Friday, March 28, 2014

This Week In A Snapshot {3}


For the second time in a row, 
This Week In a Snapshot will actually be for several weeks
because I was a little under the weather stricken with illness last week. 
This picture (originally taken for Cassie from Books with Cass) will double as a
 PERFECT DEMONSTRATION OF MY EXCITEMENT ON 
FUNCTIONING AS AN UPRIGHT HUMAN AGAIN. 
Welcome back to the land of the living, Ash. 

It is a ridiculous picture but totally adequate for my current I-Feel-Better emotions. 

ANYWAY. 

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Since I've been sick, I've spent more hours than I want to admit listening to audiobooks while I followed along with the book. THIS IS MY WAY. Y'all know that. With the exception of one or two "bigger" titles (a couple of re-reads and one I'll talk about in a second), I realized that I've been listening to/reading a ton of the free or on-sale Kindle books BECAUSE they very often have a very inexpensive Audible equivalent. Personally, when I'm not feeling well or when I'm really tired, I'm not always in the mood to keep up with super-detailed books, so I look to something more on the fun side and then it's just BONUS CITY when someone can do that reading for me. 

Print + Audiobook FOREVER! 

That being said, I'm shocked and awed by how many of the $1.99-ish audiobooks I've listened to lately. The stories have ranged from pretty awesome to, um, entertaining. I've heard some of my favorite readers as well as some that shouldn't really quit their day jobs. This is the beauty of the free-or-cheap ebook/on-sale audiobook combo: you don't always know what you're going to get (UNLESS you know the narrator, which is KEY). I don't mind this a bit. I just want to be entertained. 

I wonder should I write up blog posts on these free/on-sale combos for you guys? Y'all know I have thoughts on them but sometimes a free or $.99 ebook is definitely worth grabbing PLUS I've noticed that some of you guys are MAKING ME DANCE FOR JOY when you read along with audio! If you have an opinion, let me know. 

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Certainly one of my favorite books I've read in the past few weeks has been Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes. No audiobook with this one - just me and the book. 

Now that I'm feeling better, I'll be sharing my thoughts on this one soon. It was very Jojo Moyes-esque (if that makes any sense) and I enjoyed very much reading it along with a great reading friend! 

Also important: the obligatory cup of coffee that I had while reading one morning. 

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I've been branching out in my reading lately - particularly to include Inspirational/Christian Fiction and I also read a scary book (yes, I realize the irony there). I have always kind of been hesitant of Christian Fiction because I've found much of it cheesy (don't hit me if you love it!) but lately, I'm really kind of liking it a lot. I recently read The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund as well as Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr and LOVED THEM BOTH. As of right now (writing this), both of these books are free for ebook download and while I've already shared my thoughts on Hearts Awakening, I haven't written on The Preacher's Bride yet. 

I ALSO STARTED THIS SERIES. 


Okay, so I just finished The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan and WHOA WHOA WHOA. I highly recommend the audiobook for these and MAN OH MAN I will be finishing them as soon as my heart rate comes back down to normal. I'll audiobook the second and and third book as well because I really think I enjoyed it better than if I'd have just picked it up in print but I TELL YOU THE TRUTH when I say that my heart rate was up and my breathing was crazy more than a few times during this book. This isn't generally my go-to genre/category (thriller, horror) but I really wanted to read these before the TV series begins airing this summer

So OF COURSE, after I overcame my afraid-of-thrillers complex long enough to get through The Strain (which was SO GOOD), I thought I'd try and tackle Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I grabbed both the print and the audiobook from my library and began the book but WHOA NELLY. One thriller at a time is all I can handle. I returned them the next day and will pick them back up later, I PROMISE. 

Moral to THAT story: 
I can, will, and love to read outside of my comfort zone. 
BUT LET'S NOT GET CRAZY WITH IT, M'KAY? 

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In less important-to-you but super-important-to-me news: 

1. My beloved hair straightener died. Yes, I said beloved. I have heard that when you have straight hair, you just want curly hair. BUT my experience is that my hair is so curly, I want to have straight hair like those supermodels that you see with the hair whipping back in the breeze, looking fabulous. SO! My straightener and I have been very close. When it stopped working WITH NO WARNING one day, of course I 1) flipped out 2) texted my sister who is my hair stylist for encouragement (haha) and 3) made an emergency run to grab another. We are bonding well and things are looking up most days in the land of the curly-hair and cowlick. 

