Category Archives: Mare’s Review

Pre-Release Review: Why I Loathe Sterling Lane by Ingrid Paulson

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Blurb:

Per her 537 rules, Harper Campbell keeps her life tidy—academically and socially. But the moment Sterling Lane transfers into her tiny boarding school, her twin brother gets swept up in Sterling’s pranks and schemes and nearly gets expelled. Harper knows it’s Sterling’s fault, and to protect her brother, she vows to take him down. As she exposes his endless school violations, he keeps striking back, framing her for his own infractions. Worst of all, he’s charmed the administration into thinking he’s harmless, and only Harper sees him for the troublemaker he absolutely is.

As she breaks rule after precious rule in her battle of wits against Sterling and tension between them hits a boiling point, she’s horrified to discover that perhaps the two of them aren’t so different. And maybe she doesn’t entirely hate him after all. Teaming up with Sterling to save her brother might be the only way to keep from breaking the most important rule—protecting Cole.

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Release Date:

June 6th 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Pre-order Here:

amazon

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Mare's Review

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Thank you Netgalley and Entangled for a copy of this e-arc.

I’m not sure where to start with my review Ha! This book was… Im gonna say strange but not in a bad way. It was…. different I guess.

Think the Hating Game for teens and 1st love.

I don’t think it is explained where the location is located? I know that the school was big on lacrosse….. I know there is a headmaster… and I know there are 537 Rules that Harper follows.

Harper was hilarious. It’s a deep rooted problem for truly honest people to be labelled as sarcastic. I know. I’m one of them. Although I am both deeply honest as well as sarcastic so I guess for me those labels fit.

I love slow burn- enemies to lovers book and this one filled both slots with a X.

I want to tell you guys that YA is a hard limit for me but because I’m truly honest YA has been my go to read since Fall 2016. There is something refreshing with reading about first love and those nerves and those butterflies that the general romance can give you but when everything is a cliche of another you don’t feel those flutters in the pit of your stomach really.

So if you liked the Hating Game and if you liked Carry On I would say you’re gonna enjoy this one.

Mare

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Mare's Review, NetGalley, YA

All For the Game Series by Nora Sakavic

Book 1: 

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Blurb: 

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

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Book 2: 

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Blurb: 

Book 2 of All for the Game; The Raven King follows The Foxhole Court

The Foxes are a fractured mess, but their latest disaster might be the miracle they’ve always needed to come together as a team. The one person standing in their way is Andrew, and the only one who can break through his personal barriers is Neil.

Except Andrew doesn’t give up anything for free and Neil is terrible at trusting anyone but himself. The two don’t have much time to come to terms with their situation before outside forces start tearing them apart. Riko is intent on destroying Neil’s fragile new life, and the Foxes have just become collateral damage.

Neil’s days are numbered, but he’s learning the hard way to go down fighting for what he believes in, and Neil believes in Andrew even if Andrew won’t believe in himself.

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Book 3: 

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Blurb: 

Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live.

Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself.

He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed—or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.

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Purchase Link:

Book 1: FREE

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Book 2:  99 Cents

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Book 3:  99 Cents 

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Mare's Review

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How do you write a review for something so epic that words can’t describe the ride?
How do you write a review to reflect every single thing you felt while reading 1 of the most amazing series ever put out?
How do you write a review so that you can convey to the author and the world that you are absolutely speechless and blindsided for the love that you have for this series.

You just cant. I wouldn’t do this series justice. But I sure as fuck am gonna try.

Its YA/NA which sometimes can be a hard limit for me. But from the 1st sentence of book 1 I was hooked, line, and sinker.

That feeling that as soon as book 3 is done you’re jumping back into book 1. Yah. That feeling.

I love books for the words. It doesn’t matter what the story is about, rarely for me, what matters is the words. And Nora Sakavic had them in spades. She slayed me in short sentences and she slayed me in the long ones.
She pretty much just slayed me open. If she could have asked me “yes or no” my answer would have always been “Yes”.

