Sunday, January 26, 2014

ARC Review: Only for You by Genna Rulon

Title: Only for You (Only for You #1)
Author: Genna Rulon
Publication date: September 24th 2013
Source: Received ARC from author
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!” 

All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned. 

When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born. 

Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that fickle shrew—continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication…Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.

Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption—brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


I admit that I was a little put off by the book when I saw the cover because it just didn't scream NA Contemporary, instead it gave off a dark and paranormal feel... but when I finally cracked the book open, ho-ly mothercracker, the cover becomes insignificant when compared to what actually happens in the book. I found myself not able to stop reading because it was just so good. I absolutely adored Only for You! What happens when you have a fiery heroine and a cocky but secretly sweet potential love interest? Let me answer that for you: lots and lots of fun. It was insanely entertaining reading the quips and sarcastic comebacks that Ever and Hunter threw at each other because they gave the story more life and color. But more on their relationship later...

There's something about Everleigh's attitude that makes her so appealing, even though there are times when she's a bit too snarky or too stubborn. Maybe it's the fact that she's such a great friend or that her humor is so get-table that you just understand her. The thing with Everleigh is that she knows who she is and what kind of person she wants to be and she doesn't take any crap from anybody because of it; that's how she and Hunter interacted for the very first time as well. You know how opposites attract? Well, Everleigh and Hunter are way too similar with each other, which is why it literally felt like fate itself was trying to force them apart. If it wasn't one thing, it was another but all the complications and obstacles that stood in their way made the experience all the more interesting and fun.

Hunter, oh, Hunter. It's true that I didn't really instantly connect with him (no matter how hot he was) but as the story went on and Everleigh's feelings for him grew, I realized that mine were as well. I just love his relationship with Everleigh, they complement and fit each other even better than a glove. There was a point when there a conflict between the two of them but that just made their story all the more heartfelt.

Only for You was filled with a lot of witty remarks and great dialogue but my only issue with the book is that there were times when the characters got a bit too wordy. The extended details or talking made the book feel draggy at times but other than that, I am really not complaining. I love that Genna Rulon made the minor characters important as well, she managed to give them space that allowed them to grow and turn into even greater characters. Also, there was a depth in this book that I didn't expect but it was a pleasant surprise. The conflict that was presented in the story doesn't just affect the character but affects us, as well.

Genna Rulon has written a fun but also serious novel that will be sure to entrap any reader who delves into her world. Only for You is a great book but the little bits and pieces inside the book makes it all the more special and I'm sure that once you read this book, you'll understand what I am talking about. I am so very excited to read the next book in this series!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Arsen by Mia Asher

Title: Arsen
Author: Mia Asher
Publication date: August 23rd 2013
Source: Purchased on Amazon
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

One glance was all it took…

I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


Oh. My. God. OH. MY. GOD. OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD. CUPCAKESCUPCAKESCUPCAKES. OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD. Yup. That was literally what was going through my head while I was reading Arsen. To sum it up, I was a mess. I'd say that I was a beautiful mess but I'd be lying, I was an ugly wreck. I am being completely honest when I say that I have never felt this many emotions while reading a book till I read Arsen, me reading Arsen is like watching ten women ugly cry, see it now? It took me a couple of days to finally get myself to read this book because I honestly just hate books about cheating, cheating is a hard limit for me but when I kept seeing so much great feedback about Arsen, I decided to take the plunge... and I did not regret it one bit. Deciding to read Arsen was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life and I mean that seriously.

Reading about Cathy's infidelity was difficult because I have always thought that when you "fall out of love" with someone, you can just split with them or something but reading this book made me understand how hard that is to do. It's not as easy as snapping your fingers and you'll suddenly be separated, there will always be some kind of emotional connection that will bond the two of you together and that's why I saw why Cathy couldn't leave Ben because through it all, she still loved him. I had to take a number of breaks while reading this book because every time I would turn a page, I could feel my heart chipping away, piece by piece and that really broke me. The magic of this book is not that it can make you feel more than you thought you could, it's that it will connect with you in a level that you never thought could be possible between a reader and a book/character. I don't mean it in a way I was imagining myself as Cathy (I would hate to be her, to choose between two great, depends on how you look at it, guys? Ouch.), it was Mia Asher being able to make you empathize with and understand Cathy, and they weren't all positive feelings either. There were times when you could feel Cathy's self-loathing and that allows the reader to see that she isn't so heartless because she knew what she was doing was wrong, but that sense of guilt still wasn't enough to make her stop herself. I think right from the very get go, we have to remember that Cathy is a human being and that if ever you were in her situation, wouldn't you do the same? (So stop judging her... okay, maybe you can judge her just a bit.) It was interesting seeing how Mia Asher was able to make Cathy both the protagonist and antagonist because it makes her even more relatable and palatable to the readers.

