TOP TEN FAVORITE READS of 2015!!

It is that time a year again – my 2015 favorite reads. 

A few of these may be older books – not released in 2015, but my favorite reads of the year non the less. AND yes, I added multiples from my favorite authors – because sometimes, you can’t pick just one!

#10

Undeniably Chosen (Significance #5) by Shelly Crane

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5++++ REVIEW…………. HERE

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks

~ Synopsis ~

Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever; her significant.

Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interests at heart, but he isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally – after a lifetime of waiting for her – meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.

The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgement or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing and they’ll have to light their own way int he dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything…. they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.

~

It felt like I was waiting a VERY long time for this book – after everything that Maggie and Caleb went through in the Significance Series – to be able to see what they’re up to now was awesome, and to see their daughter Ava go through the chaos with Seth was very reminiscent of the first four books – I can’t wait to see what happens next!

#9

Gus (Bright Side #2) by, Kim Holden

Gus

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5+++ REVIEW …………….. HERE

Amazon

~ Synopsis ~

The journey that began in top-rated, best-selling Bright Side, continues …

This is the story of Gus.
Losing himself.
Finding himself.
And healing along the way.

“ … but the honest-to-God truth is I don’t even know how to function anymore. Bright Side wasn’t only my best friend; she was like my other half … the other half of my brain, the other half of my conscience, the other half of my sense of humor, the other half of my creativity, the other half of my heart. How do you go back to doing what you did before, when half of you is gone forever?”

~

Gus….. good God. This book gutted me. I started at a point this year where I was suffering from one of my worst reading slumps. I had to stop and pick it back up when I could appreciate it. And i’m so glad I did. Apparently I needed a vacation and while I was running around Wales this summer with my husband I picked Gus back up and couldn’t put it down until I was finished with it. It reminded me of how much I missed Kate, and how much I loved Bright Side. 

#8

Fangirl & Eleanor & Park by, Rainbow Rowell

fan

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5+++ REVIEW of Fangirl ………. HERE

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible * The Bookworm (Signed Editions)

~ Synopsis ~

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age take of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow Fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan.

But for Cath, being a fan is her life – and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Reading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t leg go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…. And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

5++++ REVIEW of Eleanor & Park …….. HERE

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

~ Synopsis ~

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

~

These two books blew me away this year and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve re-read them via Audible. Fangirl – Cather…. everything about this story was sweet and beautiful. Eleanor & Park, everything everyone says about it is true. It will remind you what it was like to connect with someone at an age where you don’t think anyone could possibly understand you. The music is pretty bad ass to boot!

Obviously both of these books weren’t published in 2015 – but they were new to me this year. 

#7

The Original Sinners Series , by Tiffany Reisz

Tiffany Reisz - The Red Years

Tiffany Reisz - The White Years

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

You can check out my reviews here: The Siren | The Angel | The Prince | The Mistress  (more reviews to come!)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

I have been living in a perpetual state of Tiffany Reisz for many months now – how I’ve not picked these books up until now is beyond me. I grabbed a few paperbacks sifting through thrift stores in Wales and the second I picked up The Siren – not even 1/4 through the book I was downloading book 2 and 4 onto my Kindle. The one thing I can be thankful for is that all books were released by the time I picked up the first. Because this woman LOVES  a cliffhanger – 

These books – these characters – these stories are so intertwined through each book, I was mesmerized by them. I still refer to them as real people when I try to explain the stories to friends. Because they were – and still are very real to me. I feel for them – I feel their pain, their love…. all of it. 

#6

Beautiful Bastard Series & The Wild Seasons Series, by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

You can read my reviews here  – Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard #3.6) | Beautiful Secret (Beautiful Bastard #4) | Dark Wild Night (Wild Seasons #3)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

There will never be a favorites list that doesn’t include Christina Lauren for me – they’re to of my absolute favorites. Their stories and characters are both sexy and hilarious. Their sense of humor is fantastic – the banter, the sex – everything. Beautiful Beloved we got to see a peek at Sara & Max and their family life now – and dredge deeper into Max’s brother’s life….. Niall Stella in Beautiful Secret. Move over Max, Niall just kicked you out of my favorite brit spot. Good god.

And as much as I loved the two new installments in their Beautiful Bastard series – I was sooooo excited for Lola & Oliver’s story and they did NOT disappoint!

#5

2015 Novels by Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

You can check out my reviews here: Do Not Disturb (Deanna Madden #2) | Tight | Hollywood Dirt | If You Dare (Deanna Madden #3)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

2015 was a fantastic year for Alessandra Torre and an even better year for her readers as we got not one but FOUR books from her! This year she took a darker turn with the continuation of her Deanna Madden series, and then she brought us something different with Tight and Hollywood Dirt. Tight being something dark and sinister – and Hollywood Dirt a more contemporary story for her. All four books I loved equally for different reasons and there was no way I couldn’t add all of them. 

