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BOOK REVIEW: Always Be My Baby by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW: Always Be My Baby by Mary TingAlways Be My Baby by Mary Ting
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Cammy is so furious when she catches her boyfriend kissing another girl at a frat party that she storms out of her own apartment. Letting go of your first love is not an easy thing to do, and he makes it harder by swearing he’s innocent and trying to win her back. But when Cammy meets Grayson Parker, he shows her how different some guys can be. Can Cammy trust her boyfriend and give him another chance? Or will she allow Grayson to heal her wounds and erase the scars?

Review:

Always Be My Baby was absolutely adorable and an enjoyable quick read!   This story took place in the 90s and from dating, to first love, to waiting for someone to page you lol, I felt like I was back in time!  Even the songs had me humming while reading.  I kept finding myself smiling with all of the nostalgia and charming story line.  So if you’re looking for a cute, quick romance then definitely add this one on your list!

I suddenly forgot his name. I forgot how to breathe. I forgot who and where I was. – Cammy

Right away I liked Cammy and felt all the sympathy in the world for her.  The story started in college with Cammy breaking up with her boyfriend, Lucas.  She had walked into a party and saw him kissing another girl.  But there was so much more to her then a girl with a wounded heart.  As we got to know her, I loved that she was kind, smart, unsure at times, stumbled over her words and even made silly little mistakes.  She was so relatable and I could easily see myself doing those things when I was her age.

He left, leaving me breathless and my heart soaring to the sky.

On top of hearing Cammy’s thoughts, we also got two different POVs.  To say I didn’t expect to get Lucas’ POV would be the hugest understatement ever lol.  My mind was shocked and I was so nervous.  Lucas swore he didn’t kiss her back, and the girl had kissed him first.  Were we supposed to believe him?  Like him?  Forgive him?  I didn’t know what to feel.  But we also got another POV, Grayson.  And Grayson was such a surprise.  He could be so cold and cocky.  But he seemed to know exactly what he wanted.  And that was Cammie.  So of course my heart was nervous with how this was all going to unfold.

“I-I tend to bite my pencil during tests or when I get nervous,” I confessed.
His eyebrows lifted and his lips spread wickedly. Leaning closer, his shoulder touched mine and his leg brushed my knee, and he whispered, “I think we’d go well together. I like to bite, too. I’d like to see what else you can do with your teeth.”

I loved how the romance played out in this story!  I can’t say much, but it was about finding confidence in yourself and figuring out what you truly want.  Learning to trust your instincts and relying on those that have your back and heart’s best interest.  From first kisses, to figuring out people’s feelings, to being nervous of the unknown, I enjoyed every minute of this story!

You deserve someone that cares about you when you’re sick. You deserve someone that walks you home.
Leah’s words echoed in my mind.

And I just have to say that this is the second Mary Ting book where female relationships were such a gem!  I loved the friendship between Cammy and Leah. They were the truest of beasties who loved each other with their whole hearts.  They took care of each other and were thoughtful and loving to one another.  They reminded me of the type of relationship I have with my bestest of friends.  It was such a breath of fresh air seeing this type of relationship portrayed in a college aged story!

“…I’m just a guy hoping maybe one day we can be more than friends.” I should have punched myself, or I should have let her punch me. I was an ass. She was hurting and I sprung my words on her as if she didn’t have anything else to worry about. – Grayson

Always Be My Baby warmed my heart!  And I saw so many parallels to my college experience – the chicken noodle soup, walking me places, someone showing you how people can truly be, having your heart on the line and being nervous to take a step, I saw my college years in Cammy’s life!  I even found myself clapping out loud for something Cammy did later on in the story.  While this was a novella, it sure didn’t feel like one.  I had become attached to her and was proud of what she had done!  So with 90s nostalgia, feelings of first love, and friendship, this book was so much fun to read! 

BOOK REVIEW: When the Wind Chimes by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW: When the Wind Chimes by Mary TingWhen the Wind Chimes by Mary Ting
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

SOMETIMES ANGELS COME IN HUMAN FORM.

Kaitlyn Summers is heartbroken.

When she receives an invitation to spend Christmas with her family on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, she feels it may be the perfect medicine.

She throws herself into helping her sister’s struggling art gallery, even taking a temporary job for extra money by looking after a little girl from her nephew’s school. She also begins to paint again, something she’s been unable to do since her breakup. It’s tempting to stay on Kauai, but she has obligations back in Los Angeles.

Life gets more complicated when circumstances keep putting her close to Leonardo Medici. Not only is he drop-dead gorgeous, he’s a local celebrity. But Kaitlyn can’t shake the feeling he’s hiding something.

