Oct 302014
The Understatement of the YearThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen 
Book #3 in The Ivy Years
Genre: LGTB Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.


Wendy’s Review: 4 Skulls – B

Contemporary Romance is not my favorite genre.  NA is not my favorite classification.  Luckily The Understatement of the Year came very highly recommended.  Also, being an M/M story, there wasn’t a heroine that would drive me absolutely insane.  You see, in both Contemporary Romance and in NA it’s usually the female lead of the story that brings all the drama and angst and I just find myself getting really annoyed!  Two male leads, only female secondary characters, and I didn’t have to read the other books!  This book was the perfect NA contemp for me!

Starting this book was a little bit rough.  For about the first 40-50 pages I felt myself dragging a little bit.  It just didn’t feel like a lot was happening.  BUT, when it got going it whipped me into a reading frenzy!  I reached a certain spot and I was held hostage.  I’m not exaggerating.  The Understatement of the Year kidnapped all of my attention.  I read nonstop from about 6pm to 2am.  I was laying in bed and telling myself how tired I was, how the book would still be there in the morning, but I also knew that if I put it down I wouldn’t sleep anyway because I would be thinking about Rik and Graham.  And so, I kept reading.

There were a few things that stood about about The Understatement of the Year, in terms of M/M.  When, in the story, one of the characters is still ‘in the closet’ they usually go the route of the ‘out’ character drawing a line in the sand.  They respond to the other MC with how if they can’t admit who they are then they can’t be with them.  I’m not taking away from this.  I don’t believe anyone should be in a relationship that makes them uncomfortable.  Still, what I found refreshing about this story was that there was an acceptance with Rik and Graham.  When I got those recommendations to read this book one of the things they told me that it doesn’t have the angst a NA normally has. Guys, it really didn’t.  When time was needed, time was given.  Lovingly.  It was beautiful and romantic.  And it was unexpected.

So yeah, I was consumed.  Completely.  I was so very happy with this.  So happy I read it.  What held me back from giving The Understatement of the Year the full 5 skulls, despite reading most of the book in a few hours, was simply the slow start and the lack of that extra little spark.  For instance, Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino was absolutely amazing.  What I believe put that book ahead of this one lay specifically with the development of the characters.  Rik and Graham were perfectly adequate.  I didn’t dislike either of them, but neither of them really popped for me either.  In TSTL, Sam was a really unique and fun character.  And humor.  I think humor is important in a book.  (Granted, this was NA and that is adult… I don’t think that matters.)

So that’s my two cents.  I really really really liked it, but there was just a liiiittle room for improvement.  But still, a solid 4 skull-B.  Definitely worth passing on to others.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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 Posted by on October 30, 2014 at 11:36 am
Oct 292014
Review: Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley

Reap & Repent by Lisa Medley Book #1 in The Reapers Genre: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: June 2, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: They see death. Can they share a life? Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets–yellow is happy, green is peaceful, red is aroused. She can even see the brilliant white light that glows just before death. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura. Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth–and, having spent more than two hundred years [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 29, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 282014
Release Day Group Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews Book #1 in Hidden Legacy Genre: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: October 28, 2014 ARC Provided by Edelweiss and Avon Synopsis from Goodreads: #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire… Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 28, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 272014
New Release Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater  Book #3 in The Raven Cycle Genre: YA YA Paranormal Fantasy Publication Date: October 21, 2014 Publisher: Scholastic Press   Synopsis from Goodreads: There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things though, is how easily they can [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 27, 2014 at 7:13 am
Oct 242014
Should You Read This Series? Riyria by Michael J. Sullivan

There are so many published series out there and I know you wonder…which ones are worth the read? In this feature, we tell you which series you should start and which ones you shouldn’t. As a ground rule, series in this feature must have at least 3 books published and the reviewer must have read more than half the series. If you want us to feature a series in the future, please ask in the comments. SERIES: Riyria by Michael J. Sullivan GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery BOOKS PUBLISHED: 6 (in 3 volumes) + 2 prequels SERIES STATUS: The [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 9:42 am
Oct 232014
New Release Review: The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz Genre: Gothic Romance Publication Date: October 6th, 2014 Synopsis from Goodreads: At the remote Marshall School, Gwen Ashby stumbles upon the job—and the man—of her dreams. Stern, enigmatic Edwin Yorke simmers with a heat Gwen longs to unleash. But Edwin knows all too well that forbidden love can end in tragedy…. Angie’s Review – 3.5 Skulls – B- The Headmaster was an interesting, spooky story about Gwen, a lonely woman who finds the man of her dreams while seeking employment at an all-boys school. It’s not long before Gwen realizes that loving Headmaster Yorke comes at [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 23, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 222014
Mini Reviews: A YA Potpourri

I haven’t had a lot of time for reviews lately, but I did manage to squeeze in a few reads.  Nothing was absolutely terrible, but I did find a new favorite or two.  If you’ve read any of these books, let me know what you thought about them in the comments!   A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond Genre: Young Adult Magical Realism Publication Date: October 2nd 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and  Hodder Children’s Books Synopsis from Goodreads: “I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 212014
Review: All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield Genre: YA Realistic Fiction Publication Date: June 27th, 2011 Publisher: Text Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: Mim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go — anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won’t get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She’s set herself rules to live by, but she’s starting to break them. Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother. Does this make her a drug runner? Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the back shed? And Jordan, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 21, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 202014
Review & Trailer: Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann & Melanie Brockmann

Night Sky by Suzanne Brockmann & Melanie Brockmann Book #1 in Night Sky Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy Publication Date: October 7th, 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire Synopsis from Goodreads: Skylar Reid is shaken when Sasha, the little girl she babysits, is kidnapped. Scared that the weird dreams she’s been having about Sasha are real—and even more afraid that Sasha is already dead. When a mysterious girl with extreme butt-kicking abilities roars into town on a motorcycle and, well, stalks Skylar things get even weirder. Supergirl Dana tells Sky that she also has abilities – that a hormone in [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 20, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 172014
Review: Pulled Within by Marni Mann

Pulled Within by Marni Mann Book #2 in Bar Harbor Genre: New Adult Romance Publication Date: September 12, 2014 ARC Provided by Author Synopsis from Goodreads: Storms can’t last forever…can they? For five long years, Rae Ryan has lived in a storm over which she has no control. Little by little, everything has been taken away from her—her job, her relationship, her best friend and her home. Plagued by nightmares and a terrible family secret, she carries her scars as much on the inside as she does on the outside. Hart Booker, another disappointment from her past, returns to Bar Harbor and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 17, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 162014
World of Weir Blog Tour, by Cinda Williams Chima + Giveaway

THE SORCERER HEIR: The can’t-miss finale to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series. The delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely. Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series. The Sorcerer Heir is a self-contained story, accessible to readers just discovering the Heir series, but loyal fans will be rewarded by visits from characters they love (and love to [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 16, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 152014
Review: Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price

Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price Genre: M/M Science Fiction Publication Date: July 3rd, 2014 Publisher: JCP Books, LLC   Synopsis from Goodreads: Desmond Poole is damaged in more ways than one. If he was an underachiever before, he’s entirely useless now that he’s lost his right hand. He spends his time drowning his sorrows in vodka while he deliberately blows off the training that would help him master his new prosthetic. Social Services seems determined to try and stop him from wallowing in his own filth, so he’s forced to attend an amputee support group. He expects nothing more than stale cookies, tepid decaf [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 15, 2014 at 8:00 am
Oct 132014
Review: Branded by Laura Wright

Branded by Laura Wright Book #1 in The Cavanaugh Brothers Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: June 3rd 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Signet Synopsis from Goodreads: In the small town of River Black, Texas, sits the Triple C—a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers… When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life—a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son, Deacon, a wealthy businessman who [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 13, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 102014
Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham Book #1 in new Veronica Mars mystery series Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Screen to Page Publication Date: March 25th, 2014 Publisher: Vintage   Synopsis from Goodreads: From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series. Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 10, 2014 at 8:25 am
Oct 092014
New Release Review: On Her Father's Grave by Kendra Elliot

On Her Father’s Grave by Kendra Elliot Book #1 in Rogue River Genre: Romantic Suspense Publication Date: October 7th 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Montlake Romance Synopsis from Goodreads: In a small town like Solitude, Oregon, keeping a secret can be murder. Stevie Taylor had left her sleepy Oregon hometown for a more exciting life. But after her police chief father passes away, the LAPD cop returns to Solitude and signs on as a patrol officer, hoping to heal from her loss…and from the horrific things she’s seen in the city. In Solitude, everyone knows everyone else’s business—and, to Stevie’s [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 9, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 082014
Spotlight on October's New Releases

Welcome to our monthly feature where we take a look at the new books releasing this month and offer up our top picks and opinions. We have chosen 36 of our most anticipated new releases. The release dates are on a best known basis and are not guaranteed. Books may get delayed or sometimes even released earlier so please check with your favorite store to ensure availability. Now, on to the books! A Song for Ella Grey by David Alwood – Expected publication: October 2nd 2014 by Hodder Children’s Books A Highland Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear (#15 in Heart of the [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 8, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 072014
Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Genre: Women’s Fiction Publication Date: December 31, 2012 Synopsis from Goodreads: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 7, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 062014
Early Review: Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde Book #4 in Reapers MC Genre: Contemporary Romance Publication Date: October 7th 2014 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Berkley Trade Synopsis from Goodreads: As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese “Picnic” Hayes has given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he’d never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a club to manage, that was just fine with him. These days, Reese keeps his relationships free and easy—he definitely doesn’t want to waste his time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong. Too bad he’s completely obsessed [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 6, 2014 at 7:00 am
Oct 032014
Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder by R.J. Palacio Genre: YA/Middle Grade Realistic Fiction Publication Date: February 14, 2012 Publisher: Knopf   Synopsis from Goodreads: I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 3, 2014 at 8:39 am
Oct 022014
From Page to Screen: Outlander episode 8

************ ************   I’ve been dreading the mid-season break episode.  Especially after I heard that it wasn’t going to return until April 4th!  Just in case you didn’t figure it out, that is six whole dang months.  Nevertheless, no matter how much I dreaded it, the mid-season finale came anyway.  Thank goodness it was a good one! Generally I hate to repeat myself, but I want to say again that I think Tobias Menzies is one helluva actor.  In this episode we got more of Frank Randall then we have since the beginning.  This time we didn’t just get loving, [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on October 2, 2014 at 8:06 am