I make these lists this way, otherwise it would be nothing but Alessandra Torre and CD Reiss

#4

CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel by, Jessica Park

25568-akfrpnty

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5 Star REVIEW………. HERE

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iTunes

~ Synopsis ~

CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel

Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads to coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the lines between life and death blurs.

When and end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A triller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

~

Clear is STILL one of the most original stories I’ve read in the last three or four years. It’s everything like the synopsis says – a thriller…. a paranormal and a passionate romance. But above all else, you get that biting narration of Jessica Park – an author that writes a story for you to live in. Not just read – but really live in while you’re experiencing it. And Clear did just that – I felt every single thing about it – the relationships between Stella, Sam and Costa? Do yourself a favor and pick this gem up – if you’re not into paranormal novels? You’re in luck – because this is not your average paranormal. It’s a story unlike anything you’ve read before and you will not be disappointed. 

#3

The ending of her Cocktail Series & The Beginning of her Hudson Valley Series – Alice Clayton

Alice Clayton

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5++++ Star REVIEWS:  Last Call (Cocktail #4.5) | Nuts (Hudson Valley #1)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

Anyone whose read my blog knows I’m a lover of all things Alice Clayton. Last Call – the ending to her Cocktail Series was bittersweet – bitter because it was the end, and sweet because it was the best possible ending of a series I’ve ever read. When I heard she was writing a new series called Hudson Valley? Of course I was on board – but I had no idea how fast and hard I’d fall for her new characters.

Roxie and Leo are not Caroline and Simon – they’re the best kind of humor all on their own – a totally different world and new characters I can’t WAIT to meet!

#2

The Bellator Saga by, Cecilia London

Bellator Saga

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5+++ REVIEWS: Dissident (Bellator Saga 1) | Conscience (Bellator Saga #2) | Sojourn (Bellator Saga 3)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks 

The Bellator Saga by Cecilia London has been one of my favorite series of 2915 and looks to be one of my favorites to continue on into 2016 with her upcoming release of Phoenix. This is a series is raw – thrilling and leaves you reading as fast as you can to see what’s going to happen next. A drama – a political thriller and yes, a romance. Caroline and Jack will suck you in and leave you desperate to find out what happens next. 

The characters are three dimensional, the humor – the depth – the feelings…. oh Jesus, the range of emotions Cecilia London has put me through in just the first three books? I’ve cursed her, I’ve laughed at the inside jokes and I’ve shed more tears than I thought possible. This is a six part series and I’m desperate to find out what happens next!

#1

2015 Novels by C.D. Reiss

CD Reiss

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

5+++ REVIEWS: Coda (Songs of Submission #9) | Shuttergirl | Rule (Songs of Corruption #3) | Forbidden (Songs of Perdition #3)

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

 What an I say? CD Reiss blew me away this year in so many ways. She gave me an ending to three very different stories. Jonathan & Monica, Fiona and of course, Antonio and Theresa. But, she also gave us a new story – something very different from her Drazen family – Shuttergirl, a contemporary romance that hooked it’s fingers in and didn’t let go until the very end. There was no way in hell I could have made a decision on which of these books to pick as number one – although, Fiona has always been my favorite – and the last and final book in the series probably one of the most brutal yet beautiful stories I’ve read all year, there was no way for me to pick just one. I loved them all – all of these stories have stayed with me and will continue to. 

***

Here’s to 2016 and the stories to be told!

5+++ REVIEW: Obsidian (Lux, #1) by, Jennifer L. Armentrout

12578077

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks * Audible

~ Synopsis ~

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

***

REVIEW

How I am JUST now reading this series is BEYOND me!

I’ve had this book on my Kindle for probably 2 years – grabbed it when it had gone on sale once and just never got around to reading it. I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn since I read Wait For You, because c’mon…. Cameron Hamilton!

But The Lux Series is obviously very different from her Wait For You series. It’s paranormal – but not in a weird way – not in a cheesy way – and before you throw out comparisons to Twilight, don’t. I made that assumption too. And I think it’s fair to say any paranormal romance involving a man who may or may not be 100% human, and a human girl hooking up is going to get that comparison.

There are no vampires – there are no werewolves. This is a completely different story.

Plus…. there’s Pepe Toth. Or, I mean Daemon Black…. whatever, I get the importance of this gif now. I appreciated it before, but now I really appreciate it. I was lucky enough to meet him last year at Love N Vegas, and I wish I’d had all these books on paper back for him to sign. He was the sweetest guy too.

