Friday 31 January 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols

Today I'm excited to be part of the Cover Reveal for Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols because the synopsis sounds so good!  Lately I haven't been drawn to many YA reads, but this one captured my attention right away.  As part of this reveal there is an awesome giveaway: $25 of Pay Pal Cash.  So be sure and scroll down to the bottom to enter for a chance to win!  Without further ado, here is the cover and book details: 

Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

About the book: 

Danny and Eevee are meant to be together . . . Just not in this universe.

Eevee Solomon has high school down to a science. Get the grades. Get the recommendations. Get into an Ivy League college, and eventually land a killer job at NASA.

Then Danny Ogden enters the equation.

Danny is a street-smart graffiti artist. He’s always managed to stay out of serious trouble, but this time he’s out of luck. One minute he’s running from the cops, and the next, he jolts awake in an unfamiliar body–his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and coolheaded Eevee is not the brazen girl he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

About Amy Nichols: Amy has been crafting stories for as long as she can remember. She earned a Master's in literature and worked for years as a web designer, though, before realizing what she really wanted to be was an author. Her first novel, YA sci-fi thriller Now That You're Here, will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on December 9, 2014. The follow-up, While You Were Gone, will be published in 2015. She is mentored by award-winning crime novelist James Sallis.

Amy is represented by Quinlan Lee of Adams Literary. She's an active member of SCBWI and SFWA, as well as a member of the Class of 2k14 debut authors. 

Connect with Amy:

As part of this Cover Reveal a generous $25 in Pay Pal Cash has been provided.  Simply fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win! Good luck!

Monday 27 January 2014

Review: The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat, #6)
The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolate #6) 
by Laura Florand
Publisher: AOS Publishing
Publication date: January 14th 2014
My rating: 5 stars
Romantic Times acclaims Laura Florand's work as "sensuous and sumptuous", nominating her for Best Book of the Year, and NPR says it's "explosive, sensual . . . and utterly sweet". Now, in her sixth book in the internationally bestselling Amour et Chocolat series, Florand takes us into a top Paris restaurant’s pastry kitchen and into the hearts and irresistible temptations of its chefs in The Chocolate Temptation.

She hated him.

Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.

But he didn’t hate her.

Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.

But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.

He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love?

The Chocolate Temptation was so, so lovely! The Amour et Chocolate series continues to bewitch and seduce me, and has become one of my all-time favorite adult romances series to date.

Patrick is the second to Luc Leroi, the head chef in the pastry kitchen of Hotel de Leuce in Paris with coveted and prestigious three Michelin stars. The pressure and pace in the kitchen is grueling and only the best-of-the-best work there. Yet, Patrick runs things with charm and an easy going grace, a calming and uniting force. He makes perfection look effortless, but if you look close enough you can see his intensity and need for absolute control. His one weakness, the little, quiet, and focused intern Sarah, is so utterly tempting without even knowing it.  She may be his undoing, because Patrick is slowly losing his fight resisting her. 

But, oh, God, I want her, I want her, I want her. I can’t stand this anymore. I can’t. The ache of it was going to swallow him whole.

Sarah won a sought after internship working under Patrick who makes perfection look easy, confounding and frustrating her. Sarah’s need to be perfect drives her. After all, she gave up a promising career as an engineer to follow her dream of being a pastry chef, so failure is not an option.  In spite of all her efforts and drive, Sarah still feels like she falls short. It doesn’t help that Patrick is a distraction who could break her heart if she let him. He’s like a sun kissed god, so gorgeous.  His gestures of care and constant flirting are like little stabs to her heart, because they mean something to her, and they may just be automatic and given without much thought by Patrick.  Because he treats everyone like that, right?

I just loved Patrick and Sarah’s story! It felt intense and introspective, and I was tightly wound, (in a good way) while reading this.  These two were so guarded and cautious about revealing the depth of their feelings.  I was happy that they each gave in incrementally, slowly revealing more and more. For all of Sarah and Patrick’s insecurities there were no frustrating setbacks and even when there was a misunderstanding they dealt with it maturely and with care.

