loves you, he vows to protect you, and then he skips town for two weeks and doesn't call. You try to call him, and he's not where he says he'll be. I don't know about you, but most girls I know wouldn't stand for that for very long. They would demand answers, and when they were fed a pat answer of, "There's nothing going on. Just trust me. I'll tell you everything soon," they would kick him to the curb. Yet, Jane says nothing. For MONTHS.

It was a fresh new Jane in Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. The jokes finally fall away (for the most part), and Jane gets mad, cries her tears, and decides to move on with everything else until Gabriel comes to his senses and starts some serious groveling. But, Gabriel's not the only one Jane finally has a come to Jesus meeting with. She has it out with Jenny, Grandma Ruthie, and for good measure, Zeb and Jolene's contractor. Jane has finally located her backbone.

It really was my favorite part of this book. The laughs are definitely still there. Many of them come during exchanges between Dick and Jane. Dick is, without a doubt, my favorite side character in this series. The brother-sister relationship he has with Jane is absolutely adorable. And, his new relationship with Andrea shows a softer side of Dick that was wonderful.

Jane grows up a lot in this book. She makes tough decisions in regards to all the relationships in her life. She, once again, fights for her life with a nemesis that not only is deadly, but one that makes things personal. VERY personal. There are some real shockers in this one that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Once again, Amanda Ronconi delivers an incredible narration in the audio version of Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. Her portrayal of all the characters in Half Moon Hollow blows me away every time I hear it. I've already purchased the next book in the Jane Jameson series - I can't wait to see what happens next.

August 20, 2014

REVIEW: Night After Night (Seductive Nights #1)

Night After Night (Seductive Nights #1), by Lauren Blakely
Published April 16, 2014
Publisher: Blakely Books
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Their world was sex, love, and lies.

He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed.

With a dirty mind and a mouth to match, Clay Nichols is everything Julia never knew she wanted and exactly what she cannot have. He walked into her life one night and unlocked pleasure in her that she never knew was possible. Possessing her body, captivating her every thought. Which makes him way too dangerous for Julia to risk her heart, given that she has a price tag on her head. She ran after one mind-blowing week with him, but now he's back, and determined to make her his own.

No matter the cost.

She was a sexy drug to him. Fiery, unforgettable, and never enough, Julia is an enigma, and Clay isn't willing to let her go without a fight. But she's got dark secrets of her own that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness. She's a wanted woman - the stakes are high, her every move is watched, and yet the lure between them can't be denied. Can two people burned by love trust again when desire and passion are met by danger at every turn?

Night After Night was one of the cases of me picking up a book soley based on its cover. I mean - look at it. Helloooo eight-pack. I saw it on NetGalley, and had remembered hearing about it. It was one of those impulse requests. You know what I mean. We've all done those. 

So, in Night After Night, a hot guy (Clay) walks into a bar. One owned and bar tended by a hot girl (Julia). They share one incredible night together, with no intentions for anything other than those 12 hours. But, those 12 hours stretch into 24. Then, into a weekend together. And before either of them knows it, there's emotions and feelings involved. But, Julia's hiding a big secret from Clay, and he's made it clear that he doesn't tolerate lies of any kind. So, the question is, does Julia have it in her to shut things down with him?

I've gotta be honest with you. For half the book, I struggled. I was having a hard time connecting to Clay and Julia. Julia was kind of a tough-as-nails sort of girl. Not warm. All about sex, but not really into meaningful conversations. That's not really my favorite sort of female MC. And, then there was Clay. I couldn't decide if he was one of your atypical bad boys or a sweet empathetic type. He seemed to flip flop back and forth between the two ends of the spectrum. While some might think that makes her a very lucky girl, for me, it was just a little confusing. 

The cool thing is, though, that at some point in the book, I became engaged. Like, REALLY engaged. I couldn't put it down! All of a sudden, I had to find out what happened to these two and whether they would end up together. I can't even really pinpoint the exact spot or event that shifted my thinking. But, all of a sudden, Julia's troubles and Clay's fascination with her was all I cared to think about. 

Julia's troubles were pretty hard core, too. Her douchey ex left her with a dangerous situation that she was being forced to clean up. I can't blame her for her lack of warmth and connection. She had gotten burned once. Fool me once, and all that. Clay was wonderfully persistent though. The first time we see him, he's the bad boy version of himself. He's confident and beautiful and domineering. But, as he learns more about Julia, he softens. 
I mean that in the figurative sense. Because Clay and Julia have a lot of sex. A LOT. If you enjoy the super steamy stuff, then you should like this book. It's really well done too - super hot and emotionally satisfying too. They both are quite the dirty talkers. It's good stuff. 

