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jaimearkin

Fiction Fare

I read books like it's my job... even though it's not! My blog is called Fic Fare! Please make sure you're following me over there www.fictionfare.blogspot.com  

Please friend/follow me if you're truly interested in having book conversations.

 

Other things you might want to know... - I read... too much sometimes probably, but I love it. - I love to use gifs. you've been warned. - I'm not afraid to share my opinion. Even if it's unpopular. We can't all like the same things, but I'll be respectful and I expect you to be as well. Thanks for checking me out! Can't wait to discuss all the books with you!!

Currently reading

Finnikin of the Rock
Melina Marchetta
The Unwanteds
Lisa McMann
Coda
Emma Trevayne
Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)
Brandon Sanderson
In Time (The Darkest Minds, #1.5)
Alexandra Bracken

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins

Rebel BelleRebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars!!

Rachel Hawkins says Rebel Belle is Legally Blonde meets The Terminator and I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it.

Harper Price is what some might call a Southern Belle. When we first meet her, she’s set to win Homecoming Queen … but first, she needs to apply lipstick. What is meant to be a simple trip to the restroom turns into a fight to the death and who she thought was the school janitor transferring powers to her with a whispered word of Paladin.

Harper’s life was already crazy… juggling college applications, her boyfriend, all the committees she’s on and Cotillion have kept her insanely busy, but it keeps her mind off some of the issues going on at home. Dealing with the stress that David Stark’s existence causes is just one more thing she doesn’t have time for… but he’s the one who is there when she first gets her powers and then suspicions confirmed, David is the person she’s meant to protect.

I hurried out of the lobby and turned the corner into the English hall, so I didn’t see the guy in front of me until it was too late.

“Oh!” I exclaimed as we bumped shoulders. “Sorry!”

Then I realized who I’d bumped into, and I immediately regretted my apologetic tone. If I’d known it was David Stark, I would have tried to hit him harder, or maybe stepped on his foot with the spiky heel of my new shoes for good measure.

I did my best to smile at him, though, even as I realized my stomach was jumping all over the place. He must have scared me more than I’d thought.

David scowled at me over the rims of his ridiculous hipster glasses, the kind with the thick black rims. I hate those. I mean, it’s the 21st century. There are fashionable options for eyewear.

“Watch where you’re going,” he said. Then his lips twisted in a smirk. “Or could you not see through all that mascara?”


To say that they dislike each other would be an understatement! Ultimately Harper comes to a couple realizations that are hard to swallow… the first, maybe she and David don’t really hate each other as much as they say and the second… her life will never be the same.

David is just as driven as Harper is and I loved the competitiveness between the two ... I have this picture of a total hipster when I think of him and I love it! You know that phrase there is a thin line between love and hate... these two embody it!

Hawkins has a way of writing her teen characters that make me want to be friends with them all. Harper Price steals the show in this story. She’s everything you would imagine a southern belle to be. But what I love most about her is her charm and wit. Her inner monologue had me laughing out loud with every turn of the page. From critiquing Paladin uniforms, to creating a flow chart of the situation she finds herself in, I loved every second of her story.

As usual, Hawkins writes an engaging, witty story that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can. I loved the small town feel that she portrays here and I’m so excited for how this story ended. If you’re looking for something light and funny, with snarky characters and a unique plot … if you loved Hex Hall you’re going to love this one too. Definitely pick it up when it’s out in 2014! All of you people sad because some of your favorite serie’ are ending … do not fret, there are some new amazing ones coming in 2014 and I definitely count this series among them.


View all my reviews

Review: Erased (Altered #2)

Erased - Jennifer Rush
 

Erased by Jennifer Rush
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Erased, the follow-up to Altered was exactly what I was hoping it would be. Fast-paced, intense, and full of action.

Erased picks up just after the end of Altered. Anna has fled the Branch with Sam, Cas and Nick and they are searching for answers. They are struggling to survive… following strict rules in order to keep themselves hidden, and struggling with memories that they can’t make sense of.

The tension in the house is thick and Nick’s attitude doesn’t really help. But assistance from someone they least expect helps lead them to someone Anna has been searching for and hopefully some answers as well as a way to destroy The Branch.

They quickly realize that they need to split up which leaves Anna traveling with Nick. For reasons unknown, Nick has always shown a bit of animosity towards Anna and despite that I loved the time the two spend together. As we’re slowly given information regarding their pasts, his actions start to make more and more sense.

Despite all the action, we get a bit of the romance too. Sam and Anna are struggling to make sense of the past as well, and the relationship he had with her sister… but we definitely still get the swoons.

He leaned into me, his other hand cupping the side of my face. He kissed me softly, slowly, in a way that was more than just lips on lips. A kiss that was not only physical but something more, something deeper. A kiss I felt in my soul.


But what I love most about this series is the camaraderie between everyone… Anna is like the little sister to these boys… they tease and taunt but they honestly love her and would do anything for her.

Cas sat down next to me on the bed and put his hand on my leg. “I offered to give you mouth-to-mouth but Sam vetoed. I don’t know why. I said I wouldn’t use tongue.”

