Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Release Date: 4-29-14

Format: e-book

Number of Pages: 260

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Can be read as a stand-alone, but is part of The Marked Men series.

Saint Ford has always worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life – especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down…and now he’s trying to do it again.
Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them – or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on – especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.
When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself all over again?

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: Saint was pretty relatable. I doubt that there is a girl on this planet that hasn’t felt insecure a time or two in her life – especially around a hot guy. I like how real Jay Crownover’s writing is. The whole Marked Men group seems like an every-day, average group of friends and family that you can find living in your town. A lot of books I read( and enjoy) aren’t that way…the people are so fantastical – even in contemporary stories – that they don’t feel like they could be real people living real lives. At least not real people I would ever get the privilege of running into. Along those same lines…I also liked that we got to see quite a bit of the other couple’s in the series. These people are all supposed to be friends...real friends attend each other’s weddings and funerals, pace nervously together in hospital waiting rooms, hang out on a Friday night, ask each other for advice. All of these things happen in Nash and when they do we get to catch glimpses how Rule and Shaw, Rome and Cora, and Jet and Ayden are doing in their happily ever after. We didn’t get to see as much of Jet and Ayden in Nash as I would have liked, but Nash was always depicted as being closer to Rule and Cora, so I suspect we will get our closer glimpses of Jet in Rowdy’s story when that comes out.

What I Liked Least About This Book: I felt like we were told that Saint was picked on and bullied, but we were never shown it. We actually had more scenes where we were shown how badly Nash was bullied by his mom and step-dad than we did for the character who actually had personal issues and hang-ups because of the supposed cruelty she suffered. It seemed that all of her hang-ups and self-esteem issues were all in her head – which could have been the author’s point, since ultimately Saint had to learn to love herself in spite of what others thought. I just feel like it may have been better to show us real instances of her being bullied or teased because then it would have been easier to sympathize with her feelings.

Share A Quote From The Book: “Trust me, the person you are is remarkable and exceptional. If you get acquainted with her, your entire life will change.”

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely.

Would I Re-Read This Book: I’ve already re-read all of the other Marked Men books- this one won’t be any different.

Rating: four and a half stars out of five

Other Comments: Every time Nash mentioned hanging out with “the Archer twins” as a kid my heart skipped a beat. I think we truly missed out because Remy had already died when the series started with Rule.  I know its Nash’s story, but I wish we had gotten a bit more from Nash’s POV in high school because I would have liked to get to see Remy and how he fit into and interacted with the Rule/Nash/Jet trio. I wish there was a Remy prequel…I’m just so dang curious about him!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Trouble With Fate

**As reviewed by Alison**

Author: Leigh Evans

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 2012

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 344

Stand alone or series: Book 1 of 4

Summary: (Taken from the back cover of the book).

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret.  I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it.  As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother.  I’ve never forgiven either side.  Especially Robson Trowbridge.  He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved.  That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…
Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life.  A pretty normal existence, considering.  But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to:  Robson Trowbridge.  And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember.  That’s the trouble with fate:  Sometimes it barks.  Other times it bites.  And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart.  Again…

Happily ever after?: For now... but there are still three books to go.

What I liked most: Fun, easy read. Good introduction to the characters. I like how Hedi and Bridge have a love/hate relationship.

What I liked least: Took me a while to understand what Merry was (the amulet, Hedi wears, that is alive). It was a little ways into the book before the author explained her.

Favorite quote: He waited for me to explode again, and when I didn't, he used his two fingers on my forehead to ease me back into my seat. "You are one crazy-ass Tinker Bell," he said, returning his attention to the road (Bridge about Hedi, page 111).

Would I recommend it?: Yes, I really enjoyed reading it!

Would I re-read it?: Right now, yes... I reserve the right to withdraw this statement after finishing book 4 (I do prefer happily ever afters).

Other comments: Visit Leigh Evans' website!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Al's Quote of the Moment

This is from "The Trouble with Fate" by Leigh Evans.

"Yes, I steal books from a blind bookseller" (Hedi, page 6).

