Category Archives: Standalone

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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Blurb

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Expected Release Date: 

May 30th 2017 by Delacorte Press

PreOrder: 

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Mare & Sil review

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Mare:

Readers beware. There can be spoilers in this review and I really really don’t think that you should be spoiled. Everyone deserves to read this book for the 1st time blindly. You have to go in blind. I went in thinking one thing and then another and then good Gawd another and I was wrong every single time.

This book was so many many things.

You will read many reviews that reference The Breakfast Club and that is not wrong. In a way I wish I watched the movie again before I read this story and not after because the similarities are there. Some.

I made Silvana read this book while I was still reading it so that I could talk to someone about it. And I loved seeing the story through her eyes. She was way smarter than me while reading it cause she saw what I didnt.

The hints are there. They are. But I just kept wondering which one of them could have done it really. Cause that’s the thing… you meet 5 people, 1 dies and the other 4…. you just dont think it can be any of them.

And for my Jake Riordan fans. This here book has the younger Jake in it and the similarities between them is freakishly scary. I asked Ms MacManus on twitter if she has yet to meet the older Jake Riordan and she hasn’t. I hope she takes my suggestion and reads him 🙂 Ohh what fun she will have!

Silvana:

5 STARS!

After being in a book funk for the past few months, I wanted a book that I couldn’t put down. I was losing hope then decided to read One Of Us is lying after Mare recommended it and this book delivered.

Reading it, I was reminded of The Breakfast Club, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars however the author delivered a plot that’s unique and intriguing.

It did touch on the anxiety of our young striving to survive High School, in an age where they are all connected by social media, also how that same platform can hold them hostage and create a big divide.

I spent the first third of book trying to guess the “who done it” and why, then decided to just let the mystery reveal itself to me; my theory was only part right and a LOT wrong.

I am trying to make my review as vague as possible because as Mare mentioned, readers should be going in blind. Loved reading and discussing this novel with her because Mare’s enthusiasm was contagious, and this book was good stuff.

Pretty damn good stuff.

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Filed under Advance Reader's Copy, NetGalley, Standalone, YA

The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran Review

imageIn a debut romance as passionate and sweeping as the British Empire, Meredith Duran paints a powerful picture of an aristocrat torn between two worlds, an heiress who dares to risk everything…and the love born in fire and darkness that nearly destroys them.

From exotic sandstone palaces…

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé’s betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom sheuld not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London…

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous — and that a single decision can alter one’s life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned…and some passions never die. (less)

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five-stars And more!

So this what a book hangover feels like?! I have finished this book days ago and I still can’t let go of it. I had to google how to get rid of a book hangover but nothing worked, I mourned with Ashlee who seems to be just as lost as me, tried other books to abandon after a few chapters.

One word for this book, GEM.

This novel is uplifting and heart-wrenching at the same time. The writing is faultless, the imagery incredible and the connection between our lovers scorching.

As I read, it was easy to imagine being part of the epic story that our author created, to experience our protagonists’ every emotion.

Our hero was perfect in every way, well to me he was. I know readers relate to books differently and what works for me may not touch other readers as deeply, but Julian was perfection!

Julian’s passion, sense of honor, cynicism at times and love are portrayed wonderfully. Ok I’ m going to fangirl a bit more and declare that he is one of ‘BEST HEROES’ I have read about.

Our heroine is as interesting and likeable, Emma’s character was a joy to read as well as her journey throughout the book. As a reader, I wanted to ease her pain which I felt alongside with her.

They had so many obstacles to overcome, so many things working against that made my heart hurt; I understood what motivated them even though I didn’t agree with a few of their actions.

Now let’s talk about the sex scenes, lately I skim those thinking ‘same old same old’ but not with Julian and Emma; reading them gave more glimpses into their characters, besides the fact that I thought they were HOT.

I would have loved an epilogue, but that’s because I’m greedy and didn’t want to let Julian and Emma go.

I am intrigued by Lockwood’s character and his wife, I googled to see if there is a book written about him yet but found nothing- I would really love to read more about him. I will be trying other books by Ms Duran DEFINITELY.

I usually add quotes, but there are so many that I highlighted and you NEED to read this book to experience every word.

 

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Against All Odds (Against #1) by Angie McKeon

18803442Our lives shattered… Our hearts broken… Our souls torn to pieces…

He was my world, my whole life. My reason for breathing. I had a perfect marriage, a baby on the way, and I felt fulfilled—almost invincible.

Until the day life hit, leaving me broken, vulnerable, and alone.

She was my life. My ray of hope on the cloudiest day. With her, I thought I had the ultimate safety. A love that would never hurt or betray me. I gave her my heart, my body, and my soul.

Until she broke me, destroying every dream and illusion I had about life, love, and marriage.

In our grief, we made a mistake. A mistake I’m not sure we can come back from.

*A Contemporary Adult Romance novel*

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Silvana's Review

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5++++ Stars

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar khayyam

We can never go back in time and rewrite the past, we just have to deal with the consequences of our actions and hopefully learn from them; In Against All Odds, Kylie and Cooper find this out the hard way.  Such a painful journey these two have to undertake  after tragedy strikes, we see them deal with heartbreak, grief, commit actions with severe consequences and just fall apart.  The journey was no less painful for me as a reader It was such an angsty, heart-rending read, however it was worth it to see them realize that their past choices and mistakes shouldn’t define them,  but are a lesson on how to build a better future.