I think my favorite thing about Rush and her writing would have to be the wonderful characters that she creates. They just jump off the page. The depth of the relationships are realistic and perfectly written in my opinion and the affection I find that I have for these characters is a testament to her writing.

Rush provides readers with an amazing second part to Altered. With twists and turns you couldn’t expect and a riveting story that will have you turning pages, you definitely want to pick this book up when it releases in January. And if you haven’t yet read Altered, go get it today!

Thank you to Little Brown for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Quotes are taken from an advance copy and may change in the published version.

Deeper by Robin York

Deeper - Robin York

Deeper by Robin York
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Caroline Piasecki never imagined the guy she dated for several years and trusted implicitly would ever do something so ... horrible to her.

What she thought was an uneventful breakup ends up being anything but when her d-bag of an ex decides he isn't happy with Caroline's decision to end things.

When Caroline wakes up to find pictures of her ... ones she trusted the man she thought she loved at one point with... all over the internet, she feels like her future is destroyed. The plans she had for her future are in jeopardy and there is nothing she can ultimately do.

West Leavitt isn't exactly the person he's made Caroline think he is. Known around campus for dealing pot and random hookups, he's doing everything he can to not get involved, but he can't keep his fists to himself when Caroline's ex starts making comments about what he's done.

West and Caroline aren't friends though... even though she makes her way to the bakery that West works at on her sleepless nights and they talk and they listen and they learn about each other.

West's history is complicated though. He hasn't had the life that Caroline has and they can't pretend that it doesn't and won't impact their future.

Enough about the plot though! York has created amazing characters full of depth and passion in this first book in the series and I was blown away by how much I found myself caring about them.

West's circumstances, while dark and heavy, definitely weigh on you, but that didn't change how I felt about him at all. His determination to survive and to help his family are things that made me care even more than I expected.

And Caroline's story is hard to swallow. The fact that this man... no wait... this asshole that she trusted could do something so heinous to her and then not even care or think about the repercussions it could have on her and her future ... it makes me angry just thinking about it again while writing this.

I haven't told him about the pictures. I can't.

I'm a mouth with a boy's dick in it, a body to look at, legs to spread."


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yeah... I definitely want to murder someone and his name is Nate. And the sad thing is, this isn't something that the author made up... it happens a lot. (you can read about it in her author note at the end of the book)

Not only is Caroline dealing with the backlash of fellow students, random strangers are now harassing her and the way York portrays Caroline's story felt so spot on for me. Her journey from the start of this book to the very last page was amazing and so wonderful.

The security she finds through West... so completely unexpected, was lovely.

That's how it looks to me. Like the stars are in Caroline, and the whole world is just me and her.

But he doesn't just help her hide, he pushes her to get back to her life... to stop letting him victimize her over and over.

And of course that trust and friendship evolves and the pacing of their relationship was done so perfectly. It wasn't instant love and to be honest it wasn't even instant friendship, but you see the evolution of the actual relationship, you can see why they start to care for each other and along the way you can't help but cheer them on... and of course the sexy moments between these two were amazing to read.

I didn't plan this, but her lips shape the welcome I've been waiting for my whole life, her arms are the anchor I need, her body is my home.

We're right together, Caroline and me. Even if I'm doing this wrong, completely fucking wrong, it doesn't matter.

We're right.


Now... I will say this. The end of this book is very open ended. Not a cliffhanger at all, but you're not sure where York is going to take it in book 2. I have every confidence that I will eventually be happy, but be forewarned... you may have some tears

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If you're looking for a story that is beautifully written but tackles a tough issue, a story that is filled with some swoon worthy moments and wonderful chemistry, a story that has some angst and sadness wrapped in a story of love and friendship, then you need to pick up Deeper when it arrives in January.

Now.... GIMME BOOK TWO!!
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Thank you to Bantam and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

All quotes are taken from an advance copy and could change in publication.

This review will be posted closer to release on my blog, Fic Fare:



View all my reviews

Season of Second Chances by Brighton Walsh

Season of Second Chances - Brighton Walsh

Season of Second Chances by Brighton Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you looking for a sweet, definitely sexy and absolutely wonderful holiday read?

You need to pick up this Novella by Brighton Walsh.

In Season of Second chances we meet Claire and Logan... exes who went their separate ways several years ago. Claire finds herself stranded in the airport and Logan just happens to come to her rescue offering her a place to wait out the storm... and spend her birthday.

Despite being apart for two years, their chemistry certainly hasn't diminished and spending time in the place they once called home together reminds Claire of all the reasons they worked ... but also all the reasons they didn't.

If you guys have read other stuff from Walsh, you know she can create a swoony guy... Logan is no exception to that. Do hot, single dads make you swoon? Because Logan has a 7 year old daughter and the interactions we see between them will have you swooning just as much as Claire was.

And despite what I felt was an over-reaction on Claire's part at one point, you can't help but identify with her and the way she feels about Logan. Does she love him? yes... but sometimes loving someone isn't enough to make a relationship work and that is the call she had to make years ago and the issue arises again, just when she thinks they will be able to make things work.

Realistic characters, a love story that will have you fanning yourself on one page and swooning over sweet stuff on the next, and excellent writing is what is in store for you when you pick up The Season of Second Chances! Get this one as soon as you can! It's the perfect holiday read!

Knight & Day (Knight #3) By Kitty French

Knight & Day  - Kitty French

Knight & Day by Kitty French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My initial reaction to hearing that there was going to be a third book in the Knight series by Kitty French

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But then… I found it wasn’t just about Lucien and Sophie and I got concerned. I mean… I fell hard for these two and even though their story wraps up pretty wonderfully in book 2, I couldn’t help but be greedy and want more. Plus, what and who could French give us to consume our thoughts while reading that would overshadow Lucien?

Dylan Day… that’s who.

You know from the very beginning that Dylan isn’t telling the truth about who he is or why he’s in Ibiza and looking for a job. But pieces are falling into place for him here, he is appointed Club Manager by Lucien and a friendship begins to form between the two. Then he meets Kara Brooks.

Kara is the little sister Lucien never had and the best friend of Sophie. She & Sophie also own the boutiques inside of Lucien’s clubs and from the very first meeting you can sense the explosive chemistry that Dylan and Kara have. It’s just a matter of time before they cave right?

“You like things that are bad for you, English.”

“It’s my downfall. I like sugar. I like fast cars. I like sexy men.”


After being left at the alter a year ago by a cheating fiancé, the one thing that Kara asks from Dylan, is that he doesn’t lie to her. But you know that there are things in his past that he’s not telling about, and the longer that goes on the worse you know it’s going to be. Despite knowing that, I found it hard to not fall for Dylan…

“You like dirty talk, English?”

And holy balls, let me tell you this man delivers.

What starts as a no commitments, just sex relationship evolves into more as the months go by. But the big question is … despite their whirlwind of a romance, when the truth comes out, can they still make it work?

I absolutely loved both Dylan (as you can tell) and Kara in this story. She’s the type of heroine I find myself really enjoying. She’s strong, smart and independent… Yes, she’s determined to hide her heart away because she doesn’t want to get hurt anymore, but she finds herself falling for the sexy and charming man she can’t seem to avoid.

“I could love you, Dylan Day.”

“I could love you too.”


There is an added bonus to this story. French does give us readers bits and pieces of Sophie and Lucien’s story. She expertly weaves them into Knight & Day and while this is truly Dylan and Kara’s story, we get their points of view in a way that works seamlessly.

My one complaint if I had to state one, is the end felt incredibly rushed to me. We never get any explanation as to why Kara changed her mind. I would have liked a little bit more on that… but honestly, that was minor in the grand scheme for me.

I’m honestly a big fan of Kitty French and her writing and this book just solidified that fact for me.

If you’re a fan of erotic romance that isn’t overly dramatic and wrought with drama… romance with sexy guys, and insanely hot dirty talk don’t pass this series up. I’m definitely waiting to see what Kitty French has in store for us readers next!

Month Of Giving - Featuring LeighAnn Kopans on Day 20!

 
LeighAnn Kopans has quickly become one of our favorite authors and once you read the One Universe series you will be able to see why.  She creates a world in which the characters draw you in and keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  Check out our reviews and then make sure you add these to your to read list if you haven't already. 
 
You will also notice that Kopans has another book on the way.  This one is already on our "Must Have" lists and should be on yours too!! (ps I've read it and you're definitely going to want to get this one!!) She writes original stories with protagonists you're going to love and swoony boys you're going to love more! 
 
Aside from her books, Kopans is one of the loveliest authors out there!  If you aren't following her on twitter and instagram and everywhere else, you have to go now and add her.  Now check out her books and enter to win an epic giveaway! 


When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.
 
It makes you a One.
 
Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.
 
If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.
 
Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.
 

 

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.




Elias and Merrin are on the run.
 
After escaping the Biotech Hub, they thought they could breathe easy, or at least a little easier. But when bombs slam into the Social Welfare Hub only hours after their arrival, it becomes clear there's nowhere to hide - and no end to what Biotech will do to get them back.
 
Their last chance for safety and answers is the Clandestine Service Hub. CS has intel on the real, broader purpose behind Fisk’s experiments , and the newfound knowledge of the horrors hidden deep within Biotech’s walls sends Merrin back to recover a secret formula that could ruin the Supers’ world forever—and might just save the lives of the Biotech victims spiraling out of control.
 
Elias' sisters are counted among the victims of Fisk’s experiments, and if Elias can't find and help them, their powers will destroy them--sooner rather than later. Returning to the place it all began terrifies him, but with Fisk ready to make an example out of Merrin, and his sisters’ lives --and the lives of all Supers--hanging in the balance, he might not have a choice. If he can't find the courage to face his worst fears, Elias might lose more than his newfound powers.
 

 

He might lose everyone he loves.


Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.
 
But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.
 
Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the
battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.
 

 

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.
 
ABOUT LEIGHANN

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Her debut novel, ONE, is about a girl with only half a superpower, the boy who makes her fly, and her struggle to make herself whole.
 

