Review: Swear on this Life by Renee Carlino

01 aa Talk about a book fog. Ever since I saw the cover for Swear on this Life I was intrigued. After my mad love for Before We Were Strangers part of me was nervous though. I mean that book was my #1 book for 2015, so that’s mighty big shoes to fill. But let me tell you, Renee totally nailed it. I woke up early on a Saturday morning, and never left the bed until I finished the book. I never stopped. I was pulled in and there was no stopping me.

SYNOPSIS
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

There are so many things one can take away from the books they read. For me, this book makes me think of regret. Emiline had a very rough beginning in life, and to be honest, I fell like she’s been living in a fog for the past few years. Going through the motions, even though she doesn’t think so. When she discovers that J.Colby is none other than her best friend/boyfriend, from when she was younger, and that he has basically written about her life, she is completely blown away. While this book is technically fiction, there’s too much real life to just let it go. As she reads it, slowly, she starts to relive a past in which she has so desperately tried to forget.

When she comes face to face with Jase, all those feelings come fully out. She decides to take a good hard look at her life and decides what she wants out of it. She makes decisions that I don’t believe she could’ve made without this book’s nudging. Em and Jase’s lives were nothing like the fairy tales you wish for. They were raw and gritty and very real. They learned to rely on each other for their sanity basically. I think after reading Jase’s book, Em starts to realize that there’s more to her than she realized.

My heart was racing and quite a few places in this book. I mean legit racing. I wanted a HEA. I needed a HEA. But not everything in life is happy, so I had to hold on tight and hope. If you like second chance romances, with a hefty dose of angst and emotion, then be sure and grab this book. You can thank me later.

~Melpomene

Buy Swear On This Life

Review: Burying Water, by K.A. Tucker

01bury

“And the truth pushed to the surface. Like water, buried.”

I have read, and loved, all of K.A.Tucker’s Ten Tiny Breaths series and was very curious as to how this one was going to be. From the very beginning, I was hooked. The prologue snagged me and made my nerves a wreck. I knew this was going to be good. I stayed up all night reading. I couldn’t put it down. Speechless. Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m just wowed. I wanted to read this so fast, but I knew I needed to savor it. But once I started it, I never put it down.

“Jane Doe” wakes up in a hospital room, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She is battered and bruised from head to toe, but has no clue who would do this to her. But after staying months in the hospital, she no longer wants to remain a Jane Doe and decides upon Water, after the tattoo that she finds on her person.

After meeting a cranky old Ginny Fitzgerald, she is welcomed into her home for her recuperation. Water is hoping that with time her memory will return and things can go back to the way they were.

Jesse Welles, is trying to stay away from Water. Part of him doesn’t want her to remember who she is, but yet part of him does. He knows she’ll be happier and safer without those memories, but the more he comes around the better chance she will remember. So he tries to stay away, but that only lasts for so long.

The longer Water stays with Ginny, the more she is feeling comfortable. She finds a job, in the small town, and is slowly trying to piece together the flashes she sees. She is also drawn to the neighbor next door and feels a sense of recognition, and possibly trust.

I am lost and yet somehow found.
I am afraid and yet somehow comforted.
I am drifting and yet somehow…home.

This book made me all twisty as parts of Water started coming to the surface. I was devastated and my heart was racing like crazy. My emotions were all over the place. I can’t imagine waking up in a hospital, and having no memory of how you got there. I doubt I would handle it as well as Water did.

The characters were so welcoming and loving. Ginny was the best!! She was rough, but you knew there had to be a reason why. You just had to be patient. The entire Welles’ family was the perfect family to live next door to. They cared for her in the hospital, and continued to do so, even after she was released. being surrounded by such loving and caring people made her journey even more heartbreaking. But it was so worth it, in the end.

The truth is like water: it doesn’t matter how hard you try and bury it; it’ll always find some way back to the surface.

01bury61
Ms. Tucker has done it again. This was another devastatingly beautiful story that will bring tears to your eyes and pain to your heart. But there is beauty in that pain. Beauty that I wish I could relive again, for the first time. How she manages to do this to me over and over, I’ll never know, but I think you for doing it.