2. I have depleted my stockpile of my favorite coffee, Starbucks CasiCielo, which is only available for a limited time yearly. I bought a ton, I drank it up, and I have bought a new blend. It'll likely be an entire year before I experience the delicious goodness of CasiCielo (WEEP WEEP) but I did buy some of the Tribute Blend and am loving it hard. 

3. I found InstaQuote, which is an app for making those pictures what have words on them. I see a ton of inspirational quotes and stuff on Instagram, but I have been using it more for fun things that make me laugh - such a this photo. I'm not presumptuous - I just like to laugh at and with myself.


1. I've covered my cowlick with my unruly curls. Straighener, please!
2. TRIBUTE BLEND. Delish.

All in fun, you guys. All in fun. 
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I managed to eek out a few reviews in the past few weeks! 
Please stop by, read my thoughts, and let me know yours. 

Origin by Jessica KhouryI've been trying to catch up with some of the authors that will be at the  #GirlsGoneSciFi event in Asheville, NC because I have a weekend getaway planned and am going to this!

A January Bride by Deborah Raney - this is one of the A Year of Weddings Series novellas and I am die-hard in love with them SO MUCH 

Sweet Ruin by Nazarea Andrews - this is a new adult title in a series that I love and WOW it had something in it I wasn't expecting 

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart - this book & audiobook was flat-out fun for me, as I am the last person in the universe to have begun this series 

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr - this is one of the free Kindle books that I read and really loved (it has a nice cover and I was attracted to that - good call, Ash!)

Unconditional by Melody Grace - I love this series by this author but this one can be read as a standalone!

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles - I listened to this audiobook and read along. I found that it was exactly what I expected it to be and that I liked one character way more than the other!

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I am behind on EVERYTHING BOOKS, 
especially the books I have for review - but they're coming. 

Stick with me! This is the first time I've turned my computer on in a week. I miss you guys. 

(Also watch for that #GirlsGoneSciFi recap, wink wink)



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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles Review {with Audiobook Notes}

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Series: Wild Cards #1
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 1, 2013

342 Pages
Source: Book - Publisher, Audiobook - Library
Find it here:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


FREE 40-page Sneak Peak: Amazon / B&N

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all? (from Goodreads) 



Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles 

My Thoughts:  Pretty early into reading and listening to Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles, I realized that this book was exactly the quick and easy escape I was looking for. 

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The book opens as high school junior Derek Fitzpatrick gets expelled from his school for pulling a pretty impressive prank. With his father serving military time away, Derek is set to move from California to Chicago with his young, pregnant stepmother. Derek is not happy at all to make the move from a place that he loves to stepmother Brandy's homeplace, but he really has no choice...and this is how he ends up meeting Ashtyn Parker. Well, actually, he ends up meeting Ashtyn when she mistakes him for an intruder and stabs his foot with a pitchfork. Because Brandy never really shared details of either of her families with the other, Ashtyn and Derek each had no idea that the other existed - no clue that they'd be moving in/living with a new "family member" that is both the same age and extremely attractive. Wild Cards is the story of how these two met, became acclimated to each other, and learned to live with one another while also ignoring and then accepting the fact that they were also falling in love. This is a very basic description of this story, because believe me when I say that the story is very basic. BUT that is not always necessarily a negative thing. 

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While not perfect, I liked Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles. I mean, truthfully, everyone needs a book like this in his or her back pocket for a rainy day. I was able to alternate reading in print with listening to this one in audiobook format easily - I had no trouble at all keeping up with minor details because the details were very EASY and this is a story that I feel I have read before but never grows old (to me):  Guy and girl have secret crush but pretend to not like each other...guy and girl get to know one another better...guy and girl make each other frustrated/angry and have a falling-out...guy and girl finally admit what the reader knew from the beginning. Voila! Happy ending. 

