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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review of Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole

Sunsets at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #4) by Addison Cole
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: August 23, 2017
Publisher: World Literary Press

Sunsets at Seaside - Release date August 23, 2017

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster's steamy romance novel Seaside Sunsets. The stories and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

​Jessica Ayers has lived a sheltered life with little more than cello lessons and practices taking up her day. Now a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she escapes the prim and proper symphony to vacation in the Seaside community in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to determine if she is living life to the fullest or missing it altogether.

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother—and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sweet, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the brown-haired beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life—and his heart—upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away.

Sunsets at Seaside is the fourth book in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers by Addison Cole. It's Jaime's turn now! We haven't met Jessica before now, but she was a nice addition to the gang. My goodness! I didn't know Jaime could turn on the smolder, but boooy can he! Sweet lil Jessica didn't have a chance. Jamie was a man of a few mysteries. Who knew? I sure enjoyed getting to know him better right along with Jessica. I loved their chemistry and how they just seem to fit. They were sweet, and cute, and completely delicious to read about. 

The ARC of Hearts at Seaside by Addison Cole was kindly provided to me by Lola's Blog Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

“Guess it’s just you and me.”

Jamie’s rich voice slid over her, bringing goose bumps to her arms and heating her up even more. How the heck did he manage to pull off laid-back and sensual at the same time? And why was it such a turn-on? She looked down at her hand, still on his thigh, and felt his muscles flex. The fire was nearly out, just a few embers glowing in the darkness. She should probably go home. It was already far later than she was used to staying up, and she had a big day tomorrow. Didn’t she? Didn’t she always? She had to practice and…No. That wasn’t right. She wasn’t practicing. She was vacationing. She had all the time in the world.

She realized that she hadn’t responded to Jamie’s remark. Instead of answering him, she tilted her head and looked at him. Really looked at him. He was too beautiful, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t just the tequila that made her think so. His hazel eyes were seductively dark and narrow. His tanned skin blended handsomely with the sexy scruff on his jaw, and his full lips were barely parted. She wanted to run her finger along his lips and feel their softness.

“What?” he asked quietly.

“I’m just…” Thinking about touching your scruff. And maybe your lips. And that crease by your mouth when you smile. There it is. Oh, I love that crease. Oh, and your hands. I’m dying to know what your hands feel like. “Thinking…” It was the only word she could manage without making a fool of herself.

“Thinking about throwing your phone at me again?”

Check out my reviews of the other books in this series!

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

To learn more about Addison Cole and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Release Day! Collision by Alexandra Wright

Collision by Alexandra Wright
Genre: New Adult (Paranormal)
Date Published: Aug. 29, 2017
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

When a collision of two parallel worlds creates a portal, Ella's eyes-and heart-open to the impossible. Eighteen-year-old, tell-it-like-it-is Ella Beuchene is about to graduate from a prestigious high school, and yet she's never felt more trapped. Her family is hell-bent on forcing her into a future she doesn't want. Her boyfriend no longer gets her. And her best friend is keeping something secret. Something that could shatter their friendship for good. Ella is desperate to escape her "privileged" existence. Then, one warm summer night, Ella finds herself in the woods behind her house. The forest is lusher than ever before, the creatures of the night louder, and the moon brighter. Beneath its green canopy, she meets a mysterious, striking stranger. A man who gets her, who shifts her perspective of the world, and who...wait for it...glows in the dark. From that moment on, Ella's not sure that it's just her life she wants to escape. It may be her world. 

I was in the woods. It was nighttime, and I was alone. Again.

I looked up at the moon, noticing that it was full and low, and a blue mist tinged its circumference. It seemed so close to the earth that I could almost reach out and touch it. This felt familiar. Too familiar. I looked down to see my pendant had turned a radiant blue and I was wearing…a nightdress, of all things. God, I was half-naked. Had I been wearing that before?

A rustle in the nearby trees made me whirl around. And there he was. The beautiful, glowing boy was standing in the clearing with those indigo eyes focused on me.

My breath caught. “Colton!” I exclaimed as a rush of heat filled me. Once I realised I’d called his name like a long-lost lover, I cringed. I’d met the guy once, for God’s sake.

And here I was in the woods, again, acting like a lunatic. And wearing…I gasped and covered my chest with my arms. 

Alexandra Wright has been writing since she could put pen to paper. Growing up in Sydney, Australia, she took pleasure in playing the piano, singing, the arts, languages, cooking and, of course, she spent a great deal of time reading and writing. Having so many interests meant her career aspirations had a habit of changing, but her profession eventually chose her. An incurable obsession with literature, her earliest and most enduring passion, led her to pursue a career as a novelist. While she dabbled in writing short stories and novellas as a child and teen, she began writing full-length novels as an adult. Being a child at heart, and an educator of young children, it was a natural progression for her to move in to writing fiction for children and young adults.

