Monday, February 9

Buddy Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Rowena and I just have two more reviews left over from 2014. Here's one of them. :P

All Broke Down by Cora Carmack
published by William Morrow in October 2014
Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.
Genre: Contemporary New Adult
Series: Rusk University #2


Rowena: Playing catch up on our buddy reviews has been a lot harder than I thought it'd be, considering how much time I have on my hands these days. Weird. I blame you, Ames. :) Haha.

Anyway, the book we're reviewing for November is All Broke Down by Cora Carmack. It's a book that follows Silas Moore, the bad boy from All Lined Up. The guy that both Ames and I didn't even like since he was kind of a douche. I'll be honest, when I first heard that this book was going to be Silas' book, I wasn't even sure I was going to read it but then I got over myself because it's a Cora Carmack. Of course I'm going to read it.

And I'm glad that I did.

I ended up really enjoying this one. I thought that Silas and Dylan were such a great fit and watching the two of them come into their feelings for each other was such a treat.

What did you think, Ames?

Ames: I had the same hesitancy as you about Silas being the hero of this book. But I had faith in Cora's writing and that she'd redeem his character. Which she totally did in my opinion.

I really enjoyed All Broke Down. I thought Dylan was a great heroine. Sometimes the do-gooder types can come across in books as very annoying but Dylan was cool. And I love how her and Silas meet!!

Rowena: Oh yes! Their first meeting was wow. I've never read a first meet quite like Silas and Dylan's. I liked it a lot.

I really enjoyed Dylan. I thought she was pretty great and loved that she was trying to be a good influence on Silas and help him be the better guy that she knew he could be. I liked how she was always there when Silas needed her most and that she didn't scare off easily.

But my favorite part of the book was Silas. Holy crap did he turn out to be a pretty fantastic character. Seeing him grow into the person he was at the end of this book and seeing him try to figure things out was such a treat. I liked seeing him grow into a person that even Dallas was starting to like was just great. He was strong, fiercely independent and so hot damn sexy...he reminded me a lot of Tim Riggins. What do you think?

Ames: Silas was definitely a great character! I like how Carmack transformed him from a total douche to a guy with an interesting, troubled backstory and how he's just trying to outrun where he comes from. And yes, definitely had a Tim Riggins feel to him! We learned what motivated him and that shed a new light on his behaviours.

I liked how him and Dylan's relationship developed. Remember when they were working on the house? I thought that was cute.

Another thing Carmack did really well was flesh out Silas' friends. Like Stella and Torres and the other members of the team. I really felt the friendships there.

Rowena: OMG, Stella! I really liked getting to know her. Do you know if she's getting her own book? I want to say that she is, especially considering her part in this book but I can't remember if that's wishful thinking or not.

Silas' back story left me sighing all over the place because I would have never guessed any of that from meeting him in the first book. I'm glad that we got his background because it made me appreciate him more as a character as the story progressed.

I can't think of anything that I didn't like about this book. You?

Ames: Oh, there was something I didn't like! But I understand it's inclusion and how it pushed the plot ahead, especially in regards to Silas' behaviour. The sexual assault. It is just so close to real life and I like to read fiction to escape all the bad shit that happens in real life. But I liked Silas' reaction to it and shows his growth overall in the book.

I just hate that it happened and who it happened to. I don't want to say who because spoilers.

Rowena: I hear you. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am pretty anxious for the next book. I liked the development of both main characters, I loved seeing Silas' journey and I really liked how the secondary characters really popped and didn't feel like add-ons. They each added something to the scenes they were in and I dug it.

Cora Carmack wrote another winner of a story for me and I will definitely be back for more. This book gets an A from me. What about you?

Ames: I'm giving this one a B+. Despite my hesitations over Silas being a hero, he was redeemed in the end. Good stuff!

Wednesday, February 4

New Releases - February 2015

Happy February everyone! We made it through January, the longest harshest month of the year. Or was that just me? LOL Dealing with living on the prairies, we had temperatures ranging from the -40s to above freezing. And not a lot of snow. Snow makes the cold bearable. So to not have any wasn't any fun. 

Nath and I are still playing around with the new releases post format. There were some good suggestions in January so for February I've made every title link to Goodreads. That way it'll be easy to see if a book is something you'd be interested in and you can add it to your wishlist! Let us know what works and what doesn't!

Purple font means it's my choice, blue is Nath and black is both of us. 

