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Saturday, April 2, 2016

REVIEW: Hunter by Blaire Drake

Release Date: March 28th, 2016

Type: Contemporary Romance, Mafia/Mob, Dark and Dirty

About the Book: Born into blood, I was a mafia princess. Raised in hiding, I was a Californian sweetheart. The day my father sold my thirteen year old body to pay off a five year old debt was the day my mother stole me in the dead of night. She protected me as she was supposed to. My father may have been the king, but my mother was the queen. The mafia blood was hers.

That was ten years ago. Now… the devil was on the loose. Carlo ‘Hunter’ Rosso was my father’s right hand man and the boy I’d loved since I could tie my own shoelaces. He was always the most ruthless and the most deadly of all the children. He’d thought I was dead until the day his assignment was given: Kill Adriana and Alexandria Romano. Kill the princess, and definitely kill the queen. What he didn’t know was that the queen was dead, and the princess had taken her throne. Blood didn’t lie. It smeared, distorted, stained. But it didn’t lie. My father was going to learn the hard way that the empire he’d stolen belonged to me. And so did Carlo ‘Hunter’ Rosso. [Description provided by the author.]

My Review: So it seems the next big trend in romance is the mafia/mob - and I'm definitely down with that! It makes for a nice change. Sure, I still love my rock stars, cowboys, and billionaires, but who doesn't get a little excited when they think about the dark, gritty underworld of mobsters? If you want to give it a try - "Hunter" by Blaire Drake is an excellent way to dip your toe into the water. The book is well written, and the characters well done. There is depth when it comes to emotional turmoil, and be warned, this book doesn't skimp on the death aspect.

Not to say this book doesn't have its little annoyances. The switching from English to Italian often felt out of place, mostly since it was almost exclusively used for cursing. You'd think if someone knew enough Italian to easily switch between that and English, they would say more than just curse words in one language. But hey, I learned some fascinating new curse words, so trust me, it's not all bad.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm so grateful that I was part of Blaire Drake's promotional tour for "Hunter," and that I got the chance to read and review it. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future!

Cover Lovin': Simple, but well done. Thumbs up!

Recommendation: For any romance reader needing her assassin or mafia fix.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5) - a great read that hit all the things I look for in a good mafia romance.


Make sure to get your copy of Hunter by Blaire Drake today!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~


Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review as part of Blaire Drake's blog tour.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Weekly Reading Update! 3/25-3/31/16

This was another week for graphic novels - mostly because I've been so busy that I didn't have much time for anything else.

I finally caught up on Red Hood and the Outlaws, reading both volumes 6 and 7. I was not happy with the ending of 7! Don't do that to me - I love this team, and I refuse to see them turn against each other. I'm not sure if this is the end for the series or not, but I really hope not.. I guess we'll see how it goes.

I also caught up on Aquaman and the Others, reading volume 2. This one was just okay, I prefer Aquaman's single title. It seems this volume comes after some big DC event that I didn't read, so it was more than a little confusing.

Finally, I read Aftershock by Jill Sorenson. Oh wow, was this amazing. I was on edge the entire time, and couldn't put it down - which was rough, considering I am currently dealing with vertigo and reading is not always easy/pleasurable. But this book definitely made it worth it. Check it out if you like Romantic Suspense. I can't wait for the next book to come in at the library!


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Release Week Blitz: WALK THE EDGE by Katie McGarry!

   

One moment...

That’s all it takes to change your life.

What happens when your entire future is on the line because of one reckless moment? This is what Breanna Miller and Thomas “Razor” Turner have to face in Katie McGarry’s WALK THE EDGE. Blackmail, family secrets, future plans on the verge of collapsing, two people who aren’t supposed to be together fall in love, and the power of social media in defining who you are when you’re not even sure who that person is yet…Join the Club and and immerse yourself in the world of the Reign of Terror. Pick up WALK THE EDGE today!

   

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna- like behavior puts her into a vicious cyberbully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

  EXCERPT:

