Blog Tour & Giveaway: Withering Hope by Layla Hagen ~ Read Brittany's 4 Star Review, and Enter to #Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
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• What did Tristan do that he desperately needs forgiveness for?
• Can I root for the budding relationship between Aimee and Tristan, knowing she has a fiancée waiting for her somewhere?
• Could any romance built under these circumstances thrive when reality inevitably comes crashing down on them again?
These are just a few of the questions I had before diving in to Withering Hope. I was more than ready to get these answers and begin what, from reading the synopsis, seemed like a frightening adventure, hopefully with heaps of romantic/sexual tension and angst. Bring it on.
I was pleased to see the author jump right into the action from the first few pages. I love a good backstory as much as the next girl, but it's great when a story can suck you in straight away and really get things going. I was surprised to discover that Tristan and Aimee actually knew each other prior to their disastrous flight, albeit not well. Even more interesting (or might eventually prove to be) was that Tristan knows Aimee's fiancée, Chris, since he is the pilot for his company's private jet. Maybe I should have assumed as such from the blurb, but, for some reason, I was expecting complete strangers going in.
From Aimee's admission, we learn that Tristan is closed off, a very private person. Their stilted relationship makes early encounters awkward, but there's no room for that in their predicament. Being stranded in the rainforest, with only each other to depend on for comfort and survival, forces them to become familiar pretty quickly. It's not long until they're working together, trying to make the best of their dire situation. Aimee and Tristan both turn out to be quite resourceful. As much as they need to depend on each other, though, Aimee still has a hard time getting Tristan to talk much, or open up to her. Turns out, he has his own reasons for keeping some emotional diatance, and I loved him even more for it. Slowly, but surely, Aimee breaks down Tristan's defenses, and a friendship begins to form... or is it more?
I thought the bond between us here in the rainforest was one of friendship. But maybe it's more. Maybe I feel more than I think for this man who's not only the strongest person I've met, but who also seems more determined to keep me alive than himself.
Now, let me say something about myself. I have a slight (read: major) rainforest phobia. Every time I visit the aquarium, I'm a mess in the rainforest exhibit. I walk quickly, with my head tilted down, shoulders at my ears, just waiting for something to fall on my head. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful. I want to love it, I do, which is why I always force myself inside. But it's also super creepy for me. With all the hanging vines and creepy crawlies, the strange animal noises and angrily squawking birds. No, thank you. So... to say I was mildly creeped out by reading about Aimee and Tristan's encounters in this book would be an accurate statement. But bravo to the author for creating such a vivid visual, at least! Even if I did want to break out in hives at the first mention of snakes and multi-legged insects crawling on Aimee's fingers. *cringe*
I absutely loved Aimee and Tristan. They were both well developed characters, both strong and complex. The way they handled the obstacles they faced after the crash was admirable, and I was sad to say goodbye to them at the end. Some of the romantic dialogue between the two came off a bit sappy at times, but other times it worked really well. I suppose it was nice to have a good dose of sweet when surrounded by so much struggle. I think the way their romance unfolded was handled well, and I couldn't fault them for finding such a connection when faced with what they had to live through daily while stranded in the rainforest. It's hard not to root for a couple to find happiness when they're in a life or death situation, surrounded by predators, illnesses, and the constant risk of injury or death. It was a beautiful thing to experience them finding solace in each other.
Without warning, he puts his arms around me in a tender embrace. From the plethora of feelings striking me in this moment-- heat, guilt, confusion-- most powerful is the feeling that I belong here in his arms.
Afrer reading Withering Hope, I've become a fan of Layla Hagen, and I can't wait to read more from her. This is the first time I've had the pleasure of reading her work, and what a great read it was. Her writing is beautiful, and the pacing of the story made for a book that was very difficult to put down. Withering Hope was a highly entertaining story, one that was filled with its fair share of both heart-stopping and heartwarming moments. And the ending of the epilogue? Way to rip my heart into a million pieces! If you're a fan of books like On The Island, and stories of finding love in unlikely places, in the most dire of situations, then I highly recommend this one.