Derek Fitzpatrick is the handsome, popular guy from his California school - he's lived in several places, so he's known as the cowboy-boot-wearing/has-a-Southern-accent guy that also wears a knit hat and eats super healthy food. He's a mixture of Texas and California. He did live at school until he was expelled and then was horrified to find that he'd have to move to Chicago until his father returned from his military service later. Derek hated moving but knew that he would have to make the best of it, so that's what he did. I liked his character because he is a very no-frills, down-to-earth, nice guy. When Derek arrived to his new home in Chicago, he immediately saw that it needed some work and began working on it - yard work, maintenance, things like that - in order to keep his mind occupied and keep himself busy in a place where he was "the new guy." He had no idea that his stepmother had a younger sister that was his age so when he stumbled into her in the shed, he was surprised. He was even more freaked out when she assumed he was a "thug" from another part of Chicago and stabbed him in the foot, then locked him in there. 

Ashtyn Parker is a tough cookie. I don't mean "tough cookie" like butt-kicking female - I mean she was a little tough for me to take a few times. She flat-out got on my nerves, okay? But I stuck with her anyway. Ashtyn is Captain of the football team, dates another football player (for at least a few pages, then they break up), and is pretty well-liked by her friends and teammates. YES she is a female football player and YES that is addressed in the book - Ashtyn has personal reasons for choosing a male-dominated sport. She has worked hard at it and has made plans to play in college. The thing that irked me about Ashtyn is she was rude, snarky, and judgmental of Derek from the very beginning, and her attitude about him stunk. I MEAN, IT STUNK. Even when he was always nice to her, she was rarely nice to him - at least in the beginning. Even as she began to warm up to him, she still was quick to be rude and hasty to judge him. Tsk, tsk. FURTHER: once Ashtyn decided that she didn't dislike Derek so much and that those feelings she was feeling actually were butterflies because she liked Derek instead of disgust because she couldn't stand Derek, she almost always completely clammed up around him and CONFUSED THE HECK OUT OF HIM ALMOST ALWAYS. I kind of felt sorry for him in several parts of the book. I think I will chalk up Ashtyn's strange and annoying behavior to 1) immaturity and 2) not having a good female role model present (nor a good male role model, for that matter). 

I may be being a little bit hard on Ashtyn - in truth, if I'm being honest, she wasn't miserable all the time. Just a lot of the time. Ashtyn and Derek were actually up and down like a roller coaster. They were on and off like a light switch. It took them FOREVER to decide what they were to each other. Were they housemates-and-also-family that crushed on each other but that's all? Or were they friends-with-benefits but that's all? Or were they going to be Ashtyn and Derek, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G? 

SERIOUSLY, WHAT'S IT GONNA BE, YOU TWO?

While all of the Derek-and-Ashtyn 'drama' is going on, other things are happening too. Important things. For example: Derek was finding his place within his new home and new family. When he moved to his new life with Brandy, he gained several new family members that he didn't have before. I loved this because Derek learned to love this, especially where his younger brother was concerned. Derek was able to patch up a broken relationship between himself and an important member of his "real" family, which was pretty great (and also fun to read because this person was a fun character). He was able to heal from some big major hurt that he had experienced when he was younger as a result of his mother's death, which is AAAHHH character development and also very pleasant to read. Regarding Ashtyn: while all of the relationship drama was going on and while Derek had some big things changing in his life, Ashtyn was wrestling with football issues and also she really missed Derek. 

There is a portion of the story that is a road trip. I love road trips. This road trip is between Derek and Ashtyn and is both funny and annoying, depending on where they are along the journey. My point in bringing it up is that I believe that it is during this trip that the two grow the most in their relationship with each other because they have the most time together, without the distractions of friends and family and home. They are able to learn about each other, how they each interact with the world and problems that arise, how they spend their free time, things like that. Even though I spent a portion of the road trip giving Ashtyn the side-eye and shaking my head at her, I think I enjoyed this portion of the book the most because I feel like it changed the tone of the book and the future of these two people individually and together. 

Ultimately, Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles was a fun and easy familiar-to-me story with two stereotypically stereotypical main characters. It was nothing that I had to think hard about while I was reading. There was no critical thinking or processing anything or re-reading paragraphs to make sure I understood details. I think I will always tend to enjoy stories like this. I think if I could change it, however, I'd use fewer stereotypes for young people, for athletes, for minorities, for those with a lower socioeconomic status, for those in the upper social status, for pretty much almost everyone - I feel like I also felt this same way when I read this book as well. Wild Cards was a good choice at the time I picked it and I'll keep this series in mind for when I'm ready for another story like this. 

Audiobook NotesThe audiobook format of Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles is published by Dreamscape Media and is 8 hours, 53 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Amy Rubinate and Kirby Heyborne. Both are well-known to me as narrators and I enjoy their work a great deal. Amy Rubinate did a great job as Ashtyn, just as I would expect. I have to point out Kirby Heyborne's Southern accent while he read Derek - I loved it - and the way he used his inflection and sarcasm and his tone - it was so, so great. I never hesitate to choose audiobooks when I know that either of these two readers is narrating because they always deliver, and they made Wild Cards all the more enjoyable for me. I recommend this audiobook as a first-listen or re-read for anyone that loves listening to stories. 

I recommend Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles by readers that enjoy Young Adult Contemporary Romance, quick, easy stories, and sibling/family relationships. This is the beginning of a series that I will stick around for - I do enjoy these quick, easy, breezy reads. This book has some exaggerated stereotypes present but they are easy to read around if you are looking to enjoy a quick HEA-type story. 

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Wild Cards will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Go ahead and kiss already. You know you want to.
Sibling/Family Relationships
Alternating POV
HEA

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
is currently available for purchase.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for these very laid-back thoughts and they are my own! Thank you Bloomsbury! 

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I KNOW some of you have read this. 
What did you think? 

What is your favorite Simone Elkeles book?

 

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Aaahhh! FURY by Fisher Amelie Book Trailer!

I'm so excited to share the trailer for Fisher Amelie's FURY

I don't share these often BUT I'm such a huge, huge fan of Fisher Amelie's 
The Seven Deadly Series - FURY is her next Mature Young Adult/New Adult contemporary romance novel and is the third book in this favorite-of-mine series! Fisher Amelie is instant-buy/instant-read for me and, you guys, I don't even need a synopsis OR a trailer to know that I want to read what she is writing. 

Watch the trailer below and then make sure to add it to your to-read pile/wishlist!

 

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FURY Synopsis: 
 This is Ethan Moonsong's book. 
Synopsis to be revealed at a later date.  

Ethan Moonsong appeared in GREED, the second book in this series and MAN OH MAN, I have to admit that he was not my favorite character. HOWEVER - I was definitely intrigued with him and I'm more than excited that he is getting his own book...ESPECIALLY with this title! I can't wait until I can get it in my own greedy little paws. 

You can read my thoughts on VAIN (Book One) HERE
You can read my thoughts on GREED (Book Two) HERE

**These books are New Adult Contemporary at its BEST, friends.**

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CHECK OUT ETHAN!
I'm so curious about this guy...
especially after this trailer!


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Fisher Amelie is the author of The Leaving Series, Callum & Harper and Thomas & January. She began her writing career as a copywriter for an internet marketing company wherein one of their client's said, 'Hey! You're funny. You should write books'. Which in turn she said, 'Hey, get out of here! This is the lady's restroom.' While washing her hands and the embarrassment from her face, she thought they may have had a valid point. So, she took the thousands of hours of writing stories growing up, tucked them into her pocket and began writing and writing and writing.

Follow Fisher Amelie:  Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook 
 Website / Blog / YouTube
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TRUST ME, you want to read these books! 

YOU DO. 




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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Check This Out: IN HER WAKE by K.A. Tucker

Fans of K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breaths, 
Check This Out: 

On September 1, 2014, Atria is releasing a PREQUEL NOVELLA to Ten Tiny Breaths that tells the story from Trent's point of view! Check out that cover! 



IN HER WAKE by K.A. Tucker 
Expected Publish Date: September 1, 2014
Find It/Pre-Order: Amazon 
/ iTunesSimon & Schuster

Cole Reynolds had it all. And then one night he makes a bad choice... and loses everything.

When a drunken night out at a Michigan State college party results in the death of six people, Cole must come to terms with his part in the tragedy. Normally, he'd be able to lean on his best friends. The best friends that have been in his life since he could barely walk. Only, they're gone. Worse, there's the shattered body of a sixteen-year-old girl lying somewhere in a hospital bed, her entire life ripped from her because of a case of beer and a set of keys.

Everyone assures him that they know it wasn't intentional and yet he can't ignore the weight of their gazes, the whispers behind his back. The all-consuming guilt he feels every time he thinks of that girl who won't so much as allow him near her hospital room to apologize. As the months go by and the shame and loneliness festers, Cole begins to lose his grip of what once was important-college, his girlfriend, his future. His life. It's not until Cole hits rock-bottom that he can begin to see another way out of his personal hell: forgiveness.

