Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your SideBy Your Side by Kasie West

Publication Date:  January 31, 2017
Page Count: 346
Published by: Harper Teen
Source: eArc from Publisher for review
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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I've loved reading Kasie West's previous books, so of course I couldn't pass up the chance to read By Your Side.

I loved poor, misunderstood Dax. He had such a crappy home life, and his back story really tugged at my emotional side. It's hard to not fall for a guy who so obviously needs love. I liked how supportive he was of Autumn, and how much he tried to help her. He wasn't quite as swoony as I had hoped (I know, I'm too old for him) but he was definitely a likable young man.

I did have a bit of bother with Autumn. I just couldn't connect with her. That doesn't mean that I didn't like her, I just found it difficult to summon feelings for her. I liked that she took the time to get to know Dax. And then later, she cared enough to check up on him and see how he was doing. This is when I liked her the best - when she was thinking of Dax and doing nice things for him because she knew he needed it.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. The story was full of real life problems, but it still had cute and fun moments. I liked the sweet romance, but didn't enjoy the not-quite love triangle. The characters were likable, especially Autumn's family. If you've read Kasie West's contemporary books before, I'm sure you won't be disappointed reading By Your Side.

***As always when reading YA, I try NOT to think like a parent. I'm telling you, it's hard to do! Two things bothered me about this story. First, getting locked in a library for an entire weekend? Not plausible, but it was an essential part of the plot. Second, Autumn's anxiety seemed off to me. My daughter has terrible anxiety, so I've lived it firsthand. I could only partially relate to Autumn's anxiety, and I don't like that it made me feel unsympathetic towards her.

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4 Stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (279) Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

I've been participating in Waiting on Wednesday for over 5 years because Wednesday is my favorite day of the week! I love sharing and discovering new books.

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Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?

This could end up being a hit or miss with me, but the synopsis sounds really good.

Some of you may be familiar with this author's True Love series, or her Shadowlands trilogy written as Kate Brian.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Teaser Reveal - Lei'd with Cupcakes (Cupcakes #3) by Bethany Lopez

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Today I would like to share a few teasers for LEI'D WITH CUPCAKES by Bethany Lopez. This book is a romantic comedy/suspense title that will be released March 27th. This book is currently up for pre-order now so go grab your copy! Enter below for a chance to win a paperback bundle of Always Room for Cupcakes and Cupcake Overload!

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Lei’d with Cupcakes by Bethany Lopez
(The Cupcakes Series, book 3)

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Suspense
Releasing: Mar 27, 2017

Add the book on Goodreads


Synopsis:

Everybody dreams of a Hawaiian Vacation…

They sell you on the drinks with little umbrella’s, dolphin watching, and long walks on the beach. Which probably happens, if you’re that lucky schmuck living out your dream with your destination wedding, but if you’re a fish out of water PI like me, there’s no time for relaxing because trouble is never far behind.

Instead of cocktails, I ended up dealing with the seedy underbelly of The Big Island.
And, I didn’t see one damn dolphin while undercover on a boat which was spilling over with drug dealers, Kingpins, and Pedophiles.

Elin and Elena think Cade's family are the coolest people outside of Snapchat, but it’s hard to meet the parents when your boyfriend is in his late thirties and has never had a serious relationship.

I’d never missed my girls so much in my life, but Amy May, Bea, and Carmen are all dealing with issues of their own, and can’t come to my rescue.

The only thing that may help me with this “vacation” is if I could get Lei’d with Cupcakes.

WARNING:
THIS BOOK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE, SEX, SOME VIOLENCE, AND SHENANIGANS. IF NONE OF THAT BOTHERS YOU, GRAB A CUPCAKE AND READ ON!

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Lei'd teaser

Special Pre-order/Release Week Price is $2.99

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Lei'd Teaser 2

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Purchase Always Room for Cupcakes:

Amazon | iBooks | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo



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Purchase Cupcake Overload:

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Sign up for my Newsletter for more information about my writing: http://eepurl.com/Rcmrn

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She's a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.
AUTHOR LINKS:
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Waiting On Wednesday (278) Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

I've been participating in Waiting on Wednesday for over 5 years because Wednesday is my favorite day of the week! I love sharing and discovering new books.

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Expected publication: April 4th 2017 by Simon Pulse

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

What? Another contemporary YA for me to read? Yeppers. And this sounds really cute, too.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Review: Riveted (Saints of Denver #3) by Jay Crownover

Riveted (Saints of Denver, #3)Riveted (Saints of Denver #3) by Jay Crownover

Publication Date:  February 14, 2017
Page Count: 368
Published by: William Morrow
Source: eArc from Publisher for review
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael's life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that's become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she's going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it's time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he's all wrong for you.

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I was late joining the Marked Men party - I binge read the entire series after the last book was released. But I have been lucky enough to read every book in the Saints of Denver series when they were released. I have to say that Riveted was a great addition to the series, and I really enjoyed reading it.