Despite the rocky start, when I reached the end of Night After Night, I immediately bought book #2, After This Night. I HAD to find out what happened next. Because, even though Night After Night didn't end on a cliffhanger, it also didn't exactly end in a HEA. When it's all said and done, I really did enjoy this book.  

August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Seven Books People Have Been Telling Me I MUST Read

1. The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green - This is a wildly popular book, and I'm sure it's very well written. So many friends who have read it have raved about it. They just can't understand why I refuse to read it.

2. An Echo In The Bone, by Diana Gabaldon - All my Outlandish friends keep bugging me to continue on with the series. I stopped at book #6 because the series just didn't capture me anymore like it used to. Perhaps some day I'll get back to it.

3. The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons - I have many friends who absolutely rave about this book. I've been reluctant to pick it up because it's based during WWII, which is not my favorite time period to read about. Too depressing, usually. But, my friends' recos are usually rock solid, so maybe someday...

4. Days of Blood & Starlight, by Laini Taylor - I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and to be honest, I wasn't all that taken with it. I keep hearing that I should read the second one. That the series is amazing. It's just hard to want to pick up the second book in a series when you weren't in love with the first, y'know?

5. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo -  This is a series I had every intention of starting. Friends love this series. So, I got the first book for my birthday. And, I just didn't get around to it. And, now that the series is finished, and I've heard some spoilers, I'm not sure I want to read it.

6. Darkness & Light, by J.A. Belfield - One of my bestest bookish friends loves this series. And, lately, I've been really into the werewolves. I think I would really like this book.

7. Seduction and Snacks, by Tara Sivec - Many, many of my friends absolutely rave about this sexy and hilarious book. I even have it on my Kindle. I really need to make time for this one, I think.

August 18, 2014

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3)

Welcome to my stop on the Sugar on the Edge blog tour, organized by AToMR! Three books in, and I'm a HUGE fan of Sawyer Bennett's Last Call series. Read my review to find out why and don't forget to check out the other stops! And, even better, Sawyer Bennett is giving away a print copy of Sugar on the Edge to one lucky winner - enter at the bottom of the post.

Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3), by Sawyer Bennett
Published July 28, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, obtained from AToMR Tours and the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.
Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?

Every book in this series gets better and better. I've been waiting for Savannah's story - the sweet, quiet girl who runs herself ragged. All work and no play make Savannah a dull girl. Turns out, Savannah's anything but dull, and it took cranky Brit Gavin to draw her out. 

Gavin moves to North Carolina to finish writing his latest book. He had to get away from England - away from all the memories that have haunted him, driving him to drink, which doesn't really make for a brilliant book. Needless to say, he's not a happy guy. But, now he's holed up in this huge beach house, and he needs some help keeping it clean. He hires Savannah to do just that, but she eventually becomes a bigger distraction from his grief, his drinking and his book. 

I love stories about bitter, tortured souls who are brought into the light by the most unexpected person. I loved this story. Gavin was as bitter and tortured as they come. He has experienced the worst kind of loss a person can experience, and it totally turned him inside out. He's sad and angry and it seems like no one can crack his rough exterior. He's pretty much given up on everything. 

Then, along comes Savannah. He hired her as a cleaning lady. It was supposed to be simple. Yet, she confounds him. She seems timid and shy one second, and then, feisty and fiery the next. She's beautiful all the time, though, and she turns out to be just what he needs to forget his pain. Their time together was explosive and hot and so, so sexy. I loved how Gavin called Savannah "Sweet" and she called him "Filthy." Their pet names for each other were very apropos. 

Savannah was a wonderful heroine. She works several jobs just to earn her own keep. At one job, she puts up with seriously icky treatment from her boss just because it pays well and is something she enjoys doing. She's a completely stand-up person - someone you can always count on, and someone who never allows herself to have much fun. No time. 

She might bring out the best in Gavin, but believe it or not, he brings out the best in her too. He encourages her to go for what she really wants and to give up what she doesn't. He asks her to go outside of her comfort zone, and it turns out it's a fun place for her to be. And, when the going gets tough and Gavin gets going, Savannah learns that Gavin also taught her to be resilient and strong even when you don't think you can go on. 