“We’re still dealing with the consequences of our actions. The people you drag down with you never go away. You have to pay a penance for your sins.”
  Cooper, Against All Odds

We start this book with Kylie’s POV where we meet Kylie and Cooper in the moment where their worst nightmare becomes true That prologue just killed me. Afterwards we see two broken people who surrender to their pain and grief after the most painful of tragedies, becoming victims of insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.  Throughout the first half of the book, I was conflicted between feelings of sympathy, exasperation and despair; to see them love so deeply and yet hurt each other so cruelly was frustrating. Reading the flashbacks where these two were in a happier place is just as heartbreaking, you just want them to find that again.

I was able to breathe again reading the second half in Cooper’s POV, that’s not to say it was less angsty and emotional but the tone becomes more hopeful and it’s such a pleasure witnessing them work hard towards rebuilding their marriage.

My favorite character has to be Grayson, the best friend. My heart went out to him, he was put in such an impossible position and it was obvious that it will end up in heartbreak. I can’t wait for his book, he needs and deserves happiness.

I love a book that provokes different reactions,  where I experience every emotion the characters are going through but I cannot stop reading. I was left thinking long after finishing about what would I have done if I were in their place,  books that consume me even after I reach the end are very rare and that’s one of the reasons I loved this book.  Angie Mckeon can certainly write frustrating messed up characters, with this book she has shown she can write and do it beautifully.

For a consuming and engaging read about passion, pain, hope,  forgiveness and redemption, I highly recommend.

His love has resurrected me and taught me that even in the most awful of times, there’s always a spark of hope. A lighthouse shining in the dark to bring me home to shore. That in adversity and tragedy, if you have a will to go on and to fight for your tomorrow you’ll be okay.

Kylie, Against All Odds

 

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Monster by Francette Phal Review

Accidental Gold digger.Circumstance forced Eden Mercer to sell herself to Dominic Armstrong for half a million dollars and in return she is to play the dutiful wife in public and submit to him completely behind closed doors.
The Tyrant.Dominic is Ruthless, manipulative and sadistic but Eden is determined not to break under his cruelty. But how does one persevere when in the clutches of a Monster?
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Silvana's Review
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A wonderfully woven tale of misunderstandings, passion and forgiveness.
Written in multiple POV, this story is not unique, the premise is not different but the author made sure to deliver a book that is unique and different with a plot that was well-developed; She had the ability to capture my attention with a stellar writing style, smooth flowing prose and characters I was able to connect with, I was hooked from the first page.

Dominic is a man with many issues brought on by a horrific childhood, Eden is a woman in debt. The moment Dominic sees Eden,  he is consumed by his desire to have her, all he could think of is owning her. Eden’s dire financial situation leads her to accept Dominic’s offer of marriage, thus setting up the events that make up this compelling novel; She naively thinks that with this union, she will find stability, a safety net and hopefully happiness. Boy is she wrong because all Dominic sees in her is a gold digging opportunist and he treats her as such for 4 miserable years.

Eden finally has enough and decides to flee, we see Dominic doing and using every means in his possession in order to find her. Their reunion is a wake up call for him, he starts to reassess his former beliefs where Eden is concerned, he begins to SEE her and in doing so, he sees the horrific mistakes he committed in their marriage.

I went in expecting to hate Dominic, but couldn’t. He was as the title suggests behaving like a monster but was he really one?  Dominic was  a mystery that I wanted to see unraveled.

She didn’t understand how someone could be such an open enigma. But that was exactly how Eden saw him. She’d formed an opinion of him long ago based on her experiences and she’d been content to believe in that opinion as true, until now. It was the mystery of him that piqued her unfailing curiosity and try as she might, she could not abandon the idea that there was much more to him than what he chose to display to her and the rest of the world.

I loved seeing Dominic do everything in his power to get Eden to forgive him and to be redeemed, I loved him full-stop.

“I want you to tell me how to make it better.” “How can you make it better when we’re already so broken? How can you make it better when I’m so afraid to let you in?” “Don’t…don’t give up on me,” he entreated. “I know I can be the man you deserve, Eden.”

Eden is a great heroine, she is a strong one. Enjoyed being in her head, felt her pain, pitied her indecision and admired her love for Dominic yet at the same time protecting herself and what’s really important. One person I took a strong dislike to was Jenna, Eden’s so-called best friend.

All I can add is that I will definitely reread Monster in the future. This is my first book by Francette Phal but certainly won’t be my last, in fact having read a sneak peek into her next novel, I’m already looking forward to it and to Carver.

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Filed under A Must Read, Francette Phal, Standalone

MUD VEIN by Tarryn Fisher Release Date: April 18th!!

