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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne







Blurb:

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.



Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2c2MwPI
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2cltTL8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2btMRPF
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2bs8XA8
Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2bTZvWq
Dymocks: http://bit.ly/2clupsE

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.

I recently attended a Writers Retreat where one book in particular was mentioned, and I use the term mentioned very loosely, what actually happened was they demanded we all read it immediately. Suffice to say, I purchased the ebook that night and dove in, immediately I was smitten, utterly invested and truly in love with every single word written by Sally Thorne.

"Watching you pretend to hate that nickname is the best part of my day."

Lucy Hutton always dreamt of working in the publishing industry, as an avid reader her love for all things books was greater than anything she'd ever known, being hired by Gamin Publishing was everything she had ever imagined, but when her beloved company was on the brink of collapse and amalgamation with another struggling publishing house, Bexley Books, became her reality, her career goals stayed alive, just barely, with a host of personnel cuts and the loss of her best friend Val, her work world was rocked. The day she met Joshua Templeman seemed like a possible new beginning, but his cool disregard of her almost immediately sent shockwaves through her usually cheery demeanor, a war began that day and with every day that past their mutual dislike of each other grew.


"You've broken me down so completely, I can't even handle it when a guy tells me I'm beautiful."

The Hating Game written in the first person point of view painted Lucy as both incredibly smart, and extremely funny,  every snarky thought, every snappy comeback, every moment of despair mixed with joy as Joshua became Josh in front of her eyes. Every moment in this book served to cement my love of the author's words, I was invested immediately, but each new chapter brought with it feelings of awe, the more I read the deeper in love I fell, the more real Lucy and Joshua felt, the more their personalities jumped off the page and straight into my heart.

"I'm about to lose something I never had to begin with."

The Hating Game is slow burn in the very best way, Thorne builds not only the connection between her hero and heroine but the readers attachment to them, their witty dialogue served to lure the reader into losing themselves in one of the best bouts of drawn out verbal foreplay that I have ever experienced. Usually when I enjoy a book it only serves to make me want to devour the words, here however I simultaneously wanted to speed read my way to end, and slow down in order to savor every moment. I loved every second here, I wanted to drown in Thorne's words, I wanted to escape into Lucy and Joshua's world, stand in the corner, watching them like a creeper, I wanted to befriend them, I wanted to relax with Lucy over a glass of wine after a long day at work, I wanted to know everything that happened in between every moment, every lost look, every sigh, every secret smile. The Hating Game has quickly became one of my very favourite books, climbing it's way onto not only my Best of 2016 List but my favourite of all time list. If this is how Sally Thorne marks her debut into bookworld, I can only imagine what she has yet to do.










About Sally Thorne:


Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn't always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

Connect with Sally on Facebook



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Game Saver (Game #3) by BJ Harvey



Blurb:

From the USA Today bestselling author of the Bliss series comes a new spin off series featuring your favorite Bliss series characters who are yet to meet their match. Now it’s Cade and Abi’s turn.
How do you know when fake turns real?

Abi Cook lives her life by her own rules. She works hard, plays hard, and knows who she is and where she wants to be.

Following a repeat one-night stand with the dashing Dr. Cade Carsen, Cade asks Abi for a favor: be the fake girlfriend on his arm for the duration of his father's mayoral campaign.

Never one to turn down a challenge, she doesn't hesitate. I mean, who wouldn't when all that's involved is a little fake girlfriending with a side of hot sex, and with Doctor Hottie no less?

But like any Game, there are always twists and turns, unexpected players, villains, heroes and ultimately, winners and losers.

Game Saver is the story of what happens when two happily single people try for something less, but end up with something so much more.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2bfSDBB
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2bmrQCh
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2bvpZwO
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2bBdq4A

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.


There's no secret that Abi Cook is the wildcard in the Game series, she's unashamedly upfront about her life and the way she chooses to live it. Her boisterous personality foreshadowed a deeper truth, something more that lurked in her past that made her who she is. While I was expecting some deep dark secret what I instead found was a backstory that explained her present without unneeded angst and drama, in true Abi fashion, sh*t happened, but she picked herself up, even in some unconventional ways and got sh*t done. Life happened and instead of drowning in the deluge she chose to soar. In so many ways, there's similarities in the ways in which Abi and Cade went about living their lives in a way that allowed them to be true to themselves.

Cade Carsen noticed Abi in the crowd the first moment he laid eyes on her, while he saw something intriguing in her, she beguiled him in so many ways, more than merely the physical, he was at a point in his career and life where all he was capable of was one night of passion. Like Abi, behind the Rich White Boy exterior is a man who is at odd's with his parents plans for his future. While Cade seemed like the kind of guy you would want to be mates with in previous books in the Game series, there was something deeper lurking beneath the surface, something that he kept guarded, something that select few would ever truly know about him.

"I think I'm falling for our real."

One night of passion for Abi and Cade was destined to never be enough, a precarious deal puts these two consummate bachelors on the same path, in true Harvey fashion, there was no doubt I would be in for laugh out loud moments, for the steaming sexiness that would leave me flustered, but for me the true beauty of Game Saver came in those quiet moments where Abi and Cade lowered their walls, if even for just a moment to let the other a glimpse at the heart of who they were.

