Tag: New Adult (page 1 of 35)

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – The Invasion (The Union #4) by T.H. Hernandez

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – The Invasion (The Union #4) by T.H. Hernandez

If you haven’t discovered this series yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough! It’s a young adult romantic adventure set one hundred years after the second civil war. And it's soooo addicting! Check out my 5 Star Review below and enter a giveaway for the series along with a gift card! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – The Invasion (The Union #4) by T.H. HernandezThe Invasion (The Union #4)
by T.H. Hernandez
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

They failed. Evan and Cyrus risked everything to keep the Uprising from attacking the unarmed Union, but something went terribly wrong. Evan’s home has been invaded by soldiers who are killing government officials and occupying the homes of her fellow citizens.

Captured by the Uprising, Evan fights for her life and her sanity, desperate to escape so she can find Cyrus and her family.

Reeling from an unexpected discovery, Cyrus is adrift until he uses his Uprising training to find a way to fight back against the invading force the only way he knows how.

With the help of old friends and new, they will do whatever it takes to protect each other and those they love, even if it means sacrificing being together, their way of life, and even their very lives.

Review:

If you haven’t read this series yet, you can check out my review for the first book, The Union, by clicking here.

The Union Series continues to be one of my top favorites!  Especially since romance, action, torture, twists, friendship and political intrigue filled the pages!  So it was impossible for me to put this book down.  I had to know what happened next, since so many of these characters have become embedded in my heart.  I treasure the time I get to spend with them, and they make my emotions run from gut wrenching to over the moon happy.  So of course The Invasion continued to cement my love for this series.  I mean each time a new book comes out I think now this one is my favorite.  There’s no way she can top it.  And then she does.  I’m always floored!  The Invasion is definitely one of my favorite books!

The chill becomes ice, turning my blood to slush. Two words repeat in my head: we failed. – Evan

So I thought I would talk about certain aspects or moments in The Invasion that made this a solid 5 Stars for me.  And they are –

* Evan’s Struggle With Torture

Death will be welcomed when we’re done.
They have finally broken me. – Evan

The level of pain and the events that happened to Evan made this book so much more than I ever thought it could be.  It was intense, emotional and I sobbed for Evan.  I tried to be strong for her, but the extent of what happened to her, I just couldn’t.  I felt gutted to the core, it was all so real and I was beyond terrified for her.  I’m not one who can usually handle torture, but I survived through it and it made me feel that much closer to Evan.  Plus the ramifications of what happened to Evan, and how it affected others, was brilliant.  

* Evan & Mateo’s Bond

Mateo cradles my face, forcing me to meet his dark gaze. “No one’s ever gonna hurt you again. I promise.” – Evan

I loved that Mateo became such a great friend to Evan.  He quickly became a favorite in the last book, The Invasion, so I was ecstatic to see he had such a prominent role in The Uprising!  We got to witness Mateo be fierce, protective and caring towards Evan.  And that made me fall so hard for him. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when this series wraps up, he’ll get his HEA.  Possibly with someone I will not say, but if you read this series then we may be on the same page? *wink wink*

* Character’s Growth – Lisa and Colin have grown up so much in my eyes.  And in The Invasion, they became true adults and stepped up to the game when they were needed.  They were brave, took charge of situations and have become so much stronger than who they were in The Union.  I have become so proud of the both of them!

* Evan & Cyrus Figuring Out Their Relationship

God, I don’t deserve her. That’s the only thing I can focus on as I struggle with my thoughts, wrapped around her, doing my best to protect her, even though I failed her over and over. – Cyrus

Evan and Cyrus have come a long way too, since The Union.  They’ve learned that they continually have to work on their relationship and communicating to one another.  Especially since so many outside factors try and tear them apart.  And while they still fight at times, I love that their relationship is built on trust, respect, friendship and love!  Their struggles individually and together have made their relationship that much stronger.  I truly believe they’re almost to the point where together they will be a force to be reckoned with!  

I’m learning that not facing the horror doesn’t make it disappear, instead it eats away at my subconscious, waking me at night with hoarse screams that rip from my soul. – Evan

Now how this book ended?!  It left me SO excited for what’s to come!  While I’m dying to know what happens next, I love where it left off.  And I love how we got more answers to some questions and more pieces to the puzzle.  It’s continually coming together, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

Fuck fate, I’m done here. – Cyrus

PS My hatred of Bryce was cemented again in this book *smiles hugely*.  Is it wrong that I’m happy that others could possibly seethe with anger or hatred towards him because of what he did in The Invasion?!  Gah, I just love to hate that guy, and I’m not sorry at all lol!

