Ellie reads fiction

30 Sep 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Althea and Oliver by Christina Moracho

Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Althea & Oliver
Author: Cristina Moracho
Genre: YA realistic fiction 

Release Date: 9 Oct 2014

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon


What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

Why am I waiting for this? - I generally read adult books but I'm always willing to spice things up with a different genre. This YA realistic story sounds very interesting and I have great memories of the 1990s, so I expect it to be a good and entertaining read.

Release Day Blitz, Review and Gveaway for He Is So Fine by Jill Shalvis

Title: He Is So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Date of publication: 30 Sept 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small town
Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Add to Goodreads
Purchase links: B&N /iBooks / Kobo / Amazon


For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It's the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she's rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she's ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to "save" him. In fact, he'd like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He's just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole's heart, or will it be the end of Olivia's days in little Lucky Harbor?

*** *** ***

Jill's Bio and Contact Info:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Website / Tweeter / Facebook /

*** *** ***

4 stars

This is book 10 in our favourite Lucky Harbor series and it's the second book in the final set of three (here we have three best friends finding and winning over their women). Cole's story was more on the cute, fluffy and funny side than some of the other stories in this series and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Cole can be summarized in one word - a sweetheart. Make no mistake, he is as much an Alpha male as all Shalvis heroes are, yet he was often clueless, oblivious to the obvious and this made him cute and adorable. His penchant for honesty and Olivia keeping a big secret didn't go well, but ultimately it served them both to break some emotional walls and trust love again.

While, I'm not a particular fan of stories of child stars, I liked Olivia a lot. She was trying to make herself anew and it appeared she was pretty successful. This only worked for her while she was keeping everyone at a distance but once she allowed Cole deeper into her life, she had to face reality and her past. 

As it usually happens, when you keep a big secrets, it gets revealed at the worst possible moment. Cole and Olivia had to work hard to make things right between relying on honesty and taking the risk to love someone.

It is mostly a cute, funny, light-hearted romance with some underlining serious issues. Olivia is running away from her past and Cole is trying to come to terms with a deep betrayal of trust. They come together in a series of comic incidents which made the whole story both romantic and funny.

With some comic moments, some great chemistry and a few loyal and meddling friends the couple reached its HEA.

This is cute romance with easily lovable characters which fans of the Lucky Harbor series will love. The final book in the series, One in a Million, telling Tanner's story, is coming out on

*** *** ***

The publisher is hosting a giveaway for a print copy of HE'S SO FINE
a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 Sep 2014

Blog Tour and Excerpt for Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Tour Banner2 

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid Knitting in the City #4
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

Blitz and Tour: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Purchase from AmazonPurchase from B&NPurchase from KoboPurchase from iBookstore


There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee. 

This is a full-length novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the fourth book in the 'Knitting in the City' series.

Add to Goodreads

Penny Reid- All Covers

(click on photo to learn more about the series)

from Chapter 9

“Yes?” He had a freckle just below his right eye, and it was very attractive…and distracting.
“Sugar, are you okay?”
“Yes.” I sighed. Usually I wouldn’t put up with being called Sugar; yet when Drew said it, especially like that—all soft, concerned, rumbly, and shirtless—it made me want to taste him.
Whoa…where is this coming from? What is wrong with me?
“What’s wrong with her?” This came from one of the other men. “She high or something?”
“No, asshole,” Drew snapped, but his eyes remained on mine. “She’s in shock, and she’s got a lot of adrenaline in her system.”
I was aware of the room plunging into stunned silence. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that Drew was infamous for his lack of verbosity. I imagined his outburst was quite a shock.
Drew’s striking and bold eyebrows came together and he frowned, studying my face, one hand in my hair, the other holding mine. “When is the last time you ate?”
I shrugged.
“We need to get some food in you. It’s a wonder you’re still upright.”
“Thanks for catching me,” I said dumbly, gazing into his eyes like a lovesick teenager. I didn’t care. He was so epically handsome, and he was being so nice, and his hands felt so good, and he was so strong and sturdy, and did I mention epically handsome? And shirtless?
I was vaguely aware of another person walking into the cabin and the men shifting, shuffling their feet, and making room for the newcomer.
“Sugar, I’d be honored to catch you anytime you’d like to fall.”

About Penny Reid


SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

25 Sep 2014

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Title: The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Date of publication: 1 June 2014
Genre: New Adult, College, Sports

Author links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror. 

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.


This is the second book in the Ivy Years series. Since I loved The Year We Fell Down (my review) continued right away with book 2 which tells the story of Bridger (Hartley's best friend from book 1) and Scarlet. 

This was a great NA romance - heartbreaking but a bit more typical and predictable than Adam Hartley and Corey Callahan's story. Still, I quite like the writing of Ms Bowen, she manages to create some complex stories with lovable characters which draw you in and keep you invested in the their fate till the very end. And when I say predictable this doesn't exclude having some unexpected twists in this story. They were there, especially towards the end. I didn't see them coming at all but I added tension to the suspense element of the plot.

Bridger and Scarlet meet in Harkness college where they both keep some big secrets. She is running away from her previous self (she has even legally changed her name) and he is struggling with a very complicated domestic situation. 

They start off as friends while there is an undeniable attraction between them, they both have too much worries on their plates and no time for love. Eventually they get together and their secrets are slowly unraveled. 

Scarlet's story was very unusual and intriguing. Ms Bowen kept the suspense till the very end and I didn't know how things will work out for Scarlet until the final pages. Her problems were really painful and difficult to deal with especially since she had no one to share her secrets with. She couldn't even be honest with Bridger because this would put him in danger as well. 

Bridger's secret came to light earlier and it was easy for Scarlet (and his friends) to deal with it. His problems were very real, practical and easy to understand. I liked how determined he was to make things work for him and Lucy. 

The story stands out among other NA college romances with its very realistic presentation of young people struggling with some very difficult situations in their lives. The dual POV makes the narrative convincing and it becomes easy for the reader to relate to both of Bridger and Scarlet.

Just as in the first book in the series, here again we have the college atmosphere well presented and once again hockey, though important for both character, is present mostly indirectly. 

My main complaint has to do with the major plot twist in the end the very rushed the resolution of the conflict in Scarlet's life. 

*Spoiler* (Select the paragraph in order to see the spoiler)
I feel that the author tried too hard to separate Scarlet from her father and his crimes in order to keep her character being all nice and proper. She is her own person and she was not aware of the crimes he committed, so nobody should judge her for them.

Overall, it this book was a worthy sequel to The Year We Fell Down and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good college romance with interesting characters dealing with some serious real-life issues. Now I'm looking forward to book 3, The Understatement of the Year, which will feature a gay couple of college hockey players. It releases on 25 Oct 2014 and I can't wait to read it.
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks 

23 Sep 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Dictatorship of the Dress by Jessica Topper

Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Dictatorship of the Dress (Much "I Do" About Nothing #1)

Author: Jessica Topper
Genre: Romance

Release Date: 
6 January 2015

Add on Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo


As the dress-bearer for her mother’s wedding, Laney Hudson has a lot more baggage than the bulky garment bag she’s lugging from New York to Hawaii. Laney is determined to prove she’s capable of doing something right, but running chores for her mom’s fairytale nuptials is proving to be a painfully constant reminder of her own lost love.

So when she’s mistaken for the bride and bumped up to first class, Laney figures some stress-free luxury is worth a harmless white lie. Until the flight crew thinks that the man sitting next to her is Laney’s groom, and her little fib turns into a hot mess.

The last thing Noah Ridgewood needs is some dress-obsessed diva landing in his first-class row. En route to his Vegas bachelor party, the straight-laced software designer knows his cold feet have nothing to do with the winter weather.

When a severe storm leaves them grounded in Chicago and they find themselves booked into the last available honeymoon suite, Laney and her in-flight neighbor have little choice but to get better acquainted. Now, as her bridal mission hangs in the balance, perhaps the thing Laney gets right is a second chance at love.

Why am I waiting on this? - I read Ms Topper's debut book, Louder Than Love, last year and I enjoyed it a lot. This sounds like a fun romantic read and I already like the writing style this author, so I'm looking forward to reading this.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...