16.10.17

Blog Tour: Bad for Her by Christi Barth (Review and Giveaway!!)


I'm excited to be part of the blog tour today for Christi Barth’s Bad For Her! Check out my review and a giveaway below!


Title: Bad For Her
Author: Christi Barth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 3rd

About the Book:
USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth launches a sexy new series about three bad-boy brothers in Witness Protection who are about to learn that going good is harder than they thought… Doctor Mollie Vickers loves the tight-knit community of her tiny Oregon town. But she’s not a fan of the limited dating options. Sleep with a guy who tried to copy off her in junior high? Pass. Mollie’s sex life is flatlining… until a deliciously handsome man she’s never seen before stops to help her fix a flat tire. As an ex-mobster, Rafe Maguire’s no saint. But he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Although he probably shouldn’t kiss the hot doctor on the side of the highway. Or suggest a no-strings fling with a woman he has no business pursuing. Rafe’s life is too complicated for love—his new WITSEC-provided identity doesn’t fit him at all and there’s a U.S. Marshal watching his every move. He can’t tell Mollie the truth… but their chemistry is scorching and being good doesn’t mean he can’t be a little bad. Mollie can’t resist the guy who looks rough, talks tough, and is loyal to the bone. But it’s obvious Rafe is keeping secrets. When the truth comes out, Mollie must decide if she could ever love an ex-mobster… or if this bad boy has truly gone good.

Review: 

Romance books are becoming my go-to reads. Therefore, when I heard about Christi Barth's Bad For Her, the first book in her new A Bad Boy Gone Good series, I instantly added it to my TBR pile. I mean, a romance involving bad boys in witness protection landing in a small town? What's NOT to love about that? Answer: NOTHING! 

The Result? Romantic, suspenseful, and heartwarming, Bad For Her was a strong opening to a new series - one that I will MOST DEFINITELY be following all the way through! 

Bad for Her is told in the alternating POVs of Mollie Vickers and Rafe Maguire, the classic good girl and bad boy, respectively. Mollie is book smart, too sweet for her own good, and strong willed. I found her easy to like and relate to. I especially loved how Christi Barth made Mollie's family such an important part to her character, as it gave yet another relatable quality and quite few laughs due to her cousin and grandmother's crazy antics. Rafe, on the other hand, is dark and mysterious; however, as most bad boys found in books go, he has a heart of gold. Like Mollie, I was happy to see family play such an important part in his life. The bond between him and his brothers was unbreakable, no matter how many tough words were thrown around. 

Bringing Rafe and Mollie together, a super hot romance was delivered. Let me tell you the chemistry between them was smoking hot. It was also easy to feel a "true" connection between them. That connection made their respective characters not only more developed but the story as well. 

In addition to romance, Bad For Her also focuses on letting loose and overcoming past challenges. For Mollie, that meant learning to accept her sad past, and for Rafe, that meant learning to love a new life, no matter how much he missed his days in Chicago. I loved seeing both of these characters begin to thrive and smile as the book progressed. Better yet, I enjoyed seeing Rafe give back to the community be it helping Mollie's troubled cousin or saving the town from their own "bad guys"! 

In all, Bad For Her is perfect for the romance fan! It's one of those books you can't help but smile at the whole way through! Better yet, this isn't the last of the bad boys - Rafe's middle brother gets his own story in 2018! And I, for one, will be the first in line to buy it! 

Grade: A- 

Bad For Her is now out! 

Source: eARC provided by publisher - thanks HarperCollins! 

Grab Your Copy Today!





About the Author:

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

Connect with Christi:


Enter Christi’s Giveaway:

13.10.17

Blog Tour: The 16th Academy by Spencer Yacos (Review!)


Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Eastway Academy, a shadowy organization steeped in espionage, values obedience above all else. Although a well-trained agent in his third year, 16-year-old Davy Prince struggles to find his morals when every mission seems to put innocent lives at risk. How will Davy react when sabotage turns an already risky job into an all-out struggle for survival?
Review:

One of my favorite series as a teenager was Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls. Spies, secrets, mystery, and intrigue...it was the perfect combination. 

Since then I've been a fervent an of spy series, always looking for the latest and greatest. Thus, when Spencer Yacos's The 16th Academy, a book promising "shadowy organization steeped in espionage," landed on my radar,  I was intrigued. 