"It's always been real. We've just finally realized it."

Interwoven in a story that speaks heavily to the lust and want that features so much in any new relationship is the quiet truth of the vulnerability we all feel when we move from an I to a WE. It's a truth universally acknowledged that love in all it's forms is the greatest joy we will ever experience, it's one that also opens us up the greatest amount of possible hurt. While I truly love those rip your heart out, destroy your soul kind of books, what I adore so much about the Game series is that slipping into Harvey's books is like taking in a deep breath of fresh air, even with a potent mix of sexual chemistry that oozes off the page, with snark and witty dialogue, a fast paced story that grabs you immediately and refuses to let go, and heart warmingly tender moments that rival even the swooniest of romances, it never feels to much, to staged, to angsty, to over the top. Harvey has well and truly cemented her place amongst the best of the best... part chick lit, part erotic romance, part romantic comedy, Game Saver grabbed me by the collar on the very first page and still refuses to let me go weeks after reading the last line.

"She's the breath of fresh air I never saw coming."




Game Player: http://amzn.to/2bhA1m6
Game Marker: http://amzn.to/2bfU0jG


About BJ Harvey:




BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

Connect with BJ on Facebook






Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino




Blurb:

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?


Find on Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2axvMBe
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2avnQ33
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2aBj5mR
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2azDVCJ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2avoY6T

Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.

Emiline had a rather rough start to life, when people talk about having a lousy childhood, she can definitely throw down with the best of them, in the years since leaving childhood and adolescence, Emiline has made the most of the life she was given, she's moved on from her past and is carving out a new normal for herself, her dreams of a literary career are somewhat stalled, her once good relationship has seen better days, now working as an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego she seems to be the only one not singing the praises of new writing sensation J. Colby. When she finally gives in to the deluge of recommendations to read his hit book, she's immediately enraptured, but not because the book is amazing like everyone claims, or because the writing draws her in effortlessly, but because shockingly J. Colby's masterpiece is her story, her childhood, every desperate, heartbreaking detail is Emiline's young life, and the only person who could know every detail is Jase her once best friend, the boy who owned her heart before walking out of her life over a decade before.


“Isn’t it weird that we had nothing at the time … but somehow it felt like we had everything.”  

The idea of a book within a book is a clever one, Carlino's works always seem to push the boundaries in the most subtle of ways, everything about Swear On This Life had me utterly captivated, the nuances of her writing, the sheer beauty of her story, Carlino's exquisite ability to draw me in so entirely that I want to devour the pages and yet savor every moment. The way in which Carlino takes the reader on a journey back to Emiline's troubled childhood, while maintaining the pace that ensures the reader is both desperate to know what once took place and where the future may lead for Emiline and Jase. Renee Carlino never fails to remind me why I so adore her books, there's a freshness to her work, and uniqueness that can't be matched, an eloquence that speaks directly to my romantic heart.


“We can’t go backward. There are too many regrets. Please just move forward with me?”  

Wistful and romantic at times, Swear on this Life examines the what was and what could have been, interspersed with the hurt caused by walking away, Carlino captures every moment with such brilliant clarity, reminding me once again why I'm so drawn to her writing. As past, present and future collide, this reader gave over her heart ready to experience every moment that this story had to give.






About Renee Carlino:





RenĂ©e Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels and new adult fiction. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Connect with Renee Carlino on Facebook










Monday, 8 August 2016

The Summer Games: Out of Bounds by R.S. Grey



Blurb:

I despise Erik Winter.

He’s arrogant and cruel—a man I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy—and by some twisted turn of fate, he’s my new Olympic gymnastics coach.


I’ve had to contend with gruff coaches in the past, but Erik is far worse. His stern demeanor complements a body built for intimidation, and his reprimands come from a mouth so cunning, I know it could strip me of my defenses—if I let it.

Though each of us would love to be rid of the other forever, we are bound to each other by need and necessity. I’m his rising star, his best shot at proving himself to his critics. And without a coach, I have zero chance of winning gold in Rio.

The easiest way forward would be to wave a white flag and make peace with the man I’ll be sharing close quarters with for the foreseeable future, but he is intent on war.

Fine. By. Me.

If he pushes me, I’ll push back harder. If he wants to test me, to play with my head, I’ll show him just how many boundaries I’m willing to cross. Because I know it’s not a choice between winning or warring—not if you can have them both. At the end of it all, I plan on leaving Rio with gold around my neck and his icy heart in the palm of my hand.

Find on Goodreads




Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2aulk05
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2axrhHb
Audio: http://amzn.to/2aulyUG
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2asyjuQ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2aBe4dW
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2aMWruC


Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.

I discovered RS Grey by chance before The Duet was released, I quickly devoured every available title of hers released up until that point and fell in love with her words, her writing style, her stories, everything about them drew me in, there's a freshness to her writing that makes diving into her books a pure joy.

Brie Watson knows all about the sacrifices you make to be the best, discovering her love of gymnastics at what most would consider old age, Brie worked hard to become worthy of the gold medals she's already claimed from World Championship's, with the Rio Olympics only weeks away Brie is the person to beat, and has her heart set on bringing home the Olympic Gold. To most standing on the medal podium while your National anthem plays seems like a pipe dream, but for Brie it could mean providing her and her mum the chance at financial security, something they've never experienced.  While she may be singularly focused on winning, Brie can't deny her attraction to her new Olympic coach. Erik Winter is devastatingly handsome, sizzlingly sexy and a complete ass, they say first impressions last, and their first meeting certainly leaves them both on the back foot.

"I guess you need your privacy if you’ve got the Tinder Train rolling in every night." 

Erik Winter is an enigma, son of the former Olympic gymnastics team coach, Erik has been able to live the last few years out of the media spotlight. A one time Olympic contender, he retired from the sport and chose a different path, estranged from his father, and yet selected as his replacement, Erik is once again thrust into the media spotlight. Coaching five headstrong young women, teenagers is bound to be a tough gig, fighting your attraction to your gold medal hopeful is definitely the safest course of action.

Five Olympic hopefuls, elite athletes who's days revolve around training and getting game day ready should have more than enough to concentrate on, but an attraction that strong is harder than Erik or Brie ever anticipated, and despite everything going on focusing on preparing for heats and all the sights and sounds of the Olympic Village, the chemistry simmering between them only seems to burn hotter with each encounter. Their interaction like verbal foreplay, dancing around one another, the push and pull of the imminent power play had me utterly invested.



"I’d gone down to meet Erik so I could surrender, and I had. I’d laid down my sword and armor, and in return, he’d stabbed me square in the chest. It was an ambush." 

With the Rio Olympics currently taking place in the real world, the fictional world RS Grey created gives a nice birds eye view into the world of elite athletes. So often sports romance focuses on male dominated sports, I've certainly read my share of football and hockey stories albeit loving quite a few, but what I LOVE so much about Grey's Summer Games series is the level playing ground she explores, with two Olympic heroines so far, I only hope for more to come from the series. Grey once again absolutely captivated me from the very first page, Brie and Erik's undeniable chemistry making it impossible to put down, laugh out loud funny, devastatingly sexy, with that beautiful balance of tender that Grey does so very well, set against a backdrop of the bright lights of Rio, Out of Bounds was the perfect book to wet my appetite for the television coverage of the 2016 Summer Games.






About R.S. Grey:






I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.



I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

Connect with R.S. Grey on Facebook





Tuesday, 2 August 2016

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover


Blurb:

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

Find on Goodreads




Purchase Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ar90Yl
Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/2aetWGA
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2ahLk8W
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2aeuU5Q
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2awH2vt




Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: August 2016.

When an author sets out to write a new book, I imagine it's often with the intention of challenging readers to throw their preconceived notions of right and wrong, of black and white out the window and embrace the story they wish to tell. In my experience not every author however is able to do that, it's instead those golden nuggets of wisdom and beauty that you stumble across that irrevocably change you, force you to reassess everything you thought you knew, thought you believed and ball it up and throw it out the window, because life isn't black and white, it's not even grey, it's a whole spectrum of magnificent vibrant hues that have the ability to turn our world technicolor.


"You saved my life, Lily. And you weren't even trying."



I could wax lyrical about every moment that tore my heart asunder, I could scream from the rooftops every moment that left me utterly breathless, I could tell you how I wrestled with my notions of right and wrong, but really all I can tell you is that It Ends With Us is so much more than I ever anticipated. It's more than women's fiction, more than contemporary romance, it's intensely personal, incredibly honest and hauntingly beautiful. It's more than just a story about Lily and Ryle, it's not just a story about the sins of the past or the dreams for the future. It's as much a life lesson as it is one woman's journey from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, it's a story about life and love, of growing up, of holding on, of letting go, of living purely and simply.

"There is so much more good in him than bad, and I'll do whatever I can to convince him of that until he can see it, too."


There comes a moment with those rare gems when you finish a book and have no idea what to do with yourself... realising the only thing left is to go back to the beginning and start it again. I beg you pick up this book the way I did, without reading too much about it, without reading the blurb, and promise me that if you're an acknowledgement first kind of reader, forgo it just this once, go in blind with an open heart and mind, allow Hoover to take you on the journey she intended, because I promise you, your life will be richer for it. It Ends With Us is thought provoking, raw, honest and hauntingly eloquent from the very first line until the very last page, it's sheer staggering beauty comes from the tidal wave of emotion it evokes, from the unity you feel with Lily in every moment where you find yourself questioning where she ends and you begin. The best type of book leaves you wanting more, but not needing more, as I turned the last page that is exactly how Hoover's story left me feeling, my advice to you dear reader is Buy it. Read it. Most importantly EXPERIENCE this book!

"In the future...if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again...fall in love with me."


About Colleen Hoover:



I write because I need to.
I review because I want to.
I pay taxes because I have to.


Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com


Connect with Colleen on Facebook