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Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Saturday, November 10, 2018



After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.

The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

Goodreads Summary

I was so excited for this book, but after reading it, I was a tad disappointed. I slightly wish I had Lee's gold-detecting abilites. It sure came in handy for them when they were in California. However, gold almost always brings trouble and Lee's greedy uncle is hot on their tail. Once again, the plot revolves around escaping Lee's uncle and running away (I'm a fan of running away when faced with very mean and cruel people). While I did enjoy this plot the first time around, it got a little old/boring the second time around. I wish there had been more character development, too. I wanted to know more about the characters' pasts and who they were prior to the beginning of the series.

I still like Lee's character. She's a strong girl stuck in a difficult place. She has to think on her feet and resist jumping to conclusions. She's saddled with the weight of her evil uncle. The author focused a lot on perceived social issues. Some felt off the mark. Sometimes I felt like characters were thrown in just to make a point. I wish it had felt a little more organic to the novel. I liked how the setting and time fit together like puzzle pieces. I did think the romance was over-all sweet. It would be nearly impossible to hate Jefferson, the romantic interest. His dedication to Lee and good nature made him a wonderful secondary character.

3  Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Unblemished by Sara Ella

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?

Goodreads Summary


I sympathized with Eliyana during the book. I can't imagine having a birthmark cover half my face. I would feel like people were always staring and looking at it. Eliyana has a large birthmark that she is embarrassed about. She wishes people could see beyond it and high school students can certainly be cruel. There were so many different types of "beings" mentioned in this book; I was surprised that the book ventured so heavily into the paranormal. Eliyana's character was fine except for interspersed anxiety and constant worry. 

What was interesting, is that the book kind of fits high school as a whole where the "beings" can equate to the cliques and small subcultures that exist. It was fascinating to see how the social world interacted in an environment that is so different from the real world, yet in many ways the same. I have to say that the book was confusing in many places with so much going on and so many different types of characters. I often lost track of who was who and exactly what was going on. Overall, I think that there is something for everyone to enjoy in this book and this is definitely a story that should not be overlooked.


4 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lydia Day Penaflor

Monday, October 22, 2018


Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is "fiercely emotional," a young actress with "complete conviction," and a "powerhouse." 

Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother's expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

Goodreads Summary

I was a little surprised that this book was in the young adult section of my library, but the more I read the more I could see it belonging in either a children/teen's section or young adult. Joss has dyslexia, but she is an actrees. Her dyslexia makes it very difficult to read the lines, particularly when there are changes made (which seems to be all the time). Her mother is often frustrated with her and will do nearly anything to get ahead for her own gain (it's truly disturbing). Joss has to make a movie titled, The Locals; she was super excited for the part, but later finds out that the movie is based upon a young woman's horrible, abusive childhood...and she doesn't want the movie made. Joss has to navigate both moral decisions and live in a very adult-centered world. 

Joss's character was by far my favorite. She was inventive, smart, and resourceful. Her mother disgusted me. I wish she thought more of and about her child. I wasn't surprised by her many bad decisions. I hated how a movie was made when the victim expressly said she didn't want it made. There should be more protection for victims of sexual and physical child abuse. I liked the ending and wished that Joss had a wonderful life (hard to say, but her head is in the right place).

4 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Thursday, October 11, 2018
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Goodreads Summary



I had trouble with this book though I enjoyed the continuation of the series as a whole. I have to admit that I only skimmed the books before this and read the first two in the series so that could definitely be influencing my opinion. This book furthered the plot from the prior books and did not really begin a new plot so much as tack on to the old one. Some relationships were strengthened and there definitely is adult content. Aelin had such a difficult time getting to the throne and now she is having a difficult time keeping it. There are people aiming to remove her from the throne and cause her trouble.

This book contains so many characters that could be considered "major characters." At times, it was almost a little overwhelming. Their romances were really focused upon, something I partly liked, but would rather have seen as an aside. I did like getting to know each individual character better, but I preferred to focus on Elide and Lorcan instead of the whole cast of Empire of Storms. I will still pick up the next book, but I'm getting a bit tired of this series.

3 Stars



This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Red Queen by Christina Henry

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll...

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen...

Goodreads Summary

I love any take on Lewis Carroll books and this book was certainly no exception. This book was a much darker and more adult view of Alice in Wonderland. It was a little like a world turned sideways. The Cheshire cat was nothing like the fluffy, goofy cat in the movie and the Rabbit was certainly no kind bunny. Alice and the Hatcher are totally committed to finding his daughter despite the dangers and obstacles. I have to point out that this book makes much more sense if one has read the first in the series (that book is just as fast-paced and exciting!).  

Alice's character hasn't changed much from the first book. She's still dedicated to helping the Hatcher and committing good acts despite the horrible terrain of Wonderland. Nothing is as she expected it to be and she has two Queens to contend with, each mad in her own way. Alice and the Hatcher develop a relationship much closer than friendship. I thought their romance was sweet and a little unsurprising. Overall, this is a great adult read and a fantastically re-imagined novel.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Second Season by Heather Chapman


Eleanor Hopkins has lived in disappointment for far too long believing that her husband only married her for fortune, and she determines to protect her own daughters from such misery by scheming to secure offers for both Lucy and Caroline based on mutual rank and reputation. When Caroline finds that the handsome and reputable Lord Searly desires her as his wife, she finds that no amount of planning or pretending can convince her to accept him. Instead, she is confronted with an unexpected and reluctant suitor in the respectable shoemaker Thomas Clark.