The Result? Suspenseful and fast paced, The 16th Academy delivers an espionage mission perfect for fans of spy thrillers. Better yet, it was incredibly reminiscent of Gallagher Girls - a fact that made me a very happy reader. 

The 16th Academy begins the story of Davy Prince. Davy is your ordinary, everyday teenager with the exception of one tiny little thing: he's a teenage spy who has brought down dozens of notorious criminals. 

I thought Spencer Yacos did a great job of capturing the voice of a teenage boy. Davy's voice appeared to be very authentic. I especially liked how Spencer captured the awkwardness that follows us as we grow up. I also appreciated the fact that Davy wasn't perfect - he wasn't the best spy, he wasn't the best with girls, and sometimes he did/said the wrong thing. It made his story more "real," and made it exciting to see when he did manage to bring in the win. However, while I did like Davy's character, I never felt a real connection to him - there was never a moment where I went from "liking" him to "loving" him. This isn't the worst thing in the world - it happens - but I feel that if I had felt that connection I would've enjoyed The 16th Academy more. 

My favorite part of the book was the plot. As mentioned above, I'm a sucker for a good spy mystery, and The 16th Academy manages to come through in that regard. Spencer presents a mystery filled with twists, turns, explosions (literal and figurative), plan crashes, and more! Honestly, there wasn't a moment where there wasn't something exciting going on. This kept the story moving at a rapid speed, and better yet, managed to truly hold my attention. I will say I saw some of the plot twists coming, but others were still a surprise. The ending, especially, left me was a oh-my-goodness kind of feeling. 

In all, while I didn't always connect with the main character, The 16th Academy is still a worthwhile read. I would especially suggest it to teenage boys who are reluctant readers! 

Grade: B 

The 16th Academy is now out!

Source: eBook provided by publisher


Buy Links:

Amazon | BN | Kobo 
About the Author:
Spencer Yacos is proud to be publishing his debut novel at Cedar Fort. He has been writing on the local level as well as for magazines such as Teen Ink. Spencer was also accepted into the Emerging Writers Institute at Brown University over the summer of 2015. He looks forward to continuing with the series as he heads off to study in college.

Author Residence: Wyckoff, NJ

Author Links: 


Excerpt: 
"Camelot is ready. The operation is a go," a voice crackled through the transceiver in my ear. The mission was being initiated and a part of me was annoyed. Only halfway through my fried chicken, I was still pretty hungry. I hadn't eaten since the night before, since the plane ride down that morning served no breakfast. Given that I was going to meet with a drug kingpin in a few minutes, the last thing I wanted was for my stomach to be growling. I sat in the first floor food court of the Franklin Building, El Paso's premier commercial block and the headquarters of the global fast food chain Beef n' Wings. It was just after noon and the area stirred with visitors eager for their lunch. From my position I could see two other field agents, the only other two in the building. Far off to my right, just outside the crowds and colorful cacophony of restaurants, a hulking teenaged boy seemed to have the same idea I had as he snacked on a beef hot dog from one of the stands. He wore a blue hard hat, with matching blue overalls and heavy-looking harnesses which clung to his body. At his side he loosely held a squeegee as well as some napkins, presumably for his meal. After taking a big gulp, his lips began to move. It was much too noisy in the food court to pick up any word he was saying naturally, but on the transceiver I could hear him perfectly. Percival is ready. Let's get this over with."

12.10.17

Blog Tour: The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Review!)








The Bloodprint
Ausma Zehanat Khan
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Touring: October 2-October 13, 2017


The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel—the opening installment in a thrilling quartet—a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope.

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-Eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination—a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.

But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim—the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair have long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy’s oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.

Finding The Bloodprint promises to be their most perilous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies—a loyal ex-slave and Arian’s former confidante and sword master—both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.

Review

One of my reading goals of the fall has been to read more fantasy. Therefore, when Ausma Zehanat Khan's The Bloodprint, a thrilling start to a four book series, ended up on my radar, I knew I had to try it. Not only was the cover eye-catching (it's even more GORGEOUS in person, trust me!) but the story itself sounded amazing as well. 

The Result? Captivating, intricate, and fast paced, The Bloodprint is a book I easily finished in one sitting despite its hefty size.  