When Katy Swartz and her mother move from Florida to West Virginia – to a town with less than 2500 people it’s a culture shock for her. But an even bigger shock? The boy-next-door; Dameon Black.

Katy goes next door to introduce herself, at the request of her mother to go make friends! But when Daemon opens the door – in just a pair of low hanging jeans…. there might be chemistry, but it’s squashed the second he opens his mouth and his attitude rolls out. Katy & Daemon… the banter, the annoying shit he says, the crap he gives her…. and she shells it right back – and good for her! She’s not going to take any of his attitude or back handed comments, she’s going to find her confidence and throw it right back at him – and this is why I love Katy. Because when she hits it off with Daemon’s sister Dee – she’s bound to be around Daemon all the time.

Katy being the new girl in school – in a town so small, she’s got the new kid cred and makes fast friends. She’s a book obsessed – blogger extraordinaire (which I love) and it gives her some depth that a lot of paranormal romances lack. She’s kind of a nerd – but in the best way possible, with a smart mouth and a quick whit, she’s easily one of the funniest girls I’ve read.

As time passes though, Katy gets the feeling that things around her, and the people of the town aren’t quite what they seem – as if they’re hiding a massive secret from everybody… and when things happen? She just might be proven right.

Thus comes the complexity – the secrets – the what the hells? And all your questions will be answered… for now, because after all this is only the first book in the series.

Obsidian is fast paced, hilariously sexy and drool worthy Daemon Black just jumped to my top five book boyfriends. I giggled like a fucking 13 year old in this book. The banter was some of my favorite parts. Daemon is moody – rude even and Katy gives it right back 100%. There’s nothing better than having someone call you on your shit and that’s exactly what Katy does.

I’m blowing through this series pretty fast – already onto book 3, and anxiously awaiting for Oblivion (Lux #1.5) Daemon’s POV of Obsidian out December 1st!

***

About the Author, Jennifer L. Armentrout

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

# 1 New York Times and International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. (via the author’s website)

5+++ REVIEW: Undeniably Chosen (Significance #5) by, Shelly Crane

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks

~ Synopsis ~

Ava has watched her parents, Caleb and Maggie live the perfect fairy tale, the perfect love story, played out in front of her eyes her entire life. Her family is love, life and happiness. The Jacobsons are everything a family should be and Ava is loved and well taken care of. But the one thing that’s missing from her life is the one thing she’s waited for every day, the one thing her kind knows will make them complete, the one thing they thought was gone and lost forever; her significant.

Seth has lived with the Watsons his entire life. They’re the only family he knows, but he knows that there are things they keep from him. He knows that they lie and they do unspeakable evil, things from when he was a child that he can barely remember that cling to the edges of his memory. He barely remembers his real mother and all he knows is what he’s told. He doesn’t know what to trust. He wants to believe that the Watsons love and care for him, have his best interests at heart, but he isn’t so sure of that anymore when he finally – after a lifetime of waiting for her – meets his soulmate, and the Watson’s first act is to try to take her away from him.

The Virtuoso worlds collide, hearts are exposed, humans are endangered and the lives of Seth and Ava are changed forever. They’ll have to love without judgement or reservation, they’ll have to be wise and accepting beyond their years, they’ll have to forgive for things before they’ve even happened, they’ll have to trust without seeing, have faith without knowing and they’ll have to light their own way int he dark when everyone else is blind to show them the way. And more than anything…. they’ll fight like hell to keep each other.

***

***WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD – If you haven’t read any of Shelly Crane’s Significance Series, there may be spoilers below – READ WITH CAUTION***

REVIEW

When Shelly Crane announced she’d be continuing the Significance Series I was ELATED! Caleb & Maggie were one of my absolute favorite book couples. Even though I’m typically not a fan of YA Paranormal Romances, I tried out Significance and devoured the next three books in anticipation for the fourth and final installment. When it ended? I was at a loss – even though it was perfection I REALLY wanted more.

Now, with Undeniably Chosen we’re once again thrust into the Jacobson Clan, Maggie now their Visionary and Caleb the head of the clan but it’s not either of them that takes center stage in this story – we now get to hear the story through their teenage daughter Ava. Ava is in college, working with her father’s company and desperately trying NOT to concentrate on the fact that she still hasn’t found her significant. Even though the significant are coming back slowly, but surely – she’s still frustrated knowing out there somewhere is her soulmate and hoping they find one another soon. But….. be careful what you wish for.

