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Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Suffer Love
by Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Rate: 4 Stars

Hadley St. Clair's life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.

Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably "feels like home" to Hadley. Hadley and Sam's connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.

Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.


Top 10 Reasons For Buying this Book

10. Shakespeare. Suffer Love has a lot of Shakespeare references—even the title comes from Much Ado About Nothing—so if you enjoy the Bard, I think you’ll enjoy at least some parts of the book. Fun fact: My editor pitched the book as a Romeo and Juliet retelling, which it very loosely is—families at odds, star-crossed lovers. However, when I was writing the book, that was not in my head at all. It just sort of…came out. J

9. Ajay. Sam, one of the main characters in Suffer Love, has a loveable best friend named Ajay. I’ve been told numerous times that he is a favorite character and he is pretty darn delightful, if I do say so myself.

8. Teacup pigs. Enough said.

7. Sibling camaraderie: Sam’s little sister, Livy, is another favorite character, and I absolutely love their relationship.

6. Baker-Athlete Boys: I mean, if that alone doesn’t intrigue you, I’m not sure what else there is to say. J

5. Cupcake Wars: See above.

4. Acceptance. Acceptance is a huge theme in Suffer Love and a pretty huge theme in life in general. The book explores this a lot and I think it’s something that’s relevant to everyone, because there’s no way to anticipate everything that happens in one’s life. Eventually, something is going to knock you on your ass and acceptance is hard, but, ultimately, necessary.

3. Kissing.

2. Dual POV: If you like getting both sides of the story, Suffer Love does just that. I really enjoyed writing both Sam and  Hadley’s perspectives and I think I succeeded in giving them both distinct voices.

1. Forgiveness. Ultimately, Suffer Love is about forgiveness. And forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. Sometmes, it doesn’t even mean that you’re not still angry. It means many things and takes many different forms and is greatly tied to acceptance. And that, in a nutshell, is the driving force behind Suffer Love. 

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Follow the Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Ashley Herring Blake is a poet, teacher, and YA novelist. Her debut novel, SUFFER LOVE, follows two teens as they attempt to wade through an intense relationship complicated by their parents' infidelities. Ashley lives in Nashville, TN.


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


Thursday, April 28, 2016

New York, NY; April 28, 2016 – This is a momentous year for Avon, the iconic romance imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The year marks not only the 75th anniversary of Avon Books, widely acclaimed for popularizing the historical romance category, but also celebrates the fifth year for the Avon Impulse digital-first imprint. Today, Avon is an acclaimed (or illustrious?) publishing powerhouse, renowned for nurturing the careers of the best and brightest authors in the romance industry, in large part due to the success of the Impulse program. Avon Impulse is a thriving brand with a proven aptitude for cultivating future stars of the genre.

For its fifth anniversary, Avon Impulse has much to celebrate:
·         4 million e-books sold
·         12 New York Times bestsellers
·         32 USA Today bestsellers
·         16 award nominations, including the prestigious RWA “RITA” award

Editor Amanda Bergeron, who directs the Impulse line, remarks, “The success of the Impulse program runs deep: we’ve published hundreds of books, with millions of copies sold. Avon Impulse has served as the launch pad for many authors’ careers, developing loyal reader bases and growing author awareness through strategic promotions. And in many cases, Impulse has launched talented authors onto the Avon print list.”

Associate publisher Shawn Nicholls notes that one key component of Avon Impulse’s success is “personalized, direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns which increase awareness about Avon Impulse authors, showcase upcoming releases, support backlist, and highlight retail incentives.”

"Avon Impulse originated HarperCollins’ digital-first publishing platform, which we’ve since expanded with Witness Impulse (mysteries and thrillers) and Voyager Impulse (science fiction/fantasy),” says Senior Vice President and Publisher Liate Stehlik.  “Digital-first is a vital component in strategically growing new authors, and extending the visibility of our existing author base.” She continues, “Readers have also responded strongly to our Impulse offerings – and our authors are so happy with their results that they have become the strongest advocates for the Impulse brand."

“Publishing with Avon Impulse has been an amazing experience,” says Jennifer Ryan, who was the first Avon Impulse author to hit the New York Times list with her debut, Saved by the Rancher. “Between editorial, marketing and publicity, every detail is well thought out for each and every book, but it’s never about just one book. They think about the overall career of the author and what their readers want and expect.”

For more information about Avon Impulse, including submission guidelines:

About HarperCollins Publishers:
HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With nearly two hundred years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at

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 Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh: Excerpt and Giveaway!

I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 


About Renée:
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.

Ends on May 3rd at Midnight EST!