To learn more about Alexandra Wright and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, & Instagram.

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Teaser Tuesday! Blame It on the Bet by L.E. Rico

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share  doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Blame It on the Bet by L.E. Rico

“Helen, I’ve gotta go. I’m being stalked by a priest.”

“You’re what? A priest? Oh, for God’s sake , Bryan, run… If he sprinkles you with holy water, you’ll burst into flames!”

She’s laughing so loudly that she’s coughing by the time she gets it all out.

Welcome to Mayhem, Minnesota, where the cats wear sweaters, the local priest dispenses dating advice, and you can find your fortune in the bottom of a pie tin.

When her family’s pub is threatened with foreclosure, Hennessy O’Halloran, along with her three sisters, is determined to raise enough money to keep it out of the hands of the L.A. real-estate developer trying to raze it and replace it with a—god forbid!—multiplex theater.

Bryan Truitt always gets what he wants. And what he wants is the sweet corner property on Mayhem’s Main Street where O’Halloran’s Pub sits. But his “quick business” turns into more than he bargains for when he meets the feisty Hennessy. Next thing he knows, he’s betting her he can outlast Mayhem’s punishing winter in time to make the pub his—or he’ll gift it to her for free.

Hennessy knows better than to flirt with the enemy. But suddenly Bryan’s not sure which he wants more…the property or the woman who owns it.

Do you have a blog? Post a link to your Teaser Tuesday post in the comments.

No blog? Post a Teaser in the comments anyway!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Guest Post with Jessica Kapp, Author of Body Parts!

Body Parts by Jessica Kapp
Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction)
Date Published: August 15,  2017
Publisher: Diversion Publishing

People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse? Read my Review!

The exit door buzzes. My breath catches when I notice it’s not a trainer—it’s Ms. Preen. And, she’s holding a red file, which can only mean one thing.
One of us is getting out.
Her heels make quick, light clicks as she crosses the floor past the weight equipment and yoga mats. She crinkles her nose as she moves through the thick cloud of sweat. By the time she reaches us, Meghan’s out of the pool. We stand, two-dozen bodies huddled together, anxious to hear the news. I scan my friends’ faces, wondering whose turn it is to go. Parker wraps his free arm around me. I imagine this is how a gymnast feels after a routine, waiting for her scores. Did I perform well enough? Could I have done more?
Will I win the ultimate prize: a family?
Ms. Preen presses through to the pool area, but stands far from our group, as if she thinks we’ll throw her in.
It’s crossed our minds before.
The light shines off her blonde bob, and her face is flawless. Freeze-dried, we like to say.
“Where is she?” Ms. Preen looks at our group as if she can’t tell us apart, which is probably true. Even though she pops in at least once a month to check on our vitals, she isn’t interested in getting to know us. She’s the one in charge of pairing us with families, but all she knows is what we’re good at. Meghan is the fast one; Paige climbs like she’s part monkey; Parker’s built like a brick house; and me, I have the lungs.
“The redhead, where is she?”
All eyes turn to me.
“We have names, you know,” Paige says, her voice curt. “Hers is Tabitha. T-A-B…”
Ms. Preen pulls a piece of paper out of the file, holding it up toward the row of skylights to read it. “Yes. She’s the one.”
Parker tightens his hold on me and I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. Ms. Preen doesn’t need to know I’m nervous. I’m supposed to be elated, ready to go. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself.
I wiggle out of Parker’s grip to step forward. “That’s me.”
Ms. Preen shoves the paper back into the file. “Get dressed. I’m taking you for your final screening. If you pass, you’ll be out tomorrow.” Her voice is hard and she turns to walk away.
I glance back at the group, at the faces I’ve known since childhood. They’re excited for me, but I can see the disappointment in their eyes. I know the look, because up until today I’ve watched friends leave, waiting for my turn.
Now that it is, I can’t move.

Running into trouble
By Jessica Kapp

There are two kinds of people in this world: People who love running, and people who run from the idea. 
I fall in the latter group.

Still, I force myself to get on the treadmill, because my metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that plate of nachos I inhaled for lunch (totally worth it by the way) will find its way to my thighs in two-point-five seconds. 

So I run and I run and I run. 
And it’s not just to burn off calories so my pants don’t look painted on. 

I run because there’s that nagging voice in my head that says I need to. That I’m not beautiful enough. Not thin enough. Not good enough.