The biggest question in this book is: Which Team are you on? Team "Super-Sweet-But-Has-A-Naughty-College-Sweetheart-Who-Brings-Cupcakes-And-Is-Now-A-Devoted-And-Attentive-Husband" Ben or Team "Arrogant-Cougar-Material-Who-Makes-Women-Within-A-Fifty-Mile-Radius-Drop-Their-Panties" Arsen? I'd say both but we all know how that worked out for Cathy... Mm-hmm, don't eat more than you can handle, guuuurl. But seriously speaking, it was really hard to pick and I understand Cathy's dilemma and all we can really do is blame it on Mia Asher. It's like while you're reading the book, there will be a scene that will make you swoon over Ben but suddenly, another scene will pop out and make you fall in love with Arsen like OH MY GOD. DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE. PLEASE. It's exactly like that. While you're reading the book, you'll be falling in love with Arsen in the present but when you're reading about Cathy's past and how great of a husband Ben is, you'll fall in love with him too. You really just can't win with those two. And the thing is, both men aren't perfect but they're the type of guys that will appeal to you and make you slowly fall in love with them. I was Anti-Arsen at first but as I read on, I grew to love the guy and well... stuff happens.

This book made me laugh-cry (laughing while crying), classic cry, bawl, wail, sniffle, almost break my phone, and smile. Oh yeah, I need a heart transplant since Mia Asher legit broke my heart. Thanks a lot, Mia.  I have never been so moved while reading a book and I am so glad that I decided to read this book. (Though I am still on the fence on books with cheating in them.) The way Mia Asher wrote the scenes between Cathy and Arsen weren't, in anyway, gross or dirty because you could see how there was a connection between the two and it wasn't just a way to get release and that's why it was so hard to hate Arsen, you can see that he's a pretty decent guy and that it's really not his fault... maybe.

Arsen is a beautiful yet brutally honest novel about infidelity and learning to face the consequences of our decisions, it is a very powerful novel that will speak volumes to so many people that are willing to listen and I suggest that you do. I read Arsen a few days after it came out but I'm only writing my review now, why? Because it was so hard to collect my thoughts, to be able to verbalize what I felt for this book and even now I feel like this review is so insufficient. Arsen is easily in the Top Five of the best books I have ever read. EVER.

All I can really say is that this book will stay with me for a very, very long time. It's not a book that you will easily forget, mostly because it feels as though it's a real person's story being told to you, as a pre-cautionary tale or just something shared, it will really imprint itself into your mind. Mia Asher has created a novel worthy of every praise that it's been given and even more because she has written not just a book but a voice that yearns to be heard and is also listened to. Arsen is exactly what it says it is, a broken love story, broken but not impossible to fix. Throughout the whole book, I was kept on my toes because of all the turns, deadends and swerves that Mias Asher placed in the book, I just kept on guessing because everything was so unexpected. And even to the end, you'll still be kept wondering but once you get to that point, you will get the answers that you were looking for.

If I could, I would give this book a gazillion stars because it deserves all that and more but I've restricted myself to giving up to only six stars but I would give more if I could. I just love this book, okay? I can't even explain it. *le sigh* Just, thank you so much, Mia, for sharing this story with us. Really, thank you.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blog Tour: ARC Review + Giveaway: Savor by Kate Evangelista

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Title: Savor (Vicious Feast #1)
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Publication date: December 5th 2013
Source: Received from author (Thanks, Kate and Paranormal Cravings Book Tours!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

I’m Dakota Collins, a tough talking, eye patch wearing, workaholic photography student. Why am I important? Well, maybe because I get to spend an entire month with Vicious, only the sickest indie rock band out there.

You see, I needed a subject for my Spring Showcase introspective in order to graduate. During a chance encounter at a club I’d been sent to cover for the Daily Gossip, our ironically named college paper, the features writer I usually teamed up with introduced me to the band—by accident, I might add. It involved a run in with a scary, bald bodyguard. Anyway, long story short, I signed a contract to take pictures of Vicious.