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Auto-Buy Authors


Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose (O'Bannion, B01) - Feb. 3
Hero by Samantha Young - Feb. 3


Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death, B40) - Feb. 10
Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder (Soulfinders, B01) - Feb. 24


 

The Deal by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus, B01) - Feb. 24
First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan (Puffin Island, B01) - Feb. 24
One Wish by Robyn Carr (Thunder Point, B07) - Feb. 24


Definitely Getting


When Good Earls Go Bad by Megan Frampton (Dukes Behaving Badly, B01.5) - Feb.  3 
Rough Justice by Sarah Castille (Sinners Tribe MC, B01) - Feb. 3
Once and Always by Julia Harper - Feb. 24


On The Radar/Maybes


Be Mine Forever by Kennedy Ryan (The Bennetts, B03) - Feb. 3
Quarter Back Draw by Jaci Burton (Play by Play, B09) - Feb. 3
Rescue Me by Catherine Mann (Second Chance Ranch, B02) - Feb. 3


Beyond the Sunrise by Mary Balogh *reprint* - Feb. 3
Meet Me at the Beach by V.K. Sykes (Seashell Bay, B01) - Feb. 24


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So that's what February looks like for us. What about you? How is the new format working for you?

Tuesday, January 6

Buddy Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Even though it is now 2015, Rowena and I have three more reviews from 2014 to post. And for October's review, we roped Holly into reviewing with us! Holly and I both read the Ivy League series by Sarina Bowen and Wena took our word for it on how awesome this series was. Here's our thoughts on The Year We Fell Down.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
published by Rennie Road Books
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.

What now?


She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Series: The Ivy League #1


Wena: I'm so glad that you both told me to get these books read because I didn't stop reading the series until I was completely done with the books. I absolutely loved all of them.

Holly: I have to be honest, I liked this book a lot, but I didn't love it. The hero dragging his feet with his ex and the heroine's tendency to brush everyone off frustrated me.

Ames: Ok, I really enjoyed this book too and I have to agree with you Holly, Hartley staying with his girlfriend so long got on my nerves too. But at the same time it created a delicious tension between him and Corey that I just ate up. I loved how their friendship developed and created those moments of tension. So good!

Holly: I liked the progression of their friendship, too. I really felt their connection. I also liked how Hartley adopted them and took them home.

Wena: I hear you, Holly. When Hartley kept the girlfriend around after she got back, I wanted to strangle him.

The tension was delicious. I loved seeing their friendship grow and then kind of stall when Stacia came back. The way that they were both struggling, I loved all that angst. 

What do you mean, brush people off?

Holly: She didn't connect with other people, and held everyone at arms length. It isn't that I don't understand why, it's just that after a while it started to read like she was constantly feeling sorry for herself.

Wena: I guess because I understood why she thought the way that she did, it didn't bother me.

Ames: I felt like I understood why she kept people at arms length, so her attitude didn't bother me.

Holly: Like I said, I understood. I didn't even hold it against her. As a matter of fact, I mentioned on Goodreads how impressed I was with her overall attitude - and how realistic it seemed based on the circumstances. Still, there were times I became impatient with her.

I like that she was pragmatic about her injury, but a lot of the time her actions didn't match her thoughts/the things she said about it.

I did like how once they committed, the drama between them was done. There were still outside conflicts, but they were solid as a couple. I also liked how quick Hartley was to claim Corey once he came to his senses about his girlfriend.

Wena: Same here. I liked that Hartley didn't wait a week before claiming Corey the way that he did. The way that he did it made me smile. I just really liked him. I liked the person that he was with Corey and I really liked the way that he brought Corey and oh crap, what's the roommates name again? Anyway, I really liked that he took them home with him for Thanksgiving.

Ames: And yes! Once Hartley decided to go for Corey he was all in and things were good. The other thing I liked was how Corey decided to join a sports team again. She showed she could do it and I thought that showed real growth for her character.

Wena: Like you, Ames, I really liked that Corey tried to get out and get her own life instead of feeling sorry for herself.

Holly: I liked that Corey found her own sport, too. I loved when she put the team captain in his place. It cracked me up how she took advantage of them not wanting to hurt her.

Ames: Ok, how cute were they playing the hockey video game? I loved that!

Wena: I really liked seeing the game RealSticks show up throughout the entire series. It was great. The hockey video game was adorable. I loved how Corey practiced to beat Hartley. Haha.

Hartley had a really great outlook on life in general and I really liked that his eyes were opened to the way that things were for Corey. And when he told her that he loved her that first time? When he said, "I love you, Corinne" and used her full name? I about swooned. LOL.

I loved what he did for his Mom in the end after reconnecting with his Dad and the relationship that he had with her. They were good together and I was glad that she was so open and willing to love his friends along with him.

Ames: I liked how the whole series was connected. RealSticks was a good common theme besides the hockey team itself.

Hartley was definitely swoon worthy! Definitely a good guy. One of the better heroes I've read this year, actually.

His mom was awesome.

Holly: His mom was really awesome. The side plot with his dad was interesting. I was curious about him and I liked the way that played out.

Wena: I also really liked the friendship between Corey and her roommate. What the heck was her name? Della? Delia? Dana? I can't for the life of me remember. But I liked the friendship that blossomed between them. The way that the roommate was a friend to Corey first and foremost and didn't treat her like an invalid.

Besides Stacia, was there anything else you guys didn't like about the book? I can't think of anything.

Holly: Just how closed off and almost whiny Corey was. She wasn't quite annoying, she just occasionally skirted the line. But, again, Bowen saved her - and the story, really - when they got together and all that angst was done.

Ames: I really enjoyed the book and can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like enough to complain about. Haha. Friends to lovers always gets me and this is classic friends to lovers.

Ok, I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars, or a B+. What about you guys?

Wena: My grade is 4.5 or an A.

Holly: I'm going to give it a 3.75 out of 5, or a B-.

Thursday, January 1

New Releases - January 2015

Happy New Year everyone!!

Wow, it's really hard to believe that a year has gone by and another is starting! :) While 2014 wasn't a great blogging year for neither Ames and I, one of the constants has remained this monthly new releases post. We hope to continue this year as well; however, we want to mix it up a little bit. We've been doing it this way since August 2009... Guess it's time for a change :) Let us know what you think of it!


***

Auto-Buy Authors


The Honeymoon Arrangement by Joss Wood (UK ed.) - Jan. 01
One Night of Trouble by Elle Kennedy (After Hours, B03) - Jan. 05 
Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross - Jan. 06
Make It Last by Megan Erickson (Bowler University, B03) - Jan. 06
Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols (Superlatives, B02) - Jan. 13
Burned by Karen Marie Moning (Fever, B07) - Jan. 20
Playing Dirty by HelenKay Dimon (Bad Boys Undercover, B01) - Jan. 27
Risking It All by Tessa Bailey (Crossing the Line, B01) - Jan. 27
Catching a Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke (American Heiress in London, B03) - Jan. 27
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Smythe-Smith Quartet, B04) - Jan. 27
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club, B02) - Jan. 27
Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld Stories, B13.3) - Jan. 31
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand (La Vie en Rose, B02) - Jan. ?


Definitively getting...

Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz - Jan. 06


 I've enjoyed the first book


For Keeps by Rachel Lacey (Love to the Rescue, B02) - Jan. 27
The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin (SPI Files, B02) - Jan. 06
Bridged by Kendra Elliot (Mason Callahan, B02) - Jan. 27


Second Chances

The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightly (Prelude to a Kiss, B02) - Jan. 06


Maybes/On the radar


The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (The Witches of Echo Park, B01) - Jan. 06
Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson (Mystic Creek, B01) - Jan. 06
Back to Before by Tracy Solheim (Second Chances, B01) - Jan. 06
If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries (The Duke's Men, B04) - Jan. 27
I Was There by Gayle Forman - Jan. 27

***

So, what do you think of the new format? As much as we liked commenting on new releases, it was getting a bit redundant because, let's face it, there are just a number of reasons why we'd pick up a book right? :) As such, we're trying to come up with categories that are self-explanatory. In any case, feedback would really be appreciated :) And of course, if we forgot any new releases, let us know!!

Wednesday, December 17

Buddy Review: Whatever Life Throws at You

**After taking a bit of a break, Rowena and I have decided to catch up on our monthly reviews. So this here is September's review. You can blame me for the delay since my reviewing muse up and left me this year. I think she's making overtures about coming back, but we'll see. **

Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross
published by Entangled Teen
Life loves a good curveball...

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas's life is completely upended the moment her dad returns to the major leagues as the new pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals. Now she's living in Missouri (too cold), attending an all-girls school (no boys), and navigating the strange world of professional sports. But Annie has dreams of her own—most of which involve placing first at every track meet…and one starring the Royals' super-hot rookie pitcher.

