Friday, April 24, 2015

Since Drew by J. Nathan Book Blitz


We are so super excited to be part of the Since Drew Book Blitz. Seriously, look at this cover! How can one not want to join in? Anyway, we have some goodies for you to enjoy -- an excerpt, a teaser plus a giveaway (open internationally)! Thank you to J. Nathan and Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this book blitz. 

Now please, continue to ogle this cover; trust us, we understand and have at it!

~ Bel



All Andi Parker has ever wanted, all she’s ever dreamed of, is a spot on the Olympic track team. But when a near-fatal accident leaves her hospitalized with serious injuries and shattered dreams, she’s not only uncertain what her future holds but also completely alone.

Drew Slater is a wanted man. Professional football teams want him for his arm. Women want him for his good looks and magnetic personality. But the well-crafted disguise he wears, the one that helps him score on and off the field, hides secrets. Conceals lies. Threatens the happiness of everyone around him.

One chance encounter brings Andi and Drew together, changing their worlds in ways they never thought possible. Unfortunately, what they thought they knew about themselves—and each other—might just be the biggest lie of all.
  
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EXCERPT:

He approached the chair beside my bed and dropped down into it, keeping his eyes trained on mine.
“Hi?”
A devious smirk tipped his lips as he placed the bag on the floor and lowered my tray table in the space between us. He reached inside the crinkly bag, letting his hand linger. I’d give him props. He definitely knew how to pique my curiosity. His hand slid out grasping a shot glass. His eyes stayed on mine as he placed it on the empty tray table in front of him. Then he reached back in and pulled out a second glass.
“Thirsty?”
A slow sexy smile skated across his lips as he slid the glass across the table in front of me. But he wasn’t done. He reached back in the bag and pulled out a full bottle of vodka.
“Seriously?” I laughed.
He nodded. “You scared?”    
“Scared I’m gonna drink you under the table.”
He threw back his head and let loose a shoulder shaking laugh. So carefree. So comfortable. So unbelievably breathtaking.
But once it continued much longer than necessary, I crossed my arms over the UNC printed on my powder-blue T-shirt. “Are we playing a game or just trying to get sloppy drunk?”
His laughter subsided as he dug into his pocket and pulled out a quarter, holding it up so the fluorescent lights in my room reflected off it.
“So, we’re wagering?”
He nodded. “And with the pain meds getting the liquor to your head quicker, you being drunk off your ass is just an added bonus.”
I swallowed down. Hard.
“Now if I win…” He twisted his lips like he really needed to consider the stakes. “I get to give you a sponge bath.”
He said it so matter-of-factly, it threw me for a loop. Then again, it seemed like a win-win for me.
“If you win,” he continued. “You give me a sponge bath.”
“Who said I’d want to give you a sponge bath?” I totally did.
“Seriously? Have you seen me?”
I almost choked on the arrogance floating around the room. But in all honesty, I liked it. Too much. A guy who knew who he was and what he wanted turned me on. It’s what I was drawn to. What I normally sought out. I nodded toward the vodka. “Where’d you get it?”
“My buddy Avery smuggled it in.”
“All in an effort to get me drunk?”
His smile spread wide. “All in an effort to get you drunk and give you a sponge bath.”
“Ever think of just asking?”




 AUTHOR BIO:

I'm a total romance junkie! Add an alpha male who's unlikable in the beginning...even better. Happy endings are a must. Don’t leave me with an unexpected cliffhanger or someone dying in the end. I’ll be depressed for days. Love triangles and negative people are the bane of my existence. My family, friends, sangria, and watermelon margaritas are the light…

I love hearing from readers, so feel free to get in touch with me at:

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

That's What HE Said Thursday #25

Image courtesy of Kei at The Lovely Pages Review

That's What HE Said is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful ladies at Chapter Break. It's a chance for us to spotlight and gush over a quote from our current book crush to the object of his desire. We like to pretend it's us ;)

What better way to celebrate our book boyfriends?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

This week's quote is from Bethany Crandell's Summer On The Short Bus. This book was a genuine surprise that had me laughing at the many awkward moments in it because lord knows, I have plenty of my own. In this scene, Cricket and Quinn are walking back to camp after a quiet dinner. Quinn, who could be Zac Efron's twin has become the highlight of Cricket's day at the camp. If you'd like to read my review, you can click here. Anyway, this is a cute but awkward moment from the book.





My heart begins to race as he squeezes my hand before narrowing his gaze to my mouth. Cosmo would say we're moving too fast, but I don't give a crap about big sister advice. I allow my eyes to drift shut, prepping myself for what is bound to be the best first kiss ever, when he says, "You've got a little pizza sauce right here."

My eyes flutter open. "What?"

"Right here." He dabs at my cheek with the same hand I had been holding seconds before. "It was so good you were saving some for later?"

I feel my cheeks warm with embarrassment as I scrub at the leftover sauce. "Thanks, " I say with false amusement. "I guess I'm a bigger mess than I realized."

"Yea, maybe you are," he says, leaning close enough so I can see my reflection in his eyes. "But that's when life starts getting good, right? When it's messy."


~ Quinn to Cricket

Summer On The Short Bus by
Bethany Crandell

Waiting on Wednesday (147)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.

Rogue (Talon #2)By Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: April 28, 2015

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant. 

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. 

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?






GalgorithmBy Aaron Karo
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

A romantic comedy about high school, heartbreak, and having all the answers.

What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That's the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.

After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.

As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict...
 







The Heir (The Selection, #4)By Kiera Cass
Publication Date: May 5, 2015

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought

Only With You by Lauren Layne

Only with You (The Best Mistake, #1)*** 1/2
Love is the Biggest Gamble of All . . . 

Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn't exactly have a life plan. She's perfectly happy being everyone's favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it's time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.

Yet what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee-who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn't take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he's been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . . 










Review:


Who would have thought that choosing to wear a pair of trashy sparkly boots left over from a Halloween costume could be so life altering?  Certainly not Sophie Dalton.  Sophie has pretty much been coasting through life after dropping out of Harvard Law School.  And up until now she’s been fine with that.  But when she gets stuck in an elevator with an uptight jerk who mistakes her for a prostitute she starts wondering if maybe she needs to make some changes in her life.

Fast forward to a Sunday dinner at the Dalton house.  Sophie’s sister, Brynn, walks in with her new boyfriend.  Surprise, surprise….it’s Grayson Wyatt.  The guy who changed Sophie’s life when he told her he wasn’t looking for an escort service.  As a hilariously awkward dinner progresses Brynn accidentally tells their parents that Sophie has quit her job without lining up a new one in advance.  In an effort to take the negative parental attention off Sophie, Brynn suggests that Gray hire her to be his assistant.  Being the gentleman he is, Gray offers her the job while also giving her an easy out.  But Sophie gets one look at the fear and discomfort on Gray’s face and decides that taking the job will be the perfect revenge for bringing a lifetime of insecurities so close to the surface that she feels the need to change her life.

When I saw this cover, I was expecting a steamy confident romance.  And it is both of those things.  But it’s also more.  Sophie is a wonderfully humorous and complex character.  Her conversational skills (which are lifesavers to both her family and Gray throughout the book) provide lots of witty dialogue and also allow the reader to see all of Sophie’s amazing potential while she is struggling with a significant amount of insecurity.  Gray is perfect in everything he does.  At least that’s what the world sees.  What the public doesn’t see (and what Sophie quickly learns) is that Gray has his own insecurities.  After a failed engagement, he finds it difficult to trust women and embrace romance.  He also has a strained relationship with his brother and sister who he has been responsible for since he was very young.

One of my favorite characters in this book was Sophie’s best friend William.  He was funny and kind and the chemistry between him and Sophie’s sister was off the charts.  It was also fascinating considering Brynn is as uptight as Gray.   You can be sure I’ll be reading their story soon (Made For You). 

This was a fun and sweet romance.  Not only a perfect read for when you want to get away but also a great comfort read.  It’s definitely one that I will be picking up again. 


~Nat

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

LIFT Authors Raising Awareness Wk 3 Giveaway

LIFT banner justified

Week 3 of LIFT doesn't let up! We have such incredible donations from amazing authors this week.

If you missed the LIFT t-shirts, there's still a chance! Reserve yours in our "round two" LIFT order today! Don't be left out when we have LIFT selfie day!

LIFT tshirt


This week's MegaGiveaway benefits The Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation.

Thank you to the generous authors donating!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blind Date With A Book Wk 4 Giveaway presented by TWCS

Four weeks of GiveAways!!!
Enter this week to win one of the following titles in eBook.
Week 4
Feather Light, Lorenz Font, Romance/Erotica
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Parker Davis has conquered three major American cities and is the new ‘it’ man in massage. He earned the nickname ‘Feather Light’ for his sensual touches, tender caresses, and soft voice eliciting an almost orgasmic release. Clients from all over clamor for his services, and his clientele is growing by the minute. Business is at its peak, which makes Parker a busy man who has no time to deal with problems, let alone dwell on his blindness. With his declining vision, Parker has to accept his limitations and the changes brought forth by this disease, but he is not ready to relinquish the last control he has left. He is still the master in his bedroom.
Kelly Storm, a Hollywood actress, will do whatever it takes to get some much-deserved peace. Being famous has its perks, except the little privacy her popularity afforded her is slowly eating at her. With the paparazzi hounding her every minute of the day and her personal life under constant scrutiny, Kelly wants a semblance of normalcy wherever she can get it. Under the urging of a close friend, she agrees give Parker a try.
Their first meeting is nothing she expects. Kelly finds comfort in his gentle probing and the spellbinding experience guaranteed to keep her coming back for more. Parker knows the woman on his table is special. He feels her vulnerability with his fingertips, and her smooth curves leave a burning ache inside him.
One night of steamy passion is all it takes to know that they wanted each other in more ways than one. Kelly hides in heavy disguises, making it impossible for Parker to know her true identity. What secret is Kelly keeping, and will she trust Parker enough to tell him the truth? Will Parker see beyond Kelly’s lies to show her what a future with him holds?
Beneath the Sur-face, M.A. Stacie, Romance/Erotica
Beneath_the_Surface_Low-Res_Cover
Kyran Reese is a man in control. Driven when it comes to work, focused when it comes to play. From his office to the chalk circle of Metro’s bare-knuckle boxing ring, his only thought is to win. That thirst heightens when Dale Porter enters his life. His brother’s assistant should be off-limits, but her witty comments and sarcastic comebacks have him desperate to get her between the sheets. After receiving an unexpected left hook, Kyran gets exactly what he wants, though he makes the rules very clear.
When Dale agrees to Kyran’s relationship stipulation of no labels, she’s sucked into a whirlwind of lust, money, and underground boxing.  The agreement to keep their lust away from the office is discarded when rules are molded to suit their ever-increasing attraction. Dale fights her growing affection, trying to hide it even when the world around them spirals out of control. All too soon she realizes she can’t hide her true feelings any longer.
Kyran begins to wonder if he’s finally met his match, and with his family falling apart before his eyes, he turns to the two things he knows will keep him sane: boxing and Dale. Those crutches can’t last forever, and when Kyran finds it harder to function he is left with a decision he never thought he’d have to make.
Could playing to win mean playing for keeps?
Beyond the Seduction, M.A. Stacie, Ro-mance/Erotica
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For a man who thought he had everything, Trace Jacks sure had nothing now.
After one letter blows his life apart, Trace is clueless how he can move on. He stumbles through the days, never accepting the grief that flows within him and finding it easier to bury his loss. To him, if he doesn’t think about it, then it never happened. Burying the hurt, he continues with his new life. Hiding from the truth becomes a lot easier after he takes his niece to her dance class, striking up an interesting conversation with her teacher.
Shae Bennett is happy to keep things fun, enjoying Trace’s seduction and his spontaneity. She’s reluctant to get serious with anyone; she has enough going on in her life. With him she can forget about her concerns for her mom, her tumultuous relationship with her father and stress of running the dance studio. With him she can be herself, and it becomes all consuming.
When the fun beings to slip, when reality starts to en-croach in the worst possible way, their relationship unravels at an alarming speed. Neither one is willing to end what they’ve come to need so deeply, but each of them has issues that can only be dealt with alone.