And there's only one person who can give that to him...

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Also, coming to paperback in just days!


Four Secondsto Lose

FOUR SECONDS TO LOSE by K.A. Tucker 
Expected Paperback Publish Date: April 1, 2014
Find It/Pre-Order: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that. 

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance.

Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.

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Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Find K.A. Tucker: 

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Unconditional by Melody Grace Review & Giveaway

Unconditional by Melody Grace
Series: Beachwood Bay #3
Publish Date: March 18, 2014
Source: Author for Review - Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N

"I’ve spent my whole life chasing perfection: perfect looks, perfect man, perfect home. But in one brutal moment, I realized it was all just a beautiful lie…"

Carina MacKenzie is fleeing from her past. Picking up the wreckage of her shattered dreams, she seeks comfort in the only place she’s ever felt safe: Beachwood Bay.

Garrett Sawyer isn’t looking to be anyone’s savior. Scarred by old betrayals, he’s sworn never to put his heart on the line again -- especially not for a damaged, high-maintenance girl like Carina. But passion knows no logic, and soon, their reckless chemistry is making him forget his bitter vows.
Two damaged hearts. The hope of true love. As their passion blazes out of control, Carina and Garrett struggle to escape their legacies of hurt. But can you ever outrun the past? And when everything is on the line, can they trust enough to build a love that's unconditional? (from Goodreads) 



Unconditional by Melody Grace

My Thoughts:  The Beachwood Bay Series by Melody Grace is one of my favorite New Adult series - I always find myself excited when I find out there is another book close to publication date and then I get excitedly anxious as that date arrives. I'm so, so excited that the Release Day for Unconditional is here, you guys! This series just gotten better and better as it has grown. 

Unconditional begins in a scene between Carina MacKenzie and her fiance Alexander - it is not the best of times for Carina, truth be known. Carina has everything she could dream of having - the nice home, the nice car, expensive clothes, friends that share her lifestyle - but she knows that when she marries Alexander she will be in a loveless marriage. Not only that, but Alexander has a couple of habits that are not okay. The opening scene has Carina hosting a dinner party for some of Alexander's business associates with a fake smile - perfectly - even as Alexander entertains his guests with jokes at Carina's expense. She sits there in her beautiful home, surrounded by people living the life she has always wanted, and she begins to second-guess what she wants for her future. Immediately after the party, Alexander leaves for his office in the city - he often spends his weekends at his office (strange, right?) - and Carina decides SHE'S HAD ENOUGH. She packs a couple of bags and BOOM! She's gone. Where does she go? Carina goes back to the family's old beach house in Beachwood Bay, North Carolina. 

Carina arrives in the middle of the night to find that THERE'S SOMEONE LIVING IN THE HOUSE. And OH MY GOSH - eww eww eww - it's none other than Garrett Sawyer! Garrett Sawyer, the drinks-too-much, has-the-looks-of-a-mythical-god, ladies' man. Having nowhere else to go, Garrett is kind enough to let her stay in her own beach house and Carina settles in for the night. After a few run-ins around the house and in the bathroom with too much skin (yikes!) and a heart rate that begins to increase the more she is around Garrett, Carina realizes that maybe, maybe, MAYBE he isn't really all that bad. After she quits talking so rudely to him, begins to treat him like a real person, and actually starts listening to him, Carina realizes that WOW - Garrett isn't really stupid and he actually has some really smart things to say...things that help her begin to put the pieces of her life back together when she has no idea how to begin again. 

AND AND AND...Garrett has a devastating past of his own that Carina may be able to help him with if he will open up and let her...

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As Garrett and Carina go from UGH to hmmm-what's-going-on-here to actual friends, there is the most delicious of slow-burn tension between them. This is something that I'm used to with Melody Grace and her writing and MAN I LOVE IT. Unconditional is the story of Carina MacKenzie finding herself again after thinking she lost what she never had to begin with AND it is the story of Garrett Sawyer opening his heart after he closed it and locked it up because he felt like he didn't deserve anything good in his life after something awful happened. 