*ARC kindly provided by Author in exchange for an honest review*


Get You Copy Today:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), & Book Depository (click on book #)
The Union by T.H. Hernandez
The Union #1
Review:
Jen
the ruins th hernandez
The Ruins #2
Review:
Jen
The Uprising (The Union Series #3) by T.H. Hernandez
The Uprising #3
Review:
Jen

The Invasion #4
Review:
Jen

Add To Goodreads:

The Union #1: Goodreads 
The Ruins #2: Goodreads
The Uprising #3: Goodreads

 

About TH Hernandez:

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside my head, I live in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to my day job as a technical writer and editor, I write young adult fiction. I love the intensity of teen emotions and the way they’re still figuring out life. When I’m not writing, you can find me with my nose in a book, hanging out with family and friends, hiking, or knitting. I’m obsessed with Facebook, young adult novels, bad lip reading videos, pumpkin spice lattes, microbrewed beers, and the San Diego Chargers.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Author Amazon Page

Giveaway:

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BOOK REVIEW – Shag Lake by Susan McEachern

BOOK REVIEW –  Shag Lake by Susan McEachernShag Lake by Susan McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Free short story, “Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss” now available at all ebook retailers!

Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.

Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing amidst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vicinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.

Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).

Review:

Shag Lake was absolutely riveting and spellbinding!  This book was so much more than I expected.  I mean, I had a feeling that I would like it, since I enjoyed the prequel.  And while it started out a little slow, I found myself connecting to the characters and enjoying where the story-line was going.  But before I knew it, I was around 35/40% into the story, and I was beyond obsessed.    I didn’t want to put the book down because Shag Lake built into an intricate story that was gripping, swoon worthy and so much fun!  This book was such a huge win!

I stand up and back away from the laptop, dragging both my hands through my hair. “There’s no way,” I whisper. “It’s just too crazy.”
I know Sean. He wouldn’t hurt anybody.
But how well do I know him?

The story started up with everyone back together, since Geri McKenna’s older brother is getting married.  Even Sean Eastman was there, and her brother’s friend had been completely MIA for the last eight years.  I was so nervous for the moment Geri would see Sean again.  Not only has she had a crush on him forever, but their last moment together involved a kiss that didn’t end in the greatest of ways.  I was so thankful that there was dual narrative between Geri and Sean, so we knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling.  And when they did see each other, I was happy that there was a strong chemistry between them.

But when she walked into the backyard this evening, I actually went weak in the knees. I had that moment when the world suddenly stopped turning and everyone at the party faded away into a blurry background, leaving just the two of us. I could barely breathe.
Get her out of your head , Eastman. She’s still off-limits.
I can’t offer her a future, and she deserves nothing less. – Sean

Fast forward to Shag Lake.  A women claimed Bigfoot attacked her, and her hiking partner is still missing.  Geri and Sean head there separately, but for entirely different reasons.  Geri thinks this news story about Bigfoot will catapult her career, and be the big break she’s been waiting for.   Whereas Sean has every reason under the sun to want to stop Geri in her tracks.  And this is where the action starts and their sexual chemistry gets ratcheted up!

A throaty burbling sound brings me to a dead halt. – Geri

As I got closer to the end of the book, I was obsessed with how it all came together.  Completely genius!  And while I’m being vague about what happens when they’re both at Shag Lake, it’s because it’ll be so much more fun to discover on your own.  But I can say that I loved the characters!  Geri was smart, determined, brave, yet she could still be so unsure of herself around Sean.  I loved how relatable she was!  And Sean was *starts wiping tears from eyes because he was so beautifully perfect* someone I fell completely in love with.  He was loyal, seductive, protective, playful and ever so sexy.  I have to mention the word balcony, because when you get to that part and see what he does, how could I not fall for such a caring, protective, fierce man?!  I love, love, love him!

And no matter how fast I push myself, the thing is keeping pace somewhere to my left. Not that I have eyes on the damn thing, but I can see bushes rustle, tree branches twitch, and the occasional tall patch of grass ripple.
Where the hell is it? Why can’t I see it?
– Geri

And here’s two thoughts on the creatures and villains in this book…..although I’m not going to give anything away –

*The “creatures” in this book was the most unique combination I’ve ever read about!  Together they were original, and I was fascinated with how they interacted.  There were some surprises in regards to what they were capable of and how they were all connected.

*The “bad guy” wasn’t that cut and dry.  While one of the creatures comes across as bad, you see that as the story starts to unfold there are so many shades of grey that appear.  Even within our own government.  And the way the creatures, their leadership and our government meshed together came across as shockingly real.  Which makes me laugh when I think about it because those creatures in our world?!  But still!  I could easily picture it.  Ugh, I wanna say SO much more.  But darn those spoilers!