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

Outcast by Dianne Noble: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Many people feel a nostalgia for school days, for friends known since kindergarten. There are school reunions, old school ties, framed photographs of children in uniform on doting grandmothers’ walls. The oldest pictures, Lucozade-coloured with age, show school hats: berets, Panamas, a topper if you’d been to Eton.
Spare a thought for those of us who were brought up in service families! Many attended a school for such a brief time there was no time – or money – for a new uniform. You were an outcast in your navy blue while everyone else sported bottle green. I went to fifteen different schools between the age of five and sixteen and it added a great deal to my life experiences whilst encompassing a far broader curriculum than a single school could ever offer. On the down side there was no chance of making, or nurturing, new friends.
The first interesting school I remember was when I was seven and we were on the troopship, the Dunera. It was transporting the Black Watch from Glasgow to Korea, as part of the peace-keeping force I believe, and we were being dropped off at Singapore. The first day at sea, before we reached the Bay of Biscay and the horrors of non-stop vomiting, I was sitting on deck in the sunshine, nose buried in Enid Blyton’s Ring ‘o’ Bells Mystery. I loved Enid Blyton with a passion, devoured all I could find and was totally engrossed in this one which my father had bought me for the journey. He was more than a little disgruntled to discover I’d finished it in a day and a half, told me I’d have to keep reading it as there was nothing else available. However, I digress. My reading was cruelly interrupted by an officious woman herding children before her for lessons. Lessons? It appeared we had to go to school for six hours a day for the next four weeks. The ship might founder, there might be flying fish off the starboard side, but nothing could interrupt classes.
School in Singapore was great. We started at 7.30 and finished at 1.30 to avoid the heat of the afternoon. Our transport there was referred to as a gharry, but it was a lorry painted air force blue into which we had to clamber before sitting on bench seats and holding on to a rope to avoid being thrown out when we crashed through the craters in the roads. In the playground we caught snails and centipedes, while in the classrooms geckoes (lizards) ran across the ceilings and dropped on the unwary.
Cyprus was a beautiful country in which to be educated. Very early starts again but now I was older there were trips to Kykko Monastery, Famagusta, the ruins at Salamis. As the threat of Turkish invasion grew, wherever we travelled had to be in an armed convoy, escorted by UN troops from Canada and Finland in their sky-blue berets.
But the best school of all of them was in the slums of Kolkata where I squatted on the ground, in the dirt, with the children who lived on the streets, and taught them English. Their eager little faces, happy smiles, desperation to learn were heart-breaking at times but it remains the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done. I could write a book about it.