Goodreads Summary

I wouldn't be too happy thinking that my husband only married me because I had money. Eleanor has a money-hungry husband with no regard for her. She is fiercely protective of her daughters and wants them to make matches that are based on more than financial needs. When Lucy and Caroline come of age, Caroline is a bit headstrong and goes against what is expected of her. Instead of marrying for looks and money, she finds that she is intrigued by a humble shoemaker. Lucy also has her own adventures in love and even Eleanor, the matriarch, has little tidbits and past scenes included in the book.

I found that while I liked all of the characters, I enjoyed and related to Caroline the best. I liked how she was headstrong and knew what she wanted in a time where many women had events like marriage determined for them by their parents. Lucy was a little more serene and not as impulsive, but her character was sweet and her suitors amusing. I liked learning more about the background between their mother and father; the flashbacks answered a lot of questions I had and ensured a continued interest in the book. Overall, I found the book well-written and quaint.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Ungodly by Kendare Blake

Saturday, September 29, 2018


For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what her opponents said.

So she was wrong about some things. So her carefully planned assault on Olympus left her team beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But all is not lost. Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and submits to his death, or the Fates arrive to speed it along.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere, too, on a quest for death…with the god of death himself.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn't mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.
 

Goodreads Summary


Athena and her group of rag tag survivors barely made it out of the mountain. Cassandra and Calypso, likewise, were not in good shape. I both liked this book because I read the first two and the characters and concept are fascinating and hated it because the author places so much emphasis on Cassandra and her so-called powers. Athena and Odysseus are in love and their relationship, though not the focal point of the novel, is sweet. Cassandra meets Thanatos, death himself, and cannot kill him...though she wishes she could kill her attraction to him. There are so many characters in this series that is is hard to get too attached to them or to keep track of them. The plot moved along fairly quickly (though it's more or less the same plot through all three books). Cassandra is hell-bent on killing the gods and goddesses for some inane reason and there are two factions of gods/goddesses fighting each other for another inane reason.

All the characters are fighting some moral failing in some way. The only ones that seemed honest and not full of themselves were Ares, Demeter, and Aphrodite. I also liked Hades and Persephone for their no-nonsense approach to the war. I could not stand Cassandra; her self-righteousness and ridiculous belief that she is supposed to murder all the gods/goddesses while still maintaining her high school innocence really bothered me.  The ending was not satisfying because a fair amount of loose ends are left flapping in the breeze. I really enjoyed the imagery and scenes described throughout the novel and how the gods/goddesses were portrayed.

3 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.
 

Goodreads Summary

Ivy was lucky enough to have escaped (presumably) her parents' killer as well as the psychotic initiator of the Dark House. However, she escaped without her friends and her love interest, Parker. Against all reason, Ivy desires a return to the horror and mayhem she escaped to have a fighting chance of rescuing her friends. Along the way, she reaches out to Taylor, the girl who ran before the Dark House even got started. Initially, Taylor exhibits more brains than Ivy and strongly resists, but when the clues pour in and Ivy is determined to go, Taylor does not want to abandon her newfound friend.

The book is told from Ivy and Taylor's perspectives. I really liked Taylor's character more than Ivy's this time around. Taylor was funny and tried to inject enthusiasm and humor during the more trying moments of the book; Ivy had this weird single-minded focus that was both admirable and slightly mentally ill. I liked that both girls were brave, but I would have preferred one or both to take different approaches to what ultimately happens in the book. Natalie's perspective is also injected at random times. Her resilience is truly amazing. Her ability to survive despite being captured by the Nightmare Elf is incredible. I liked that the author added a fourth and more mysterious perspective that gave the reader clues into the Nightmare Elf's head. Although I had a good idea of what was going to happen in the end, I still found this an intriguing and fast-paced read.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kiss Cam by Kiara London

Thursday, September 20, 2018

In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what's a little harmless kissing between friends?

Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.

Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing… right?
 

Goodreads Summary

Whenever you try to convince yourself that kissing doesn't mean anything...well, it might work for some people (not for me) and I already knew where this story was going. Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny are vloggers; having a life in front of the camera means that people start to think that they can have many opinions. One of the opinions centralized around Juniper and Jasper. According to fans, they are meant to be. Indulging their fans means kissing each other and pretending that it doesn't mean anything in person, but will feelings get in the way?

Jasper is not the easiest person to resist. He is handsome, charismatic, and built (for many teens, this sounds like the jackpot). Juniper is a little hesitant. She doesn't want to take the chance of wrecking a very good friendship. Their friends Lenny and Allison offer good advice to them and they all provide comedic relief. I liked Juniper's character the most. The ending did not surprise me. It was a sweet young adult/teen read.

3 1/2 Stars






This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Gemina by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.
 

Goodreads Summary


I found Illuminae so much fun to read and was so excited for Gemina! It's really hard to review the plot because I feel like there are just too many things that might turn into accidental spoilers. The plot itself was well-written and had a lot of depth to it. It was very well-developed and intriguing; my only complaint is that the book must have been missing (in the arc form) some crucial diagrams. There were some parts I didn't fully understand at first or I wasn't sure where the authors were going to take the story.