Maybe it's true what they say, that without darkness, you can never truly appreciate the light.
My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.
I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.
And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough
Connect with Layla:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Tyson Preeter. We first meet him in This Is Falling and fall instantly for him. He’s hot, has a crazy sense of humor, and he doesn’t do “can’t”. If you haven’t met him until this book, that’s ok. Because whatever you think you know or will find out about Tyson Preeter? It’s wrong.
Tyson Preeter is unlike any male character you have ever met. I am not talking about the usual drop dead gorgeous guy that falls in love with a girl. Ty? He’s got heart. He’s got soul. Oh and he’s paralyzed from the waist down. But that never stops him. He lives life. He loves life. Oh and girls. But Ty doesn’t do love. It’s just easier that way. Until he meets Cass. She’s different. She makes him want to be different. Cass opens up his heart in ways he never thought possible. When he learns her secret, he realizes that she is his missing piece. He sees his soul in Cass. He sees that recognizing and dealing with the past and insecurities doesn’t show weakness. It shows courage, strength, and resiliency.
“I love her for everything she is, and I love her for how much she makes me believe in the possible. She’s defiance, in all of its glory.”
Despite Ty’s outside demeanor of confidence and cocky, we learn that when he lost his ability to walk, he also lost a piece of himself that he will never get back. Cass and Ty face obstacles that people their age will probably never face. The author eloquently writes two characters that show a strength and a will to live that most people will never have, yet she displays their vulnerabilities in a manner that truly allows the reader to understand Ty and Cass and everything they continue to face not only as a couple, but as individuals. The humor and emotion displayed in this book is perfectly balanced. Ty and Cass have a banter that will have you laughing out loud. They are witty, charming and all around one of my favorite couples in a book. At other times you will be crying. Crying for two beautiful souls dealt a rough hand in life, but are willing to live and love harder than everyone else. The connection between Cass and Ty cannot be put into words. Ty's love for Cass? It runs deeper than anything I have ever experienced in a book. Their emotional bond is beautiful, raw, and heartfelt. THIS. BOOK. You will feel EVERYTHING.
“And as far as I’m concerned, from now on, there is just you…and everything after.”
You And Everything After is a beautiful, poignant story of love and acceptance. The writing is flawless as the author weaves a story that grips you from the very first page all the way until the end. You are immersed in a world of Ty and Cass and you will not want to leave. The delivery of the story is powerful in that you feel every up and down Ty and Cass endure. You LIVE their journey to love. Their journey to acceptance. Their story strongly supports the notion that despite the circumstances we face in life, we must not only recognize our capability to love, but accept the love we deserve. You don’t know and understand love until you read Ty and Cass’s story. Their love shatters the definition of true love in that it defies everything you ever believed about it. Yes. Their love shatters, yet it makes them whole. Their love finds it’s way through darkness and comes out on top. Their love heals.
**** I received an copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
Hard Knox is the first in Nicole William’s new series The Outsider Chronicles and is Knox Jagger (now that’s a great name) and Charlie Chase’s story.
Loved Charlie she was a girl after my own her, confident, feisty, sassy, passionate, funny and fiercely independent, she knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it and doesn’t care what others think about her.
“Why would I want to and get all normal when being abnormal is so much more interesting.”
Knox was great; He is known at Sinclair, University for his bad boy image, his one-night stands, and drunken fights the men dislike him, and the women love him.
“For a good time, call Knox, 1-800-BIG-DICK or Add to Bucket List: Get Fucked by Knox Jagger”
However, he was a bit of a mystery. He has his secret, and some demons/ ghosts that are haunting everywhere he goes, and I slowly discovered there is a lot more to him that meets the eye.
“So is Knox Jagger a bad boy or a good man? He’s both. He’s neither. He’s a breed all his own”
Charlie and Knox together, loved the way Knox was protective of Charlie, and the way Charlie gets to know the real Knox, she fights for him, gets him to open up, and doesn’t let others cloud her judgment. Loved the way their relationship plays out from the disapproval to the mutual attraction, to the friendship, the sexual tension, and then hot sexy passion.
