Nose in a Book Reviews: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet PlaceSome Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three-star-rating

Genre:  Paranormal Young Adult

Some Quiet Place had a really interesting premise. The beginning of this book sucked me right in. The prose was so beautiful and the imagery so well developed. But somewhere about halfway in, the story strayed a bit and lost me.

The story focuses on Elizabeth, she’s a girl who’s unable to feel emotions. She sees them instead. And no, I don’t mean proverbially, but she actually see a visual representation of them. One in particular, Fear, seems to always be hanging around, trying to sort out what makes Elizabeth so different from everyone else. He’s perplexed as to why she can’t feel and the reason she can actually see the emotions most people can’t.

I enjoyed the author’s visualization of each of the emotions and how they would look and act. She really did a remarkable job showing these emotions while writing about the difficult subject of domestic violence.

The story started out fascinating, but about halfway through I became a bit bored with the lack of serious progress in the plot. There was a love triangle that moves at a complete snail’s pace and eventually I just didn’t find myself caring about which one Elizabeth would ultimately choose.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the big reveal was a bit convoluted and difficult to fully understand. Unfortunately this was a case of an author’s fantastic idea, executed in a way that didn’t live up to its potential. I will say this was interesting and I did like it. But did I love it, I wish I could say that I did.

I would give Kelsey Sutton another try with her next book, because her writing and imagery really was fantastic.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

Dear Cassie (Pretty Amy Companion Novel)Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three-star-rating

Genre: Young Adult

Thanks to NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story revolves around Cassie, a troubled girl who gets sent to Turning Pines rehabilitation camp for a month to try and turn her life around. Her days are filled with manual labor while her evenings are filled with writing in her feeling journal to try and make sense of why she got arrested in the first place.

The story is interesting enough, with a mix of characters that all have their own issues to have landed them in Turning Pines. Here, Cassie meets an annoying boy named Ben who just seems to get under her skin every time she sees him.

The pair become more like good friends than the traditional romantic love interest found in most Y/A books, but unfortunately the book and this attempt at romance fell a little flat for me.

This story could have really had a lot of meat in it, really delving into Cassie’s life and emotional issues, but it merely skimmed across the top, leaving me wanting for more.

I also had mixed feelings about the fade to black sort of ending, and felt like it didn’t really resolve any of the issues the book brought up.

All in all, an okay read, that could have been expanded into a great one. I will confess, I didn’t read Pretty Amy, the companion to this book, so perhaps I was missing some integral details by skipping that read.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Hot and Bothered by Linda Cajio

Hot and Bothered (Loveswept)Hot and Bothered by Linda Cajio

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2-out-of-5-stars

Genre: Romance

Thanks to NetGalley and Loveswept for this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story could have been extremely interesting. An heiress hiding out in a small beach town in the Baja Peninsula meets a cop hiding out from his own past. Sounds intriguing right? Yeah, unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

People are hot on Judith’s tail, and through much of the book you think she’s in serious trouble. That is until she finally tells her reluctant lover, Paul, the truth about why she left. Needless to say, this big plot reveal left me scratching my head about what the big deal was. It made the heroine seem like a wishy-washy child who didn’t have the balls to stand up for herself.

Then there’s Paul. A cop running from his past, and again his back story felt forced and not as complicated as everyone made it out to be. The dialogue felt as forced as the plot.

All in all, a sub-par read that left me wondering where the author went so wrong.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: The Cinderella Makeover by Hope Tarr

The Cinderella Makeover (Suddenly Cinderella, #2)The Cinderella Makeover by Hope Tarr

My rating: 2 1/2 of 5 stars

2 and a half stars

Genre: Romance

This story had a pretty good premise – a cute but nerdy billionaire decides to join a reality show about looking for love. Francesca is a photographer who is a bit down on her luck in New York. She takes the job with a reality show, hoping it will bolster up business. Little does she know that the man who started the downward spiral of her career, is actually participating in the show she just signed on for.

Greg is shocked when the woman who he turned away for trying to do her job and take his photo for a magazine spread turns out to be a “fairy godmother” on the The Cinderella Project. After spending time with her, sparks fly and although fraternization between contestant and godmother is prohibited, the two can’t help themselves.

While I enjoyed the premise, the story hit a major snag for me when Francesca takes a bet from a nemesis that Greg will win Project Cinderella. I fell out of like with this story at the mere mention of that cliched plot device. The book was a light and quick read with a cheese-tastic ending. If you’re looking for a beachy HEA and have a bit of a thing for the geek who gets the girl, give this one a try.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Covers

I just saw this blogger meme by The Broke and the Bookish and thought I’d try to participate.  It sounds like a great & fun way to express some of my favorite things.

Stack of books

Favorite Covers of Books I’ve read

These are covers that I appreciate for their beauty or the emotions that they evoke in me.  This does not mean I necessarily loved the books, although glancing through the list, there are quite a few on my favorites shelf.

Some Quiet Place

Some Quiet Place – so beautiful and haunting

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)

Days of Blood and Starlight – breathtakingly lovelyUntil I Die (Revenants, #2)Die for Me (Revenants, #1)

Die for Me and Until I die – I love the scroll work and how it bleeds into the woman on the cover.  

The Goddess Test (Goddess Test, #1)

The Goddess Test – Stunningly ethereal

Chasing Brooklyn

Chasing Brooklyn – I love how haunting this cover is. 