I love books for words, but I also loved this series for the story. It had all my crutches in 1. All the crutches! And Jesus did that ever make me happy!!!!
Boys
Gangs
Mafia
Dysfunction
Boys on Boys
And a good good seriously amazing mind fuck.

There are so many main MCs in this book, its hard to just love 1 or 2 or hate them all.
You felt their pain and you felt their joy. The ride, Jesus the ride!!! I loved it!!!!!!!

But my heart was claimed and owned by Andrew.

JFC. Andrew.

description
I don’t want to dissect everything today
I don’t mean to pick you apart you see
But I can’t help it
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off
Slap me with a splintered ruler
And it would knock me to the floor if I wasn’t there already
If only I could hunt the hunter
description

” Is your spine the spine of the righteous?” Andrew wondered. “Are you trying your best to step on my toes because you are feeling the tragic weight of the holier than thou?”

description
And all I really want is some patience
A way to calm the angry voice
And all I really want is deliverance
Do I wear you out
You must wonder why I’m so relentless and all strung out
I’m consumed by the chill of solitary
I’m like Estella
I like to reel it in and then spit it out
I’m frustrated by your apathy
And I am frightened by the corrupted ways of this land
If only I could meet the Maker
description


“I hate you.” Andrew said casually. He took a last long drag from his cigarette and flicked it off the roof. “You were supposed to be a side effect of the drugs.”

description
What I wouldn’t give to find a soulmate
Someone else to catch this drift
And what I wouldn’t give to meet a kindred
Enough about me, let’s talk about you for a minute
Enough about you, let’s talk about life for a while
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses
Falling all around…all around
Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?
description

Stay,” Andrew said, and leaned down to kiss him. Time was nothing. Seconds were days, were years, were the breaths that caught between their mouths and the bite of Neil’s fingernails against his palms, the scrape of teeth against his lower lip and the warm slide of a tongue against his.”

This ride will stay with me for a long time. I love feeling that epicness.
I hate losing it

I cant wait for Nora Sakavic to write more WORDS! I cannot freaking WAIT.

I’m so glad these were made into Paperbacks. I hug them… regularly.

I have also re-read this series a billion times and I wont stop rereading them because they are everything.

Mare

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Filed under LGBT, Mare's Review, NA romance, Uncategorized, YA

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

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Blurb:

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Add to TBR:

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Buy: 

amazon

kobo

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Mare's Review

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Sigh.

You know those books that you want to end but you never want to end?
Yah.
That’s…
Last Seen Leaving.

The mystery was good. So good. And I love that I knew knew knew who who who.
And that I knew knew knew that tricky part at the end. I knew.
Happy dance you guys. I love when I figure out a good mystery well in advance. I feel super smart 🙂

Anyways I tweeted yesterday that all my Adrien with E lovers should read this book because Flynn was hands down Adrien @ 15 except without the heart issues.

I loved Flynn. I wanted to wrap him in my arms and just rock him. He reminded me of my kid in lots of ways. And it was rather endearing to this mama Bear.

January…. I swear I liked her less the more the book went on.
Ohhhhh those tangled webs we weave when 1st we practice to deceive……..
But in the end, I was happy for her….. maybe happy is too strong a word…. but I was resolved with the end. Except you know I’d like a follow up story ok.
Like say 10 years down the road.. that would be really really nice.

And I love any character with the name Kaz. Its like I have to love them just for that name alone 🙂

Also, the writing was lush.
The author really can weave a story. I love books for the way words flow together and these flowed so lovely you guys. It was like lyrical music for my soul.

Mare

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Filed under A Must Read, LGBT, Mare's Review, Uncategorized

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Blurb: 

Caleb Stone was raised on the Upper East Side, where wealth and lineage reigns, and “alternative lifestyles” are hidden. It took him years to come out to his family, but he’s still stuck in the stranglehold of their expectations. Caleb knows he has to build his confidence and shake things up, but he doesn’t know how… until Oliver Buckley enters the picture.

Oli is everything Caleb isn’t—risk-taking, provocative, and fiercely independent. Disowned by his family, Oli has made his own way in the world and is beholden to no one. After a chance encounter on New Year’s Eve, Caleb is smitten.

