ARC’s

Code of Honor by Missy Johnson
3 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Code of Honor by Missy Johnson

Title : Code of Honor
Author : Missy Johnson
Series : Spontagio Family, #1
Rating : 3 Stars
 
Blurb : In a series debut for fans of Tracy Wolff and Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Missy Johnson asks a burning question: What happens when love is undeniable—and taboo? Pietro Gustovi is loyal, polished, and hard as stone, the kind of guy women want and men respect. At twenty-three, he’s survived tragedies that would break men twice his age. And he owes it all to his father’s closest friend, Giovanni Spontagio, who took him in as an orphaned teenager. Pietro would give his life for Giovanni . . . but his heart belongs to Giovanni’s daughter. Raised in Chicago under the spotlight of power and privilege, Lucy Spontiago feels most alive on stage. Determined to become a prima ballerina, she escapes her father’s protective gaze long enough to audition for the ballet in New York City. Soon, however, Lucy realizes that she is not alone. Pietro is watching her back. And though he’s like a brother to her, Lucy cannot deny the thrill she feels knowing his eyes are on her. Pietro could never betray his mentor by sleeping with his only child. But Lucy follows her passions, no matter how forbidden. Soon their nights are consumed by explosive, red-hot temptation—a dance that will expose shocking secrets and burn everything else to the ground.
 
Review : I thought that Code of Honor by Missy Johnson might be an interesting read for me when I received this ARC, but even if the writing was good I totally could not connect with the characters and the story.
The pace is rather slow and its only in the second half of the book that “stuff” is really starting to happen. I could not feel the Mafia part so much that was supposed to be there and well … about the sex … no I am not going to spoiler, let’s just say that there were some things I could not relate to.
But still the basic concept was OK therefore my rating remains on the rather positive side of the scale.
 
> > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
5 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF RECOMMEND

A Steel Heart by Amie Knight

 

 

A Steel Heart

  

 A Steel Heart
 Amie Knight
November 9th 2017

 

Five seconds.
A deafening blast. Pain. Silence.
That was all it took for an IED to end my life as I knew it. The man I was shattered in a hard wave of sound and debris that rained down on me like death itself.
And six months later, after waking up to an inescapable hell, I found myself wishing that death had found me.Until her.
Miranda Jacobs swept into my life like a cool breeze on a smoldering day.
With her smart mouth and her ridiculous jokes, she brought me back to life one minute at a time.Turned out time wasn’t on our side.Five seconds.
Screams. Twisted metal. Silence.
And I’d lost it all again—only this time, I had no one to blame but myself.

 

 

 

It has been a while again since I felt so connected to a book and lived with ups and downs of the characters. After I finished reading A Steel Heart by Amie Knight, I send a tweet to the author telling her that this book for sure will make my #top5 of #BestBooks2017.

 

When you start reading a book it usually only takes a few minutes until you know this book has the potential to be something special. Sure still something can go wrong during the duration of the story that might make you dislike it later – but mainly you can feel it. But there are  those cases when there is this little something that hooks you and makes you wish you could read without sleeping or working (eating and drinking works perfectly while reading)

 

Everything about this book felt real even the parts that were far away from sounding real – they still FELT like it. The actions and thoughts of the characters connected me to them. I smiled at their banter, I even laughed a few times out loud and I felt tears gather in my eyes at their pain. And my heart went out to both of them as they battled their fights to get to each other.

 

The author wove a beautiful story around them where everything felt like it was just right. If it were up to me only books like this would exist in my reading world. #sigh

My first book by this author will most definitely not be my last

 


 

 

 

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Blink by Caroline Easton
5 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Blink by Caroline Easton

Title :

Blink by

Author : Caroline Easton
Series : N/A
Rating :