~Melpomene

Buy Burying Water: A Novel

Review: All or Nothing, by Kendall Ryan

01all “Don’t make me fall for you…”

I have been most excited for this book, cuz it’s about Braydon. If you read the first book in this series, Working It, you will remember this sexy man. He participated in a very VERY hot scene and I nearly combusted. So when I heard Kendall was giving Bray his own book, I couldn’t wait to get my greedy hands on it.

SYNOPSIS
As one of the world’s most sought-after male models, Braydon is no stranger to the finer pleasures in life. The last thing he wants to do is limit himself, especially when it comes to women. His best friend, Ben, might’ve settled down, but Braydon doesn’t want to waste his youth on the messy complications of commitment. He wants fun. He wants easy.

Ellie isn’t looking for a casual relationship, but her tough and sassy personality instantly attracts Braydon, who proposes a “friends with benefits” arrangement. Unable to resist the powerful pull of the charming bad boy, Ellie eventually relents, though she longs for all-consuming love.

As the two spend more time together, Ellie soon realizes that Braydon’s posing skills extend off the runway. His carefully crafted façade masks a secret hurt that he’s reluctant to share with Ellie, even as they embark on a passionate affair that sends them hurtling toward a fate neither expected. Can Ellie risk her heart while she waits for Braydon to let her in, or will she be forced to demand all or nothing?

When two people set out, with a no strings attached, sex only relationship, things are bound to get muddled.

I loved Braydon. He’s sexy, funny, sweet and super loving. He had me swooning half of the time. Just when you thought he may say, or do something, he’ll regret, he pulls himself together and turns on the swoon. Seriously. He may seem like this super player, but he’s just afraid to love. That is, until he meets Ellie.

Ellie is the best friend, who is looking for love, but she isn’t sure she’ll find it in Braydon. But, boy is she wrong. Soon she finds herself in full on love with him, but he has no idea and still treats her like a sex only buddy. It’s hard to keep your heart in check. It does what it wants to do, and it wanted Bray.

This book was the perfect combination of sweet, sexy and all around fun. Makes me wish I was in the fashion industry. 😉

~Melpomene

Buy All or Nothing: A Love by Design Novel

Fall In Love tour: A Day in the life of a fangirl

fall in love tour 062To say I had fun this past weekend, is a complete understatement. I am still fangirling all over the place. My family is ready to kick me out. I just can’t stop talking about Saturday.

For those who don’t know, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire and Abbi Glines went on a 10 city tour and I got to see them in Dayton. Meeting them doesn’t sound quite right, since I’m in all their fan clubs and get to talk to them, every so often. Seeing them, sounds better. It was like going to see old friends. Except, when I see old friends, I’m not nervous. I’m also not applying deodorant in the bathroom, before they come out either.

The weekend didn’t start very smooth since I never even packed til about a half hour before we were supposed to leave. And when we got to the hotel, I realized that I didn’t pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, straightener or blow dryer. This was not a good sign. But a trip to Target would rectify the situation. *sigh*

Anyways, at least I had all my books and things. So that’s all that really matters.

I’m gonna give you the photographic highlights, since so much happened. I can’t possibly say it all.
fall in love tour 005
I arrived at 8:40 am, event though the signing wasn’t until 2. I really wanted to get a good seat. So I had plenty of time to chat with those around me. It’s kinda wild to meet people in line, that you’ve seen of FB, but have never met yet.

01PicMonkey Collage5

It was so nice reconnecting with people you met last year, when all three were here last. Who knew book signings would make friends out of strangers??

fall in love tour 026

Thanks to my obnoxious, I mean enthusiasm, over these authors, I had people coming up to me and saying my name like we’re old friends. It was CRAZY!! But I loved meeting everyone. It made me realize how small this world really is. And it was soooo nice to see everyone leave their drama at home and just enjoy being surrounded by people who love the authors as much as you do.

By 1pm, when the numbers were about to be handed out, the place looked like this.
01PicMonkey Collage1

INSANE!!!!

