Book Review: The Hot One

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Synopsis:

At first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend’s place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her back. 
But trust me on this count – she always liked me best without any clothes on. And sometimes you’ve got to play to your strengths when you’re fighting an uphill battle. As a lawyer, I know how to fight, and I’m prepared to fight hard for her. I might have let her slip through my fingers the last time, but no way will that happen twice.
He’s the one who got away…
The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that, stripping at my job, showing off his rock hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky, arrogant jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he’s not…?
He’s the one I’ve tried like hell to forget but just can’t. Maybe I’m cursed to remember him. My money is on him being the same guy he always was, but what’s the harm in giving him a week to prove he’s a new man? I won’t fall for him again.
But how do you resist the hot one…

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Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Lauren Blakely Books. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on February 27, 2017.*

Honestly, when I first read the synopsis of The Hot One I wasn’t totally sold on it. Tyler just sounded too cocky and not my kind of guy at all. However, because I’ve loved almost every single one of Lauren Blakely’s books that I’ve read I still wanted to give this book a try and I’m so glad I did.

While Tyler was definitely just as cocky as I expected him to be he was also really funny and totally sweet. I absolutely loved his chemistry with Delaney and I also just loved Delaney as a person as well. The story is told in their alternating POVs, which I really liked because it was interesting to see how they viewed their past break-up in different ways. For Tyler, it was something he felt had to happen, whereas for Delaney it was devastating but also a major turning point in her life that turned out to be for the better.

What I loved most about this book was that the relationship between Tyler and Delaney was a slow burn. Not like really slow (this is an erotic novel after all) but unlike other Blakely books I’ve read, Tyler and Delaney didn’t just jump into bed right away. This was mainly because of their past relationship and the fact that they hadn’t seen each other since they broke up. These two had to get to know each other again and it was fun seeing them figure each other out as if it was the first time, not the second. Plus, when they finally did get in bed it was totally worth the build up.

My only issue in the book was Delaney had another love interest, Trevor, who seemed pretty pointless. Obviously I knew Tyler and Delaney were end game but still, we literally only see Trevor once and then he pretty much disappears after that. I kind wanted some drama there, especially because I feel like Tyler wouldn’t have taken the competition well and that could’ve been funny. But alas, it wasn’t so.

Still, Trevor aside, I really liked this book and read it in the span of day. I just couldn’t put it down. Definitely check this book out once it’s released. It’s a must read.

Stars:

4 stars

 

Book Review: King’s Cage

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Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Purchase From:

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Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Glass Sword in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t like Red Queen. For me, it was way too predictable and overhyped. However, I kept reading the series and I’m so happy I did because with each book this series has gotten better and better.

King’s Cage is told in multiple POVs but it’s still mainly Mare’s story and the other two POVs (Cameron and Evangeline) are just as interesting. I really enjoyed seeing this world through these other two ladies’ eyes, especially Evangeline. She’s the first Silver we get to hear from and I absolutely loved her and her storyline. I’m rooting for her in the next (and last!) book.

What I loved most about this novel, though, is the background we got on Maven. As I said, Red Queen was predictable for me so I never liked Maven and I never trusted him. However, in King’s Cage I actually started to become interested in Maven’s character. I don’t like him per say, but I understand him a bit more now. I even started to feel sorry for him. I’m still hoping Mare kills him in the end but I also won’t be mad if he’s somehow redeemed at the end of the series.

However, at the end of the day my heart will always belong to Cal. I don’t want to talk about it too much because I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone but I will say I don’t know how I feel about Cal’s choices in this novel. On the one hand I understand why he did certain things but on the other hand I just wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me?”

Overall, I loved this novel. While I’ve seen other people say it started slow that didn’t bother me at all. Mare is in captivity and there’s only so much that can happen while she’s locked up and I still think Victoria Aveyard handled it very well, especially with the switch in POVs. I really liked every aspect of this novel and I’m excited/scared to see how this will all end.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Cameron, my heart is quite literally in this.”

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Book Review: Wires and Nerve

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Synopsis:

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new,action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold.When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

First, if you’ve read Stars Above you should be warned that the wedding short story in that book actually occurs after Wires and Nerve. That really confused me at first while reading and I’m kind of upset that’s the case, to be honest. I’d love to know what happens after that short story and I’m hoping this graphic novel series goes past it so I can find out. Besides this one little annoyance, I really loved this novel.

It felt so great to be back in The Lunar Chronicles world and seeing all my favorite characters again. Even though this book is about Iko I got to see everyone from Rampion Crew again, which was great. Also, there were so many swoon moments, especially for Cress and Thorne (Cresswell) shippers. I absolutely loved it. Even Iko had her own romantic moments, which I truly enjoyed, even though she’s an android so I found it a little confusing.