4,5 Stars

Blurb : Flynn Sullivan hasn’t had the easiest of lives, with his father absent and following the death of his mother, he is desperate to give his younger brother the life he deserves. Flynn finds himself on the wrong side of the law and he knows he could lose everything in the blink of an eye, as he stands before the court awaiting his fate. Harper Lawrence was a major contender in the IndyCar circuit from the very first day she got behind the wheel of a car. Her life is turned on its axis after a tragic accident, leaving her locked inside her own body, all but switched off to the outside world. When Flynn and Harper’s world’s collide the sparks begin to fly, but each one holds a secret they don’t want to share. Flynn knows he needs to save the girl who’s stolen his heart, the problem is, Harper doesn’t believe she deserves to be saved. She doesn’t believe she’s been punished enough.
Review : I received a copy of “Blink” from Caroline Easton in exchange for an honest review.
Flynn and Harper could not be more separated from each other by their upbringing and their life so far. But Destiny had its own idea for both of them, when it threw this pair together by chance. I really liked how the author entwined the paths of these two great characters.
Although I have to admit that it was hard to sit and read/watch as a reader how Harper was suffering and I found myself asking … WHY? Why did she continue to let it happen for this long, but I think this is a problem that all people will have if the never experienced such violence. As far as I can relate and understand, it is the feeling of being responsible that lets people drown in a circle of repeated violence and abuse.
Flynn on the other side always felt insufficient and did many wrong things for all the right reasons – but does that make him now the bad guy? Or is it just the world we are living in … it really gets you to think (at least me – maybe it’s because I have some knowledge on how authorities work and this book kind of reminds me why I quite working there) …
I really liked the story and writing style of this author – and I will make sure to check other books from her if their storylines attract me. My emotions were all over the place during reading it. However, I felt for all the build-up between Flynn and Harper the story would have deserved a bigger “bang” for a final. It’s not that the story does not feel complete, all the needed parts are in there but I think the way it was told was a little too soft.
As I refuse to spoiler so I cannot elaborate this, but I do encourage everybody to read this book and discuss it with your friends.
What would you have done if you were in Harpers place ?
Or in Flynn’s ?
> > > I have received this book as an ARC from the publisher. < < < > > > In exchange, I promised an honest review. < < <
Cliffhanger :(KLICK to find out) !!!
HEA? : (KLICK to find out) !!!
Caught by Clare James
4 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Caught by Clare James

Title : Caught
Author : Clare James
Series : N/A
Rating : 4 Stars
 
Blurb : Watching sex tapes at the office is just part of PR professional Vivian Blake’s job, especially when she has to clean up a celebrity’s image. Except that her newest client isn’t quite that easy. Racecar driver Jarod Cage is beyond hot, and his onscreen “performance” is already compromising Viv’s cool professionalism.
While Jarod hasn’t exactly been discreet about his personal life, he never thought his reputation could cost him both his sponsor and his racing career. Now he has to put his future in the hands of a tiny, pixie-like publicist. Which is becoming a problem, because the heat between them is about to redline. But when you go this hard and fast, putting on the brakes is the most dangerous thing you can do…
 
Review : With Caught, you get a steamy, emotinal and very refreshing book which lets you feel like sitting in a racing car yourself. I loved the pace of this story as there was never a moment during which I was bored.
The combination of different topics including the racing, the really hot alpha and the relationship which to be honest wouldn’t exist if Miss Charming wouldn’t be so heated as he definetly is , is something which works out pretty well. Moreover the writing style is very good as it entertains the reader from time to time but still isn’t overfilled with senseless or unuseful information. In my opinion, the most important part of the story is the way both protagonists Jared and Viv interact. Directly after turning the first page of this book you can not only feel how much the author put into the background of the whole story- it’s also awesome to see how much both of the characters seem to have developed a very interesting life which can’t be described with other words than fiery. Jarod is my favourite as there is something about him which directly attracts me. He feels real and raw ,but at the same time there is also some vulnerability about him of which you can get a glimpse in so many different scenes. In contrast, the personality of Vivian felt totally different. Of course this is the way she is. But at some points I just wished that there would be a little bit more about her which for sure can be find deep down. This is the reason I rated this book wih 4 instead of 5 Stars as in my opinion the protagonists are the most important part of a novel as they are the ones which make us feel the story. I can say for sure that this is a book I am going to recommend!
 
> > > I have received this book as an ARC from the publisher. < < < > > > In exchange, I promised an honest review. < < <
Downcast by Cait Reynolds
5 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Downcast by Cait Reynolds