She took the crumpled cigarette packet from her bag, smoothed it out to read Maria’s number then picked up her phone. ‘Hi, it’s Rose. We met…’
     ‘…at Unicef. I remember. How you doing?’
     ‘Homeless. D’you still have a spare room?’
     ‘Sure do. Now?’
     ‘Where are you?’
     ‘No idea.’
     ‘Get a tuk tuk to Sealdah Station. Meet you there in half an hour.’
     The buildings sprawled in an undisciplined mass around her. She watched a boy hobble by on the bow legs of childhood rickets, others fighting for ownership of the ring-pull from a Coke can. Noisy, hot, the sky a hazy bruise. Clotting traffic and petrol heavy air. She bought a bottle of water from a kiosk, checked the seal was unbroken then gulped it down. Warm and brackish. Should have bought some when she was having breakfast with Kishan. Her thoughts lingered on him for a moment until a man knocked into her. Standing with one leg either side of her case she hoped Maria wouldn’t be much longer. And then, a shrill whistle, audible even over the backfiring buses. Maria, in an eye-watering magenta kaftan was sailing across the road with one arm held in the air to hold back the tide. Squealing brakes, angry shouts but she appeared oblivious. Reached Rose intact and enveloped her in a hug. Smelt of cigarettes and talcum powder. ‘You OK, love?’ She peered into Rose’s face, the sun making an orange halo around her frizzy hair.
     ‘I am now.’ Rose told her about the night on the settee and Maria tutted.
     ‘They’re buggers, they really are. Grim reaper round every corner in this place.’
     ‘Met a nice man though,’ said Rose.
     ‘Did you now? You single then?’
     ‘Yes. You?’
     ‘Sometimes. He buggered off but he’s back. For now.’ She flagged down a tuk tuk.
     ‘I really appreciate this,’ said Rose, struggling to wedge her suitcase in the limited floor space. Maria crumpled with laughter.
     ‘Contain your enthusiasm until you see the place. It’s a dump.’ She grabbed the other end of the case. ‘If we put our legs over this it might stop it falling out on the corners.’
The driver pulled away as though he had not a moment to lose, and Maria lit up. She clamped the cigarette between her teeth, screwing up her eyes as she gripped the vehicle’s upright with one hand and scrabbled in her bag with the other, eventually pulling out a key.‘There it is. By the way, the flat’s not a smoke free zone. Is that a problem?’
Rose snorted. ‘What, with all this?’ She waved an arm at the black smoke belching from the bus beside them. ‘It’s like living in the lungs of a coal miner.’
     She dragged her case out and looked around. A narrow lane with a few open fronted shops. Beyond them were units, like garages, but a quarter of the size.
     ‘What are they?’
Maria paused briefly in her battle with the door lock. ‘Prostitutes.’
     ‘Prostitutes. They live on the streets, so when they have a customer…’ She kicked the door and it flew open, crashed back against the wall releasing a shower of plaster. ‘Bastard thing. In you come. Ground floor. Well, it’s the only floor actually. So no worries about fire.’ She grinned. ‘Apart from the bars on the windows.’
     A cauldron of stale air. Maria clicked on the light switch. ‘Shite. Power cut.’
Through the gloom Rose saw two wicker chairs crouching in a corner and a white plastic table with stools. On the walls were ghost squares where pictures had once been and the silent ceiling fan was dust-furred. The place smelt of unreliable plumbing.
     ‘Told you it’s a dump,’ said Maria cheerfully, ‘but it’s cheap. Leave your case here and I’ll give you the guided tour. No need to take your shoes off,’ she added with a laugh. The door creaked as she opened it. ‘My bedroom, bit of a mess.’
A bedroom in name only: a room with a bed. In reality it bore closer resemblance to a skip.
     ‘And this room here would be yours.’
A wardrobe without doors, two wire coat hangers dangling, looking like bat skeletons. Chest of drawers and narrow iron bed. Pillow like a sandbag, but clean bedding and a mosquito net. Rose crossed to the window to see if it really was barred, pulled back the thin curtains and the rail fell to the floor with a clatter. Her hand flew to her mouth. ‘I’m so sorry.’
     ‘Oh, don’t worry. They all do that. This is the bathroom.’
With a worried look at the curtains - and the bars on the window - Rose followed her.

Rose leaves her Cornwall café to search for her daughter in the sweltering slums of Kolkata, India.
In the daily struggle for survival, she is often brought to her knees, but finds strength to overcome the poverty and disease, grows to love the Dalit community she helps.
But then there are deaths, and she fears for her own safety.
Her café at home is at risk of being torched, and finally, she has to make the terrible choice between her daughter and the Indian children.
Buy links:
Amazon (universal link):
I think I became a reader before I could walk. While other people had childhood memories, I amassed a vocabulary. I was born into a service family and at the tender age of seven found myself on the Dunera, a troopship, sailing for a three year posting to Singapore. So began a lifetime of wandering – and fifteen different schools. Teen years living in Cyprus, before partition, when the country was swarming with handsome UN soldiers, and then marriage to a Civil Engineer who whisked me away to the Arabian Gulf.
Most of the following years were spent as a single parent with an employment history which ranged from the British Embassy in Bahrain to a goods picker, complete with steel toe-capped boots, in an Argos warehouse. In between I earned my keep as a cashier in Barclays, a radio presenter and a café proprietor on the sea front in Penzance.
Ten years ago I flew to Kolkata, West Bengal as a volunteer to teach English to street children in the slums. I stayed for several months and kept a journal, primarily so that I could download the horrors I saw daily. A kind of de-briefing. Not that it was all bad, the children had a huge capacity for happiness which was truly humbling.
It was this diary that grew into a novel and I was thrilled when Tirgearr Publishing brought it out as an ebook March 2016. It has already attracted a number of five star reviews. ‘A richly told tale, emotive and evocative.’ ‘Has it all – humour, pathos, spirituality.’
I have two further novels in the pipeline, Oppression, which is set in Cairo, Egypt and tells the story of a forced marriage and One Hundred Hands Outstretched, again based in India.
My website promises ‘Atmospheric Settings, Women under Pressure’ and this is what I try to deliver. If you are a fan of books by Victoria Hislop or Rosie Thomas you’ll probably like mine.
My travels have taken me to China, Egypt, Israel, Guatemala, Russia, Morocco, Belize and my favourite place, India. I keep copious notes and constantly dip into them to ensure my settings are authentic.
I live alone, when not travelling, in a small Leicestershire village. A happy life for me is writing or reading – with breaks for chocolate and mugs of tea – and occasional visits to the theatre.
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here:

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

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn't exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom's wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won't let go. 

