ARC REVIEW: Level Up by Cathy Yardley

11

Level Up

Cathy Yardly

Published January 3rd 2016

A > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon

4 ★★★★

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can’t do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…

Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.

Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?

 

image

[tour schedule

 

 

 

REVIEW:

eea8392b7c0ddd221d06534d922b00c3

 

 

“You’re worth it. And I’m not just going to quietly let you go. I’m fighting for this one…”

 

If you want a romance book that would fit to any young adult reader and above, this one is for you. Level Up is the definition of Romantic Comedy. Cathy Yardley just mixed the right ingredients to make a RomCom that stays away from cliche but stays close to absolutely readable. I’m so lucky that this is the first book I get to review because as I’m writing this down, I have nothing but smiles, feels and swoons.

This is my first from Cathy Yardley and if this is how she works with every single one of her books then I’ll confidently say that I will love it as well. If you think about it, the plot of Level Up is not at all new. A guy and a girl roommates, something really is bound to happen. But Yardley made the typical plot-line exciting and refreshing with her quirky and real characters, witty dialogues and realistic turn out of the story. First of all, the interracial couple is what drawn me in to this book. Although it wasn’t such a big deal in the book, I feel like I haven’t read enough stories with interracial couples. It was such a huge reason why I adore this book so much.

Second is the undeniable chemistry of our main characters, Tessa and Adam. Tessa is the kind of heroine that every reader will like. Yes, I just said that. I mean, HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE A HEROINE WHO LIKES SHERLOCK, HARRY POTTER AND DOCTOR WHO? It is not possible. I was rooting for her throughout the whole story. She just don’t have fandoms, she’s a feminist too. Yep. You read that right. In her field where men are dominating, all she wants is to be recognized, respected and to reach her personal goal. I don’t want to say anything anymore because it might be a spoiler but the way she did all that was with flying colors! Adam in the other hand, was endearing. A total alpha guy but adorable too. I always thought that if an author can write a hero like that, I will be happy and impressed. Cathy Yardley nailed it! Adam is that love interest who deserves all the swoon. Now the two of them together? You get a hilarious and sweet geeky story.

The romance was just the right amount. Not too much that the reader will find it cheesy and unrealistic but just enough to say that everything is genuine. You really won’t help but ask for more when you turn the last page.

You don’t want to miss Level Up by Cathy Yardley. It’s hilarious. It’s real. It’s a love story that melt hearts! The memorable characters will climb inside your heart while you’re caught by Yardley’s smooth and terrific writing. I highly encourage you to read this RomCom page turner, that way you can fangirl with me and we get to ask for a second book. Trust me, you’ll want it.

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook

Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She is a closet fangirl for Supernatural, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and too many others to name. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Want to read more of her writing? Sign up for her notification list, and get a free novella, Hooked, from the Fandom Hearts series!  http://www.cathyyardley.com/notification-sign-up

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

$25 Amazon gift card (INT) | Ends Jan. 27, 2016 | Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

CBB BOOK PROMOTIONS

Paula

ARC Review: My Secret To Tell by Natalie D. Richards




My Secret To Tell

Natalie D. Richards

Published October 6th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

YA >  Mystery

320 pages

eARC for Review

 

 4 ★★★★

 

Purchase links: Amazon | Nook

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

There was blood on his hands. Where was the guilt in his eyes?

Emmie’s had a crush on her best friend’s brother forever. Deacon is the town bad boy who’s always in trouble, but she sees his soft side when he volunteers with her at the local animal shelter. She doesn’t think he’s dangerous…until he shows up in her bedroom with blood on his hands.

Deacon’s father has been violently assaulted and Deacon is suspect number one. Emmie’s smart enough to know how this looks, but she also knows Deacon’s biggest secret—he’s paralyzed by the sight of blood. She’s sure he didn’t do this. Or did he? Because even Deacon’s own sister thinks he’s guilty…

 

 

REVIEW

My Secret To Tell was a book that I enjoyed from start to finish—I’m not really a mystery or thriller genre lover, so for me to really want to finish that genre as soon as I’ve started it? RARE. But that’s just how it was with this particular book and me. My Secret To Tell pulled me in from the prologue and I found myself constantly on my toes, trying to think and think back and keep thinking with the whole Whodunnit vibe that this story gave off!

