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Friday, August 22, 2014

Feature and Giveaway: Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is back with a delightful novel filled with her sassy wit and dazzling charm

The dead of winter.

An isolated island off the coast of Maine.

A man.

A woman.

A sinister house looming over the sea ...

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.

It's going to be a long, hot winter.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Just You by Riley J. Ford

Just You is the second book in Riley J. Ford's Just series. This book can be read as a standalone, but it does continue Avery's story from the first book Just Us. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive when starting this book after finishing Just Us. After the events of the first book I knew the direction that this was headed, and I honestly wasn't sure that I was going to be okay with it. But after reading Just You, I have to say that Riley J. Ford did an excellent job with this one and it was done in a tasteful and respectful manor. I was hoping that I would see the healing and growth that the characters deserved after the tragedy they experienced in Just Us, and I thought that they got all of that and more.

Bryce Humphrey has been living with the guilt from his actions that resulted in a tragedy five years ago. He has never been able to forgive himself for ruining the lives of his best friend Hayden and the girl that they both loved Avery. Hayden and Avery never knew that Bryce loved Avery, and he has had to live with the pain that he caused her all those years ago. Even though he has tried to live his life the best he can, he was never able to forget her or move past the love he felt for her or the pain he caused her. When he runs into Avery after not having seen her for five years, she is nothing like the girl that he remembered. They have both been punishing themselves, and he is determined to help her move forward. At first Avery wants nothing to do with Bryce, but soon she sees the person he is beneath the tough facade he wears. Now that she knows the real Bryce, she can't help but want to help him move forward as well. As they struggle with moving forward and getting past their guilt and pain, they realize that the connection between them is unlike anything that either of them have ever had before. But can they heal and let go of the past with the hope of a future together? Or will too much have happened between them to ever get past together?

Even though we met Bryce in Just Us, we didn't really get to know his character that well. At first he comes off as a tough guy that sleeps around and is kind of a jerk. But Hayden always said there was more to him, and you really get to see that in Just You. He is actually really sweet and caring, and was much deeper than he first lets on. He had admired Avery from afar and had never done anything about his feelings for her. But you could really see just how deep they ran, and that time and distance hadn't lessened them at all. I really liked Bryce, and I felt like he was really good for Avery. Avery had so much pain to deal with after the first book. But despite everything that had happened, she picked herself up and did what she could to fulfil her promises to Hayden. Even though she had worked hard and been successful, she was still struggling and had never moved past what had happened. Bryce helped her to see that she wasn't really living and that she needed to let go of the past once and for all. They were exactly what each other needed, and no one else understood what the two of them had been through. Their connection was so much stronger because of the pain that they had shared, and they just worked well together. They had great chemistry, and I really felt like their relationship was so real.

Overall, I really liked how things ended up for Avery and Bryce. They were able to not forget about the past but begin to move towards their future and stop punishing themselves for things that were out of their control. I liked both of their characters a lot, and I felt like you could really see the evolution of each one as an individual but also them as they transitioned to being a couple. I will say that I was glad to see Hayden's parents and their changed attitude towards Avery, but then they ruined all the progress they had made for me with their attitude towards Bryce. I understand what they were dealing with and I partially get what they were saying, but honestly it really saddened me that they continued to respond like they did. I really liked this book though, and I am glad that Avery and Bryce were finally moving towards happiness and acceptance. While Avery and Hayden had a love that was real and true, it was a childish love. You never forget your first love, but it was good to see Avery realize that it was different from what she was experiencing with Bryce. With Bryce she found an adult love. It was real and raw, and so much more than the innocent and sweet first love she had with Hayden. I would definitely recommend this series, especially if you have never read anything by Riley J. Ford before. After reading this series, I can't wait to get more from her in the future.

**Review Copy Provided by Literati Author Services**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Review: Just Us by Riley J. Ford

Just Us is the first book in Riley J. Ford's Just Series, but can be read as a standalone. While Avery's story does continue in the second book Just You, the reader is not left with a huge cliffhanger at the end of this book and can easily be read separately. I had never read anything by Riley J. Ford before this book, but I really liked this story a lot! I thought that Ford's writing style was engaging and I didn't want to put this one down. It was well written, and the characters were great. I can't wait to read more from Ford in the future, starting with Just You.

Avery Hill and Hayden Stuart work together and go to the same school. They have been best friends for a long time but when there is a dance at school they find their relationship changing. Soon they are dating one another, and falling in love for the first time. Hayden and Avery might be their first loves and high school sweethearts, but they begin to make plans for their future. When Hayden gets accepted to college in Los Angeles, they agree that Avery will follow as soon as she can and begin their life together. They plan to finish school, get married and start a family together. But when tragedy strikes them, their plans are forever ruined. Now Avery must figure out how to move forward with her life knowing that things will never be the same.

I loved Avery and Hayden. They were both so sweet and loving. They truly cared about one another, and you could tell that their feelings for each other were so real. They saw the best in one another and were truly committed to each other. Hayden was smart and loyal, and I loved that he was such a good friend and boyfriend. Avery was easy to like and relate to, and I thought that she was great. She always wanted what was best for Hayden, and was really supportive of him. I loved how patient they were with each other. They took things slow and let their relationship evolve naturally. I liked that they didn't rush to sleep together, and that what they shared meant something to them. Their relationship was exactly what a true first love should be, and I couldn't help but fall in love right along with them.

This book definitely brought out all the feels though, and I would definitely recommend having some tissues on hand when reading this one. While this story did have me crying, it was heart breaking but beautiful. My heart aches for the characters in this book, and I hope that they find some happiness and peace in the next book. I won't spoil what happens, but after reading this book trust me you will want to pick up the next one immediately. This one was short and easy to get into and I couldn't put it down. I really liked this story, and it is one that will stick with me. I can't wait to read the next one and see what the future has in store for these characters. I will absolutely be looking for more from Riley J. Ford in the future and would recommend this book to anyone looking for a story about a first love and the kind of love that lasts forever.

**Review Copy Provided by Literati Author Services**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Guest Post with Author Marie Harte and Giveaway

Marie Harte is an avid reader who loves all things paranormal and futuristic. Reading romances since she was twelve, she fell in love with romance and happy endings and knew writing was her calling. Years later after the Marine Corps, Information Technology, and 60 hour work weeks, her dream has finally come true.

Marie lives in Oregon with her family and is constantly reading and writing.

Find Marie at:

Feature and Giveaway: Operation Paris by Misty Evans

CIA operative Zara Morgan—codename Tango—has a reputation in Conrad Flynn’s secret army as a renegade. Once held at gunpoint by terrorist Alexandrov Dmitri, she was seconds from saving herself and arresting Dmitri when Lt. Commander Lawson Vaughn, the sexy leader of a covert ops team, intervened. She’s never lived down the fact that everyone—including her boss—believes Lawson is her knight in shining armor.

Former Navy man Lawson Vaughn doesn’t consider himself anyone’s savior. He lives and breathes protocol and hates the fact that his latest assignment is to babysit Zara while she hunts down Dmitri and stops the terrorist from releasing a biological weapon on the world.

But from the time they touch down in Paris, Lawson can’t resist Zara’s sassy attitude and dauntless bravery in the face of danger. When Dmitri kidnaps Zara and injects her with the contagious and deadly virus, Lawson is once again forced to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not.

With unflinching determination and steadfast courage, Lawson must break all the rules to save Zara, even if it means becoming the one thing he can’t stand…a renegade.

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