“This is going to be the best night of our lives,” announces Reagan. Addison sits at the desk in front of me and Reagan’s to the left of Addison.
                I check the clock on the wall over our English teacher’s desk. In exactly two minutes, the bell will ring and the first day of my senior year will begin. It’s not only the first day of school, but also the first Friday of the school year.
                Three years ago, Addison, Reagan, and I promised we’d do something crazy on the first Friday of our senior year. After notifying High Grove that I declined their scholarship, crazy is exactly what I need. “Are you sure your parents aren’t going to check on us?”
                “Trust me, everything will be golden.” Reagan uses the camera on her phone to fix stray pieces of her dirty blond hair. She curled it this morning and much to her displeasure the curls are falling out. “Has Cass started following you yet? I told her you created a Bragger account.”
                I sigh and Addison scowls. She’s less than thrilled with my lack of excitement. I currently have twenty-five followers. It’s better than none, but not nearly reaching Addison and Reagan’s totals. Not sure how this whole social media thing is supposed to be fun. It’s like being back in elementary school and waiting to be picked for kickball.
                “To gain followers you must post something.” Addison has this teacher to pupil reprimand going on, and it’s scary on her. “Don’t make me start posting for you, brat. You’re the one that wanted to join the world. Reagan and I are trying to catch you up on how to participate in the land of the living.”
                “Because everyone will love reading how I was up doing dishes until midnight,” I say.
                “Tell them you were doing it naked and half the boys in school will follow you.” Reagan tosses me a sly smirk and I laugh. She’s always saying things that push the envelope. “Tell them you’ll post the picture if you reach five hundred followers. Watch your stats climb, girl.”
                “That would be interesting.” A new voice joins the conversation.
                I see the jeans first. Actually I see a rip in the jeans, and that rip is an inch above the knee, and I’m staring at a very muscular male thigh. I enter this weird zone, because there’s this sinking feeling of where this is heading, and ominous sirens are sounding off.
                It’s like being stuck in slow motion as I glance up. My heart stops. Starts. And when it starts again, I find I can’t breathe. Golden hair that’s a little long on top. Light blue eyes drinking me in. All I see is a whole lot of gorgeous…and dangerous.
                It’s Thomas freaking Turner. He wears the same leather vest that he had on the other night, and underneath it is a black T-shirt with the name of an old-school metal band. My eyes automatically scan his patches and I wonder which one is the warning that he carries a gun.
                His fingers skim my desk as he strides past. There are small cuts on his knuckles, and the skin on his hands look rough—like him. For some reason, I find that attractive. It reminds me of him hunched in front of his bike yesterday as he was repairing his machine. The steady way he moved. The serious set of his face. The way the muscles in his arms flexed as he worked.
                “Hello, Breana.” Thomas’s voice is deep, smooth and feels like a caress along my skin.

Amazon * iBooks * Barnes and Noble * Kobo * Indiebound

Add to your Goodreads

And don’t miss the first book in the Thunder Road Series,

NOWHERE BUT HERE!

 

 

"There's something about McGarry's writing that's totally enthralling. Her characters are vivid, flawed and riveting, making this is a truly amazing read!"

~ RT Book Reviews "Katie McGarry is a master of her craft! Raw emotion, pure grit, I hang on every word. Her characters are real people with real problems and I cheer them every step of the way. Ready for a new addiction? Look no further than Katie McGarry's books."

~ Gena Showalter, Bestselling author of Firstlife "I finished WALK THE EDGE by the amazing Katie McGarry. It was SO good that now I feel bereft. I already miss Razor & Bre - I need to know more! She is by far my #1 favorite author. She paints a picture with the words, puts you IN the story... LOVE."

~ Lori Foster, New York Times Bestselling Author

 

DON’T MISS THIS AWESOME INCENTIVE OFFER FOR AN EXCLUSIVE ECHO AND NOAH SHORT STORY!

Order WALK THE EDGE, Register your Order by April 1st and receive an exclusive Echo and Noah short story and a chance to be in the next Thunder Road novel! Register at https://offerpop.com/campaign/796530.
    About Katie McGarry: Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e- novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

Walk the Edge - Bridges graphic

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

REVIEW: "Firsts" by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Type: Young Adult, New Adult, Stand alone, High school, Senior Year Sucks, Sex Sells

About the Book: Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up. [Description from Goodreads.com]

My Review: This is going to be a tough book for me to review, so I'm going to go at it two ways. Or at least, I will after this brief message: I was invested enough to stay up until midnight finishing this book, because I had to know what happened. But at the same time, I'm not sure I really liked this. But it's not because the book is bad, it's because, well, it's a tough subject. Trust me, it's handled well. But it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. Now on to the main event.

I'm a librarian in a public library, which means I am occasionally asked to suggest titles for teenage patrons. So I like to read teen books that have gained some notoriety, so I can properly suggest things. But this book is a difficult one. I can't see it really being shelved in our teen area, despite the fact that this is definitely a teen book. Books in the teen section should be suitable for ages 13 and up - and this definitely isn't. So I thought about if it were cataloged as new adult - but that doesn't really work either. Readers searching out new adult titles would not necessarily like this, and it just doesn't seem to fit the tone of a lot of new adult novels. So, in that regards, this book is a tough sell, and I'm sure it's a nightmare for some catalogers.

And now I want to talk about this book and my emotions - because they were everywhere. As I said, I was into this book enough to stay up super late to finish it. But that doesn't mean this was a fun read for me. I was stressed the entire time. A few times I caught myself shaking with either fear or anger, and I was uncomfortably tense for most of the book. While that makes this a rough ride, it also shows just how well this was written, and how amazingly the author can get the reader invested. But that doesn't make this an easy, fun read.