My Secret To Tell follows the voice of Emerson May, (Emmie/Eddie) and her “journey” in trying to find out who exactly violently assaulted and almost killed her best friend Chelsea Westfield’s father. Things get more complicated when Chelsea’s brother, Deacon, turns up at Emma’s house, completely covered in blood. Everyone in town is convinced that the rebel that Deacon is, he’d find no fault in almost murdering his won father, but Emmie knows better. Emma knows that Deacon almost turns catatonic at the sight of blood so he couldn’t possibly have done it. But of course, she’s had a crush on him forever, so the reader is led to believe that there might a conflict of interest there.

Emmie was a very unreliable narrator, simply because she knew almost nothing about the inner workings of Mr. Westfield’s business, or if people had motive to harm him for whatsoever reason. And because she was clueless, so was I. And it was bloody brilliant because that is precisely how you want to go into a book like this. As a character, Emmie was kind of a hot mess. She had all these unfair expectations of herself, and add to that the fact that she was a brilliant girl already, she made her own life a bit miserable. I liked how she was responsible and caring, but she also was naive and people too heady advantage of that. Nonetheless, Emmie was smart and if there are characters in books that I’m genuinely proud of, Emmie is right up there with them! She took control, she helped her friends, and she dealt with her parents in a way that was much too mature for her age.

Deacon, on the other hand, was a guy I was confused about. My feelings toward him were hot and cold, owing to the fact that he was one person I couldn’t figure out up until the end. The guy is swoony in all ways that count, and of course, I’m a sucker for bad guys, but Deacon was just a complete mystery to me. His contribution to the story line, however, is important, and since the book essentially revolves around him and his apparent innocence in a game that is far bigger than he realises, whether you like it or not, you’re going to be seeing a lot of Deacon! And in all honesty, my only issue with him was the mystery allure around him. It was a little hot—a lot hot—and it was new to me, so I’m going to give an overall good response to Deacon! Plus, he’s fast and smart, you guys. No two ways about it. I was hella impressed by his agility :p

The Emmie-Deacon romance I’d have liked to see more of. But if I’m being completely honest to myself, the romance that was present here was completely perfect. Why? My Secret To Tell isn’t about the romance! It’s about the thrills and chills and romance taking a backseat is the way to go. I’m a complete pile of mush when it comes to the romance, but this book was completely chill even without too much of the feels. The little snippets of “Emmie and Deacon time” that we do see are plenty satisfying, because I assure you—you’re going to be so involved and consumed with the action in the book, you’re going to want to skip the slower, touchy feely part completely!

I’ve read Gone Too Far by Nat Richards, and no surprises here, but I loved it ❤ It’s plenty awesome to fall in love with a Mystery book by an author I’ve read for the first time, but two Mysteries? Fucking great! The writing style is slow and almost sensual in the way that it grabs you and doesn’t let you go until you are completely immersed in its universe. I found myself thinking a lot, like I mentioned earlier, about the possible suspects and stuff and in hindsight, I got pretty close to the real thing, but I was also always in doubt, so if you’re one of those people that like to be kept guessing, I’ve found a winner for you!

 

Rhea[1]

ARC REVIEW: How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks

wpid-21424692

How to Lose a Bachelor

Anna Banks

November 9th 2015

Adult > Contemporary Romance

196 pages (Kindle edition)

eARC via Netgalley

 

2★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

When Rochelle Ransom auditioned for the dating show Luring Love, she had big plans for winning the prize money to help her favorite charity–and if she won the hot bachelor’s heart, even better. But at the last minute she finds out the hot bachelor is her ex-boyfriend, Grant Drake. Desperate to keep her distance from him, she’ll do anything–and everything–to get voted off.

Years ago, Rochelle broke Grant’s heart, and he’s out for revenge. There’s no way he’ll vote her off.

After all, vengeance is a dish best served red-hot…and on live television.

When her hilarious antics to get kicked off the show escalate, Grant’s reminded why he fell in love with her the first time. Now he isn’t sure which might be more fun… Seeing how far Rochelle is willing to go to get away or how far he will to keep her forever.

 

 

MINI REVIEW:

Meh. This was okay. Nothing groundbreaking yet it’s not that bad either–and that’s already considering how immature the characters are! Honestly, their childishness was the ultimate deal breaker for me. Ten years have passed since they last saw each other and they were acting like children more than they did all those years ago. Ugh, so annoying. I just thought it pretty immature all the heroine did on TV (!!!) considering that she’s a lawyer and has a professional reputation to uphold. It’s like she doesn’t even care that the way she acts might possibly taint her professional life. Hm. I’m not saying that just because she’s a lawyer. I still would’ve said that even though she’s a mere street vendor. I don’t know. I just felt like getting your ass drunk and passing out in front of everybody, wearing the frumpiest clothes just so she would get eliminated on the show (and that only had the same opposite, obviously) was not worth all the embarrassment she had to endure just for the sake of some petty revenge that was ten years in the making.