I should have known their handsome yet way too serious for his own good bassist, Luka Visraya, wouldn't be able to keep his hands to himself. He’s gorgeous and all, but the way he smiles spelled trouble with a capital L. I’m in for a long month with him around.

Crazy shit happens and then some. So, if you want the skinny on Vicious and the events revolving around my stay at Lunar Manor, read my story.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


I am a big Kate Evangelista fangirl and am very grateful that she's within driving distance in case I have the urge to stalk and fangirl all over her and after reading this book, I'm sure that some excitement release is overdue... preferably with Luka. (If he's not busy or anything.)

It felt so great to finally get back to Kate Evangelista's Taste world... oh crap, I'm not really there am I. What is this confusion? There were literally parts wherein I was just trying to figure out what was going on but it never hurts to ask an author to clarify things and Kate graciously answered all my inquiries (for those of you who have read Taste and Savor and were puzzled as well, watch out for Kate's blog post regarding the part that I'm sure you know what I'm talking about). Anyway, disregarding that fact, I really enjoyed reading Savor. Never mind the fact that it's a New Adult book, Savor completely oozed sex and darkness. Not that I'm implying everyone turned into super active rabbits in the book but once you read it, you won't be able to help yourself and you'll end up getting sucked into the dark and really sensual world of Vicious. This book is a far cry from Kate Evangelista's slighter lighter and fluffier books but I've always loved diverse authors because hello, they keep things more interesting when they're that way. So yeah, Savor definitely reeled me in and proved to me how talented she really is.

Dakota Collins has to be the coolest Kate Evangelista girl to date. She's spunky, driven and waaay badass. All you need to do is look at her eye-patch and you already know that you've got someone special right there. Dakota isn't damaged or broken, sure she's got some cracks and creaks but nothing a little TLC won't fix. I love the drive that Dakota has and her passion for her photography, and the way Kate Evangelista describes and talks about Dakota's pictures really paint a clear and distinct image in your brain that will make everything much, much more clearer. It was a joy getting to know Dakota and it was fun and interesting joining her on her journey to discover the truth about Vicious. Oooh, so mysterious.

I'm sure that you're wondering who Vicious is, to cut the long story short, they're this really famous rock (?) band that Luka is a part of (there are other details to this but I'm giving you the Spark Notes version). Apparently Vicious is a really private band and they don't particularly like to be paparazzi-ed on. So when Dakota sees them in all their rock glory, she decides that she wants to use them as her models for her final project and that's when the craziness all began...

At this point, you already get to know the characters and their general stories but let's get to the more important character, Luka. Oh, Luka, I don't know whether to whip you or paddle you (but I'm sure you'll like both). In this book, it was a definite love/hate/love relationship between me and Luka, that's why we're currently on a break right now. Oh, did I forget to mention that he's my boyfriend? Silly me. That's right, he's M-I-N-E. I just lent him to Kate for research. Anyway, as I was saying before I got all cavewoman-ey all over my man, there were parts that really frustrated me because of the constant tension between him and Dakota. I wanted to tell him to just jump her already (we're in an open relationship like that) and let the beast (literally) loose, you know? But of course, there was something holding him down. I'm sure you're wondering if it's because of our love that he couldn't pursue anything with Dakota but it's not that, it's something far more serious than that. And it's because of his inability to do what his heart tells him to do that ruined things for him. *cue suspenseful music* Aaand, that's when the book ends... Kidding. Maaaybe. You'll have to read it to find out.

I loved discovering and exploring this darkly sensual and mysterious world Kate Evangelista created with Savor because it brings us a more mature and sophisticated look to the lives of rockstars... with an unexpected twist. (Hmm, what could it be? *taps chin thoughfully*) All I can say is that I love Kate Evangelista for giving me more time with Luka by writing this book but I also hate her for writing this book because, well, I am ruined. Just, ruined. If I beg hard enough, can I get a copy of book two yesterday?


When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. Ms. Evangelista lives in the Philippines.

You can find her here:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: Deer in Headlights by Staci Hart

Title: Deer in Headlights (Good Gods #1)
Author: Staci Hart
Publication date: February 13th 2013
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

How do the Greek gods kill time? Because they’re always bored. It’s an unavoidable downside of being alive for thousands of years. So, they play games. Games with human players. Remember Shakespeare? Yeah, that was Apollo. Bonnie and Clyde? Aphrodite vs Ares.

