Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: SWEET RECKONING by Wendy Higgins

 

Release date: April 29, 2014

Format: ARC

Publisher: Harper Teen

Source: Amy! (Thank you!)

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.


Fictitious Delicious Rating: 4

There is so much I want to say about this fantastic ending to the Sweet Trilogy, but I'm going to keep my mouth shut about most of them because it's my hope you can go into this book knowing as little as possible. I mean, besides all the things you know from the first two books.  Everything comes to a head here and THINGS happen that you won't see coming.  Be prepared for the unexpected and enjoy it.

I picked up on a strong Christian message throughout this book--especially the last third or so.  I didn't find this distracting in the least bit. As a matter of fact, it brought an interesting aspect to the story. I found myself thinking, "Do the characters have strong enough faith to carry them through the tough decisions they need to make?" and appreciated this part of the story. Some may consider it a bit too evangelical for their taste.  I liked it!

Can I just say how much I LOVE an angry Kai?  Because I do.  There is a scene involving Anna and a hotel room that I had to read twice because the swoon factor was distracting me.  I think I might have a deeply rooted issue that is coming to the surface here.  Angry Edward Cullen (Twilight), Angry Wrath Son of Wrath Son of Wrath (Black Dagger Brotherhood) and now, Angry Kaiden Rowe, are some of my favorite persona's of these particular book boyfriends.  Hmmm. I might definitely have an issue. One that I'll accept happily.  The Barry White version of Kaiden Rowe is equally delicious. *fans self*

As much as I love Kai, Anna really steals the show for me. We've watched Anna grow throughout the series and she's bloomed into an amazing young woman.  She's still Anna, but by the time I got to the end of this book, Anna was more mature than I am. Which isn't really saying much, honestly, but you get the idea.  She's a character that has experienced SO MANY THINGS and changed because of them.  Good writing, that.

You'll see all those delicious secondary characters you've come to love and many of them will do things that will make you laugh.  And also cry.  Sometimes harder than you'd like to admit to.

And then we get to the epilogue. I...wasn't a fan.  I did get an answer to a burning question I had so I'm thankful to get that, but it went a little too far into cheesy territory for me.  Keep in mind that a number of reviews I've read make mention of how much the reader enjoyed the epilogue so you may love it.  I hope you do!

Wendy Higgins has done a marvelous job at delivering a trilogy that is equal parts entertaining and thought provoking. I'm so happy that I picked up this series!







Thursday, April 17, 2014

Book Review: DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale






Release date: March 4, 2014

Format: ARC

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: NetGalley


Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There's no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?


Fictitious Delicious Rating: 4



Have you ever read a book that you felt kinda "meh" about after finishing it? Well, sure. We all have.  But what about a book that stuck with you in spite of its meh-ness and made you realize how brilliant is, almost as an afterthought.  Yeah! That's it! It's a book that tasted a little meh but had a brilliant after taste.  THAT.  THAT is what DANGEROUS was to me.

The only reason I could give for not being crazy about this book was because it was science fiction.  That's a genre I don't usually get into and so I pegged my initial feelings about this book on that fact. There was a point that I almost put this book down, but this is Shannon freaking Hale! You do NOT DNF Shannon Hale. Seriously. If there was a book club akin to fight club, this would be the first rule. (Actually, that would be the second rule.  The first rule would be: Don't use any soap you get from book club.)  Plus, the witty lines and my overall strong like of the main character, Masie, kept me going.

But let's be real for one minute, okay?  I'm lame.  It took Shannon Hale herself to make me realize this.  You're all much smarter than I am so you'll get this yourself when you read it, but DANGEROUS ain't just a science fiction story to feel kinda "meh" over.  It's a super hero book where a smart young woman gets to save the day. And you know what? The world needs more of these kind of stories. You don't need to be a man of steel to be a hero, yo.  Thank you, Ms. Hale, for pointing that out to me.  Twice.

Shannon recently visited Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul.  She not only signed books and talked to fans for over ninety minutes, she gave a fantastic talk about the importance of giving young readers diversity in their reading choices. It was at that exact moment that I realized just how lame I am. Proof:


Shannon Hale and lame ole' me. Photo credit to her fantastic publicist whose name I didn't catch.
 
 

Don't be lame.  Read this book. It's chock-full of brilliance--an incredible heroine, hilarious dialogue, touching parental relationships, a realistically confusing boy and SCIENCE. Matter of fact, I used science to get to my four cotton candy rating of this book.  I took my initial rating of 3, added it to the 5 it really should be and used the average of 4. Wait. That's not science, is it? See. I'M LAME.







Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: ALL LINED UP by Cora Carmack






At Fictitious Delicious, this week's most-anticipated read is...


 

 



ALL LINED UP (Rusk University #1)
by
Cora Carmack

Publisher:
William Morrow & Company

Expected Release Date:
May 13, 2014

 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.