Should she believe the rumors that he’s romancing half the island’s single women?

Or is the random sound of wind chimes when he’s close-by a sign that an angel is near and the secret to her happily ever after?

Review:

When the Wind Chimes was a cozy feel good read!  Sprinkled with Christmas, family and love, this book had all of the feels of a Hallmark movie.  I loved that I kept finding myself smiling and I even had to wipe a few tears away while reading.  With low angst and an ending that had my heart happy long after I finished that last page, I absolutely adored this book.  If you’re looking for a Christmas story that will warm your heart, then definitely pick this one up!

I was oil; he was acrylic, and we could never mix on the same canvas.

The story started off with Kaitlyn Summers, aka Kate, landing in Kauai to spend the holidays with her family.  But not long after arriving, Kate had an interesting run in with Leonardo Medici aka Lee.  And they continued to run into each other, quite literally at times, as the story unfolded.  Each time seemed to shake one of them up.  So when it felt like fate intervened, I loved sitting back and watching where it took them!

I promise with all the unicorns, rainbows, and all the sparkling things.

I loved Kate!  She was an artist who lived in LA and was kind, caring and thoughtful.  But one of my favorite things about her was how fiercely she loved her sister, Abby.  They were the bestest of friends and loved each other with their whole hearts.  They helped one another out, picked each other up and even messed with the other.  But sometimes their intervention was exactly what the other one needed.  Their sisterly love felt like a hidden gem in this book!  So I was rooting for Kate to stay in Kauai.  I also loved the relationship she had with her nephew, Tyler and another little child that easily stole her heart.

His gaze slid to my lips and his eyes darkened. He inched toward my mouth, tortuously slow, as his finger brushed my cheek.
Lee, what are you doing to me?

From the first moment we met Lee, my heart was all a flutter.  He was a local celebrity and the man was as elusive as he was sexy!  Lee was kind, generous, and seemed cautious with his heart.  So of course I wanted to know all of his secrets!  There’s so much I want to say about him, but my lips are zipped.  Just know that the more I got to know Lee, the harder I fell for him.

Lee lowered his darkened eyes to my mouth, then met my gaze with intensity. His voice became rough and deeper. “I don’t think that at all, Kate. If you knew what I was thinking at this moment, you would think I wasn’t being professional.”
I had no idea how to process that as I watched him walk away.

Christmas was in the air and romance, family and charm was splashed across the pages.  The story between Kate and Lee was slow burn and beyond adorable.  And even though it felt like they were worlds apart, at the same time there was a spark between them that couldn’t be denied.  So I kept my fingers crossed!  If you adore Christmas romance stories that are sweet and have family and children in the pages, then definitely add this one to your list!  The next book will be about Kate’s sister, Abby and I can’t wait for her book!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary Ting

I’m so ecstatic to be on the GENES blog tour because I am obsessed with this series. So check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy ♥.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: GENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3) by Mary TingGENES (International Sensory Assassin Network #3)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Allegiances will be tested. Identities will be revealed. No one is safe.

While searching for the HelixB88 anti-serum on the black market, Ava uncovers valuable intel that may help the rebels in their fight to bring down ISAN—the location of a hidden facility. But first, the insurgents must find the female citizens unexpectedly displaying powers without use of the Helix serum before ISAN captures them. As the rebels join forces with other sectors, ISAN plans their destruction by using someone they don’t suspect at the rebel home base: a traitor within.

Review:

“Bravery comes in all forms. You just have to know which suits you best.”

GENES was an explosion of action and adventure, I was beyond addicted.  With characters I loved, new twists and turns, being on the brink of war and so much unknown, I was glued to the pages.  The story was gritty and rugged, so it was impossible not to have tears in my eyes at times.  But love and friendship floated throughout the pages and added so much light and hope to their dark and dreary world.  So if you’re a fan of dystopian, characters that leap off of the pages and a story line that keeps you saying just one more chapter then this series is for you!  Some of my favorite things were…..

I would move mountains for you. I would shatter the world to bring you home to me. Love is a powerful thing. – Rhett

✮ Teamwork:

Against all odds, we had made it. I was here with him. Beside each other was where we belonged. Our home.
My throat clogged. “My wish came true when I remembered you.”

One of my favorite aspects of this story was how friendships felt like family.  They would do anything for each other and continually had each other’s backs, I loved watching them work together.  Especially when a few of them combined their powers.  And with different groups merging, it wasn’t always easy.  There were struggles at times.  But the devotion, commitment and trust that came from all of them created such huge feelings for me.  Which ultimately made me nervous lol.  No one was safe in this book and I found myself caring for even more people which terrified me.

