Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Love, in English by Karina Halle


Series: Standalone
Format: Print ARC
Release Date: April 20, 2014
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: From Author for Review
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.

He speaks Spanish. I speak English.

He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.

He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.

He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.

I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.

Until now.

Because when they say you can’t choose who you fall in love with, boy ain’t that the f*#king truth.

To a restless dreamer like Vera Miles, it sounded like the experience of a lifetime. Instead of spending her summer interning for her astronomy major, she would fly to Spain where she’d spend a few weeks teaching conversational English to businessmen and women, all while enjoying free room and board at an isolated resort. But while Vera expected to get a tan, meet new people and stuff herself with wine and paella, she never expected to fall in love.

Mateo is unlike anyone Vera has ever known, let alone anyone she’s usually attracted to. While Vera is a pierced and tatted free spirit with a love for music and freedom, Mateo Casalles is a successful businessman from Madrid, all sharp suits and cocky Latino charm. Yet, as the weeks go on, the two grow increasingly close and their relationship changes from purely platonic to something…more.

Something that makes Vera feel alive for the first time.

Something that can never, ever be.

Or so she thinks.
  
 
I read a lot of contemporary romance but very seldom do I come across a romance book that consumes every fiber of my being. LOVE, IN ENGLISH was everything I expected from one of my favorite authors, but also so much more than what I could have ever imagined. From the writing to the characters, setting, pace and mood, this book encompassed what I consider to be one of the most fantastic books I have read in a long time.
 
"Love is like a thief, it robs you of all thought and logic and all you have left is a heart that you can only pray is strong enough to survive the rest."

LOVE, IN ENGLISH is a coming of age story of twenty-three year old Canadian, Vera Miles, who embarks on a life changing journey that brings her to Spain to teach English to a group of Spaniards for a month. Vera is the type of heroine that I love and fall easily for. She’s an intelligent, vibrant and free spirited young woman who is covered in multiple tattoos and piercings. At twenty-three years old, she’s a bit lost at trying to find herself and that one thing that will make her happy. While she loves having her share of fun times and sexual escapades, Vera is a loner and relatively a lonely person. Going so Spain is not only a chance for her to experience a different culture, but also an opportune time for her to spread her wings and come out of that bubble that she's been living in.

When Vera arrives in Spain she has no idea that not only will the teaching experience be life changing but that she will also meet a person that will have her seeing stars. There are only a few things that leave a fingerprint on our lives and love is certainly one of them. When the stars align and you meet that one great love of your life, it changes you. Not just at that moment, but for all your future days. For Vera Miles, thirty-eight year old Spanish business man, Mateo Caslles, is the person who shatters all of her previous notions about love. From the moment Vera meets Mateo on the bus that will take them to the English language resort, Vera feels a kismet connection with this stranger. There’s an unexplained power that compels Vera to this man who’s fifteen years older than her. She knows it’s wrong to get herself involved with a married mad but at the same time it’s impossible for her to not be pulled into Mateo’s orbit.
 
"Love has made me a villain."
 
Before we move forward with this review let's address the huge purple elephant that's standing in the middle of the room and staring us right in the face. If you read the book synopsis then you’ve probably picked up on the subject that would have many readers raising their eyebrows or turning away. Cheating. Infidelity. Adultery. Lots of readers will probably be turned off by it or even completely refuse to read this story because of the affair, but LOVE, IN ENGLISH is not solely about the affair. There's so much more depth and emotions to this story that I hope readers will give it a chance before making their harsh judgments. And just to clarify to everyone – I believe that cheating is wrong. But if we 're all being realistic, we know that adultery happens all the time. There is no right way to go about it and everyone involved will always be hurt in one way or another.
 
"I promise you, you can have me. I am yours."
 
In Halle's first contemporary romance story, the author explores the emotional toll of cheating and adultery and shows readers how it's not always about the sexual act but the emotional ties that bring people together - even though they shouldn't be. You'll find yourself wanting to hate Vera, who in all intents and purposes should be labeled as the villain of the story. You'll also find yourself wanting to hate Mateo for straying on his wife. You'll even feel a bit a for Mateo's wife when she tries to fight for her marriage. But for the most part, you'll find yourself longing for these characters to be together. Vera and Mateo know in their minds that falling for one another is wrong and tearing a family apart is unforgivable but at the same time they can't deny the chemistry and connection they feel for one another. They both struggle with these feelings for a long time and they tread around the subject likely. Their affair isn't hot, fast, and instant. Their relationship is slow building and they go into it very cautiously. They avoid their feelings for one another as long as they can but eventually the time arrives when they can no longer fight it. Just like how we can't control the weather, Vera and Mateo can't control their hearts and who they fall in love with.
 
"What is love? In English.”
I raised my brows. “Love, in English, is love…”
“What is it in Spanish?
I was so enthralled by his hypnotic eyes, I could barely remember. “Amore?”
He shook his head ever so slightly. “No. Love in Spanish is you.”
 
The emotions and feelings while reading their story was heavy that there were times when I had to put the book down and get a hold of my own emotions. Halle's writing just sucks you into this black hole that you have no idea where you will end up. Please believe me when I say that this book has ALL the feels. You'll feel your heart beat increasing. You'll feel your throat closing up when the emotions get to be too much. You'll feel stomach clench when the feelings become too much for the characters. You'll feel your bones and muscles lock up when things seems to be on thin ice. Halle pours every bit of Vera's emotions and feelings poured right into and make you almost sick from it. There really is no other way I can describe to you how I felt while reading this book. The closest thing would be like that overwhelming of feelings and emotions someone gets before a full blown panic attack comes on. It's like you're just reading this book and them POW! BAM! BOOM! Karina Halle has knocked you down and you're seeing stars and little birds flying around your head.
 
Even with the over 400 pages in this book, I kept wanting more and more from Vera and Mateo. The chemistry between these two characters is undeniable. The passion and emotions that exudes out of these two characters is so strong that it feels like you'd been hit with ten ton boulder. I’m always intrigued at how authors are able to take a controversial topic and weave it into a love story without leaving you or their characters totally obliterated. I thought that Halle did a magnificent job in tackling the issue of infidelity and showed us the real and true consequences when people act out on their desires. Cheating will always be wrong but that shouldn't discredit the feelings that Vera and Mateo felt for one another. They might have met at an inopportune time and became involved when they clearly shouldn't have but from the very beginning I just knew that these two were destine for one another.
 
"You burn so brightly. I would like to burn with you."
 
LOVE, IN ENGLISH was a really unforgettable story for me and it has rightfully earned a spot as one of my top reads of 2014. I really hope that Karina continues on writing more stories in this genre because she's done a phenomenal job with Love, in English. I knew she was great at writing thrilling and suspenseful romance but now I know that she's also got the talent to write romance stories that will have you swooning and feeling euphoric. If you love romances that will immerse you in emotions and leave you breathless, then you definitely do not want to miss this book. I really don't know how else to gush about it without sounding like a crazed fangirl but this book is amazing and you're really going to do yourself a disservice if you miss out on it.
 
 

 
 
 
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term "Hybrid Author." Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she's a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA...whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

 
Connect with Karina
 
 

 
 Because I absolutely LOVE this book I am giving away a few copies of LOVE, IN ENGLISH. Two winners will receive a paperback copy and two winners will receive a Kindle eBook copy. Paperback giveaway is US Only. eBook giveaway open internationally. There are TWO Rafflecopter forms, so please be mindful of which giveaway you are entering.

 
 


 
 

Review [Replay]: That Boy by Jillian Dodd

Review Replay is a weekly feature on Keep Calm & Read Romance where I repost reviews of contemporary romances which were originally posted on my first blog, Talk Supe. So sit back, relax, and let's revisit some of my favorite romance reads.

This week's Review [Replay] is my review for the first book in Jillian Dodd's THAT BOY series. This book was the first Jillian Dodd book that I ever read and I was so glad to have discovered this author. I'm usually not a fan of stories where the main characters are teenagers but Dodd's writing made it really easy to love these characters. Her writing is full of humor and the characters just comes to life. I loved this book so much that I even bought the audiobook and OMG That Boy is one of the most entertaining audiobooks that I own.
 


Series: That Boy #1
Format: Kindle Book
Release Date: May 6, 2011
Publisher: Jillian Dodd
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Contemporary YA/Maure YA/NA 

You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits.

There's Danny. Danny is a golden boy in every way. He has dreamy blue eyes and blonde hair that always looks perfect, even when it’s windblown or been stuck under a football helmet. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible.

Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth. Phillip has dark hair, a perfect smile, brown eyes, and the sexiest voice I have ever heard. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me. And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no.

One boy will give me my very first kiss.
One boy will teach me to make out.
One boy will take me to prom.
And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him.
They will both be my best friends.
But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with.
Only one of them is That Boy.

 
 
Warning: If you are allergic to romantic comedies, then THAT BOY is not the book for you. But if you are immune to fun, sweet romances and hot boys that will have you gushing then please continue.

THAT BOY was my first ever Jillian Dodd book and have to say that I absolutely loved it and could not get enough. Before reading THAT BOY, I was high on angsty and intense reads. It seemed like every book I was reading was overly dramatic and gut wrenching. Reading THAT BOY was like walking out of a dark tunnel and entering into a fantastical world full of hearts, flowers, rainbows, unicorns, and kittens. It was a total 180 degree difference from what I was accustomed to but I do not regret one page, paragraph, sentence or word of this book.

I could go on and on about how much I loved this book but I'm going to break the book review norm and give you five reasons why you should read this book.

TOP 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ THAT BOY

  1. Loveable Heroine: If you've ever watched the movie, My Girl, Jadyn James "JJ" Reynolds will remind you of the movies main character, Vada Sultenfuss. Just like Vada, JJ is a fun, precocious, loving, and witty girl. She's a bit naive but not totally oblivious to consequential circumstances. She's your typical, spunky teenager without all the arrogance and rebelliousness. JJ is one of the most realistic YA heroines I have ever come upon and really appreciated her honesty and self-deprecating sense of humor.

  2. Double the Pleasure…Double the Fun: *sigh* to have grown up with two hot boys who eventually become your BFF's for life. At one point I was seething with envy over JJ's friendship with All-American Boy Hottie, Danny Diamond and Prince Charming, Phillip Mackenzie. And I wasn't just jealous because she grows up next door to some hotties but envious of the strong relationships and bonds she forms with each is something we wish for in a friendship.

  3. Love Triangle: Yes, THAT BOY has a love triangle but it's different and unique in its own way. THAT BOY is not that kind of story that leaves you with a clear winner or loser. At the end there is only one winner and that's JJ. I love that Jillian Dodd doesn't leave you having to pick one or the other because ultimately JJ ends up with both boys being a permanent part of her life. Each fulfills their respective roles and I couldn't have been happier about the way it ended. And for all you dirty minded folks, no, JJ is not in some threesome. LOL.

  4. Growing Pains: You first meet JJ when she's an adorable eight year old tomboy and then watch her grow up and learn the facts of life from elementary school all the way till she graduates college. It was really enjoyable to see her go through various stages of her young life (middle school, high school, and college) as she learns valuable lessons about life, love, family, friendship, and growing up. I must warn you that there is a tragedy in the story that I found to be too devastating and left me in tears but for character development it's probably something that needed to happen in order for JJ to grow up.

  5. Funville: THAT BOY was just an absolute joy to read. I immediately fell in love with Jillian Dodd's brand of writing. I loved the voice she gave to her characters and while the characters or story wasn't all that complicated, THAT BOY, is the kind of book that'll leave a lasting impression on you. Jillian Dodd will have you reminiscing about the best parts of your teenage years but with just the right amount of angst that doesn't leave you annoyed by the characters. Ms. Dodd definitely had me wishing that I could relive some of my most formidable teen years of my life.

Bottom line, THAT BOY is a definite must read for readers who adore a fun romance with delightful characters and a story that's easy and fun to read. You'll love reading about JJ and the two most important boys in her life and you'll walk away from this book feeling like you've made three new life long friends.
 
 
Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble


That Boy Series by Jillian Dodd Reading Order

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Z1DBG0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004Z1DBG0&linkCode=as2&tag=talsup0b-20 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0077BJXMG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0077BJXMG&linkCode=as2&tag=talsup0b-20
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cover Reveal: Bang by E.K. Blair

I am excited to present the cover for book #1 in E.K. Blair's (author of the Fading Series) new Black Lotus Series, BANG! Filled with suspense, sexiness and romance, this is sure to take us on an indescribable thrill.
 
FINALcoverphoto-2
 
BANG
The Black Lotus Series #1
E.K. Blair
Psychosexual Suspense / Romance
May 22nd, 2014


They say when you take revenge against another you lose a part of your innocence.

But I’m not innocent.

I haven’t been for a very long time.

My innocence was stolen from me. Taken was the life I was supposed to have. The soul I was born with. The ruby heart embedded in a life full of hopes and dreams.

Gone.

Vanished.

I never even had a choice.

I mourn that life. Mourn the what-ifs.

Until now.

I’m ready to take back what was always meant to be mine.

But every plan has a fatal flaw. Sometimes it’s the heart.


**Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only as some scenes may be particularly disturbing.**
 
 
 
 

In an instant, he's crouched down before me, hands spreading me open wider before dipping his tongue inside me. I continue massaging myself as he laps me up like I’m the only one who can quench his thirst. He sickens me, and as soon as I feel the swirl of hate manifest, I turn every part of me off and simply go through the movements I know he likes. I’m a well-oiled machine at this point, flawless in my performance.

He has no idea that I’m the poison in his bones, making my home in his soul. I’ve crept under his skin, and he never suspected a thing other than everything I’ve wanted him to, but he’s made my life a hell, and payback is a wicked bitch that comes in the form of me. I’m the devil seeped within the cracks of him. What he doesn’t know, is that it’s because of him that I am what I am, and he’s fallen into the cobwebs of my lies like a fool. I guess I should love him for that, because when he least suspects it, he’s going to give me everything I’ve been seeking—vengeance.


USA Today bestselling author and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her FADING series. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She's a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
 
Connect with
Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter

            
 
 

Waiting on Wednesday: Taint by S.L. Jennings


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine which features books that we're anxiously awaited upcoming releases.

 
TAINT
S.L. Jennings
May 20, 2014
Contemporary Romance

 
Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two things:

Who am I?

And, what the hell are you doing here?

Let’s start with the most obvious question, shall we?

You’re here, ladies, because you can’t f*ck.

Oh, stop it. Don’t cringe. No one under the age of 80 clutches their pearls.

You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you’re going to hear that word a lot. And you’re going to say it a lot.

Go ahead, try it out on your tongue.

F*ck. F***ck.

Ok, good. Now where were we?

If you enrolled yourself in this program then you are wholly aware that you’re a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle.

For those of you that have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You’ve been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to f*ck like a porn star. And I guarantee, you will when I’m done with you.

And who am I?

Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life.

I am Justice Drake.

And I turn housewives into whores.

Now…who’s first?
 
 

Why I'm Waiting:  HOLY COW! That synopsis. Talk about a synopsis that grabs your attention. Reading that synopsis has me panting for more already. I need this book now, like I need air. I want to meet Justice Drake right MEOW!


What book are you anxiously waiting to read?
Tell me in the comments below.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover + Signed Paperback Giveaway


Teaser Tuesday Meme is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading, where you share two “teaser” sentences from your current read to try to entice others to want to seek it out.

"I never give it much thought when I write lyrics, because I've always felt no one would read them, so it doesn't matter what the meaning is behind the words. But now that I think about it, maybe the fact that I don't give them much thought proves that they really are a reflection of how I feel."


MAYBE SOMEDAY
Colleen Hoover
March 18, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Atria Books

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, This Girl, and Losing Hope, Maybe Someday is destined to become another bestseller and long-lasting fan favorite.



  

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the MAYBE SOMEDAY Release Day party in Portland, OR. I drove down with a friend and we had the oportunity to meet not only Colleen Hoover, but also Griffin Peterson. Griffin and his band played the songs from Maybe Someday and he and Colleen had a Q&A session with the audience. The event was also attended authors Rebecca Donovan and Tarryn Fisher. It was a great night filled with music and good times with one of my favorite authors.

You all know that I love doing giveaways, so I couldn't help myself from getting some goodies to giveaway to my followers. Check out the giveaway below to see what awesome signed paperback giveaway prizes you could win. Contest is Open to US Residents Only. Sorry to my international fans....if cost of postage didn't cost so much I would open it internationally.


Prize #1
Signed Paperback of Finding Cinderella

Prize #2

Signed Paperback of Maybe Someday
Maybe Someday CD Sountrack Signed by Griffin Peterson


 *Open to US Residents Only*

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