Title : Downcast

Author : Cait Reynolds
Series : Olympus Falling, #1
Rating : 5 Stars
 
Blurb : What would you do when faced with an impossible truth? Written with heart and passion, Downcast by Cait Reynolds is ripe with twists you never saw coming and love that defies the odds in this intense new Paranormal Romance retelling one of mythology’s greatest love stories. It’s the start of Stephanie Starr’s senior year of high school, but sadly, this is no life of the prom queen. Stuck at the bottom of the high school social totem pole, Stephanie is forced by her domineering mother to wear lumpy linen dresses and eat organic tofu for lunch in a world of mini-skirts and pizza. What Stephanie doesn’t anticipate is gorgeous and cocky Haley Smith who breaks social convention and pursues her with a determination that is both terrifying and flattering. Afraid that Haley is simply trying to set her up for massive humiliation, Stephanie does her best to push him away. But the more attention he pays to her, the more she runs, and the more everyone else begins to notice. Instead of a loving family to support her as the mean girls make their play, Stephanie’s mother begins to unravel mentally, her possessiveness of Stephanie spiraling to new and frightening extremes. Stephanie is forced to grow up, find herself, and learn the truth about her past in order to save her mother, her friends, and her town. When the truth is revealed, nothing can prepare her for the outrageous reality of her existence…and nothing can save her from her fate. Except Haley.
 
Review :
What a wonderful novel. This was the first time I read a “remake” of a Greek myth and it was great. I admit that I could feel some of the very popular YA novels sneaking some lines and settings into the plot, which might be my imagination and it did not disturb in any way. If at all it felt comfortable for me to read and the interesting storyline based in ancient Greece gave the book something unique. The characters were good developed and their “placement” in the modern world was funny at times. I might mention without any spoiler a certain dog that made me laugh. There was some great dialog between the leads and the writing of the story was flawless and fluent in total.
Somehow the end leaves me with the feeling of another book to come, which would be a nice touch and I am looking forward to it.
My favorite quotes:
1.
“Are you always this difficult?” Haley asked
“No,” I replied stubbornly.
“I’ve just started being difficult recently, but I’m getting better all the time.”
2.
“You don’t owe me anything,” I replied.
“Friendship doesn’t keep count. It just is.”
> > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
 
4 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Risk It by Jennifer Chance

Title : Risk It
Author : Jennifer Chance
Series : Rule Breakers, #4
Rating : 4 Stars
 
Blurb : Jennifer Chance’s Rule Breakers series turns up the heat as a wealthy playboy and a beautiful con artist engage in a high-stakes game of seduction. As dominating in business as he is in bed, Rand Sterling Winston IV always gets what he wants. And even before he realizes that she’s scammed him into paying triple the cost for her friend’s painting, he wants Dani Michaels. To catch her alone, Rand demands that she personally deliver his purchase. The attraction between them is immediate and electric, and he knows she feels it, too. So when the part-time petty thief rebuffs his advances, he gives her a choice: a night in jail or an evening with him. Despite her checkered past, Dani has never met someone like Rand: brooding, intense, and oh so tempting. Only a man with a broken soul could make control feel this dangerous. Still, when Rand proposes a no-strings, no-holds-barred affair, Dani’s more than a little intrigued. It’ll be the trickiest con she’s ever run and a chance to indulge her steamiest fantasies—nothing more. But as their encounters grow increasingly intimate, Dani uncovers a vulnerable side to Rand’s steely exterior and opens her heart to the ultimate risk.
 
Review : Fans of J.D. Robb’s in Death series just might have found a new favorite author. I found a wonderful balance of witty comments, steaming sex and needed background story in this well written novel. It might be part of a series but can be read as a standalone without any problems. As mentioned both characters reminded me a lot of Eve and Roake the leads in J.D. Robb’s Books and I mean that in the best possible way. Both stubborn, charming, lovable and still deep and burdened by their past. I am sure your gonna love that book – give it a try.
> > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
 
4 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF RECOMMEND REVIEW

Since Drew by J. Nathan

Since Drew

 
Title : Since Drew
Author : J. Nathan
Series :N/A
Rating : 4 Stars

Blurb :

 

All Andi Parker has ever wanted, all she’s ever dreamed of, is a spot on the Olympic track team. But when an accident leaves her hospitalized with serious injuries and shattered dreams, she’s not only uncertain what her future holds but also completely alone. Drew Slater is a wanted man. Professional football teams want him for his arm. Women want him for his good looks and magnetic personality. But the well-crafted disguise he wears, the one that helps him score on and off the field, hides secrets. Conceals lies. Threatens the happiness of everyone around him. One chance encounter brings Andi and Drew together, changing their worlds in ways they never thought possible. Unfortunately, what they thought they knew about themselves—and about each other—might just be the biggest lie of all.
 