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)

TWITTER / FACEBOOK / GOODREADS / WEBSITE
 
LeighAnn has offered up an amazing giveaway for a couple lucky winners!!  One winner (US ONLY) will win signed paperbacks of both One & Two and Solving For Ex PLUS SWAG!  one winner (INTL) will win the ebooks for One & Two. Make sure you get your entries in! 

 

Review: Wanderlust

Wanderlust: A Holiday Story (A Heroes and Heartbreakers Original) - Kitty French
 


Jaime's Thoughts

Wanderlust by Kitty French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Kitty French - I first found her through her Knight novels and when I saw she had this novella coming I grabbed it as soon as I could.

This is definitely a quick read but it uses one of my absolute favorite tropes - friends to more. And Kitty does an amazing job with it.

Ruby and Ford had been best friends from their university days. Upon their graduation Ruby is tied to England because of her responsibilities to her little sister and Ford... well he's not tied to anything and he's getting on a plane the following day.

Both dreading the departure, Ford takes advantage of an opportunity to share a moment ... a kiss that had been years in the making with Ruby. But then he leaves.

Eight years later, after no contact, Ford is set to make his arrival back in England for a mutual friends wedding, which means Ruby has to see him.

One of the reasons I love the friends to more trope is because you get that deeper connection between the characters and despite this story being short, you can definitely get a good feel for the one that Ford and Ruby had and the connection that reignites upon their meeting again.

Ford was ... yum. I don't even know if there is another word for him.

"I'm not asking to kiss you. I'm telling you that I'm going to."

And Ruby... I appreciate that she wasn't pining away for Ford all the years he was gone, and there was no drama when he originally left. She knew what her friend needed to do and she didn't try to hold him back.

I do wish that we would have gotten a bit more of this story - but that's just me being greedy because I love this author's writing. Definitely pick this one up if you're looking for a quick, hot, sexy holiday read!

Thanks to St. Martin's and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

P.S. If you haven't read the Knight & Play/Stay Series GO NOW!! 

Review: Summer of Surrender

Summer of Surrender - Zara Stoneley
 
3.5 stars – 
 
Kezia has spent her life never worrying about where she’ll be or what she’ll be doing tomorrow.  She’s a free-spirit but when her parents are taken from her, she isn’t sure what to do with herself.  A chance meeting with a woman named Maria provides her with an opportunity she can’t help but jump on.
 
Maria’s offer takes her back to the UK and lands her on the front step of a home surrounded by a locked gate… which she decides isn’t going to keep her out.  
 
James had planned to spend the summer in quiet and peace… when he sees a young, beautiful woman climbing his fence in just a dress he wants nothing more than for her to turn back around and leave.  But that isn’t going to happen, and he recognizes immediately that she is going  to be nothing but trouble for him.
 
James and Kezia are complete opposites yet they can’t deny the desire and intrigue they have for each other.  But James had his fill of relationships and heartbreak in his other life… The one he left behind.  And despite how strong Kezia is, she doubts her decisions and wonders if this place is meant for her.    
 
I enjoyed this quick story… and it really is a quick read – less than 200 pages, but within those pages we get some fairly well-developed characters.  
 
Kezia is strong willed and carefree… on the outside.  Underneath all that, all she really is looking for is a place to call home, someplace to feel grounded and her own.  Instead from the second she meets James, she’s almost unsure of everything she has done.  When Maria convinced her to give them a try, she knew she would be leaving her friend Simon behind, but she also knew that what they had wasn’t permanent.  Unfortunately he wasn’t of the same mind.
 
Can I just say right now, that I was suspicious of him from the get-go – he was creepy stalker dude.  
 
James has been  burned in the past… his last relationship took everything out of him and he promised himself he wasn’t going to care about anyone that way anymore.  James has some obvious control issues, but I honestly really enjoyed his character, even when he was being kind of a jerk. I don’t know what that says about me, but there you have it.  Maybe it was the things that came out of his mouth?
 
”I can make you come,” He took another step closer.  Stroked along her lip with one finger, “without touching you where you want me to most.”
 
“Slightly bigger deal, but if I get in the zone, think the right things…” Her voice tailed off as he eased his thumb between her teeth.
 
… he just wanted her. To see her surrender, for him. To him.
 
“All you have to do is say please.”
 
But this isn’t just a story about two people fighting for control and falling and love…  It’s more about submitting and surrendering to the person you love.  But there also ends up being a bit of a mystery to this story, because Kezia’s parents died under mysterious circumstances, which you slowly learn as the characters start to reveal more of themselves to each other. 
 
A couple things I wasn’t quite on board with… Kezia’s questioning of her decisions about 2/3 of the way through the story.  I felt it was a bit out of character.  To me, she didn’t really come across as someone who would let another manipulate her and her feelings.  I felt like she was stronger than that the entire book, so when it happened, I was caught off guard.  
 
Another thing… I wasn’t quite sure what this farm/property was exactly.  Sex Therapy was thrown around, and James said he was a therapist, but … at times, the place sounded like it was a bit shady.  I think I would have liked a bit more explanation as to what exactly was going on at this place when it was actually in business. 
 
If you’re looking for a quick and entertaining read that has a bit of heartbreak mixed with hope and some definite steam and heat filled moments … complex characters that are well-developed and interesting then this story is for you.  
 
