Excerpt Blast: All Lined Up (Rusk University #1) by Cora Carmack

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I’m way way way excited to bring to you guys a special sneak preview of Cora Carmack’s new novel All Lined Up which will be the first book to her new series – Rusk University. Release will be not until May so indulge yourselves on this little preview. *wink*

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

cora-carmacks-all-lined-up

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

 

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated.

Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

GR

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Special Excerpt Link –> http://www.scribd.com/doc/214932714/Excerpt-Reveal-All-Lined-Up-by-Cora-Carmack

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cora Carmack bio pic

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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ARC Review: Learning to Swim (Hearts Out of Water #1) by Annie Cosby

19167813Title: Learning to Swim (Hearts Out of Water #1)
Author: Annie Cosby
Published: March 1st 2014
Date Read: March 2nd 2014
Rating:2 stars

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

GR

MY THOUGHTS

Learning to Swim is a story full of folklores, riddles and hidden meanings.
Actually, it was so far on how I was expecting this book would come out. Instead of having a summery feel into it the majority of the book was filled with mysteries and eerie stuffs. I actually had a hard time getting into the story of Learning To Swim and it actually took me three days to finish this one. It started as a typical Young Adult Story where the heroine will be spending the summer on the coast with her parents then the weird parts starts to roll in.

Cora has a very distinctive voice to the story and she’s okay. Rory/Ronan was also okay. The story has a complex layer of back story about Irish folklores, sea tragedies and old memories courtesy of Mrs. O’ Leary.

It was an okay read for me but it didn’t really capture my interest. I got lost with all the mysteries and folklores and just find it a bit dragging for me.

*ARC kindly provided by author thru Netgalley.*

Review: Love Show by Audrey Bell

18490489Title: Love Show
Author: Audrey Bell
Published: January 1st 2014
Date Read: February 28th 2014
Rating:4 stars

Hadley Arrington is the career-driven editor-in-chief of her university’s prestigious newspaper. Jack Diamond is a laidback student whose good looks have made things even easier than they need to be. She’s the girl who came out of nowhere and kissed him in the rain. He’s the boy who made her do something crazy.

When the stakes seem too high, they have to decide if they’ll let their love show or if they’ll walk away for good.

GR

MY THOUGHTS

Love Show is one surprising read.
With the influx of New Adult stories nowadays sometimes its just hard to differentiate one from another. Sometimes the stories just overlapped and the whole element of the ‘new adult’ became overkill. This story takes me back to the first time I’ve read a story under the said category; I’m curious and excited. This story has the typical ‘new adult’ elements into it but the way it was told was very effective and just downright good. Conflicting story, conflicting characters yet sweet and swoony and realistic.

Hadley Arrington is our typical perfectionist straight-A student who is the editor-in-chief of their school newspaper – a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a big-time war journalist. Despite her stubbornness and aloofness, I find myself liking her immediately. She’s a very intelligent character and I like her commitment, dedication and will for herself and her career.

Jack Diamond captured my interest from the moment he was introduced. He has this certain magnetism on his character that will really capture you – he’s just too adorable! Also, I love how he’s the one with the “feels” on the story. He’s the one who’s so much vulnerable and it feels like Hadley has the ability to hold something over him.

Individually they are great but together they are so much better!

Hadley and Jack are just too cute together. I like how much they got on each others skin. Even though Hadley set a lot of rules for their friends with benefits situation, it is nice seeing them get to know each other becoming great friends and great parts of each others lives. When together, they also gives the best to each other and shows each other a side that they don’t usually let other people see. Hadley and Jack both have strong personalities and as much as they wanted to hide it, the growing feelings they have for one another just shows.

The story unraveled beautifully. You know the feeling when you know that something would happen at the same time you don’t really know what will really happen? I experience that a lot of times here. David – Hadley’s best friend and roommate’s back story also adds up to the tension of the whole story itself.

Love Show shows how enjoying new Adult stories can be without being “over” about the whole concept of it. It was simple and will leave you happy, swooning and smiling. Recommended for everyone!

Review: Take a Chance (Chances, #1; Rosemary Beach, #6) by Abbi Glines

18170662Title: Take a Chance (Chances, #1; Rosemary Beach, #6)
Author:Abbi Glines
Published: February 25th 2014
Date Read: February 27th 2014
Rating:3 stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the story of Grant, the sexy playboy who first captured readers hearts in Fallen Too Far.

When Harlow Manning’s rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan’s room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He’d known about Nan’s reputation, but still he couldn’t resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister—even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow’s eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

GRMY THOUGHTS

I know I’m not the only one who was waiting to read Grant’s story. I know I’m also not the only one who is pretty much interested to know why he’s siding with the bitchy character Nan. In Take A Chance, Abbi Glines finally get into his story.

To say Grant was a complex character was an understatement. He’s more than complex. We all know him as the cocky guy who is pretty sure of himself but in here we see the ‘needy’ and ‘clingy’ side of him. There is still a lot going on with his character and even after reading this story, I still can’t seem to place him. Yes, I understand bits and pieces of his decisions but there is still this blurry line behind his character.

Since Harlow was introduced I became interested with her especially since she’s Nan’s sister and is the complete opposite of her. She’s a very strong character and can see behind people’s pretenses. Despite being guarded all the time this girl has her claws and backbone especially with Nan’s unethical and spiteful words. Don’t get me wrong she’s nice and sweet but she has this aloof characteristic and kept to herself making it quite hard to connect with her at first but thru the course of the story I eventually get used to her but it did takes time.

Seeing Kiro – Nan and Harlow’s father – in a very new light could be the highlight of the story for me. Just when you thought he’s just another rock star living the life of the rich and famous – that’s where we’re all wrong. We all see a side of him that was eaten by sadness and solitude due to the absence of his wife – Harlow’s mother. With the way it was described on how he lives his life and how he treated his children his sudden shift of character is really surprising yet very touching.

Nan isn’t the main issue on the story but she did have participation and yes I still don’t like her. The story also introduces us to Mase – Harlow’s Brother. He’s the all brooding protective big-brother and I admire his closeness with Harlow; their siblings’ dynamic was great.

In all, it was another fun, quick and of course a cliffy read from Abbi Glines. Since she’s one of my ”automatic reads”, I will surely be looking forward for the next to come. Abbi Glines never really fails to deliver addicting stories!!

Review: Hold Us Close (Keep Me Still, #1.5) by Caisey Quinn

18310103Title: Hold Us Close (Keep Me Still, #1.5)
Author: Caisey Quinn
Published: November 11th 2013
Date Read: February 24tt 2014
Rating:4 stars

A Keep Me Still Novella

*SPECIAL EDITION AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME FOR THOSE WHO BOUGHT SPECIAL EDITION OF KEEP ME STILL*

Sometimes happily ever after is just the beginning…

High school sweethearts Layla Flaherty and Landen O’Brien are living a fairytale in the heart of Spain. Landen’s professional soccer career is taking off and Layla is finishing her college degree. But when her aunt Kate calls with life changing news, she has to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from everyone.

She’s pregnant. And she’s not sacrificing her child for anything, not even her own life.

Landen has a secret of his own. There’s one thing he never wants to be. Ever.

A father.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

On November 11th, the Special Edition of Keep Me Still will no longer be available. It will be replaced with the standalone edition.

Readers who have already purchased that version will have the option of uploading the new version at no additional cost. However, some readers have expressed their deep love for that special edition cover. And I have to agree, it is gorgeous. So for those of you who purchased the special edition and would like to keep that cover in your e-reader library, the sequel novella Hold Us Close will be available as a separate free novel for a limited time.

GRMY THOUGHTS

Short, deep, emotional and meaningful – words that could best describe this novella by Caisey Quinn. Keep Me Still has been one of my favorite reads for last year and with a cherry on top, I loved Layla and Landen. I love how their story started in High School and how they crossed paths again in college and now we see a continuation of their life together on this novella and let me tell you that it is no smooth road path.

Layla and Landen are dealing with something that can either make or break them.

As ever, I like Layla’s determination and ability to stand on the decisions that she make. Even though for the majority of this novella Landen has been the hard-headed one, I can’t help but still feel sympathetic over him. He was a completely different character from the guy I have met and loved on the first two books. But as you read this, you will eventually understand where this character of him came from. I also understand his inner conflicts and turmoil.

For the first two books, we saw that these two has been through a lot. At the beginning, I can’t help but think that this additional struggle is just overkill. I want the characters that I loved to simply have their happy endings but despite the additional struggles and conflicts, they both shown tremendous strength and determination and love that are pretty much irrevocably strong.

Overall, it was a beautifully written novella/book complete with more character developments and love and emotions. Totally loved where the story of Layla and Landen lead to. *wink*

ARC Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

16094953Title:  The Summer I Found You
Author: Jolene Perry
Published: March 1st 2014
Date Read: February 21st 2014
Rating:2 stars

All they have in common is that they’re less than perfect. And all they’re looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate’s dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she’s still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he’s a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

GRMY THOUGHTS

Some people might find it disturbing but I actually find it funny (okay I’m also disturbed by it) that nothing about the title or the cover of this book – as in nothing- about it connects with the story itself. The cover was pretty and it was eye-catching but it doesn’t really match the story. Also, the title and please correct me if I’m wrong there is not a summer part there right? I don’t actually know what happened.

A diabetic girl heroine and a crippled army veteran.
They are both dealing with things that can affect them forever.

Kate and Aidan used each other to forget their incapability and problems. It was an okay story tackling the story of two people struggling with things that will be forever etched on their lives. It was nice seeing them interacting with one another and getting to know each other. They’re both okay but I can’t actually think of things to say more about them because the story was okay however I find nothing too significant about it. I’m a firm believer of ’Happily Ever Afters’ and stuffs similar to that but this story gave me an insight that not everything that is “forever” is a good thing.

*ARC kindly provided by Albert Whitman & Company thru Netgalley.*

ARC Review: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

17797364Title:  And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Published: January 28th 2014
Date Read: February 17th 2014
Rating:2 stars

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

GR

MY THOUGHTS

I’m actually sitting in front of the computer for around five minutes now and I still don’t know how to start writing a review for this book. Softening the blow, Jenny Hubbard’s writing for this book was pretty good and this book will surely have a great appeal to poetry and prose fans out there but its another case of “its not you, its me” for me. Connecting with the story and the character has been a struggle.

“Emily Beam’s boyfriend threatened her with a gun on their school library and then shot himself. It changes everything.”

Emily Beam was confused, haunted and empty yet she has this gentle and strength within her. She’s a budding poet and after what happened with Paul she was starting over at a boarding school far from home. She’s an okay character however connecting with her is really a struggle for me. She’s aloof, detached and just bland. It feels like she doesn’t make an effort throughout the story and just kept things on herself.

I have mentioned that our protagonist is a budding poet and it’s a huge surprise that she also ends up at the same hometown of the famous poet Emily Dickinson. The addition of the famous poet to the story was okay however when the magical and mysterious feel to it adds up – uhm – I find myself asking if that really is necessary. I didn’t get that whole addition.

What leads to Paul Wagoner’s death?
What did Emily Beam do that pushed him to do such thing and end their story that way?

These are the question on the forefront of my mind while reading this story. In a way, these questions are answered but I find myself looking for more justification. Thinking about Paul, I think it would’ve been nice also knowing him. Yes, there is a reason why he killed himself but I don’t know if that thing could bring him to the point of committing suicide. Maybe seeing his life or at least being introduced to his life could give us a hint on what really brought him on that point. Does he carry any other problems? Is it really his intention to kill himself? Or was it just to scare Emily?

The story was written on a Third Person perspective and I know I’m not the only one who is struggling in reading stories on this perspective. I have read several reviews telling that this might be the problem with the story making it feel detached. I’m actually a “clingy” reader so connection with the story and the characters is a huge part for me. Oh and the way the voice keeps calling Emily as “Emily Beam” is just downright disturbing for me.

In all, And We Stay is an okay story. Unfortunately, it didn’t do fireworks and magic for me but I do commend the author for her beautiful words and poems that adds a huge impact to this deep and mysterious story. Every words of each poem, the description of the characters’ pains and conflicts are breathtaking and are straight to the heart. If you’re into poetry and prose you will surely like this one and maybe you can connect more with Emily Beam.

*ARC kindly provided by Delacorte Press thru Netgalley*