26 September 2012

Book Review: Fall Guy

by Liz Reinhardt

Book Description

Evan Lennox is going nowhere fast. She's living with her grandparents after her parents bailed on her, she got kicked out of her posh private school, her ex-boyfriend proved to be the biggest sleaze imaginable, her former best friend is a back-stabber, and her current best friend is stuck in backwoods NJ. To top it all off, one teeny, tiny fire she lit to burn some memories of her ex goes a little out of control and winds up igniting a good piece of a very powerful family's pecan orchard.

Evan lands her pampered behind in court and gets sentenced to community service. Which she knows she deserves. But the hard labor and humiliation may be her undoing.

Until she meets Winchester Youngblood on the site. 

Everything about him is tricky, confusing, not at all what it seems, and so sexy, Evan can't resist pulling closer. But every step she takes to get to know him gives her more of a reason to back up and put him as far out of life as she possibly can. Because Winch is one hundred percent complicated, and Evan isn't looking for that. At all. She needs to meet a nice, responsible guy, not share searing kisses with the charming hustler she met after they both got sentenced in court.

But Winch is so much more than what he seems, and Evan finds out that she's falling hard for the guy everyone underestimates and writes off. And Winch realizes that Evan is the one person who's ever challenged him to ask for more out of his life, and her courage inspires him to try to be the person she sees when she looks at him. With every single odd stacked against them, Evan and Winch need to find out whether they have what it takes to fall for each other.

Review: 5/5
So I get ready to let go and free-fall in the scariest jump of my life. But she's with me. So I swallow my fear and do it. 

Expectations: MET 

I love this book, and I finished it in one sitting. One look at the cover and after reading the blurb, I know I have to read this. So despite the fact I still have two more books on my list, I let this one pass and made this one my priority - and thank God, it did not disappoint me. 

Liz Reinhardt made an exceptional novel that is more than just a simple plot of two people against all odds. It talked about social classes, family, deviancy, drugs, teenage pregnancy and a whole lot more: bound into a book that will keep you interested until the final page. 

Her characters are flawed, which makes them more real and tangible to her readers. I like Evan, her strength and her courage to face anything that came in her way. She fought for their love against 'powerful' forces. For a while, I thought this book would end differently. 

Winch, the name: I love. The person who possess the name: I love more. He gives priority to his family and save their asses to a fault. He loves them and willing to risk everything for them until Evan came along and made him realize that he too has a life to live.

I love every pages of this book, and if I didn't have a lot of books on my list, I would love to read this one again. The drama is not too heavy for my taste, just enough to tickle your tear glands.

Would I recommend this one? Definitely

Favorite Quote:
  • “I could never hurt you as bad as you try to hurt yourself,” 
  • “I'm powerless against a bad boy and his hot kisses.” 
  • “We met in court. I don't think we qualify as good decision makers.” 
  • “I will never break your heart. I will never hurt you. I might fuck up, I might not be perfect, but I'll never hurt you, Evan. You have my word.” 
  • “Dresses that are complicated," she says softly, the smile on her lips pure wicked fun, "are essential to teach girls that they shouldn't bother with guys who won't figure out how to take off a dress.” 
  • “Sometimes' is all we really have anyway, right? Nothing is 'always.”
  • “Darling, family can be the very devil in disguise. More powerful than any drug, more alluring than any sin. They can demand a loyalty that will rip your heart out and chew it up without the thought of an apology.” 
  • “What he doesn't realize is that I'm already standing at the bottom, waiting to catch him. And I never miss.” 
  • “You're the fall guy, Winch. You're the guy they come to when no one else will stand up and take their medicine. And they come to you because you never make them stand up and take it.” 
  • “So I get ready to let go and free-fall in the scariest jump of my life. But she's with me. So I swallow my fear and do it.” 
  • “That I love her, that I want her, that I'm never going anywhere, that she and I are going to last. That this is real. That it’s forever.” 
  • “I'll spend the rest of my life falling as far and deep and hard as my heart will let me go in love with this perfect, crazy girl who taught me to let go and hold on. I know in that minute I'll be Evan's fall guy until the day I die, and my future, for the first time in my life, is an always I can't wait to fall into.” 
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14 September 2012

Book Review: If I Lie

by Corrine Jackson

Book Description:
A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise

Book Review: 5/5

Seven for a secret never to be told. 

Just like the five star in GoodReads stands for: It was amazing, despite the fact that it ended with me wanting for more. Perhaps a chapter or two to satisfy my eager curiosity and my compulsion to give everyone their happy ending. 

Let me tell you a secret: This is more than just an extraordinary love story. 

This is a story of faith, trust, friendship, family, sacrifices and keeping secrets. Corrine Jackson wove a wonderful tale that made my heart ache from start to finish. There were unexpected twist that I never saw coming, surprising me in both good and bad ways. 

What I love most about this book is not really the 'love' part in it - instead, I was drawn to the friendship that Quinn shared with a veteran named George - who taught her most of the things she knew about photography; and her relationship with her father - their relationship was strained from the moment her mom walked out on them. 

I have never known a person in my life who can hold secrets as much as Quinn did. I applaud Quinn for keeping secrets - to the point that I am almost exasperated, wanting her to reveal it than suffer all the bullying that she encountered. Two heavy secrets that had cost her almost everything: her senior year, her friends, and most especially her relationship with her father. Yet, she stuck to her word, and suffer all the torments. Being branded a cheater to the town hero made her a pariah. But a bad experience in spilling secrets that had caused her something dear made her hold on. 

Two guys and I love them both. Loyalty divides and subtracts me from both of them.

I was pinning for a happy ending, and I ended up with something less than wonderful, but nevertheless heartwarming. It was a nice touch to end this story, but an epilogue or to add some chapter for some characters to have their well-deserved happy ending would have been totally great. (Well, a second book would be nice too.)