I wasn't sure I liked Church after meeting him in the previous books. But after reading Riveted I can say I can understand him better, and I like him more than I did. Dixie was a positive little thing, not letting anyone or anything bring her down. I liked how she dealt with things, including Church. I loved seeing Dixie and Church being able to finally open up to each other and show their vulnerabilities. It was interesting watching them grow closer throughout the story.

I was grateful for the Mississippi setting - it was a nice change getting out of Denver for this story. (So, Ms. Crownover, please don't apologize for it!)

Church's family was totally awesome. They seemed really down to earth, and I loved how patient, yet determined, they were to bring Church home where he belonged.

I can't wait to read the next book in this series, Salvaged. I've been interested in Wheeler since he was introduced. And Poppy needs some serious TLC, so I hope Wheeler can deliver!

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4 Stars
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Review: Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) by L.A. Witt

Just Drive (Anchor Point #1)Just Drive (Anchor Point #1) by L.A. Witt

Publication Date: November 19, 2016
Page Count: 300
Published by: Riptide Publishing
Source: ebook borrowed from library
Genre: M/M military romance

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For Sean Wright, driving a cab in the tiny Navy town of Anchor Point isn’t an exciting job . . . until he picks up just-dumped Paul Richards. A drive turns into a walk on the pier, which turns into the hottest hookup Sean’s had in ages.

After a long overdue breakup, Paul can’t believe his luck. Of all the drivers, he’s picked up by the gorgeous, gay, and very willing Sean. Younger guys aren’t usually his thing, but Paul can’t resist.

One taste and neither man can get enough . . . right up until they realize that Paul is Sean’s father’s commanding officer and the last man Sean should be involved with.

With two careers on the line, their only option is to back off. It’s not easy, though; the sex and the emotional connection are exactly what both men have been craving for a long time. But Paul has devoted twenty-four years to his career and his dream of making admiral. If he’s caught with Sean, that’s all over. He has to choose—stay the course, or trade it all for the man who drove off with his heart.

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This is a new to me author. I was browsing though Hoopla via the library, looking for something different. I came across this series and thought I'd give the first book a try.

What did I think? There was sex. Lots and lots of sex. Nothing graphic though, and honestly, the sex scenes were mediocre at best. That's the writing though, and not my take on the characters sex lives. This had a very basic plot. Just 2 guys having sex, all hyped up by being forbidden from being together. Nothing really happened. Not even dialogue. (Except in their heads, because internal monologues are so much more intriguing than an actual conversations.) I needed meaningful conversations and getting to know you scenes - not just for the characters, but for ME. Paul and Sean were likable, but I knew next to nothing about them, so I didn't know what they saw in each other. Having said all of that, this book wasn't completely terrible - especially if you're not looking for anything deep and meaningful. Overall, I would say this was just an okay read for me.

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My rating: 3 stars


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Review: Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen: Marvel Adaptations) Graphic Novel

Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey (Jane Austen: Marvel Adaptations) by Nancy Butler, Janet Lee (Illustrator), Jane Austen (Original novel)

Publication Date: September 19, 2012
Page Count: 112
Published by: Marvel
Source: borrowed from library

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lovingly adapted from Jane Austen's most humorous work, Marvel Comics is proud to present literature lover Catherine Morland's quest to be the leading lady of her own great romance. Can real life prove the equal of the Gothic novels she finds so enchanting? Can Catherine find true love amid the fictions of others and her own wild imagination? And what dread secrets lie in wait in Northanger Abbey itself? Award-winning author Nancy Butler continues her quest to reinvent Jane Austen's Regency world in the Mighty Marvel Manner. With exquisite illustrations from Janet Lee, 19th-century England comes alive like never before. Discover - along with Catherine Moreland - that while truth may not be stranger than fiction, it can be no less surprising!

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I've never especially enjoyed Northanger Abbey. I tried reading it once, but I didn't get very far. I've seen the movie (maybe more than one movie?) but it's never inspired me to want to read the entire book. I thought I would try this graphic novel to see if I could get into the story and like it better than the movie. My experiment failed.

I can appreciate the artistry that went into creating this graphic novel, but the style was just too dark and gloomy for my taste. I also had a bit of a hard time following along, even though it was adapted directly from the original story. I didn't like that the writing was SO small I had strain my eyes to read it.

So I can safely say that I won't be picking up Northanger Abbey to read any time soon since the graphic novel was so uninspiring.

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My rating: 2.5 stars


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Waiting On Wednesday (277) Twist (Dive Bar #2) by Kylie Scott

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

I've been participating in Waiting on Wednesday for over 5 years because Wednesday is my favorite day of the week! I love sharing and discovering new books.

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Expected publication: April 11th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets... apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

This is a spin off series from the Stage Dive series, which I mostly enjoyed reading. The eArc for this just came out, so I'm really looking forward to reading it. And it's a win for me because I am actually up to date on this series. Shocking, I know.

What are you waiting on this week.
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