My only other issue with this novel was that it was too short. I forgot how quick graphic novels are and this story went by way too fast. I wanted more as soon as I was done and I can’t believe I’ll have to wait a year before I get to see what happens next, even though technically I have a pretty good idea how it’ll end because of that short story in Stars Above. Have I mentioned how annoyed am about that, because I am.

Still, overall I truly enjoyed this book and I could see myself reading it again because it was such a quick and easy read. I’m not sure how many books are going to be in this series but I’m hoping for at least two more. I don’t think I could ever get sick of these characters.

Have you read Wires and Nerve yet? Let me know your thoughts about it below.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I misread the romantic tension, didn’t I?”

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My Life As An Author (Guest Post)

*This is a guest post written by Sara Hantz, author of the new novel There’s Something About Nik, which is on sale today. If you would like to do a guest post for To Borrow or Buy, please email me at toborroworbuy@gmail.com*


Thank you for inviting me on To Borrow Or Buy to talk about my experience as an author. It’s been a long road which started about 14 years ago when I decided to write my first book. I’d always read a lot but up until that moment hadn’t thought about writing. I had no idea that normal people like me could actually write and sell books.

When I first started I wrote chick lit, and then quickly moved to writing young adult novels. The first book I sold, in 2007, was a book called The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, and I was very excited because it made the prestigious “New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age,” list. I still have a soft spot for that book today, even though I’ve published several since then.

I often get asked by aspiring authors if I have any tips for them. I have several:

  1. Join a writers’ group. I learned so much after joining the Romance Writers of America, which has a young adult chapter, and Romance Writers of New Zealand. Not only did I learn all about craft and storytelling, I also met so many awesome people and some have become my closest friends.
  2. If you want to write, don’t put it off. Just get your butt in the chair and start. There’s no time like the present!
  3. Find yourself some critique partners. People who you can trust with your work and who will help you make it better. It’s a two-way street. You send them your work to read and they send you theirs. I’m part of a small group, there are 3 of us, and we’ve been together for 12 years. We trust each other implicitly. And none of us will send out our work without passing it by the other two first. Our writing, has evolved over the years, and now we all write different things – well, all romance, but one of the group writes hot romance, I mainly write YA, and the other partner writes sweet romance, YA and middle grade.

Before I go, I’d like to talk about my future projects. I’m working on several things at the moment. In particular, I’m very excited about a young adult book I’m working on, that’s in its early planning stage, which is about a teenage girl and set during World War 2, in London.

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To learn more about Sara you can read her bio and find her social media and website info below!

Bio: Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

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Book Review: Wayfarer

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Synopsis:

Etta Spencer didn’t know she was a traveler until the day she emerged both miles and years from her home. Now, robbed of the powerful object that was her only hope of saving her mother, Etta finds herself stranded once more, cut off from Nicholas-the eighteenth century privateer she loves-and her natural time.

When Etta inadvertently stumbles into the heart of the Thorns, the renegade travelers who stole the astrolabe from her, she vows to finish what she started and destroy the astrolabe once and for all. Instead, she’s blindsided by a bombshell revelation from their leader, Henry Hemlock: he is her father. Suddenly questioning everything she’s been fighting for, Etta must choose a path, one that could transform her future.

Still devastated by Etta’s disappearance, Nicholas has enlisted the unlikely help of Sophia Ironwood and a cheeky mercenary-for-hire to track both her and the missing astrolabe down. But as the tremors of change to the timeline grow stronger and the stakes for recovering the astrolabe mount, they discover an ancient power far more frightening than the rival travelers currently locked in a battle for control. . . a power that threatens to eradicate the timeline altogether.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Passenger in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I had high hopes for Wayfarer but ultimately I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. My biggest complaint about Passenger was the lack of action and excitement but at the start of Wayfarer I was excited and sucked in. Etta and Nicholas were separated because a shift in the timeline and although I loved their romance it was great to see them off doing their own things and having to fend for themselves. However, as the story went on my excitement fizzled out and I was just wishing for this book to get to the point already. I wasn’t sure what the point was but I just couldn’t find it in me to care about these characters or their mission. I just wasn’t hooked.

That being said, I did enjoy learning more about the history of the travelers and Etta’s parents. At the end of Passengers I didn’t like Etta’s mom Rose and although I still don’t love her I feel like I at least understand her a bit more (even though there’s still some loose ends I have questions about). Similarly, this novel introduced a couple of new characters that I really liked and I definitely enjoyed Sophia much more in this book than I did in Passenger.

Also, while I didn’t find the plot all that attention grabbing I did think the writing of Wayfarer was incredibly beautiful and I took down so many favorite lines because I liked so many. Alexandra Bracken is an incredible writer, I just don’t think this book was for me. All the long descriptions about the places and the explanations about time travel made me want to skim but obviously these were necessary parts of the book.

