Thursday, November 15, 2018

Release Blitz: YOU'RE THE ONE I DON'T WANT by Carrie Aarons

PRESENTED BY INKSLINGER PR
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You're the One I Don't Want
by Carrie Aarons


Love is weakness.

Which is why Annabelle Mills vowed a long time ago to never let it destruct her. A former pageant queen with a bite equally as lethal as her bark, she’s interning at her dream job on the set of the highest-rated home design show on television. Everything in Annabelle’s life, though it may be cold and isolated, is going exactly as she always planned.

Until her ex-high school sweetheart moves to town. The same boy that she cheated on, once upon a time, essentially breaking both of their hearts. But no one knows the full story, and being vulnerable enough to open up about it is not on Annabelle’s checklist.

Hate is fuel.

The kind that courses through Boone Graham’s veins and allows him to shut out everyone around him. As the hottest rookie on Austin’s professional baseball team, he should be spending his days hitting homeruns and signing jerseys. Except he’s seen dreams ripped right out from under those closest to him, leaving them with nothing.

Without a college degree, he’ll never take the risk of pursuing his real dream. But when he runs into the girl who took a mallet to his heart and stopped it beating, attending the same university might just be the biggest challenge he’s faced yet.

As the semester unfolds, the line between love and hate is blurred. And with the amount of baggage stacked between them, together is the last thing they want to be. That’s the thing about hearts, though. They develop plans all on their own.

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Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Add the book on Goodreads!
Purchase: Amazon Kindle / Paperback

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Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.

When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.




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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

⭐️ GIVEAWAY HOP: Super Stocking Stuffer ~ Win a $25 Amazon gift card!



Super Stocking Stuffer
GIVEAWAY HOP

Hello & thanks for stopping by! Make sure to visit everyone participating in the hop down below!

As always, very huge thanks to our hop hosts:



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~MY  GIVEAWAY~
$25 AMAZON GIFT CARD

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Open to anyone who can use an Amazon gift card. This gift card will be digital (sent via email through Amazon.com, not a physical card in the mail). My full giveaway terms can be viewed here. Please take a peek before entering if you have any questions or are unsure of anything. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below (after the page break & linky)!

DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THE REST OF THE BLOGS/SITES PARTICIPATING! ^-^
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Monday, November 12, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss

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Title: Ten After Closing
Author: Jessica Bayliss
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller
Pages: 328
Pub Date: September 04, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse
Book Source: publisher via edelweiss
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: 10PM: Closing time at Cafe Flores. The door should be locked, but it isn't, Scott Bradley and Winsome Sommervil are about to become hostages.

TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING: Scott's girlfriend breaks up with him over the phone while he's in the cafe's basement storeroom because he's late picking her up for the big end-of-the-year party. Now he can't go to the party, but he can't go home, either--not knowing if his dad will still be in a drunken rage. Meanwhile, Winny wanted one night to let loose, away from her mother's crushing expectations. Instead, she's stranded at the cafe after her best friend ditches her in a misguided attempt at matchmaking.

TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING: The first gunshot is fired. Someone's dead. And if Winny, Scott, and the rest of the hostages don't come up with a plan soon, they may not live to see morning.
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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

This was one of my most-anticipated reads of this year, so I am terribly sad to say it was not my favorite.

Ten After Closing is told in two points-of-view. Scott is our first protag. He is working at a café to help out his mom with finances as his abusive father has recently lost his job and is now bumming it. The other protag/POV is Winny. Winny has a thing for Scott, so upon hearing that Scott has just been dumped, she is headed to the café with her friend, who ditches her there in an attempt at forcing her to confess her undying love to Scott. Ten minutes after closing the café, some men show up with guns to rob the place. It isn't random; it's personal. Scott, Winny, the owners of the café, and a couple of customers are still inside. The timespan of the book is only a day, alternating between pre-holdup, and post.

While I liked the premise of this book and was SO excited for it, the story fell short for a few reasons:

1.) The plot was shallow and not very detailed. Now, the book is centered on the robbery and the things behind the robbery, but I still needed some more backstory to feel a connection to the characters, yeah? We basically get a days' worth of getting to know the characters and a teeny-tiny bit of their backstory (which consists of their feelings [or lack-of] for each other, Winny having strict parents, and Scott having an abusive father). The potential for emotional investment was there, but it wasn't quite carried out.

2.) This book was SO try-hard. It was contrived and mechanical. It was full of clichés to the point of ridiculousness. The thrill/suspense aspect was so unbelievable to me, personally. It all played out like a really cheesy, low budget movie. It was too outlandish, and like I said, try-hard. I just wasn't sold on it.