Thank you to Harper Impulse for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. 
 

Review: The Fifth Favor

The Fifth Favor - Shelby Reed
 


The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars rounding up to 5

Billie Cort, a reporter, has been granted entrance into a world that some people can only imagine. Avalon is a very private club that caters to very private women, providing them with the best of the best and granting their deepest and darkest desires.

She's writing an article on the clubs most popular escort, Adrian. Billie is surprised by the immediate reaction she has to the sensual man and try as she might, she struggles to get the real answers she's looking for.

Adrian's life may seem like he has it all, but he's been hiding who he is for years. The money and the women were enough when he started, but he sees all the things he's missing in his life once he starts talking to Billie. And he's drawn to her like no one else.

”Maybe I need this.” The fierce words rushed between his lips, flavored with sudden desperation. “Maybe I need it with you, right here, tonight. You’re so damn innocent, Billie. It sets me on fire.”

I'm not going to lie... I wasn't entirely sure I was going to love this book. Mostly because, well there's no getting around it... Adrian, our hero is a male escort. And there is no denying he’s good at his job.

But there is more to him than what he does and I found him immediately intriguing. The push and pull between Billie and Adrian was interesting to me because for a much as you want them together as a couple, you can’t help but question how his profession would get in the middle of it. Despite the attempts at normality, dates and meeting his family, it always seems to be the one thing that can’t and shouldn’t be forgotten.

”Why did you invite me tonight, Adrian?”

He glanced at her then back at the road. “You remind me that there’s still a world out there,” he said simply.


It’s absolutely things like this, dialogue like this, that pulled me in and made me fall for Adrian. He’s such a dichotomy that you can’t help but wonder about the man underneath this façade he portrays for the women who pay for him.

For a man whose life encompassed the raw, emotionless aspect of base human urges, he was unequivocally inclined toward gentleness.

As it goes, Billie and Adrian exchange favor for favor and suddenly they’re in deeper with each other than they’d ever planned or expected.

But there is another part of this story… that of his friend Lucien. And unfortunately his is not a happy or pleasant story. But it’s also where I felt the story was kind of forced. I didn’t believe for one bit that the police would have pursued anything with Adrian and I find it hard to believe that Azure could have hidden all proof of where Adrian was the evening Lucian died.

That said, I didn’t feel as if it took away from the actual story. The characters that Reed has created are well developed and full of life. The story pacing is perfectly done and thankfully (for me) we don’t get much detail in the way of his professional appointments. The chemistry between Billie and Adrian is really well done and the tension and interactions between the two so believable and the steam…*fans self*.

If you’re looking for a story of redemption and forgiveness filled with emotion and interesting characters look no further. The Fifth Favor will fill each of those requirements.

Thank you to Berkley Trade for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

 

Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars!

I think I’ve been putting off writing this review because I’m not really sure how to tell you all about it. Lame, I know. Especially given how much I really enjoyed it. First of all… if you’re looking for an amazingly written Sci-fi series to get into this is it. Now don’t let the word series scare you away – these are companion books and the story that you get in this first book is complete. I’m incredibly happy that we’ll get more of Kaufman and Spooner and this world they have created. The trilogy catch phrase has me intrigued though I must say.

Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

How lovely yet ominous does that sound!

In These Broken Stars, Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen couldn’t be more different. He is a war hero who comes from nothing and she’s the daughter of the richest man in the universe, constantly surrounded by bodyguards and expected to maintain a certain kind of appearance. When Icarus, the luxury spaceliner they are on crashes they are forced to rely on each other traveling over the strange deserted land in order to find help. Along the way they realize some things about each other and a tentative friendship forms … and then eventually more. But strange things are happening on this strange planet, and when they find out the truth behind them neither will be the same.

How cryptic am I? LOL Okay, so now you know that this isn’t just some space love story. There is definitely a bit of a mystery and some suspense and I think the best part about it is that I never once figured it out. Oh… I had suspicions, but none of them were correct. Which leads me to the first reason you need to pick this book up… its originality is off the charts. I haven’t read something like this in… ever probably.

Alternating points of view absolutely help with the pacing of this story and while there is definitely an initial attraction to each other, this is not a case of insta-love. From the first interactions where they argue and clash with each other to the gradual friendship and then eventually more, it’s a lovely progression in their relationship.

”I never realized how nice it was when you just called me Lilac.”

“Lilac?” I smooth down her hair again as she settles closer. I don’t want her to move. “I’d never be so familiar, Miss LaRoux. It would be highly inappropriate. I know my place, and apparently it’s swearing up a storm at you, hallucinating wildly. My mother would be so proud.”


And this is where I have to say, I can’t really tell you much more without fear of revealing certain key points in the story.

So, let’s talk about the characters. Lilac is strong and sensible and while she’s had a privileged life, she’s had to deal with her own losses, things that weigh upon her and ultimately have only made her stronger.

Tarver has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

That’s all I ever hear. That all you got? Try harder. Be richer. Be smarter. Learn which damn cutlery to use. Speak like us. Think like us.

Screw that all the way to hell.


He comes across as a bit stoic and unemotional… determined not to get involved with Lilac even when he has to. But their situation forces a relationship and as they learn more about each other, they learn that they aren’t exactly who they might appear to be on the outside.

Sometimes Sci-Fi can be hard to read, but Kaufman and Spooner make this story so easy to follow and get completely immersed in that I found it hard to put down. The bits of the interview with Tarver at the start of each chapter really allows for a bit more depth into the aftermath of the story and despite being told by two different authors the story flows well and it was impossible for me to tell one writer from another.

If you’re looking for a gorgeously told story, with elements of intrigue and suspense… love and romance … and unpredictable twists and turns you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.

Plus… what an amazing cover. I’m so happy I picked this one up at BEA and I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

All quotes are taken from an ARC and may be different in the published copy.

December Giveaways on Fic Fare!


Maybe you've seen this icon on our sidebar for the last month... maybe not.  LOL Either way, I can finally tell you what it's all about!! It's been killing me to keep this all a secret you know!
 
So... We here at Fic Fare were trying to think of a way we could make December special.  For us and for you! And I thought why not reach out to some of our favorite authors and see if they might like to help us out.  And imagine my surprise at the reception we received from everyone we asked! 

 

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We have several reasons to celebrate, but most importantly we wanted a way to be able to say thank you to all of you who support us here at Fic Fare ... those of you who read our reviews and our posts and share them with your friends and comment and just otherwise be wonderful.  Since I can't hug you all in person and buy you coffee,  I thought maybe giving you the chance to win some of our favorite titles might be better.
 
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Over the past year, I've had many things to be thankful for... we've grown so much.  I still remember when I created my 2012 year end survey last year and I commented that I wanted to get to 250 followers...  Needless to say, we have exceeded that here at Fic Fare by hundreds!! *stares at the almost 1200 people that follow*
 
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We have grown so much that I had to beg some amazing people to help out - This year, Erin and Cosmo joined Fic Fare and I couldn't be happier about it!  They are both wonderful additions and if you aren't following them everywhere yet, please make sure you do so! 
 
So... all that being said, we will have a new feature every day leading up to Christmas Day.  We will have book features, interviews, guest posts and of course giveaways!  A new one each day featuring one of our amazing favorites.  SO - Make sure you stop by every day in December to enter to win and see who we're featuring and what they have to say!  
 
Once again, thank you all for an amazing year and we're so excited for 2014 and all the books we can't wait to share with you! 

Please note that due to shipping costs, most of the giveaways are US only, but we do have a handful of giveaways that are International - I have noted on each one - so just be aware when you enter! 
 
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Our first feature went up yesterday with one of my absolute favorites and we have another favorite up today! Make sure you go check it out and enter to win all the awesome books!! 
 

Three (Article 5 #3) by Kristen SImmons

Three  - Kristen Simmons

Three (Article 5, #3)Three by Kristen Simmons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dear Kristen Simmons:
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I’m not even sure where I’m supposed to start or what I’m supposed to say about this final book in the Article 5 series. It’s bittersweet for sure, because I’ve loved this series and its characters from the second I picked up the first book. Chase and Ember have pulled me into their lives, and I’m sad to see the end… but as you might have seen in my last update, this was perfection. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

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Three starts shortly after the end of Breaking Point, and Chase, Ember and the members of their small group are trying to find a safe place for everyone. The ruins of the safe house they were looking for are behind them now, and as they hide and take shelter in the abandoned cities and shells of homes along their path, they search for a new safe house. They aren’t without hope because they continue to see signs of Three, an organization they hope will be able to help them.

Along the way, Chase encounters someone he never expected to see again, and who impacts this story in more ways than one.

Of course the path Chase and Ember follow isn’t easy. How could it be? Even when they find the place they think could become a safe haven, they are faced with questionable allies, uprisings on the outside and betrayal.

I’m not going to say anything more about the story, I won’t ruin the amazing job that Simmons has done here, but I’m going to give you 10 reasons why you should read:

1. Action, Action, Action – this book is so full of it you won’t be able to put it down because there just isn’t a good place to stop.
2. Kissing.
3. The barn.
4. Amazing characters who jump off the page and into your heart. I adore Ember and her determination and Chase and his perseverance and Sean and Rebecca are just as wonderful.
5. Belt Loops I reached for his waistband, threaded a finger through the belt loop, and pulled him closer.
6. Kissing.
7. The relationships complicated or not between each and every one of these characters.
8. The Swoon – I felt the rough skin, the ridges, tracing the map of his body. And waited.
“Two months in I tried to run.” A hint of a smile touched his lips. “There was this girl at home. The kind that made you want to try.”

9. Kissing.
10. The Sweet –“You’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Basically I marked the crap out of this book and I plan to reread this whole series back to back when the book comes out in February. Now, please forgive me for this vague, flaily, non-review review LOL

Simmons had me on the edge of my seat with every twist and turn as I read… I never knew who to trust or who was on which side and still she managed to swoon the crap out of me. You can’t help but root for Chase and Ember and those fighting the injustices piled on them.