DUDE. As if getting my hands on another Cora Carmack book isn't good enough in of itself--it's about FOOTBALL!  I'm beginning to think that Cora has a direct connection into my brain and writes about all the things I love.  This book is already getting great reviews and I can't wait to start this one next week.  EEEEEP!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE by K.A. Tucker




Release date: November 5, 2013

Format: Audio Book / ARC

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Source: Publisher


When a gorgeous young dancer walks through his door, a strip club owner must decide whether to follow his rules or his heart in the third novel by the author of One Tiny Lie and Ten Tiny Breaths.

Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance.

Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.


Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5


YES! YES! YES! Tucker nailed this one! While I've really enjoyed this series overall, something about this installment specifically resonated with me.  No doubt, I love this little universe of characters we've gotten to know in Miami--I'm a big fan of these kind of series that revolve around a core group of people that we get to see glimpses of in every installment--but I fell really hard for Cain and Charlie.  Their individual stories are quite complicated by themselves.  Watching them fall in love while reconciling out those difficulties hit the spot for me.  It's equal parts angsty and sweet.  PLUS? It's nice to be crushing over a character who is not a teenager.  Makes me feel a little less cougar-y.

I'm trying really hard not to assume that a clear absence of Dr. Stayner is a contributing factor to my love of this story, but that might be the truth.  That good doctor is too much of a puppet master for my liking, honestly, and I was so happy to see Cain & Charlie work through their issues on their own. 

My new job has me working from home 99.433554444309% of the time so my drive time (aka audio book listening time) has dropped drastically.  I started listening to this on audio but soon grew frustrated with only getting a 10 minute story advancement every day.  I did 15 jumping jacks in rapid succession to work off my excitement upon receiving an ARC from NetGalley, too. I alternated back and forth between the listening to the audio and reading the book.  Don't get me wrong, I was happy reading this story, but if you have a chance to listen to this one on audio--JUMP ON IT.  Both narrators are fantastic and Cain's voice is...let's just say it's nice. Real, real nice.

Don't mind me while I wait impatiently for Ben's story in June. (I freaking LOVE the dialouge Ben brings to every story! I expect epicness.) I'll just be over here listening to Cain's real nice voice to help pass the time. *contented sigh*






Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Blast: HOW I GOT SKINNY, FAMOUS, AND FELL MADLY IN LOVE by Ken Baker

 
FANTASTIC NEWS BOOK NERDS!! We've got an awesome pre-order campaign for Ken Baker's How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love running from now until 11:59pm (PST) on April 22!

A Personal Skype Session or Phone Call with Ken, Autographed Copies of Fangirl and How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love, Bookmarks, an iPod Shuffle and Win a chance for you and a guest to spend a day with Ken at work in Hollywood. Let's make this happen and the spread the book love for #HowIGotSKinny. How to Pre-Order? Easy! READ BELOW!

You’ll have to email your final order to kbakerpreorder@gmail.com. You can forward an email, take a screenshot of the order page, attach a picture or pdf of the order. And you can order from anyone -- online, your local bookstore, your local chain store, or any retailer who sells books. The winning entry will be chosen from Rafflecopter.

Stop by each of these blogs and enter to win:

          April 12th Saturday: Jean Book Nerd
          April 13th Sunday: Me, My Shelf and I
          April 14th Monday: Fictitious Delicious
          April 15th Tuesday: Fiktshun
          April 16th Wednesday: Once Upon a Twilight
          April 17th Thursday: Book Nerd Canada
          April 18th Friday: Jenna Does Books
          April 19th Saturday: TTC Books and More
          April 20th Sunday: Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace
          April 21st Monday: Chapter by Chapter


 
 
 


THE BOOK
 



HOW I GOT SKINNY, FAMOUS, AND FELL MADLY IN LOVE
 
Author: Ken Baker
 
Release Date: April 22



Publisher: Running Press Kids


 
"Thick. Heavy. Big boned. Plump. Full figured. Chunky. Womanly. Large. Curvy. Plus-size. Hefty." To sixteen-year-old Emery Jackson, these are all just euphemisms for the big "F" word—"fat." Living on a Southern California beach with her workout fiend dad, underwear model sister, and former model mother, it is impossible for Emery not to be aware of her weight.


Emery is okay with how things are. That is, until her "momager" signs her up for Fifty Pounds to Freedom, a reality show in which Emery will have to lose fifty pounds in fifty days in order to win the million dollars that will solve her family's financial woes. Emery is skeptical of the process, but when the pounds start to come off and the ratings skyrocket, she finds it hard to resist the adoration of her new figure and the world of fame. Emery knows that things have changed. But is it for the better?


 



 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Ken Baker is the E! News/E! Online Senior Correspondent and Breaking News Editor, an acclaimed author, producer, public speaker and former pro hockey player. Ken reports breaking news, conducts celebrity interviews, delivers investigative reports and hosts a range of news segments for E! News, E! Online, E! International, E! News specials and the network's live events. Baker has published six books. His newest work is a novel due out in April 2014 titled "How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love," a story about an obese teen who is pressured by her family to go on a reality show to lose weight and, in so doing, learns the real meaning of freedom. His debut novel, "Fangirl" (Running Press, 2012), told the story of a pop star who falls in love with a fan amid a sensational tabloid drama. Ken is adapting "Fangirl" into a movie in collaboration with Converge Media. Ken is currently at work on a series of Hollywood-themed thrillers set for release in 2015.
 





