Friday, December 19, 2014

I totally judged this book by its cover...


We are all guilty of it…judging a book by its cover.

As a librarian I know this is true because the books with more appealing covers fly off the shelves faster than a book with a simple cover. I myself am prone to checking out the mass paperback historical romances based on how lovely the heroine’s big ball gown is. I never thought I would find myself rejecting a book based on the cover though.

For over a year now, Wallbanger by Alice Clayton has been popping up as a recommended read for me. Based on the title, the cover, and the synopsis I immediately brushed this book off as a 50 Shades/Bared to You angsty rip off.

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

I seriously thought I had this book pegged. Girl, driven wild by her neighbor’s nightly escapades,  becomes part of his harem in a no-strong-attached relationship in which she quickly realizes that she is madly in love with the wallbanger. Add in lots of angst, some major pity parties, and I knew I would be pulling my hair out if I ever started this book.

I.was.so.wrong.

I mentioned before that this book had been creeping into several of my recommended reading lists. Several of my favorite lists are for humorous romance novels, like Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ books. I love a good laugh in my romances, so I’m always on the lookout for new witty romance authors. Well Wallbanger kept scoring in the top 5 of all these lists. I immediately thought this was because it was so ridiculous that it was funny…not because it was ridiculously funny.

Shame.on.me.

After seeing Wallbanger over and over again on many different recommendation lists, I finally placed it on hold. Remember, just because I check a book out from my library does not mean it will get read. I have on average about 50 books checked out and only a handle get read before guilt sinks in and I returned them. I unexpectedly had to leave town one weekend and threw a few books in my suitcase before rushing out the door, which is how Wallbanger got read.


I didn’t expect much. I certainly didn’t expect to discover two witty and loveable characters in Simon and Caroline. I never expected these two to develop a true friendship and I certainly never expected myself to fall in love with their romance. There was no erotic domineering relationship. No angst-filled torment or weak females. This was a true romance that blossomed out of an awkward beginning and ultimately friendship. Throw in a horny cat, some zucchini bread, a trip to Spain, and you have a witty heart-warming romance that will leave you smiling. 

Have you ever read a book you had originally brushed off?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Spotlight: Inspire by @CoraCarmack

Inspire RDL Banner


We are so incredibly excited to be able to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's INSPIRE! INSPIRE is a New Adult Paranormal Romance novel and the first book in her new Muse Series!! Holy canoli, y'all. Go out and get this today!



Inspire

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

About INSPIRE:

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.



Inspire Teaser 3

Excerpt:

I can feel Wilder’s breath against my lips. More than that, I can see it. The sun has set and the temperature has dropped, and air fogs between us. There’s something about actually seeing it, like our lips are touching, we are touching, despite the distance between. And as we sway from side to side, my heart gradually begins to pick up speed.

The strains of guitar music flowing out from the restaurant are nearly indecipherable over the heavy heartbeat in my ears. But Wilder must hear it. His hands are strong on my body, guiding my movements, and I’m practically clay in his palms.

We dance, eyes on eyes, lips nearly on lips, and there is lightning beneath my skin each time his body brushes against mine in a new way. His touch is firm, but gentle, never pushing or pressuring, though I can tell from the dark look in his eyes that he’s just as affected as I am. The music shifts, building to a crescendo, and he spins us. My chest pushes tight against his, and I bite back a gasp. I don’t know if it’s the cold or him or some combination of both, but the tips of my breasts are painfully tight. Just the pressure of my bra is enough to rub them raw.

I remember the night at his apartment, the way he’d taken his time learning my body. I think of the heat of his mouth on my skin, and the memory alone is enough to make me shiver and clench.

He’s back to being business, grown-up Wilder tonight in his button down and glasses. Only now that I know him, it doesn’t seem like such a stark difference. He is neither the straight-laced man nor the tattooed bad boy. Or perhaps he’s both. Regardless of what he’s wearing, Wilder is caring and loyal and strong and so sexy that I’m having trouble remembering why I shouldn’t push him into the backseat of his SUV and crawl on top of him.

Inspire Teaser 1



About Cora Carmack:

HeadshotCora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.








Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** INSPIRE Goodreads


Friday, December 5, 2014

Discard Friday


Oh who knows why this gem from 1991 hasn't checked out in 8 years. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spotlight: Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover
The Rules of Scoundrels # 4
By: Sarah MacLean
Releasing November 25th, 2014
Avon Romance


By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered...until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear...including her heart.





 Amazon | Barnes | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info
Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers. Please visit her at
www.macleanspace.com

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Rafflecopter Giveaway ($50.00 Gift Card to Choice Book Seller and Print Set of Rules of Scoundrels Books 1-3)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing


Back in September I posted a list of 7 YA titles that wereon my radar (and should be on yours). One of the titles was Amy Ewing’s debut novel The Jewel. I had been hearing a lot about The Jewel, mainly through Epic Reads, a website for anything and everything Young Adult Literature.