Corrine Jackson writes almost poetically and in a manner that make your jaw drop at every end of the chapter. She knows the right places where to drop the most powerful bombs. And yes, I would recommend this book, and most especially this author to my friends.

Favorite Quotes:
  • “Sometimes a moment defines you, defines how people see you for the rest of your life. You can accept it or fight it. If you're lucky, you'll recognize the moment when it happens.” 
  • “Some words hit you like a tree branch slapping you in the face. And some words rip into your flesh, leaving scars so deep, they never completely fade.” 
  • “I wonder how much shame people can hold before they ignite.” 
  • “It’s easier to hang out with the patients in the indoor garden, with its sunlight and picnic tables. Easier to forget that someone’s ill when you’re not surrounded by the antiseptic reek of hospital-issue debris.”
  • “It sounds so perfect. He’s defending me because Carey would want him to. It’s not about me. It never is, with these two boys. Blake lets me take the blame, and Carey uses me.” 
  • “This honor crap isn’t for the weak.” 
  • “Two guys and I love them both. Loyalty divides and subtracts me from both of them.” 
  • “That’s war, kid. You can hate the guy next to you, but he’s always got your back.” 
  • “The truth is, some apologies never see the light of day.” 

And here are some of my favorite quotes I couldn't add to my list because of its spoiler tendencies: 

This might be my breaking point. If anyone but Carey had asked me to keep this secret, I would tell. Right now. Because I want Blake like I’ve never wanted anything. But there’s more at stake than my feelings.

What I know:
A) Carey is alive.
B) George is dying.
C) Life just isn’t fucking fair.

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07 September 2012

Book Review: Let Me Be The One (The Sullivans Book 6)

Book Description:
When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager, it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to protect herself and her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.

Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?

Book Review: 4/5
"And still, even when he’d told her how he felt about her, and that he wanted their fake relationship to be real, she’d held herself back out of fear that their friends-to-lovers story was too good to be anything but fiction." 

One of the hardest bridge to cross is the one that connects love and friendship. Finally! I get to read Ryan's story - and I was glad it was worth all those book that I skipped to read this one. As expected, it was hot on the edges as two friends try to deny what they feel for each other. The tension, the sexual chemistry and the inner conflict of crossing boundaries had me hooked and excited that I have finished this book in a day!

Ryan, truly a swoon-worthy knight-in-shining-armor is a guy any girl would want to have as her best friend. He's kind, generous, thoughtful, and always there when you need him. As a teenager with raging hormones, he tried to control every urges he has in respect to Vicki and their friendship. But as a grown man, (at last) he found some courage to finally pursue what he wanted for a long time: his best friend 

Vicki worked hard to gain recognition in the art world, to prove to everyone that she can be famous because of what she can do and not who she knows. I admire her dedication to her craft and her struggle to do what she really loves. There were several problems she encountered along the way, and one of these problem is the reason why she called Ryan. Pretending to be his girlfriend is not that hard when it was almost close to reality. But doubts and fear of losing her best friend gave her some pause and a lot of thinking. 

Their friendship had been through rough times, especially when they separated and Vicki wanted to pursue art for college. Even when she got married - their communication stayed and their friendship stayed alive.

Bella Andre makes a perfect love story for an ordinary plot of two best friends falling in love with each other.

Favorite Quote:

  • “She’d painted her nails with rainbow stripes and it occurred to him that Vicki was just as beautiful and mysterious as a rainbow.
    One he’d been chasing for years without ever coming close to reaching the pot of gold at the end.” 
  • “Kindness is incredibly sexy.” 
  • “Unrequited love made right is the ultimate, isn’t it?” 
  • “I’m bad at some things.”
    She raised an eyebrow. “Name one thing.”
    Making you fall in love with me the way I’ve always been in love with you. You only ever saw the jock while you let those artist assholes chase you. And hurt you.” 
  • “You’re every single fantasy I've ever had.” 
  • “And still, even when he’d told her how he felt about her, and that he wanted their fake relationship to be real, she’d held herself back out of fear that their friends-to-lovers story was too good to be anything but fiction.” 
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05 September 2012

Book Freak: If I Were You

Book Description:

Fifty Shades of Grey meets Basic Instinct 

Book 1: If I Were You
Book 2: Being Me 
Book 3: Revealing Us 


How it began…

One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expires.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.

Book Review: 2/5

I think an intelligent person knows the old adage, Curiosity kills the cat . But I didn't think she had heard of it despite being a school teacher with an masters in Art. 

BDSM-themed book has been the hype in the literary world when the Fifty Shades Trilogy made it to the top of the best seller's list. Even in countries like in the Philippines in which Sex is still considered a taboo, it became the most sought-after book (whether it's an ebook or the tangible one). Now, the main point is that: should I expect another to-die for Christian Grey in this novel? Or an annoying Anna Steele? 

Well - yes. There's a rich as Croesus artist Chris who wanted a simple, art-major, school teacher Sara. It's a classic FSoG-like character. BUT what I love about this novel is that the mystery does not only surround the characters, most especially Chris. There's Rebecca and her journal - where is she and what happened to her? The male characters who are also a wonder to most readers, the gallery owner, Mark and the artist Ricardo. Who are they? What are their connections to Rebecca? Some things to look forward besides the steamy scenes. 

I am left with a major cliffhanger in the end that left me breathless (and not really panting for more). I'm looking forward for the next book and hopeful that the suspense conclusion is worth the wait :)

Favorite Quote:

  • “The art does not always mimic the artist. You never know the real person until you slide beneath their surface” 
  • “Other people’s perfection is a facade we create when we are second guessing ourselves” 
  • “The end of starvation is quite delicious.” 
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