As Ava is walking out of a coffee shop she notices a tall, dark handsome boy – but she shrugs it off knowing full well it’s a waste of time to dwell on thoughts of someone she can never have. But …. when they touch briefly ….. the moment she’s been waiting for all her life happens. Your life can change in the matter of seconds, when you least expect it. To her surprise the boy she thought was so handsome turns out to be not only her significant….. but also, a Watson, the arch nemesis clan of the Jacobsons. Ava has grown up hearing unspeakable stories of the horrors her parents endured at the hands of the Watson’s. Now in what should be the happiest moment of her life she’s faced with the idea that she and Seth will never be together – how can they? How would their families ever allow it to happen?

This throws us into non-stop action as the Watson’s reemerge to wreak havoc up the Jacobson’s – hoping that Seth can gain them access to the Jacobson’s – not only destroying his significant, but also her entire family’s clan. The flash backs in story of what Maggie and Caleb had to endure reminds me exactly why I fell in love with this series – and Undeniably Chosen was no different. Ava & Seth’s story is both magical, suspenseful and you will read as fast as you can to find out what will happen next. The Virtuoso is on the verge of war – and Maggie as their visionary knows that the Watson’s may be the least of their worries.

Even though Seth & Eva are off to a rough start their bond is strong – just like Caleb & Maggie, Ava & Seth will have to face more obstacles than anyone their age should have to face just to be with the one they were destined to find.

Anyone who is a fan of the Significance Series will love the generational continuation of this story, and by the sounds of it …… this is only the beginning.

***

Check out my review of Shelly Crane’s Significance Series!

Significance – Book 1 (FREEBIE on all platforms accept B&N)

Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * iBooks * KOBO * Smashwords

Accordance – Book 2

Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * iBooks * KOBO * Smashwords

Defiance – Book 3

Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * iBooks * KOBO * Smashwords

Reverence – Book 3.5 – Three Chapter Novella from Caleb’s POV (FREEBIE on Shelly Crane’s Website &  all platforms accept B&N)

Website * Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * KOBO * Smashwords

Independence – Book 4

Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * iBooks * KOBO * Smashwords

Consequence – Book 4.5 A Significance Novella

Amazon * Amazon UK * B&N * Google Play * iBooks * KOBO * Smashwords

5++++++ ARC REVIEW: CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel by, Jessica Park

25568-akfrpnty

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iTunes

~ Synopsis ~

CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel

Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads to coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the lines between life and death blurs.

When and end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A triller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

Clear-7-2

***
REVIEW

A story like this….. is very rare, so much that it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. And I’ve read a lot – especially the last three years, out of the 400+ books on the list, CLEAR by Jessica Park is one that will stand out for a very long time. The synopsis says it all. This is a thriller, a paranormal and a very passionate and erotic story. I’ve been off the paranormal train for quite sometime but I’ll read anything this author writes – without even seeing a cover, reading a blurb I will pick it up and read it in one sitting. But after reading this blurb I was reeeeeally curious to see what she had up her sleeve, and she as always, did NOT disappoint.

This story blew me away – start to finish.

I love it when authors branch out, writing stories that definitively aren’t the norm for them – let alone one that crosses genres so fluidly. This story is it.

Stella Ford – I have so many feelings surrounding her; pity, fear, hope…. love.

Sam Bishop – Gah! The feels are overflowing: Love, adoration, hope and so many more that I can’t properly describe.

Costa – lustful, angry, I’m fearful of him, and for him – and in so many different ways, yet he drew me in so much.

Clear-11-1

I went into this story with a very open mind hoping I could read it in one sitting while at work – with minor interruptions here and there because, well I was working. I found myself getting very short with my co-workers when they’d come to my desk to make idle chit-chat. They didn’t realize the all consuming story they were interrupting – the death stares I gave shooed them away, and at certain points through the story – the blush of my cheeks – goooooood lord, I was flustered….. lust ridden, so much that I talked my friend Amber’s ear off for twenty minutes chain smoking outside trying to explain the story to her, promising once it was released I’d send her a copy. Because, just in those short twenty minutes of me trying to explain the story without giving anything away – she was hooked.

It’s very hard to describe this story – without spoiling anything,  but do yourself a favor, don’t go into this book expecting it to be a typical paranormal, because it is anything but that. Stella and Sam, both suffering for different reasons are hoping that the moment they shared as teenagers, can continue on into their adulthood – because in a way, that night that Stella met him…. he saved her. And now, so many years later she might be able to save him to.

Stella is blissful now that she is away from her cruel mother, and junkie sister. No longer does she have to deal with the manipulative ways in which her mother raised her – making her question almost everything around her – did she really eat that food? Did she come in here and move her things? Take something? Constantly criticizing her and making her feel as though she’ll never measure up.