I couldn’t even concentrate on the romance because I was too busy being annoyed! Eh. Well, if you’re looking for a real inside look on how reality shows work–like The Bachelor– watch Lifetime’s UnREAL instead. That show is gold. Anyway, I’ve read better books than this. I’m out.

 

MARLAhbt

SNEAK-A-PEEK: The Starriest Summer (The Cycle of the Six Moons #1) by Adele Yeung + Giveaway!!

11

The Starriest Summer (The Cycle of the Six Moons, #1)

Adelle Yeung

Published December 1st 2015 by Indigo Platinum Press

YA > Fantasy |

 

Purchase links: Amazon 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Fifteen-year-old Michelle saves the world on a daily basis…with her trusty video game controller, of course! Naturally, she jumps at the chance to play an experimental virtual reality game.

The beautiful fantasy world of Starrs? Check. The power to mold matter? Check. No reset button? Wait, she didn’t sign up for this!

Turns out Starrs is really real, and to make matters worse, Michelle’s interference awakens the Cycle of the Six Moons, a series of devastating trials that will devour the universe.

Fighting the apocalypse was way easier when danger stayed on the other side of the screen, but Michelle finds a secret weapon in her new-found powers. She uses them to rescue the crown prince of a powerful magic kingdom from their sworn enemies, a technologically-advanced cult that strives to eradicate magical blood.

Michelle starts to fall for Prince Jayse, the only one who believes Michelle to be a savior rather than a curse. But not even video games could prepare her for what the cult has in store for them…

 

1

[tour schedule

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Chapter Two:  The Creator’s Return

“It’s this young lady I wanted to have a word with,” she continues.

“M-me?”

“Yes, young Goddess, you!”

I hear Gediyon gasp, “So you are…!”

“Why have you returned?” the woman shrieks, inching closer to my face.  Her breath smells like curry.  “Starrs is not ready for your soul.  You should have stayed in Tyme!”

“What are you talking about?” I start.

“She came from Tyme?” Gediyon asks.

She twirls around and I can breathe.  She says, “Yes, boy, and she should have stayed there.”

“What about time?” I say.  “I’m just playing a game!”

“No!  No you are not!  Starrs is as real as your ‘Earth,’ and the Cycle is not a toy at your mercy.  Your brother shouldn’t have created that machine of his.  He knew he’d be playing with the universe!”

I gape at her.  “I… I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t!” she spits.  “The Creator should only enter Starrs when she is born here.  She’s raised and taught the ways of the Cycle.  It’s a lifestyle.  A fifteen-year-old can’t hope to learn how to be Goddess in six months.  All because you and your brother wanted to play a game, you’ve awakened the dormant Cycle of the Six Moons, and all the universes are doomed.”

She twists herself like thread on a spindle, then vanishes into nothing.

 

E-Bonfire

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website | Facebook

Adelle Yeung is the author of The Cycle of the Six Moons trilogy, a young adult fantasy adventure.

She is also a voice-over artist who can’t go a day without a cup of tea. When she’s not writing or recording, she enjoys sewing costumes, baking sweets, and escaping on video game adventures. She lives in California with a cat that dreams of eating the pet bird.

She has provided script supervision for the independent animation, Shattered Heaven, and is head script editor and one of the co-writers for the upcoming game Fiona Frightening and the Wicked Wardrobe.

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

YA BOUND BOOK TOURS

Paula

SNEAK-A-PEEK: The Secret We Kept by Lily Velez

11

The Secret We Kept

Lily Velez

Published November 8th 2015 by Blue Typewriter Press

YA > Contemporary | Romance

 

Purchase links: Amazon | BN

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

One year. That’s how long it’s been since childhood sweethearts Sully Graham and Cadence Gilbertson broke up, since one adoption and one out-of-state move turned their worlds upside down.

Suddenly, Cadence is back in New York City, but something’s different about her. The light in her eyes, the music in her laughter, the warmth in her smile—all of those things have entirely vanished. In their place stand the makings of a girl Sully can’t even begin to recognize, much less understand.

Still, despite the collective history of heartbreak between them, he’s convinced he can win her trust again, and he’s committed to proving the invincibility of their love no matter what it takes.

