Saturday 31 August 2013

Review & Giveaway: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 4 stars 


After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

My Thoughts:
I’ve been a huge fan of Simone Elkeles since reading Perfect Chemistry, so I was excited (and a little nervous) when I heard she would be coming out with a book!  Turns out I didn't need to be nervous, because Wild Cards ended up being a sweet romance filled with simmering attraction. 

Ashtyn is a girl with a plan and the motivation to carry it out. She’s all about football and she’s good enough to be captain of her high school team.  A guys team (mostly), mind you.  She hopes to be good enough to catch the attention of college recruiters and get a scholarship.  It’s admirable that she’s so driven because she basically has no parental guidance with her mother abandoning them and her father heartbroken and checked out. 

Derek is exactly the opposite. With no parental supervision, he’s free to do what he wants.  Like most teenage boys left to their own devices, he gets into trouble by pulling a school prank that gets him expelled.  With nowhere else to go, he’s forced to pick up and move to Chicago into the childhood home of his stepmom, Brandi.  Brandi is also the older sister of Ashtyn so this is where these two meet and collide!

Ashtyn takes one look at Derek, gorgeous with his cocky attitude and an abundant ego, and wants nothing to do with him.  Derek knows Ashtyn’s type, too.  He’s only looking for a good time and she’s a “forever” type of girl.  Yet, they can’t help the attraction and chemistry that overrides their minds. Derek and Ashtyn exchange snarky, fun, and flirtatious banter that expose hints of their true feelings.  

“Thanks, Ashtyn.”
“I’m not done. Take your shirt off and I’ll check your ribs.”
“If I get undressed, you’re gonna want to do more than check my ribs.” ……
“Want me to take my pants off, too?” he jokes as he wags his brows suggestively. “I might have some swelling down there.”*


I loved every time Derek called Ashtyn “Sugar Pie” and could clearly hear his southern drawl in my head (so sexy!).  I love Simone’s slow-build romances and that’s exactly what we get in Wild Cards.  The relationship between Ashtyn and Derek begins antagonistically (one of my favorite types of romances!) but turns into something more. 

I did really like both characters, Ashtyn for her drive and sincerity, and Derek for his big heart and protective tendencies, but I did have some issues with both of them.  Ashtyn drove me a little nuts for the first half of the book for being so clueless over her crap boyfriend, and by constantly pushing Derek away, denying her feelings for him.  The roles reversed by the second half of the book, and then Derek was ticking me off for pushing Ashtyn away when he clearly had strong feelings for her.

With all that said, I think Wild Cards will appeal to any Simone Elkeles fan, really any contemporary romance fan.  Her tone and brand of writing is evident and addictive.

A copy was provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy. 

I’m giving my ARC of Wild Cards away to one lucky reader!  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck, and thanks for visiting The Readers Den!

Friday 30 August 2013

Cover Reveal: Capstone by Misty Provencher

Hello readers!  Today I’m excited to be part of a cover and blurb reveal for the final book of Misty Provencher’s Cornerstone series!  I want to start this series very soon because I hear nothing but good things and because I’m already a big fan of Misty’s writing after reading and LOVING Hale Maree!!  Without further ado, here is the wonderful cover:

Capstone (Cornerstone Series #4) by Misty Provencher

Publication Date: September 30th 2013


About the book: 

It's supposed to stink. That's what Cusps do.

The Ianua, Nalena and Garrett's own community, have welcomed them back by charging them as traitors and chucking them into the Hotel Celare's slammer.

And outside the fortress walls, it's no better.

The Cusp is at full-boil as the world finally surrenders to The Fury's lifestyle. Looting, riots, murders—every kind of crime has become the norm—and The Fury want to make it all permanent. They might even succeed, now that they've nabbed all thirteen of the Ianua's Cornerstones.

To preserve mankind, the only chance the Ianua have left is to beat The Fury to the Earth's Core and somehow trigger the Reset.

Like that's easy.

There's no manual on how to activate a Reset. Nobody even knows if there’s an actual Core to the Earth.

Shoot, it could be one big myth; an epic waste of effort.

But the Addo thinks there is one last hope.


So long as someone is willing to sacrifice everything to be mankind's long shot.

Books by Misty Provencher

The CORNERSTONE Series  (Young Adult)
HALE MAREE  (Adult, Contemporary Romance)
FULL OF GRACE  (Adult, companion book to Hale Maree)
MERCY, A GARGOYLE STORY  (New Adult, Dark Urban Fantasy)

Available in paperback and ebook at:  

Connect with Misty Provencher on her:

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