Therefore, in case of Wayfarer I think it’s more of “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. I just couldn’t get into it and I was glad when I was finally done.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“It is no shameful thing to be beaten when outnumbered, not when you were brave enough to try. Nor is a scar or injury something to despair over, for it is a mark that you were strong enough to survive.”

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Book Review: The Sexy One 

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Synopsis:

Let me count the ways why falling into forbidden love is not my wisest move…
1. She works with me every single day.
Did I mention she’s gorgeous, sweet, kind and smart?
2. She works in my home.
Playing with my five-year-old daughter. Teaching my little girl. Cooking for my princess. Which means…
3. She’s the nanny.
And that makes her completely off-limits…But it doesn’t stop me from wanting her. All of her.
*****
The other nannies in this city don’t call him The Sexy One for nothing. My boss, the amazingly wonderful single father to the girl I take care of every day is ridiculously hot, like movie star levels with those arms, and those eyes, and that body. Not to mention, the way he dotes on his little girl melts me all over. But what really makes my knees weak are the times when his gaze lingers on me. In secret. When no one else is around.

I can’t risk my job for a chance at something more…can I? But I don’t know how to resist him much longer either…

Purchase From:

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Review

I love Lauren Blakely’s books because they’re such quick reads and I almost always fall in love with the characters. The Sexy One was no different. I was first introduced to Simon in Mister O, and I was more than happy to see him again, this time with his own love interest, Abby. First of all, not only is this man crazy attractive but he’s also an amazing dad to his daughter, Hayden. Of course I fell for him instantly, as did Abby. Unfortunately, Abby’s his nanny.

Although this is of course a stereotypical romance, instead of shying away from it Blakely fully embraces it. Both Simon and Abby are aware of the cliché that is their relationship and Simon even makes a Ben Affleck reference, which I thought was fantastic. Plus, I’m a sucker for forbidden romance stories and this was one was especially great because technically they weren’t really doing anything wrong. They’re both legal adults and they’re both single. The only problem was that Simon was paying Abby and for me that was an easy fix.

However, because this is a novel, their relationship had it’s complications but that just made the story more fun and interesting, which is why I loved it. Also, did I mention how swoon-worthy Simon is because he really, truly is. More than that though I liked that Abby and Simon actually had a connection. Yes, their relationship was steamy, but there was also a realness there. It was there in the way Abby taught Simon French for his business deal and how excited Simon was to text Abby about the eagles. Yeah, there’s eagles and they’re cute and you should read the book so you can fully understand the relevance of the eagles.

All in all, Blakely knocked it out of the park with this novel. I laughed, I swooned, and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

Simon doesn’t fill a void. He makes my life richer.

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Book Review: Passenger

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Synopsis:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the Colonies-and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them-whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

Purchase From:

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Review

I was excited to hear about this series because I loved The Darkest Minds trilogy but then I heard mixed reviews, making me hesitant to pick this book up. I’ve had this book since I got it signed by Alexandra Bracken at BookCon in May of last year and in an effort to actually read all the books I own this year I decided to give it a try.

The novel is told in alternating third person POVs of both Etta and Nicholas. First of all, I love Nicholas for a multitude of reasons. I liked him as a character and a person and he totally made me swoon. Moreover, I truly appreciated how Bracken handled his character. Nicholas is half Black, living in the late 1700s. His mother was a slave and while of course people of color continue to face discrimination today, Nicholas has never seen a world where African-American’s are just defined as slaves or free. This was a perfect contrast to Etta who’s white and lives in the present day.

I really liked how Bracken handled the differences in Etta’s and Nicholas’ viewpoints as well as the acknowledgement of privilege. This contrast was also interesting to see in terms of Etta and Sophia, who has never known a time where a woman has rights and can work for herself. While Nicholas is cast aside by Grandfather Ironwood (who’s the absolute worst) because of the color of his skin, Sophia is never given a seat at the table because she’s the “wrong” gender.

Although I really did enjoy these ideas that Bracken brings up in this novel, I just wasn’t that interested in the plot. It wasn’t until very near the end where I finally felt like I was on edge of my seat and things were finally getting interesting. Prior to that, I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and the novel just didn’t give it to me. My favorite moments were the romance between Nicholas and Etta but besides that I just wasn’t that intrigued by what was happening.

So overall I’d say this novel was just okay. I liked the racial and gender issues that Bracken brings up in the novel and thought she handled those really well, but the plot just didn’t excite me enough to say this is a buy. That being said, I’m thoroughly enjoying the sequel at the moment so if you’re willing to push through Passenger like I did, Wayfarer totally makes it worth it.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“It matters not who you love, but only the quality of such a love. A flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.”

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