A Year of Sarah Dessen | That Summer

I just can’t push myself to finish. There was absolutely nothing going on here. Haven is tall. Her parents are divorced. Her dad just got remarried. Her sister is getting married in a few weeks. That’s the bare bones of this story, and I feel like that’s all there is to this – bare bones.

Early Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

I’m totally anti-Holidays. Not because I’m against the sentiment behind them, but because of how commercial they are in the U.S. (I’ve never put up a tree in my life.) That means that I seldom read Holiday romances but “Miracle on 5th Avenue” called out to me because it’s set in NYC. Even with the Holiday theme, I enjoyed it more than I thought.

New Release Review: Replica by Lauren Oliver

I’ve been leery of Ms. Oliver ever since she ruined the Delirium series (I loved the first book and hated the second so much that I didn’t finish the series) but I was curious about the gimmick in Replica. You see, Replica can be read in various ways. You can read Lyra’s story first and Gemma’s second or viceversa or you can read it in alternating chapters (although the latter takes a bit of work as each story is separate.) I started with Gemma’s, read a few chapters, switched to Lyra’s, read a few chapters and would continue one narrative or the other depending on which story was more interesting at the time. It made for a unique listening experience.

Review: Love, Lucas by Chantele Sedgwick

This book deals with grief over the death of an immediate family member, so if that’s not your cuppa, you’re probably better off staying away for the time being. That being said, I thought the subject of Oakley’s brother, Lucas, was handled with sensitivity and realism. The book is basically a series of letters to Oakley, written to her by Lucas (now deceased). Oakley uses them to help her grieve over his death as well as taking his advice and wishes for her to heart.

Review: In Her Defense by Julianna Keyes

I picked “In Her Defense” from the library without reading the first book in the series. (This was a conscious decision as the hero of the first book is an ex-con which is a real stretch for me.) Reading some reviews, I found out that Caitlin, the heroine here, was actually the villain of the first book. Not having read it, I didn’t know the extent of her villainy, but I was curious how Ms. Keyes would redeem her.

Soon enough I found out that Caitlin’s reputation was well deserved. She’s aggressive, cutthroat, ambitious, impatient, confident and simply the best at her job. The best part? Ms. Keyes didn’t make any excuses to justify or explain Caitlin’s personality. There wasn’t any kind of trauma in her life, that’s just the way she was. And I just loved that characterization. Why is it that women cannot be ball-busters in romance without some sort of ordeal involving their mommys or past boyfriends?

New Release Review: The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely

“The Sexy One” was Ms. Blakely’s attempt to do a more romantic book instead of her usual, uproarious, slightly dirty stories told from the guy’s POV. The whole “I can’t date the nanny” conflict could have been resolved with an honest conversation: “I like you, you like me. What should we do about it?” Instead, these two hem and haw throughout most of the book: “dating the nanny is a cliche!” (who cares), “it’s a forbidden relationship!” (it isn’t – they are both adults), “my life is too complicated!” (it really isn’t).

Audiobook Review: Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright

Maybe it’s semantics, but I feel like The Mercury Pack should be called a ‘companion’ to the The Phoenix Pack series as opposed to a spin-off. Spin-off, to me, indicates that while there may be similarities, there’ll be something new and fresh. I didn’t get that here at all. This was mostly a mash-up of The Phoenix Pack scenes, and it used to be that all the females in these series were interchangeable, but it’s gotten to the point where the characters act so much alike, they’re all interchangeable.

Early Review: Junior Hero Blues by J.K. Pendragon

The idea of an LGBT main character, is what drew me to “Junior Hero Blues”. Javi was an unpopular gay kid at his school, starting to date an extremely popular kid, and in addition he’s dealing with having superpowers and working as a Junior Hero for the Legion.

Spotlight on November’s New Releases

Welcome to our monthly feature where we take a look at 20 of the new releases coming out this month. 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 …

Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Admittedly, while I have grown a bit tired of the Psy-Changeling books, I still feel very compelled by Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I think part of this is due to the structure of the books and how they feel more Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance. Elena and Raphael’s relationship is now well established and the arcs are more focused on developments that are external in nature.

Release Day Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

The Romantics by Lean Konen Genre: YA Romance Publication Date: November 1st, 2016 Publisher: Amulet Books Synopsis from Goodreads: Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ …

Badass Recommends | Scary Halloween Reads

Here at Badass, we love Halloween – the creepiness, the costumes, the television specials, and of course, the candy. But as readers, we have a special place in our hearts for Halloween-spirited reads, especially the horror ones. So we wanted to put together a few recommendations to get you in the holiday mood!     NOS4A2 by …

Halloween on the Screen!

I love Halloween. When I was a kid Christmas was my favorite holiday, for obvious reasons. Now, as an adult, I actually do like Halloween the most. It’s not about candy, and I don’t even like being scared. I like the costumes, and the transformation into something else for one night. There’s something about Halloween that’s just magical, and without parental stress if I’m being honest.

Review: Barely Breathing by Pamela Clare

“Barely Breathing” is the first book in Pamela Clare’s new “Colorado High Country” series. It was a good solid story but it was missing the usual excitement that I’m used to from Ms. Clare books. There was a bit of action but it was a definite secondary plot that came in too late.

5 Things I Learned From Books

Today is my birthday and a milestone one at that. This has made me think about what I’ve accomplished in these (mumble, mumble) years of my life. Where I’ve been and where I’ll go. As I reflect on things I care about, I’ve thought of all the books I’ve read and the important lessons I’ve learned. Here are some of them:

Early Review: Cast in Flight by Michelle Sagara

The world building is exquisite. Richly layered, with finely developed characters who always leave you wanting more. If the “Chosen One” mythos is not your ideal fantasy material, this may not be the series for you, as it does tend to structure the plot and arcs around Kaylin Neya, our heroine. There is no romance, although her partner Severn’s attraction to her is discussed in earlier books, but make no mistake….Kaylin is not ready for a romance, and her thoughts and actions reflect this. As a reader, I love it when the characters and their actions are consistent, and this is one of the series’ biggest strengths.

Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

“The Hating Game” is a hilarious mix of romance and chick-lit. And you’ll ask…what’s the difference? Isn’t there always some sort of love interest in chick-lit? Well, yes, but I feel that in chick-lit, everything is about the female character. In The Hating Game, the story is really about both of them, even though it’s told in first person from Lucy’s POV. And then there’s the sexy love scene, who puts it squarely in the romance category (there’s just one but it’s a SCORCHER!) *fans self*

A Year of Sarah Dessen | Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Genre: Young Adult Publication Date: June 16th, 2009 Synopsis from Goodreads:  It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming …

Review: Do You Want To Start A Scandal

Genre: Historical Romance Publication Date: September 27, 2016 Publisher: Avon Source: Reviewer Purchase Synopsis from Goodreads: On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. •Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? •Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? •Perhaps the butler did it.All …

Should mainstream romance series include M/M couples?

When I first learned that Shadow’s Seduction, the next installment in Kresley Cole’s popular “Immortals After Dark” series will feature a M/M relationship, I was super excited. Even though I’m only an occasional M/M reader, I thought including a gay couple would be great for the series.