Book Review Risking Forever

Title: Risking Forever: Vol. 1
Author: Tara Gallina
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon

Risking Forever: Vol 1 (The Forever Series) by Tara Gallina

My best friend has been obsessed with Sebastian since our freshman year in college. She wants him to herself, which is fine by me. He’s a paycheck, a means to an end goal. He’s temporary. But he’s also tempting—the way he looks at me, the things he says, the way he touches me… If I’m not careful, I might do something I’ll regret. ~Ainsley Belle

THE FOREVER SERIES
At twenty, Ainsley knows it’s time to follow her own dreams and not the future her that was planned for her—a future she never wanted. Losing her job couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Sebastian Gianni isn’t the ideal boss, but he has a position to fill and Ainsley is desperate. The sexy twenty-two-year-old comes from money, owns a successful business, and graduates from college in three months. He has his life together in a way Ainsley could only dream.
No wonder her best friend is obsessed with dating him. Even his ex-girlfriend is determined to get him back, although threatening him seems like the wrong approach. Ainsley would be a fool to fall for the guy, too.
By no means, should she trust him. He has more secrets than anyone she knows, which makes her wonder if the mafia rumors about him are true. It doesn’t matter that he’s a good listener, and sweet and protective at times. That playful flirty side he shares with her alone means nothing. Right?
When a kiss turns into a secret romance neither can give up, Ainsley learns the truth about Sebastian’s corrupt family and why his ex-girlfriend won’t go away. A future together is near impossible and comes with a risk that could get them both killed—or give them everything they’ve ever wanted.

Risking Forever was everything I expected when reading the synopsis, and much more. Main character Ainsley is at that point in life that most of us, if not all of us, have to cross when we’re growing up from young adults into adulthood: where you have to decide who you really are, and what you want your future to be like.

When she loses her job, she’s desperate enough to start working for Sesbastian Gianni: a man her best friend has been obsessed with ever since freshman year in college, and whose ex-girlfriend just can’t seem to get over. With this kind of track record, Ainsley would be stupid to fall for him too… Yet, that’s exactly what happens. Sebastian is playful, confident, flirty, yet he’s also protective and caring, and the more time Ainsley spends with Sebastian, the more she feels attracted to him, until attraction turns into something much more. But can they have a future together, or will secrets from Sebastian’s past drive them apart?

Ainsley’s personality is very engaging. She truly wants to better herself, she’s ambitious, but she’s also kind and caring, and she’s genuinely just a friendly, inviting person. I also liked Sebastian, but he’s more of a mystery – that’s a good trait for a romantic interest, though, since it allows readers the time to get to know him slowly. The writing was solid too, and overall, this was an entertaing romance story that I really enjoyed reading. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

 

Book Review: Beast by Shirley Gal

Title: Beast
Author: Shirley Gal
Genre: Mystery, Romance, New Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

She has no past…

A woman wakes in a dark room with no recollection of how she got there, let alone her own name or where she lives. She has no idea how, but everyone else seems to know her as Gabi. A series of unknown numbers run through her head and her dreams are plagued by a faceless man.

She has no allies…

James is an enigmatic stranger who has dubbed himself Gabi’s caretaker. He’s a beast of a man with the gruff personality to match. It’s unclear what he knows of her past, but he’s obviously keeping something from her. She’s forbidden to leave, though she’s not his prisoner. He sets her on edge, but she can’t help feeling drawn to him.

And now, she must gamble on her future with this stranger.

When Gabi Levin enlisted in the Israeli Mossad, she thought she was signing on for a charmed life of adventure and intrigue. Instead, she finds herself married to a man she doesn’t know and couldn’t love, living in a detached tower, training for hours on end. Without carbs.

Adam Miller is a man who always gets what he wants. He’s the trifecta: handsome, rich, and a condescending prick. He assumes that he can easily dominate the beautiful woman assigned to be his wife, simply using her to locate the information he needs.

Now, they both must get past their preconceptions and learn to trust each other if their assignment is going to work.

In Beast, the first book in the Shadow Games trilogy, a woman wakes up in a dark room with no idea of how she got her, no memory of her own name or who she is. Everyone else seems to know her as Gabi, though, and her caretaker is James, a gruff man who is obviously keeping something from her. Moreover, James refuses to let Gabi leave.

Yet in the past, Gabi signed up with the Mossad, passed all the tests with flyikgn colors, but is then assigned in a top strategic mission for which she has to marry Adam Miller. Although Miller is distant and cocky, Gabi starts feeling something for him and the attraction is mutual.

The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s a good thing. The romance is solid, Gabi is a charismatic, strong character and Miller is drop-dead sexy, and the two of them make a good match. There’s a lot of humor in the writing, and that makes the book stand out from other reads in this genre.

Book Review: The Aeon Star

Title: The Aeon Star
Author: Lauren T. Hart
Genre: New Adult, Sci-Fi
Age Group: New Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Jenny has never wanted for more than the simple, normal life she has; helping her parents care for her seven younger siblings, working for her dad at his church, going to college someday – hopefully in the fall. And one day, settling down with the boy next door to start a family of her own…

There’s just one problem. Jenny was never meant to have an ordinary life. She can ignore the nightmares, her parent’s overprotective natures, and even the sense that she doesn’t really belong. But try as she might, she can’t escape her destiny and when the dangers and secrets of a past she can’t remember come hunting for her, her simple life doesn’t just crumble it shatters.

Nick Grace is a researcher looking for a way to destroy an ancient evil – one that sounds hauntingly similar to Jen’s nightmares. Nick says he wants to help her find answers, but can she trust him? The inescapable pull she feels toward him whenever he’s near only makes her more unsure.

As the danger looms ever closer, she will have to make a stand against her enemies as well as her friends in this compelling urban-sci-fi page turner, with just the right amount of romance, that will keep you guessing up to the very last plot twist.

In The Aeon Star, 19-year-old Jenny wants nothing more than a simple, normal life. With seven younger siblings to care for and working hard to start college, she barely has time for anything else. Her life is planned out. She even knows already who she plans to settle down with and start a family of her own – the boy next door.

But Jenny isn’t mean to have an ordinary life. She senses she doesn’t really belong here and if her nightmares are any indication, then the destiny awaiting for her isn’t as peaceful as she hopes it is. Her life is about to be turned by an ancient evil that seeks to destroy her. She’ll need allies if she wants to defeat her enemies, and one of those allies is Nick Grace, a researcher who wants to help her find answers. But can she trust him?

The Aeon Star reminded me of why I enjoy urban fantasy so much. The book is lengthy, at 500 pages, and it might’ve also worked as 2 books, but despite the length, it never really felt that long. I was so enthralled in the world the author described that I barely noticed how long the book was. It started off with action and a fast pace, and never slowed down. The romance was a good addition too, and it didn’t overwhelm the story but just added to it.

An intriguing, engaging read recommended to fans of urban fantasy and new adult books.

Book Review: Feeble Connections by Meghana Sarathy

Title: Feeble Connections

Author: Meghana Sarathy

Genre: New Adult Romance / Sports Romance / College Romance

Age Group: New Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

A charming Casanova; Brandon
A Beautiful, Sassy woman in search of true love; Jennifer
A cocky basketball player; Linden
Three lives, two best friends and one uinque love story.
Feeble Connection spins the tale of two friends- Jennifer and Brandon, who meet in college. They were opposite on many grounds and yet perfect for one another. More so as best friends. The love that blossomed in their hearts never made it to their lips. It was Jennifer’s lost hope or perhaps Brandon’s ignorance to understand his own feelings that made him pave the way for Jennifer to meet Linden . He was very different from Brandon and yet he managed to steal her heart.
Can first love be truly forgotten?
Is second love truly that strong?
Is it even possible to love two people at same time?
* The Love Connection Series can be started with Feeble Connections. It is the prequel to Love Connection. Love Connection  and Love Reconnection are already available for purchase on amazon.
** NOT a menage
Recommended for 18+ due to sexual content and profanity.

Feeble Connections is a prequel of sorts, to the Love Connection series. I hadn’t read this series yet but the first book has me intrigued, so I might pick it up when I have some spare time. From Goodreads, it looks like there are already two books out in that series, so I have some catching up to do.

Anyway, Feeble Connections is the story of Brandon, a charming Casanova; Jennifer, a beautiful young woman desperate to find true love; and Linden. Jennifer and Brandon meet in college and they connect as friends. While they’re both in love with each other, neither of them dares say it out loud and then, before Brandon can truly understand the depths of his own feelings, Jennifer is swept away by Linden. While very different from Brandon, Linden nevertheless manages to steal Jennifer’s heart.

This is a story of friendship, love, heartbreak, of connections forged and destroyed, of romance. I preferred Brandon over Linden, I thought Linden was actually quite selfish and that he chose his own interests over Jennifer’s way too often. I was rooting for Brandon all the way.

An intriguing NA romance suitable for audiences 18+.

 

Book Review and GIveaway War Town

wartowncover-finalTitle: War Town

Author: Mitch Goth

Genre: New Adult Thriller

Age Group: New Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

For Olly Rourke, War Town’s opening day is a joyous occasion. He is one of a thousand people selected to be the first players in the world’s largest paintball arena. But as he soon finds out, the game he enters into is far more sinister. Two equal teams, locked in the massive arena together, and presented with an armory of real ammunition and a time bomb powerful enough to kill them all. The only way out is to eliminate the other team, by any means necessary.

War Town reminded me of the Hunger Games, as in it’s about a bunch of youngsters who are participating in a game in an arena. It’s supposed to be paintball, but it’s not – it’s far more sinister. There’s real ammunition, and even a time out. Contrary to the Hunger Games, this game is played in teams, though, so instead of a sole survivor, you get one winning team. The goal, naturally, is to eliminate the oppossing team.

Despite having some similarities to the Hunger Games, this book is a very different beast. The story quickly progresses into something different altogether, and the characters stand out, especially Olly. The writing flows well, and the reader is immediately sucked into the story, which has quite a few original twists and turns.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: A Sprint to His Heart by Lyla Bardan

A Sprint to his Heart Finals_830x1250Title: A Sprint to His Heart

Author: Lyla Bardan

Genre: New Adult Romance

Age Group: New Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

An ordinary young woman with a dream to be a professional cyclist falls for an extraordinary young man who thinks she’s anything but ordinary.

Bailey Meyers doesn’t have time for distractions, much less a boyfriend, so why does she agree to date the drop-dead sexy Fae artist who loves to watch her race? Because for once, she’d like to take a risk off the racecourse, even after her coach’s reminder of his no dating policy. A policy that puts her racing career in jeopardy when she’s kicked off the team, as if a concussion from a crash and an accusation of doping with dark Fae blood wasn’t enough.

She can’t stay away from the enchanting Piran of Sava…until she discovers he’s not who she thought he was. Can their love stay on course when Bailey joins a cycling team a thousand miles away and Piran is promised to a Fae princess?

In A Sprint To His Heart, Bailey Meyers dreams of being a professional cyclist. Her dream becomes jeapordized when she falls for Piran, a drop-dead gorgeous Fae artist.

Although Bailey’s coach has a strict no-dating policy, Bailey feels an attraction toward Piran that she can’t deny. But when she discovers he’s not who she thought he was, and when she’s kicked out of her cycling team and has to join a new team a thousand miles away, can their love last?

Bailey and Piran had a real connection. As a reader, I enjoyed getting to know both of them. The author did a good job of establishing their personality bit by bit, revealing their secrets, background, and keeping things interesting for the reader. The chemistry between them was undeniable, and I rooted for them from the get-go. Bailey was my favorite of both characters, though.

I also liked the focus on cycling. It’s not often I get to read books that focus on that. Both my cousins are cyclists, so it was great to read about the world of professional cycling.

A fast-paced, thrilling new adult romance that I would recommend to fans of the genre.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review Black Water Tales: The Unwanted

Kindle Ready Front Cover JPEG_5787914Title: Black Water Tales: The Unwanted
Author: Jean Nicole Rivers
Genre: New Adult Psychological Horror
Age Group: New Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.

In Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, Blaire Baker is a teacher from the supposedly cursed town of Black Water. She accepts a volunteer post at St. Sebastian’s orphanage, and along with volunteer nurse Travis Wells, she heds to the orphanage. While Blaire is optimistic at first, her optimism soon turns into despair – the facilitiy is housed in an abandoned, derelict building, the staff doesn’t care much about the “unwanted” children left at the orphanage, and the children aren’t exactly being taken care of the way they should.

As strange things start happening, and one of the children informs Blaire there’s something in the basement, Blaire grows more and more wary that something is going on at the orphanage. When Blaire is haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents, she realizes she might have to dig through the depths of her own subconscious, and the history of St. Sebastian’s orphanage, if she wants to find out the truth behind the Unwanted.

The setting is deliciously creepy (derelict orphanages are just about number one on my creepy list). The pacing is slow, but in a good way – the suspense builds up slowly, but when it reaches its crescendo, I was on the edge of my seat. The book reminded me of The Woman in Black, both in tone and eerie atmosphere, which is always a good thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, creepy horror novel.

Book Review: Perfect Sense by Amanda Cowen

Perfect SenseTitle: Perfect Sense
Author: Amanda Cowen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Rating: 4,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

He’s gorgeous.

He’s reckless.

And he’s every woman’s dirty fantasy in the state of California.., except one… Quinn Ashby.

Recent graduate of Penn and top of her class, Quinn is whip smart, ambitious and interning as the new marketing coordinator for the Bexley Bruisers American Hockey League team. The last thing she needs is to waste her time on guys…especially one as lethal to her focus as Cash Brooks.

But once the bad boy hockey star tempts her into his world, threatening her professional future, she’s forced to decide whether to let him into her heart…or to leave him behind forever.

In Perfect Sense, we meet with Quinn Ashby, an intelligent college graduate, top of her class, who is as ambitious as she’s smart. She’s interning as the new marketing coordinator for the Bexley Bruisers American Hockey League team. Quinn appears to be perfect – but hse’s not. In fact, she’s so ambitious and driven she hardly has time for anything else. Being perfect in the eyes of her dad is the most important thing to her. Quinn doesn’t have time for boys, let alone for bad boys such as Cash Brooks. She’s an intriguing character, complex too, and I liked getting to know her.

Cash Brooks is a bad boy hockey star, but he has a few soft spots too. Cash and Quinn have a lot of chemistry between them – Quinn is stubborn and wants nothing to do with him, and that’s what attracts him to her. The more she denies wanting him, the more he wants her, and that was an interesting dynamic.

The writing style was fluent, and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. An entertaining contemporary romance, ideal for hockey fans, and anyone who enjoys a good romance read.

Mini-Review: Sing for Me, Forsaken and Flesh Failure

minireview

Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Sing For Me

Tite: Sing For Me

Author: Gracie Madison

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm’s forbidden power.

As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.

Love.

The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.

Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.

Review: While the idea of Choirs, angels with the gift of music, is an excellent and original plot idea, the book simply was too confusing at times. It didn’t explain things enough. On top of that, Madeline’s personality makes it almost impossible to connect with her. The love between Madeline and Damascus is forbidden, yet she keeps leading him on. Damascus reads like an angel version of Twilight’s Edward. So while the plot had original elements, this didn’t completely do it for me.

Forsaken

Title: Forsaken

Author: Kristen Day

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Once you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago.

Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her. Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her,’ Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendants of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesied to be a part of. The fate of all the descendants will forever depend upon it.

Review: The concept was all right, but the plot and characters left much to be desired. Think Twilight but with mermaids and you pretty much have a good synopsis for this one. The writing wasn’t stellar either, and the main character was plain annoying.

Flesh Failure

Title: Flesh Failure

Author: Séphera Girón

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

“From out of the grave.”

London, 1888: Agatha drags herself from a shallow grave to roam the fog-shrouded streets of the dark city, trying to piece together what happened. Her new friends, the ladies of the night, live in terror of Jack the Ripper, while Agatha persistently searches for what she discovers she needs to stay alive electrical charges.

As her memory grows stronger, the hazy images from her past come into focus, but questions remain. Do her answers lie in the shadows of the streets, the hidden corridors of London Hospital, or someplace far more frightening?”

Review: Frankenstein from the POV of the monster, set in London of Jack the Ripper would be a good way to describe this. The historical events, like the Ripper murders, were the best part of the book for me. Not too original, but entertaining all the same.

Book Review The Ivory Staff

The ivory staff book coverTitle: The Ivory Staff
Author: M. Lachi
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Age Group: New Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

How was young Samiyah to know that her simple grace, wit, and beauty—exceptional traits given her peasant class—would land her in the middle of a chessboard of high-level political turmoil or that the love that blinds politics, the hate that blinds brotherhood, and the lust that blinds love would flip that chessboard on its side? Rife with passionate dialog, edgy suspense, and epic conflict, this Dark Fairy Tale follows our heroine as she journeys to heal a nation broken by the internal prejudices of class warfare, armed with nothing but stark determination.

In The Ivory Staff, fifteen-year-old Maliko is snooping around in the forbidden room. The forbidden room is supposedly strictly off-limits, in particular the forbidden box stored inside the room. His Uncle Pan stops him from snooping inside the box, making Maliko suspect the box has something to do with his mother. As an orphan, the topic is always on Maliko’s mind, but Uncle Pan refuses to open up about it.

From two different perspectives, we next get the story of Samiyah, Maliko’s mother, a beautiful peasant girl who ends up in the middle of political turmoil. The story is enlightening, different, and it shows an interesting blend of characters, all of them with unique personalities.

I loved the worldbuilding. The story is set on a fictional island of the coast of North Africa, and focuses a lot on the quarrels between two tribes, but it’s this cultural undertone that makes it intriguing. I thought Saab was one of the most interesting, genuine characters in the book. All of the characters had flaws and were realistic, but I found I had an instant connection to Saab.

Fans of new adult books and fantasy will love this book. The worldbuilding is great, and it’s an interesting blend of politics, scheming, the difference between two classes and the discrimination and issues that brings, that combined in a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat.