Monday, August 03, 2015

"Wicked White" by Michelle A. Valentine



WICKED WHITE BY MICHELLE A. VALENTINE

SERIES: Wicked White #1
PUBLISHER: Montlake Romance
GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance
SOURCE: Review copy received via NetGalley

SUMMARY
After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone. Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her. Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?

MY REVIEW

I never read any Michelle A. Valentine's work, but this book piqued my curiosity almost instantly. A rockstar who doesn't care about money and fame but shows how other values are really important in life definitely calls for attention, right?

"Wicked White" is a book that has undoubtedly its charm but, in the end, it didn't completely click for me... The chemistry between the characters was there, but the love part was a bit hard to believe. While I think attractions are immediate, insta-love is another story. Declarations of love made too easy too soon don't stand, they usually tend to put a certain distance between the characters and the reader who struggles to connect with them and the story. However, it needs to be said that the plot wasn't bad and certain events happened in the past still made for an interesting read.

If you read rockstars stories, you should try this book because it offers an original twist. Despite my issues with it, I still enjoyed it and I personally think I'll try other Valentine's books in the future.

RATING: 3/5

Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Seduced" by Helena Newbury



SEDUCED BY HELENA NEWBURY

SERIES: Undercover #1
PUBLISHER: Foster & Black New Adult
GENRE: NA Romantic Suspense
SOURCE: Free E-copy from Amazon

SUMMARY
Part 1 in the New Adult Romantic Suspense serial, "Undercover." 
I am out of my depth. Yesterday, I was just a CIA languages geek, safe behind a desk. I thought I wanted a taste of the action. Then I met him. Luka. Arms dealer. Russian mafia. A man who'll kill to get what he wants. And he wants me. Now I'm on a plane to Moscow with orders to "accidentally" run into him again. Seduce him. Sleep with him. I can’t control myself when I’m near him. And if he finds out who I really am, I'm dead.

MY REVIEW

Serials are a bit tricky for me, I never found one that really drew me in and left me hanging because of the cliffhangers at the end of each instalment, but a blogger friend of mine pointed this one out to me while it was free and I decided to give it a shot. Three months later here I am asking you to do the same! If you're into romantic suspense, this book can really work for you. The pace is very good, the writing captivating, the plot intriguing and the characters seductive. You read it in one sit and then ask yourself why you don't have the second part with you already!

Helena Newbury did a great job with this first part of her Undercover serial, she definitely piqued my curiosity and made me wonder about how things are going to work between this criminal and the CIA agent who has dangerously got his attention...

RATING: 4/5

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesday (#58)


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB @ A Daily Rhythm.
Wanna play along? Grab your current read, open to a random page and share two sentences from somewhere on that page, being careful NOT to include spoilers (you don't wanna ruin the book for others!). Also, remember to include title & author as well so, if readers like your teaser, they can add the book to their TBR lists!

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This week's teaser: MASQUERADE by Joanna Taylor

"'My verse your virtues rare shall eternize,'" I begin, "'And in the heavens write your glorious name.'"
"'When Death shall all the world subdue,'" rejoins Edward, "'Our love shall live, and later life renew.'"

~Page 36

What do you think?
Leave a comment with a link to your TT so I can stop by and be teased by them all! ;)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Shadow of Deception Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway!

Today I'm happy to host a stop for Shadow of Deception Tour, organized by Dark World Books!
(Click on the banner above to see the schedule.)



SHADOW OF DECEPTION
(The Kazumi Chronicles #1)


2153, Toronto, United Nation of North America (UNNA)
A horrific plane crash kills all five hundred and forty-two passengers except one. Kazumi emerges from the wreckage physically unscathed but has lost all her memories. Her miraculous survival has the whole city buzzing but all she wants is to go home, wherever home is.
After waiting a month in the hospital with no one to claim her, Kazumi is deemed homeless. She is about to be sent to a nearby teenage shelter when the nurse she grew to trust ushers her down a mysterious path, one that promises safety and maybe even the chance to recover her memories. With no better options available, Kazumi takes her chance and finds herself in the headquarters of the Sarcomeres, a secret society of genetically advanced humans hidden deep inside the Rocky Mountains. The Sarc’s heightened physical abilities and high-tech gadgets are not the only things that fascinate Kazumi. Finnegan O’Riley, a fellow Sarc she meets along the way also gets her heart racing. When Kazumi discovers that she possesses the genetic potential of a Sarcomere, she jumps at the chance to train with them, not knowing the death defying tests that are involved.
Meanwhile, a centuries-old nemesis of the Sarcomeres begins to stir in the dark, setting their dark plans in motion. Just when Kazumi thinks she can help protect her new found home, past memories surface to threaten her new identity. She soon realizes that layers of deception run deep and everyone has a secret agenda, including herself.
Who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself? One wrong decision could bring forth consequences worse than death.

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Indigo - Google Play
Add Shadow of Deception to your Goodreads list!

*All royalties made in the first year will go to a charity
called Covenant House, to help homeless youth.*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With a degree in International Business Management, Sophia has worked in a major marketing firm where she realized the corporate world isn’t one she wants to be in. She then made the switch into the healthcare industry as a Registered Massage Therapist by day and a writer by night. She is now a Massage Therapy instructor and a published author living with her husband and daughter in Toronto. Her go-to genres are science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian; or anything that sweeps her away into a foreign world that promises adventure.



GUEST POST
Migration

There are so many things I can talk about but for some reason, I really wanted to tell you a little adventure I went on when I was nine that no parents nowadays would dare to do with their kids. But first, let me set the stage for you.
I'm a Chinese Canadian, born and raised in China until I was nine. Like a lot of people living in China back in the 80s, my parents sought out every opportunity to leave home so they could build a better life. They managed to come to Canada, but the cost was to leave me behind with my grandma—a big sacrifice for a better future for the whole family. I was four when they left. 
Now some of you at this point, especially those with kids, might gasp at my parents' decision. Now that I'm also a mom, I too cannot begin to fathom the pain of leaving behind my precious daughter while not knowing when we will reunite again. But now that I know what they felt, I applaud my parents for their courage, for I was too young to know the difference of not having them around but they were the ones who had to suffer the torment. Without their sacrifice, I wouldn't be the person I am today and I wouldn't have the comfortable life and freedom Canada offers.
So when the good news came that I was to reunite with my parents in Toronto five years later, everyone's enthusiasm was drowned by the problem at hand. They could only afford one flight ticket and my mom was very pregnant with my brother, which meant I had to fly from China to Canada all by myself. And the best part, I didn't speak a word of English. As a last minute preparation, my grandma sent me to night school in the hope that I'd learn enough English to help my travel. It did not. Unless knowing “this is a man” and “this is a pen” would suffice. 
Despite the long journey, I was not afraid. It was simply something I had to do. But excitement also eluded me because not only was I going to an unknown place on the other side of the globe, I was leaving behind a life I knew and loved.
The day came and I was ready with my little pink messenger bag that I was told to guard with my life. Apparently it contained the bit of jewelry my parents left for me. My grandma and my uncle said their goodbyes at the departure area and to their relief, a flight attendant led me through customs without complication. I was ready to break out my two English phrases but there was no need. The same lady led me to the gate where I had to wait for boarding. I watched as the seats filled up around me while clutching my pink bag on my lap. Just then I realized I forgot to pay the nice lady. I was given twenty Hong Kong dollars and specific instructions to do so. Oh well.
I boarded the plane without incident and was well on my way to Vancouver, a fourteen-hour flight. The first eight hours were relatively uneventful. Then turbulence hit. Having never been exposed to such gut-wrenching jolts, my stomach couldn't withstand it. I vomited all over myself; my knit sweater, my pants, and my precious pink bag. The flight attendant was quick to act, cleaning me up as best as she could but I had no extra clothes as everything was checked. That day I learned never to wear a knit sweater on a plane.
I don't remember much about the layover in Vancouver but the flight that followed was even more memorable than the first. At least the first flight had Chinese flight attendants and the food was semi-edible. Not a single person I saw on the second flight spoke my language. My nerves kicked in as I realized I was truly alone. I hugged myself tight in my window seat and hoped to fall asleep so the five-hour flight would go by faster. But my bladder decided to complain and I had to pee badly shortly after takeoff. It should be common sense to just walk around until you find a washroom. But I was afraid. This was not the same flight I took that had familiar faces and understandable instructions. To the nine year-old me who was not only surrounded by strangers, but strange humans who looked different and sounded different, common sense was nowhere to be seen inside my frightened head.
Then a random act of kindness brought me to senses. By then I had curled myself into a ball fighting my urge. The guy next to me suddenly grabbed my blanket that I didn't know had fallen to the floor, and wrapped it around my body. He probably doesn't remember having done such a minute thing for a stranger but his action had lifted a frightened little girl from the dark. To this day, I still remember what it felt like when that blanket touched my back.
At that moment, I decided that I had enough filth on me for the day and I would not allow myself to be reduced to a baby, peeing in her pants. I leaned slightly over to the kind stranger and whispered. He said “What?” a few times, couldn't make out what I said in my tiny mousy voice, and the fact that I was speaking in Cantonese. I had asked him where the washroom was but he didn't understand. Neither did the flight attendant he sought out to help. I don't know what exactly happened next but somehow they managed to find the only Chinese person on board, who was sitting at the opposite end of the plane. She showed me to the washroom and was able to switch seats to accompany me for the rest of the flight.
When I met my parents at the gate, their eyes were full of excitement and anticipation. I on the other hand, was calm and grateful. I appreciated every act of kindness shown my way and I knew then that this is one heck of a ride that I'd never forget. Oh and my precious pink bag made it safely as well. 

I hope all of you enjoyed my mini memoir. Thank you for reading. Feel free to connect with me on www.sophialjohnsonbooks.com.
Warm wishes to all!

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

Win one of two 10$ Amazon Gift Cards.
Fill the Rafflecopter form below and good luck everyone! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#8)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine
in which we have the opportunity to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

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This week's pick: UNTIL FRIDAY NIGHT by Abbi Glines
Expected publication: August 25th, 2015 by Simon & Schuster UK

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

What do you think? And what are you waiting for?
Leave a comment with a link to your WoW so I can stop by and get excited, too! ;)
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