And when the bus pulled up, let me tell you, the room hit a whole other level of craziness. Squealing and camera clicking were all the sounds you could hear.

fall in love tour 020

Can I say how it makes a person feel when someone, who you admire, looks you in the eye and smiles or waves? Well it feels pretty darn good. You could different people squealing over that fact. It made me smile. They truly love their fans.

By the time we were sitting upstairs, I was seriously ready to freak out. I was so excited, but very nervous. They had a camera crew there and I was in the front row. Normally I’m a super chatterbox, shocking, I know, but with a camera there, I was silent… until they called me out.

That’s right, they called little ol’ non important me, out. I about died. Lately there have been quite a few Q&As with these authors and I tend to go all in and ask a million questions. But since I’m at home, at my computer, the questions tend to come fast. But when I was called out, I froze. Again, I died. It was wild. But I gotta say, to have your favorite authors know you by name and joke with you, like old friends, I almost started crying. I was so touched. I don’t think they realize the impact they have on us. They even started a singalong for some girl’s birthday. I bet she died in her seat. 🙂 I mean seriously, we all fangirl, and snapshot any and all “comments and likes” we get from them. I know I’m not the only one who does that. But when they call us by name, we light up. I saw it happen many times. It was magical.

So after that, the signing started. And every person was able to get a picture with them, if we wanted. That was the best part. The signed books are great, but having them pose for a picture was perfect. I can’t wait to put mine in a frame with the photo matte I asked them to sign.

fall in love tour 030

This is all of the things I asked them to sign. Some will be gifts and giveaways. That’s another thing I like, they’ll sign anything. Too bad I forgot to ask them to sign my shirt. I’m so forgetful, when I get up there.
fall in love tour 070

I waited around til the end, with some of the girls I met in various fan clubs. And were lucky enough to get group and individual pictures with each of them. They are so great to their fans. I am so lucky to have met them. Not many people get to meet their favorite authors. I am truly blessed.

01PicMonkey Collage4

I also may have gone a little crazy over the bus. I can’t help it. Sometimes I act like a child. I’m not ashamed.
01PicMonkey Collage3

And a few of us may have been invited to tour the bus, with Colleen. *faints*

01PicMonkey Collage2

Thank you, Atria Books for sharing our favorite authors with us. Thank you Colleen, Jamie and Abbi, for being the kindest authors out there. As I sat there and watched you guys greet each person, you did it with a smile. Even though you were on your millionth city, you treated us great and always smiled when you heard 3,2,1. 😉 Please come back and visit us. I promise to have a list of questions ready and waiting.

~Melpomene(AKA Crazy Jenn)

Review: One More Chance, by Abbi Glines

0101 Abbi has done it again. This book actually bumped my current top AG book down a notch. I was very anxious to read this, after the ending of Take a Chance. I wasn’t very happy with Grant. he needed to redeem himself.

This was emotional and had my heart breaking and skipping a few beats the WHOLE time. Over and over I was blown away by heartaches and spent the last half of the book in near tears. But by the end, they were spilling over.

I am glad Grant was able to get back on track. He is my favorite Abbi Glines BBF. I have loved him, from the moment Blaire pulled the gun on him, a loooong time ago. I knew he was special. I’m so glad we were able to hear his story and see just how special he was.

I may regret saying this, but I may even be a Nanhater no more. She is still cruel, but we get to see a glimpse into what she could be, if she chose to change.

01OMC

I can’t wait to read the next few books, in this series!!

~Melpomene

Buy One More Chance: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Book 7)

But first, you must read Take a Chance: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series Book 6) It’s only $1.99 NOW!!!

Review: In Her Wake, by K.A.Tucker

In Her Wake cover (1) Oh my, Trent. You poor broken soul. Let me start out by saying that even though this is a .5, you MUST read Ten Tiny Breaths beforehand. MUST!! If you don’t, you’ll kind of ruin the surprise in TTB, and you don’t want to do that.