I would be lying if I said that this story is way different than the others in this series - the characters aren't exactly the same, no. They do move along similar tracks or maybe they run along in the same crowds - perhaps they're similar because some of them are related and because they're all connected in some way. It doesn't actually matter, to be honest. I absolutely love stories like this and if Melody Grace wants to write ten more along the same vein, I will read them all. She knows how to write the oozy tension that begins with two people that want to act like they can't stand each other but we, the readers, know that really isn't the case at all. I read Unconditional with the death-grip on my ereader because I thought if these two didn't hurry up and kiss and then kiss again and then kiss some more, I'd flat-out break my Kindle. (This is how I have read the other books in this series too.)

As always, I love the setting of Beachwood Bay, the small town by the North Carolina shore. It isn't a big tourist-y town - rather, it's a small town that people live in year-round but manages to gather a few seasonal visitors and attracts some college kids from neighboring towns. Beachwood Bay isn't a real place (as far as I know, and I'm right here) but I LOVE IT. It feels real, right down to the beach house and Jimmy's bar, which is a fixture throughout the series. I also love the way the author continues to weave in the characters we've met in the previous books and they remain a nice, big chunk of the story STILL. You do not have to have read the previous books to read this one or to fall in love with these characters, but if you already know and love them like I do, you will be smiling ear-to-ear to see that they are still here, still well, and still happy. 

All-in-all, Unconditional is a winner. A WINNER. I love this series to pieces. It's a re-read series for me and I'd love to see audiobooks of the entire series one of these days so I can listen to them over and over. I recommend Unconditional and the entire Beachwood Bay Series to fans of New Adult Romance with an enthusiastic two-thumbs up and two high-fives. In my opininon, books like this one are so much fun. SO MUCH FUN. 

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OH LOOK! AN EXCERPT! 

A noise comes. A shadow rears up in the dark. I scream.
         “What the hell?”
         Panic claws my chest and I scream again, reaching blindly for something to fight him off. Squatters and junkies and all kinds of dangerous men fill my mind as my hand closes around something solid on the hall table and I swing with everything I’ve got.
         “Goddamn!” The figure reels back, stumbling against the wall.
         “Get away from me!” I cry, shaking. My heart is racing so fast I think it might beat right out of my chest. I grip the object in my hand tighter. “Don’t touch me!”
         “I’m not trying to touch you!” The man roars, angry. “I just want to know what you’re doing breaking into my goddamn house!”
         The light flips on. I reel back, blinded by the sudden glare, but as the daze clears and my eyes flick back into focus, I see the man in front of me for the first time.
         I stop breathing.
         He’s half-naked, that’s the first thing I notice. Jesus, his body is like nothing I’ve ever seen before: tanned bronze and chiselled like a Greek god, but not like the guys I’ve dated, all waxed and pumped from hours at a fancy gym. This guy is real, raw, all muscle and power, with web of dark tattoos snaking over the bicep of his right arm. I feel a flush roll through me, hot with prickling awareness, but I can’t look away as I take in his tight, sculpted six-pack abs, and the trail of dark hair leading down to the waistband of his navy briefs...
         “Don’t mind me, darlin’.” his voice comes. “Any time you’re done looking...”
         I snap my eyes up to his face, blushing. Then I look at him for real and it all clicks into place.
         “Oh,” My heart clenches in my chest as I recognize him for the first time. “It’s you.”
         Unshaven face. Messy mahogany bed-head hair. And a pair of stormy ocean-blue eyes scowling at me like I’m the last person on earth he wants to see.
         And I can say, the feeling is entirely mutual.
         “It’s me.” Garrett Sawyer agrees in a low, Southern drawl. He strides over and snatches the vase from my hand, setting it down on the table with a thud. “Now, you want to tell me what the hell you’re doing creeping around my house at three in the goddamn morning?”

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Unconditional will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Romance: Slow-Burn. No Triangle. 
Coastal Setting. (North Carolina!)
Sibling Relationships
Great Secondary Characters
Alternating POV
Companion Series

Be smart, younger readers! 
This book is for the older-YA and adult reading crowd!


Unconditional by Melody Grace
is currently available for purchase. 

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Melody Grace is the USA Today bestselling author of UNBROKEN and UNTOUCHED. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach-lover, she spent years with her nose in a book before deciding it was time to write them for herself. She loves bad boys, good books, and pistachio-flavored ice-cream.

Find Melody Grace: 


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