“Why couldn’t I be free of Knox Jagger and Impervious to his touch”
“With lust, the attraction is all based on ‘What can you do for me’? But with love, it’s about ‘What can I do for you?’ Selfish versus selfless.”
I really enjoyed the storyline, Charlie and Knox are great characters. I did think that the pace was a little slow at time but not enough that I wanted to stop reading, or that it took away my reading enjoyment. I laughed, yelled, and cheered. I loved the suspense aspect of the story (even thought I did guess who the culprit was) but again it didn’t take away my reading enjoyment.
I loved the ending; the only thing missing for me was an epilogue. I’m greedy like that I always want one, when there is no cliffhanger, but maybe Knox and Charlie will pop up again later in the series.
"You're a pain in my ass"
"Right back at ya, sweetheart."
Overall, I really enjoyed Hard Knox. I’m no stranger to a Nicole William ’s book. I love her writing style. Hard Knox deals with subject matter, one that is relevant for women today, and should be taken lightly. Nicole effortlessly highlights the serious and gritty side of this important message realistically and sensitivity through both characters’ story.
If you're a fan of Nicole Williams, you will enjoy Hard Knox, and I recommend that you add to your TBR list. I’m really looking for to reading Damages Goods the next book in the series
Make sure you enter to win a signed copy of Hard Knox and a $50 amazon gift card. Click Here:
I’m the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that’s one tiny way I can make it so. I’m one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.
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"Stick around, even if you think you already know the ending. Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way.”
*I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Knowing how a story ends is usually my first worry when reading about an already established couple from the main books, we know what happens to Dee Dee and Matthew so I was wondering if I would be entertained or indeed was there enough of a story there. Why did I ever doubt this?! I loved Tamed, when you think about it; we actually know nothing about Dee Dee and Matthew at all. A lot happened at the same time Kate and Drew were trying to fight each other into submission, things that we had no clue about therefore I’m really glad we got Matthew and Dee Dee’s story. So much so, I think I may love Matthew that little bit more, but ssh don’t tell Drew that ;-)
“My life changed about four weeks ago. On a normal, average day-when I met a girl who was anything but average.”
And never has a truer word been spoken. Delores or Dee Dee was not your average female MC and I loved her for it. She was a breath of fresh air and crazy funny. She had me laughing in every scene she was in and with each outfit description; I pictured her like Madonna and Lady Gaga’s love child. But we soon learn it’s all an act. Dee Dee may act tough as nails on the outside but in reality, it’s to protect her fragile heart on the inside. She’s been burned by too many guys and by the time Matthew comes along, her faith is nonexistent. I’m just so glad Matthew was persistent enough to change her mind.
“She wants excitement, spontaneity, but a part of her-the part that’s been dicked around by one too many pricks in the past-craves reliability. Honesty. Truth. I want to give her both. I want to be her roller coaster and her merry-go-round, her adventurer and her protector.”
Oh Matthew, what a guy. I had him pegged as a joker from the first two books and quite rightly so I guess, but when he’s away from the guys and Dee Dee is his number one focus, his caring, confident and downright sexy side comes out. What I loved most about Matthew was his confidence, from day one he wanted Dee Dee and he wasn’t going to stop until he got her. Even when Dee Dee gave him plenty of reasons to give up on her, Matthew was there proving his commitment. And I was just swooning all over the place because of this.
My favourite scene between the comical couple, is when they are being most sincere and Dee Dee exposes her vulnerability. By letting Matthew in she is taking a huge risk but he’s proved time and time again he’s worth it.
“Matthew, these last few weeks with you and me…I…” She pauses and licks her lips. “I…I’m really glad you stayed tonight.” “Me too.” After a few minutes, her breathing turns steady and deep I think she’s fallen asleep, until, in a small voice she says, “Just…don’t hurt me…okay.” I run my hand through her hair and hold her tight. “Not ever, Delores. Promise.”