This romance was of the slow burn variety. Laura Florand masterfully teased and built up tension with seemingly innocent scenes such as a hand massage or a quiet, dark walk home, turning them into something utterly sensual.  Oh, my heart, Patrick!  I loved every time he called Sarah “Sarabelle” and just how overcome he was by her:

Merde, qu’est-ce que tu es jolie,” he said and kissed her. How pretty you are. “So-so-so-so pretty,” he breathed hotly into her mouth, and a hand rubbed hard up her back to the clasp of her hair, releasing it to spill over their faces. “Oh, God.”

There was more to their romance, though, a deeper story for each of them. Sarah had a lot of inner struggles reconciling her dreams with her love and consideration of her family.  Patrick was worried about letting his desires and dreams be known for fear they’d be yanked from him.

The Chocolate Temptation is fifth book I’ve read in the Amour et Chocolate series. Each story hits me in different but profound way. Laura Florand’s prose is beautiful without being over the top, gorgeous, really.  I have fourteen pages of highlighted quotes on my kindle if that’s any indication.  If you haven’t picked up this series yet, what are you waiting for?  It’s a MUST for any romance junkie. 

 Amour et Chocolate Series:
(Click on title for Goodreads description)

The Chocolate Thief (Amour et Chocolat #1)  The Chocolate Kiss (Amour et Chocolat #2)  The Chocolate Rose (Amour et Chocolat, #3; La Vie en Roses, #1)  The Chocolate Touch  (Amour et Chocolat #4)  

The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat, #5)  The Chocolate Temptation (Amour et Chocolat, #6)

About the author: Laura Florand is the international bestselling author of the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Kiss, etc). Her books have been translated into seven languages, received the RT Seal of Excellence and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and been recommended by NPR, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Four of her past five books have been recommended reads by Dear Author and two have been Sizzling Book Club Picks by Smart B*, Trashy Books.

Laura was born in a small town in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking in New Zealand and Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman. You can find out quite a bit more about those crazy adventures in her memoir, Blame It on Paris. She is now a lecturer in Romance Studies at Duke University. Contrary to popular opinion, that means she studies and teaches French language and culture, rather than romance. Fortunately, French culture includes French chocolate, research to which she is very dedicated. You can catch some glimpses of that research in the books, on her blog, and on her Facebook site, where you are welcome to join her and other readers!

Connect with Laura:

Friday 24 January 2014

Review & Giveaway: Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger
Narrated by Emily Gray
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication date: June 6th 2010
Length: 10 hrs 52 minutes
My rating: 5 stars

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire—and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Soulless is one of the best audio books I have listened to.  The story is wickedly funny, filled with clever humor, brilliant characters and a delicious romance! The story was just wonderful and I’m sure my enjoyment was enhanced by the excellent narration of Emily Gray. 

Alexia Tarabotti is “soulless” or someone who can cancel out the supernatural powers of another. A state she inherited from her Italian father.  With her unconventional (for Victorian England) Italian looks, and her tendency to speak her mind, Alexia finds herself a spinster at the ripe “old” age of twenty-six.  Not that she actually cares in the least.

When a vampire attacks Alexia in the most rude way, not even bothering to introduce himself before (the nerve!).  Alexia has no other choice but to defend herself, and ends up accidentally staking him with her parasol.  This brings on quite a few headaches one of which is Lord Maccon showing up annoyed that Alexia is again in the middle of trouble. Lord Maccon, an Alpha werewolf, is the head of BUR, The Bureau of Unnatural Registry, an organization in place to keep order to the supernatural community.  Lord Maccon has been a pain in Alexia’s ass since an unfortunate incident involving a hedgehog that was completely not her fault!  Whether Lord Maccon likes it or not she is getting down to the bottom of this attack and the recent disappearances of lone vampires and werewolves.

Oh, this story was complete and utter fun!  Sort of like injecting vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural into Pride and Prejudice.  Picture Eliza Bennett battling it out with a werewolf Mr. Darcy (with a little more naughtiness *wink, wink*), and you have Soulless.  I loved their relationship, and anyone could see they were crazy for each other with all the verbal sparring! Of course, with Lord Maccon being a werewolf, control is not always an option and their attraction is not something either can resist acting on, making their behavior not always acceptable…

"Oh, Herbert," she said pleadingly to her silent husband, "you must make him marry her! Call for the parson immediately! Look at them...they are...," she sputtered, "canoodling!"

Alexia was a strong heroine with intelligence, spunk, a gift for speaking her mind, and ferreting out information.  She’s not the standard of beauty of the times, but she’s like a magnet to Lord Maccon and he could care less about conventional opinion.  Lord Maccon is handsome, brutish, bossy and infuriating.  What’s not to love?

There were great secondary characters, my favorite being Ivy Hisselpenny with her unfortunate taste in hats:

“Keep your voice down, my dear. And please, for goodness’ sake, remove that bonnet. It’s positively scorching my eyeballs.”

 Lord Akeldama, Alexia’s flamboyant vampire friend, and Professor Lyle were hilarious additions, also.  Alexia’s family provided laughs even if I did want to slap that horrid mother.  Even more entertaining is when she’s put into her place.

This is the beginning of a series, but Soulless wraps up very satisfyingly. I highly recommend the audio version; the voices and accents were spot on, in my opinion, enhancing this amazing story even more!

I loved this story so much I’m giving it away to one reader. Your choice of Paberback or Hardcover. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.  Click here for a list of countries. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!


Wednesday 22 January 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #24: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I'm eagerly looking forward to is:
What I Thought Was True 
  What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Expected Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

I loved My Life Next Door! Jase Garrett people! *sigh* Plus, who didn’t love the Garretts?! So yes, I can’t wait for this one. 

What are book are you dying for? Link me up and I’ll come check it out!

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Cover Fever #5

Hello everyone! Jasprit and I are back with another Cover Fever.  I'm addicted to beautiful covers so I love this feature! I have yet to read Abandon by Meg Cabot but I've always drooled over the covers.  When I think of Meg Cabot I always think of Chick Lit because of her Heather Wells series, so I always forget she wrote a Paranormal YA Romance series.  I just read the synopsis again and I must say it reminds me a lot of Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Scroll down to see which cover is our favorite and be sure to tell us yours in your comment.

     US Cover                             US Paperback

   Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)


  Bulgarian Cover                    German Cover  

Пленница на смъртта (Abandon Trilogy, #1)
   Jenseits (Abandon Trilogy, #1)

Jasprit: I adore both of the US covers, I like the swirly fonts that both covers use and really like the colours that both covers have used. I would probably find myself gravitating towards the US paperback in a bookstore, but I think both books give a great idea of what the book is about. The Bulgarian cover just makes me think that Abandon is an erotica, even though I know this is so far from the truth. And I'm totally baffled by the German cover, its certainly giving off a futuristic sort of vibe. 

Jasprit's Final Verdict: US cover by a smidge. 

Even though I haven't read Abandon, I've always thought the US cover was gorgeous! The flowers in the corner with the pretty spirals and the title are so beautiful! The US paperback is quite pretty too, and I like that she's looking down into the Underworld which seems to fit in with the story. I don't really care for the writing or the coloring of the Bulgarian cover. The German one would seem better suited to an underwater/mermaid tale, maybe? That's what it reminds my of, anyhow.

Rachel's Final Verdict: 
The US Cover with the US Paperback coming in second.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Showcase Sunday #44

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

Hello everyone! Hope you all have had a good week. Jasprit is still on her blogging break so it's just me again. Work has been really busy for me and driving me a little nuts in the process, but I did start an AMAZING audio book: Soulless by Gail Carriger, so at least my commutes have been fun!

For Review:

The Secrets of Lily Graves    Believe (True Believers, #3) 

The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy
Hope Flames (Hope #1) by Jaci Burton

Thank you to Balzer + Bray, Penguin Group, Berkley, Signet, Netgalley, and Edelweiss!


How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf, #1)  Reviving Izabel (In the Company of Killers, #2)

Reviving Isabel (In the Company of Killers #2) by J.A. Redmerski

I haven't been really excited for YA reads lately, but The Lily Graves sounds really promising! I love mysteries.  Erin McCarthy continues to impress my with a fresh take on the NA category so I'm excited for Believe.  It's centered around a girl who sleeps with her best friend's boyfriend which would normally turn me off, but I read the teaser and I'm hooked!

I'm always on the hunt for a new great audio book, and I heard great things about the story and narrator for How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf, so I went directly to audible and downloaded it.  I'll just ignore the unfortunate cover choice.

So those are all my lovelies.  If you have a haul this week, link me up and I'll come check it out!

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