Can Trace and Shae unhook the chains that hold them back? Is their newfound love strong enough to battle back to one another?
Slave, Sherri Hayes, Romance/Erotica
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Stephan has lived the lifestyle of a Dominant for five years. After several rebellious teenage years, it gave him the stability and control he had been seeking after his parent’s death.
As president of a not-for-profit foundation, he knows what his future holds and what he wants out of life. All that changes when a simple lunch with his col-lege friend and Mentor, Daren, leads him to buying a slave.
Thrust into a situation he never thought he’d be in, Stephan can’t walk away. He is compelled to help this girl in the only way he knows how.
Brianna knows only one thing, she is a slave. She has nothing. She is nothing.
Can Stephan help Brianna realize that she is much more than just a Slave?
Supernova, C.L. Parker, Romance/Paranormal
Supernova_Low-Res_Cover
Somewhere between the first twinkling of stars in the night sky and the break of dawn, two souls from two unique worlds collide, creating an everlasting su-pernova.
Kerrigan Cruz and Dominic Grayson are among the chosen few who have the gift, or the curse, of being able to walk between two worlds.  It is on the cusp of where these beings meet that everything changes, and life as they know it is turned upside down. Fantasy becomes reality and what shouldn’t be, is.
Forced by destiny, their chance encounter is breathed to life by the one thing that can make even the most impossible of impossibilities a reality.  Something so complex in nature, yet as simple as a flicker of thought to exercise. Most normal people go about their everyday lives never even suspecting its existence. But it is out there…it is the Light.
The universe has granted the power of the Light to a chosen bloodline charged with the responsibility of protecting our right to choose our destiny. But in the shadows, darkness wreaks havoc in the lives of the unsuspecting. Yes, another world does exist, and it holds secrets beyond what the most vivid imagination can comprehend.
Supernova:  His curse. Her gift. Their desti-ny.
Fixer, Gene Doucette, Romance/Paranormal
c308d-fixer
What would you do if you could see into the fu-ture?
As a child, he dreamed of being a superhero. Most people never get to realize their childhood dreams, but Corrigan Bain has come close. He is a fixer. His job is to prevent accidents—to see the future and “fix” things before people get hurt. But the ability to see into the future, however limited, isn’t always so simple. Sometimes not everyone can be saved.
“Don’t let them know you can see them.”
Graduate students from a local university are dying, and former lover and FBI agent Maggie Trent is the only person who believes their deaths aren’t as accidental as they appear. But the truth can only be found in something from Corrigan Bain’s past, and he’s not interested in sharing that past, not even with Maggie.
To stop the deaths, Corrigan will have to face up to some old horrors, confront the possibility that he may be going mad, and find a way to stop a killer no one can see.
Corrigan Bain is going insane . . . or is he?
Because there’s something in the future that doesn’t want to be seen. It isn’t human. It's got a taste for mayhem. And it is very, very angry.
By the author of Immortal and Hellenic Immor-tal.
Redemption, Lindsey Gray, Ro-mance/Paranormal
Redemption_Low-Res_Cover
Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen waste land.
As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they em-bark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group.
Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?
Hunted,  Lorenz Font, Ro-mance/Paranormal
Hunted-Hi-Res-Cover
Deep in the heart of New York City’s netherworld, a horrible disease is ravaging the vampire community. The Vampire Council is on a crusade to obliterate those infected, and Harrow Gates is target Number One. The unwitting source of the plague, he suffers from the same nightmarish symptoms as his victims. The world he'd been thrust into was cold, cruel, and intent on eradicating him, and the legions of afflicted vampires he created with his bite.
A bounty hanging over his head, satisfying his hunger has become an enormous challenge for Harrow. The less he feeds, the more hideous and painful his lesions become. Constantly running for his life and learning new tricks to survive, Harrow is in no position to refuse when Pritchard Tack offers him a unique opportunity. Pritchard not only gives Harrow a new beginning, but also a purpose and a chance to rectify the chaos he created in the vampire world. However, the multi-billionaire has an agenda of his own.
Jordan is a reluctant new vampire and a woman on a mission. After the demise of her family and her own transformation at the hands of Goran, the ruthless leader of the Vampire Council, her only focus is revenge. Constantly faced with one frustrating dead-end after another, a stroke of luck leads her to an underground facility that she suspects is the lair of the monster for whom she is looking.
Upon learning more about the truth behind the secret bunker, Jordan must fight against her growing feelings of friendship and concern for the facility’s inhabitants. One man in particular threatens to pull her heart away from her sworn mission. There is something behind Harrow’s dark lenses that unsettles the hardened female. Once again, she trembles and hungers for something other than red-stained revenge. Is love strong enough to override her hate-fueled thirst for vengeance?