I laughed, I cheered, I flailed and I swooned while reading this. I swear you will do the same. If you haven’t started this series you’re missing out on an incredible story with amazing characters that will burrow their way into your heart.

For a fast-paced, action filled dystopian series this is one you can’t miss out on. Thank you to Kristen for sharing Chase & Ember's amazing story with us readers.

Thank you to Kristen for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper

Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper

Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3 years ago, a train accident changed Katrina’s life in the worst way possible.

Now she’s back in the suburbs living in her childhood home and trying to make a happy life for her and her daughter Abbey.

Her daughter’s obsession with a certain kids TV show gives her an idea – working at the local library she’s organizing a kids event and she goes on the hunt for the man who wrote the jingle for the same show that honestly drives her a little nuts.

The guy who shows up is one Adrian Graves.

”You are drunk.”

“And you” – he popped two of the curiously strong mints into his mouth – “are beautiful.”


Adrian seems to be a washed up British rocker, covered in tattoos and not exactly who she was expecting, but he’s a hit with the kids.
From there, a relationship of sorts grows between Adrian and Kat. They bond over music and food and while they both have some things they’re not sharing, they’re slowly falling for each other.

The evolution of their relationship is definitely not an easy one.
I have to say that I really enjoyed that the characters were more mature… and by mature, I mean older. LOL Adrian was in his 40’s and Kat was in her 30’s and it’s nice to finally get some characters in that age range. For the most part I really liked both Kat and Adrian. I thought they were really well developed and fleshed out. The addition of Abbey allowed for some lighter moments as well.

I also really liked the glimpses of the friendships that Kat had with her girlfriends.

And Adrian, despite some of his flaws was actually pretty sexy and swoony.

I know. It’s been another lifetime,” he agreed. “Don’t try and retrace steps. We’ll find new ones.”

Adrian has his own issues going on. When you find out about his past it really makes things fall into place and makes some of his actions make a bit more sense.

A few things that I didn’t get/like. Abbey. I found I had to remind myself that she was only 4.5, I think at times Topper portrayed her a bit too old for her actual age. Also, Kat’s ‘moving on.’ As a single parent, I struggle with the idea that she just jumped right into bed with Adrian. We really didn’t see her struggle with her need to move on. It was almost too quick from the point she decided she wanted to start dating to the point where she and Adrian were a couple.

Additionally, and this is totally my hangup I’m sure, mostly because I would never, ever invite a person into our house and let him bond with my child after only a meeting or two. I get that that was part of the plot, but the way she was portrayed as worrying about Abbey and not wanting her to forget her father, I just felt like she would have been a bit more careful about presenting him as a love interest with her child around. Again, that might be my hangup, and it honestly didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book, and it only really hit me when I was sitting here thinking about what I wanted to say.

Also Grant. I didn’t really understand his being a part of the story. I get it… there needed to be a bad guy I guess, but I just felt like he landed a bit flat for me.

Overall, I think this was a wonderful story filled with wonderful characters and a captivating plot. The story was well-written and I really look forward to more from Ms. Topper in the future.

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin NAL for the advance copy for review!

This review can be found on my blog, Fic Fare:


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The Wrong Billionaire's Bed by Jessica Clare

The Wrong Billionaire's Bed  - Jessica Clare

The Wrong Billionaire's Bed by Jessica Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I have to say that I went into this book with no expectations. I hadn't read any of the other books in this series, nor had I read anything by Jessica Clare. But I was skimming through Netgalley and this caught my eye so I thought what the hell.

I'm ecstatic I did.

Audrey Petty has always been the good twin... dependable and responsible. She's also been harboring a crush on her childhood friend Cade Archer. When the chance to spend weeks with him at his secluded cabin presents itself she wonders if this is finally the opportunity to share her true feelings with him and pursue a relationship.

The catch? Her sister is the reason they are going to be together. Audrey's sister Daphne is the cliched popstar... too much partying and too many drugs and she's spent a lot of time on the covers of gossip mags lately. But Daphne won't go to rehab, instead she begs Audrey to help her in seclusion.

A surprise house guest upon arrival is not what Audrey was expecting.

Billionaire playboy Reese Durham doesn't have any use for relationships. In fact, the girl he's found with in the hot tub is only there for one reason... a business deal. If he has to sleep with the 25 year old daughter of someone he wants to do business with to get his company out of the red, he'll just have to do it.

I have to say that my favorite part about this story were the actual characters. Initially I thought Audrey was going to be this timid character who lets people walk all over her. I was incredibly wrong. From the minute she asks Reese if that was his dick pressed against her, I knew I was going to be happy with her. She's intelligent, and driven... her only flaw... sticking to her teenage crush. But I can understand it.

Know what else I liked about Audrey... her sexual confidence.

And Reese... *fans self* seriously, you're going to love this guy. He's confident, both sexually and in general and he's a tiny bit naughty! Which if you know me, you know I love.

The chemistry between Reese and Audrey was wonderfully done, and of course they dive head first into a no-strings attached fling, Audrey expecting to use him like he uses women, and Reese expecting to get his fill of the tigress under a tight bun and sensible clothes. Neither expect to enjoy the banter and fighting along the way.

