Friday, November 30, 2012

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

* * *
Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in Friday Harbor, Washington, with a boyfriend, Kevin, who she believes is her soul mate. She has always had a magical side—a gift that finds its way into the glasswork she creates—and she struggles to keep it contained. But when Lucy is blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal, she questions many of her choices. Kevin leaves her and his new lover is none other than Lucy’s own sister.
Meanwhile, facing the severe disapproval of Lucy’s family, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to “romance” Lucy so that she can more easily move on. But when Sam and Lucy begin to feel real sparks between them, Lucy must ask herself if she can easily risk her heart again. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life—even after being broken—can be re-made into something beautiful. And that it is only by discovering who you really are that you can find the one who truly deserves you. (

I have been a Lisa Kleypas fan for long time.  She is one of my top three favorite romance authors – in good company with Julia Quinn and Amy Lane.  I initially fell in love with her historical romances.  When she started writing contemporary romance I was skeptical.  Her first, Sugar Daddy, was just meh.  But the following two, Blue-Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger, were absolutely stellar.  Seeing that she could rock the contemporary romance just as much as she did historical romance, I was super excited to read her new Friday Harbor series.  What did I think of them?  Well keep reading to see what I think of Rainshadow Road.  A review of Dream Lake will be up in the next week or so.  The last in the trilogy, Crystal Cove, will be published in February and you can bet your sweet self that I will be reading and reviewing that one too.

Lucy thinks life is pretty perfect right now.  She is making a living doing what she loves.  She lives on a beautiful Pacific Northwest island with lots of lovely friends.  Her boyfriend, Kevin, of three years is absolutely amazing.  Then all of a sudden that perfection is lost when Kevin showed up in her glass shop out of the blue to inform Lucy their relationship wasn’t working for him anymore and he had met someone else.  That someone else being her sister. 

Handling the news as well as anyone would, Lucy takes off on a bike ride - her way of blowing off some steam. And along the way she meets the very sexy and commitment-phobic Sam Nolan.  That initial meeting sets off a friendship that both insist will never be anything more.   

As is usually the case with a Kleypas book, I really loved the characters.  Sam was my favorite kind of hero.  Geeky AND sexy.  The Nolan brothers are a hot mess.  And when I say hot, I mean, “Hot damn!”  And when I say mess, I mean, “Yikes, look at all the emotional baggage.”  I enjoyed Lucy’s independence and how she was open and honest about protecting herself.  Lucy’s friends, Zoe and Justine, are the best kind of friends.  Between the pastries and the reading, this trio of friends made me think of Bel, Shel and I.  Except that the three of us would probably get into a lot more trouble if we were all living together with no supervision. 

Overall this was a good read.  But I didn’t love it.  Although it was both engaging and romantic with plenty of sexual tension, there seemed to be something missing.  Maybe I am greedy but I wanted more.  I wanted more examples of Sam being a geek.  I wanted more scenes with Lucy and her girlfriends having fun.  And I wanted more magic.  Because there is magic in this book and it is beautiful magic.  But it was so tentatively done that it left me a little confused and unfulfilled.   

That being said…there are two reasons I would recommend this book.  One:  If you are a big Kleypas fan like me, then you should read it for that reason alone.  Two: If you are going to read Dream Lake (and you are because I told you to) then you should read this because the two stories overlap a little bit.  They stand alone but it is my personal opinion that it is fun to see some overlapping scenes through more than one point of view. 

Until next time; when I annoy you by gushing over the second installment in the Friday Harbor Trilogy.



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Glass Heart by Amy Garvey

* * *

Wren can do things that other people can only dream of. Make it snow on a clear, crisp day. Fly through an abandoned tunnel. Bring a paper bird to life.
Wren knows her abilities are tinged with danger--knows how easy it is to lose control--but she can't resist the intoxicating rush. And now that she has Gabriel by her side, someone who knows what she can do--what she "has" done--she finally feels free to be herself.
But as Wren explores the possibilities of her simmering powers, Gabriel starts pushing her away. Telling her to be careful.  Telling her to "stop." The more he cautions her, the more determined Wren becomes to prove that she can handle things on her own. And by the time she realizes that Gabriel may be right, it could be too late to bring him back to her side.