Convergence, J.D. Watts. Sci/Fy Fantasy
Convergence_Hi-Res_Cover
In modern times, mankind believes they know all that there is to know about the world around them.  Arrogant in their ignorance, they travel through life completely unaware of the other beings in their midst, the Children of Creation. Celestial Angels and Fallen walk amongst them unseen, while the third beings of creation, the Guardians, live along side them, protecting them from attacks of the Fallen.
Daniella Rossi is a nineteen year old college student who sees the world quite differently than those around her.  From infancy, she was aware of the beings that walked among her kind who were not like them, as well as her own personal Guardian who watched over her.  Dani always knew she was different, but she never dreamed the full scope of her importance.
Follow Dani as her life takes an unexpected turn when a new Guardian is assigned to replace her lifelong companion and friend.  Much older, more experienced, and socially awkward, Nathaniel must learn to adjust himself to fit into Dani’s world in order to guard her without drawing unwanted attention.   While the Fallen are determined to capture Dani, she and Nathaniel find themselves developing a bond that goes far beyond that of Guardian and charge.  Facing the strains of a brewing war and forbidden affections, will they be ready for the coming battle?  Will Dani be able to handle the truth of her existence and destiny?
Immortal, Gene Doucette, Fantasy
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“I don’t know how old I am.My earliest memory is something along the lines of fire good, ice bad, so I think I predate written history, but I don’t know by how much. I like to brag that I’ve been there from the beginning, and while this may very well be true, I generally just say it to pick up girls.”
--Adam the Immortal
Surviving sixty thousand years takes cunning and more than a little luck. But in the twenty-first century, Adam confronts new dangers—someone has found out what he is, a demon is after him, and he has run out of places to hide.Worst of all, he has had entirely too much to drink.
Immortal is a first person confessional penned by a man who is immortal, but not invincible. In an artful blending of sci-fi, adventure, fantasy, and humor, IMMORTAL introduces us to a world with vampires, demons and other “magical” creatures, yet a world without actual magic.
At the center of the book is Adam.
“I have been in quite a few tight situations in my long life. One of the first things I learned was if there is going to be a mob panic, don’t be standing be-tween the mob and wherever it is they all want to go. The second thing I learned was, don’t try to run through fire.”
--Adam the Immortal
Adam is a sixty thousand year old man. (Approximately.) He doesn’t age or get sick, but is otherwise entirely capable of being killed.His survival has hinged on an innate ability to adapt, his wits, and a fairly large dollop of luck.He makes for an excellent guide through history . . . when he’s sober.
Immortal is a contemporary fantasy for non-fantasy readers and fantasy enthusiasts alike.
Ghostwriter, Lissa Bryan, Supernatural
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Newly single, unemployed, and with her savings dwindling to an all-time low, Sara thinks things are finally looking up when she lands a job ghostwriting a popular politician’s biography, and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Strange things begin to happen as objects break, go missing, and terrifying visions appear, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left, or if she is slowly losing her mind.
She gets no answers from his family who closely guards the secret of his disappearance. Through an old trunk of letters Sara discovers in the attic of her seaside cottage, Sara unravels the mystery and becomes caught up in a tale of greed, lost love, and the horrors of WWI. Will she be the one to break the “Fortner Curse” by helping Seth conquer his demons, and heal both of their hearts in the process?
The Enemy In-side, Vanessa Skye, Thriller/Suspense
The_Enemy_Inside_Hi-Res_Cover
While exploring darkness in others, be careful not to expose your own.
That's what Chicago detective Alicia Raymond discovers when she's assigned to investigate the torture and murder of a middle-aged trucker.
Better known as Berg, Alicia is forced to confront her darkness: her obsessive need to track down killers; her increasing craving for violence; her potentially devastating feelings for her partner.
When she finds herself sympathizing with a sadistic killer exacting revenge for a decades-old crime, she realizes the most dangerous secret of all might just be her own state of mind. As Berg’s carefully constructed life falls apart, she faces a choice: surrender to the evil inside or finally acknowledge the brutal past she would rather bury.
The Enemy Inside is the first in the Edge of Darkness series, which challenges the concept of justice, asks if vengeance sometimes justifies murder, and explores whether you can ever heal from a broken past.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Secrets Of Attraction by Robin Constantine

* * * 1/2


Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.
Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.


Isn't this cover just so freaking cute? There’s nothing more gratifying that reading a sweet story that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. That’s how I felt after I read Constantine’s previous release, The Promise of Amazing, so reading The Secrets of Attraction was a no-brainer.

This follow-up does feature characters from the previous book but the spotlight this time shines on Maddie. She’s just as nice as Wren but she comes with a hint of an edge to her. Trouble starts when her boyfriend says "I love you" to her. Most teenage girls would be ecstatic that their hot, popular athlete boyfriend would declare those magical three words. Not Maddie. She doesn’t feel the same at all. Not that he’s a bad guy just that she knows that she’s not in love. This makes things awkward between them especially when she strikes up a friendship with Jesse who works at the coffee shop near the yoga studio she goes to. Neither of them have any connection to each other until Grayson, Wren's boyfriend, auditions for Jesse’s band and now both groups of friends are intermingling.

Jesse's had his heart broken by his ex-girlfriend. She hooked up with his ex-best friend who was also the drummer in his band. Both betrayals hurt him badly enough that music kind of lost its luster. Enter Maddie whom he's been noticing for a while. Their friendship sparks something in him. She's delightful to be around and being in her company renews Jesse's interest in his music. He also wants to go for it with her but Maddie draws the line at just being friends. So Jesse has to come up with inventive ways to be with her. 

I like that Maddie is certain about some things yet hesitant about others. For one, I like that she knew that she wasn’t in love with her boyfriend and doesn't want to mislead him once she musters up the courage to be truthful with him. I like her devotion to her friends. I like her closeness with her mom which does get tested at some point in the book. I like that her character experiences the typical anxieties about graduating high school and moving on to college. She has her studies then she has her passion which is art. There’s the practical side of her then there’s the side of her that wants to abandon the heavy responsibilities and just take that risk in pursuing art.

Jesse is great too. He’s got a few kinks to work out like getting his ex out of his system. He’s really into Maddie but she's not ready to admit that attraction. His thoughtful gestures toward her are impressive and will woo the reader as well. While he’s not declaring undying, eternal love here, it’s interesting how he’s the one pushing for them to be an item. Maddie just needs to realize that what she’s experiencing with him is indeed falling in love for the first time.

All in all, The Secrets of Attraction is just adorable and I know that I can count on Constantine to deliver that just-right amount of sweet and angst without too much melodrama. 

~ Bel