I haven't met a Sawyer Bennett book I didn't like. The previous two books in the Last Call series, as well as her new adult series, the Off Series, are some of my favorites. If you haven't tried her out yet, you really should. The writing is fantastic, the characters are interesting and the story lines will make the book really hard to put down. Even though Sugar on the Edge is the third in this series, you can start here if you want. I know a few friends, actually who did just that. They read Sugar on the Edge first, and then immediately purchased the first two books in the Last Call series because it was That. Good. Maybe you should do the same. 

About the Author

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate. 

Learn more about Sawyer --> Website / Facebook / Twitter


Enter below to win a copy of Sugar on the Edge.

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August 15, 2014

Let's Talk... Bookshelves

Recently I procured two large, new, beautiful bookshelves. They were badly needed. I had stacks and stacks of books sitting around with no home. It was sad, really. So, I brought my new shelves home, piled all my beautiful books up around me... and had absolutely no clue what to do with them. I wish I could've just waved my hands and had everything organized the way I wanted.

But, that was the question, right? How did I want them organized? By genre? By author? Did I want to keep hardbacks together? ARCs together? GAH!

So, what I ultimately decided on was to sort by age group (MG, YA, NA, etc.), then by author's last name. I put my YA books on my brandy new shelves since they're the biggest and I have more YA books than any other.

And, let me tell you - they are PRETTY. All the way from Jocelyn Adams to Michelle Zink, my books are now looking goooooood. 

I only have a few middle grade books. They took up less than one shelf. 

Then, in the darker corner that my kids are too scared to go in, is where I house my NA and Adult books. My so-called "naughty shelves." 

NA happiness

Adult steaminess

So, how do your shelves stack up? How do you have them organized? Are they organized or just sitting in piles in every room of your house? Tell me about it!

August 14, 2014

REVIEW: No In Between (Inside Out #4)

No In Between (Inside Out #4), by Lisa Renee Jones
To Be Published August 19, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) The fourth in the Inside Out erotic romance series by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, this steamy novel resolves Chris and Sarah's relationship and leads into Mark's story.

"Chris and I have faced our demons and bared our souls to one another in Paris. Now that we are back home in San Francisco, I want to believe that nothing can tear us apart. Not Ava’s accusations against me to the police, or Chris's fear that he will destroy me as he feels he did Amber. And not Mark, who was once too intimately a part of our lives, and who I can see crumbling inside out. He believes he is invincible, just as I want to believe Chris and I are invincible. We have to be invincible. We need each other too much for any other ending."

I saw that No In Between was going to be the final full length Sara and Chris novel. And that meant answers! And sexy times! And closure! And I was all...

Aaaaaaand... well, the sexy times and all things Chris (*sigh*) were definitely there. The rest - the answers and closure - eh... not so much. I think I beat my head on my Kindle cover when I finished. Because, the book was good. The writing was fantastic. And, Chris - have I mentioned my obsession with Chris? - was wonderful. But, GAH! What does a girl have to do to get some finality??

Apparently, the answers we have all been so desperately seeking will come in Mark and Crystal's book, I Belong To You, due out in November. So, no answers and no closure, but thankfully, there was still plenty of sexy times. And lots of Chris. Chris is just... I love him so much (yeah, Krista, we know. Moving on.).

Chris and Sara have come home from Paris to a mess. She's still being accused of having a hand in Rebecca's murder. The police are all up in hers, Chris' and Mark's business. Mark seems to have completely given up. And, Allure is being run into the ground. Meanwhile, although Chris and Sara are engaged, neither one feels like the other completely trusts that the other can withstand the stress and difficulties that being together will bring with it.

Both Chris and Sara have come a long way from the very first book. Sara has grown out of many of her insecurities, thanks to Chris and his support. She's achieved this sort of inner strength thanks to Rebecca. She was able to read how Rebecca lost herself in her master, and therefore, lost control of her life. Sara decided that was not going to happen to her, despite the similarities she sees between her and Rebecca. And, I say, good for her.

Chris, too, has made a lot of progress. And, he had a lot of progress to make. I love that these two found strength in each other, and through that shared strength became better individuals.

Mark, however, has gone in the opposite direction. His guilt and discontent has destroyed the control he so tightly clings to. He's angry and frustrated and grief-stricken. He's got cops accusing him of things he didn't do, and Sara always...there... trying to help, but only succeeding in being a nuisance. I felt so badly for Mark. I get that he screwed up in how he treated Rebecca. But, he didn't deserve this. And, I am so excited to see how Crystal pulls him out of his slump. Because, she will. Right?

The story was good, although a bit slow at times. It didn't seem like a ton of things happened. My main drive was a.) find out for sure who killed Rebecca and where her body is, and b) find out what happened to Ella. When I looked down at the status bar on my Kindle and saw I was at 95% with still no answers, I had a sneaking suspicion they weren't coming. I can appreciate a good mystery as much as the next girl. But, four books with no closure is testing my capacity to hang on.

My love of Mark, Crystal, Chris and Sara will drive me forward through the next novellas and full-length novel. I don't know if we will ever get the answers we seek. But, I do think we will see these four find happiness, and at this point, that's enough for me.

August 13, 2014

REVIEW: Opposition (Lux #5)

Opposition (Lux #5), by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published August 5, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: young adult sci-fi romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

First he said he didn't want to have anything to do with her. Later, he said he would burn the world down to save her. The ride has been bumpy and scary and heartbreaking and sweet. Through it all, Daemon and Katy have had this incredible relationship that hasn't always been easy. Hell, sometimes, it's been absolutely deadly. But, their connection and dedication to one another has kept thousands of fans clinging to the edge of their seats, wondering what was going to happen to them next. 

The edge of my seat is where I spent most of my time reading Opposition. The Luxen have come to Earth, and they are pissed. They are ready for a take-over, and they want all hands on deck. That means Daemon, Dawson and Dee, much to Katy's surprise. But, Katy won't let the Luxen destroy all she has built with Daemon. She won't go down without a fight either. And, a fight is what is coming. 

This is it. The Lux series has come to an end with Opposition. This book was a pretty incredible ending to a pretty incredible series. I remember where I was when I first heard about Obsidian. The cover had just been redesigned and was getting ready for re-release. My bestie Jen from At Random met me for lunch and told me about Jennifer Armentrout and a giveaway she was having in honor of the redesign. I was all, "A book about aliens in high school? Yeeeeah. I'll give it a try Jen. Suuuuure." 

A year and a half later, I was waiting on pins and needles for the final book to be released to see how Daemon's and Katy's story ended.  To be honest, I stayed on pins and needles through most of Opposition. It was a stressful book, to be sure. For awhile, you weren't quite sure which side Daemon, Dawson and Dee had landed on. 

I knew, though, that there's no way Daemon and Katy could stay apart. They will always find a way back to each other. 

"Kat... I broke every rule of my kind to heal you and keep you with me...I've killed for you. Did you think I'd forget what you mean to me? That anything in this world - in any world - would be stronger than my love for you?"

Opposition was completely action packed from the very beginning through the very end. Aliens have literally invaded Earth. Everything you think that entails happens. Murder. Mayhem. Anarchy. It's scary and crazy and I LOVE that Jennifer Armentrout pulled no punches with this finale. I also love that we see lots of friends from other Lux books - including her adult companion, Obsession. Yes, Hunter and Serena are in this one, as are Hunter's brothers. It was fun seeing him again and watching he and Daemon interact - you know, seeing as how they're mortal enemies and all. 

Despite the very serious overtone of Opposition, Jennifer's trademark snarky language and witty banter are still there. Daemon and Katy still have those toe-curling moments that make you swoon. It's not all doom and gloom, and thank goodness for that. 

This was the send-off that this amazing series needed. It's all there - action, romance, and an incredible ending that makes everything - EVERYTHING - totally worth it.

August 12, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Books I'm Not Sure I Want To Read

1. An Echo In The Bone by Diana Gabaldon - It seems blasphemous to put this book on this list. I LOVE this series. HARD. But, books 5 and 6 just didn't hold the same magic for me. And there was so much time between the release of book 6 and the release of An Echo In The Bone. I'm just not sure if I really need to continue the story.

2. Any of the "classics" - I'd like to read one. Really. I'm just afraid it won't be any fun for me. I'm afraid I won't be able to get past the old world language to really get what's going on. And, that would be the final nail in the classics coffin for me.

3. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead - I'm a huge Vampire Academy and Bloodlines fangirl. I think Gameboard of the Gods sounds interesting, but I've heard conflicting things about it, and I think I'd rather not pull Ms. Mead down off her pedestal just yet.

4. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor - I read the first book, and it just wasn't my cup of tea. I've heard wonderful things about this whole series, so I've contemplated continuing with the series anyway. I'm just not sure it wouldn't be a waste of my time.

5. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - This is another series I've heard fantastic things about. I even own it in hardback - asked for it for my birthday. A year ago. I wasn't sure why I had put it off, but now the final book has come out, and I've heard some things that make me not want to start it in the first place now.

6. Eve by Anna Carey - I was on a dystopian kick for awhile when I bought Eve. I fully intended to read it, but ended up loaning it to a good friend first. She is also a big dystopian fan. And, she didn't care for it at all. For some reason that kinda killed my desire to read it.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - Holy cow - I've been back and forth so many times on whether I should read this book. I've held it in my hand in several formats from the library only to return it unread. I love werewolf books. And, everyone I talk to seems to either love or hate this one. I'm just not sure on which side of the fence I would land.

8. The 100 by Kass Morgan - I was so excited to read this book. I didn't get around to buying it right away, and now I've got the benefit of reviews on Goodreads to help me out. And they are not good. I do follow Goodreads reviews, so I'm thinking this one may be off my list now.

9. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - I've read the other 5 in the series. Loved the first three. And, I do really, REALLY want to see Clary and Jace get their HEA. I just... I don't know. It's a huge book and the last two haven't been my favorite. I've been tempted to just walk into a book store, plunk down on a chair and read the last chapter.

10. Torn From You by Nashoda Rose - I've heard great things about this book. I've also heard it's dark and twisted and I'm just not sure if maybe it's not TOO dark for me.

August 11, 2014


The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Mine (Real #2), by Katy Evans
Published November 4, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) He's mine, and I'm his. Our love is all-consuming, powerful, imperfect, and real...

In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington "Riptide" Tate as vital as the air he breathes... and now he can't live without her.

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman's dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when they need each other the most, she is torn away from his side. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls MINE.

Mine was frustrating. 

Brooke and Remy are together finally, but both still have to deal with the repercussions of the decision Brooke made to leave. And now Remy is involved in the next season and both of them are facing a new challenge that neither anticipated when they started out together. 

One of my biggest problems with Real was Brooke. She was seriously one of the most irritating female MCs I've ever read about. I was hoping that, after the events at the end of Real, that we would see a different Brooke Dumas. Alas, that wasn't the case. 

It wasn't her dedication to Remy that was my problem. It was obvious she had conquered that issue - she was never leaving again. One thing's for sure - Remy's and Brooke's love for each other was pretty epic. I truly believed that they would do anything for each other. 

For most of the book, though. Brooke was insufferable. She was constantly plagued with guilt over her actions. Rightfully so, for awhile anyway. But, there comes a time when you just have to get over it and move on. yet, doubt and indecision and insecurities became her constant companion. And I grew very tired of hearing her ruminations on the matter. Between those thoughts and her thoughts about how hot Remy makes her, she didn't have time for much anything else. 

Remy was the bright star in Mine. I loved that he was always straight with Brooke. He never padded his answers to make things easier for her. He loved her fiercely and completely. Although, I always have been a little grossed out by all the licking. 

There was a lot more in this book about Remy's condition, and how he deals with it, especially in the blackest of times. It was shocking and saddening. In those moments, Brooke was at her best. If she had to pick a time to reign in her crazy and be strong, it's good she picked those moments when Remy needed her the most. 

The ending really was the best part. I loved seeing how everything turned out for both of them. And, that Remy and Brooke finally found a good place to be. Despite my dislike of Brooke, I do look forward to reading Remy and find out how it all went down from his perspective.  

August 8, 2014

REVIEW: Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson #2)

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson #2), by Molly Harper
Published August 25, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Star
Format: audiobook, gifted
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) With her best friend Zeb's Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she's expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Jane's future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiance, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow's own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur's marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

Combining Mary Janice Davidson's sass and the charm of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is an incredibly satisfying read for fans of paranormal romantic comedy.

When I need a sure thing on the light side, Molly Harper is always my go-to girl. Okay. That sounded really bad. But, you know what I meant. I have never met a Molly Harper book I didn't love and didn't laugh out loud at repeatedly. Sometimes, especially after a few deep heavy reads, her books are absolutely perfect to bring me out of a funk.

