Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cover Reveal: Inspire by Cora Carmack

Inspire (Muse #1) by Cora Carmack

Release Date: December 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

About the Author

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, Losing It, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Website   •   Goodreads   •   Facebook   •   Twitter

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Sweet Ruin by Nazarea Andrews

Sweet Ruin (University of Branton #3) by Nazarea Andrews

Release Date: March 13, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: A&A Literary
Pages: 252
Format: eBook
Source: Review Copy from Author
Goodreads • Amazon • B&N

It’s good to be on top… 

Asher Knox has it all. Girls, wealth, a career most would kill for. He’s just landed the biggest job of his career. And he’s miserable.

She’s fighting her way from the bottom… 

Megan Beauchamp has no illusions about why she was chosen to be Asher’s PA. She’s pretty, and down to earth, and everything the Hollywood star always falls for. Too bad Megan is just paying her dues and has no interest in anything but advancing at her PR firm.

He’ll throw it all away…

Luca James knows what he wants. And he’s waited a long time for the window to open—when it does, he’ll walk away from the career he’s built for a chance at something real.

When Megan’s boss threatens to fire her, Luca and Asher convince her to leave town with them. Between bad hotels and pit stop confessionals, the three are drawn closer together. And the lines blur even more in Branton, where Megan is forced to look at everything she left behind. But when the boys want more, Megan will be forced to choose between the men she loves and the life she thought she wanted. And in a town like Branton, the secrets she keeps won’t be hidden for long.

Sweet Ruin opens with a promising—albeit common—premise. Asher Knox is beautiful, famous, supposed party boy, with a hidden propensity for brooding. Enter his sweet but fierce, small town assistant Megan. You think you see where the story is going. And you're not wrong. There's obvious chemistry between the two of them. But then there's the final player: Megan's friend, Luca James. Thus, a very special kind of romance begins.

The relationship dynamic between Asher, Luca, and Megan is...complicated. I've often read books to which I can't directly relate—that in itself is usually a large part of reading. In the case of Sweet Ruin, however, it was a difficult element to overcome. In my mind, the nature of this relationship felt unrealistic and was incredibly difficult to become invested in. Rather, it felt like a gimmick designed to draw readers with nothing more than "shock and awe" and sex appeal.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Definitely not. There are many series built on this premise that are excellent and/or wildly successful. But, like I said, this wasn't the kind of story line to do it for me.

Overall, Sweet Ruin was enjoyable but just fell flat. For those who eat up the not-so-vanilla romance, this might be a better fit. They tend to be hit or miss for me. I'd be much more likely to recommend This Love or Beautiful Broken, the other books in Andrews' University of Branton series.

About the Author

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

Website   •   Blog   •   Twitter   •   Facebook

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Reckoning (Sweet #3) by Wendy Higgins

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased by Reviewers

Izzy's Rating:

Emily's Rating:

It’s time. 

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.


I don't even know where to begin....

I guess by starting with my opinion of the series, since I read the first two installments after Emily had already reviewed them. (She recommended them, by the way, so her title of Queen of Recommendations remains intact. In case any of you were wondering.)

As a rule of thumb, I typically enjoy stories that deal with Angels/Nephilim (thank you, Mortal Instuments), but Higgins added the twist of making the Nephilim progeny of Demons. It is an interesting concept, and I especially love how they are imbued with the vices of their fathers.

We left off with Anna and the gang preparing for the inevitable epic showdown. They've kept their rebellion secret for this long, but the Dukes of Hell are suspicious and are keeping a closer eye on their children then ever. Especially Anna—the daughter of Duke Belial, who inexplicably has the white stain of innocence in her badge.

The Dukes know the prophecy—that a Nephilim of Light will bring them to their judgement—and they will stop at nothing to prevent it from happening. Enemies are everywhere. Allies are in places you wouldn't expect. But Anna is ready.

She will be their reckoning. 

Sweet Reckoning is a fantastic ending to The Sweet Trilogy, all your favorite characters make an appearance. Including Kai... oh Kai!

For all of those Kaidan lovers (and let's face it, who isn't in love with Kaidan) this novel will have you squealing about 87% of the time. The other 13% will have you swooning. It's a proven fact. Trust me. He is just as much of a heart-throb as ever. It's not fair.

But yes, this book live up to its hype—in my opinion. You will laugh. You will squeal with unbridled fangirling (or fanboying, I don't discriminate). And then at the extremely heart-wrenching parts, because their are heart-wrenching parts, you will bawl. Or I assume you will, because this book may or may not have wrung out a tear from my stone heart (any SoIF fans out there?).