The characters were interesting and fun to read about. I felt like I was viewing them through a lens...like I was an observer more than someone who truly cared for their well-being. I would not have minded if the characters were a little more developed to the point where I cared about them. I think that can help make the story more enjoyable. I love the imagination behind the story itself. I feel like I could not have come up with this level of elaborate intrigue. The format the book is in was fascinating; similar to the first book, there are many different little additions that help further the plot. I found this book hard to put down and recommend the novel to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston continues her enchanting Seduction Diaries series as a bookish spinster and an unrepentant rogue unite to unmask a traitor.

Every girl dreams of a hero . . .

No one loves books more than Miss Mary Channing. Perhaps that’s why she’s reached the ripe old age of six-and-twenty without ever being kissed. Her future may be as bland as milk toast, but Mary is content to simply dream about the heroes and adventures she reads about in her books. That way she won’t end up with a villain instead.

But sometimes only a scoundrel will do.

When she unexpectedly finds herself in the arms of Geoffrey Westmore, London’s most notorious scoundrel, it feels a bit like a plot from one of her favorite novels. Suddenly, Mary understands why even the smartest heroines can fall prey to a handsome face. And Westmore is more handsome than most. But far worse than the damage to her reputation, the moment’s indiscretion uncovers an assassination plot that reaches to the highest levels of society and threatens the course of the entire country.

When a tight-laced miss and a scoundrel of epic proportions put their minds together, nothing can stand in their way. But unless they put their hearts together as well, a happy ending is anything but assured.

Goodreads Summaries

I loved Mary's character and fully identified with her (I reached 21 never being kissed because I preferred books and literally avoided it!). She wants to end up with a hero, but doesn't want to take a chance at ending up with a villain. As a result, she has not been in any romantic relationships and she's 26 (an old maid by that century's standards). When Geoffrey comes along and they end up in a slightly compromising position, Mary isn't sure if she'll stick to her bookish ways that have kept her heart safe so far. However, she isn't ready to throw in the towel and must discern weather Geoffrey is a hero or a villain.

Mary's character was wonderful (I know I already said that). I loved her intellect, imagination, and sense of humor. Geoffrey fit the typical (though loved) romance trope of a charismatic, handsome, and impressive romance book love interest. Their chemistry was fun and entertaining. I liked how the author chose to develop their relationship and didn't indulge in "insta-love." Parts of their romance was sweet and comforting and other pages were filled with steamy scenes. I really enjoyed the ending and liked how the author tied up loose ends while still maintaining that thrilling feeling one gets after reading a great book.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein

Thursday, September 13, 2018
When Harry Met Sally for YA romance readers. This opposites-attract love story is perfect for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han.
 
June wants high school to end and real life to begin. Oliver is soaking up senior year’s glory days. They could have coasted through high school, knowing about—but not really knowing—each other.

Except that their moms have arranged for Oliver to drive June to school. Every. Single. Day.

Suddenly these two opposites are fighting about music, life . . . pretty much everything. But love is unpredictable. When promises—and hearts—get broken, Oliver and June must figure out what really matters. And then fight for it.
 

Goodreads Summary

I think I would be annoyed it my mom ordered a boy to drive me to school every day (even if it was nice of her and made it more convenient for me). As soon as I started this book I could see where it was going. Two very different and somewhat obnoxious people were going to be attracted to each other, but first they were going to undergo obstacles. Although Oliver wasn't dating June in the beginning, I knew they were going to end up together at some point. Oliver had a girlfriend, June had her own set of girls who were friends with her, and this whole set up sort of reminded me of Gilmore Girls plus some more mature parts. 

I actually preferred Oliver's character. He was quirky, funny, and wasn't afraid to tell June what he thought. June was a little bit harsher, though I think that was more due to the circumstances than her own character. Their high school romance was what I would want if I had actually wanted to date in high school. It was sweet, affectionate, and overall adorable. Their spats over music were hilarious and caused me to look up more than a few songs. I liked how June asked her girlfriends for advice and came to the realization that her mom was not just her mother, but a person with her own personality and life experiences. Overall, this book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars




This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

From the author of Once We Were Brothers comes a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise, return to Poland and find two sisters lost during World War II.

Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi occupied Poland. At the same time, Lena’s son Arthur presents her with a hefty lawsuit under the pretense of garnering her estate—and independence—for his own purposes. Where these stories intersect is through Lena’s dubious account of her life in war-torn Poland, and her sisterhood with a childhood friend named Karolina. Lena and Karolina struggled to live through the atrocity of the Holocaust, and at the same time harbored a courageous, yet mysterious secret of maternity that has troubled Lena throughout her adult life. In telling her story to Catherine and Liam, Lena not only exposes the realities of overcoming the horrors of the Holocaust, she also comes to terms with her own connection to her dark past.

Karolina’s Twins is a tale of survival, love, and resilience in more ways than one. As Lena recounts her story, Catherine herself also recognizes the unwavering importance of family as she prepares herself for the arrival of her unborn child. Through this association and many more, both Lena and Catherine begin to cherish the dogged ties that bind not only families and children, but the entirety of mankind.
 