I loved how Reese needled Audrey and angry sex = win. But that wasn't all there is to these two.

A few things ... I would have liked to get to know a bit more about both Audrey and Reese... more of the 'getting to know you' stuff. I realize that isn't always possible, but it also helps with connecting to the characters for me. Also, there was this one time her lady parts were called a 'well'... not a fan of that. Additionally we heard way too often how 'not skinny' Audrey was. It was almost overkill.

I also found myself irritated at Cade right from the get-go because had I been in his situation and my friends were at the cabin to detox someone, I would not have said yeah dude you can stay. He offered Daphne a private place and even though Reese was his BFF, he should have been adamant that he leave.

however ... I do realize had that happened we wouldn't have this book. LOL so all is forgiven in that regard.

Definitely pick this one up if you're in the mood for a strong female lead who gives as good as she gets and I'll just be over here finding book 1 & 2 in this series. (Please note that you can read this book as a standalone if you want.)

Sidenote: I just found that Jessica Clare is a pen name for Jill Myles, who I have read previously and enjoyed! I'll definitely be checking out her other stuff.

Thank you to Penguin & Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

This review can be found on my blog, Fic Fare:


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When It's Right by Jeanette Grey

When It's RightWhen It's Right by Jeanette Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a fan … I can’t lie. I’ve been reading Jeanette Grey’s words for a while now, and I’ve never been disappointed, and When It’s Right does everything perfectly.

I love the friends to more trope. You guys probably know this about me.

Nate and Cassie have been friends for years… she’s watched him date all the wrong women and even held her tongue after his latest breakup. They’re both looking for something different this New Year’s and that’s why she agrees to an impromptu road trip to New York City to celebrate and hopefully she can fulfill her resolution to give up on the crush she’s always had on him.

But of course the trip can’t run smoothly… and what starts with car trouble, moves on to a freak storm and a resulting car accident leaves them stranded and stuck in a hotel … and one king size bed.
Grey has a knack for writing amazingly relatable characters and When It’s Right is no exception.

Cassie is the kind of heroine who I adore. She’s smart and sweet and she’s been Nate’s best friend despite her feelings for him. She’s stood by him, never demanding more because she’s afraid to lose what they have. But she’s also not a doormat.

And Nate… he’s kind of fumbling through relationship after relationship simply because he’s a dumb guy and can’t see what is right in front of him. But it’s not irritating, it only endeared him more to me. That said, once he sees her for what she could be, that’s all that he can focus on.

”But what if it’s not wrong?” With his thumbs, he caressed the centers of her palms. “What if it’s not wrong at all? What if it’s right?”

And that’s what starts an amazing night for these two and you can’t help but cheer for everything to fall into place. You’re going to have to read to see if and when that happens!

Something that Grey always gets right… relationships and the chemistry and passion involved. Both of these characters are relatable and she manages to make them jump off the pages for me.

If you’re looking for a quick read that gives you a little bit of drama, an amazing friendship and a sweet and sexy romance this is what you should pick up.

Thank you to Samhain and the author for an advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.


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Two (One Universe #2) By LeighAnn Kopans

Two - LeighAnn Kopans

Two (One Universe #2)Two by LeighAnn Kopans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two is … well, book two in the One Universe and it picks up shortly after book one leaves us.

Elias and Merrin are on the run, they’re looking for someplace safe where they can regroup and hopefully get some answers. They find themselves at the Social Welfare Hub but not for long. Fisk is determined to get the formulas… and Merrin back.

A bomb sends them on the run again and has them at the Clandestine Services Hub where President Masters is more than happy to help them.
But everything isn’t as it seems and when Merrin uncovers some of Fisk’s bigger plans, she finds herself heading back to Biotech to recover something that could change the lives of Super’s everywhere.
Add to all that the stress that Elias is feeling over his sisters. He’s determined to find and help them before their powers destroy what’s left of them

I was really excited to read this and Kopans certainly didn’t disappoint. The journey these characters go on is intense and action packed and what a roller-coaster ride. If you loved Elias and Merrin in book 1, you’re going to be so happy with the path their story is on. Plus, Elias’s point of view is full of win and getting the opportunity to get a deeper feel for the emotions he has and the feelings he has for Merrin was perfection. The struggle he has with simply wanting to live a normal life had me wanting to clasp him to my chest and hide him away forever. But normal is just not on the agenda for these kids.

I’ll be honest, there were times I wanted to shake Merrin, she was so focused on the desire to enhance her one, (which I get) that she often times put everyone else on the backburner. I wanted her to be more concerned about the twins and more concerned about her relationship with Elias.

In addition to our main characters we get Leni and Daniel of course, but we are introduced to some amazing new secondary characters which I’m incredibly excited to get to know more about. From Hayley to Click to Gallagher and Vera as well as President Masters… they all jumped off the page for me and just add to the wonderful plot. Kopans also feeds my geeky side with all her characters and I love it.

I can’t really get into many of the details of the story without potentially spoiling things… but I will tell you this. Kopans weaves tons of action with elements of mystery, and suspense, as well as first love and romance into this amazing series. If you haven’t started it yet, go now and get these books. You’ll thank me later!


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