Monday, August 26, 2013

My take on: Afterburn

Ever wanted a second chance at love? Ever thought about the one that got away? Ever wonder what could have been? Gianna "Gia" Rossi was once in the throes of a hot, hot, romance with Jackson "Jax" Rutledge. Their relationship ended abruptly, and Gia has done everything possible to forget him. She's just landed her dream job with restauranteur Lei Yeung. Everything in her life is going right....that is until he shows up. Jax is back in Afterburn, the latest romantic adventure from author Sylvia Day.

Clocking in at 135 pages, it's a quick and easy read. But it feels like a little bit of a tease. There is a decent amount of back story on Gia. She comes from a loving family. The Rossi family restaurant taught Gia all she knows about the business, but she wants something for herself. Working for Lei Yeung is a chance for Gia to pave her own path in the restaurant business. All of her brothers, some of whom hate Jax, serve as her protectors. But of course Jax returns.

I just don't think we know enough about Jax and his character. Jax comes from a wealthy political family. He's a typical playboy. Or is he? It seems like Gia has an image of Jax in her mind and doesn't want to entertain anything else. It's hard for Gia to believe that Jax might actually love her. By the end of the book she's entertaining the thought that Jax has changed. But the book ends before it can delve any deeper. Which is why I say......what a TEASE. I know enough about Gia, but I want to know more about Jax. He exudes power and sex appeal, but I don't know what makes him tick. What are his vulnerabilities? I want to be inside his head. I'm kind of hoping that Aftershock, the next book, is told from Jax's perspective. There's always hope, and I'm looking forward to the next book!!

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received an ARC from Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Red-Hot Reads and a giveaway!!!



shake it up and what do you get??


Why have these two not come together sooner? How about a few stats about these two companies?
More than 1 million Cosmopolitan readers bought at least one romance novel in the last twelve months. Cosmo reaches 1 in every 7 women who read romance novels. And..the Cosmo Red-Hot Reads section of the magazine is one of the most popular features. Harlequin has long been one of the leading publishers of series romance. receives 7 million page views and 450,000 unique visitors per month. So it makes perfect sense that these two have come together to form Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin.

The e-books will be short stories of 30,000 words. They're very affordable at $3.99, but if you order from of course they are a little cheaper. The kickoff author is bestselling author Sylvia Day. Until a couple of days ago, I had never read a book by Sylvia Day. I did attend the kickoff party for Cosmo Red-Hot Reads and I got a book signed by Sylvia Day at BookExpo America. I do own the Crossfire series a lot of my books I haven't read them yet. But I'm inspired to do so after reading Afterburn

Afterburn is out now, but now I want to read the next book Aftershock -- which will be released in November. The first book felt like a little bit of a tease. The story is just beginning. I don't want to give away anything right now because I will be posting a review later this week. Both stories will be released as a two-in-one paperback in November.

Future stories from this new venture will include e-books by Lauren Dane, Tawny Weber,
Helen Kay Dimon, Jina Bacarr, and Sarah Morgan.

As a special treat, I have a goodie bag (courtesy of Little Bird Publicity) available for giveaway!!

Hopefully, the Rafflecopter giveaway posted below works. Let me know if it doesn't!! The giveaway is for U.S. residents only, and ends on August 26th. Just enter your e-mail and leave a comment. Extra entries if you follow my blog or on Twitter. Good luck!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My take on: Sharp

"Just as Presley said, I was becoming like many young men who go from a first visit at a mental hospital and then to the fifth and then the tenth and then are suddenly transformed into chronics. That was a significant lesson I learned quickly -- it's excruciatingly hard not to return to a psychiatric ward. Once you've been broken to a certain point -- attempting suicide or cutting or having a breakdown or psychosis, you will probably be admitted again. It's a horrible fact, really, but it's truth."  -- Pg. 193

That's a long passage to begin with, but I felt it was one of the most insightful in Sharp: My Story of Madness, Cutting, and How I Reclaimed My Life by  David Fitzpatrick.

For starters, this book isn't for everyone. After just a couple of chapters I wasn't sure it was for me. Initially, David Fitzpatrick sounded like a typical college student who never grew up. But as I delved deeper and deeper into the book, I realized that wasn't the case. In college, Fitzpatrick was subject to some horrible bullying by his college roommates. It went beyond the typical college hazing. With each instance, I'm screaming internally for Fitzpatrick to stand up for himself. Say something. Say no. Fight back. Don't let people walk all over you. His college roommates weren't the only reason for his descent into mental illness, but they certainly didn't help.

Internally, there is a war going on inside Fitzpatrick's head. He tries therapy. His family thinks he's getting better. He tries to do normal things, like going out with friends, even though he would rather retreat within himself. Somehow cutting becomes the answer. It's a release. It's freeing. His descriptions of cutting and mutilating himself are rather stomach-churning. After a long stint in a hospital, Fitzpatrick just left the grounds on a whim. To the outside world he might have appeared as an overweight and somewhat weird man in his 20s, but who could know about the war going on inside his head. Left to his own devices, he bought a bunch of razors, cut himself from head to toe, and smeared his blood all over the hospital grounds. It's hard to read. It's hard to know that so many people have reached that point. I'm not sure he was trying to kill himself. It was more like he was trying to disappear or not feel the pain. It's hard to disappear when you do something like this, but you can tell he felt like a burden to his family. Mental illness runs in Fitzpatrick's family, but he felt like he was sucking all the attention away from his siblings.

Sometimes you think he's making progress, but he's really just afraid to get better. Afraid to get at the root of the problem. That's why I opened with that quote. I thought it was very perceptive of him. After that last incident, his therapist forced Fitzpatrick to take a hard look at himself. He could become like a lot of mentally ill people, he could find himself in a never-ending cycle of hospitalization. Or he could finally start to feel again, he could finally get to the root of the problem and start living a normally. It didn't happen overnight for him, there was no quick fix.

It's refreshing to read a book like this. He was willing to be open and honest about everything. He's willing to let the world know about his life and its ups and downs. In his youth, he had a bit of naivete about sex and sexual identity, but as an adult he was very graphic about his sexual exploits. But at the same time, he was very aware that something was wrong with him mentally. His writing is very blunt and gritty. It's not easy to read, but ultimately it's a story of redemption and hope.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (HarperCollins) as part of a blog tour with TLC Book Tours

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Perfume Collector

Last month I just wasn't feeling The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley and did not finish. It was the July selection for She Reads, but......I did not post a review. I was kind of indifferent about it. Time to time that might happen. That's not the case with the August selection, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro.

Except......I've already read it. I did love the book!!! I'm a sucker for historical fiction.

Here's a little snippet of what I said in my review of  The Perfume Collector:

"The life of newlywed Grace Monroe is in a state of flux. She's having trouble fitting into the 1950s London social scene. She doesn't know the right thing to say or do. She wants a life that isn't all about her husband. Grace is thinking about getting a job, but her friend Mallory tries to dissuade her. Grace isn't supposed to want anything for herself. She is supposed to attend society parties, look pretty on her husband's arm, and start a family. Is something wrong with Grace because she wants more out of life? I guess it was during this time period."

This book reminded me a lot of M.J. Rose's reincarnationist series. Like Rose's books, Tessaro's writing is a trip for the senses. I was really immersed in this book. So it's definitely worth reading. Check it out!!