Goodreads Summary

Lena's story is fascinating. I love how the author dug into the mind of his character to produce a realistic account of the Holocaust from Lena Woodward's perspective. Her friend, Karolina, and her had a strong friendship and bond. Lena feels responsible for keeping a secret for decades. She must find her friend's twins. Nazi occupied Poland was a difficult and harsh regime to live under. I could tell the author had done a lot of research to the point of where I could picture it in my mind as I read along.

I enjoyed Lena's character. She was resilient, strong, and intelligent. I did, however, prefer Karolina. Catherine and Liam are a husband and wife team who are hired to track down Karolina's twins. Through their interactions with Lena we learn the true story behind what happened decades ago. I hate difficult choices or choices that are impossible to make and this story is rife with them. The author has a cadence to his writing that makes it easy to read for hours. This book is recommended to historical fiction (though parts of the story are true) readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Rocks Fall Everyone Dies by Lindsay Ribar

Monday, August 27, 2018

Twin Peaks meets Stars Hollow in this paranormal suspense novel about a boy who can reach inside people and steal their innermost things—fears, memories, scars, even love—and his family’s secret ritual that for centuries has kept the cliff above their small town from collapsing.

Aspen Quick has never really worried about how he’s affecting people when he steals from them. But this summer he’ll discover just how strong the Quick family magic is—and how far they’ll go to keep their secrets safe.

With a smart, arrogant protagonist, a sinister family tradition, and an ending you won’t see coming, this is a fast-paced, twisty story about power, addiction, and deciding what kind of person you want to be, in a family that has the ability to control everything you are.
 

Goodreads Summary

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book. It's very different than anything I have read before and it is difficult to describe why. I did not immediately like Aspen. He comes off as arrogant, self-assured, and much to cocky. I don't think I would like to have his ability to "steal" things from peoples' minds. I imagine it would be interesting for a day. I only started to see him in a different light when he began to realize how his "gift" affected the lives of those he used it on. I suppose it takes caring about someone (his girlfriend) before he thinks of the repercussions. Once he realizes that what he can do has negative affects on those around him he also realizes that he has been negatively affected by the gift, as well. Someone has been using his/her gift on him, but why and who?

Like I said, it took a while for me to become friendly to Aspen. His character changes radically over the course of the novel. Sometimes, I thought it was more a change of convenience or self-preservation than true personal growth. I thought the plot was interesting, but sometimes I had to put the book down and continue reading a different novel. I think the book is worth reading, but a different reader may get more from the book than I.

3 1/2 Stars





This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Beautiful Scars by Kilee Brookbank

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Kilee Brookbank was a typical sixteen-year-old, thinking about school, soccer, her friends, and her boyfriend. But her last ordinary day erupted in an explosion that consumed her house, burning over 45 percent of her body and sending her to the very brink of death. After thirty-eight days of surgeries, skin grafts, perpetual physical therapy, and excruciating pain, she had to discover how to live again.

When Kilee returned home, she had to find a new “normal,” relearning how to tie her shoes, put on her makeup, and even turn a doorknob. In each moment of her long journey back to everyday life, she had to make choices that would define who she was and who she would become.

With unwavering support from her mom, Lori, and the rest of her family, Kilee faced her journey with determination, strength, and a positive attitude that inspired not only her community, but people around the world.

Told together by Kilee and Lori, Beautiful Scars is a story of recovery, healing, and hope, reminding us all that we’re never powerless, never alone, and that each challenge we face helps make us the people we are meant to be.
 

Goodreads Summary

I can't imagine being Kilee. After a tragedy leaves her with nearly half of her skin burned she somehow manages to survive. Undergoing skin grafts and physical therapy helps her, but she must work through the pain. I never thought about the simple things I do with my hands or feet that became significantly more difficult for Kilee. Kilee doesn't sugarcoat anything for the readers or try to tell them that it will be perfectly OK. She relies on the support of family and friends to help her through this immensely difficult time. 

I really liked that the story was told from the perspective of Kilee and her mom, Lori. Lori's perspective made me think about the emotions and difficulties moms go through when something happens to their children. I am not a mother (just out of college!) and was a little selfish in not realizing this. I found the book interesting and a worthwhile read as a whole. I learned much more about the aftermath of a burn than my sister or I do in medical school. This book is worth a second look!

4 Stars


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

ISAN by Mary Ting: Promo and Giveaway!