Once she leaves Chicago and heads towards Maine she can feel herself getting stronger, braver – the farther she gets away from everything holding her down. Once she reaches the coastal town, where Sam told her so many years ago his parents owned a hotel – she takes in her surroundings, loving the fresh ocean breeze and small quaint little town. Now, she just has to find Sam, see if he remembers her and if that night they shared under the snow blanketed sky of Chicago meant as much to him, as it did to her.

CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel is truly original, erotic and suspenseful. This book will make you feel, it will make you question things, and you might even shed a tear or two.

Enjoy!

49aa5-clear2jess

About the Author

3173f-jessicaparkJessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount of time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Please visit her at jessicapark.me and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/authorjessicapark and Twitter @JessicaPark24

REVIEW: Verum (The Nocte Trilogy 2) by, Courtney Cole

23482622

2b6ca-addtogoodreadsblack

Amazon * B&N * KOBO * iBooks

~ Synopsis ~

The truth shall set you free.

My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.

The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.

I’m entangled in the darkness.

But the truth will set me free.

It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.

Are you scared?

I am.

***
REVIEW

 I grabbed this before I was even finished with the first book, Nocte. Courtney Cole is kind of a master of suspense and secrets – because Nocte, well you can read my review …… here.

Calla Price – so many things …. soooo many things surrounding this poor girl – questions, secrets, she can’t tell what’s up or down – left or right – what is even in front of her. QUESTION EVERYTHING is basically her go to intuition – because she can’t tell what’s right or wrong – truth or lies – secrets and reality are blurred and it’s our job as readers to figure out the story – what is really happening, and how can Calla make it out of this safely.

Dare takes her to England – he tells her because the answers she’s seeking are there. She meets her less than desirable grandmother, finding out more of her mother’s life and what it was like, and maybe why she escaped it to move to the USA. Dare is with her along the way – mysterious and not very helpful, constantly explaining that she has to find her way to the truth – he can’t tell her anything.

It is NERVE racking – absolutely NERVE racking! I wanted to reach through my Kindle and slap Dare around – but this is how Courtney Cole builds it – the story, the suspends, the questions – and even the answers…. which they appear, suddenly and like a strike of lightening leaving a clear path of destruction in its wake.

Calla is confused – sooo confused, and I was too. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but what that light means – I don’t know…. if there’s truth there, or more secrets. Because she can’t trust anyone – not even herself.

I was so glad I waited to read Nocte – and that book two was already out, but now we’re just going to have to wait until May for book 3 – Lux, you can find it on Goodreads.

ARG! The sweet, sweet anticipation might just kill me!

REVIEW: The Sookie Stackhouse, Southern Vampire Mysteries Series, by Charlaine Harris

imagesAdd to GoodreadsI’d give the entire series – the ups and the downs – good and bad still, 4 outta 5 stars. I know Sookie can be mind-numbingly stupid at times, and you wonder how the hell she gets herself into these situations. But she ALWAYS has me coming back for more. I’m a faithful reader, no matter how many times I roll my eyes at things.

I hadn’t read the books until I saw True Blood. The 2nd season was about to start on HBO and I had a freebie HBO weekend – BIG MISTAKE! Because I was instantly hooked, and the weekend ran out before I finished season 1. After I called my cable provider, I was googling around and found that it was based on a series of books. My boyfriend at the time, (husband now) bought me the box set of books 1-8. I devoured them in 5 days. No joke. I was telling anyone and everyone (probably annoyingly) OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THESE!

Sure, not every book is a gold star – and sometimes they’re down right boring. But it’s bad enough Harris has to put Sookie in half of the horrible circumstances as it is. I mean seriously, how many people could want to kill a waitress from Bon Temp Louisiana?

But now that the series is over (for better or worse) I will miss Sookie – Eric – Bill and all the torment they ensued in poor Sookie’s life. I’ll miss the drama – I’ll miss the vampire/human smut. I’ll miss them all. And now that HBO has announced, this next season 7 will be it’s last – There really won’t be anymore Sookie. And that makes me sad – even if the series books and TV show aren’t always the greatest – I’m still faithful to them both.

I’m going to give you the reading list in order – and what I thought of each book.

Book 1: Dead until Dark: 4 stars –  (BLURB: Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome–and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the type of guy she’s been waiting for all her life….But Bill has a disability of his own: He’s a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of–big surprise–murder. And when one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next.) REVIEW: It’s the first in the series, and probably one of my favorites. Bill & Sookie’s relationship is just forming, it’s entertaining, sexy and Harris has a great way of always keeping us guessing.

