Friday, September 15, 2017

Blog tour: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Fraternize (Players Game #1) 
by Rachel Van Dyken
Pub date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Available in Canada through Thomas Allen & Son
Add to Goodreads
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken kicks off a brand-new series in which romance is a game and love is a touchdown.

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

My Thoughts:

This was a fun quick read (can be read in one night, but be prepared for a late night!)

I enjoyed the story and found that this was more a story of friends finding their way back to each other rather than a love story. It starts out as a love triangle but you may be surprised how it ends, I gotta say I was guessing who Emerson would pick all the way to the end- that's if she does pick someone...

I don't know much (or anything) about football, but if what they say in this book is true and there really is a rule of no FRATERNIZING between cheerleaders and football players, that's interesting. BUT what really angered me was that only the cheerleaders seemed to be punished when caught- does this really happen?! 

With that said, Fraternize is well paced and broken up into multiple perspectives between Emerson, Miller and Sanchez (a bit), although I must say (as old followers will already know) I prefer to read from one perspective (and usually the heroines), so I think I would have preferred to have just a few chapters giving a sneak peek in the guys minds, I like to be kept guessing along with the heroine haha. 

I would categorize this read as more of a slow burn new adult read. Each character has their own drama but no ones drama overwhelms the plot. Emerson is an incredibly likeable character, even though she still has some physical hang-ups (as many of us do). Miller was an ok character but I really was "cheering" for Sanchez through this whole book- he's adorable and charming!

The ending was satisfying and lets readers know where Rachel plans to take this crew in her sequel. I look forward to seeing all these characters in book 2!

If you're in the mood for a quick, slow burn romance with humour than give Fraternize a read!

Thank you Thomas Allen and Sons for the review copy!

Happy reading!!!
Get Your Copy Today!

About Rachel Van Dyken:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. 
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Follow Rachel:

Haven’t read part 1 of the chapter one excerpt yet?
Check out yesterday’s post to find out how this flashback fits in!


The locker room door shut behind the last cheer member, blanketing me in silence. Well, except for the noise coming from the other side of the room.
The walls were thin.
Very thin.
The guys were still shouting and banging hands against lockers.
I grinned and walked over to the door that led into the guys’ locker room. A small hallway with two offices divided the space between the girls’ and the guys’ locker rooms. The athletic director’s office was on one side and the football coaches’ office on the other. If you wanted to sneak across, you had to get on your hands and knees and crawl.
So I wasn’t at all surprised when I opened the door and looked down.
And Miller looked up.

“Fancy meeting you here.” I knelt to his level and crossed my arms. “Escaping so soon?”

“You know how I feel about male shower time.” His grin was back, but it was shaky. Yeah, I knew all too well how he felt about it.
Both of us had our issues.
I had my weight.
He had the color of his skin.
So damn stupid that tears threatened. Tears for him, not for me.
The white guys made fun of him for being too dark. And the black guys made fun of him for being too white.
He couldn’t win.
After a long game, I knew he was exhausted and just wanted to shower and go home.
“Come on.” I held out my hand and drug him into the girls’ locker room. “You can shower in here.”
“With you?”
“You should be so lucky, Casanova.”
“Break my heart, why don’t you,” he grumbled, placing a hand across his chest and then grabbed his bag from the floor.
He knew I’d let him in. He knew I’d say yes.
We were best friends.
Not that I’d ever admit it out loud since he’d probably wanted to test me—but I’d go to prison for the guy. Cheerfully.
I’d already suffered numerous school detentions in the name of friendship after joining in on several of his harmless pranks.
The principal called us Satan’s duo.
I took it as a compliment.
I think Miller did too.

“So” He plopped his bag down on one of the benches and dropped his shorts.

Thank you Thomas Allen and Sons for this great preview and for allowing me to participate in the Blog Tour!

Make sure you follow the rest of the tour and enter for a chance to win a copy of Fraternize!

Fraternize Blog Tour Schedule:
Sept. 11Burning Impossibly Bright | Player Card #1: Miller Quinton
Sept. 12Between the Spine | Excerpt: Prologue
Sept. 13Bookish Wanderlove | Instagram: Pattycakess20 | Teasers
Sept. 14My Slanted Bookish Ramblings | Excerpt: Chapter One, Part 1/2
Sept. 15Booking It With Hayley G | Excerpt: Chapter One, Part 2/2
Sept. 18BookCatPin | Player Card #2: Grant Sanchez
Sept. 19This is the Story of My (Reading) Life | Excerpt: Chapter Nine, Part 1/2
Sept. 20 – Cupcake and a Latte | Excerpt: Chapter Nine, Part 2/2
Sept. 21 – Brains, Books & Brawn | Playlist
Sept. 22 – Padfoots Library | Guest Post

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Monday, October 3, 2016

The Swan Riders: Book Review & Giveaway

The Swan Riders
by: Erin Bow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Now available!!!
Source: ARC provided by publisher
The Swan Riders on Goodreads here.
Synopsis (and cover photo) from Goodreads:
Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

My thoughts:

Fantastic sequel to a young adult series that will interest both boys and girls!

Canadian pride - It's refreshing to read a young adult series that centres around Canada and Canadian provinces and I really appreciated the nod to Gordon Lightfoot as well! 

The book is told from Greta's point of view throughout, with the exception of a few intervals where we're given a few pages into Talis' past and and his point of view. Speaking of, I really loved Talis, he was by far my favourite character, even when I was confused about differentiating between him and Rachel and Michael. He made me laugh throughout I really appreciated his wit and sarcasm.

Without being too spoilery, I really enjoyed juxtaposition between Greta and Talis and their struggles, as one struggles with becoming human, while the other struggles with losing their humanity.

The pace of the book is quite quick, I think this is due in large part to Bow's superb writing style. The are moments where I was laughing, surprised and fighting not to cry.

Although there wasn't as much romance as I prefer in my books, there is a continuation of one, however it is very muted as the story building and struggle of the characters surviving in an apocalyptic era was much at the forefront of the book.

I would recommend reading Book 1- the Scorpion Rules, before reading the Swan Riders, as you will have a difficult time keeping up with plot and futuristic terminology and dialogue.

If you enjoy reading about strong heroines and futuristic scifi, then you should definitely give Bow's series a try.

On to the next book!

Before you leave, leave a comment below for a chance at winning an ARC of THE SWAN RIDERS!! CAN/US residents only, I'm sorry international followers!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Into the Dim Blog Tour: Review & Q&A

Into the Dim
by: Janet B. Taylor
Release Date: March 1st/16.
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by Raincoast
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens. 

My Thoughts:
Outlander for teens? - Yes please!

Into the Dim is told from Hope's first-person-perspective, and she does a great job as a reliable narrator. I thought she was a tougher character than her narration lets on. Readers will find her relatable and will root for her successes.

The romance isn't too heated in this book, but I do believe Taylor has set up a potential love triangle for future books. Hope has two potential suitors: Collum and Bran, and the two could not be anymore different.

Collum is by-the-book kind of guy, reliable- he'll always have your back. Whereas Bran is more dark, and mysterious, there's definite chemistry between him and Hope, but can she trust him? I look forward to where Taylor plans to take these three next.

While I had a bit of a hard time getting into the book at the beginning, 40-50% of the way in the action picks right up, making the reader unable to put down this book. Just like in Outlander, I couldn't guess where Taylor was going to take Hope and the gang next! The plot was amazing, the setting, beautiful (although a bit barbaric). I also loved that the romance really picked up as well.

The ending will leave readers satisfied, but hungry for the next instalment!

I would easily recommend this series to those who love an equal blend of romance, action and adventure in their YA! Please bring on book #2!

Happy Reading!!!

Image courtesy of Goodreads
Q&A Time With Taylor
If you had to describe Into the Dim with three words, what words would you choose? Why?

Family/Friendship—In the novel, everything Hope does, ever obstacle she overcomes is
because of how much she loves her mother, and the new family she joins once she travels
to Scotland.

Sacrifice—Many of the characters in the book—at one time or another—willingly
sacrifice something for those they love. Hope in particular, does this in a very, very
big way in the story. (But I can’t tell you what! You’ll have to read it for

True Love—Hope has been isolated from other kids her entire life. So she’s very
innocent and very new at the whole caring about a boy in ‘that’ way. But as the story
progresses and you learn more about Hope’s history, you learn that cornerstone of the
entire series is a very strong and true love.

Huge thanks to Raincoast for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

ARC Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Assassin's Heart
by: Sarah Ahiers
Release Date: Feb. 2/16.
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC received from Publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

My Thoughts:

Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet indeed! Why aren't more people talking about this book?!

I have to admit that I'm not one for mobster movies but I just loved the setting and plot of Assassin's Heart! Lea is a strong capable heroine and it was pleasure reading from her point of view.

While I'm not one for blood shed,  I found myself rooting for Lea in her plot for vengeance for her family. I even shed a few tears at the very beginning, in mourning for characters I would never get to know.

This book is full of action, fight scenes and ghost chases, the reader will never be bored while reading this book. Of course, this book is also filled with my favourite, ROMANCE! Lea has two potential suitors in this book, but one may have betrayed her in the worst possible way. I'm excited to see where Ahiers will take this not-so-love-triangle in her next instalment.

If you enjoy kick-butt heroines, than you should definitely read Assassin's Heart, I highly recommend it!

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

ARC Review: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Dangerous Lies
By: Becca Fizpatrick
Now Available!!!
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: ARC provided by Publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

My Thoughts:
An enjoyable read!

Dangerous Lies is told from the first person point of view of Stella, and Stella does a great job as narrator. I wasn't sure if I would like Stella when I first began reading Dangerous Lies, as she is a bit rough around the edges (which she's more than entitled to given her upbringing), but as I continued to read on I found I quite liked Stella, I admired her ability to start over with no friends or family.

Readers will adore Chet, as he wears his heart on his sleeve where Stella is concerned. I really liked the way the romance grew between these two, it wasn't instant love, but there's a definite spark of attraction. 

I think my favourite part of this book, was the pseudo-mother/daughter relationship that formed between Stella and her guardian- the way Fitzpatrick wrote the verbal jibes between these two was so believable and enjoyable.

I would recommend this read to fans of YA whom enjoy a bit of romance and suspense in their contemporary reads.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, November 27, 2015

ARC Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

by: Joelle Charbonneau
Now Available!!!
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of goodreads:
"No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better."

Teenagers at Wisconsin's Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

My Thoughts:

Wow, this is a read that really makes you think.

I would label Need as a psychological thriller/mystery, it's narrated from many points of view. However, priority is given to the character Kaylee and her view is told in first person point of view, whereas the rest are given third point of view. 

I really enjoyed the multiple points of view, because it gives the readers a sense of the choices we make based on the opportunity to receive something we want. Some are willing to do just about anything, while others know that nothing is ever free.

The pacing moves quite quickly, so the reader never gets bored. There's action in this read but I think Need is very much a character driven plot.

While I really enjoyed this read, I did find myself wishing there was more resolution in the end. Everything kind of felt left up in the air. Especially with Nate and Kaylee. I would actually love a sequel to Need! Please give us a sequel! 

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Until We Meet Again 
By Renee Collins
Release date: November 3, 2015  
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time
Country clubs and garden parties. The last thing Cassandra wants is to spend the summer before her senior year marooned in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. Cass craves drama and adventure, which is hard when she just feels stuck.

But when a dreamy stranger shows up on her family’s private beach, claiming that it is his property—and that the year is 1925—Cass is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making. As she searches for answers in the present, Cass discovers a truth that thrusts Lawrence’s life into jeopardy. It won’t matter which century he is from if he won’t live to see tomorrow.

Desperate to save the boy who’s come to mean everything to her, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.

Giveaway  Time!!!
3 copies of Until We Meet Again 
Open 11/3 – 11/24 

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to participate in this Blog Tour