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

Goodreads Summary

Having to contemplate the loss of a mother seems inconceivable to me. This is mostly becaue I have had my mother my whole life and if she disappeared it would be horrible. For Nico though, she lost her mother when she was very young, and comes across a special box that has come information about her mother that she had never known. She was a huge Nirvana fan and had gone to concerts. She had also written a note to Kurt Cobain himself which made it seem like she may have been more than just a fan of the music. This sends Nico on a journey of self discovery that will take her places that she never thought she would be, and meeting people she never though that she would meet.

Being completely honest here, I was never a fan of Nirvana or Curt Cobain. You don't need to be to like this book though. I loved the meshing of true history about Cobain into the fictional story that the author wrote. She blends it so seamlessly that  if you never knew the true history behind everything, you would think that this was a completely believable true story. Also being a child of the 90's, I found that I was able to truly relate to a lot of the topics that this book covers and events that are mentioned. I liked the way that Manzer portrays Nico's love of music. It kind of reminds me of the nostalgia of the movie "Almost Famous." The sort of "young person on a journey to find themselves," story. You will love this book, if you love music or not. Nico is such a joy to read about and you will not be disappointed in any way by the time that you finish the last page.

4 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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 Leaving Season by Cat Jordan

Monday, April 25, 2016

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season—the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

It happens every late August, but this year Middie’s boyfriend, Nate, is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America.

And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is…except for Nate’s best friend Lee.

Middie and Lee have never gotten along. She’s always known that she was destined for great things, and Lee acts like he’s never cared about anything a day in his life. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more.

Goodreads Summary

As people leave at the end of high school to go off on their own college adventures or trips to explore and help the world, life changes a lot for most people. Middie is completely enamored with her boyfriend Nate. He is leaving to go on a trip for a year to help people in Central America and the two plan to meet up after that year and go to college together. While Nate is gone though it is believed that he is dead, and Maddie seeks comfort in the arms of Nate's best friend Lee.

I always hate to read about tragedies, especially when they involve true love being torn apart from its rightful happy place in the world. I felt horrible for Middie when her world got pulled out from underneath her like a rug. I have never felt this myself but the way that the author wrote about it conveyed the raw crushing emotion so well. I didn't like that Middie went on to see the best friend of her boyfriend. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but I guess I have no clue how anyone would necessarily behave when faced with so much grief. Lee was alright, but I found myself wishing that Middie was back with Nate. The twist in the book was completely unexpected and will definitely leave you with your jaw on the floor. Take a look at this book. It definitely won't disappoint.

3.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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 Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi by Alyssa Palombo

A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana's life, Alyssa Palombo'sThe Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

Goodreads Summary

As someone who has a deep love for music, I have an appreciation for the woman in this story. Adriana risks it all for her love of learning to play the violin to get lessons from the virtuoso composer Vivaldi. I know if I had a mom or dad that told me that playing an instrument was useless, like Adriana in the story, I would have been an unhappy man. Little did she know, she would be diving into a deep romance with her teacher. What makes it worse is that Vivaldi is a Priest, and thus married to God for life so fraternizing with women is a big break in the rules for him as well. Will they continue together, or will they both come to their senses and please the original promises that they made to themselves?

I love historical fiction books like this, even if they aren't one hundred percent historically accurate. Its fun to read a book like this because you can put yourself in their shoes and experience their lives even if you wouldn't have made the same decisions as these two sinners. It's a testament to true love for these two to have made the decisions they made to be together. The period writing is spot on as well which adds to the glamour of the story. Palombo takes you back and creates a world that you can't help but immerse yourself in and enjoy to entirety until the last page passes. The other thing that I really loved about this book was the passion for music that is oozing from every page. It made me feel right at home in that aspect. Overall, this is a great novel that almost every should enjoy. Everyone knows Vivaldi and his works, so who wouldn't want to take a peek into his personal life.

4.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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

Ride Hard by Laura Kaye

A shy and distrustful woman running from a controlling ex-fiance seeks shelter with an outlaw motorcycle club with a tradition of protecting those who can't defend themselves, and falls under the watchful eye of the club's mysterious and intense leader who's intent on discovering all her secrets

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

Goodreads Sumary

People run from the things that cause them great distress in their lives. Sometimes it takes them years of bad treatment to realize that getting away is their best option, even if its into the protective arms of a criminal. Haven is on the run from her ex-fiance and finds herself in the protection of a motorcycle gang that watches over those who have trouble on their own. As Haven learns to trust the gang's leader with her secrets, he develops a vengeful protective heart, that wants to seek and destroy the one that caused her all that pain.