One final quick note - the villain of this book seemed almost too clever for someone in high school. Maybe all the bad kids at my school were just unusually stupid, but I can't think of any one of my high school classmates that would have been capable of.. what happened. Still, oh man - what a villain.

Cover Lovin': Well, this cover is simple and doesn't really hint at the contents, but I still think it works.

Recommendation: For older teens, definitely. Or maybe those on the cusp of young adult and new adult.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). This book is worth a read. It's a rough ride, but it's well written and a fascinating story.


Be sure to get your copy of "Firsts" by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn today!



Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~


Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Release Day Launch!: Hunter by Blaire Drake!

RELEASE DAY – MARCH 28
Born into blood, I was a mafia princess. Raised in hiding, I was a Californian sweetheart.
The day my father sold my thirteen year old body to pay off a five year old debt was the day my mother stole me in the dead of night. She protected me as she was supposed to.
My father may have been the king, but my mother was the queen.
The mafia blood was hers.
That was ten years ago. Now… the devil was on the loose.
Carlo ‘Hunter’ Rosso was my father’s right hand man and the boy I’d loved since I could tie my own shoelaces. He was always the most ruthless and the most deadly of all the children.
He’d thought I was dead until the day his assignment was given: Kill Adriana and Alexandria Romano. Kill the princess, and definitely kill the queen.
What he didn’t know was that the queen was dead, and the princess had taken her throne.
Blood didn’t lie. It smeared, distorted, stained. But it didn’t lie.
My father was going to learn the hard way that the empire he’d stolen belonged to me.
And so did Carlo ‘Hunter’ Rosso.

GOODREADS: Hunter

BIO:
Blaire Drake is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author who wanted to think outside her box and write the kind of things that would shock even them. She loves taboo romance and pushing boundaries in her work. She also enjoys long walks on the beach at sunset, as long as it’ll be follo
wed by a good, old-fashioned spanking right after.
DEAR PROFESSOR is her debut standalone novel, and her next book, PRETTY PORNSTAR, is also a standalone novel that promises to be equally as taboo and sexy.
You can connect with Blaire online at:

You’re also invited to join her reader group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1660452467533550/



EXCERPT:
“Staying, are you? Figure it's easier to kill me in my sleep?”
Once again, he rubbed his hand across his face. He said nothing.
“Trying to work out whose life is worth more, right? Mine is probably worth a lifetime of comfort for you. Kill me and everyone's happy, right? My pathetic excuse for a father gets to keep his empire and you're taken care of for life.”
He looked at me, and his expression was a little tortured. I was being harsh. I knew that. But I needed to be. It was easier to provoke him and be angry with him than give in to the horrible ache that had settled in my heart.
“Adriana...” Weak. The word was weak.
I wanted to ignore the indecision on his face, but I couldn't.
He was considering it.
He really was.
I scoffed quietly at him and grabbed the gun from the coffee table. His mask and gloves fell to the floor, but he made no move to pick them up. The safety was on the gun, and I held it out to him. “Here. Take it. I don't care, Hunter. I don't have much of a life here in hiding anyway.”
He didn't even look at the gun. His silvery gaze never left mine. I wished he would look away, because in that gaze, I saw the Hunter I knew. The boy who once ripped his favorite shirt to stem the bleeding when I fell and cut my leg, then proceeded to carry me home. The boy who offered to pee on my foot when I got stung by a jellyfish in Mexico on vacation when I was seven.
The boy I loved before I knew what love even was.
“You're weak, Hunter,” I whispered. Slowly, I turned the gun back to me and touched the barrel to my temple the way he did earlier. His jaw clenched when my thumb edged toward the safety, and when my finger moved to hook around the trigger, he moved.
He was like a lightning bolt. He came at me like a flash, snatched the gun from my hand, and dropped it on the sofa. It bounced but stayed on the seat, and then he turned on me with blazing eyes. “Don't,” he ground out, his arms tensing and looking even bigger. “Don't ever fucking put that to your head again.”
“Why? I was saving you the job.”
The words had barely left my lips when he pounced on me. It was deadly, the way his hands clasped my face and his mouth descended on mine. I staggered back into the wall, gasping at the ferocity of his movement. Shock paralyzed me as he kissed me harshly. His tongue ran along the seam of my mouth, and as I fisted the sides of his shirt, I bit his lower lip.
A low growl left his throat, but he didn't relent. He just kissed me harder. He kissed me until I was fucking spinning and could barely string two thoughts together. Until my whole body was alight with his touch and responding to his every movement.
He tasted like whiskey. The strong, rich taste that lingered on his lips was heady and only added to the intoxicating way he touched me.
And then... It hit me. He was touching me. Kissing me.
Twenty minutes ago, he could have killed me.

Happy Reading!1
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~