3.) This book involved domestic violence, which is great. What is not great is the way it was wrapped up—which is not at all. In a nutshell, the abuser gets to keep doing what he is doing because the violence goes unreported to protect him. It literally pisses me off and I hate that there was no justice here. Huge mistake.

As I said, I enjoyed the idea of this book, but it fell way short. I enjoyed the hostage situation to an extent, but it was, overall, a perfect example of trying too hard. I can't say that I recommend this book, but if you enjoy something a bit over-the-top but quickly paced, you may enjoy it if you can ignore the flaws.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara

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Title: A Flicker in the Clarity
Author: Amy McNamara
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 428
Pub Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: publisher via edelweiss
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis: For as long as Evie can remember, she and Emma have been best friends. They’ve gone through everything together—only Evie understood what it was like for Emma to lose her older brother in a car accident. And though they couldn’t be more different—Emma is the life of the party while Evie is shy—the dynamic has always worked for them.

But then Evie makes a careless mistake that ends up having serious consequences for Emma. They’ve had their squabbles before, but this is different. When Evie tries to apologize, Emma ignores her texts, gets a new best friend, and completely freezes her out. Evie didn’t mean to betray Emma in the way that she did, and she’s desperate to get back in Emma’s good graces. Who is Evie without Emma?

Then Evie meets Theo, a kindred spirit unlike any boy she’s ever encountered. With him, she can at least pretend like her life is normal. But just as she’s about to let go and fully fall into whatever is happening with him, Emma resurfaces, miraculously letting Evie back in—though it’s not without consequence. Erratic behavior, drunken incidents, and panicked late-night calls are only some of the hoops Emma makes Evie jump through. All Evie has wanted is to get her best friend back—but Emma seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Evie is used to swooping in to pull Emma out of her troubles, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?
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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

Evie and Emma are best friends. The type of best friends where one is shy and one is outgoing. The dynamic has worked for them so far, but the book begins with them having a rift. Now, the synopsis will have you believing that something huge happens; some terrible thing with terrible consequences. No. Emma is out with some older guy, spending the night with him, partying, etc. Evie always covers for her with Emma's parents, right? Well Emma stands Evie up when they are supposed to meet. Evie gets angry as it isn't the first time, so when Emma's dad asks Evie if she has seen Emma, she lies and says NO, haven't seen her today. That's basically THE THING that breaks their friendship. Emma's parents are strict and very religious, and they frown upon all of the partying Emma does and wouldn't approve of her older boyfriend and all of that mess. So when they find out where she really was, she is grounded. Big fucking deal, yeah? So, teen angst ensues. Emma stops speaking to Evie. Emma befriends Evie's arch nemesis. Evie meets a guy. Instalove.

So, the romance. Said guy that Evie meets...well, it was a shit show. Theo. Theo is an oh-so ~mYstEriOuS~ cute guy that shows Evie a bit of attention, and she goes haywire. This is barely a romance we have here. Evie is enthralled by the guy, but he barely speaks to her at first. He is really closed-off (aren't they always?) and sort of an asshole to her. After he warms up, they are basically madly in love for a week, have sex, and then he stops speaking to her. She gets upset and goes to his house to confront him. He has some “excuse” about it, then says he is going on some mission trip and leaving forever and ever. They are done. BYE BYE. Romance was a bust, to be honest.

Let us move on to Emma. This is where I had my biggest problem with the book. So, Emma is very high and low. One moment she is pissed off and mean to Evie, and the next moment she is showing up at Evie's house for a random road trip. Then, the girl is so depressed she ends up sitting on some subway rails and almost gets herself killed. Now, there is a serious note to this book. Emma's older brother died awhile back and she is still pretty devastated; still trying to deal with the grief. She is sad, angry, and doesn't know what to do with herself. So this book really touches on grief and what it can do to a person and how it can change their relationships, etc. Now, I acknowledge that the author made Emma so unstable because of her grief, but her behavior was borderline bipolar. This girl was MANIC. The things she was doing and how she spoke truly read like a mental illness/disorder. The girl needed help, not grounding from her parents. I don't know, it just bothered me how it all played out. In the end, she got no help and things were just sort of left unsaid and up-in-the-air; no closure at all!

And that about wraps up the review for me. The book had so many loose ends. I felt like nothing was wrapped up. The friendship wasn't resolved. We don't find out how Emma's parents end up dealing with her mental instability. We don't see if Evie's mom's relationship works out (because they make that into a thing). Theo disappears from the face of the earth. It was really just NOT my cup of tea. The pace of the book was also quite slow. If you like A LOT of angst and instalove, this may be a book for you, but otherwise... not recommending. I was going to give it a 1.5, but chose to round up to two because the title is just lovely and I did enjoy reading about how Emma's brother died and the story behind all of that. Otherwise, it was a flop for me.
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