ARC Review – Broken (Redemption #1) by Lauren Layne

BrokenTitleBroken

SeriesRedemption

AuthorLauren Layne

Published:  September 2014

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

***Note:  This book was provided to the Book Hookup by the publisher via Net Galley but that in no way affected this review!

Ana and Celeste will put Broken on their top shelf!

Ana:  5 stars!  I pretty much loved everything about this book…the characters, the storyline, the pace, the writing, the love, the chemistry…ya…EVERYTHING!!

Paul and Olivia couldn’t be more different, yet their personalities were so perfect for each other.  Paul was broken and surly but, under that gruff exterior, had a heart of gold.  A man who helped others but didn’t want anyone to know, a man who tried to stay away from what he wanted so that he didn’t hurt anyone…a man who had served his country but now was all alone.  Olivia was more than just a spoiled rich girl.  She had depth and substance.  She wanted more from her life and needed to get away from her past.  She’d been hurt (and had hurt others) but she dug deep and pulled out some strength that she didn’t even know she had.  She was fierce and sassy when she needed to be and I enjoyed how she set Paul off balance more than once! I really enjoyed their interactions and their banter was great.  Now, I’m an angst lover and this book had it in spades.  The raw emotion and the heat between these characters was fantastic.  Their chemistry was perfection…equal parts love and hate, desire and frustration, and want and need that, ultimately, explodes into flame!!  My heart beat along with theirs and exploded with joy as their relationship grew stronger!

top-shelf-250-x-275The pace of this story and the writing were great and the secondary character, although they didn’t play huge roles in the book, actually added depth to the story. This was definitely one of those books that I call a “job risker”…the kind of book you sneak-read at work even though you know you shouldn’t because you can’t be away from these characters for long and you have to read just one more page! :) [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Nico (The Leaves #3) by J.B. Hartnett

NicoTitleNico

SeriesThe Leaves

AuthorJ.B. Hartnett

Published:  February 2014

When I was a boy, I met a girl.
She didn’t know it then, but…
She changed me.

Now…..I am a man.
A man who is broken by the stories of the women who come to me.
They are my birds with broken wings.
I help them heal, help them to make them strong, so they can fly free.
Lark changed me. Loved Me. Made Me Strong.
With her, I am free.

I write…
To the girl of the past.
To the girl of my present.
And, the girl of my future.
Dear Dish…

Ana will put Nico on her second shelf!!

I have mixed feelings about this book and, even weeks after finishing it, it’s still difficult to pinpoint exactly why.  I really loved 2nd ShelfNico with his tough tattoo artist exterior and his caring, kind soul.  I liked the secondary characters and how they added depth to the story.  The writing was great and the plot had enough substance to make me keep reading late into the night. So…what is it about this book that keeps me from giving it a 5 star rating?

[Continue reading & get hooked!]

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) by Anna Carey

BlackbirdTitle: Blackbird
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: September 16, 2014
Genre: young adult suspense

Synopsis: This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

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**we received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher,
but that did not influence the review**

Celeste: 3 stars I was pretty excited as I started to read this story, and I was totally on the edge of my seat. You’ll have to remember that I’m a huge spoiler-phobe so while I had read the synopsis a while ago, I didn’t read it right before I began so I went in a little bit blind. Let me tell you, my head was spinning with questions and I think I felt just as scared as the heroine. Then top it off that it was told in 2nd person POV…I was definitely feeling a little out of my element. While I don’t think I really like a story told in 2nd person, I have to say it really set the tone of the book. Well done, Ms. Carey!

Just when something happened to convince me there would be answers there were actually only more questions. I was burning through the pages. This story was simple on the surface, but by the end I realized how layered and complex it really was. I think book 2 will reveal everything, and it will be the stuff of nightmares, crazy town!

So if this story is so exciting why just 3 stars? Well, I never connected with the characters. None of them. The potential was there but then I never got emotionally invested. The heroine can’t recall her name so she makes one up, but it was never really used very much. Ben, while he seemed nice…I never felt anything with him, and I couldn’t get that there was any connection with him and the heroine. I knew there was supposed to be a romance, or at least a feel of safety, but it just fell short. Later I got a little bit of an explanation to why the connection might not have worked for me, but I don’t think that was the intent. I think we, the reader, was supposed to feel a romance.

Would I rec this? Sure! It was a wild ride and it would be great to have book 2 in hand. I’m curious to see how wide spread the story is woven, to find out the depths it goes to. I think if I read the 2nd installment with no expectations of a romance I will have a different reaction. Overall, the story has so much potential, but the execution just needed some filling out to make it a more well rounded story for me. If you like crazy mind f*ckery thrillers, you should definitely give this a try.

Christina: 3.5 stars I’m not really even sure where to start with this story, so I guess I’ll start with what it’s about. A girl wakes up in the middle of the subway tracks with a train barreling toward her. She has no recollection of how she got there, where she is, or even who she is. Freeing herself from the tracks is only the first hurdle she must overcome. On the run from an unknown enemy, she quickly learns that she might be in danger. But from whom or what and why, well, that takes quite a lot of puzzling to start to figure out.

Carey chose to write this novel in second person, primarily from the unidentified girl’s POV. Unlike most reviewers who I’ve seen had trouble adjusting to the unique narrative, I was able to fall in line with it quickly and enjoyed this refreshing perspective. It was easy to feel as confused and scared as the girl because we’re technically experiencing everything with her firsthand. That being said, when it did shift to another narrator in the book, I found it a little jarring because I was taken so completely out of one character’s head and expected to adapt to the new character’s role in an instant.

As for the overall storyline and pacing, I completely blew through this book in a matter of hours because I needed all the answers immediately. I was one hundred percent invested from the very first page and the stakes only increased as the book moved along. With each new clue that we discovered and each betrayal or twist that came along, I was usually floored by them because I didn’t know what to expect at all and it seemed like the possibilities with direction were endless.

Would I rec this? Absolutely, that is to say if second person wouldn’t bother you. It was a thrilling adventure from start to finish, and I’m really curious about all the answers we’ll be getting in the last installment of this duology. I can’t wait to get my hands on it, especially with how this one ended.

A very special thanks to HarperTEEN and Edelweiss for providing us with an advanced copy of this title in exchange for our honest review.

Celestechristina

The Dolls (The Dolls #1) by Kiki Sullivan

  Title: The Dolls Series: The Dolls, Book 1 Author: Kiki Sullivan Expected Publication: September 2, 2014 Publisher: Balzer + Bray Pages: 384 Genres: Young Adult ♠ Paranormal ♠ Romance Source: Edelweiss Summary from Goodreads: Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Stacking the Shelves {50}

Don't Let Go

Welcome to Stacking The Shelves – hosted by Tynga over at Tynga’s Reviews!   Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-Books! Below is all the pretty books  our awesome haul … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

  Title: Heir of Fire Series: Throne of Glass, Book 3 Author: Sarah J. Maas ♠ @SJMaas Expected Publication: September 2, 2014 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books Pages: 565 Genres: Young Adult ♠ Fantasy ♠ Romance Source: NetGalley Summary from Goodreads: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

It’s almost here! Taking Control by Jen Frederick…and a Release Giveaway – Tiffany & Co. Ring!

TCTeaser3

Eeep! . Taking Control by Jen Frederick is coming . ...and she has an amazing giveaway! . Title: Taking Control  Author: Jen Frederick Release Date: September 8, 2014 Genre: Contemporary Romance . Summary The hotly anticipated sequel to Losing Control. . I thought I needed only one thing in my life–the money and power to crush one man. But the moment I laid eyes on … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Release Day Celebration! Stay With Me by Sharla Lovelace

  Stay With Me Sharla Lovelace Release Date: August 22, 2014 Contemporary Romance     Amazon | B&N  iBooks | All Romance eBooks  Kobo | Smashwords | Google Play   Goodreads . . Synopsis From national bestselling author Sharla Lovelace, comes another romantic and heartwarming novel set in the heart of Texas. Ian was the wild boy every girl dreams of, a renegade … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Lost in Me (Here and Now #1) by Lexi Ryan

Title:  Lost in Me Series:  Here and Now Author:  Lexi Ryan Published:  April 2014 The last thing I remember is having drinks at Brady’s and trying to avoid eye-contact with my life-long crush—the gorgeous, unattainable Maximilian Hallowell. They tell me that was a year ago, but I have no memories of anything since then. What I do have is this ring on my finger that Max says he gave … [Continue reading & get hooked!]

Cover Reveal – The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons 3

We're very excited to share with you the cover for... The Collector's Society by Heather Lyons We think it's gorgeous and can't wait to read the book!! It's going to be available in October so don't forget to add it to your TBR!! About the Book: From the author of the Fate series and The Deep End of the Sea comes a fantastical romantic adventure that has Alice tumbling down the … [Continue reading & get hooked!]