Monday, July 30, 2018
ISAN - International Sensory Assassin Network by Mary Ting 2018 WINNER INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS IN SCIENCE FICTION THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. SCIENTISTS WARNED IT WOULD HAPPEN. Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council. Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network. While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out. Praise for ISAN: "Captivating from the very beginning … this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action." ~ School Library Journal "Addictive and impossible to put it down!" ~Addison Moore, NYT Bestselling Author   EXCERPT - Please choose 1 excerpt & delete the other one prior to posting. 1. “With Helix, your senses become heightened. You’ll experience an increase in ability—especially the five senses. Images will be sharper, colors brighter, and you’ll see farther. You’ll be stronger. Your reflexes will be faster, and you’ll be able to hear from longer distances. However, your senses will tame a speaking voice not to boom in your ear. The reason why it doesn’t sound like I’m yelling at you.” “Incredible.” The word barely left my mouth. “Some lucky ones have more. We call that extrasensory perception. Based on the blood test, I think you might be one of the lucky ones.” Something flashed. I caught it with my right hand, then another projectile with my left. Again, my reflexes had taken over and when I looked down, I’d caught two golf balls. I gawked, trembling. The hair on my arms rose. “Like I said, fast reflexes.” His lips spread in satisfaction. I clenched my jaw and stiffened. “You could’ve hurt me.” “No, Ava. Helix doesn’t wear off quickly. I’d never hurt you. I bet you feel pretty powerful right now. Pretty special. What if you can do something good with that? What do you say?” “Are there side effects?” I rolled the golf balls over my fingertips. I imagined the balls colliding with my face. The thrill of what I had done—there was no denying it made me feel amazing. Russ slowly curled his lips to a grin. “I like the way you think. It’s been thoroughly tested and we’ve seen no side effects in all the years of the program. We give you just enough to do a job, and then it’s out of your system.” I nodded. “So … Will you be joining ISAN today?” I shivered, not just from the cool draft from the vent, but the thought of being an assassin, even if my victims were criminals. Could I really do it? Trained or no. My mother’s last words echoed in my mind. When life shoves you down, you get right back up. Be strong. Be brave, Ava. Be someone important. Oh, Mom, what do I do? I feel so alone and I’m so scared. My chest caved in. I wanted to burst into a sob, but I slammed it back down. As tears pooled, thoughts of my mother twisted the dagger in my heart. My heart leaked, bleeding from the mountainous pain of missing her, needing her guidance. I wouldn’t be in juvie, desperate to get out and resort to being an assassin if she were alive. Having no choice, I succumbed to the reality of my life and the cards I had been dealt. I pushed back my shoulders and held up my chin. Boring my eyes into his, I gave him an answer that would change my life forever. I will be brave, Mother. I will become someone important.   2. “Would you like my assistance? Or you can just stand there so I can stare at you a bit longer.” Startled, I whirled toward the sound of a familiar, seductive voice. Sniper stood by the walk-in closet in a cool, relaxed manner with his hand braced on the door. His hair was slicked back, looking polished and debonair. My heart pummeled, but not in fear. Was I crazy to be attracted to him? Mesmerized by the black tuxedo forming to his perfect body, I stared at him and wondered if I’d dreamed him up. His presence confirmed I hadn’t imagined him above the stairs earlier. Then I wondered if he’d come alone. “How’d you know I was here?” Unnerved, I gritted my teeth. He hadn’t heeded my warning to stay away. I should scream or plan an escape out of the bathroom, but I couldn’t move or think. His presence stirred my curiosity and I wanted answers, especially when the lunatic thought he knew me. “It doesn’t concern you,” he said. His nonchalant tone caused me to raise my voice. “The hell it doesn’t.” “I’ll explain later.” I scoffed. “Are you here to try to kidnap me again?” I might not have Helix, but I had my heels and months of training backing me up. If there was one thing I was good at, it was bringing a person to their knees. Courage grew inside me and I dropped my dress. Sniper snapped out of his stupor and his amber eyes grew darker. “Where are my manners? I admire the dress, but I like what you’re wearing now so much more.” He waggled his eyebrows. “You look absolutely beautiful tonight.” No. Don’t say that. I became breathless when he closed the gap between us. Why was I letting him? When Sniper raised his hand, I flinched. My heart galloped faster when he cupped my face and ran his thumb ever so tenderly along my cheek. “I wish I could’ve been your date tonight. We could’ve danced together. Dancing with me always made you happy.” I closed my eyes for several seconds, hypnotized by his voice, by his touch. I pictured us slow dancing, not because it had happened, but because I desperately wanted the happiness he described. Then I came to my senses. Leaning into his caress, I pretended to enjoy it, which wasn’t hard. Moving slowly, I raised my knee …   Author Mary Ting International Bestselling/Award Winning Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. She also toured with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.  
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 8/12/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Kissing Games by Tara Eglington: Excerpt!

Monday, June 11, 2018

 Excerpt:

For a girl who shares her name with a princess (Aurora from Sleep- ing Beauty), my present circumstances were fathoms away from a fairy tale. My kissing skills had left both parties maimed—one case worthy of the emergency room.
Our first kiss as a couple, and my first-ever kiss, had been a melding of everything I’d heard kisses could be, all the glorious cli- ch├ęs in actionweak knees, my heart a field of fluttering butter- flies, life in Technicolor. Worth the wait.
With a start like that, I’d expected the second kiss to be as good.
Or at least not to end in calamity.
Four hours ago I’d had no idea I’d be spending half of my Thurs- day night in the local hospital’s emergency department, watching the on-call physician stitching Hayden Pariss formerly perfect lower lip.


four hours earlier . . .

I stood at my bathroom mirror, staring at my lips. I’d just applied red lipstick, taking a good five minutes to make sure that the edges were perfect. Now I was having second thoughts.



