*REVIEW* Magnolia


In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern 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 a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

Magnolia is like a tall glass of sweet tea... southern, satisfying, sweet and refreshing. I INHALED this one because I found it impossible to put down. The chemistry between Jemma and Ryder leaps off the page and is guaranteed to ensnare and captivate anyone who reads this beauty of a book.

Magnolia introduces us to Jemma, a sweet southern teenager who has lived under the pressure to fall in love with Ryder her whole life. From shared pack n' plays and vacations to weekly forced dinners, Jemma is made to endure the presence of Ryder who she CANNOT stand. Jemma knows that there is no way that her mother's dream wedding will ever be a reality, but when a devastating and destructive hurricane bears down on Magnolia Branch, Jemma finds herself riding the storm out with only Ryder for company. As the weather escalates to truly dangerous conditions, will Jemma and Ryder recognize what's been in front of them all along, or will they realize their true feelings much too late? Readers will fall in love with this fast-paced and addictive story by the brilliant Kristi Cook. 

I seriously loved this book. It was such a quick and satisfying read that was really entertaining. I loved the drama of the storm, and the danger that was thisclose so many times to characters that you end up rooting for. Kristi Cook is a wonderful story teller and I promise that this one will keep you happily flipping the pages. Scoop this book up, throw it in your beach bag, and head to the beach for the day. You'll come home sunkissed and likely come home with a new favorite book. Enjoy! *XOXO*

*REVIEW* The Fine Art of Pretending


According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

I'm going to be honest... when I started this one, I really thought that it wasn't the book for me. I even considered making it a DNF. Let me tell you, I am SO FLIPPIN' HAPPY that I stuck with it because once this book got rolling, I was HOOKED and I could not put it down! The characters are likable, the story is relatable, and you'll find yourself rooting for true love. This book is awesomesauce, totally made of win.

The Fine Art of Pretending introduces us to Aly, a teenager who is OVER being the "just a friend" girl. She learns from her best friend, Brandon, that the reason she's viewed that way is because the guys have dubbed her as a "commitment", a girl that you don't pursue unless you're ready for a full-fledged relationship. The "casual" girls are the ones the guys want to spend time with because it's all about having fun and not being serious. Aly decides that she's going to become a casual if it's the last thing she does... Operation Sex Appeal is underway!

Aly enlists Brandon's help by pulling the ultimate ruse... they pretend to be a couple, which Aly is hoping will solidify her new status since Brandon is a major hottie and player at school. The problem? The lines of pretend and real begin to get extremely blurry as old feelings are rekindled and confusion plagues them both. Will Aly's mission be a success, or will her plot destroy the real thing that's been under her nose all along? 

I just LOVE this book. It's a quick and easy read that's super engaging and just plain SWEET. Brandon and Aly have something real and extremely special, and watching them come to that realization is so enjoyable as a reader. This book will be the perfect companion as you soak up the last rays of warm sun as fall begins to take hold. Take this one to a park bench and be amazed at how quickly the time flies. Enjoy! *XOXO*

Expected publication date: September 30, 2014 by Spencer Hill Contemporary

Waiting on Wednesday (45)


Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.

But then she learns something about David that changes everything, and Cara is devastated. She turns to her best friend for support, but Rachel has changed. She’s suddenly into witchcraft, and is becoming dangerously obsessed with her new boyfriend….

Cara has lost her best friend, discovered that her soul mate is off limits, and has attracted the attention of a stalker. But she’s not completely alone. Her mysterious, gorgeous new friend Garren is there to support her. But is Garren possibly too perfect?

Expected publication date: January 6, 2015 by Swoon Reads

This one sounds really intriguing... and it releases on my baby's first birthday so it's got sentimental value already! (haha) But mystery, magic, friendship woes, and yummy boys? Bring it on! 

*REVIEW* Sinner


A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. 

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Meh. That about sums up this book for me. I went into Sinner with high expectations, quite liking the Shiver Trilogy and basically anything Maggie Stiefvater writes. I don't know if maybe I should have re-read the trilogy, maybe I was too far removed from it, but I found myself not giving a crap about these two extremely flawed characters. 

Sinner is the story of Cole and Isabel being reunited in sunny California. Cole is on a comeback, starring on his own reality show while putting together a new band and new music, reconnecting with the rockstar he was before his infamous disappearance. Isabel is living a suburban nightmare, watching her parents drift further and further apart, while she attends school and works in a fashionable boutique store. Cole has one goal when it comes to Isabel and he'll stop at nothing to convince her that they belong together. Will these two broken individuals be able to find their way to each other or will they continue their destructive ways, alienating themselves from the one person who may be capable of loving them exactly as they are? Love and sins collide in this new tale by Maggie Stiefvater.

Again... meh. I just couldn't find it in me to connect to either Cole or Isabel, finding them both to be annoying, whiny, ungrateful, and just unrelatable. In fairness, it's been an extremely long time since I read the Shiver Trilogy and maybe I've just forgotten what it is that makes these characters lovable. I really wish I had revisited the series before trying to read Sinner because maybe the book would have hit me differently. As it stands now, I know I'll never read this one again because once was way more than enough. The one bright spot I'll say is the ending... whether or not they deserve it, there's always something satisfying about a happy ending. But really? Isabel is such an unpleasant character, she could have died and I would have been just as pleased. HA! That's an Isabel-like thing to say but seriously, try to find some joy before you suck all of it out of the world around you. 
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