I enjoyed the storyline as I did Emma’s writing; it was a quick, easy read with plenty of humour. It was told entirely from Matthew's POV and I loved being in his head, I didn't once feel we needed Dee Dee's POV to boost the story, Matthew did a great job on his own. The story focussed on the characters, meaning there was less outside drama and it was all about them growing as individuals. A lot goes on that we were unaware of when reading Tangled and my heart went out to both Dee Dee and Matthew as they had to deal with this new situation on their own whilst their best friends were broken hearted and full of the ‘flu’.
All the usual suspects made appearances and it was great to see them again. Alexandra, as always didn't mince her words and poor MacKenzie's vocabulary continued growing and not in the best way ;-). Of course, Drew and Kate were present and it was funny to see just how much Drew's screw ups had a knock on effect for poor Matthew but of course the charmer could talk himself out of any situation.
Tamed was funny, VERY sexy and entertaining throughout. It’s a great addition to the series and it does make me want more from the gang, so I do look forward to whatever is up next. Fans of the series will love this book and Drew needs to watch out, as Matthew is a worthy contender for Drew’s sexiest book boyfriend crown!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When I heard Matthew (Matt) and Delores (Dee) were getting their book, I was excited. Then I realized it’s their story on how they came to be. My first thought was what else could we learn about them? I was so wrong. There is so much to their story. Told from Matt’s POV, we learn the good, the bad, the ugly of their relationship and what made them the couple they are today.
“Love isn’t putting up with someone in spite of their faults-it’s adoring them because of them.”
Tamed occurs around the same timeline as Tangled. As expected, sparks fly between Matt and Dee the moment they meet. I’m not sure what else to say about them except that they just fit. It’s like where have they been hiding all their lives? They simply make sense. They balance each other like any other couple. We find out that although their chemistry is off the charts, their love story isn’t that easy at all. Matt has never wanted to commit. Until Dee. And Dee? She’s been disappointed over and over so relationships aren’t her thing. But Matt changes things for her. For the first time she wants more. But if you know Dee she is stubborn. And feisty. She’s not going to give into Matt so easily.
“I want to be her roller coaster and her merry go-round, her adventurer and her protector. Her impressionist and her periodic table.”
I enjoyed getting to know more about Matt and Dee. Their story definitely needed to be told. Matt is so different than Drew, but just as lovable. He is sincere, passionate, and loves with his entire heart. He could never commit before because they weren’t Dee. No other woman was worth giving his heart to. Tame gives the entire Tangled series so much more depth. I think understanding the characters and their backgrounds is such a vital part of truly loving a series, and Ms. Chase did a great job at this. Tamed was witty, sexy, and overall just a lot of fun to read.
She puts on the helmet, but doesn’t climb on the Ducati right away. She stands on the sidewalk, hands on her hips, looking thoughtfully at it. “What would you say if I said I wanted to drive your motorcycle to the party?”
“I’d say you’re shit out of luck. I don’t ride bitch.”
She knocks me upside the head—but my helmet softens the blow. “Then let me take it for a ride myself. Just around the block.”
“I . . .don’t think so.”
I sigh. “Have you ever driven a motorcycle before?”
“No, but I’ve always wanted to.”
“Well, I’ve always wanted to fly, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna strap on a squirrel suit and skydive from the god damn Empire State Building.”
She steps closer, and rubs her placating hands up my chest. “Come on, please? I’ll be really careful and grateful. Really grateful. Like . . .deviantly, let you handcuff me to the bed, kind of grateful.”
Forget the national broadcast system—this is the test. Am I going to stick to my man-guns, keep my pride, and protect my cherished vehicle from almost certain carnage? Or, am I going to be ruled by my dick and swayed by the promise of kinky, have-Dee-at-my-mercy-all-night-long, sex?
“Riding bitch, it is.”
By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.
Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
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Title: Slowly We Trust
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Series: Fall & Rise #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Audrey Valdez didn’t mean to fall for Will Anders. He isn’t her type. At all. But his goofy smile, Star Wars quotes and athletic body make it impossible. She's lived so long in the darkness and Will is like the sun. He makes her laugh more than she has in years and cares for her more than her own family.
But there are things about Audrey that Will doesn't know, things he can't know. She tries to push him away, but he just ends up getting closer to her, and to her secret. Is the risk of losing him forever worth the chance a being with the only person she's ever loved who has loved her back?
I can honestly say that the first two books in the Fall and Rise series were one of my favorite reads 2013. Which is why I was looking forward to this book so much. Unfortunately, Slowly We Trust did not invoke the same feelings in me as the first two did.
Audrey and Will are sort of, kind of together. Audrey has feelings for Will, but she's hiding a big secret. On New Year's Eve Will wants to tell Audrey how much he means to him and maybe even take their relationship to the next step. So when Will drops the 'I love you' bomb, he gets a reaction that he kind of expected from Audrey. From here on out, Audrey begins to push Will away.
I liked Will. He's Star Wars obsession was cute and his geekiness was something that I haven't seen much in books. But even though I did like him, I wanted him to either stand up to Audrey or just let her go like she wanted to. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with Audrey. I mean she was fiercely independent and her story was compelling, but there was just something about her that kept me back from really loving her character.
Overall, it was a good book. I was expecting more after reading the first two in the series. If you're a fan of the series and wish to know what happens with these characters, you should read it!
FASTER WE BURN
Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)
Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.
Review Tour: Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen~ Adriana & Kat's Reviews, Giveaway Included!
Title: Nova and Quinton: No Regrets
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Today is the first day of Quinton Carter's new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She's the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he's not ready yet.
Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova's life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life's dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova's heart?
Remember how the previous book ended? Well, fast forward to the end of Quinton's time in rehab. He's now out in a world that kind of scares him. Being inside the rehab facility was safe, no temptations. Now, he's out and he's not sure if he'll be able to say no and walk away from dubious situations. But there's Nova. She's been there through all the ugly and it's still supporting him no matter what.
For most of the book, Quinton and Nova are not really seeing each other face to face. To tell you the truth, I really hate when this happens in books, but in this case it was necessary. Quinton needed that time away from Nova to heal. This was not a quick process and by the end we all know Quinton will always deal with his addiction and I love how true to reality Jessica wrote it.
It was sad reading the conclusion to Nova and Quinton's story, but me being a huge fan of Jessica's, can't wait to see what she writes next. Also, I hope she later on writes a novella or something for this couple; I will truly miss them.
I recommend you read this series. You will absolutely love seeing the growth of these characters and how their relationship slowly changes over time.
The healing of Quinton is a journey of friendship, overcoming temptations and mending the past that went wrong. He faced the struggles of understanding that he does belong in this world as a happy and healthy person, that people truly love and want him to be around. For Quinton, this is quite the task to come to understand. But he has Nova. The best motivation and friend he could ever ask for.
“I think if every person had a Nova Reed in this world, then life would be a little sunnier.”
Even if at times he doesn’t believe he deserves her love. Nova opens his eyes, and helps to heal his heart and soul.
“Nova owns my heart and I can’t get it back from her.”
Quinton slowly releases the ghosts from his past in order to embrace the people in his future.
“I want to know everything about you, Nova like the car.”
I absolutely love when he calls her, Nova like the car!
Although over half of this book is spent with Nova and Quinton apart, only communicating by phone, it doesn’t matter. This is totally necessary for Quinton, for his healing process. Jessica is still able to make you feel the connection between the two. Their bond and friendship grows stronger. And there is even some cute and swoony texts between them that’ll hold you over until they meet up again. And once they finally do, you’ll get those intense moments of chemistry we all crave in romance. I love Nova and Quinton, I could read about all the day. I have a need and a want to know how the rest of their story goes. What they are up to and how their relationship is progressing. I LOVE THESE TWO TOGETHER!
To another part of the story I can’t wait to see play out, Tristan. I don’t know why, but these vulnerable, broken guys that Jessica creates just makes my heart weak. My heart already breaks for him, and his full story hasn’t even been told yet!
This series has become one of my favourite’s. I hope you all take the time to read it. It will make your heart hurt, and melt and break and the happiness will be there to catch you in the end.
Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
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