So guess who went all fangirl in the bookstore when she eyed this one? That’s right – me. Cold Kiss was one of my Top 10 reads from last year so I squealed ever so slightly when I saw this. To recap, Wren’s a witch and in the previous book brought her dead boyfriend Danny back to life… sort of. He was really more zombie-like and eventually with Gabriel’s help (he just happens to be psychic); Wren righted everything by returning Danny to the afterlife.

In Glass Heart, Wren and Gabriel are together now and she's enjoying her newfound happiness though it’s clear that she’s still working on moving past Danny. Being her first love, she does tend to compare the two guys. The most notable difference that bothers her is that Danny was an open book to her and Gabriel is the opposite.

The struggle in Glass Heart is Wren’s curioisty to learn more about her powers, to let loose and be herself. She accepts that magic is a huge part of who she is and wants to be able to unleash that part of herself. Gabriel on the other hand is insistent on discretion. Gabriel has this quiet reassuring quality about him and he’s very much her protector. He’s constantly worried for her and admonishes her every now and again for her lack of judgment. This difference in opinion drives a wedge between them and forces Wren to fall in with other like-minded people with the same abilities. This spells trouble.

There’s a distinct difference between Cold Kiss and Glass Heart. Glass Heart doesn’t have the heavy weight of mourning and loss that the previous one did.  This time it's purely about high school and the growing pains of finding your place. Wren’s feeling hopless because she cannot publicly show her abilities and she envies her friends who can show off their talents.  Glass Heart is also about rebuilding family. Now that her mother openly admits to their magical inheritance, Wren, her sister, her mother and aunt have to work through the transition.

I was happy with Cold Kiss as a standalone and to be honest, I had no idea how it could even go further from there.  Amy Garvey did a wonderful job allowing Wren to be a typical adolescent. It’s tough enough being a teenager these days but being one with special abilities can be an isolating experience.  Wren may behave like a petulant child occasionally making some seriously questionable decisions but this is what Glass Heart is all about – developing into your own through false starts and rough moments. In the end she realizes where exactly she is.

 ~ Bel





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (42)

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

By Dakota Cassidy
Publication Date:  December 4th, 2012

She’s all bottled up.

Jeannie Carlyle is a caterer extraordinaire, more than ready to handle any challenge thrown at her. But when her client asks her to open up a rare bottle of gin for a party, Jeannie is shocked when a guy in poofy pants pops out and she gets sucked inside. Trapped in the bottle, Jeannie does the only thing she can think of and uses her cell phone to search the term “paranormal” and finds the number for OOPS—Out in the Open Paranormal Support.

Until he sets her free.

Werewolf Sloan Flaherty isn’t keen on dealing with distraught women, especially since his sister-in-law Marty basically forced him to man the OOPS phones. But when Jeannie calls in a panic, Sloan is the only one available to find Jeannie’s bottle. After giving it a good rub, Jeannie emerges dressed like a character from Arabian Nights and starts calling Sloan “Master.” Now, they need to figure out how to break their unwanted bond, before the wishes Jeannie can’t stop granting get them into more trouble than even the OOPS girls can handle…

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

* * * 1/2

Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely? (GoodReads)


I absolutely adored Catching Jordan.  The characters and romance were adorable and perfectly imperfect.  When I heard that Stealing Parker would be the companion novel, I was very excited.  How could I not love a baseball romance?  My favorite sport partnered with some romance?  Win/Win!

Much like Catching Jordan, our heroine, Parker, immediately captured my attention with her realistic teen voice and her significant insecurities.  Noticed I said significant?  Parker’s mom has left, her brother is on a downward spiral and her dad is in complete denial that any help is needed other than prayer and church.  Add that to Parker’s focused attempts to prove she is not like her mom and you find that Parker has a lot to be worried about.   

Although this book has romance, it is more about Parker overcoming her own issues rather than finding a boyfriend.  It took a while before I even knew who her love interest was.  Kenneally handles this story with care and realism.  Not everything is happily ever after and everybody’s future is most definitely not wrapped up with a bright and pretty bow.   Not to say that there aren’t a few “Aww” moments in this book.  There certainly are. 

This story was definitely a bit dark but it was still an enjoyable read.  I would definitely recommend it if you enjoyed Miranda Kenneally’s first novel, Catching Jordan.



Friday, November 23, 2012

The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

* * * *

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.
That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.
Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

I fully admit to choosing this book because of its provocative cover. There’s something so compelling about it that I couldn’t resist escaping into this fantastical world that Sara Walsh has created in her dazzling debut.

I knew that the story would progress itself into the supernatural realm but I had no clue how that was going to happen. I remained in complete ignorant bliss just following Mia through her days, understanding her background and her struggles. Being seventeen and responsible for her little half-brother and keeping her grades up while working part time are Mia’s top priorities in life. Her uncle is not exactly reliable but he’s still family. She lives in a typical small town living the typical small town life, though not everything is normal. There are always those lights around town – mysterious and mesmerizing – that most of the townspeople have gotten used to but have had her curious for as long as she can remember.  Ripping a giant hole in the perfect small town picture is the fact that young boys have been going missing for the last few months. Mia’s gut instinct is that those disappearances are linked to those lights. But who can she tell without sounding like a nutter?

Enter Sol, who arrives at her high school raising many eyebrows looking every bit the detached loner. Naturally Mia is drawn to him yet also weary of him. She takes it upon herself to discover who he is. As she does she also uncovers a disturbing connection to her family.  Getting closer to him embroils her in trouble and well, her reality is forever changed. When her brother disappears, it’s goodbye normal teen problems and hello crazy new world.

The Dark Light is such an appealing story and I was very impressed that Walsh didn’t divulge all its secrets at once. Just when I’d gotten over one new detail, there’d be another startling revelation to make me go wide-eyed with awe.

I’ll just go ahead and repeat myself: The Dark Light is a dazzler! Slightly spine-chilling in the beginning but develops in to an exhilarating adventure.  I want more!

~ Bel





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rescue My Heart Blog Tour - Q&A with Jill Shalvis!

We crazy fangirls were lucky enough to be given a spot on the Rescue My Heart Blog Tour.  This is our second time participating in a Jill Shalvis blog tour and it is always a ton of fun.  Because really, how could it not be when the author is JILL SHALVIS!!!!  There are so many reasons we love Jill.  Her unabashed appreciation of the male form.  Her unashamed portrayal of women that are both beautiful AND socially awkward.  Her love of all foods that are bad for you.  The list goes on. 

When we asked her the next 4 simple questions, we had one goal in mind.  Snuggly attach Shel to Jill's hip during Romantic Times 2013.  I think we have may have succeeded?

Bibliojunkies:  Cookies or Cupcakes? 

Jill Shalvis:  COOKIES!!!!  Always cookies!!!!


Bibliojunkies:  Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Jill Shalvis:  CHOCOLATE!!!!  Always chocolate!!!!  J


Bibliojunkies:  Linkin Park or Snow Patrol? 

Jill Shalvis:  Oh goodness.  Don’t make me pick!!  I love them both so much.  I have used lyrics from each to define heroes, and entire love stories.  Both bands are such great story tellers.  But okay, if I had to pick one it would be Linkin Park.


Bibliojunkies:  It's no surprise to anyone that Bibliojunkie Shel is a huge Jill Shalvis fangirl.  If she could manage to bring all of the above to you at RT2013 can she be your honorary BFF for a day? 

Jill Shalvis:  She can own me for an entire week….

Challenge Accepted Ms. Shalvis.  We will be greeting you at RT 2013 with all of the above.  Now, how to snag Linkin Park for the day…. 

After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.

Holly Reid learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, it’s the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.

For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time. (GoodReads)


Holly and Adam have avoided each other as much as possible since they both moved back to the town where they first met.  But when Holly’s dad doesn’t return from one of his hiking/camping getaways Holly’s first instinct is to beg Adam (search and rescue trainer extraordinaire) to help her find him.  When Holly insists on tagging along during Adam’s search they are forced to address the still sizzling attraction between each other.  

Jill Shalvis is known for her combination of sizzling romance and hilarity.  Two things you can always count on when reading her books.  One, a hot alpha hero that should never be allowed to wear a shirt.  And two, a heroine that has at least one socially awkward idiosyncrasy that will leave you in a fit of giggles.  She manages to write with tongue in cheek while still leaving you breathless over the romance that is unfolding. 

Rescue My Heart is no exception.  If you have read Animal Magnetism or Animal Attraction, you have met Adam and Holly.  Adam has always come across as the stoic hero with a dark past.  The few times we met Holly….well, she just came across as a complete bitch.  But in Rescue My Heart we learn a lot more about what is going on between these two and what has made them the people they are.   

Adam is one of Shalvis’ more dramatic characters.  But he certainly has a sense of humor.  Which is probably good since that humor makes him the only guy willing and able to deal with Holly’s brand of crazy – um, I mean stubbornness.  This girl is annoyingly stubborn.  I won’t lie.  I didn’t like her at first.  But she definitely grows on you.  Particularly when she decides to slowly wear Adam down on the relationship front.   

In the end, this was a fun story.  A little bit of angst with Shalvis’ signature humor goes a long way to brightening a gloomy day and this book did just that.



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

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

By Julie Cross
Publication Date:  January 15, 2013

Julie Cross's Vortex is the thrilling second installment of the Tempest series, inwhich the world hangs in the balance as a lovelorn Jackson must choose who to save
Jackson Meyer has thrown himself into his role as an agent for Tempest, the shadowy division of the CIA that handles all time-travel-related threats. Despite his heartbreak at losing the love of his life, Jackson has proved himself to be an excellent agent. However, after an accidental run in with Holly—the girl he altered history to save—Jackson is once again reminded of what he's lost. And when Eyewall, an opposing division of the CIA, emerges, Jackson and his fellow agents not only find themselves under attack, but Jackson begins to discover that the world around him has changed and someone knows about his erased relationship with Holly, putting both their lives at risk all over again.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Peek in the BiblioBin (44)

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the Biblio-Bin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

This is what we have in our bin this week. Tell us what's in your Biblio-bin!

 For Review:

Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton


Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally


Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Evolution Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

* * * * *

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.


As soon as I started reading Evolution I knew I'd have trouble breaking away from it. It didn't take long for the familiar creepy feeling from the first book to sink back in to be completely enthralled in Mara's dysfunctional world.

Mara is facing the consequences of events that she helped manipulate in the previous book. Her dad's recovering from that gunshot wound. She's in the hospital after her shock at seeing her ex-boyfriend Jude (who's supposed to have died in that building collapse) at the police station when she went to turn herself in.  Her mother is convinced that Mara is suffering a mental breakdown and now needs to have professional counseling. She's sent to outpatient counseling where the other kids in her group are just as mentally disturbed as she is. She's constantly under supervision and her family walks the tightrope of being too protective and too lax with the rules . But don’t worry, Noah is still in the picture, having charming his way into her family's good graces. He’s the only one who believes her when she says that Jude is still alive and is stalking her.

What makes Evolution so riveting is that Mara’s mind is cracking to where she’s distrusting of everyone around her, including herself. Her constant nightmares, memories of the building collapse, the danger that she is to her family and Jude's presence have thrown her off balance. She's barely holding it together.  Noah being the only one who believes her does what he can to investigate and protect her.

And thank goodness for Noah! Evolution is so much darker but Noah brings some relief. He’s always there to ease the tension and soothe her. His humor and snarkiness are perfect for distracting Mara from getting too lost in her mind’s mess.  There were plenty of times when I laughed aloud because of their silly banter –  I'm sure I rolled my eyes at Noah as much as Mara did.

When Mara’s not too busy sliding into insanity or making out with Noah, they’re researching the source of their special “powers”. They’re exploring all kinds of options ranging from genetics to familial connections and even psychics.  But everywhere they turn, there’s a new mystery to solve.

The Evolution of Mara Dyer is thrilling and alarming. I’m not keen on scary reads but the suspense here is all psychological. What makes this book stand out completely is that I had absolutely no frigging idea where the story was headed. I loved feeling as in the dark as Mara felt. 

So I say yes, definitely read this. Don't try and solve the mystery. Just read and follow the descent into madness and by the end you'll be just as astonished as I was. And then you'll be mad because Michelle Hodkin wrote such a brilliant book and she's making us wait another year for the next one. 
~ Bel

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gratitude Giveaway Hop 2012

Yay!  Another giveaway!  A huge thank you to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting this fantastic hop.  At BiblioJunkies HQ, we are so thankful for all of you that stop by and actually participate in or read our silliness.  We LOVE meeting other purveyors of the silly and ridiculous, so this giveaway is to say THANKS! 

This year, as always, I am thankful for my fellow BiblioJunkies who are my BFFs, my partners-in-crime and all around fabulous chics!  I am also thankful for breakfast chocolate, hot boys without shirts and fantastic books that send us to another world for a while. 

Bel says she is thankful for:

"Dark chocolate covered coconut bars, my Psych pineapple stress ball, my newfound love of running and any dreams of mine involving any of the fictional and non-fictional hotties I love."

And Nat's thankful for:
Was on vacation when I wrote this post, so I am going to make things up.  Nat is thankful for her new boots, Peeta, short stop lights and The Killers. 

What are you thankful for?

So, now for the free stuff!  Today we are giving away a book that is in the running for my very favorite book of 2012 - Spark by Brigid Kemmerer.

Seriously folks, this is a phenomenal book and everyone should read the series.

AND, because I'm feeling a little crazy, we are also giving away the much loved book by Kiera Cass, The Selection.

All you have to do to enter is follow us, either by GFC, Twitter or "like" ing us on Facebook.  Leave your info in the Rafflecopter form below and you may win these awesome books!  Because we spent all our money on books, chocolate and/or pie, this giveaway is open to those with continental U.S. addresses only.  You can read the fine print below.  Also, check out the linky for all the other participating blogs.

Again, a HUGE thank you to everyone the comes out to play with us and good luck!

~Shel, Bel & Nat

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

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

By Kresley Cole
Publication Date: November 27, 2012

1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole introduces The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new paranormal series following the royal bloodline of Dacia, a vampire kingdom hidden within the Lore of the Immortals After Dark. Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament— to the death.


Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.


Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.


Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch. . .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Desert Island

Or ... Top Ten Books I'd Want On A Dessert Island

Are you kidding me? Solitude. Quiet. No squabbling kids? Sign me up stat! Along with the sunscreen, the iPod with the never ending battery life and some (lots) of chocolate, pie, ice cream and cakes galore, I’ll me bringing these books with me for company …


Anna and The French Kiss

If I’m going to be stuck somewhere on my own I definitely need to bring this feel-good book with me. How can one not fall in love with this gem? It’s sweet, nothing overly dramatic. Just about a quirky girl falling in love for the first time with an equally quirky boy, set against the romantic backdrop that is Paris, France. Yep. This one is a winner and is always there for a good pick-me-up.


Hush Hush

Come on now. You expect me to go to a desert island without Patch? Of course I’d bring Hush Hush where he and I first met. What? Okay fine. Where Patch and Nora first met.  (She really gets in the way, doesn’t she?) Anyway, my snarky archangel in tight fitting black shirts will deliver me from utter boredom with his clever lines and his insatiable appetite for … tacos.