The rational side of me knows that’s not true. I don’t need to look like the girls on the cover of fitness or fashion magazines. Heaven knows I’d trip in three-inch heels because I wasn’t blessed with the gift of grace.

Yes, running is good for the heart and good for the soul. I’m not gonna lie; I always feel great after a workout. But deep down, I know I’m not just running to stay fit.

We’re taught from a young age about body image, even if it’s not really talked about. It’s a looming shadow over our lives. A constant companion we never invited over. Cover models at the grocery store stare back at you while you wait in line. Department store mannequins are always tall and lean. Our favorite actors and actresses are criticized for gaining two pounds. Even if our parents tried to shield us from the advertisements that shamed us for not being stick-thin, the messaged seeped into our childhood. The question is, how loud were the voices then? And how loud are they now? Is there a difference? 

As an adult, I’m more aware of the body images that surround us. The idea of taking a pill for instant muscle tone or weight loss is enticing. We’re a society obsessed with instant gratification. We can get answers at the click of a button. Patience is not our strong suit. Who really wants to spend all that time on a treadmill if you could simply take a pill after you eat ice cream and not have to worry about sweating out the extra calories you’ve consumed? 

When I wrote my YA thriller, I wanted to explore what we’d be like as a society if we could take a pill to fix our image. 

In BODY PARTS, 16-year-old Tabitha has been sculpted into an athlete who runs at Olympic-qualifying speeds. Raised in an elite foster center, she believes parents will only welcome healthy, disciplined children into their homes. But the foster home is owned by PharmPerfect, and the company is using the facility as a replacement factory for clients with failing organs. Perfection-hungry people have grown accustomed to taking pills to erase wrinkles, grow hair, and sculpt muscle without exercise. 
It’s an eerie glimpse into an all-too-possible future. Would society turn a blind eye to the ramifications of popping pills? What’s more important: our organs, or our image?
I’d like to say it’s a no brainer, that we would rise above the body image rhetoric and choose our health over drugs that promise results that would take weeks—even months—to achieve at the gym. But there’s another voice in my head, one that’s whispering that it could happen, and it keeps saying that my fictional world might not be too far from the truth. 

Have you read my review yet!!

Jessica Kapp always thought her penmanship would improve with age. She even wished for it on her eleventh birthday. But after having a hard time deciphering her own writing, she realized she’d never be the girl who stayed in the lines or dotted her I’s with hearts.To improve her legibility and speed, she hijacked her grandma’s typewriter—a really cool one with white correction tape—and started creating fictional worlds.

That same grandma took Jessica to her first writers’ group meeting where she shared a story about fairies.

The writing sucked, but with time, Jessica’s craft began to improve. Sadly, her penmanship has not.

Jessica enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.

To learn more about Jessica Kapp and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Playing Catch Up! The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Adult Fiction (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)
Date Published: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Back Bay Books

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. 

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she's one of the world's bestselling authors.

The Chemist is something a little different for Stephenie Meyer. You know how I feel about Twilight. *wink* I wasn't completely sold on The Host. The Chemist is somewhere in between for me. 

Alex, the main character, is a strong female lead who knows her strengths and weaknesses and she uses them to the ultimate advantage. I enjoyed her as a character for the most part. She lost a little of the believability factor with the insta-love though. For me, the romance never felt natural. Sure the initial attraction was there, but after the events that followed.... I thought that might have changed things or at least slowed them up a bit. At least for Daniel. Poor Daniel. He has no common sense. He seemed more like a child to me in many ways. His brother on the other hand? I liked him very much and loved his dogs. Despite their faults, I enjoyed these characters as a whole. They had their moments of course, but they were usually entertaining. 

Aside from the insta-love, the story progressed rather slowly. The premise was interesting though. The second half is much better and more fast paced than the first half. You need most of the details that are presented to you in the first half to know what's going on, but much of it seemed to drag. 

All in all, this was a pretty good story. Was it my favorite? Nope, but it was still a fun read.

Have you read The Host?

Best known for her Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer’s four-book collection has sold over 100 million copies globally in over 50 countries, with translations in 37 different languages. Meyer was the highest-selling author of 2008 and 2009 in the United States, having sold over 29 million books in 2008, and 26.5 million books in 2009. In 2008, Meyer also released The Host, which debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Additionally, USA Today declared Meyer “Author of the Year,” citing that she had done something that no one else had in the 15 years of the USA Today bestselling book list– she swept the top four slots in 2008. Meyer also accomplished this feat in 2009, when The Twilight Saga once again dominated the top of the bestseller list. All together, her books have spent over 303 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and sons.

To learn more about Stephenie Meyer and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.