Wednesday, 29 January 2014

*Welcome To My Stop on THE REPLACEMENT Blog Tour*





Author: Rachael Wade
Publication Date: January 27th 2014
Source: e-ARC provided by author for review 


*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.*

A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman’s self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.

My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore.

No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.

All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.

But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

What can I say about this amazing book? Really, the book speaks for itself. This was one of the most amazing reads of 2013 for me. I loved it so much. As always with Rachael's books, it was written amazingly. If you have read even one book by Rachael Wade before, then you will know how she plays your heartstrings like a violin and damn is she a great violinist!! If you haven't read one of her books, what rock have you been living under? LOL!

Elise is broken. She can't be fixed. Her upbringing wasn't with the most loving, tactile of families. Her father was a horrible man (I'm being tame there) in fact, he was a monster. Her mother was broken too. She did as her husband told her to. She was beautiful, and we're talking old Hollywood glamour - but nothing was good enough for her husband. He often made her feel worthless. This is where Elise got her feelings of worthlessness from too. She watched her father treat her mother like she was disposable and worse, when she became ill, he left her. To him, looks were more important than anything. If you weren't beautiful, you didn't exist. 
When her mother died, Elise had no-one. She felt empty, worthless, a mere shell of a person. She got a job in a cafe in Gig Harbor. It wasn't much but it meant she could afford to rent someplace to live. The trouble with Elise being empty and broken is that she needs something to fill that void in her life and boy does she go the wrong way about it. She doesn't prostitute herself, she doesn't give sexual favours in return for money - worse than that, in a way, she gives it away for FREE and she gives it to every man in town, whether or not he has a partner waiting at home for him. She's a woman on a mission of self-destruction. When she meets Ryder, she tells him she's not girlfriend material and can only give him what she's got and she doesn't really have much to give. She doesn't want to tell him about her reputation, he's new to town and he hasn't heard the rumour mill turning. 
In all honesty, I thought I would hate Elise. From the blurb, she didn't sound like all that much of a good person. But then I found out that she is a good person and she does have a heart, it's just buried so deep under so many years worth of hurt that it isn't immediately obvious to the naked eye. I found her story intriguing and I needed to know what really made her tick. 
There was so much going on in this story, it was an absolutely un-putdownable book. I am always really excited about reading Rachael Wade's books and this one was like no other she has written before. It is truly brilliant and I am so glad that I signed up for the blog tour. 
Rachael always toys with my emotions with everything she writes and this was no different. I was hit with anger, revulsion, and disgust but I also felt for Elise when I learned what she had been through and I felt sadness, pain and hatred for her father. I also felt love. Ryder won my heart in an instant. I wished Elise could see herself through my eyes, through Jay's eyes, through Ryder's eyes. She would have seen someone worth fighting through all the crap to get to the heart of. 
Will she ever fight her way through to become someone that can be respected instead of loathed by the whole town? To find out, you need to purchase a copy of The Replacement.









The Replacement
OFFICIAL PLAYLIST

Criminal – Fiona Apple

Young and Beautiful – Lana Del Rey (Theme Song)

Burning Desire – Lana Del Rey (Elise’s Song)

Off to the Races – Lana Del Rey (Masked Ball Scene)

Who Will Save Your Soul – Jewel

9 Crimes – Damien Rice

Breathe Me – Sia

Foolish Games – Jewel

These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra

Just Give  Me a Reason - Pink

Hole in My Hand - Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Hands – Jewel

Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars

Society – Eddie Vedder version (Ryder’s song)

Landslide – Fleetwood Mac (Thanksgiving Day Scene)

In the Sun – Joseph Arthur

Winter – Tori Amos

Born to Die – Lana Del Rey (Elise and Ryder’s Song)

Blue Jeans – Lana Del Rey (Elise’s song for Ryder)