It’s Aphrodite’s turn once again in the rounds of competitions, and she’ll defend her domain: Love. She hasn’t lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia, and she’s not about to start now. Apollo is her first competitor, and he’s on a mission to win. If he wins, he’ll get a token; a favor that Aphrodite must fulfill. And with that favor, he’ll finally get the one woman he’s never been able to have. 

Aphrodite and Apollo will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can’t get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And she couldn’t have that.

Lex and Dean are perfect for each other. They just don’t know it yet.

Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a man-whore. A brooding, gorgeous, rock star man-whore. Lex always has a boyfriend, but she’s never let anyone in enough to let herself go. Not really. Not ever. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can’t make it work, no one can.

But she has more at stake than just Lex and Dean. Apollo killed her mortal love, and that beef has been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to start a fight, and get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, her best friend, is the one person she can confide in, laugh with, and always count on for a healthy helping of bacon when she’s having a bad day.

Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose love, and gain power. Making a mess with humans has never been so fun.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


Deer in Headlights is a new and refreshing take on the gods of the Greek mythology. I'm sure everyone is wondering as to what gods do in their spare time (which is pretty much their whole lives) because when they aren't tormenting people, seducing unsuspecting victims and hating on each other, they like to play games. No, I don't mean Jenga or Twister, their games are a lot more competitive and shaming than that. What do is that they go "against" the other gods in alphabetical order wherein they pick a human who will represent them (the rules are a lot more complicated than that but that's pretty much the gist of it) and their prize, if they win, is a favor from the losing god (I love the little tokens they get, so cute!). And this time, it's Aphrodite aka Dita's turn (her first opponent was Apollo. Oh, the drama.).

The story switches around a lot and it was good that Staci Hart was able to balance everything out so the plot and point-of-views did not get mixed up. Dita's, being the Goddess of Love, goal was to be able to unite Lex, her chosen, and Dean, Apollo's chosen and Apollo's goal was to prevent them from falling in love especially since Dean has a truckload of trust issues and well, Lex currently had a boyfriend. It was really interesting seeing how everything turned out and how other gods were able to contribute to the story. I love Dita's relationship with Persephone, they remind me a lot of normal human girls who just like to hang out, they're very natural and so cute together! Especially when Persephone helps Dita out (just proves how Hades is really Persephone's b---h. LOL). I absolutely adore Hephaestus, it was pretty obvious that Dita just "friend-zoned" him even though they were technically married and hey, girlie, if you don't want him, you can just give him to me because he is seriously such a sweet and attentive guy. Swoon. I felt bad for Apollo throughout the whole book, his story completely broke my heart and I actually found myself rooting for him to win. There's a lot of tension between Dita and Apollo and between the two, I didn't really know who I felt bad for the most (okay, maybe Apollo).

But let's deviate from the gods' very drama-filled lives and go to our chosen ones' lives. I really liked Lex as a character, she had a very strong sense of morale and she's a cool girl in general. And then there's Dean, a rocker-playboy who oozes sex-appeal and can melt your panties off with a look but is saddled with a lot of baggage. Their story was a nice break from the gods' competitiveness because it was both frustrating and entertaining at the same time. Lex and Dean had their moments and when they did, they were completely sweet but also saddening because of all the obstacles standing in their way.

Staci Hart has written a series that is sure to catch the attention of any person who is a fan of Greek mythology because of her fresh and wildly entertaining take on the gods of Olympus. It was a joy and a pleasure to read the book and I can't wait to read more of Staci Hart's works.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder

Title: Unteachable
Author: Leah Raeder
Publication date: July 27th 2013
Source: Purchased from Amazon
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.

But I couldn’t run far enough.

I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.

My teacher.

I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.

In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.

And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


You know when you find that book that may or may not be your soul-book but you just know that you'll have a special connection with it; that no matter how much other people may dislike it you'll just throw a "eff off" to those haters because you love the book anyway because it was love at first book-sight? Well... that didn't happen to me with Unteachable. I hadn't even heard of the book till my mom told me to read it (there you go, ma, you got a mention!) and even though I had to tilt my head a bit to understand the book cover, reading the summary itself got me plenty interested. (And when I told my mom that I loved it, she told me that she told me so. SMH at you.)