Hahaha!!! I laughed so hard! Not that I steal books, but that an author would make one if her characters a petty thief who steals books... Epic! :D

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Going Too Far

Author: Jennifer Echols

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Release Date: April 4, 2009

Format: paperback

Number of Pages: 245

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: stand alone

How far would you go?

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as a childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge – and over…

Happily Ever After: yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: I love the character development in this book. Meg has flaws and so does John – they aren’t your typical young adult romance cookie-cutter leads. Because they have these flaws, they are able to grow and change throughout the course of the book. The events of the story truly impact them and affect who they are and who they become. It’s nice to see a romantic heroine who isn’t perfect.

What I Liked Least About This Book: I thought that Meg’s inability to recognize someone as being around her own age to be completely unbelievable, especially as it is not explained as to what leads her to make that mistake. Perhaps it is understandable when she is initially arrested as she is intoxicated, but she is subsequently sober and still makes the same mistake until corrected. To me it was very jarring because it doesn’t make any sense and pulls you out of the story.

Share A Quote From The Book:
Tiffany pushed her coffee away. “When do you think you’ll see John again? Are you planning to rob a bank?”

“Ha. He may be at a college party in Birmingham tonight. That’s was the other reason I called you. I need you to do with me.”

“No way,” she said. “I don’t want to drink.”

“Believe me, I don’t want you to drink. Ever. Again. You don’t have to drink. A college party isn’t that big a deal. It’s a lot like a high school party. The boys are still stupid. They’re just taller and hold their liquor better.”

Would I Recommend This Book: Yes

Would I Re-Read This Book: Yes

Rating: Five out of five stars.

Other Comments: This is on the mature end of the spectrum for a young adult book. If you are easily offended by adult topics, proceed with caution.


Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Format: Nook e-book

Number of Pages: 284

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of the Marked Men series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Sometimes opposites don’t just attract – they catch fire and burn the city down

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want – and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess – and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw – even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails and spilled secrets lead to a night that neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love…or each other.

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: Rule. I am a sucker for a completely screwed-up, train wreck male lead, and Rule fits the bill nicely. I love that this story is told from both Rule’s and Shaw’s point of view. It makes the story all that much better to not only get to enjoy Rule through Shaw’s eyes, but also to get inside that messed up head of his and see what makes him act the way he does.
Also, kudos to Jay Crownover because she has the male voice down pat. Sometimes when stories are told from multiple points of view they can all sound very similar. But the writing style and word choice changes enough that, in this case, each character has a very distinctive voice, and Rule’s is very clearly and authentically male – something that a lot of female writers struggle with.

What I Liked Least About This Book: Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE his book. And I don’t know that I would actually change this aspect (or any other) of it – but I’ve got to pick something I don’t like…

I didn’t like that Shaw’s personality and back ground seemed to follow what is fast turning into the stereotypical young adult/new adult heroine. Innocent, virginal, pure-as-the-driven-snow good girl who has a bad home life which makes her feel even more like she has to be perfect. Like I said, I like the story the way it is, and I like Shaw. She is perfect for Rule - he needs someone he can protect. It is just unfortunate that this type of heroine has become the norm because it means that Shaw comes across as a bit formulaic and gets lost amongst the gaggle of others just like her, instead of standing out like she deserves to do.

Share A Quote From The Book:
I covered her entire palm with a detailed drawing of a sacred heart; it matched the one I had inked on the center of my chest. It had flames dancing up the back, a crown of thorns on top of it, a spray of roses along the bottom, and in the center I drew a scrolling banner with my name in the center. “Here’s my heart, Shaw. You have it in your hands, and I promise you are the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought, and if you try to give it back I’m not taking it.

Would I Recommend This Book: Yes

Would I Re-Read This Book: I already have – more than once.

Rating: Five out of five stars!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Author: Jay Crownover

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Format: Nook e-book

Number of Pages: 269

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of the Marked Men series, but can be read as a stand-alone as each of the books is about a different couple.

Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right…
Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed “bad boy” friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won’t let herself get burned again. She’s waiting to fall in love with the perfect man – a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he’s returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome’s used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier – but none of those fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it all alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray. Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever…

Happily Ever After: yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: I liked that this book gave us insight on and closure to the life of Rome and Rule’s brother Remy who was first introduced in Rule. I also appreciated the friendship between Rome and Asa.

