Monday, 27 April 2015

Review + Giveaway - Paradise City (Paradise #1) by C.J. Duggan




I'm pleased to be able to participate in the book tour for Paradise City by CJ Duggan, published by Hachette Books Australia and due for release on the 28th April.


Paradise City (Paradise, #1)Author: CJ Duggan
Series: Paradise
Pages: 363
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Release date: 28/04/2015
Buying links: Amazon / iTunes / Kobo / B&N / Google

Synopsis (Goodreads)

There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . . 

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure. 

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, excitingdoesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known. 

Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad? 

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of C.J Duggan’s Boys of Summer series so I was more than excited to start on her new series, Paradise City which I’ve got to say was fantastic and set in Australia!

Our MC is seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson, I was a little judgmental initially and thought being from a rural Australian small town she’d be na├»ve and sheltered but I instantly liked her, she had passion and wanted to experience life; especially the life she thought she’d get with her cousin in Paradise City.

When Lexie arrives in the city to stay with her relatives, she expected to be greeted in a loving way from her cousin who is similar in age but Amanda was hateful and mean and more or less left her to her own devices, I wasn’t a fan of Amanda at all – she grated on my nerves that one too many times unfortunately.

Lexie gets to experience many firsts – sneaking out at night, hanging out with the local beach bums and getting involved with the resident bad-boy Luke Ballantine, I quite liked Luke, I thought he was charming, sexy and a little mysterious so I am more than eager to learn more about him, especially his strained relationship with his brother, cheeky Dean Saville who I don't trust at all.

C.J Duggan makes you feel all of the emotions in Paradise City – I laughed, I got mad and my heart ached but in the end it all came together in a way that worked and leaves you anxious for the next book and an eventual HEA between Lexie and Luke.

What I felt this story lacked was the sweet friendships that this author usually excels at, we have some interesting secondary characters but none besides Dean who I think has ulterior motives with Lexie stand out.

C.J Duggan’s writing is entertaining and her story-lines are engaging, the boys she writes are swoon-worthy and her female leads are wonderful. The ending of Paradise City left me shocked and after reading the blurb for the next book I am a little nervous about the direction in which this series will go.

Super excited to read Paradise Road, which has an anticipated August 2015 release date.

Thank you to Hachette Australia for the opportunity to read and review Paradise City.  


About the author: C.J Duggan is an Internationally Number One Best Selling Author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90's pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her highly successful New Adult Romance Series.

The 'Summer Series'
The Boys of Summer (December 2012)
Stan (October 2014)
An Endless Summer (July 2013)
MAX (TBA 2015)
That One Summer (December 2013)
Ringer (March 2014)
Forever Summer (TBA 2015)

o   Twitter: @CJ_Duggan & @HachetteAus
o   Instagram: @cj_duggan & @hachetteaus    





Giveaway – 1 x signed paperback of Paradise City

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Review: Under Different Stars by Amy A Bartol

Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1)Under Different Stars

Author: Amy A Bartol
Series: Kricket
Pages: 297
Publisher: 19 December 2013
Release date:
Amazon – TBD

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home. 

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go. 

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own. 

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

Review: 4 ½ out of 5 stars

I purchased a copy of Under Different Stars on a whim; I have been in a terrible reading slump so whilst browsing Amazon I came across this little gem, I had previously read Amy A Bartol’s The Premonition series which I enjoyed and this one kept me glued to the pages right from the very beginning, it’s a great start to the Kricket series.

Our MC, Kricket Hollowell is a character you instantly connect with and like, full of snark and wit there was some great dialogue and witty banter; she has always known there was something different about her but she was clueless as to why. Her childhood was rough and she had only a few months left of hiding away from child services before she would be able to chase her dreams so when two different groups of guys come in search of her and she ends up kidnapped, my heart was breaking for her but she never stopped fighting for a way out.

Kricket soon learns more about her parents and why she is being taken to another planet all together – Ethar, one group after her was from her mother’s home and the other from her fathers, she is a half breed and wanted by both for different purposes; she was clueless prior to this about her past. She also learns that her genetic gifts as a truth seeker and also her ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity and could also be the reason for the brewing war between the Alameeda and Rafe houses. 

The guys who came for Kricket were pretty awesome, led by Trey who was intriguing we also meet Wayra and Jax, we also meet a few not so great guys who were also after Kricket, Kyon grated on my nerves and I never quite understood whether he was sincere or not and Manus was creepy.

We do get a great romance between Kricket and Trey, it doesn’t start off that way and once it did happen it was quite full-on but I am interested to see how it pans out. Seeing Trey try to fight his feelings was entertaining.

I thought the plot was original and action-packed, we also get some pretty fabulous world-building; I loved learning about the planet of Ethar and their customs and rules, it was interesting. What I was keen to learn more about though was regeneration, I know Trey had this but I never quite grasped the reasoning and how it happens & if it is a possibility for everyone?

Under Different Stars in an impressive read, Amy Bartol’s writing is perfectly detailed with fabulous descriptions; the characters were each great and I can’t wait to read the sequel! A wonderful addition to the YA Sci-fi genre.


Fave quotes:

“She's in your head, Trey."
"My head, my heart, my blood," Trey responds immediately.”

“Trey, I thought that the Znou was beautiful and I wanted to keep it,” I say, explaining myself to him. “I wasn’t trying to kill myself. If I get suicidal, you’ll know ’cuz I’ll be dead. The only thing I’m feeling right now is homicidal, so watch your back.” 

“You cannot thrive under the wrong stars, Kricket,” Trey says in a calm, soothing voice. “The stars here are in opposition to you . . . can’t you feel it? You are foreign to them. You have no ancestry here—no lineage. Let us take you home.” 


Amy A. BartolAbout the author: Author of Inescapable: The Premonition Series (Volume 1), Intuition: The Premonition Series (Volume 2), Indebted: The Premonition Series (Volume 3) , and Incendiary: The Premonition Series (Volume 4). Currently working on a fifth novel in the Premonition Series entitled Iniquity. 

Under Different Stars (Kricket Series Book 1) 
Sea of Stars (Kricket Series Book 2)
Darken the Stars (Kricket Series Book 3) --Release Day 9/8/15 *pre-order available on Amazon.com

The Divided - A Science Fiction Romance short story, which is included in the Take Me To Your Reader: An Otherworld Anthology. 

I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed. Please visit me at my website: www.amyabartol.weebly.com

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Review: Since Drew by J Nathan

Since DrewSince Drew

Author: J. Nathan
Series: -
Pages: 236
Publisher/Source: Netgalley
Release date: 23rd April 2015
Amazon

Synopsis: Goodreads

All Andi Parker has ever wanted, all she’s ever dreamed of, is a spot on the Olympic track team. But when an accident leaves her hospitalized with serious injuries and shattered dreams, she’s not only uncertain what her future holds but also completely alone.

Drew Slater is a wanted man. Professional football teams want him for his arm. Women want him for his good looks and magnetic personality. But the well-crafted disguise he wears, the one that helps him score on and off the field, hides secrets. Conceals lies. Threatens the happiness of everyone around him.

One chance encounter brings Andi and Drew together, changing their worlds in ways they never thought possible. Unfortunately, what they thought they knew about themselves—and about each other—might just be the biggest lie of all.
 

Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

How smexy is that cover! I was intrigued by this book when I glimpsed it on Netgalley and read the exciting synopsis, it was a book I devoured in the one sitting, thank goodness for quiet weekends!

Storyline – The story follows Andi’s recovery and her growing relationship with football player Drew. Andi’s dream has only ever been to participate in the Olympics in the 800 metre track event but her plans are put on hold when she is hit by a car and ends up in hospital with a disappointing prognosis and a lengthy recovery. It is in hospital where she meets Drew Slater who has been drafted to play football, but he is having doubts about his future.

I was hooked at the beginning of the book and loved how it was all coming together and then we are hit with a huge (mouth gaping) twist that I honestly didn’t expect and the whole book for me took a turn, not in a bad way but it was very different to what I was expecting – the first part was light and fun and the second part was darker and more dramatic – it’s hard to explain what happened without giving anything away.

Characters – Andi was wonderful and strong; she wasn’t a woe as me character despite her predicament which I really appreciated; she moved forward never quite dwelling on what she was missing out on. I loved Drew at the beginning of the book – he was so confident and cheeky but in the middle he was a bit of an ass and put me off, he did redeem himself thankfully! I loved the witty banter between Andi and Drew but you could tell from the onset that something wasn’t quite right and there was something that Drew was hiding, this guy was enigmatic and mysterious.

Writing - Since Drew was a page-turner, I was glued to the pages wanting to know what was going on the banter was great! it was written well and the twist the author threw us, despite being a surprise ending up working out well. I was also baffled by something that occurred whilst they were both in hospital and I don’t feel it was explained as well as it could have been (I won’t expand to avoid spoilers) but I felt there were some loose ends, especially when it came to the first part of the book an also Drew, I feel there was a lot we didn’t know about him – especially his unusual relationship with his parents.

Overall – Since Drew was an entertaining book, I couldn’t put it down and there were many emotions involved as I was reading it, one moment I was laughing at the banter and the humour and the next I was mad! It all came together in the end and I enjoyed the outcome.

Thank you to J Nathan via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review Since Drew.



J.  NathanAbout the author: I'm a total romance junkie! Add an alpha male who's unlikable in the beginning...even better. Happy endings are a must. Don’t leave me with an unexpected cliffhanger or someone dying in the end. I’ll be depressed for days. Love triangles and negative people are the bane of my existence. My family, friends, sangria, and watermelon margaritas are the light… 

I love hearing from readers, so feel free to get in touch with me at:
https://www.facebook.com/jnathanauthor 
http://www.jnathan.net

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - ALL TIME Favorite Authors

 
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is our All-time Favourite Authors! I found it hard this week because there are so many authors I adore, but listed below are my auto-buys.

1.     Karen Marie Moning – I adore KMM & continually try to find a series similar to the Fever series which is my all-time favourite! They are my go-to books when I am in a slump; Amazing writing, creative world-building - I haven't foung anything that compares plus I love me a bit of Jericho Barrons.


2.     Jennifer L. Armentrout – JLA is a super writing machine! I have read everything written by her to date and enjoyed them all, super excited for the year ahead and the books she will be releasing.

 
 
  

3.     Katja Millay – Katja has only written the one book that I know of, The Sea of Tranquility and it was absolutely AMAZING! Another go-to book when I hit a bookish slump and it is just as great on audio.


 

4.     J.K Rowling – A creative,  unique and amazing author; Is there anyone that hasn’t enjoyed the Harry Potter series? I was a bit late starting on these books but once I did I devoured them, I’m also a huge fan of the movies.



5.     Paula Weston – Paula is an Aussie author and has written the Rephaim series which is one of my faves, she writes books that keep you thinking about it long after you have finished reading them; the final book is due to be released in May and I can’t wait.



6.     Ilona Andrews – One of the authors that started my love for UF and Paranormal, I adore her Kate Daniels series and Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy series) is my #1 top read so far for this year.


 
BURN-FOR-ME-med WHITE-HOT[1]

7.     Ada Adams – I am not a fan of vampires but her Angel Creek series is fabulous! another series that will be coming to an end {sob} with the release of ReBorn. Ada is also really super lovely! 



8.     SarahAlderson – Her YA/NA thrillers are fantastic! My days are usually write-offs when I start on her books.


 
  

9.     Sarah J Maas – Throne of Glass is amazing and her newest release A Court of Thorns and Roses blew me away; a brilliant fantasy writer. Also super excited that she will be touring Australia in November {squee!}


 

10. Richelle Mead – Every series Richelle has written has been amazing! The first I read was Vampire Academy followed by Gerogina Kincaid which is one of my favourites & then Bloodlines – she is a must read author.


 
 

Honourable mentions – Pamela Clare, Jus Accardo, Ednah Walters, C.C Hunter, Stephanie Perkins, Chloe Neill and Patricia Briggs.