Here is the synopsis for The Jewel:
The Selection meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this darkly riveting debut filled with twists and turns, where all that glitters may not be gold.
The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess’s control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.
Quite intriguing right?
I was able to finish The Jewel in one sitting, which is highly unusual for me with YA books. Typically, I spend two or three days thumbing through a YA novel. Ewing’s writing style was easy to follow and flowed well. The plot had merit, even though it was slow in some situations, and I found myself immersed in Violet’s story.
I would give this story 3.5 stars out of 5. There are two main reasons. I do feel that the story could have been longer. I say this mainly because I felt it was anticlimactic until the very last page or so.  I know that Violet was in several intense situations, but I did not feel the intensity leap of the pages. A few more well constructed paragraphs describing the direness of this situation and Violet’s role really would have elevated the plot.
The second reason is because of the character of Ash…or more importantly, the relationship between Ash and Violet. At first, I suspected the character of Garnet to be the romantic interest. Garnet is the 19 year old son of Violet’s owner, the Duchess of the Lake. He is unpredictable, devastatingly handsome, and an all around bad boy. Perfect romantic interest right? I was surprised by the introduction of Ash, a companion who was purchased to teach the Duchess’ niece how to flirt and land a husband. I felt that Ash and Violet’s relationship was flat. For whatever reason, I could not get the idea of Violet and Garnet out of my head. I found myself annoyed with the scenes that Ash was featured in. If the novel had been drawn out more, I might have found myself more accepting of the pairing. That being said, I hope that Ewing will either dedicate more time to expand on this relationship or revisit the Violet/Garnet pairing that my heart seems to want. The last page of the book was slightly reassuring to me though. Fingers crossed - #violetandgarnet

Though I had a few small issues with the novel, Amy Ewing did a splendid job on her debut book. I think teens will devour this book and I encourage you to check it out. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid



Most days I can’t tell you where my ereader is. I usually only attempt to locate it when I’m heading to a doctor’s appointment or if I’m going on a trip. Since I don’t use it that often, I rarely purchase ebooks. I like to use my library’s downloadable collection or BookLending.com. I have found that when I purchase an ebook from Amazon, it gets lost in the shuffle and has a good chance of never getting read.

I recently took a trip and found myself browsing through my ebooks. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I ran across Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid. I purchased this book from Amazon in July 2014. For the life of me I can’t remember how I came across the title but I do remember researching the book before I decided to purchase it. I found tons of reviews commenting on how funny this romance was. I decided to take a chance and purchase it. Then promptly forgot about it.

Here is a little about Neanderthal Seeks Human:

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

I instantly found myself loving Janie. Reid should have considered making her a Librarian, because she is one of us! She was witty and I loved that she randomly sprouted off trivial information. See? Perfect Librarian. Also, the character of Quinn aka Sir McHotpants was utterly dreamy. I was completely enthralled with this book all afternoon and I instantly wanted to purchase the rest of the series. I constantly laughed out loud and continued to think about the characters after I had finished the story.


If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend Neanderthal Seeks Human. You won’t be disappointed…I know I wasn’t!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Notable Nonfiction for November

Yesterday, I posted about 5 Young Adult titles that had been popping up on my radar. There are also two nonfiction titles that I have been patiently waiting for to be released. Though collection development for nonfiction is one of my duties, I don't always have the time to read what I order.

That being said, I plan on making the time for these titles. What other nonfiction titles are you looking forward to this month?


The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt by Kara Cooney

Hatshepsut, the daughter of a general who took Egypt's throne without status as a king’s son and a mother with ties to the previous dynasty, was born into a privileged position of the royal household. Married to her brother, she was expected to bear the sons who would legitimize the reign of her father’s family. Her failure to produce a male heir was ultimately the twist of fate that paved the way for her inconceivable rule as a cross-dressing king. At just twenty, Hatshepsut ascended to the rank of king in an elaborate coronation ceremony that set the tone for her spectacular twenty-two year reign as co-regent with Thutmose III, the infant king whose mother Hatshepsut out-maneuvered for a seat on the throne. Hatshepsut was a master strategist, cloaking her political power plays with the veil of piety and sexual expression. Just as women today face obstacles from a society that equates authority with masculinity, Hatshepsut had to shrewdly operate the levers of a patriarchal system to emerge as Egypt's second female pharaoh.

Hatshepsut had successfully negotiated a path from the royal nursery to the very pinnacle of authority, and her reign saw one of Ancient Egypt’s most prolific building periods. Scholars have long speculated as to why her images were destroyed within a few decades of her death, all but erasing evidence of her rule. Constructing a rich narrative history using the artifacts that remain, noted Egyptologist Kara Cooney offers a remarkable interpretation of how Hatshepsut rapidly but methodically consolidated power—and why she fell from public favor just as quickly. The Woman Who Would Be King traces the unconventional life of an almost-forgotten pharaoh and explores our complicated reactions to women in power.

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye


"Evolution is one of the most powerful and important ideas ever developed in the history of science. Every question it raises leads to new answers, new discoveries, and new smarter questions. The science of evolution is as expansive as nature itself. It is also the most meaningful creation story that humans have ever found."—Bill Nye

Sparked by a controversial debate in February 2014, Bill Nye has set off on an energetic campaign to spread awareness of evolution and the powerful way it shapes our lives. In Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, he explains why race does not really exist; evaluates the true promise and peril of genetically modified food; reveals how new species are born, in a dog kennel and in a London subway; takes a stroll through 4.5 billion years of time; and explores the new search for alien life, including aliens right here on Earth. With infectious enthusiasm, Bill Nye shows that evolution is much more than a rebuttal to creationism; it is an essential way to understand how nature works—and to change the world. It might also help you get a date on a Saturday night.
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