Synopsis
Before you knew him as Trent in Ten Tiny Breaths, he was Cole Reynolds—and he had it all. Until one night when he makes a fatal, wrong decision…and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he’d be able to lean on his best friends—the ones who have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they’re gone. Worse, there’s the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn’t intentional, and yet he can’t ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. Nor can he shake the all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won’t so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip on what once was important—college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It’s not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there’s only one person who can give that to him…

This was a very fast read, but it still had all the emotions of a full length novel. K.A.Tucker has created a world around these characters that make you feel as though you truly know them. My heart was breaking for what Trent had to go through. I knew he felt guilty, but never on this level.

Trent had everything he wanted, until one mistake changed the rest of his life. Now he must move on and carry on. Easier said than done. Being the one left behind, and having no one to help him, he find that life is way too hard alone. The brokenness he felt, made my heart hurt. He had guilt, the size of mountains. The ‘What ifs” were almost too numerable to count. No amount of them would bring his friends back. So after months of desperation, he finds a way to come out from the fog and to move on.

I have always loved Trent. He was my favorite TTB character. But watching him like this, was a bit hard for me. I think guy’s POVs are always a bit more emotional for me. I guess, in some backwards ways, guys are supposed to be strong all the time. But it’s not true. This book shows that perfectly.

~Melpomene

Buy In Her Wake: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella

Get caught up with the Ten Tiny Breaths series
katucker

Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel

One Tiny Lie: A Novel

Four Seconds to Lose: A Novel

Five Ways to Fall: A Novel

Listen to this!!!

01aa11
Do you listen to books?? I must admit, up til a year ago, the only audible books I listened to were Hank the Cowdog, with my kids. I’m dead serious. They’re funny as heck, but when you find yourself listening, in your car, ALONE, it’s time to be a grown up and listen to grown up books.

Around this time last year, I grabbed a ton of the classics, which were free at the time. But have I listened to them?? That would be a big fat NO. However, around this past March, a friend gifted me Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover. Since I already read the book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. But, I stinking loved it!! I fell in love with Zachary Webber, during this book. Seriously. That kid can read me the phone book and I would sit and listen to it.

Since then, I’ve found myself buying more and actually wanting to walk my dog and go grocery shopping alone, just so I can listen to some books. So far this year, I’ve listened to Flat-Out Love, by Jessica Park, Red Hill, by Jamie McGuire, Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover, and Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I started The Fault in Our Stars, but never finished and I’m currently listening to Outlander: A Novel.

But by far, the BEST BEST BEST audible I’ve listened to is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. I’ve read the book a couple times and it’s in my top 5, but when I listened to it, I lived it. The guy who does the guy’s voice, Kirby Heyborne, did an amazing job!! He had such emotions I seriously thought he was crying. He sounded so believable. If anyone asks what audible they should try, I always tell them this one. Talking about it now, kinda makes me wanna go and listen again.

Sometimes the book is read by a single person, which can be good or bad. I’ve tried to listen to a few and found them quite annoying, but some I find, very enjoyable. My first experience was with Flat-Out Love. At first I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it, but after a little bit, I actually forgot it was only one person. That book was so sweet and funny, I actually startled a few people, in the grocery store, when I was listening to it.

Some books are read my numerous people. Red Hill, for example, was read by three different voices. Zachary Webber *sigh* was one of them. I actually had my hubby listen to this one, on our way to Chicago, in June. The story was so well written, that I was on the edge of my seat listening. My poor hubby kept getting shushed, even though I read the book before. I just wanted to listen to them, not him. The voices were so smooth I felt like I was in a trance.

So far I’ve only listened to books that I’ve already read. I think I enjoy the story more that way. For me, if I never knew the story, I think it would be hard to pay attention. I know I would miss things. My life isn’t always silent and I get distracted easily. So I think I’ll keep to previously read books. Up next, on my audible list, Ugly Love, by Colleen Hoover.

If you’ve never tried audible, I encourage you to do so. They’re always running deals. In fact, if you’re a new subscriber, I think you get 2 free books. That’s great!! And even paying monthly, is sometimes half of what an audible costs. It’s so worth it. And if you do try, let me know which ones you get.

~Melpomene

Buy Flat-Out Love

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

Red Hill

Maybe Someday

Hopeless

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

Outlander: A Novel

Ugly Love: A Novel

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog