Thursday 29 March 2018

Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett


Hi everyone today I'm pleased to be taking in part in the Starry Eyes blog tour by Jenn Bennett hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club. Before I share my review with you here's a bit about the book. 

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett 
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018. 
My rating: 4 stars. 
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets. But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together. What could go wrong? With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely. And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

I've been devouring Bennett's books lately, they've just been satisfying the need for great Contemporary YA books, they're refreshingly fun, bring such swoony relationships and I just don't want to put them down. So, when I first heard about Starry Eyes, I knew it would be a book that I couldn't wait to have in my hands and let me just say this book is so worth it. I love books that feature best friends to enemies trope, especially more so here, as Bennett really gave us this story between Zorie and Lennon well. I liked how we didn't really know what had caused this rift between them, but I was dying to know, as they had been the best of friends for a long time, and then things just came to an end one night. And Zorie's dad didn't really like Zorie spending time with Lennon either and what was up with that? 

I liked the whole set up that we got from this book, with Zorie and her friends going on a glamping (glamourous camping) trip with her friends and Lennon turns up unexpectedly. But in a way it was probably good that he did, as everyone else seems clueless with what to do. And when they got kicked out and had to go on their own, Lennon's the one that takes the lead and tries to keep everyone on track. This glamping trip didn't really turn out the way that Zorie was expecting, she thought she'd be able to spend time with friends, but she ends up being ditched and stuck with Lennon instead. But to be honest for me, this was really the better alternative for Zorie, there were still so many unresolved issues between her and Lennon and I really wanted to get to the bottom of them, also what she had with Lennon before everything hit the fan, was amazing, and I was hoping that there would be the chance for Zorie and Lennon to salvage some of it at least. When the truth was actually revealed about what really went down, I was quite surprised, as I wasn't expecting it, but it really explained and justified the reasoning behind one of the characters behaviour. It really was an emotional upheaval for our characters having to deal with this, but I think Bennett did an excellent job giving us this aspect of the story. 

I'm glad to say that I was actually right in my assessment of characters for once, I had an inkling of which characters were about to kick off and which weren't worth the time either. It was kind of awful these characters living up to some of the things that I expected to happen, especially when they hurt a lot of other people along the way, but you know those self-absorbed characters that only really think about themselves? seriously they weren't worth it, but they riled me up either way, like how can you be completely clueless? This minor annoyance aside, Starry Eyes really was a beautiful read, I loved the whole stargazing aspect that Zorie was interested in, but also how emotional and raw this story could be too. Bennett's storytelling was again done eloquently and I loved getting lost on this trip with Zorie and Lennon.

About the author: Jenn Bennett is an award-winning author of young adult books, including: Alex, Approximately; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart (aka Night Owls in the U.K.); and Starry Eyes. She also writes romance and urban fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award, and been included on Publishers Weekly Best Books annual list. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

The Woman Left Behind (GO-Team #2) by Linda Howard
Publication date: March 6th 2018
Publisher:William Morrow
My rating: 5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD | Kobo

 Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina--who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice--making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

My Thoughts:
Jina Modell goes from working in the office of a paramilitary group to being drafted for in the field operations as a drone operator.  She’s assigned to a “Go-TEAM” and must go through and pass rigorous physical training to keep her job or she must quit.  Jina’s fiercely determined even though she’d like to die by the end of each training day.  Another motivation is showing Levi, her team leader, that she’s capable and no quitter when he’s made it clear he doesn’t want Jina on his team.  
Levi’s not convinced Jina will be an asset, and not a liability to his team. She meets his attitude with a bunch of her own, and they knock heads more than a few times.  Simmering beneath all the tension is a powerful attraction neither wants but can’t deny.  With each week that passes Jina proves her mettle and value.  A good thing considering the dangerous situations Jina’s in for when she finally goes out in the field.  Her training, determination and mental fortitude are what makes all the difference in one assignment that goes horribly wrong.

I loved this story!  Much of it focuses on Jina’s training with her team, getting in battle ready shape, and overcoming challenges.  She had her work cut out for her.  I’m constantly on a fitness mission so I was really interested in her struggles and rooting for her the entire time.  I adored Jina!  I loved seeing her get stronger, gradually fit in with the team, and navigating her relationship/attraction to Levi!  You could see them grow close and care even when they snipped and snapped at each other.  The sexual tension between them was electric!  Levi was one hard, focused male; protective and a little possessive, but a really good man underneath all the gruff. 

Linda Howard combined her signature elements of playfulness, danger, action and a hot romance in The Woman Left Behind and I ate it up!  I’m sure I’ll be doing a re-read in the future.

Monday 26 March 2018

Review: Hurts To Love You (Forbidden Hearts #3) by Alisha Rai

Hurts To Love You (Forbidden Hearts #3) by Alisha Rai
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
My rating: 3 Stars. 

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave. Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply. Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess. When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

Rai's Forbidden Heart series has quickly become a favourite of mine, I've enjoyed getting to know the Kane and Chandler families and about their history between them. Their lives have been complex and tough, I liked how with each book I seem to be falling more for each character. I love how Rai gets beneath their tough exterior and shows that despite everything they are still vulnerable individuals, but also there's still so much that remains unknown between the families. I thought what was going on between the Chandler's and Kane's was a difficult one to get over, but then with Hurts to Love You Gabe gets thrown into the mix and things add a whole another level of complication. With everything that Eve had been through, I so wanted her to get her happy ending, she had been belittled and ignored by her dad so much, that I wanted to see her grow up and finally stand up for herself and I'm glad that spending time with Gabe helped her to do so. For me Eve and Gabe's relationship was sort of unexpected, but I liked the way in which Rai made it work, despite the age gap, the depth of their emotions was clearly apparent. Of course, I liked how prominently other characters from previous books featured in this book, it was great seeing them trying to get on as one happy family! Once again things weren't always smooth sailing, revelations from the past were once again bought to light and the long standing strain between the Chandler and Kane family was always apparent. But this aspect was the thing that made this book for me, I liked how characters had to fight hard for what they wanted. I'm actually quite sad at having to say goodbye to such a great set of characters, Rai was able to make them such a big part of my life, so thank you for that! 

Sunday 25 March 2018

Weekly Recap #29

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.


(Click on title for Goodreads link)


This week was a much better reading week for me, I ended up liking both Night Owls and Starry Eyes, both were 4 star reads for me, and I think I enjoyed Night Owls that little bit more. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation was a DNF for me, I think the MC's voice was just too young for my liking. And The Hate U Give ended up being my first five star read of the year, honestly I don't know why I waited so long to read this book, as it was everything I could have hoped it to be and so much more! 

 (Click on title for Goodreads link)

Still loving Mariana Zapata. I just finished listening to Under Locke today and I'm now debating which Zapata book to pick up next. I want to wait until From Lukov With Love comes out on audio even though I have an e-copy locked and loaded, I love Callie Dalton's narration.  The Innocent was full of action, and the plot was a bit implausible at times, but it was fun overall. The audio had sound effects which isn't something I'm used to, but I liked it. I really wanted to love A Plague of Giants because I adore The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, but I gave up after 156 pages. Too many POVs (I counted seven in just 156 pages!) and different worlds made the plot just drag! Not That I Could Tell was completely predictable and ruined by a painful missed chance romance! I was in such a sour mood after finishing, but Maisey Yates rescued my mood with Claim Me Cowboy!  Loved it!  On Hart's Boardwalk a novella featuring my favorite couple from the On Dublin Street series, Nate and Olivia, ten years in the future struggling a little.  It was an excellent story of marriage-in-crisis! The making up was touching and oh-so-hot!

(Click on title for Goodreads link)


I've heard the best things about Ava Dellaira's books and especially more so for this book, I'm going up to London during the week, so I'm planning to read it on my train journey there!


Kristan Higgins writes some thought provoking romances and I'm curious how Good Luck With That will turn out.  I loved Going Dark, the first book in the Lost Platoon series by Monica McCarty so I was thrilled to get Off the Grid in the mail.  I won a copy of High Voltage from Smitten Word, and I was super excited until I started reading the reviews coming in. Eeeek. 

(Click on Book for Goodreads link)


 I saw quite a few blogger receiving copies go Good Luck with That in the last week, and the last book I read by Higgins I really enjoyed, so I knew I had to add this to my tbr! After loving The Hate U Give, I will be reading anything that Angie Thomas writes and I'm super excited about her next release On the Come Up. And I don't even know what The Bride Test is about, but its by Helen Hoang and so of course I want to read it. 

(Click on cover for Goodreads link) 

I love the Max Revere series and I can't wait for the newest installment!




After finishing How to Get Away with Murder and getting up to date with Scandal, I needed a new show in my life, a friend suggested Grey's Anatomy, its a Shonda Rhimes show, so I thought I would love it, but I couldn't get into it, then somebody recommended Daredevil, I'm three episodes in and I'm still not sure if I'm feeling it. I really need something that will have me hooked from the very beginning, so if you have any recommendations for new shows I should watch, let me know in the comments below! 


The first season of The Wine Show was so much fun! An excellent series if you love wine or traveling.  I was thrilled to find out they have a second season out and I just watched the first episode with part of it set in my neck of the woods out here in Southern California.  I didn't plan on watching Jumanji but a friend put it on while we were visiting and it was so much fun!



I finally managed to get a run in, I realised that I hadn't run since last July, we have our warm ups in class, but its not the same as getting out there and experiencing those god awful hills. I had my cousin with me, so definitely had the extra encouragement to run, it was a horribly wet day, but we managed to run two miles! And I wasn't as tired as I thought I would be, lets hope we can make this a regular thing. 


I managed to get my runs in despite it being cold and rainy much of the week. This was my run on Tuesday which doesn't look as gloomy as it was most of the time, but it started to really rain on me! Thankfully, I only had to do 3 miles and I was prepared.  I'm set to do 6 miles tomorrow.  We'll see how it goes. Other than that I'm trying to get ahead with my review books, and I'm removing wallpaper in my family room so we can start remodeling.  Long time coming.  This is where audio books come in so handy!

How was your week?

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