This book is definitely a non traditional romance. Usually you will have the bad boy gone good for the good girl. In this story we have the girl that was with the bad boy, going for another bad boy, who wants to hurt the original bad boy. It was really interesting how the author built the world of the motorcycle gang. Their moral code that centers around helping those that can't help themselves is noble and good, but it doesn't make up for the fact that they are a gang and still commit crimes. I found it interesting as well to read about a group of people that couldn't be living a life further than the on that I live. It is intriguing to read about that which you have a lack of understanding. The anger that Dare harbors within himself is very dark and created by the author very well. I definitely would be very scared to meet a man like him in real life, and Laura Kaye makes him seem like real life in her writing. This is definitely a romance that bad boy lovers would love to dive into.

3.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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

Midnight in Berlin by James Macmanus

Sunday, April 24, 2016

In 1939, British Colonel Noel Macrae, stationed in Berlin and witness to the rise of the Reich, decides that he might be the only Englishman with the opportunity to avert war. As he attempts to convince the British government of his mission, the colonel becomes torn between his government's orders and his own personal beliefs, especially as he falls in love with a German-Jewish woman. Blackmailed by the Nazis, the woman and her family have faced unspeakable horrors, and the colonel must do whatever it takes to help her escape.

But the colonel doesn't know that the Gestapo have formed a plan of their own. Aware of the colonel's intense hatred of the Nazi regime, the Gestapo work to draw him into a fabricated plot against Hitler. As the colonel finds himself caught up in a tangled web of shifting loyalties, corruption, and shocking indifference, he soon realizes he must find a way to hold on to his sense of humanity to save not only the woman he loves but also himself.

Inspired by true events and characters, James MacManus's Midnight in Berlin is a love story set against a world on the brink of war that will leave you in awe of the human capacity for self-sacrifice and resilience.

Goodreads Summary

This book explores a revolutionary "what if" in the times of world war two. What if the conspirators against Hitler and the Reich had set their plans into motion sooner? Would less people have died? Would the war have lasted a shorter period of time? In this story, our main character Macre is on a mission to avert war and save a woman he met in the most unlikely place, a brothel.

Macre holds the world on his shoulders in a time when the world itself was on the brink of collapse. I can only imagine what the man must have been thinking when he had to constantly sort out who was on his side and who was just trying to distract him from his ultimate mission. I love and hate that the author gave him so many things to consider as time goes on in the story. I love it because you truly get a grip of the struggle and stress that the man is under from his own government and who he thinks are his allies in his plot against Hitler. I hate it because when I try to put myself in this man's shoes, I can never imagine doing it myself. The chemistry between Macre and Sara is insatiable and you will fall in love with their budding relationship and find yourself rooting for things to work out between them. People who find themselves also in love with historical possibilities will feel right at home in the pages of this book. I would definitely recommend it.

4.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han will fall in love with this heartfelt and humor-laced debut following one girl’s race to find the guy of her cosmic dreams.
When zodiac-obsessed teen Wilamena Carlisle discovers a planetary alignment that won’t repeat for a decade, she’s forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—relationships and love. 
But when Wil falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the astrology chart, she must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her dead mother’s legacy and the very system she’s faithfully followed through a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Goodreads Summary

Wil is a girl that is destined to find love in the world. Her mother left her with a method to finding her soulmate that uses the astrological chart, and instructions to follow this method like her life depends on it. She sets out to find her perfect match and ends up falling for a guy that doesn't fit into the chart. Then there is another guy in the picture, and heated opinions are flying around about who Wil should choose. Will she go with the "safe choice" and follow her dead mother's astrological chart, or the guy that she has natural sparks for?

This book is full of familial and friendly quarreling over which guy is the best guy for Wil to end up with. As I was reading it, I found myself really feeling for the internal struggle that she felt when deciding to go with her mother's guidance or what she truly feels in her heart. I have never faced this predicament myself but I have seen first hand when someone can't decide whether it is more important to please her family or please herself. The war the envelopes between the two boys later in the book is an epic affair and definitely one of the apexes of tension in the story. The author does an amazing job at capturing the awkward feelings along with the internal struggle in this scene. This is a good romantic story that is told in an atypical way compared to most other YA heart throb books out there. The element of astrology also adds an interesting flare that will keep those excited that hold an interest in this topic. All in all, the book is just plain fun, and you won't put it down until you finish the last page.

4 Stars

Reviewed by Chris

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