Unteachable was easily one of the very, very best books I have ever read, it's no doubt one of my all-times favorites and if I have kids, I'd let them read it when they're eighteen so that they'd feel inspired too. (Not kidding.) Maybe it's all the years I spent studying in a private Catholic school that had a zero in terms of male faculty that got me really interested in teacher-student relationships but hello, I need some excitement in my life. I literally live vicariously through these characters... and Unteachable was exactly the kind of experience that made my life actually feel exciting. Unteachable is exactly the type of book that you need to read if you're looking for something realistic and in-your-face because trust me, this book is the truth.

Maise O'Malley is as real as you and me, and I mean this literally. She's foul-mouthed (let's face it, we all cuss), she's blunt/frank (she's just more honest than we are), she's *cough*horny*cough* (*nods head empathically*) and she's a high school student, the only thing different between us and her is that she's more open to these things compared to us. Maise is the most real protagonist I have read about in forever for the sole reason that she doesn't pretend to be something she's not (okay, she may have done that but within reason, read the book and you'll see). She faces problems head on and even though there are times when vulnerability strikes, she still holds her chin up to take them on. Maise experiences the same problems that we do except a bit more extreme because her secret relationship and her crazy mother but oh, well... Point in, Maise isn't perfect, she doesn't have superpowers to save the day, she isn't "The One" and she sure as hell isn't the girl who's going to get Mr. Perfect but it's all her "flaws" that make her who she is and while people may expect her to grow into a certain way, well those people are going to be disappointed because Maise listens to no one (except maybe Leah because she wrote the book) and she'll grow and bloom into whatever flower she pleases, hell, she probably won't even turn into a flower, she'll most likely prefer to be a cactus, prickly and filled with fluid. (No pun intended... okay, maybe pun intended.) The sum it all up, I look up to Maise O'Malley even though she may not be someone most mothers would approve of (my mom would totally approve of her as my role model, I'm bring serious), there are just times when we can't always look up to heroines who are perfect and end up with the perfect life, sometimes we need heroines who may not actually be heroines, who may just be a normal girl but manages to show us what it really means to be a person, and that's what Maise did, she showed me the nitty gritty details of life that we might not always like but will always be there no matter what we do. Maise isn't fun or sociable or friendly, she's stubborn, rude and offensive but she's also very quirky, passionate and intelligent and those are the qualities that redeemed her. That turned her into a great a inspiring person; those are the qualities that made her real.

I really liked Evan/Mr. Wilke (I'll call him Mr. Wilke because it just sounds so much more... naughty. *winky face*), he's the type of guy who's not going to give you flowers and chocolates but will treat you like his world revolves around your axis alone. It was obvious that Mr. Wilke also harbored deep feelings for Maise but his morales also dictated him to be more "responsible" but hey, she's eighteen anyway! (That totally rhymed, score for Louisse!) It was interesting reading Mr. Wilke's conflict through Maise's eyes because Maise was confident and knew what she was doing and even though Mr. Wilke tried, feebly, to protest, he really was no match her feminine wiles. I think more than being a love interest, Evan (I give up, Mr. Wilke is too stiff, too long and I'm getting carpal tunnel from typing this so I'll stick with Evan) also acted as a support for Maise. Someone she could lean on, someone who would encourage her to do things when she felt like it was too much of a hassle to do so, he was like a male and more responsible version of herself. Even though they were different in certain aspects, Evan and Maise were alike in other ways as well. They complemented and balanced the other out and that created a great dynamic between the two. (Also, wanted to say that not everything is as it seems when it comes to Evan... he has his secrets too.)

As much as we'd like to believe that Evan and Maise's relationship was filled with butterflies, rainbows and cupcake-pooping unicorns, it wasn't. Their relationship was filled with many obstacles and it wasn't just because their love was technically illegal, it was also because of a druggie classmate, an obsessed friend, a broken past and a crazy as hell mother. They were problems that were definitely not easy to face and let me tell you, those two did not survive unscathed but that's how real relationships are, they aren't perfect and most of the time, you don't even know if a couple will even stay together and that's exactly what Leah Raeder was trying to show us, that most of the time, we have to sacrifice a lot in order to get what we want and sometimes, what we get isn't even what we wanted in the first place.