Normally I wasn’t one to spend lengthy amounts of time pout- ing at my own reflection, but in the fifteen minutes before Hayden was due to arrive I was fixated on my own mouth.
It had started with the intention of making sure I had fresh breath. Three brushings and a lengthy flossing session later, I’d pinched the superstrong dental clinic–issued mouthwash used by my dad (otherwise known as the NADNew Age dad), on the ba- sis that it would work better than my Listerine. Figuring that if I used any more mouthwash I’d give myself acid reflux, I’d finally stashed a mini breath spray in the pocket of my skirt so I could do a last quick spritz after Hayden and I had finished dinner. Literally sharing breath with someone was nerve-racking.
I was now in a conundrum over lipstick. I’d automatically reached for the red, as numerous studies have proved that red lips are considered the most sensual, due to the way that lipstick mim- ics the way our lips flush when attracted to another person. But just as I’d finished applying the lipstick, I started worrying that it wasn’t the best choice. It would inevitably kiss off, wouldn’t it? What if I pulled away from the (hopefully) amazing kiss and Hayden was left smeared with red lipstick? Gloss wasn’t an option, either—I’d over- heard way too many guys complaining about how they hated goopy lips.
I blotted the lipstick, hoping to achieve a nice, subtle stain, like I’d been sitting in a field eating raspberries or something. Revlon had had that famous Cherries in the Snow ad campaign in 1953, so bring on Raspberries in a Field. I was obviously getting jittery if I was planning 1950s-esque cosmetic campaigns.
I hadn’t talked about my anxiety with my best friends, Cassie, Jelena, Lindsay, and Sara. They were looking to me to be their dating guruand hopefully the whole of Jefferson High would be, too, once I implemented my Find a Prince/Princess program. This is a program I designed to help guys and girls navigate the minefield that is the high school dating scene. As well as using the program to help Cassie find love with Scott (aka the ubercute new guy) and



to help Lindsay win her ex-boyfriend Tyler back, I had also been using the program to weigh my own romantic prospects, with the aim of identifying my “prince.
A prince:
   has Principles. He stands up for what he knows to be right, instead of going along with the crowd.
   Recognizes your worth. He understands how special you are and treats you with respect and kindness.
   possesses Integrity. He’s genuine with his feelings and won’t mislead you for underhanded or selfish purposes.
   Never doubts you’re the only one for him.
   is Constant. He stands by you through the sunshine and the shadows, the good and the bad.
   possesses Endurance. He is willing to overcome considerable obstacles to win your affection.
I know the “prince thing sounds cringeworthy, like it’s some- thing from another century. But the program isn’t about glass slip- pers or lying around until a prince shows up. It’s about valuing yourself and saying no to guys with dishonest intentions or luke- warm feelings. Guys who lie or are self-involved or only looking for an ego boost. Guys who play around with our feelings like it’s a form of sport.
What the program is really about is knowing what you are wor- thy of and accepting nothing less.


I get that some people might see this as idealistic. But if I listened to everyone else’s cynicism, I’d never have stuck with the Find a Prince/Princess program for the past three years. I’d have given up and settled for a substandard guy. Instead, following my heart had landed me Hayden Paris, Prince Extraordinaire. After years of misunderstandings and miscommunication, Hayden and I had finally come together as a couple three days ago, after he’d revealed himself to be my secret admirer. I’d realized that he was not the



bane of my life but actually the boy of my dreams. And after six- teen years and six months of not settling, I’d finally had that magi- cal first kiss I’d been waiting for.
I’d once read that the term “French kiss was derived from “soul kiss,” because of an ancient belief that the sharing of breath was, in essence, the sharing of souls. It was a romantic notion, yet I had to admit, when I’d let Hayden touch his lips to mine the other night, I’d felt as if parts of me, tiny molecules at a time, had come close to dissolving in the intense closeness.
So when it came to tonight, I wanted the follow-up kiss to be just as legendary. I wanted utter elation, a moment of tenderness in which my heart would tremble inside my chest at how exquisitely beautiful it was to be so close to Hayden.
I shivered at the thought, and the tiny hairs on my arms stood up. Catching sight of my watch, I realized there was only about five minutes until Hayden was due to arrive. I had to turn my mind to practicalities.


My heart pounding, I ran downstairs to do a last-minute check of the living room. Thankfully, Dad had headed out to an event at the local meditation center, so I’d had some time this evening to prep the room for maximum ambience. Beyond emotional connection, romance was a sensory experience, so I’d aimed for soft light and scent. I placed oversize, velvety cushions on either side of the cof- fee table to encourage a more relaxed feel than the two of us perched at a distance from each other on my long couch, and then I set three large scented candles atop the coffee table.
After lighting the candles, I dimmed the light, just enough to heighten the mood but not so dramatically that I’d have difficulty making out Hayden’s features.
Then I turned them up again a fraction of an inch. Yes, I was trying to create a sense of intimacy, but what if Hayden thought I was being overly forward? It was only our first date, and here I was getting out the candles!



