180 Seconds – Review

32487648I have been in a book slump for half of June. I’ve been wanting to read something great, but constantly feeling bored with my current reads instead. In most cases, it’s no fault of the books I’ve been reading; I have simply been distracted. Part of it might be that I’ve read more than I ever have in the past year and a half and maybe I am now harder to impress. Whatever the case may be, I had an unused trial of Kindle Unlimited and decided 180 Seconds by Jessica Park would be the book to break the slump. I’ve seen the excellent reviews of this novel by readers I trust, and knew it would be exactly what I was looking for. Luckily, 180 seconds was everything I needed to read. It was emotional, touching, and had a plot that never failed to be interesting.

When Allison Dennis is roped into a video recorded social experiment, she never expects her life to change in three short minutes. She is told to sit across from a guy and stare into his eyes for 180 seconds – what comes next, no one could have imagined, especially not Allison. She lives a reclusive life, free from the scrutiny of anyone. Keeping people at arm’s length prevents them from hurting you, right? As a girl who knows the hardness of the world firsthand, through the foster care system, breaking down her walls proves to be a challenge endeavor. Continue reading “180 Seconds – Review”

Wait for It – Review

Wait for ItOne of the hardest things to do as a book blogger is to read an entire (670 page) book and give it a low-star review, especially when nearly half of Goodreads readers gave it the full 5 stars. Be warned, dear readers, I have an unpopular opinion ahead. Please don’t grab your torches and pitchforks.

Wait for It was the first Mariana Zapata book I have picked up. I knew about her high ratings, her hardcore fans, and her slow-burn romance style. All of these elements factored in to me choosing to read Wait for It, as it had been sitting on my TBR list for around a year. I needed a break from my current read and was looking for something I was bound to love. Unfortunately, Wait for It didn’t do it for me, as much as I wanted it to. I waited for it…I waited for the story to get rolling, I waited for the writing to get better, and I felt like it took until the last pages of this long book to improve incrementally.

Wait for It features the life of Diana, a young woman who inherited her nephews after the death of their parents, one being Diana’s brother. Diana is finally getting her life sorted out after such an unexpected and heartbreaking disruption, by moving into a new neighborhood. When Diana hears a fight happening outside of her new home, she decides to help out and break it up. The ungrateful recipient of Diana’s help is the younger brother of Diana’s new neighbor, Dallas. Eventually Diana and Dallas develop a friendship, which eventually grows into a deeper relationship.
Continue reading “Wait for It – Review”

The Evolution of Ivy – Review

Bad. Bad. BAD….but so GOOD.

The Evolution of Ivy: Poison is an addicting debut novel from Lauren Campbell.  The main character, Ivy, is a tormented young girl enduring an endlessly painful life.

“I scurry to the back of the classroom, making eye contact with no one, and take my seat.  New outfits, fresh haircuts, and confidence burst from this room, this concrete prison where the kids are wardens, and I’m on Death Row.”

As her future circumstances change, she decides to assume a new identity and remake her life for the better. Her main goal: acquire the love of Brooks, the only boy she ever cared for. Ivy has a take no prisoners approach to her new lifestyle. After all, a person can only be hurt so many times. She refuses to let her plans be thwarted, no matter the cost.

As a reader, I love my fictional characters with a side of crazy.  Crazy people know life, they understand pain, and they don’t live in the traditional ways society imposes. This always makes for an interesting story.  The only thing that kept me from reading Ivy sooner were my hangups about the mature content within the pages. I normally try to avoid the more graphic and gritty novels because it simply makes me uncomfortable and isn’t my taste.  However, I knew I was going to love this story if I could overlook the parts I was apprehensive about.

Everything about this story, especially the characterization and plot were on point. Let’s not forget the amazing cover design by Murphy Rae of Indie Solutions. Lauren’s ability to tell Ivy’s story had me turning pages faster than I expected.  I could have finished the book in a day, but chose to savor it one more, to make the story more memorable. My empathy was triggered for Ivy’s past. It was heartbreaking to read the cruelty she faced, and I couldn’t help rooting for her to get revenge and take back the life she deserved, despite her less than moral antics. The story alternated between Ivy’s past and present, something I love as a reader, as it allows me to connect to the characters in a deeper way. We also were able to hear a bit of Brooks’ voice, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the guy.

This is a sharply written, genre-busting page turner worth reading immediately, especially for fans of psychological thrillers.  I was immensely impressed with Lauren’s storytelling and her ability to put me into Ivy’s mind so thoroughly.  The Evolution of Ivy feels like the work of an author with eons of experience, not the debut novel it is.  I can’t wait to see The Evolution of Lauren Campbell as she shares more of her stories with the world.  I see the title New York Times Bestselling Author in her future. Give me more cray, cray, Lauren!!!

You need to snag a copy of this book now! It is sure to leave you wanting more of Ivy and Brooks.

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Happy Reading,
♥Ashley


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Edge of Regret – Shared Review

IMG_0013editedMolly E. Lee never fails to take her readers to the Edge with her exceptionally adventurous stories, tough leading ladies, and her brave male leads.  We couldn’t wait to read more about Wade after reading about him in Edge of Brotherhood in April.  Molly fed us bits of mystery about his past and left us dying to know him better.  Luckily, Molly writes quickly and didn’t leave us hanging for too long.

Wade Roberts was the hunky and hilarious stuntman that joined our favorite guys from Molly’s previous books in the new E.D.G.E television show.  I think all of Molly’s readers instantly fell for Wade’s sense of humor and haunted past. Continue reading “Edge of Regret – Shared Review”

The Red Hunter – Review

My first book by Lisa Unger sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. I’ve had Ink and Bone on my TBR, even planning to read it earlier this month, but didn’t have the time to start it. I’m thrilled I was able to begin with The Red Hunter instead. This book will be sticking with me for a long time.

The story begins with two separate plots, seemingly unrelated, and two women (Zoey and Claudia) who have both faced their own horrors. One uses her past to fuel her drive for revenge and the other finds strength in sharing her history with the world through her blog. As the women work to come to terms with their traumas in their individual ways, simultaneously trying to uncover mysteries buried years ago, their paths diverge, forcing them to face the good and evil of the world head on.

From the get-go of this story, I was blown away with Unger’s writing. Her fingers type gold. There are writers and there are storytellers, and Lisa Unger is gifted in both facets. This story is layered with past perspectives, present moments, and alternating point of views, all seamlessly woven together to allow readers to feel thrilled, empathetic and maybe even worried for what the characters will face next. If the alternating perspectives seem confusing in the beginning, have no fear, it will all make sense in the end. Continue reading “The Red Hunter – Review”

The Gravity of Us – Release Day + Giveaway!

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The Gravity of Us, an all-new gripping and emotional standalone from Brittainy C. Cherry is LIVE!

Continue reading “The Gravity of Us – Release Day + Giveaway!”

Cover Reveal + Pre-order – The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

THE QUEEN AND THE CURE

COVER REVEAL + PRE-ORDER
THE QUEEN AND THE CURE by AMY HARMON

Pre-order links:

➔ Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pemj5W
➔ iTunes: https://itun.es/us/Lobbjb.l
➔ Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboTQATC
➔ Barnes & Noble: coming soon!

 

Release date: May 9, 2017

 

Blurb:

There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.

Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He’d never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him.

But there is more to a man than his parentage. More to a man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.

Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.

Continue reading “Cover Reveal + Pre-order – The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon”