Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Magnolia by Kristi Cook

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherSimon Pulse
Publication date: 8/5/2014
Pages: 336
Source: Own

The Story:
Jenna and Ryder are far from friends—until a storm stirs up their passion in this contemporary southern romance fromNew York Times bestselling author Kristi Cook.
In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, The Cafferty and Marsden families are practically royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when the families finally have a baby boy and girl at the same time, the perfect opportunity seems to have arrived.
Except Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen—oh, and also? They hate each other. Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would prefer it if stubborn-headed Jemma didn’t exist. And their communication is not exactly effective: even a casual hello turns into a yelling match.
But when a violent Mississippi storm ravages through Magnolia Branch, it unearths feelings Jemma and Ryder didn’t know they had. And the line between love and hate just might be thin enough to cross…
Barnes & Noble
 

RatingTHREE GOLD STARS!!!!!

My Review: One word: CHARMING

As you Bookies well know, I am not much for Contemporaries but! have you read The Story (blurb) above? How could I resist? Not only that but I am trying to broaden my horizon that usually entails Paranormal Romance and I took the time to read the Sample of Magnolia and I was pleased.

A red-head Jemma Cafferty sticks true to the saying, with the fiery attitude to go along with it. Jemma is the second and youngest child who doesn't think she shines much -- in comparison to her athletically gifted older sister -- and isn't one much for breaking the rules. Jemma is a mostly likable character who does not entirely get on my nerves which is a plus but there were times when her unnecessary temper tantrums got on my nerves -- but I have a sneaking suspicion that may have been Kristi Cook's intention. On that note, I like that, although her mother as well as her mother's best friend basically mapped out her entire life, Jemma is not completely weak and docile. Holding the title for the best shot in Magnolia Branch county (including among men) and how she progressively comes into her independence throughout the novel are two more pluses.

Moving on, insert plot twist! Ryder Marsden. Honestly, I don't have much -- if anything -- against Ryder; simply put, he didn't do anything to piss me off. Anywho, Ryder is Magnolia Branch's golden boy, the all-star quarterback with his pick of colleges vying for him, the best grades in school, and family wealth. Not to mention is mouthwatering hot. Any girl would love to hang on his arm right? Wrong. Well at least wrong for Jemma.

"I exhale sharply. The answer is boxer briefs, heather-gray ones. And right now they're clinging to him wetly, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. He looks like a god. A six-foot-four, football-playing god, and I am staring at him with my mouth hanging open like some kind of pathetic freak" [page 144].

To make the story interesting, Jemma and Ryder absolutely loath each other. Living on the same property, having Sunday dinner together every week, spending vacations together and knowing your mothers are unabashedly and enthusiastically planning your marriage since the womb can have that affect. Besides when your has been forcing a match on you so the families can finally be tied by marriage, she must be wrong ... right?

"'Go. I hate you, Ryder Marsden!'
'Yeah, well . . . the feeling's mutual,' he throws back over one shoulder" [page 28].

Having said all of that, let us delve into my overall thoughts of Magnolia. I enjoyed the book. I even finished it in one day. The characters were likable, the leading guy was hot, the story takes place in the South (and for some reason, lately I have been drawn to Contemporary Romances set in the South) and there is character growth. Alas, my only complaint is that there were a lot of cliches used in the writing. Believe me, I am not dead set against cliches at all but ... in Magnolia they stood out, nagged at me. Ending on a good note, there were some humorous quotes, which is always an asset that I appreciate when I read. All in all, Magnolia is a quick, enjoyable piece worth it's reading time.

"... That boy's got a stick up his ass, if you ask me.'
'A very attractive one at that.'
'What, the stick or his ass?'" [page 83].

*** Check out Kristi Cook's website for more information about her and Magnolia: HERE 

Happy Reading!
Ashley

Friday, September 12, 2014

Feature Friday Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick


*Feature Friday is a meme I came up with to feature YA books that have not yet been released yet by reviewing them on The Tattered Page.*

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Release Date: 10.7.2014
Pages: 400
Source: ARC

The Story:
Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.
Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.
Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there…and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.
But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?
Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…
via -- Barnes & Noble

RatingFOUR Gold Stars!!!!

My Review: One word: THRILLING

Becca Fitzpatrick makes my Top 5 Favorite Authors List, hands down. I devoured the Hush, Hush series as if my life depended so it goes without saying that I was itching for another Fitzpatrick Fix. So, when I snagged an ARC of Black Ice you can imagine how fast I cracked the cover open. The best part was: I loved Black Ice!

Honestly, although I loved the Hush, Hush series, I was still apprehensive about a thrilling contemporary. Normally I am not much for thrillers or contemporary. But, Fitzpatrick did not let me down! Reading Black Ice was such a great pleasure.

Now, on to the good stuff. Black Ice is a story of a Britt Pfeiffer who has training every spare moment she could to backpack through Teton Range. So, for spring break, Britt only has two things in mind: one, hang with her best friend, Korbie, in the family cabin on the Teton Range and, two, forget about Calvin, Korbie's brother.

But of course, Britt's plan does not follow orders.

Before they are even able to make it to the cabin Britt and Korbie get caught in an unexpected blizzard and are forced to ditch the Jeep on the road. Everything goes downhill from there. But Britt, who is clever and has just enough spunk, takes her hardships in stride. No one enjoys reading a weak MC. And although Britt starts off as dependent, by the end of Black Ice she grows into her own. Girl power! As for the other characters, Korbie is a spoiled, competitive girl who uses Britt as an emotional doormat and Calvin is a jerk who apologetically ditched Britt as soon as he got the chance. Save to say I don't like the siblings much. But all is well, Becca makes up for it with another character (whom, I won't tell ;))!

Packed with a murder mystery, kidnapping, threat of starvation and frostbite, romance, suspense and more, Black Ice keeps readers on their toes, begging to see what happens next. Who can Britt trust? Is Britt in the grasp of the one responsible for murdering all those girls in the last year? Will she make off the range alive? Does Calvin's feeling for her still exist and spur him to her rescue?

Also, I want to say thanks to Simon & Schuster for a copy of Black Ice!

*** Check out Becca Fitzpatrick's website for more information about her and Black Ice: HERE

Happy Reading!
Ashley

Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherHarlequin Teen
Publication date: 5/28/2013
Pages480
Source: ARC

The Story:
"I dare you…"
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs—until the day her uncle swoops in, and Beth finds herself starting over at a school where no one understands her. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does.
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock—with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image is risking everything for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all…. 
Barnes & Noble
 

RatingFIVE GOLD STARS!!!!!

My Review: One word: SIZZLING

Let me just say: Dare You To is my favorite book set in the Pushing the Limits world! That is all. My review is done. Five stars!

Haha, but honestly, I am not big on contemporary (even if it's my beloved YA) but Katie McGarry's work is phenomenal. She never disappoints. With every book thus far, -- Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You, Take Me On -- McGarry hits the mark every time.

Dare You To is without a doubt swoonworthy!

As hinted at by its title, Dare You To starts off with, guess what, a dare. Ryan Stone is the town's golden boy. Being the baseball jock he is, Ryan loves to win and is up for any dare. So, he is all in when his friends dare him to get Taco Bell Girl's number.

Unfettered by his charm and good looks, Taco Bell Girl denies Ryan victory.

Beth Risk is a grunge girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She does not take anything lying down, and her number one pet-peeve; appearing weak. And weak includes girly and interested in male attention. So when Ryan tries to get her number she gives him a dose of her harsh, slashing medicine and refuses to hand it over planning to never look back. Only she does not know that their paths were going to becoming intimately acquainted in the near future.

Abandoned by her family after living her first few years on earth in a trailer park then bouncing from one foster to the next, Beth has never known what is like to be wanted, loved and a part of a real family. So, when she is forced to live with her uncle, who is at the top of her shit list for ditching her and breaking his promise to return for her, she is less than agreeable.

To make matters worse, Beth has to transfer high schools and guess who is a fellow classmate ... Arrogant Taco Bell Boy. And he won't get a hint. Regardless that Ryan and Beth try to deny their connection at first, it is there. The sizzling tension is there. Not to mention the banter is fabulous! Not only that but McGarry throws us just enough romance to keep us hooked. Dare You To is the perfect balance between character growth, spice and romance.

*** Check out Katie McGarry's website for more information about her and Dare You To: HERE 

Happy Reading!
Ashley