As always, it's about the characters for me, and I fell in love with the cast of Higgins' trilogy from the beginning. Anna is such a sweetheart and I have loved witnessing her come into her own. She is the embodiment of good triumphing over evil. Usually, that would annoy me, but in Anna's case I'm okay with it. She deserves a happy ending.

OH MY GOSH THE ENDING! I don't want to give away any spoilers. Hence the super vague review thus far. I'm not talking about the showdown—although that was pretty awesome (and what is it with authors destroying Las Vegas? Why all the hate?)—I mean the epilogue.

Higgins took care of us readers. She left us with an ending we can accept and feel satisfied with. Typically, when a series I love concludes, I am left with an empty feeling. Usually because a beloved character has died/caught amnesia/trapped in hell for the rest of eternity/what have you, but with Sweet Reckoning the epilogue left me...well full, I guess. It was an ending that I could live with and I have no desire for it to be any different.

Anyway, I strongly encourage you guys to read The Sweet Trilogy, especially if you are a fan of works like Lux or Fire and Flood. Which is no surprise, considering these authors are tight. And somehow, that fact makes my existence so much better.

Until next time, darlings!


It's no secret that I love this series (for confirmation, see my reviews of Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril) and Wendy Higgins in general. So much, in fact, that I dragged both Izzy and Caroline to a signing she did with Victoria Scott in January before they'd even read the books.

As you can tell from Izzy's review, it was a great move on my part. And all that served to make it all the more heartbreaking when Izzy was able to finish Sweet Reckoning before I'd even been able to pick it up (stupid finals; still not over it). Hence, her review being first. Then to add insult to injury, I had the internship from hell and had to neglect the blog. So, I'm sorry, my dears. But, I figured what better way to get back into the swing of things than with one of my absolute faves?

Even now, pretty far out from my reading the book, Sweet Reckoning brings the feels. The end of Sweet Peril left fans in a tizzy. Anna and Kaidan had decided to give the proverbial finger to the rest of the world and be together at all costs. And, in true Anna/Kaidan fashion, the chemistry is ridiculous from the get-go. Not to mention the gang is preparing for their final showdown—when Anna and the and her Nephilim allies will attempt to bring down the Dukes once and for all. The Dukes know someone's coming for them, and they'll stop at nothing to squash any of their progeny that dare defy them.

This last hurrah has everything you're looking for—the gang's all together and the antics you've come to love are abundant. The serious and dangerous undertones to the story—which never fail to provide intrigue, entertainment, and suspense—are beautifully balanced with the funny, light, and romantic moments. Nothing felt obvious in the story's progression. One aspect seemed obvious in hind sight, but still I was shocked (in the best way) when it happened. And there's Kaidan. So much Kaidan. Our boy is swoony as ever.

Even without Kai (gasp!), all of the characters are at their best. Anna, as Izzy said, is the epitome of a champion for good while remaining lovable. Kope, Blake, and the twins will cement themselves as the friends/dysfunctional family you wish you had. I seriously can't get across how much I adore these characters. They're 100% the kind that stick with you.

And, finally, there's the conclusion. The last stand is an emotional roller coaster—their freedom doesn't come without costs. And what a wreck those costs made me. I cried through more of it than I'm willing to admit. But we all know I'm a crier. And poor Vegas gets the short stick once again.

THAT EPILOGUE THOUGH. This is the happiest I've been with a series ending in a long time. It felt like everyone was done justice and came full circle, and it was more beautiful than I can begin to describe. There is no lingering emptiness, no desperate pleadings for it not to be true when you reach the end, no "that's it?!" screamed into the universe. It felt perfect. And, once again, made me cry. But perhaps the happiest tears ever. For reals. While I will always want more from a series I love, I honestly have no clue what more Ms. Higgins could give us...

EXCEPT AN ENTIRE BOOK FROM KAIDAN'S POINT OF VIEW. Which, in case you've been living under a rock, is totally happening! So get excited, y'all!

If you still haven't read this book, I honestly don't know what you're doing with your life. It's a truly beautiful conclusion that's beyond likely to bring the tears—the sad, the bittersweet, and the happy. And maybe it's just me, but a final installment that makes me cry tends to be a good sign. I may be crazy. Definitely possible. Regardless, you should read this book!

Glad to be back, lovelies!

About the Author

After earning a bachelors in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, Wendy taught high school English until becoming a mommy. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.

She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Evil was her debut novel.