Review: The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith


Title: The Space Between
Date of publication: 2 March 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

The ARC of the book was provided by the author for exchange of an honest review.

The Space Between tells the love story of two young people with different backgrounds in terms of money, social status, ethnicity. They are forced to overcome the disapproval of the others and their own insecurities and doubts in order to achieve their happily ever after. 

The story is told from a dual point of view and it works really well. The story is told in convicing and amusing manner, yet at times I struggled with writing style. It was too elaborate and sounded artificial and imposed on the characters. There are also quite a few repetitions throughout the novel.

Out of the two main characters, Lacey and Drake, I liked Drake more. His voice came out are more unique and belivable. As whole I find his character not without flaws or inconsistencies. At one moment he acts mature and in the next he is really childish. Still, I enjoyed him a lot. 

Lacey on the other hand, was not a favourite of mine, expecially in the beginning of the story. She was really judgemental and came too quickly to the wrong conclusions. I find some inconsistencies in her character, as well. In the course of the novel with the development of her realtionship with Drake and her position in his home (especially her behaviour towards his sister), she gained more of my sympathy. 

I enjoyed the whole racial mix in the novel - Drake is Korean, adopted by white parents, Lacey is half African-Amrican, half white. I love how their different ethnic background actually brought them closer together. 

I find the find the secondary characters in the novel well developed and fitting to the story. I liked Drake's little sister and their relationship. I liked Cooper as well, and I feel bad for the way Drake and Lacey tried to use him. Ashley, on the other hand, was a strong and conving charatcer in the beginning - the spoiled rich girl who is after Drake. Her sudden transformation into a nice, modest even, girl when she starts college is quite unrealistic and out of place. 

As regards the plot, there are some weak moments (Drake thinking that Derrick will kill him, Lacey calling the cops on Drake, the whole double date episode, Drake severing his relationship with his family, yet taking his little sister with him to Paris). I particularly disliked the sex-in-the-public-restroom scene. In my opinion it did not fit with nature of Drake and Lacey's relationship. The same goes for Lacey's nipple piercings - she comes from the ghetoo, yet she is presented as someone with natural class and high moral and ethical standards and somehow they don't fit her.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has its flaws but the story sucks you in and the characters grow on you gradually. The happy end in Paris did leave me with a smile on my face. 

New Adult

Review: The Only Exception by Magan Vernon


Title: The Only Exception
Author: Magan Vernon
Date of publication: 9 April 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 3 stars

The ARC of the book was provided by the author for exchange of an honest review.

This is not your typical college love story. It is a nice reversal of the good girl and bad boy coming together. Here we have the more experienced, liberal Monica (scarred by a physical and emotional trauma) starting a relationship with the picture-perfect conservative governor's son, Trey. 

The story started somewhat slow for me. There was too much politics involved at the beginning and the characters were presented solely through their political views. Gradually, though, they became much more real and likeable. I really liked the middle section of the novel with their romantic courtship, and there was real romance there (roses, dinners, morning coffees, etc.). The witty banter between Miss Remy and Mr. Chapman was particularly enjoyable and put a happy smile on my face.

The novel got somewhat heavier towards the end. The serious issues of rape and contraception were dealt with in a realistic and convincing manner. They were presented in a graphic manner, yet their impact on everybody involved was presented quite successfully. 

The ending showed the growth of the characters and the blend of the personal and the political without losing your personal values and beliefs. 

There were also some things in the novel that I did not like very much, hence the 3-star rating. The political messages were too strong and they seemed to overtake the story at times. There were also too many repetitions (politician-in-making, political smile, my only exception, etc.) . I understand they serve to make a point but I find they were overused and became boring. At times the characters acted too good to be true and they did not sound very convincing. 

Yet, overall I liked the book. It is a sweet story of true love, overcoming trauma and learning that there are always exceptions to the rules :)

Katie Ashley

Book Releases This Week 25 March - 1 April 2013


Here is the latest book on my to-read list, Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley which is released this week. I have been writing about it and sharing teasers for more than a month now. I can't wait to finally read it. Check the blog later this week for my review.

25 March

Katie Ashley
Contemporary romance

Music of the Heart is already available on Smashwords. Follow Katie on Facebook for the latest updates on her books.

P. S. To compensate for the this slow week in terms on new books being release, next week four new books for which I am very excited will be available to read. Check with me next Monday to see which they are :) 


Review: Gamble Brothers Series by J. Lynn


This will be a joint review of the first two books of J. Lynn's Gamble Brothers series - Tempting the Best Man and Tempting the Player. I decided to go for a joint review since the stories in the books are closely connected and it so happened that I read the books one right after the other.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for romantic series about close relatives and brothers in particular. I really loved Jill Shalvis Wilder Adventures (stories about the three Wilder brothers) and the Kowalski Family series (brothers and cousins) by Shannon Stacey.

This said, I was excited when I came across the Tempting the Best Man and realised its the first book in a series about three brothers. I am glad to say that the books did not disappoint me.

Title: Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers 1)
Author: J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Date of publication: 23 April 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

The book tells the story of Madison and Chase, her brother's best friend and childhood crush. It is the four-day celebration of her brother's wedding that finally forces them to act on their attraction to one another. The romance is rather straightforward and predictable without any twists and turns, yet there is enough witty banter and realistic interactions among the characters, coupled with a few misunderstandings and you have a light, fun read which reminds me of a cute romantic comedy. The characters are nothing deep or overly complicated, yet J. Lynn manages to create heart-warming story, peppered with some hot scenes and true laughs.All in all, it is a simple romance which I enjoyed a lot.

Title: Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers 2)
Author: J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Date of publication: 23 October 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars

The second book in the series follows pretty much the same pattern as the first one. It tells the story of Chad, a pro baseball player and Bridget, who is Madison's assistant, so naturally Madison and Chase are present here. The third Gamble brother, Chandler, as well, Madison's family also make an appearance. J. Lynn follows the style writing from the first book, but here she adds more background to the characters, making them richer and ultimately more complex and thus more likeable, especially Bridget. She tries to take them away from the cliché roles of sports star and slightly overweight lonely assistant/secretary.

The chemistry between Bridget and Chase is quite strong and the sex scenes in this book are steamier than in the first one. There is a moment in the story where things almost go into dom/sub territory, which is definitely not my thing, but fortunately for me, this line is not followed through. 

In short, I can honestly say that I loved both Gamble brothers so far and I can wait for Chandler to make his appearance. I am sure that he will not be a disappointment, either. His story is to be released in June 2013. 

Books into Movies

Movie News on If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Here is some more movie news. After my last post on the Delirium TV series, here is the latest update on process of making a big screen movie out of Gayle Forman's If I Stay

The author herself shared with her fans on Facebook that the movie already has a producer selected - R. J. Cutler. his name can be added to that of Chloe Moretz who has been cast as the main heroine, Mia. Now what is left is to find the best actor for Adam. 

Chloe Moretz
While I can see Chloe as Mia, things are different with Adam. Considering he is a particular favourite of mine (especially in the second book, Where She Went), casting someone to match perfectly my vision of him will be quite a challenge. 

Follow me on Facebook or check my blog regularly for more updates on my favourite books being made into movies. 

book releases

Update: Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines


So, as I already shared with you the next book in the Too Far series (Fallen Too Far and Never Too Far) will not be focused on Rush and Blaire, but instead it will be telling the story of Woods. It is expected to be released on 23 April 2013. 

The great news for all anxious fans out there is that Ms Glines has started giving us snippets and teasers of Twisted Perfection. Check the first one on her website, and a slightly extended version on The Autumn Review

Follow me on Facebook in keep up to date will all the latest sneak peeks and news on the release of Twisted Perfection.

Books into Movies

Delirium Trilogy to be Made into TV Series


Here is the start to the latest section in the Blog - Books into Movies. As I am currently reading Requiem by Lauren Oliver I find it only fitting to share the news of the TV series adaptation of the Delirium Trilogy. The initial idea was for Fox company (which the rights to the books in 2011) to adapt the books into a film series  for the big screen but later the concept was changed to TV series. In January 2013 it was officially announced that the series were given a green light. The show will scripted and produced by Karyn Usher (Prison Break). 

As a big fan of the book series on the one hand and a big of TV series in general, I am very happy about this news. I am really excited about the upcoming show and hope that it will do justice to the complex characters in the novels and the beautiful writing style of Lauren Oliver. Creating a true to the books version both of the Deliria-infected and free Wilds and the Deliria-free and regulated Portland will be quite a challenge. 

You can read Lauren Oliver's really happy reaction to this news on her website.

And finally, meets the actors cast for main characters in the pilot episode:

Emma Roberts as Lena Haloway. It is not exactly how I pictured Lena, still I hope that she will represent faithfully Lena's nature.

Daren Kagasoff - Alex Sheathes. Good choice for the boy with hair the colour of autumn.

Jeanine Mason - Hana Tate

Gregg Sulkin - Julian Fineman. Fits perfectly to my own image of Julian.


News update on Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley


I can't help but share with you some exciting news on the next book by Kristen Ashley. As you probably know Own the Wind, the first book in the Chaos series and a spin-off of Motorcycle Man (Dream Man series) is coming out as an ebook on 2 April 2013. It will tell the story of Tack's daughter, Tabby and his brother from Chaos MC, Shy. 

So, the great news is that you can download he first two chapters of the book form KA website. I have to warn you, though. Read them on your own risk, they are absolutely addictive. It will be a seriously long wait till 2 April. If you have not read the Motorcycle Man, you still have time to do it before Own the Wind it out.  Knowing the story of Tack and Tyra will make you appreciate the first Chaos even more. Well, I also now is the right time to admit that Kane ''Tack'' Allen is is my absolute favourite alpha male of all Kristen Ashley's heroes, and there are some seriously swoon-worthy characters in her books - Raid, Tate, Wood, Ty, Mitch Lawson, to name a few. Will Shy get a place among them, we will see in less than a month :)


Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu


Title: Prodigy (Legend 2)
Author: Marie Lu
Date of publication: 29 January 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars

Apart from New Adult and Romances, I also read a lot of Young Adult books. Up until a few months ago I did not even know that such a genre existed but after reading The Hunger Games series and the first two books of The Divergent series, I was hooked. Almost immediately YA dystopian novels became a particular favourite of mine.

One of the best books in this genre for me was Legend by Marie Lu. After reading the story of Day and June last summer I was anxiously looking forward to its sequel. And it was a long wait until the end of January 2013 when Prodigy. Now, after reading it, I can honestly say this book was absolutely worth the wait.

The story in Prodigy continues right where Legend ended. June and Day are on the run to Vegas to join the Patriots in order to fulfil Day's goal to save his brother Evan and escape to the Colonies. The Patriots promise their help in exchange for June and Day helping them assassinate the new Elector Primo. This rather straightforward deal quickly changes forcing both June and Day to question everything and everyone in order to make the right choice for themselves.

Prodigy is a fast-paced action-driven novel with strong main characters and supporting characters which bring the whole world of the Republic and the Colonies to life. The story is told in alternating chapters of June and Day. There are a number of twists and turns of the plot coupled with deep reflexive musings of both main characters. We are given insights into their thinking thus making them real and extremely likeable. They are built into complex characters with strengths and weakness. The relationship between them also has its ups and downs and regardless of the strong chemistry between them there is not insta-love which so often found in YA novels. Their feelings for one another are pure and strong, yet the circumstances in their lives put them to the test. 

The supporting characters also had a strong presence in the novel. Kaede and Anden are well-developed complex persons which not only complement the story but they take also take some of the spotlight in the novel. I particularly liked how Metias, despite his death in the beginning of the first book, is very much alive in this book. I loved the way Marie Lu made his voice float throughout this book guiding June through the deceptions and obstacles she is faced with. 

Some elements in the book reminded me strongly of the Mockingjay (The Hunger Games 3) - young, strong boy/girl being used by both sides in an ugly war, the Colonies/the Republic not being what they seem to be at first glance, figuring out the truth on your own amidst lies coming from everywhere, learning whom to trust. I don't consider this a bad thing since the two novels have distinctly different style and feel about them. I jsut made this connection between two books I really like

Not to give out any spoilers, I will just say that the ending was just heart-breaking. Reading the final chapter I kept thinking "This cannot happen! Life cannot be so unfair!" I guess I will just have to wait for next year when the final book in the series, Champion, will be released, for my happy ending of this story, at least I strongly hope that there will be happy ending for June and Day.


New releases this week 4 - 10 March 2013


These are the new releases which I look forward to this week. It has been a long wait for Lauren Oliver's final book in the Delirium series. The first book Delirium made into my all-time favourites list. I don't think there is any other book where I have highlighted some many passages. The writing style of Ms Oliver is simply beautiful, even poetic. The beginning of the second book had me in tears the whole time I was reading it. 

The next book coming out this week is also the final piece in series of three novels. Reckless is the final part of the steamy and turbulent love story of Kellan and Kiera. I was not particularly impressed with the first book. The cheating was absolutely unacceptable for me, still I was happy for them in the second book. Now I a eager for their happily ever after.

Mar 5

Lauren Oliver

Mar 5

Lauren Oliver
Mar 5

Kindle edition
S.C. Stephens


Music of the Heart, Again


As I have already posted earlier Katie Ashley's new book Music of the Heart will be released on 25 March. In the meantime, do check the author's website for teasers and snipets. Ms Ashley has been publishing them since January, so there are quite a few of them you can enjoy. You can also read the first two chapters in full.  I guarantee you, after reading them, you will be just as hooked with this romance as I am. 25 March just can't come fast enough for me.


Review: Raid by Kristen Ashley


Title: Raid (Unfinished hero 3)
Date of publication: 28 February 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, 
More reviews: Goodreads

My rating: 5 stars

I will have to devote a separate post to Kristen Ashley alone. She is a prolific writer and although I have not all of her series, most of what I have read, I really like.

This time I will focus only on her latest novel, Raid, which is the third one of the Unfinished Hero series. I will just mention in briefly the other two, since it is better to read KA books in chronological order (the characters make repeated appearances in any given series).

I did not finish the first book in the series, Knight. The controlling behaviour of the main character (in general and to his woman) came as too much for my liking. I am still reading the second book, Creed. It has a completely different vibe from Raid and so far I like it a lot. 

Now let's get to the business at hand, namely the story of Raiden Ulysses Miller and Hanna Bourdeaux. It is a typical KA story of a badass alpha male finding his sweet (his reward in this case) with a gentle, yet strong woman. The story is told in the typical KA style - raw and emotional, yet heart-warming. This book is shorter than the typical Kristen Ashley's novel which tend to be quite long and this works to its advantage. The plot is tight and there are not unnecessary digressions. There is just enough detail to the characters and the plot to make them feel believable and to make the reader fully engrossed in them. 

I liked Hanna well enough. She is gentle and innocent, giving love and herself, just as her Grams has taught her. What I like most about her is that she speaks her mind openly and can stand her ground when necessary, even against the sometimes physical anger of Raid. She is strong and her strength is to give, to nurture, to be Raid's reward for the sweat and blood he has shed as a soldier. 

I absolutely loved Raid. Nearly as much as Tack (The Motorcycle Man), my all-time favourite KA hero. Raid is broken, he has hell fires burning inside him, yet he still wants to take care and protect Hanna. What I find so appealing about him is that he is not over-controlling, he lets her have her say. In the end it is because of her love for him that he faces and overcomes his demons. 

There is really no need to mention the prefect sexual chemistry between Raid and Hanna, but I will just say that the progression of their feelings and the trust they build in each other are presented very convincingly. I cannot skip the crawling scene which put me off a bit (I found it degrading and too control-freak sounding), but later in the book it was worked out in a much more acceptable form. 

The ending, as always with Kristen Ashley, is just beautiful. Ms Ashley is a true master of completing her stories. Her epilogues give so much hope and and a sense of love and happiness, that I inevitable closed down every single KA book that I have read with a huge smile on my face. That's is the case with Raid, as well. Despite a tinge of sadness the book ends on a strong note of reassurance that all will be good in the world, not just for Raid and Hanna, but for everyone, for me and for you. 

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