Review :During almost the whole book you find yourself in a hospital together with different characters that are actully kind of refreshing right from the very beginning. While Andi seems to be the quiet one, Drew starts to push boundaries right from the beginning. It seems like their relationship is very heated which is not only because of the kind of arrogant, confident and verbal outbursts of Drew, also Andi seems to be more the cheeky kind of girl who fights for what she wants. I really liked the way how they interact, even if at some points the arrogant comments made by Drew really made me think… “Shut up, you should know by now that she is not this kind of girl you always dealt with before”. But then, not even one or two pages later, you are like …”Wait, is this the same Drew!?”
That’s an aspect which also seems to play quite an important role as the story is influenced by the bulk of information Drew is willig to talk about.
At the beginning even as the reader you feel like they have known each other for years and then when the story-line developed, they ignore each other right before the only person Drew is talking to is, surprise, Andi.
There are so many great ideas attached to the book that I have to say: great story! But at the same point, these ideas also are the reason why I rated this book with “only” 4 stars. At the end I just wished the book would be a little bit longer as these ideas are mentioned and some of them are described more than others, but there are points at which the explanation or result seems to be not completely explained. It seems like the time the plot covers includes not even 3 days(which is good considering the effect it has on the reader in reference to their relationship), but it sometimes develops too fast. There are all these story-lines intertwined. Solving the problems seems to be sometimes too simple, so I wish it would be a “little bit more complicated”. Not that what happens in the book is easy to cope with, but just a little bit more of a fight….. Combined with the sporty part of the story it would have been interesting to get to know more about this aspect, for example to get see how they both helped each other or how frustating it was for Andi to train her broken leg. All these mentioned aspects sound like I only want to critizise this book, but that’s definetly not the case ! I am so happy that I was able to get to know these awesome story including these awesome characters. That’s why I rated this book with 4 stars. I started it in the morning and in the evening I finished it which explains the effect this story not only has on me, for sure also on other readers.
 
> > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
 
Cliffhanger : (KLICK to find out) !!!

HEA? :

(KLICK to find out)!!!
4 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

Days Like This by Danielle Ellison

Days Like This

 

Title : Days Like This

Author : Danielle Ellison
Series : N/A
Rating : 4 Stars
 
Blurb : Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is yourself. Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused.
Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother’s disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.
Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn’t involve Cassie Harlen. When Cassie’s mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface. Neither does Cassie.
 
Review :
 
“You can’t live your life in fear of what could be – if you do you’ll never live it.”
Days Like This is a book which did something to me I can’t explain.
When I turned the first pages, the first thing that really got me was the awesome writing style! Reading felt so natural as the words just flow into each other! All the little things including lines from self-written texts by the protagonist Cassie or the thoughts of both characters in general!
The story really touched me deeply as the inner feelings and thoughts were presented perfectly within the use of different point of views. At this point it also would have been interesting to get to know more from the point of view of Cassie’s mother as her disease is one of the most important parts of the content. To see some scenes during which she suffers from an attack would have make it even more authentical.
So after reading the first pages, I still liked the writing style and I believed in the story but really influenced my reading mood was the fact that the “reading flow” got lost. There were too many repititions, too many memories, too many scenes during which it was nice to get to know more about their inner thoughts, but the story just didn’t really move on.
I really liked this book from the beginning on and during the middle part of the book I prayed that Danielle Ellison is going to do the right thing which she did!
The end was nothing surprising or nothing which really got me like “Ooooh I would never have expected this.” but this was ok. Because it was emotional, touching and understandable.
And in relation with a book which could be based on reality, this is everything I want!
Even if at the end I “only” can give this book 4 stars, because
1st) of the middle part and
2nd) of the repititions which sometimes should have appeared in a different dosis during the whole book.
The review of a book is always influenced by personal aspects. Some people can’t understand how anything like a disease can really change your life so drasticly. I do and this is why this book even has a more important place in my heart.
But like it’s said “You can’t live your life in fear of what could be – if you do you’ll never live it.”.
 
> > > I have received this Book as an ARC from the Publisher < < < > > > In Exchange I promised an honest Review < < <
 

5 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW Forgotten Desires: A short story in aid of The Eve Appeal by Jodi Ellen Malpas

REVIEW Forgotten Desires: A short story in aid of The Eve Appeal by Jodi Ellen Malpas

 
 

September 21, 2015

 

reviewed for

 

Jeri’s Book Attic

 
 

 

Title : Forgotten Desires: A short story in aid of The Eve Appeal

Author : Jodi Ellen Malpas

Series : N/A

Release date: Sep 21, 2015  

Rating :  5 Stars

>> A short story of 5K words released for The Eve Appeal. All profits on the sales of this book will be donated to the women’s cancer charity. Forgotten Desires is a small story with a big message to women everywhere.<<

 

Blurb :  Kelly has fallen into the humdrum of everyday life. Her fulfilment is found in the washing, the cleaning, the ironing and running herself into the ground with her job. She’s not sure when it happened, but the fun, spontaneity and excitement in her life was lost somewhere along the way. So when she’s asked out on a date by a gorgeous man who demands her attention, Kelly’s not so sure she’s up for it. It’s been a while, to say the least. It would be easy to refuse, stay at home, finish that pile of ironing, and then answer some work emails. The thought of being so organised alone brings a smile to her face. But with the encouragement of her best friend, she bites the bullet and goes all out. Bye-bye ironing, hello gorgeous man. She doesn’t know where this Kelly has been, but she quite likes her, and she doesn’t plan on misplacing her again.

 

Review : What Jodi Ellen Malpas can do to a reader within 5k words is incredible!

Directly after the first lines I knew: this is a Jodi-ish book, without  a doubt. I love the story which is short but includes so many different emotions.
Normally you can´t really connect with the characters of a book in such a short time, but Jodi made it possible with introducing us to Kelly and the mysterious but without  a doubt sexy as hell man! 

The message this short-story conveys within the 25 pages is even better, because if you think hard enough about it, it makes this book even more interesting!

And the best part about all of it? It´s for a good cause!

So enjoy reading while helping others at the same time!

 

reviewed by

 

 

 

4 STAR ARC BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : Ramping Up (Mavrick Allstars #1) by Zoe Dawson

REVIEW : Ramping Up (Mavrick Allstars #1) by Zoe Dawson

 
 

June 22, 2016

 

reviewed for

 

Jeri’s Book Attic

 
 

 

 

Title: Ramping Up

Author : Zoe Dawson

Series: Mavrick Allstars #1

Release date: June 21st 2016

Rating : 4 Stars

 

Blurb : The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.

 

Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency, Mavrick Allstars, Lena sets her sights on one of the most coveted phenoms out there: a twenty-four-year-old surfer caught ripping it in a viral skateboarding video. Signing him would be a huge win—and his marketing appeal isn’t the only thing that makes Lena’s heart skip a beat. Trouble is, fraternizing with the client is against company policy.

 

Professional surfer Gunner Smith lives under the absolute control of his coach—until he takes the ultimate risk and starts over as a skateboarder. Gunner swore he wouldn’t give up his freedom again, but Lena’s out-of-the-blue offer makes him think long and hard. She’s smart, she’s bold, she’s got sponsors lined up around the corner—plus she’s drop-dead gorgeous. He’s just not sure his coach will let him get away that easily, because he’s not just Gunner’s coach, he’s also his father.Gunner is used to hiding his tortured past. But when his steamy affair with Lena threatens their future, he must decide whether he will sacrifice everything for the woman who’s stolen his heart.

 

Review : I think “Ramping Up” (Mavrick Allstars #1) by Zoe Dawson was my first Skateboard novel ever. I could relate to the flair of the places it was set to take place – I have seen similar places in California and loved watching the guys and girls doing their tricks with their boards.

 

I think that was what drew me to the book. But I have to admit that I struggled a little with the terminology of skateboarding – but that has nothing to do with the book – yeah well and readers should know … at the end of the book are some explanations hidden for those used phrases.

 

Lena and Gunner were two interesting and well developed / written characters. Gunner slightly better than Lena I felt. I could not always catch Lena’s PoV in certain situations. Sometime she seemed to be totally on the same page like Gunner and sometimes she was so far off with her fancy clothes and money background. She seemed so different from him, but than suddenly she was all in. I could not quite follow her.

 

Gunner on the other hand was easy to get. He was kind of lost and floating but he still never lost the focus on the big picture. The only thing where he felt undetermined was when it came to his father and in parts I think that was understandable considering the background.

 

Basically his whole life was one sacrifice until the day he met Lena…the question is only if he would be able to change that situation and grab the chances that will come his way.

 

Interesting book with unusual characters (at least for me) – its worth the read….

 

reviewed by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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