MUD VEIN BANNER FOR BLOG AND WEB

Mud Vein Cover

 

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When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

 

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You don’t have to be alone. We are mostly born that way though. We grow up being nurtured to believe that the other half of our soul is somewhere out there.  And since there are seven billion people inhabiting our planet, chances are one of them is for you. To find that person, to find your soul piece, or your great love we must count on our paths diverging, the tangling of lives, the soft whispering of one soul recognizing another.

I found my piece. She wasn’t what I was expecting. If you formed a woman’s soul out of black graphite, bathed it in blood, and then rolled it around in the softest rose petals, you still wouldn’t have touched on the complication that was, my match.

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I am a real life villain, truly. I drink sick amounts of Starbucks. Most of the time my hair smells like coffee. I was born in South Africa, and lived there for most of my childhood. I moved to Seattle just for the rain. Rome is my favorite place in the world so far, Paris comes in at a close second. I read and write more than I sleep. When I was eleven, I wrote an entire novel about runaway orphans, using only purple ink. I am addicted to Florence and the Machine and will travel to see concerts. I love scary movies and giraffes. I spend way too much time on Facebook. Meet you there?…

Facebook |Twitter |Author website  |Goodreads

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Queers by A.J Rose

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Synopsis: 

Within her walls are stories. Love. Laughter. Tears. Lives lived to the fullest, and sometimes cut short before they really get started. She’s seen it all, from homelessness to super-stardom, boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as lamps, and boy, does she have secrets she could tell. Her one truth is that everyone who darkens her doors is accepted with open arms and a song.

Her name is Queers, and for one of L.A.’s few dueling piano bars, she has a lot of heart. On her stage, the beautiful voice of Duff McKinley rings so true he captures the shattered heart of his boss, Brad Mosely, who checked out of life three years ago. But even lifelong dreams have untold consequences.

Duff came to L.A. to chase his musical aspirations, but his best friend Garrett Slater accompanied him to chase a wish of his own: finding The One, his white knight. He believes Landon Kennedy fits the bill. Suave, handsome, and powerful in the music industry, Landon can show Garrett a life he’s only seen in movies. But even as Landon helps Duff realize his dreams, he brings Garrett into a nightmare he may never leave, one from which Garrett’s roommate, Jackson Moriarty, is determined to rescue him. If Garrett repays Jackson by seeing his own charms, so much the better.

Yes, within her walls, Queers has long history. Unrequited love, sinister intentions, fame, fortune, and a group of friends and lovers who would do anything for each other no matter the cost.

Purchase Link: 

http://www.amazon.ca/Queers-AJ-Rose-ebook/dp/B00I5CQ40K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392302397&sr=8-1&keywords=Queers

Official Book Trailer:

My review: 

And these are the Gay Days of Our Lives

Days

HA! This book. I’m wavering between 3.5 – 4 stars.

Ok so I’ll be honest. I got bored in the beginning of this BR. In Goodreads there was a thread going and I saw everyone’s comments and I was like HUH. DAMMIT. Another book that everyone is absorbing and I’m having a hard time turning the page without yawning, shit I even read another book in between. THEN while Lil ole me is still at 19% everyone else in the BR was at 85% AND not that they spoiled it cause they didn’t but they did talk. And it was OMG!… I feel sick!… I cant believe that happened!… OMG wait till you get to 75/85%. Well I wanted to KNOW SO BAD SO I went back to Queers and after the 25% mark, fuck me sideways, I didn’t want to stop reading.

And to my buddies in this BR~ I have a hard on for Moonshine now. Yes I do. She really got on my nerves in the beginning and I wanted to slap her silly. but meh, so did my BFF when we first met and look at us now! 24 years later and we are tighter than a condom that is too small. Is a condom ever too small tho??? Ok tighter than a fat man in spandex.

I am not going to go into details about what happened in this book because seriously. There is A LOT that happened in the pages of this book.

Queers- Where everyone knows your game.

^^^^^^^^^^^ lies ^^^^^^^^^^

Nobody knew anybody’s game. Secrets and lies, and cries and ties.

The cast I mean characters were CRAZYYYYYY, sweet, dumb, pathetic, awesome, annoying, clueless, dumb, broken, scarred, dumb, shit did I mention DUMB??????

I sound like I didn’t like it. BUT. I did. So much going on within 600 pages. So DAMN MUCH.

Landon: Die Die Die. I hate you, hate you, hate you with a passion that burns. My only wish, that this book was written a smidge differently. I wish someone beat his f’n ass. BEAT IT! 

Garrett: You dumb DUMB DUMB boy. DUMB. That is all. I say this with love. 

Jackson: You have my HEART. 

Duff- I liked you well enough. And then everyone knew your name I mean game. 

Brad- Meh. I usually love a broken man, how sad that you just weren’t broken enough for me. I know callous… but true. 

Jennica- Awesome- and you kick ass too! 

Moonshine~ Ok I admit, I didn’t care for your nosybody busybody antics. But my dear, you worked it out. Yes you did. You got there. And if Jackson has my heart, you also have a minuscule piece of it.  

So if you want to read a whirlwind drama, this book is for you. The angst flows off the pages, ummmm, pretty much each page, in a very dense sense. Edge of your seat, WTF moments, lots of WTF moments.

This book does contain abuse, so if that bothers you, tread carefully while reading this.

Mare~Slitsread

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