Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Mistake

I first read Elle Kennedy after I got the first book in this series, The Deal, which I received in my first Bookworm Box. I really liked that book so I went on a book buying binge and bought a few of her other books as well as this one, which is book two in the Off Campus series. I am pretty anxious to read the others in this series because I'm a fan of romance, and hockey, and this is a great pairing of the two!

The Mistake - Elle Kennedy
The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2)
He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

The best part about romance novels is that you always have one of the lead characters making terrible choices because they are so dumb and can't look at other options openly. A perfect description of John Logan, because his alcoholic father is the bane of his existence and he's willing to give up a career in professional hockey to give his brother a break and take care of his drunk father. Which, I think without reading the book we can all agree that is a TERRIBLE idea. (I say that with my best Aziz Ansari voice) Enter Grace, who isn't socially awkward so much as a nervous mess. She babbles, she's not the prettiest girl on campus, she's a little shy but sarcastic and funny once you get to know her. She doesn't have a chance in the world with a guy like Logan but yet.... she finds herself sharing gummy bears and Pepsi while watching Die Hard with him totally randomly. Also, you can tell right from the beginning that while Logan is kind of a man slut, he's a good guy at heart, and Grace just doesn't see that right away. 

Overall? I have to give this 4/5 stars. I really do. There isn't a ton of substance to it (it IS a romance novel, after all) but I really liked it. I liked the internal struggle of Grace trying to be herself but maybe sex it up a bit. I liked Logan who really struggled with his obligations and his future and trying to reconcile them. I loved, loved, love the "challenge" Grace gives him to prove he isn't messing around with her and is serious about being in a steady relationship, though it's a bit of a foreign thing to him. Lots of fun sexy time, realistic (and believable) dialogue, great characters, and a good teaser to the other characters I can only assume future books in this series will be about. 

You can find The Mistake on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! I'm pretty excited about this series. The books aren't terribly long, just under 300 pages, and I got through this one in one day with no problem. A great option for people who don't have time to get into anything longer. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pretty Girls

YOU GUYS. It has been so long that I have read a thriller that had me staying up to finish it, despite being utterly exhausted. This book did that.

Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter
Pretty Girls
#1 internationally bestselling author Karin Slaughter returns with a sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution, in which two estranged sisters must come together to find truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

Full disclosure, I haven't read anything by Karin Slaughter before this book so I wasn't sure what kind of writing I was getting into. But this book..... SO DAMN GOOD. It started off a little shaky with what turns out to be letters written by the girls' father and I wasn't sure how I felt about that but then we're immediately introduced to Claire, the youngest of the three girls, and her husband Paul. And I immediately liked them both but holy hell, what a story we were going to go on. 

Basically it is the story of Julia, who goes missing in March, 1991. Her family fractures in different ways- mother goes through an alcoholic, depressive phase. Father is the vigilante detective, trying to figure it out only to kill himself in the end. We have Lydia who makes a series of terrible choices, primarily becoming a drug addict and never really being able to form relationships. Then we have Claire, who is like an emotional chameleon in a way. She does everything she needs to, but never excels enough to show up on anyone's radar, except for Paul's. Paul is a bit of a nerd and you can tell he really loves Claire. But almost immediately, Claire suffers unspeakable loss and through a series of scary, confusing things, she reaches out to long lost sister Lydia to help her. Together they try to piece together the things Claire finds in the wake of tragedy and when the whole ball of yarn is unraveled... holy  hell. I mean, there really is no other way to express what I was feeling once everything clicked into place. 

From the writing, the story telling, the way the story weaves in and out- excellent, stunning thriller. I am absolutely floored by this book and it makes me eager to pick up anything and everything by Karin Slaughter! You need to immediately pick this book up, you absolutely will not be disappointed (Amazon/Barnes & Noble). 

Welcome to Sara's Organized Chaos

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bookworm Box Reveal #3

Guess what else I'm behind in? Book box reveals! I've gotten three since the last time we chatted about them. I know, I am kind out of control. But my defense is at least I'm not on drugs, right?

Books, not drugs, kids.

So here's what I got, lambs!

First up, I got another copy of The Raven, which I already have. Whomp, whomp. I'm sending my spare copy to my friend so at least I won't have two on my shelf. I got a copy of Fury, which looks/sounds cool but it's book THREE in a series so that's annoying because that means I now have to buy books one and two and what if they suck? What if they suck?! *sigh*

I also got another pen (which no hate, that's a damn good pen), a chapstick, a weird can koozie thing, and an assortment of book marks and postcards.

Which.. honestly this is disappointing. I hate to say it, but I'm going to give Bookworm Box one more month to get their shit together. The "swag" is terrible. At least with other subscription boxes we're getting really cute things like character key chains, necklaces, etc and for as much as we're paying for this (almost $50 a month!!) I feel like we should be getting more, to be honest. If other boxes can mail us books and super cool swag for less per month, I don't know why Bookworm Box can't. So.. we'll see.

They are currently on hiatus this month so we won't be getting a box in September, but supposedly we'll be getting one in October. We'll see.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Drowning to Breathe excerpt tour!

EEK! It's here! It's here! The book is for sale now, but I have a special treat for you.... an excerpt! Don't miss out on this book- you'll be an uncool kid.

The danger in pretending is it becoming

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet
about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah,
Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.
Not find more of it.
    The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath
all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.
Their relationship was
built on secrets; their love built on lies.
Sebastian never imagined
how deep her secrets went.
When the past and
present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future
neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need
Now, holding the truth
in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love
to protect Shea and his family.

pasts intertwined.
lives bound.

Will their demons drown
them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?

Drowning to Breathe
A Bleeding Stars Novel,
Book 2

My brow pinched, because this fucking hurt. Hurt that Shea had been resisting confiding in me because of who I was. A fucking loose cannon. Someone prone to violence. And there it was, right beneath the surface, fire flaming and licking and begging for release. 
My voice was tight. “Made you a promise I’d protect you, Shea. Live for you. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. You and Kallie? You’re my life. My everything. And I will do anything…give up anything…to make sure you two are together. I won’t let him win.” 
She brushed the back of her hand over the wetness on her cheeks. “He will do anything to break us apart…to separate us. He knows we’re weaker alone. All his words about taking us down at the same time?” 
Her head shook with bitterness and hate, something so foreign on my girl’s face, but I saw it there—the atrocities he’d committed—the things she still kept inside. 
The scars she wore on her heart while I wore mine on my skin. 
“It’s a tactic. A ploy. He thinks he can fill us with threats. Convince our subconscious into believing together we’re easy targets. But, no.” Her eyes drew together as she refuted the idea, as she spilled her own belief. “He’s a coward. A coward. Someone who allows others to carry out his crimes and then lords it over them as if he is the one exerting control.”
That brave chin quivered. “I gave him my submission for so long, and I refuse to ever be that girl again. I was her, Sebastian. I was weak.”
Strength filled the profession. “But I’m not weak anymore. And I’m even stronger with you by my side.” 
“Promise me you won’t let him provoke you, Sebastian. He knows exactly how to ruin people. He finds their weaknesses. He knows Kallie is mine. And he knows the two of us are yours.” 
I swallowed hard. “I promise, baby.” 
I promise. 

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has
everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and
a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals
the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger
brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust
settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very
lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the
bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but
she's helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes
tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and
passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only
one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s
past that costs them everything?

A.L. Jackson
is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.

She first
found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college
student.  She filled the journals she
carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the
difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later,
she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends
and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel.
A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her
husband and three children.

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