Unwind (Unwind, #1)

Unwind – This cover gives me shivers. After reading the book, even more so.

 Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Unearthly – Love this (and all the others in this series, really). Simply lovely.

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

Where She Went – Stunning!

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls – Such a spooky cover for a very emotional story.

Do you agree with any of my picks?  I’d love to hear your thoughts & other covers perhaps I missed or should check out. 

Until next time,

Michela

Lash by @L_G_Castillo – Book Blitz & Giveaway

L.G. Castillo has been a friend of mine for some time and when she offered me a review copy of her newly released book, Lash, I jumped at the chance.  Her debut novel was released last week and I urge everyone to read the first book in what I know will be a fantastic trilogy.  Check out the synopsis,  my review and an excerpt from the book.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Lash.  Be sure to leave me a way to contact you (twitter handle, etc.) if you win.

How hot is that book cover?  

Synopsis:

Decades after being banished from Heaven for saving a life he shouldn’t have, Lash is given a chance to redeem himself. His mission: protect Naomi Duran, a young woman who has lost her faith. The assignment proves to be anything but simple when his superiors, the Archangels, withhold key information about Naomi and refuse to restore Lash’s powers. When an unexpected source reveals centuries-old secrets, his trust is shaken to the core, and he begins to doubt those whom he had once considered to be his greatest allies.

Determined to avoid anything that would risk his chances of returning to Heaven, Lash struggles with the greatest obstacle of all—his growing feelings for Naomi. But when her life is threatened by an unknown source, Lash questions the wisdom of the Archangels and his ability to keep her safe.

Soon, Lash will have to choose where to place his faith—in the home he has fought so hard to regain or in the forbidden love he can’t bear to lose.

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Nose in a Book Reviews: Lash

The story revolves around a banished angel, Lash. He made one mistake too many thirty five years ago, and as punishment was sent down to earth to live among the mortals. For all those years he still stood by his last grave error and never really understood his punishment. Not until he meets Naomi, (Spoiler) the daughter of a boy he saved from a plane crash. His last assignment where he not only saved the boy, but another girl who seemed so kind that he couldn’t bear for her to die too. It isn’t until this moment when the pieces of his split second decision really begin to affect the world around him.

Lash really grows as a character through the story. He starts off a bit like a petulant child who evolves into the hero and type of angel he should have always been.

Naomi has always been a strong woman with a mind and opinion of her own, so when she suddenly is thrown into a situation where her life begins to spin out of control, Lash’s presence brings her comfort and a sense of peace she’s only known from her father and grandmother.

Overall, a wonderful debut novel. The story was intriguing and the action, especially the last third, was virtually non-stop. I liked the author’s use of family and while I don’t know much about angelic mythology, I enjoyed her take on it. I’m curious to read the next book to find out more about how things unravel for this group.

I also want to commend Castillo for ending her book properly and while leaving us all wanting to know what happens, doing it without a huge cliffhanger. This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when I have to wait a year or more to find out if a main character lives or dies. Thanks for tying up the loose ends first and still leaving us wanting more. A difficult skill to master. Bravo.

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L.G. (Linda) Castillo wrote her first story when she was ten and has been writing ever since. She took a break from writing fiction and poetry to focus on obtaining her Ph.D. in counseling psychology. She is now a licensed psychologist and currently works as a professor at a Texas university. Although she has published her psychological research in several professional journals and books, her dream has always been to publish a novel. Lash is her debut novel and was written during the 2012 National Novel Writing Month event.

Tell me, do you believe in Angels?  

Leave me a comment for a chance to win a free e-book of Lash.  

Nose in a Book Reviews: After Hours by @caramckenna

After HoursAfter Hours by Cara McKenna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 star program biotechnology calendar

Genre: Erotica

Thanks to NetGalley for a chance to read this insanely hot read.

First – I loved this book. I enjoyed the plot. The hero was solid and tough, but his soft gooey side was so, so lovely.

The story revolves around Erin Coffey, a nurse who is just about to start her first real job at a state mental health facility after spending the last six years taking care of her ailing grandmother. She will be working with highly unstable and possibly dangerous patients, but it is near her sister and nephew and with a stable income and insurance, she doesn’t feel like she has any other choice.

On her first day she meets Kelly Robak, an orderly at the facility who you could easily mistake for a prison inmate instead. He’s huge, muscular and doesn’t ever seem to be shaken up by any of the difficult patients he tends to. The pair eventually speak, and the sparks fly between them.

I enjoyed the banter and back and forth between the pair. I loved that Kelly was tough and strong and manly, but was still soft and gooey on the inside. Erin was strong and independent and after taking care of her wayward sister for much of her life, she had this extreme sense of responsibility that felt real. I liked that Erin stood up for herself and her family in the best way she knew how. I could relate to not wanting to need anyone, even though your life is so much fuller and richer when you finally let them in.

And let me tell you, when these two finally hit the sheets – Holy moley is it hot and steamy. While Kelly first portrays this dominant side of himself, you soon find out that what he really wants is to be able to trust someone enough to not NEED to be in control. Something he eventually gets from Erin.

I loved this story from start to finish and highly recommend it for anyone wanting a sexy and smart read. Cara McKenna has written a book with not only crazy hot smut, but an interesting plot and well rounded characters you will end up falling in love with.

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