The world building is one of the best aspects of The Bloodprint. Ausma Zehanat Khan does an amazing job of making Arian's world come alive. 

Arian's world is incredibly oppressive and conniving. Woman are thought of as nothing more than an inconvenience - put only on this earth to serve the men. Children, specifically the ones who are orphaned, are also badly mistreated - being thrown into tumultuous situations as well.

From this basis, Ausma creates the politics surrounding this new regime as well as the people such as Arian's that aim to eradicate it and the places at which they'll travel to do so. At first, I was incredibly worried I wouldn't be able to keep all the places, people, scared texts, etc. straight, but Ausma develops this book in a way that's easy to follow. Yes, sometimes I did get slightly confused as to who was who and what their end game was; however, my either flipping a few pages back or going ahead to the character and glossary, everything made perfect sense once again. 

One phrase to sum up the characters in The Bloodprint? Strong, empowering, bad-a$$ women! Arian, the main character, was one of the fiercest characters in the book, and I admired her greatly because of it. She's the type of woman who starts revolutions, one who puts her own neck on the line, no matter the situation, because there's ALWAYS someone's life she can save. However, there's much more to Arian than just saving lives, taking names, and going on crazy adventures. She's also someone who's been incredibly hurt as well as influenced by her past. This area of her life is dug into more and more as the novel progresses, and I really liked the ways in which Ausma used Arian's past to explain her current actions as well as the conflicts, especially regarding romance and friendship, she felt because of it. To sum it up, Arian was indeed a complicated character, but in the best kind of ways. 

In addition to Arian, we're introduced to a variety of other characters. One of my favorites was the boy Arain takes in at the start of the book. Not only did I enjoy watching the relationship that developed between them (it was very much older sister-younger brother) but I also enjoyed seeing the strength he himself brought to the book. Sinnia was also a great character. I especially liked how she managed to bring some smiles and even a chuckle or two out during incredibly intense times. Additionally, the relationship between Arain and Sinnia was another part of the book that stood out to me. 

I don't want to say too much about the plot of The Bloodprint so I don't spoil anything; however, I will say it's very intricate, intense, and unpredictable. Most of the book is spent finding the Bloodprint, and because of that, Arain and Sinnia go on an adventure through many lands and people - some more deadly that others, some who have much more to given than a new clue. The only aspect I was was developed more was the relationship Arain had with the Sliver Madge. I wish we would've seen more into their past. 

In all, The Bloodprint is a spectacular fantasy book, taking readers one heck of a ride from start to finish. I can't wait to read book 2!  

Grade: B+ 

The Bloodprint is now out! 

Source: ARC provided by publisher for blog tour 





Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of The Unquiet Dead, published by St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books, and winner of the Barry Award, the Arthur Ellis Award and the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best First Novel. Her widely acclaimed second novel, The Language of Secrets, was published in 2016. Among the Ruins, her third mystery was published in February 2017. She is also at work on a fantasy series, to be published by Harper Voyager, beginning October 2017. The Bloodprint is Book One of the Khorasan Archives.

A frequent lecturer and commentator, Ms. Khan holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law with a research specialization in military intervention and war crimes in the Balkans. Ms. Khan completed her LL.B. and LL.M. at the University of Ottawa, and her B.A. in English Literature & Sociology at the University of Toronto.

Formerly, she served as Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. The first magazine to address a target audience of young Muslim women, Muslim Girl re-shaped the conversation about Muslim women in North America. The magazine was the subject of two documentaries, and hundreds of national and international profiles and interviews, including CNN International, Current TV, and Al Jazeera "Everywoman".

Ms. Khan practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer, and currently lives in Colorado with her husband.

Connect with her at her website: http://www.ausmazehanatkhan.com or on social media






Did the Bloodprint represent deliverance or deception?
            There were only three among them who would be able to read it, even if by some fortuitous working of fate, Arian was able to find it. Herself, Ash, and Ilea.
            And why would the Black Khan help them? Solely for the sake of the Sacred Cloak?
She raised her eyes to his face.           
            “You do not seek the Bloodprint for yourself, Excellency? You were the one who thought to—intercept it.”
            Thief, her eyes called him. And liar, as well.
            “Rukh,” he reminded her.
            She pretended to soften. “Rukh, then. You said you have proof of the Bloodprint. Are you able to read the Claim? Is it true you were schooled in the High Tongue?”
            A glimmer of amusement in his eyes suggested he fully understood the things she hadn’t expressed, her private dismissal of his character.
            “I’m not as fluent as the Companions of Hira.” He made a small bow to Ilea. “But neither am I ignorant.”
            No, Arian thought. He wouldn’t be. And he’d evaded the more important question. She returned to it.
            “You do not expect to retain the Bloodprint, if I am able to retrieve it?”
            “If you are able to retrieve it, all of Khorasan will be at your feet.”
            “That is not why I pursue it.”
            It was important to her that she convince him of this, though she couldn’t have said why.
            His eyes narrowed, as if he’d grown tired of her.
            “A Companion who does not seek power, perhaps because she wields it so wholly.” There was a caustic note in his voice. “The Bloodprint doesn’t matter to me. I have taken the Cloak as payment, it will serve me well enough.”
            His words challenged her to deny him.
            Arian didn’t think twice.
            “It isn’t a prize to be bartered.” She turned to Ilea, prepared to risk the High Companion’s wrath. “And the Cloak isn’t yours to cede. It belongs at Hira. We are its rightful guardians.”
An indefinable expression crossed Ilea’s face.
“It was the price I paid for the Black Khan’s counsel. A counsel we desperately need.” There was a bitter edge to her voice. “You’ve been away too long, in pursuit of your misguided quest. I’ve had other priorities at Hira.” She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Either accept your Audacy, or refuse it. I will not countenance further debate.”
Why not? And then realization struck Arian. For all of her discouragement of Arian’s efforts with the slave-chains, Ilea had expected Arian to bring the Cloak to Hira. How else could she have known to make her bargain with Rukh?
She had known Arian would seek it. And she had meant to trade it away.
            She was swamped by a feeling of grief. How had she and Ilea come to this point?
            “Why do you look so betrayed? You chose to pursue the Cloak for your own ends. I understood it would serve a larger purpose.”
            “What purpose?” Arian whispered.
             “The defence of Hira. The defence your actions made necessary.”
            “My actions?” Arian echoed the words without understanding their meaning.
            Ilea’s response was cruel. She had found a way to strike back.
“Yes, your actions. Your unceasing war against the slave-chains has put the Citadel at risk. The One-Eyed Preacher brings his war to Hira. And when he comes, the Citadel will fall.”
            Arian blanched at the words. Was the High Companion right? Had she brought destruction to the Citadel? When everything she treasured was at Hira?
            “No,” she said, grief in her voice. “That cannot be true.”
            The Black Khan murmured something to Ilea, and the waters of the All Ways resumed their careful dance. Ilea crossed her arms, pressing both hands to her circlets. She waited impatiently for Arian to mimic the gesture.
“This is not an Audacy to undertake only as it suits you. Our very survival is at stake—the lives of the Companions, the sanctity of the scriptorium, the Citadel itself. Will you accept this Audacy? Or does your courage forsake you at the outset of the war?”
This isn’t the outset.
I’ve been waging this war for a decade.
At too great a cost, she now realized. But Arian accepted the Audacy’s rites. The time for dissent had passed. She had no choice but to seek out the Bloodprint.
Or face the end of the world.







Monday, October 2
Book reviewed at Reading Reality
Interviewed at Mythical Books
Book featured at I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, October 3
Book featured at CGB Blog Tours
Book featured at T's Stuff

Wednesday, October 4
Book featured at Comfy Chair Books
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish

Thursday, October 5
Book reviewed at Books for Books
Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Book reviewed at Good Family Reads

Friday, October 6
Book reviewed at Portrait of a Book
Book reviewed at BTH Reviews
Interviewed at Leigh Anderson Romance

Monday, October 9
Book reviewed at Bibliophile Ramblings
Book reviewed at BookStopCorner
Book reviewed at Ashley's Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 10
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at A Title Wave

Wednesday, October 11
Book reviewed at Morbid Romantic
Book reviewed at Natural Bri
Book reviewed at Thoughts on Books

Thursday, October 12
Book reviewed at Okbolover
Book reviewed at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf
Book featured at The Bookworm Chronicles

Friday, October 13
Book reviewed at GothicMomReviews
Book reviewed at Good Choice Reading
Book reviewed at Books Are Love
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