As Caleb sheds the insecurities that have held him back for years, he makes bold steps toward changing his career and escaping years of sexual repression. But for Caleb to take full control of his life, he has to be brave enough to confront his feelings and trust Oli with his heart.

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Expected Release Date: 

download

April 18th, 2016

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Mare's Review

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Thank you Mr Hassell for a copy of this ARC. 

One day as I was scrolling my Twitter feed I came across a tweet by Hassell that claimed “The Hills” by Weeknd fit with First and First. Now being Canadian this song was played over and over and over and over again cause we rep our own.

But considering the lyrics I was looking forward to this story. And honestly it fits. It fits so much. It fits Oli. Like a Glove…

4

You said keep our business on the low-low
I’m just tryna get you out the friend zone
‘Cause you look even better than the photos

4

And as I was reading this song played a loop in my head. Constantly. I love when a song can fit and make you feel like the words are so intertwined.

4

I’ma let you know and keep it simple
Tryna keep it up, don’t seem so simple
I just fucked two bitches ‘fore I saw you
You gon’ have to do it at my tempo
Always tryna send me off to rehab
Drugs start to feeling like it’s decaf
I’m just tryna live life for the moment
And all these motherfuckers want a real love

4

Book 3 in the Borough’s series is very much different to the 1st two in terms of angst/drama factor. First and First was very much low key. We still had issues that needed to be worked out, we had 2 characters that had flaws, we had degrees of separation btwn all the characters. I liked the way it weaved.

4

I only call you when it’s half past five
The only time that I’ll be by your side
I only love it when you touch me, not feel me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me
When I’m fucked up, that’s the real me, yeah

4

It is no mystery that I love the way Hassell writes. I love how he realistically portrays his characters. I love how in sync he is with the times. I love that his characters are older, experienced, flawed, judgmental and  cool.

I really doubt that any of the rest of the characters in this series will get as close to Raymond in my view of best characters ever in a book ha! Except maybe Aiden. As a side character I really really really liked him! I hope Hassell writes his story… A novella? A something!!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!

I’m looking forward to book 4 in this series that comes out…. I dont know when…. But I’m pretty confident I know who its about. Well 1 of the characters at least 🙂

And with that I’m gonna leave you with the Hills…..

And when you read F&F and then listen to this song you can agree with the author. He knows what he’s talking about 🙂

download

Mare~

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by | March 17, 2016 · 5:40 pm

Pre-Release review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

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Blurb: 

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

Expected Pub Date: 

October 26th 2015

Preorder: 

download

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Mare's Review

Thank you Santino for a copy of an ARC.

I dont even know how to review this book.

Maybe its because I dont think I have ever read a gothic book? Or gothic horror? Yah I’m pretty sure I haven’t read anything like Stygian.

I think the whole time I read this book I was in the state of “I don’t even know”

If it was any other author I think this book would have been a DNF. I love the way Santino writes and I also love the way he world builds. He world builds like nothing before or since. He has this way of drawing you in, and keeping you until there is nothing left and you really just want more. Whether it be assassins or drug dealers, teachers, rockers or….. vampires.

I think when you read a book, no matter the genre, it makes you reflect on your own life experiences. This band with all its flaws reminded me of the boyz I hung out with it high school. Sigh. So many reminders. So many…. same.things.

The characters were all soooooooooo flawed. Like serious head issues, filled with piss and vinegar and anger and insecurities. I felt for all of them while also just really wanting to junk punch them at the same time.

If I have to pick a favourite character it’s most def Watts. Oh he broke my heart. His relentless pursuit to forget. His relentless pursuit to just FORGET.  I wanted to hug him and also maybe, just maybe bitch slap him. You’ll see.

I wish I felt more of a connection btwn Jeremy and Kennedy. I didn’t see love, I thought more maybe some hero worship? Some idolization.

I won’t discuss the end, cause one could ask “What end?”……….