But Cadence is quietly harboring secrets of her own. Dark secrets. Ugly secrets. Secrets that could break a person. And though broken herself and unbearably lonely, she’s determined to protect Sully from her terrible, biting truths. Even if it means locking him out of her life forever.

The only problem is it seems her heart hasn’t quite received the memo. One glimpse of him is all it takes for her to trip into familiar (and, she’ll admit, addictive) feelings that threaten to all but consume her. Now her biggest fear is that her secrets will begin to slowly unravel one by one…long before Sully’s resolve ever does.

The Secrets We Kept is a moving story about first love, friendship, and forgiveness, and the enduring bonds that forever connect us and give us our strength

 

1

[tour schedule

 

 

 

EXCERPT:

Sully still remembered the first time that he saw Cadence. It was a sweltering summer that year. Push-cart ice cream vendors roamed the neighborhood blocks like soldiers on patrol, circling playgrounds and community swimming pools. It was common to see people pop open fire hydrants like champagne bottles, children dancing in the shoots of water as miniature rainbows reflected off the asphalt.

Sully and his brother, twelve and ten years old at the time, were living with the Petersons back then along with a tribe of foster siblings. Ol’ Man Peterson was a Vietnam vet with PTSD and a short-fuse temper that exploded so quickly, it was like his personality had a gas leak. Usually, maintaining a thirty-foot distance from the man at all times was insurance against his drunken rampages. His military pedigree had bred in him a no-nonsense adherence to hard work and, where appropriate, hard discipline—both of which were far less easy to escape.

The hard work in particular manifested in the Peterson prison as an endless checklist of chores (otherwise known as “slave labor” in the Spencer Graham lexicon), the completion or lack thereof of which determined whether or not you ate dinner that night. Additionally, each child had to fulfill their assigned task in accordance with certain standards, and as Ol’ Man Peterson was an uncompromising perfectionist, one chore could go through three to five rounds before the man extended a grunt of approval.

The afternoon Cadence arrived, Sully and Spencer were attached to yard work. While the Peterson walk-up sat only a few yards from the curb, which meant there barely existed a lawn between the chain-link fence and the front door, Ol’ Man Peterson preferred his grass cut to an exact height. It was taking painstaking precision to perfect his science.

Spencer lay on his stomach with a see-through ruler to measure the blades of grass. “I think you cut this side of the walkway too short.”

Sully rested a broom atop his shoulders, arms draping over it like a scarecrow. “It’s way too hot to even care, dude.”

“I care because I want to see the new Adam Sandler, movie and I’m not about to get grounded for another weekend.”

“How many times have I been grounded because of you?”

Spencer stood. “Whatever. I’m taking over sweeping duty.” He stretched out a hand to receive the broom, but Sully’s gaze had already shifted to a royal blue SUV parking alongside the curb. A woman emerged from the driver’s side. She came around to open the backseat door closest to the Peterson home. Two ballet flats appeared from under the door, reaching for the street. When the woman closed the door, a girl who looked to be Sully’s age or slightly younger stood with her, hands bracketed to the straps of her backpack and her bottom lip caught softly under her front teeth.

Spencer snapped in Sully’s face. “Hellooo? Earth to Sully.” Sully nodded toward the two, and when Spencer turned and saw them, he said, “Uh oh. Another casualty.”

The woman, clearly the girl’s caseworker, greeted the boys with a cheery “working hard?” before continuing up the walkway with her charge. Sully waited for the girl to look his way, and when she finally did, he offered her a soft, barely-there smile by way of hello. Part greeting, part commiseration. She instantly looked away.

They discovered her name only because she was sharing a bunk-bed with their friend Novah. “Cadence Livingston,” she told them. “She’s been in the system for a few years. She doesn’t talk much. Or at all. Those are the only things I was able to get from her. She’s probably halfway to being a mute.”

“I wish Spencer was a mute,” Sully muttered.

“Ha ha,” Spencer said. “You’re so funny. Absolutely hilarious. How did I get so lucky to have a brother like you?” Then he excused himself to see about fixing the eyesore Sully had made of the front lawn and left Sully fixated on the enigma of the quiet and elusive Cadence Livingston.

 

AUTHOR:

 

 Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter | Website

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

Lily’s debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, comes out November 8, 2015.

 

 


   

GIVEAWAY:

 

$50 Amazon Gift Card | OPEN INT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

TOUR HOST:

XPRESSO BOOK TOURS

Paula