 

✮ Action and Adventure:

I will not die today. We will not die today.
Like a dandelion, be resilient.

This whole series is action packed from that first page to the last.  Yes we got lots of moments where we could breathe and watch beautiful moments unfold between the characters.  And those added so much joy in my heart,  I loved catching myself sighing out loud.  But in the next instant we were up and going again. My pulse was pounding and this is the type of book that is easily devoured.  Emotions and tensions ran high and I loved every single minute of it!

 

✮ The Whole Picture:

“I know. It’s okay. Whatever it takes, remember.” I tried to sound strong for the both of us, but my voice cracked.
“I love you.” Rhett held me tightly as if I was his lifeline, and then he kissed me with desperation.

While Ava was still our main point of view, I loved how we got moments with Rhett again.  I’m obsessed with his thoughts on everything, especially with how he saw Ava.  But we got a few other characters point of views mixed in a little bit.  I won’t mention who, so it’s a surprise, but it was truly genius.  The peaks we got into a few other people’s heads rounded out the story so perfectly. There was so much at play, with so many moving parts, and it made me feel like I was watching a movie play out.  It. Was. Fabulous!

 

✮ The Characters:

“Why does it have to be another one of us to die? Why doesn’t ISAN die?”
Oh, my heart. Air left my lungs in gasps. I fought back the sting in my eyes and sank to my knees.

Whether it was Ava being brave and fierce, always protecting those she loved at all cost. To Rhett’s love that shined as bright as a star and being the voice of reason.  To Ozzie’s teddy bear ways that made me just want to squeeze him.  To Mitch’s complexity that pulled me in again and again, I loved learning a few more of his secrets.  To Tamara and her knife wielding ways.  To Momo, Bobo and Coco, oh I came to care for those kids so deeply.  Even to Mr Novak’s creepy and nefarious ways. These characters came alive.  They were complex and stood easily apart from one another.  Each one was so pivotal to this story, I loved it!

 

I fought the sting in my heart as I leaned back into Rhett’s arms. Moments like this were rare. We had to take all the good offered to us. No one knew what would happen tomorrow, or even an hour later.

GENES was my favorite book in this series!  I loved how even more pieces of the puzzle came together and the bigger picture is becoming more clear.  But it still felt insurmountable at times.  Thankfully as the story progressed, hope bloomed in my chest.  But beware, because there were setbacks that had me whispering no, no, no.  I found myself crying for death and being terrified over the fate of those I cared for.  But I also cried tears of happiness too.  So if you’re looking for a story that you can get completely lost in, definitely add this one to your tbr!  I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially after that ending!

PS I knew it!!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres: science fiction, fantasy, and swoon worthy stories. Her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Mary was born in Seoul Korea and resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two dogs—Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Becoming an author was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, she retired from teaching after twenty years.

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Schedule:

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Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary Ting

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK! I'm so grateful I got to be on this tour and I devoured this book oh so fast! So please check out my 5 Star Review below and enter in a fabuous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary TingHelix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2)
by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

ALLIANCES ARE FORMING. THE RESISTANCE IS GROWING.
EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins-previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix-is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels-if she isn't killed first.

Review:

Helix was an action packed ride that had me on the edge of my seat.  The story was rich and intricate, the characters had my emotions pulled every which way and I loved how the stakes were even higher!  This book was just as addicting as the first, and I loved being back in this world.  If you love dystopian and books that play out like a movie, then you have to pick up this series!

I wasn’t just a daughter whose father had experimented on her. I was the very thing ISAN should fear.

 

✮ A Different Take:

There was nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even give up my own life. She was my world. No matter how long it took to get her memory back, I would be patient. But we were running out of time.

This story started out with Rhett’s point of view!  And we switched back and forth between Ava and Rhett throughout the story.  I was dying to get into Rhett’s head, in ISAN, and now we got to hear every single thought of his.  It added so much emotion and allowed us to learn about Rhett inside and out.  I absolutely loved how much depth it added to the story!

 

✮ Love is Powerful:

I love you with every breath, with every fiber of my being. My favorite place in the world is next to you. – Rhett to Ava

This story held the most beautiful love story.  With little pieces of the past coming back to Ava, it filled my heart with so many emotions.  There were moments that made me smile, made me have tears in my eyes and others that gutted me.  We got to see every single side of Ava and Rhett, and it made me love them that much more.  What they would do for each other?  It. Was. Breathtaking.  If you like to read about a power couple with an ever lasting love story, Ava and Rhett are it!