City of Fallen Angels


Jace. Rain. Brick walls. An unforgettable trip to the grocery store.


Secret Diary of Adrian Mole 13 ¾

And here I revert back to my childhood.  I’d first heard about Adrian Mole as a kid when it was made into a British TV series. A dry-humored, sarcastic boy fumbling through adolescence with a large contempt towards people he considers intellectually inferior was an instant hit. This series has always driven me to fits and giggles. So many things about it ring true of those excruciating teen years. This series has a special place on my bookshelf and in my heart.

Starter For Ten

Another British gem. Please don’t rely on the movie version to understand just how brilliantly funny this book is, even if it stars James McAvoy, one of my actor crushes. Set at a university in the 80's, Starter For Ten follows Brian Jackson who's greatest dream is to be on the TV show "University Challenge". He gets his chance and all sorts of nonsense ensues. Growing up is kind of a pain. 

The Trouble With Paradise


It’s rather fitting that I should include this on the list since a portion of the book does indeed take place on a desert island. Never has a romance heroine been as adorkable as Dorie. Plus there’s a hot French doctor in this should I need immediate medical attention.


Fifty Shades of Grey


Why not? It would be utterly ridiculous that I’d be on a desert island in the first place so I might as well bring something so completely removed from reality and yet so fabulous at the same time. This guilty pleasure goes great with chocolate dipped strawberries.


Every Day

I have no idea how David Levithan came up with the concept but he carried it out spectacularly. Levithan's beautiful writing struck a deep chord with me. It's hard to shake off the feelings that overcome you as you read this book. To me, this is an instant classic that everyone should read.

Saving June

As sad as the premise is, it's full of sweet moments, laughter and music. This was on my Top 10 list for 2011 and this touching story continues to be a favorite.

A Discovery Of Witches

I've been trying forever to read this but there's always something else that has to get done before I even crack this open. And now I have motivation. Aside from all the praise heaped upon this book, I have it on good authority that should this ever become a movie, the actor who plays Captain Hook on Once Upon A Time, Colin O'Donoghue, would make a great Matthew. And yes, I consider that motivation enough. I don't think anyone who knows me well is surprised by my reasoning here.

And there you have it - my Top 10 Books I'd Want On A Desert Island. There's a bit of variety to cover any mood I'm in and most importantly, I hope I don't run out of desserts.

~ Bel





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

* * * * *
She's got it bad, and he ain't good -- he's in her garage?

"I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me..."

Gonna have to face it: Jody's addicted to Jackson Gatlin, frontman of The Regulators, and after her best bud Mac scores tickets, she's front and center at his sold-out concert. But when she gets mashed in the moshpit and bodysurfs backstage, she's got more than a mild concussion to deal with. By the next morning, the strung-out rock star is coming down in her garage. Jody -- oops -- kind of kidnapped him. By accident. With a Curly Wurly candy bar. And now he doesn't want to leave.
It's a rock-star abduction worthy of an MTV reality series...but who got punk'd?! (GoodReads)


Doesn’t the above summary make you think this will be a silly light hearted read?  I sure thought so.  I was expecting some hilariously ridiculous misunderstanding between two people that looks like a kidnapping but really isn’t one.  Boy was I wrong.  Sure, our rock star, Jackson, is so wasted and high that he mistakes the Curly Wurly Jodie is trying to offer him for a knife.  But our heroine, Jodie, realizes his mistake right away and instead of correcting him, she recognizes an “opportunity” and ACTUALLY kidnaps him.  Which I guess could be silly had she been a fun and silly character (Stephanie Plum comes to mind) but she isn’t.  She is a teen in a bad place and she does this bad thing that left me completely flummoxed. 

We learn a few things early on in this story.  One, Jodie’s granddad was one of the funniest free spirits ever.  Two, Jodie is very insecure and has a penchant for making really bad decisions.  She is also unhealthily obsessed with her favorite band The Regulators and their lead singer, Jackson Gatlin.  And three, if it wasn’t for her best friend Mac (Mackenzie), Jodie would be even more of a mess (if that’s even possible).  

When Jodie decides to liven up Granddad’s wake, her mom rips up her ticket to the Regulators concert.  Jodie runs away and moves into the spare room behind the pub owned by Mac’s parents.  Being the amazing friend he is, Mac gives Jodie his ticket and drives her to the concert.  A concert that should have been an epic one time chance to see her hero in the flesh becomes a series of disasters that ultimately land her in a makeshift triage room.  When a very high Jackson makes an unexpected appearance and speaks to Jodie personally, a misunderstanding between them gives Jodie the idea to kidnap the love of her life and take her home with her.  What starts out as a thoughtless crime ends up being a lesson in life, reality and love for Jodie and her hero, Jackson. 

This book just wasn’t what I was expecting.  I was in the mood for light hearted and silly.   And I was disappointed.  So disappointed that I sent a message to my fellow Bibliojunkies bitching about it.  I even considered putting it aside to read something else.  But I decide to move forward and keep reading.  

And in the end…as much as I tried to resist liking this book and as disappointed as I was in the beginning (simply because it wasn’t what I was expecting)…I caved.   At every turn of the page I became more and more sucked in.  It was as if C.J. Skuse was saying, “You WILL read this and you WILL like it!”   

I surrender, Ms. Skuse, I surrender.  I read it.  And not only did I like it, I LOVED it.  And when I say I loved it, I mean that Rockoholic has a guaranteed spot on my Top 10 of 2012.  So there you go.  Thank you for giving me a brilliant dramatic novel (with admittedly hilarious moments) that I had no choice but to embrace.  That was very sneaky of you, dear author.  I applaud your sheer awesomeness.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

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

By Janet Evanovich
Publication Date: November 20, 2012

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Series I Haven’t Finished Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Broke & Bookish.  Today is a Top Ten Tuesday Freebie, so I’ve decided to tell you about the Top Ten Series that I stopped reading because waiting for the next book in the series was driving up a freaking wall and I decided I needed to wait until the series were finished so I could read them all at once.  If you are a regular on the blog you know that I find waiting a year for the next book in a great series pure torture.  So, without further adieu:

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare



At the end of City of Fallen Angels I seriously considered throwing my book across the room (but I can’t be that mean to my books).  The idea of waiting an ENTIRE year for City of Lost Souls was awful!  I needed to know what happened next, but as is the way with these things, I got involved in other things and was able to endure.  When City of Lost Souls was released I decided I might as well save myself the heart ache and wait for the final book. 


Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

It’s impossible not to love our favorite stalking angel, Patch (just ask Bel).  I thoroughly enjoyed Hush, Hush and have listened to Bel gush over Patch through Crescendo, Silence and now Finale.  I am sad that the series is over, but very happy that I can now find a cold and snowy weekend in the next couple months to immerse myself in the awesomeness that is Patch!
The Body Finder Series by Kimberly Dierting

I LOVE this series!  But since there’s only one more coming, I decided to wait.

The Psychic Eye Series by Victoria Laurie

Victoria Laurie has three different series.  Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye; the Ghost Hunter Series and The Oracles of Delphi Keep Series.  I recommend them all.

The Immortals After Dark Series by Kresley Cole

 This one is for our 18+ crowd.  Part of me hopes this series never ends.  Kresley Cole is an amazing writer and this series is seriously HOT!  The author just released the first in a YA series (Poison Princess), I’m excited to see what she does in a YA genre.

The Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Another one for the 18+ crowd.  Seriously there are so many books in this series that I may need to take a sabbatical from work to read this one when it is finally done. 

Chicagoland Vampires Series by Chloe Neill

Amazing series.  Everyone should read it.

The Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Who knew aliens could be this fun?

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Ok, technically I haven’t started this series, but waiting for the Vampire Academy books was torture enough, I thought I would save myself the grief and wait until this one was finished to start it.

And finally…
Soul Screamers by Rachel Vincent

What series are you waiting to finish?