Book 2: Living Dead in Dallas:  5 stars – (BLURB: Sookie Stackhouse likes living in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and she likes working as a cocktail waitress at Merlotte’s. But she is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it). The point is: the vampires saved her life. So when one of her bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges-and soon Sookie’s in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She’s supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that’s easier than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly.) REVIEW: I loved this one even more than the first. It was exciting, nail biting – and there was soooo much going on, but Harris doesn’t let you get lost. PLUS this is where Eric gets brought into the mix … and well, he’s a viking vampire and well, he’s Eric-Fucking-Northman

Book 3: Club Dead: 5 stars – (BLURB: Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill’s sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own.) REVIEW: Things start to heat up in this book. Things between Sookie & Eric, and where the hell is Bill? Alcede and the werewolf packs get introduced – and a whole lot of mystery is going on as Sookie takes off in search of her missing boyfriend, and of course Eric is there to help, or not help the situation. Doesn’t matter really, it’s Eric :).

Book 4: Dead to the World: 5 stars – (BLURB: Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie’s gift: she can read minds. That’s not exactly every man’s idea of date bait – unless they’re undead; vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that’s just the kind of guy Sookie’s been looking for. Maybe that’s why, when she comes across a naked vampire, she doesn’t just drive on by. He hasn’t got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy – and dead – as ever. But now he has amnesia, he’s sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie’s help – because whoever took his memory now wants his life.) REVIEW: Things are up in the air for Sookie. Bill isn’t in the picture, and some pesky witches have come into town causing trouble. Eric has lost his memory and though he knows he’s a vampire, he doesn’t know that he’s a throat sucking asshole to takes what he wants and is the Sheriff of his territory. Sookie saves him – and something awakens him… one of my favorites of the series. 

Book 5: Dead as a Doornail: 3 stars – (BLURB: Small-town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her share of experience with the supernatural—but now it’s really hitting close to home. When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a were-panther for the first time—a transformation he embraces more readily than most shapeshifters she knows. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population, and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now, Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks—unless the killer decides to find her first.) REVIEW: This was a snoozer for me. But it was interesting to meet more of the Hotshot werepanther clan, and find out there are more shapeshifters in the area that anyone knew. But still, it was a bit of a bore.

Book 6: Definitely Dead: 4 Stars – (BLURB: As a person with so few living relatives, Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse really hated to lose one. But she never guessed that it would be her cousin Hadley—a consort of the Vampire Queen of New Orleans. After all, technically speaking, Hadley was already dead. And now, as unexpected heir to Hadley’s estate, Sookie discovers the inheritance definitely comes with a risk. Someone doesn’t want Sookie looking too deeply into Hadley’s past—or for that matter, Hadley’s possessions. And they’re prepared to do anything in their power to stop her. But who? The range of suspects runs from the Rogue Weres who reject Sookie as a friend of the Pack to the Vampire Queen herself, who could be working through a particularly vulnerable subject—Sookie’s first love, Bill. Whoever it is, they’re definitely dangerous—and Sookie’s life is definitely on the line.) REVIEW: This book was more interesting then the last. We haven’t heard a lot about Sookie’s family, and when Hadley dies – Sookie has to go and clean out her apartment. Bring in Quinn – the Weretiger, and things REALLY start to get interesting. First warm blooded lover Sookie has ever had – and things are already getting screwed up! Sookie knew Hadley was a vampire when she died, but she didn’t know all the secrets her cousin was keeping – and from some pretty powerful vamps to boot!

Book 7: All Together Dead: 5 Stars – (BLURB: Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life—the shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit. The summit is a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious position, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe.) REVIEW: I’d put this one in my top 4 favorites. There is SOOOO much going on, introducing new characters – and the power struggle between Eric & Quinn for Sookie’s affection. In my heart I’m rooting for Eric – even if he is a control freak – but Quinn is sweet, I just can’t get past the baggage he is bringing into their relationship with his mother and sister. Sookie NEEDS simple, and although Eric isn’t simple? He protects her above anything else. A lot happens in this book, I read it twice – right after another and found more I loved about it. It left me re-energized for the series and wanting more.