 

✮ Friends are your Family:

I ran to a hole in the floor and caught a glimpse below. Gunshots echoed and red Taser beams flashed across the darkness. I had no choice. My team needed me.
I jumped in just as the floor sealed.

The side characters in this series had so much life and shined so brightly!  We got to spend time and learn even more about Brooke, Tamara, Ozzie, and Reyna.  And while yes they were two groups of friends, they felt more like family to me.  They had each other’s backs.  They trusted each other.  They would even sacrifice it all for one another. 

 

✮ Action and Twists:

“You’re a traitor. You’re a monster. You made me do what I had to do. I had to … You made me forget Rhett . Forget Ozzie. Forget Reyna . This is all your fault. My father. My sister. My mother …” My lips quivered as the words died on my tongue, and I couldn’t hold it any longer. I choked on my words and sobbed.

The action and peril was intense, and I loved how this story continued to build and grow from the first book.  It became even more intricate and I soaked in every single tiny detail I could.  Especially since we were starting to get pieces to the bigger puzzle.  We still have a lot to learn, but what we did learn in this book?  It was exciting!  But there was one twist I never saw coming.  My mind was blown!  And it made me want to go back and skim certain parts of the first book and parts of the second book too.  So I did.  And ohhhhhhhh it was such a tricky and genius twist, I loved it!

Breathless. Speechless. His words filled me. A warm tingle traveled through my veins. His featherlight fingers journeyed up my arm to the curve of my neck, and then his thumb glided over my mouth.

Helix ended at the perfect spot.  I loved that we could finally have a moment to breathe, but at the same point I’m dying to know what happens next.  Especially since I’m not exactly sure how everything is going to play out.  So if you love action packed stories, intricate characters and a story line that’ll keep you glued to the pages, definitely add this series to your tbr!

 

PS There was a line in Chapter 4 of ISAN that made me think I knew something about Ava’s past and I can’t wait to see if I guessed correctly or not in the next book.  Because I know we’ll get our answer in there, eeks, I can’t wait to find out!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by Xpresso Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

 

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting

I had a lot of fun reading this book! So check out my review below and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary TingJaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

Review:

Jaclyn and The Beanstalk was a magical tale filled with adventure, love and family.  It was an entertaining take on Jack and the Beanstalk and I loved how creative this story was at times.  While it held some of the same elements as the original tale, it was interesting watching how it veered off onto its own path.  When I reached that last page, three shining things stood out to me, and they were:

How in the world can a tiny little bean help me?

The creativity in this retelling:

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night?

While this book shared a lot of similarities with the original tale, its bright spot was how there was a unique twist on almost every single one of those similarities.  This time it was a girl named Jaclyn who was given the beans and inadvertently grows the beanstalk.  There was also a Jack in this story and I absolutely loved him….more about him below!  Instead of a giant, there were monsters and they were nightmare inducing.  Everything that surrounded them was a huge mystery that we got to unravel.  I’m not going to say anymore than that because there were a lot of surprises along the way and it was a lot of fun seeing how it all played out!  

Jacyln:

“This is my destiny. This is my story.” I knew this to be my fate in every vein, bone, muscle, and in my soul.

Jaclyn was who we followed on this adventure and who was given the magic beans. But she was so much more than I thought she would be.  Her father had trained her to be a fighter and I loved how fierce and brave she could be! While she had some growing up to do, we got to watch her mature as the story unfolded.  She was on the right path and I loved how she always had faith in herself.  So I had fun cheering her on!

Jack:

“Name your price,” Jack said, panic struck in his eyes. “Take me. I beg you let her be.”

Jack was a childhood friend of Jacyln and we got to meet him as the story progressed.  From the moment we met Jack, I liked him right from the start. He was mature, strong and definitely swoon worthy.  Especially since he knew what he wanted, which was Jaclyn, and he had no problem speaking his mind. I loved how protective he was of her and how he could also joke so easily at the same time.  He was a wonderful book boyfriend and I know a lot of people are going to be caught up in his charm!

I shuddered a breath in horror. Smoke shaped like the devil’s hand with long fingernails reached for the sky.
It had begun.

I was happy to see that this book wrapped up nicely and that there was an epilogue that jumped into the future.  In that epilogue there was an element that left the possibility for a future book possible, so that idea was a lot of fun to think about!  So if you’re into retellings, check this book out.  But I have to give a heads up that there was a lot of biblical references throughout the story.  It influenced so many aspects, including the characters.  I still had a lot of fun with the characters and watching how the story played out, even though I’m not the biggest fan of having that in the stories I pick up.  And while this book is YA, it would be a great first step for someone coming from MG!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by Xpresso. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

About Mary Ting:

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

 

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