Unteachable is a exactly the kind of read that shows you how things really are, it won't lie to you and tell you that everything will be okay in life because it won't but things do get better if we try hard enough. Leah Raeder has written an insanely raw and gritty book that may be tough as nail but is also as fragile as a flower emotion wise because Unteachable will make you feel things that may be comfortable, uncomfortable, weird and even alien but it just means that you are letting the book affect you as it should. Unteachable is one of those books out that is just so special that no matter what happens, it will always be one of a kind. Leah Raeder has written a gem that I will always keep close to my heart and rest assured, I will be rereading this book... a lot because I loved this book something fierce. If I could, I'd totally marry this book. Is that legal? But seriously, great job, Leah! Unteachable was... phenomenal? Amazing? Stupendous? Fantabulous? I'm sure that I'll run out of adjectives to describe this book but wow, just wow. I will be eagerly awaiting Leah Raeder's future works. Ea-ger-ly. So don't take too long, Leah!


ARC Review: Stolen Wishes by Lexi Ryan

Title: Stolen Wishes (New Hope #1.5)
Author: Lexi Ryan
Publication date: January 7th 2014
Source: Received from author for review (Thanks sooo much, Lexi!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

A sexy smile. Intense blue eyes. A goodness that makes him want to save me from these rumors when no one else would care. I didn't ask for a hero. William Bailey was never supposed to be anything more than a wish, a dream, an unrequited crush. Not for a girl like me--a girl whose fractured family has stolen her chance at a decent life.

Since the death of my parents, I've always done what’s expected of me, what's "best" for me. Until Cally. The moment her haunted eyes meet mine, the fractured pieces of my heart feel whole again. I don’t just want to save her. I need her to save me.

Stolen chances. Unbroken wishes. Two lonely souls grasping for hope in the darkness. 

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads.)


I was fortunate enough to have been given an early copy of this and since I absolutely adore Lexi Ryan and *cough*William*cough* I pounced on this book like a starved woman and oh. My. God. My heart, my poor little heart. You know that moment when you're riding a rollercoaster and you're at that point when the ride is just ascending and you don't know when it'll make that drop? Well, that's exactly what it felt like while I was reading Stolen Wishes, it's true that I did read Wish I May before Stolen Wishes (my review of Wish I May HERE <-- I loved it!) but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book, it actually made the experience more... exhilarating. There was a sense of foreboding, which was the "drop", but I didn't necessarily know when it was going to happen and that made me really anxious. It's literally you knowing what's going to happen before the characters do and you want to warn them sooo bad but you can't and all you can do is watch and feel with them. (I suggest you read this one before Wish I May if you don't want to develop masochistic tendencies. I'm being serious.)

I don't know how but Lexi Ryan made me actually love William more in this book. (I don't even have an residual feelings left for Asher anymore... Sorry, babe.) William is such an inherently good person but not too good, if you catch my drift. *waggles eyebrows* But in all seriousness, if you loved William in Wish I May, you'll find that your feelings for him will have grown stronger in this book. It's not because he's a sweet and swoony guy, it's because you'll catch glimpses of the man he'll turn into the future and trust me, you won't be disappointed. I love that William is such a simple guy, all the money that's thrown his way makes him uncomfortable and you can just see how human that makes him, that his need to be loved and his vulnerability is what makes him so perfectly imperfect, you know? I just love him, okay, ughhhhhh, I LOVE HIM. *runs away*

Stolen Wishes sheds some light as to how people really treated Cally and her family, and that made this book hurt all the more. Like Cally, I was in denial as to what was really happening with her mom but like all fantasies, they end so Cally (and I) had to face the reality of what her mother did and was going to do and I ugly cried. Yup. It was obvious that the only light in Cally's life were her sisters, her best friends (they're awesome, btw) and William. Even though her life was, excuse me for being blunt, super crappy, she still managed to be slightly optimistic because of these people but then we know that all good things never come without a prize and they sure as hell don't last that long either. But hey, your only consolation is that there's a full length novel about William and Cally's life seven-years later so you should definitely read that ASAP after reading this one. (See, Lexi Ryan isn't completely evil. *winky face*)

I cannot express how much I completely love Lexi Ryan's New Hope series and I cannot wait to read more (I'm super excited for Hanna's story! Eeeeep!!) and I don't doubt that I'll be even more impressed with the next books because Lexi Ryan will never stop surprising me, in a good way! Stolen Wishes is exactly what a reader looks for in a novella, short but not to the point of being rushed or lacking, gives a brief but loaded introduction to the novel it is accompanying and it leaves you wanting more, so much more, and if I hadn't already read Wish I May, I would be stalking Lexi Ryan right now to give me a copy of that book but since I already read it, she's safe from my creepiness. Stolen Wishes is a beautiful but heartbreaking book that shows you that life isn't all that bad... it's worse. Kidding... Maybe.