What I Liked Least About This Book: The epilogue. I didn’t like that the storyline for the next Marked Men book Nash began in this book. I like that these books, while part of the over-arching Marked Men series, are basically stand-alones. Although, because they are all friends the previous couples make appearances in each subsequent book and obviously life is continuing on for them and things keep happening to them, each couple’s story begins and ends in one, self-contained book. The plot lines in the epilogue seemed very unnecessary in this book since they were essentially not about Rome and Cora. It felt a bit like Nash and Saint were infringing on Rome and Cora’s book. And it left a cliff hanger (for Nash’s story, not Rome’s thank goodness), and I HATE cliffhangers!

Share A Quote From The Book:
“What did you call me?”

“Captain No-Fun.”

He let out a chuckle that sounded rusty from lack of use and he shook his head at me.

“Staff Sergeant No-Fun is more accurate.”

I gaped a little in surprise that a sense of humor actually lurked somewhere under all the muscle and broodiness.

“I call my dad ‘Admiral Ass Hat,’ he doesn’t really think it’s funny.”

The scar on his forehead twitched again. “Your dad was in the navy?”
“Oh yeah. He was totally Popeye.”

“Was he really an admiral?” There was a shade of respect in his tone. 

“Yep, so you can imagine how thrilled he was trying to rein me in when I was younger.”

Would I Recommend This Book: Yes

Would I Re-Read This Book: Yes

Rating: four out of five stars

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bad For You

Author: Abbi Glines

Genre: New Adult Fiction

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Format: Nook e-book

Number of Pages: 200

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: It is part of the Sea Breeze series, but it could be read as a stand-alone, as each book in the series is about a different couple.

Summary: Addiction is part of Krit Corbin’s nature - and women have always been his favorite obsession. But that’s the life of a lead singer in a band. He can have any woman he wants – anywhere, anytime. Well, except one.

Blythe Denton is used to being alone. The minister’s family who raised her never accepted her as their own, and the cruel minister’s wife made sure Blythe understood just how unworthy she was of love. So when she finally gets the chance to live by herself, Blythe takes it and moves into an apartment building with a loud upstairs neighbor who keeps throwing parties all night long.

It’s during one such party when Krit opens the door to find his new neighbor standing there. Blythe wants him to turn down the music, but he convinces her to stay. She’s nothing like the women who parade in and out of his apartment, but Krit can’t resist her – her brown hair, cute glasses, and sexy innocence is too much for him to ignore.

Determined to win Blythe over, Krit Corbin may have just found his biggest addiction yet.

Happily Ever After: Yes

What I Liked Most About This Book: Krit. I didn’t instantly fall in love with Krit when he first appeared in Misbehavin’g like many others seemed to do. As such, I was a bit wary about my chances of liking this story, but as I am a HUGE Abbi Glines fan, I gave it a shot. I am glad I did, Krit totally proved himself to me. I guess I am a total sucker for a screwed-up, broken male lead.

What I Liked Least About This Book: The book was pretty predictable and the major plot twists were a bit obvious. I guessed they were coming AGES before they did.

Share A Quote From The Book:
Once I had thought I understood jealousy. I has seen the girl I was sure I loved in the arms of another man. One she wanted. One who she deserved. But that hadn’t been jealousy. It had been loss. Jess had been a lot like me. Hell, Jess may have been just like me. When life had felt lonely, I knew Jess was there.
This burning possessive fury that was pumping in my veins at the thought of Linc touching Blythe or seeing her orgasm or kissing her lips was all consuming. I’d never felt this before.

“Krit, meet jealousy. It’s a bitter bitch,” Green said with an amused grin.

Would I Recommend This Book: Absolutely.

Would I Re-Read This Book: I am sure I will re-read it a million times, like I have all of Abbi Glines’ other books. It will probably give Just for Now a run for its money as my most re-read Glines book.

Rating: Four-and-a-half out of five stars

Other Comments:  I am pretty bummed that we didn’t meet the members of Jackdown until this book, which is 7th in the Sea Breeze series. They seem like pretty cool dudes and I would LOVE to see more of them and get their stories as well. Too bad that (I think) there is only one more book in this series.