But nineteen-year-old Jason Brody is completely, utterly, and totally off-limits. Besides, her dad would kill them both several times over. Not to mention Brody has something of a past, and his fan club is filled with C-cupped models, not smart-mouthed high school “brats” who can run the pants off every player on the team. Annie has enough on her plate without taking their friendship to the next level. The last thing she should be doing is falling in love.

But baseball isn't just a game. It's life. And sometimes, it can break your heart...
Genre: New Adult
Series: n/a

Ames: All right Wena, what did you think of Whatever Life Throws at You?

Personally, I really enjoyed it! I was wondering how Julie Cross was going to manage a teenage heroine falling for a baseball player but I thought she did a really good job of the age thing and explaining how Annie and Jason got to know each other and develop a relationship. It was sweet.

Wena: Me too!

I was curious to see if I'd like this because I HATE the older person and younger person story line but I thought Cross did a great job of showcasing Jason's struggle with his feelings for Annie. I loved that she didn't breeze over the fact that she was a minor and make it out to "not be a big deal". I also thought that their story is a real story. It happens more than we think and it was nice to have an author pay attention to the little details of Jason and Annie's relationship. The little things that brought them together because I may hate older guys who date minor girls but I was rooting for Jason and Annie throughout the entire book.

Ames: I agree, I liked that Cross didn't gloss over their age difference. It created some good conflict too. Especially when one person wants to take their relationship public and the other doesn't.

There was so much else to like about this book besides the main characters. I loved Annie's dad and that he had a physical handicap. And the team's PR person...what was her name? And even the characters I didn't care for, they were well drawn and fleshed out. You know who I'm talking about, the owner, Annie's friend's dad. Jerks.

Rowena: I know exactly who you mean. I can't stand parents that let their kids get away with stupid shit and try to buy their way out of things. Discipline your kids and they won't go about town acting a damn fool. Ugh. The owner was a POS too. I didn't like him at all. But you're right...they were well written characters. Fleshed out and not one dimensional at all.

Crap, what the heck was the PR lady's name? That's going to bother me because I really liked her. I thought she was a good fit into Annie's life. Well, both Annie and Jason.

Cross did a great job of writing all of those different relationships. This review is probably going to be boring because I can't remember if there was anything that I didn't like. Hmm, let me think on it.

Ames: LOL I know what you mean. Even Annie showing her age, sometimes acting immature, didn't bother me because Cross did such a good job describing her character. What makes this book so good for me was how the relationship developed between Annie and Jason. Like their first meeting? When she pretended to interview him? And their texting and even how they were there for each other during the tornado. All the other good stuff was gravy to their main dish.

I also liked that Annie was an athlete in her own way. Yeah Jason was a baseball player, but she was a serious athlete too and I loved how they ran together. So good.

Rowena: Oh yeah. When he showed up at her first meet and tried to be all undercover about it, I was grinning like a madwoman. It was so freaking cute.

I really liked seeing Jason and Annie come together. From their first meeting (that interview was pretty awesome) and all of the other meetings in between, you saw their relationship grow. It wasn't one of those love at first sight things. They struggled with their feelings, with each other and trying to find middle ground with each other and I loved reading about it all. Like Brenna would say, their struggle was real. LOL.

I also liked that the Dad had a handicap and I also liked that it wasn't shoved in our faces and forced into the storyline. It was just one more element to the story that just felt real. This was one of those real life, real problems kind of stories and I completely loved it. Why in the world have I not read anything by this author before? I'm trippin'.

Ames: Ok, for some odd reason I thought you did read this author before? If you haven't, then you definitely need to. She does the athlete heroine well. She has a series about a gymnast and another one with a young genius doctor who's forced to go back to college. She's really good!

Rowena: Nope, this was my first Julie Cross book though I think that I have read a short story of hers in one of those anthologies but looking back, it didn't really stick out to me. But this book? Yeah, I won't be forgetting these characters any time soon. Adored them!

I'd give this book an A. You?

Ames: You definitely need to check out her other contemporary books. I can't say anything about her paranormal series.

I'm giving this one a B+. I highly recommend it.

**Ok stay tuned for three more reviews! Hopefully we can get them done...oh shoot! I was going to say hopefully we can get them done by the end of the year but that's so soon!! Christmas is right around the corner!! How did that happen?!**