We have to get out of here. This is utter madness. This is Alice in Wonderland kind of shit, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore. – Geri

So I found myself with tears in my eyes quite a few times towards the end of this book.  And that ending was absolutely perfect.  Oh this book made me ever so happy!  I can’t recommend it enough!  If you adore science fiction that’s more closely related to The Lux Series by JLA or Broken Skies by Theresa Kay, then you may adore this book too.  Or even paranormal lovers, that are open to different creatures in a story, could find themselves loving it just as much as me.  It was such a wonderful surprise.  Enjoy!

P.S. I am definitely going to beg – can there please be more stories set in this world?  Whether it follows the characters into the future or focuses on others like Sean?  Please, please, please?  I absolutely loved this book and would die of happiness if I could read more set in this world! *fingers crossed*

*ARC kindly provided by Pronoun/McMillan via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

BOOK REVIEW – Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss by Susan McEachern

BOOK REVIEW – Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss by Susan McEachernShag Lake Prequel: The Kiss by Susan McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Geri McKenna has a not-so-secret crush on Sean Eastman, her older brother’s best friend. And it’s ripping her heart out that Sean has graduated high school and is about to move away from their little town forever.

Sean Eastman was given a gift: three years of high school living a normal life in the small town of Pembroke. Problem is he doesn’t want to leave, especially since he finally noticed that his best friend’s little sister, Geri, is really hot.

Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss, is a short story about the coming of age of two teenagers who finally discover each other, only to be torn apart by the different paths their future takes them. Will they ever meet again?

Review:

The Kiss was a quick, fun read.  And I was so happy to learn that it was free.  You see, I wanted to read this prequel to find out if I wanted to pick up the next book, Shag Lake.  And when I finished that last page, I knew I needed to continue the story!  I really liked Geri, even though she comes across as young and inexperienced.  I also liked Sean, who is Geri’s older brother’s best friend.  But I needed to know not only what he was, but what would happen to them next.  I definitely recommend picking up this novella, although you should keep in mind that Shag Lake is not only a full length book, but it’s set eight years in the future.  So of course it has a different feel with action, suspense, steamy moments and creatures mixed into the pages.  FYI – It’s a NA Science Fiction book.   And by then, Geri has matured and I absolutely loved her.  And Sean was even more irresistible and someone I swooned over.  Hard.  And I just have to tell you…….I LOVED Shag Lake….spoiler alert….I gave it 4.5 Stars!

My review of Shag Lake will be posted tomorrow on release day. 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)Beauty of the Beast (Fairy Tale Retellings #1)
by Rachel L. Dementer
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

* * *

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Beauty of the Beast is a slow-burn romance that features a descriptive, richly detailed, and atmospheric writing style. (l

I need to scream the word *TRIGGER* because there is extremely graphic rape. It is not glorified but it is extremely disturbing.

The writing hooked me from page one. I mean seriously guys, this might be the best prologue I’ve ever read. I was floored and TOTALLY into it. I had no doubt it was going to be a five star book.

And then things started to change. First of all, I need to commend the writing. I can’t even tell you how many lines I highlighted because of how beautifully written this book is. The rest? Perhaps its personal preference, but the story just didn’t work for me.

While the story is reminiscent of the Disney version (probably the closest I’ve read yet), it still holds up on its own as unique. No magic here folks, and it is MUCH darker. Not to mention the issues the book deals with (everything from abuse, rape, PTSD, etc.) Does it handle them well? Most of the time, yes, but I definitely had some issues with it. Especially with the rape. No, it is not glorified in the least OR made romantic in any way, but my question is… why? Why describe it in great detail? (No, it isn’t the beast who does it. It’s the ‘Gaston’ character – FYI.) I don’t know, I was just disturbed.

The other issues I had were the pacing. While I wanted to soak up the language, I was also trying to keep my eyes open for large chunks at a time.

The overall story (I.e. the romance) was okay at first, but then got cheesy, lustful, and just not my cup of tea. I think I’m just done reading Beauty and the Beast retellings. It’s more than likely personal taste, but I’m just not into the disturbed man going after the damsel in destress trope. I’m probably in the rare on that one. This book also reminded me of ‘Romancing the Duke’ – so that’s probably a good tell on whether or not you’ll like this. I see some comparing it to Phantom of the Opera and that kinda fits too (but I LOVE Phantom of the Opera soooo I don’t know.)

Additionally, I didn’t connect to the romance. The author was certainly going for the ‘healing’ aspect of romance – where both characters involved are recovering from PTSD – but I just didn’t buy it. Lust overtook the healing aspect and it just felt awkward at times.

I don’t want to say too much more, aside from that I DID appreciate little bits, for instance – Isabelle DOES stand up to Adam when he crosses a line / personal boundaries.

Anyway, I think I’m a rare one here, as I’ve seen only positive reviews for the most part. But it just wasn’t my cup of tea, unfortunately.