Book 8: From Dead to Worse: 3.5 stars – (BLURB: After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, everyone human and otherwise is stressed, including Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who is trying to cope with the fact that her boyfriend Quinn has gone missing. It’s clear that things are changing whether the weres and vamps of her corner of Louisiana like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack and blood-bonded to Eric Northman, leader of the local vampire community is caught up in the changes. In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered.) REVIEW: This one didn’t hook me in. It could be because book 7 was such a high – so much going on – but this one? It was just O.K. I was so over the Quinn relationship and hoping Sookie would just submit to Eric and be his. (Yes – I’m a HUGE Team Eric girl.) But the whole story, it just didn’t grip me – didn’t leave me wanting more…

This one I call Book 8.5: A Touch of Dead: 4 stars – (BLURB: Every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—in one special volume—from the New York Times bestselling author. Stories include “Fairy Dust,” “One Word Answer,” “Dracula Night,” “Lucky,” and “Giftwrap.”From Books 4, 5, 7 and 8.) REVIEW: This was a nice little novella to tide me over until Book 9 was released – but it wasn’t amazing. Some stories added interesting tidbits and others just weren’t necessary for me. But I still liked it, and they were all enjoyable stories.

Book 9: Dead and Gone: 5 stars – (BLURB: Except for Sookie Stackhouse, folks in Bon Temps, Louisiana, know little about vamps-and nothing about weres. Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to reveal their existence to the ordinary world. At first all goes well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found near the bar where Sookie works-and she feels compelled to discover who, human or otherwise, did it. But there’s a far greater danger threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings-older, more powerful, and more secretive than vampires or werewolves-is preparing for war. And Sookie finds herself an all-too human pawn in their battle.) REVIEW: This book revs up the engines and brought in A LOT of the fae. We get some back story of Sookie’s grand father – and the fae ware ensues. Sookie is surround by a myriad of supernatural creatures – some good and always, some bad. Of course, some one is out to kill her – and this one might surprise you.

Book 10: Dead in the Family: 4.5 Stars – (BLURB: It’s all about family …Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric’s vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric’s ‘brother’ in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie’s tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.) REVIEW: I really liked this book, we saw a whole new side to Eric – in a good/bad way and got a lot of back story of who his master is – and also his brother. Eric & Sookie’s relationship is heading in 10 different directions and Sookie is scared that she is loosing her strong viking sheriff she’s become accustom to. She blames it all on his maker, but I have a feeling Eric just doesn’t like to show any weakness, especially to Sookie. Secrets are revealed – some that will leave you wanting to throw the book across the room.

Book 10.5: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion: 4 Stars – (BLURB: Take a closer look at Sookie and her family, friends, enemies, adventures, and-of course-the lovers who set her world on fire…Visit Bon Temps, the small Louisiana town that Sookie calls home, with a detailed map created by Charlaine herself, and learn the characteristics of the supernaturals who live there: vampires, two- natured, and fae. Examine all the branches of Sookie’s family tree. And eavesdrop on the private conversations between rival vampires Eric and Bill. Also, enjoy the compelling, never-before-published novella “Small- Town Wedding,” in which Sookie accompanies her shape-shifting boss, Sam, to his brother’s wedding in Texas, where happily-ever-after seems very far away….) REVIEW: For the true-die-hard-fan of the Sookie Books this is a great companion novel – and a great segue into book 11. Anything that was going to keep me distracted on the year wait is good. The text messages/emails between Bill & Eric were hysterical – and the wedding story, of when Sookie went with Sam to his brother’s wedding was worth the whole book. It showed an interesting parallel to what is happening outside of Bon Temps, and how the Were’s are being treated else were.

Book 11: Dead Reckoning: 4 Stars – (BLURB: With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his “child” Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…) REVIEW: This book was good and kept me entertained. But I did feel something was lacking. I don’t know if it was the change in Eric – and his relationship with Sookie, or all the secrets – and who-done-it going on through out the story. We’re left with a very strange and exciting ending that still leaves me wondering WTF – seriously??

Book 12: Deadlocked: 4 Stars – (BLURB: Sookie has a murder investigation on her hands. A young girl has died at a vampire party – and it looks as though her lover, Eric, might be responsible. Eric swears he didn’t do it, the police don’t believe him, and even Sookie isn’t so sure. Nor is she inclined to take his word for it, not having caught him enjoying the victim’s blood minutes before she was killed. But something strange is going on. Why had Sookie been asked to come to the fateful party a few minutes early – just to catch Eric in the act? And why had the victim spiked her own blood before approaching Eric? Was it simply because she wanted to be irresistable, or was it something more sinister? Sookie will have to find out … but it’s the worst moment to investigate, as her Fae family are having troubles of their own and Sookie is, inevitably, drawn in. And there is one last complication. The cluviel dor her grandmother left her. It will grant her one wish, which could fulfil Sookie’s heart’s desire. The only problem is, she still doesn’t know what – or who – her heart truly desires …) REVIEW: Still, with the who-done-its. This book was more mystery and trying to find out who’s trying to frame Eric then there is romance (which I wanted more knowing Book 13 would be her last.) But it was still good – still kept me in the mode of wanting more and more and more. Trying to figure out who did it, and coming up short – my guesses all wrong. Which is a good thing, it shows how well Harris can write a story. But it still made me sad to know that this was the 2nd to the last book, and I’d only be waiting one more year to find out what happens to Sookie and her clan of supernatural misfits.