In the second Jane Jameson book, Jane is playing Best Maid to her BFF Zeb and his fiance Jolene. And, it is the wedding from hell. His family hates her and her family hates him, and they go to extremes to try and derail all the plans. Meanwhile, Jane is dealing with her own stressors - namely, her sister and Gabriel. Her sister is still trying to squeeze her for everything she has and Gabriel is acting shifty and shading one minute and telling her he loves her the next. And, all of this happiness is capped off by the fact that Grandma Ruthie's new fiance is not exactly human.

I love Jane. Really, I do. But, seriously, my girl needs to grow a backbone. A strong one. She is treated horrendously by her grandmother and her sister. Her mother walks all over her. And, most of the time, Jane sits back and lets them. She cracks a sarcastic comment from time to time, but otherwise let's them crap all over her. And, I have no idea why. She could put them in their places in more ways than one.

And, Gabriel's another one. He has these wonderful moments that make me swoon. And, then he acts like an ass and tells Jane to trust him. She catches him in lies, asks him about them, and he blows her off. She lets him. I get that Jane is a librarian at heart and not this big, bad vampire. And, maybe that's the beauty of her and this series. She's this delicious dichotomy. She's an undead bloodsucker that can't hurt a fly's feelings.

With Gabriel in Europe or wherever the hell he was most of the time, the focus shifted to the other people in Jane's life. We learn a lot more about Dick, and I learned there's a lot more to love about him. He's this loveable cad with bad manners and a big heart.

The weres in Half Moon Hollow are a crazy bunch. Jolene's family is nearly as nuts as Jane's and Zeb's. Their customs and traditions, especially around weddings, are completely off the wall, and with the Kentucky redneckness thrown in for good measure, These people are an absolute hoot.

Once again, I listened to the audio version, and once again, Amanda Ronconi's narration is absolute perfection. Even though I have a few of these books in paperback, I choose to listen to them instead. The audio versions are just so much fun. Ronconi's delivery is hysterically accurate, and I love every minute of it.

August 6, 2014

REVIEW: Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5)

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5), by Richelle Mead
Published July 29, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

I'm in danger of saying something I never thought I would say. It almost pains me. But, I have to say it because it's true. Ready?...

I like Bloodlines better than Vampire Academy.  

That is truly a surprise to me, because VA is one of my most favorite YA paranormal series of all time. But, each book in the Bloodlines series is better than the one before it. These characters - they feel like my best friends. And, when someone hurts my besties, I start to feel murderous. Needless to say, I spent much of this book internally (and sometimes externally) seething. 

After her relationship with Adrian was discovered by the Alchemists, they sent Sydney to reeducation. None of her friends knows where she is or how she's doing. Adrian feels helpless, and his way of dealing with that is to drink himself into oblivion every day. Meanwhile, Sydney is having a rough go of it, until after three months of torture, she catches a break and starts to work her way back to Adrian. But, if they thought once she got out, that things would be fine, they were so wrong. 

I. Love. Sydney. Wow - another thing I never thought I would say when I finished the VA series. Honestly, she wasn't my favorite side character then. Far from it. She was rigid and judgmental and rude. I didn't think she was worthy of Adrian, who was one of my favorite side characters from VA. It's amazing how completely different my opinion is now. 

Sydney's experience in reeducation was horrible and traumatic, but she weathered it like a hero. She used her intelligence and common sense that she has always possessed to figure out a solution to her problem. She took chances and was willing to use her magic abilities to do what needed to be done. And, the best thing is, through it all, she never once wavered in her feelings for Adrian. 

Adrian - oh my poor Adrian. He went through the ringer in Silver Shadows. Adrian has never dealt with difficult situations well, so having the love of his life kidnapped from under his nose and probably harmed in an undisclosed location was more than he could take on his own. He turns to the bottle for awhile to deal with his guilt and feelings of uselessness. What broke my heart the most is that Adrian is most definitely not useless. He's just as brave as Sydney is, but you can only do what you can with the information you're given. 

Once Adrian and their friends from Palm Springs finally get a bead on Sydney's location, the pace of the book goes from good to lightning speed. The last 30% or so of the book was completely action-packed. There are explosions and fights and magical shenanigans - I was absolutely glued to the pages. And, then there was the one shocking event that had me dropping my jaw. I loved that I didn't see it coming, and I loved that it even happened. 

As usual, the last paragraph hits you hard and sets up the drama and excitement for the next book. In this case, it will be the final book in the Bloodlines series, but I feel like there might be another spin-off in the future. I'd love to see a series about Jill. In any case, the wait for the final book will be SO LONG, but that only gives me time to re-read Silver Shadows. Which I will definitely do.