Mare~

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, Dreamspinner Press, LGBT, Mare's Review, MM Romance, November Release, Uncategorized

Pre Release: Jefferson Blythe, Esquire by Josh Lanyon

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Blurb: 

Fresh out of college and recently dumped by his long-time girlfriend, shy and bookish Jefferson Blythe is touring Europe using an inherited vintage copy of Esquire Magazine’s Europe in Style.

Jefferson Blythe, Esquire is about old maps, new adventures, getting lost, getting found, getting drunk, and being mistaken for an international criminal. In other words, normal summer vacation when you’re in your twenties.

Preorder: 

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Expected Publication Date: November 16th 2015

Mare's Review

3.5 This is so Josh stars

So Jefferson Blythe, such an easy read really. And truly it is very much a JL Book.

Did I view it as a NA contemporary? No I didn’t really.

It was definitely not heavy on the romance.

It reminded me a bit of Jake & Adrien…..

Or Adrien as a young man.

I find JL’s writing to be so poetic. It flows so well, and makes you feel so many things all at once. To me it is heart wrenching, her words, which is why I find I love to read her. I can re read her books and fall in love over and over again and each re read I learn more or I see things differently because I read it in a different mood.

“I kissed him with all the skill and experience I had, and though the shape of his mouth was different and the line of his jaw was harder and the taste of his tongue was most definitely male, it simply made it easier, sweeter, more right.” 

I will have to re read Jefferson at some point and see if I view it differently than I did the 1st time around.

The mystery wasn’t JL’s best and it was funny how silly the villain’s were.

And then there was George. He was tough nut to crack, I couldn’t get a read on him and I wanted him to wake the hell up and see what was in front of him.

I hope that we can get a short or something for Jefferson and George so we see a glimpse into the future, I would like a glimpse. Something? Anything?

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Mare~

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, LGBT, Mare's Review, NetGalley, November Release, Uncategorized

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

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Blurb: 

Sisterhood in all its drama, hilarity and tears is at the heart ofNew York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins’s thoroughly captivating new novel, featuring the wit and romance that readers have come to expect from the much-loved creator of the Blue Heron series…

Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she’s still involved in her ex-husband’s life. In fact, Owen’s new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny’s new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn’t helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll be able to bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.

Her timing couldn’t be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren’t in Rachel’s nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ “perfect” marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she’s been keeping since childhood.

During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on.

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Buy It! 

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Mare's Review

In July I drove 8 hours to NYC so that I could go to the RWA signing.
I was so excited!
I couldn’t wait to get some signed books and meet some of the authors that attended.
I waited in line so that I could get a Kristan Higgins signed book and meet her and tell her HOW MUCH I LOVED

Just One Of The Guys.

So I meet Queen Higgins and I gush and tell her how much I loved JOOTG. How I cried and laughed and cried and laughed. And she responded with…

“If you loved JOOTG wait till you read If You Only Knew.”

I guess Queen Higgins knows what she’s talkin about!

I stopped reading HET books 2 years ago. And then KH will come out with a new book and I stop everything and sit for 2-3 hours until it is devoured. Because she truly is the only author who has ever made me laugh through my tears.

If You Only Knew is not really a Romance and its not really Women’s Fiction and its not really a Drama. It is not a book I can stuff into a genre.

If You Only Knew is heartwrenching, wicked funny, full of anger and piss and vinegar and tears. It is real life and a great glimpse into sisterhood, marriage, parenting, cheating and divorce.

I won’t tell you the script. I can just tell you that as soon as I was done I rec’d it to Silvana and said GO READ THIS BOOK. You WILL DEVOUR IT. And you know what! She did.

So, Ms Higgins. Thank you. It was an honor to meet you, shake your hand and get a book signed.  Thanks for being wicked cool and for writing some of the best romances that I could ever hope to devour. Thanks for making your heroines wicked awesome and independent and real in a book world of whiney virgins.  Thanks for making  me remember why I fell in love with reading M/F books.

And I cant wait for Conner’s book. I WANT THAT ONE SO BAD!!!!!!!!

Mare~

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