Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: BREAKABLE by Tammara Webber

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

BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart #2)
Tammara Webber

Penguin Berkley

Expected Release Date:
May 6, 2014
He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

EASY remains one of my favorite books ever and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be dropping EVERYTHING to read BREAKABLE when it comes on in a few weeks! I'm even breaking my rule of "never read the same book twice just because it's in the male POV."  Actually, I don't expect this to be a retelling of EASY. I'm under the impression this is a prequel to the events leading up to EASY with some shared scenes. AAHH! I want this one right now!
What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Blast: THIS SIDE OF SALVATION by Jeri Smith-Ready

A book that is very near and dear to my heart hit shelves earlier this month and I have FAILED as a blogger in getting my billion cotton candy review posted up. *le sigh*  Soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to spread the word about how freaking awesome this book is. (Yes, you can use that quote.  It's quite fancy, yeah?)  So check out the blurb, watch the trailer, read the first chapter, buy the book and enter to win another copy to share with your closest friend.  Not necessarily in that order.  Just do them.
Check out the reviews Smith-Ready's first YA contemporary novel is getting:
[A] smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self—while never being heavy-handed. — Booklist, **Starred Review**
Reason, love and smart peers succeed in a captivating story of family heartbreak and religious intrigue. — Kirkus
Smith-Ready combines a thought-provoking exploration of faith with high-stakes family drama to create a page-turner with real heft. — Publishers Weekly



Author: Jeri Smith-Ready

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined...

Click to read the first chapter!


Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine has resulted in twelve published novels for teens and adults, including RT Reviewers Choice-winning fantasy Eyes of Crow; as well as the PRISM award-winning Wicked Game and Shade. Her latest is the YA contemporary novel This Side of Salvation (April 2014), which Booklist called a "smart, unpredictable, and well-rounded tale" in its starred review.

Jeri lives in the rolling hills of Maryland with her husband and two cats, who often play tag-team "sit in the author's lap and keep her from writing." (The cats, that is, not the husband. Though actually...) When not writing, she's either out running or on Twitter. Jeri is represented by Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Visit Jeri: Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Pinterest



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Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: TAKING FLIGHT by Erin Brown

Release date: May 6, 2014

Format: ARC

Publisher: Self-published

Source: Author

Seventeen-year-olds Willa Thompson and Dan Martin are falling in love. But there’s one major problem: Willa lives in New York. Dan doesn’t.

Teens with divorced parents, Dan, a comic book nerd from Texas, and Willa, a sassy urbanite, have spent the last three years coordinating their monthly trips to visit the parent they don’t live with so that they can meet up during their layovers. As their junior year wraps up, Willa and Dan realize that their feelings for each other are more than friendly.

When they begin a long-distance relationship, Dan and Willa find out that there is more working against them than geography—both are serious students who aren’t applying to any of the same colleges. To make matters worse, Dan’s ruthless ex sees Willa as nothing more than a challenge to overcome, and Willa’s more-experienced-in-love best friend doesn’t trust Dan as far as she can throw him. Which is not at all.

Spanning a year and told from Willa and Dan’s alternating perspectives, Taking Flight captures the many stresses of being a high school senior, and how very difficult—but also how very easy—love can be.

Fictitious Delicious Rating: 4

For the second time in six months, I've fallen in love with a book from a self-published author.  This time, Erin Brown put me on an emotional roller coaster all in the name of teenage love.

Dan and Willa share perspectives in this story and I initially had a hard time distinguishing their voices from each other.  Between that and the barage of song and book references that are thrown out too frequently, I was feeling a little nervous.  I liked the writing, though, so I kept on and then BAM! Something popped at about 30% into the story.  It felt like Brown suddenly found her rhythm. Everything clicked and TAKING FLIGHT turned into a story that I'd happily recommend to fellow lovers of contemporary fiction.

This story provides something that I REALLY wish I would have had available to my high school junior/senior self--a healthy discussion on the difficulties of choosing a college.  How do you pick a school when you have two halves to reconcile? On one hand, you want to pick a college that provides you with the best education. But what if that means going to a school that is far away from the person you love? This is a life altering decision and one that I wish I would have made differently. I made an emotional decision without any kind of guidance.  Dan and Willa work through this decision in a much more mature manner than I did.  It's great to see a high level of maturity meshed in with the emotions in this story.

And these characters tackle everything (aka sex) with maturity, not just the decision of college. *eyebrow waggle*  I am going to be happy to have Olivia read this story in another year or so.  Willa is a great role model, guys. 

Secondary characters in this story are as enjoyable as the main characters. As a matter of fact, Willa's BFF, Ana, was one of my favorite characters in the entire story.  She provides a strong voice and provides a many LOL moments. 

All in all, TAKING FLIGHT is a solid debut from Erin Brown!  Be on the look out for it when it hits virtual shelves May 6th.  OH! And Erin has agreed to stop by our sweet little blog May 5th for her FIRST INTERVIEW EVER. I'm honored to have her stop by and can't wait to talk to her about that ending she delivered.  GAH. It's one that will have you feeling weepy.

PS - The book cover for this is beyond perfect. Like, gives me goosebumps perfect. It immediately brings me back into the story. *sigh*

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)
Cora Carmack

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*

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