Oh god, could I even pull this off? Yes, I’d readied the room, but was I ready? Could I take this second kiss to the dizzying heights required?
What if our heart-stopping first kiss had set a precedent in Hayden’s mind that I couldn’t equal the second time around? What if I instigated a kiss and it fell flat? What if Hayden was disappointed? My basic plan was to move in close at some point during the night, ensuring that my intimate intentions were obvious to Hayden. But I had major timing trepidation. How would I know the oppor-
tune moment to get up close and personal?
For example, what if I moved in and he was tired or cranky or lip-fatigued from an afternoon arguing in the debate team? I pictured myself getting shot down midmove in the candlelight. Hmm . . . was rejection better or worse in low lighting? The lack of light would hide my extreme embarrassment, but I’d also be sitting there in a highly sensuous atmosphere. Hopefully not too sensuous. My hand went to the dimmer switch again.
Right. I was calling Cassie.
She picked up right away. “Hey, aren’t you on your date?” “About to be. As in, Hayden’s probably heading toward my door
right now and I’m doubting I have the courage to open it, let alone make a lunge for his lips later. Cass, what if I get the timing wrong and I’m left cast off in the candlelight?”
“Aurora, you know hes crazy about you. I’m sure hes planning to kiss you tonight. But if you want to be the one to make the first move, just look for the cues.”
Cues?
Kissing green lights. Physical indications telling you to go straight ahead.
I’m a total newbie on the dating highway, Cass. Unless Hayden actually turns green, I’m going to be playing the yes/no game for the next few hours.”
Cassie laughed. I’m talking things like prolonged eye contact and sitting really close to you, not Hayden turning into a chame- leon.”



“Oh god, why can’t he be a chameleon? You know the male ac- tually changes color when hes in the mood? Just thinkif Hayden’s lips burst into stripes of blue and green, I wouldn’t have any hesita- tion!” My voice rose a half octave with nervous tension.
“Aurora, I can hear you getting breathless. You have to breathe. If you don’t breathe while kissing, you’ll pass out. It happened to my cousin!”
What? I shrieked. “No one warned me about this!” The doorbell rang.
“Argh! Hayden and his nonchameleon lips have arrived!” Focus on the feelings and you’ll ace it, Cassie said. I promise.
I caught sight of my face in the hallway mirror as I set the phone down and headed for the door. I looked like a rabbit staring up in terror at a farmer with a pitchfork. Fantastic.
I took a deep breath and opened the door. Hayden’s smiling face greeted me. My whole body instantly relaxed.
“Good evening, Princess. He gave me a hug. “Any chance a wannabe knight bearing wood-fired pizza could cross the thresh- old?”
I smiled as I stepped aside to let him in. “Was it an epic quest?” It involved much gallantry,” Hayden replied as we headed down the hall. The guy at the pizza place was actually kind of a fire-breathing dragon. He had serious issues about half-and-half
pizzas.”
Hayden started turning right to go into the kitchen.
“Oh!” I touched his shoulder. I thought we might eat in the liv- ing room. It’s cozier.
My plan of action was to get Hayden comfortable. Get him com- fortable and then pounce.
Sure. He turned left then stopped at the entrance to the liv- ing room. “We might need a little more light.”
Oh my godthe living room now resembled a dimly lit saloon where busty women of the Wild West were likely to slink by in skimpy corsets or recline languorously on velvet cushions. I must



have accidentally hit the dimmer switch in my scramble to get to the front door.
Sorry, I was, ah, setting the scene. Had that actually come out? The scene?” Hayden turned, eyebrows raised, his hand paused
on the switch. His eyes were undeniably nervous. He probably thought he was about to be thrown down on the coffee table.
Great. I aim for ambience and wind up scaring my date. Setting the scene—for history!” I cried. “You know, the Middle
Ages, living by candlelight? I was hoping it would help with my es- say. I, um, was working on it while waiting for you.
My voice was increasingly resembling a chipmunks—high- pitched, fast-paced, and bordering on panicky.
Much as I love your imagination, I think the take-out pizza might destroy the illusion.” Hayden laughed as he turned the dim- mer switch up. Lets skip ahead a few centuries so you don’t drip sauce on that gorgeous dress.”
I tried not to feel seriously insulted. Here I was, preparing to ex- ecute a major move, and my date didn’t want to know about it. I flopped down onto one of the velvet cushions, trying not to let out a sigh as Hayden set out the pizza and filled our glasses with Coke. Why was this so easy in movies? I thought of Cleopatra and Eliza- beth Taylor tumbling out of the rolled-up carpet. Caesar had been putty in her hands. I’d tried to set up a scene of seduction and in- stead I’d wound up eating pizza underneath blazing lights.
I looked across at Hayden, whod picked up a piece of pizza but seemed to be waiting for me. I studied the pizza on the table in front of me. The second I took a bite, my painstakingly applied lipstick would be messed up. Then, as the smell wafted up toward me, I real- ized I had bigger worries—there was garlic on the margherita! No way was breath spray going to cover up that potent passion killer.
I looked up from the pizza and saw that Hayden was watching me with an amused expression.
“Here, my lady, let me choose the perfect piece for thee. He picked up a slice and put it on the plate in front of me.