Visit Ken:  Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads






BUY HOW I GOT SKINNY, FAMOUS, AND FELL MADLY IN LOVE
 

 
 


THE GIVEAWAY
 
A Personal 20 minute Skype session OR phone call with Ken.
3 Copies of Fangirl and How I Got Skinny, Famous, and Fell Madly in Love, Lots of Swag.
Winner will receive an iPod Shuffle
Win a chance for you and a guest to spend a day with Ken at work in Hollywood.

Must be 13+ to Enter INT Giveaway
 
*Book Nerd Tours is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Mail Box*
 
 
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blog Tour: 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE by Janet Gurtler






Welcome to our stop on the #16thingsithoughtweretrue blog tour! We are happy to share with you our review of this contemporary novel that left us feeling so happy to have experienced Morgan's story.

And, hey!  Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour sponsored by the super fantastically awesome Book Nerd Tours!
 







THE BOOK


16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE
by Janet Gurtler
Release date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 283
 
 
Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?

5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue

With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.




 
 
 


THE REVIEW
 
 
 
 
 
2014 has been the year of contemporary stories for me. Something about how I'm able to fall into these stories and almost always able to identify with a character or the situation characters find themselves in keep me coming back for more.  16 Things I Thought Were True totally delivered for me in this aspect. Only with a twist.
 
See, Morgan is a character that I couldn't completely identify with, but I still understood and appreciated where she was coming from. I was so torn about her decision to go on the roadtrip she embarks upon, but trust Gurtler here, folks.  WORTH IT.  (Hang in there if she completely turns you off when you start this book--you'll like her--promise!)  And Amy? Well. As much as I'd like to say I'm just like Amy...I'm not. Maybe I'm a little like both of them. A bit of a Twitter lover with a fiercely loyal streak? Yeah! Call me Mormy. Or Argan.  (Let's go with Mormy. Argan sounds a little too LOTR for me, lol.)  All this rambling is my way of saying...great characters with great growth. Just how I like my contemporary stories.
 
Be prepared for a surprise ending.  I think I would have cried if I weren't in shock. Ok, fine. I CRIED. (Oh, stop trying to guess.  You really won't see it coming.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.)  It's one of those endings that will keep you thinking for 3.75 days after you've finished it. I've gone back and forth on my personal feelings of said ending and am at the acceptance stage of that grief cycle thingy.  It really does add more than just shock value to the story.

I've got two more Gurtler novels in the queue after being introduced to her through this story.

PS--Did you notice that I didn't even mention the sweet taste of romance you'll find here?  THAT'S how much I adore Mormy.  They steal the show here.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Janet lives near the Canadian Rockies with her husband and son and a little dog named Bruce. She does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says “eh” a lot.

Janet only gives 5 stars to the books she reviews because she is an author herself and knows that no book can appeal to everyone, but like a child, it is very special to the creator.

I’M NOT HER was published by Sourcebooks Teen Fire in May 2011.

IF I TELL released Oct 1, 2011 from Sourcebooks Teen Fire.

WHO I KISSED Sourcebooks Fire 2012.

Janet’s work will also appear in the THE FIRST TIME anthology, DEAR TEEN ME anthology and WHO DONE IT anthology.




 


Find Janet: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook




BUY 16 THINGS I THOUGHT WERE TRUE





THE GIVEAWAY



 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review: THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski



Release date: March 4, 2014

Format: ARC

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Source: NetGalley & Jaime Arnold


Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.


Fictitious Delicious Rating: 5+





I'm practically at a loss of words while I sit down to write this review. I went into THE WINNER'S CURSE with very high expectations because of all the buzz this book has been getting and you know what? It STILL exceeded my expectations.

I think the best word that describes this book is genius. The storyline? Genius. The subtle workings of world building that you don't even know exist until you read it again for a second time? Genius. The complexity of emotions you'll feel over characters? You guessed it....genius.  And don't even get me started on the writing. OK. Get me started on it.  Guys. GUYS. It will take your breath away.  Now, I've been known to re-read certain passages in books before.  Mainly because something doesn't make sense to me.  This time I re-read passages because of their shear beauty.  I've counted seventeen separate bookmarks I've used to flag particularly beautiful words. (Ok, you got me. They're not really bookmarks.  They're more like tiny tears from the scrap of paper I grabbed to mark the first run of words that took my breath away. I had no idea I'd need my own paper factory to mark my favorite spots.)

I can guarantee you that this one will land on my best of 2014 list at the end of the year.  I can also guarantee that you, too, will love this book when you pick it up. Unless you don't have a heart.  Seriously.  This book is perfect for fans of fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, etc.  My point is that EVERYONE will love this book. Unless you don't have a pulse. Although I'd venture to guess that even the undead would love this book.

If there is one book you read all year, THIS IS THE ONE. (Of course you'll read more than one book this year--you're reading a book blog for crying out loud.  People who read one book a year do not read book blogs. Do they? Whatever.  READ THIS BOOK.)





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