BOOK REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

BOOK REVIEW – Making Faces by Amy HarmonMaking Faces by Amy Harmon
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Review:

Making Faces was beautifully lyrical and truly unique. While it took me a few chapters to connect to the story, since it’s written in 3rd person, I was so happy when everything clicked into place.  The characters who took you on their journey were multifaceted and fascinating.  And the flashbacks that were sprinkled throughout the story, helped craft a full picture of their history and what they meant to one another.  This book was heavily character driven, with a touch of Beauty and the Beast, and it left me looking forward to discovering the rest of her books!

“Why do terrible things happen to such good people?” Ambrose asked.
“Because terrible things happen to everyone, Brosey. We’re all just so caught up in our own crap that we don’t see the shit everyone else is wading through.” – Ambrose & Bailey

Starting out you meet Fern, Bailey, Rita and Ambrose.  While there’s many more characters I adored, those were my top ones.  They’ve started their final year in high school, and will soon be finding their place in the world.  But by that second chapter, I didn’t realize that I was stepping back into 9/11.  My  own memories slammed into me like a cold sheet of ice.  The terror I had for my fellow citizens, and the terror I had for one of my good friends who worked next to the towers, hit me just as hard today as it did years ago.  So watching the horrifying events take place put tears in my eyes and a sense of dead in my heart for what would unfold.

“She lost her son, Fern,” Ambrose said softly. His own anger dissipated as he spoke the simple truth. He took the towel from Fern’s hands and used it on her hair, wrapping and squeezing, absorbing the moisture, the way he used to do on his own. She stilled, obviously not used to a man’s hands in her hair. He continued his ministrations, and she sat quietly, her head lolling to the side, letting him.

Ambrose ended up enlisting in the military, to support his country, along with four of his best friends.  And their little tiny town was shocked to the core.  Ambrose, from his wrestling career, already had a full ride scholarships to college. Yet none of them took the path that was expected of them.  But I’m getting ahead of myself, I have to explain how they’re all connected.  Ambrose’s wrestling coach was Bailey’s dad and Fern’s Uncle.  And I loved how the team saw Bailey as one of them, how Ambrose stood up and protected him.  Because while Bailey attended meets, offered advice, and tracked their statistics, he couldn’t participate in the actual sport since he had Muscular Dystrophy and was in a wheelchair.

“Do you think there’s any way someone like Ambrose could fall in love with someone like me?” Fern caught Bailey’s gaze in the mirror again, knowing he would understand.
“Only if he’s lucky.” – Fern & her cousin Bailey

Fern, Bailey’s cousin, had been in love with Ambrose since she was a little girl, yet she never acted on it.  He’s this beautiful, muscular God in her eyes, and she’s very plain with her pale skin, thick glasses, a stick thin body and red hair.  Yet while that may describe how they looked on the outside, it doesn’t even a shine a light on who they were on the inside.  Fern was a caring, compassionate girl who loved and took care of her cousin, Bailey, so fiercely that it was powerful.  Their friendship was one of the most beautiful relationships I’ve ever read about.  And the other friendships in this book were beautiful too.  It made for such a strong theme.

“News flash, Fern Taylor!” Ambrose barked, slamming his hand against the dashboard, making Fern jump. “Everything has changed! You are beautiful, I am hideous, you don’t need me anymore, but I sure as hell need you!”

And while I watched the past and the present unfold into a beautiful story of friendship, hardships, school and war, we then moved ahead. To when Ambrose came back from war, alone.  And Making Faces took on a Beauty and the Beast element, that I loved!  Ambrose and Fern’s positions have flipped, yet their shaky friendship was still there.  While Ambrose wanted to hide from the world, Fern was determined to get close to him.  So watching Fern and her tenacious will was captivating, while watching Ambrose as he suffered, was heartbreaking.  

Death is easy. Living is the hard part. – Bailey

I did have a few hiccups throughout the story though. There was a strong religious theme, and I struggled with Ambrose not suffering more from losing his friends and from the horrific situation he was in at war. And lastly, Ambrose’s speech, at a certain event near the end of the book, felt off to me. It was too much about him, and that felt wrong. But regardless, I definitely recommend this book to people who are looking for something out of the ordinary, and who want to meet characters that you won’t find in every other book. Making Faces is also for people who want a story line that takes risks and shows the uglier side of life, whether it’s bullying, domestic abuse or even just the struggle of accepting who you are. While not everyone got their happily ever after, my heart was still happy with how the majority of theirs lives closed in those last few pages. And as an epilogue junkie, that ending was perfect!

PS Towards the end, there was a little touch of a spiritual or some could even say paranormal element (depending upon your view point on life), that I loved too.

*ARC kindly provided by Spencer Hill Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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