His hazel eyes were so warm they were almost golden in the glow of the candles on the coffee table. Eye contact! That was one of Casss green lights. Okay, time to up the ante.
My heart had accelerated within mere seconds. I had to push the rest of me to catch up with it before the opportune moment slipped by. I gave Hayden a long gaze and raised an eyebrow in what I hoped was a Cleopatra-esque expression.
He let out a nervous laugh. “Have I got sauce on my face?”
I started in surprise. What? Obviously my attempt at Cleopa- tra was more scornful than seductive. “No!”
My hands, still trembling from the extended eye contact, shook harder, and I dropped my pizza slice into my lap.
“You see! This is why we needed the light!” Hayden leaned for- ward, shaking his head in amusement, grabbed the pizza slice, and put it back on the plate with a smile.
He reached over and pressed a napkin into my hand, giving it a squeeze. Houston, we had contact. If I didn’t do this now, I never would.
Hayden went to move his hand away, but I grabbed on to it. Be- fore my fear could kick in, I leaned across the coffee table, meet- ing Hayden halfway.
Sorry, blotting the stain will probably make it worse—he began.
I placed my index finger over his lips, stopping his sentence short. His eyes widened.
Okay, replace finger with lips. With hopefully minty-fresh lips. I leaned farther toward Hayden, closing the distance between  us. The caramel aroma of the candles was intoxicating. I took a steady breath, trying to concentrate on my senses. I could feel my cheeks were flushed, although I couldn’t tell whether that was from the warmth of the candles or the dizzying pulse of blood through my body. The room was in complete silence except for our breath- ing and the pounding of my heart, which thumped in my ears like the crash of the ocean on the sand when you lay your head down
on your towel at the beach.



There were two inches left between our faces. I removed my fin- ger from Hayden’s lips and our foreheads touched. The gentleness of the gesture caused a pulling feeling in my chest.
Last step. Last tiny little step and the plan would be complete.
Focus on the feelings. Casss advice floated back to me.
I touched his cheek with the fingers of my right hand. This was Hayden, my Potential Prince, my childhood friend, bane of my life turned boy of my dreams. I felt my lips relax into a smile, a smile that sank down through my skin and seemed to hover over my heart. I was so lucky. This thought tipped me over into the cour- age zone and, almost in a trance, I closed the minute distance left between us.
I pressed my lips to Hayden’s, so lightly that the touch of skin to skin was almost imperceptible. Even the second time around, the sensation was so exquisitely unfamiliar that it was all-encompassing. I was lost to feelingthe exact pressure of Hayden’s lips, his hair brushing against my fingers where they rested on his neck, the smell of his skina mix of soap and cologne with green-apple notes.
Hayden put his hand on my waist, pulling me closer and taking the kiss deeper. His breath was hot against mine. My pulse, already at high tempo, hit critical level. I now knew why Casss cousin had passed out. The feeling in my chest as we kissed was so intense I almost couldn’t bear it, yet I desperately sought more. I was like the candles, set alight with sensation, all thoughts dissolving in the heat of the moment. The feeling was so realistic that I could almost smell smoke.
I took another deep breath, hoping to dispel the phantom smell by inhaling more of Hayden’s green-apple scent.
Wait a minute. Something was burning. The smell was unmis- takable now, almost sulfuric. What on earth . . . ?
There were about five seconds of illogical agony, in which I won- dered whether the mouthwash had failed me and the smell was coming from my own breath, before I realized what I was actually smelling. My hair was on fire!



The thought screamed through my brain, shocking me out of my kissing reverie completely. Forget the notion of “the heat of the moment”—I was literally going up in flames!
My eyes flew open, but I couldn’t look down to see how much of my hair was on fire because Hayden and I were still in lip-lock. All I knew was that I didn’t want the flames to reach my face. The hair spray I’d so liberally applied earlier was probably acting as an ac- celerant—I might only have seconds to spare!
I threw up my arm, trying to push Hayden away, and instead felt my hand make contact with one of the heavy candles positioned be- tween us. I heard the clunk of the glass holder hitting the table at the same second that I felt boiling-hot wax spill onto my arm.
My whole body jolted from the searing pain. My teeth slammed together in an instinctual reaction and I bit down on Hayden’s lips, which were still intertwined with mine. Hayden let out a muffled shout.
I ripped away from him and stared in horror at the gash in his bottom lip. But there was no time to apologize yet. I snatched the burning ends of my hair from the candle jar, then threw my glass of Coke over them, thankfully extinguishing the flames before they got any closer to my head.
My wrist was prickling with pain from the blisteringly hot wax. I needed ice. I needed liquid of any description. I snatched up Hayden’s Coke and poured it on my arm. As my pain level dropped from all-consuming smart to a bearable throbbing, my attention snapped back to Hayden. He had leaped to his feet and was clutch- ing his mouth. Blood was trickling between his fingers.
Blood. My kiss had actually drawn blood. And not in a sexy, Twi- light way. I wanted to be sick.
“Hayden!” I leaped up from my cushion, too.
I have to get to the bathroom before I get blood everywhere.”
He pushed past me, his words muffled by his hand, and took off down the hall to the downstairs bathroom.
I ran to the kitchen for the first aid kit. I wanted to cry, from both



the extreme embarrassment of having sunk my teeth into my Po- tential Prince and the throbbing pain of my wrist. I swiped at my eyes with the back of my hand, pushing away tears as I dashed toward the bathroom. I had to stay calm. I would have plenty of time to reflect upon my disastrous attempt at acting the siren once Hayden’s lips weren’t streaming blood. Right now I had to focus on helping him.
Hayden turned as I entered. He had one of our hand towels pressed to his lips. I gasped when I saw that the towel was no lon- ger white but almost completely red, soaked with blood in the few minutes he’d been in the bathroom.

It won’t stop bleeding, he said. I think I have to go to the hospital.”


This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