The Final Book – Book 13: Dead Ever After: 3.5 Stars – (BLURB: There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated. Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime. But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…) REVIEW: I won’t lie – I was highly disappointed in the finale. It just fell flat for me and I don’t know how much of it is the actual story, or that I had my hopes SOOOOO high for something that just wasn’t attainable for poor-ole-Sookie. The ending baffeled me, and I felt like Harris took the easy way out – but with zero build up for it. It just seemed to come out of no where, and quite honestly grossed me out a little. I won’t go into too many details – still worth the read, and a pretty little bow ending (even if I hated it.)

Book 13.5 (Because there HAS to be one last companion book. After Dead: What came next in the world of Sookie Stackhouse: (BLURB: Dead Ever After marked the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—a series that garnered millions of fans and spawned the hit HBO television show True Blood. It also stoked a hunger that will never die…a hunger to know what happened next. With characters arranged alphabetically—from the Ancient Pythoness to Bethany Zanelli—bestselling author Charlaine Harris takes fans into the future of their favorite residents of Bon Temps and environs. You’ll learn how Michele and Jason’s marriage fared, what happened to Sookie’s cousin Hunter, and whether Tara and JB’s twins grew up to be solid citizens. This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after…The book will feature extensive interior art by acclaimed Sookie artist Lisa Desimini, including a Sookieverse Alphabet, color endpapers, and several full-page black and white interior illustrations.) I have yet to read this one. I think I’m still mourning my series ending and the strange way it ended. I’ll eventually pick this up and read through it. There are so many characters throughout this series it’ll be a good refresher.

So as you can see, not all the books are perfect, but then again – in any series you’re going to have your flaws. I loved this series, the good and the bad and part of me wishes she would have continued on with it. But, like with anything else – it has to come to an end.

Good-bye Sookie – we’ll miss you!

“In the words of some really beautiful smart girl I know, just give me what I want,” Caleb whispered.” Significance, by Shelly Crane

 A Significance Series

A Complete – YA’ish – not quite your typical Romance –

I’d give all books 4 to 5 stars!

By Shelly Crane – Book One: Significance – Now FREE on Amazon for a limited time!

Significance

Book 1 – Significance

You’re introduced to Maggie – on the verge of graduating high school and prepared to move on with her life – going to college, and trying to get over the break up of her long time boyfriend (who is off to Florida on a football scholarship.) Maggie is your typical teenager, having felt the loss of her mother who walked out on her family – and having to deal with her father who cut out mentally at the same time, not being able to handle the grief of being abandoned by his wife. After her graduation ceremony, Maggie reluctantly agrees to meet up with her friend Kyle after his graduation party. She starts making her way over to his house and walks up to a stop sign, waiting to cross and notices a guy standing there, wearing a back pack and hoodie – bouncing his head to whatever music he’s listening too. When he see’s her and smiles, Maggie instantly notices him – and then notices that he goes to walk out into the street right in front of an oncoming truck. Maggie grabs him by his backpack and jerks him back, saving his life. When the boy realizes he’s basically on top of her and jumps up to inspect if she’s OK, they introduce themselves and this is where Caleb and Maggie first meet. Realizing that Maggie is on her way over to Caleb’s cousin’s house, and that she is the girl his cousin Kyle has been going on and on about for weeks, he walks with her the rest of the way to his house. Kyle meets them outside, and as he and Maggie are getting ready to leave Caleb there to go out on the town – she turns and extends her hand to Caleb and it happens – They imprint.

What’s imprinting? Well they’re half of the same whole – they feel it – they can read each others thoughts, emotions, and actually feel real pain when they’re separated from one another. Their connection is intense – and then some. Caleb is the first male in his family in years to imprint, especially on what they believe Maggie to be – a normal human being. We’re swung into their story – the story of imprinting and what Caleb’s family clan means. There are good – and bad – and of course Maggie gets tossed up in the middle and action ensues between the clans!

Without spoiling too much – this is one of the most fun books to read, and I found myself up until three am last year devouring the whole thing beginning to end – and on to the 2nd and 3rd books – impatiently waiting for the fourth – that was well worth the wait.

Book 2 – Accordance

Book 3 – Defiance

Book 3.5 – Reverence – a short novella from Caleb’s POV

Book 4 – The Finale – Independence

accordanceDefianceimagesIndependence book 4