Época – Gotan Project

Spark – Tori Amos

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Tori Amos version

Please Don’t Leave Me - Pink

Empty – Ray LaMontagne

Jolene – Ray LaMontagne

Thin Line - HoneyHoney

This Year’s Love - David Gray

House of the Rising Sun - Animals

Be Be Your Love – Rachael Yamagata

Secrets – OneRepublic

National Anthem (album version) – Lana Del Rey (Epilogue)


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of THE PRESERVATION SERIES, LOVE AND RELATIVITY, and the upcoming New Adult sci-fi series, THE KEEPERS TRILOGY. When she's not writing, she's busy going to concerts, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. She's an avid Brandi Carlile fan and loves all things Tim Burton. Visit her at RachaelWade.com and LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.
Connect with Rachael:

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For ROCKIN' THE HEART by Gracen Miller



Author: Gracen Miller
Publication Date: 23rd January 2014
Source: e-ARC provided for the purpose of a review on this tour

If music nourishes the soul…

Loved by millions, but shunned by blood, Heath “Fang” Fangor has led his band, Hot Wired, to the top while others have fallen by the wayside. He devoted his life to music, and from that devotion harvested a new family—his band mates and fans.

A man can desire nothing else…or can he?

Living in the shadow of her brother’s fame sucks! Sam Collins is desperate to have what she wants—a simple and uncomplicated life. She’s no stranger to scandals and how they work. Now that she’s inadvertently dragged Fang into the center of her latest gossip, could the scandal she created in her quest for freedom have gone too far?

Amid stardom the heart stages a new melody…

Fang has more fame and fortune than he will ever need, but none of that matters if he can’t have the woman of his dreams. Years have been wasted waiting for the right moment to approach the woman his heart desires above all others. There’s just one major problem...she’s his best friend’s sister. To have her, he will have to risk it all.

One that might be responsible for Rockin the Heart!


Excerpt: 

Chapter One

Heath was a rock star god. The tight lines fanning outward from his silver eyes classified him as a pissed off rock star god.
“Wanna tell me what you did this time to get the platinum treatment?” He indicated the jail cell, while ramming his fingers through his shaggy, jet-black hair.
Preferring to shrink into the shadows and avoid a confrontation with him, Sam took a deep breath and rose from the bench. She stepped away from the metal seat to draw closer to the bars dividing them.
She’d expected her brother, Jason—Jase—to ride to her rescue. Like always. Her foundation. Predictable. Dependable. Rattled by her sibling’s abandonment, she ogled the skull on Heath’s shirt, mortification overwhelming her.
If Heath was Jase’s replacement, then he’d been serious when he said ‘don’t call me the next time you’re arrested.’ She’d assumed he yelled that in anger. She was surprised he’d bothered to offer aid at all.
Gut hollow at her brother’s desertion, she cleared the ache out of her throat and asked, “Can’t you just bail me out and we’ll forget this ever happened?”
Knowing he wouldn’t go for that suggestion, Sam swallowed hard and shuffled her feet. Disappointing Jase was one thing, but letting Heath down was an entirely different matter. She’d crushed on the man since her tenth birthday when he’d given her a heart-shaped jewelry box. Didn’t matter he’d been too old for her at a mature fourteen. That infatuation hadn’t waned with age either, but only grown stronger. Not that he showed her a stitch of interest. To him, she was nothing more complicated than a kid sister.
His digits curled around one of the bars. The tattoo lettering on his left knuckles fit his current disposition—ired. On the other hand the letters H-O-T-W graced his knuckles. If read together, they spelled out the name of his band: Hot Wired.
“Not this time, Samantha.”
She cringed. The only time he broke out her full name was when he was upset or disappointed with her.
“You been drinking?”
“You know I haven’t.” Just shy of twenty-one, in her world getting liquor wasn’t an issue. Neither was alcohol her preferred drug of choice.
“Drugs?”
She rolled her eyes, the question too stupid to warrant a response.
“This type of publicity is bad news for the band.” She’d heard that one before. None of her recklessness damaged Hot Wired’s career. Not that she sought to hinder their mega stardom. She wasn’t that selfish, she just struggled with controlling her impulses on occasion.
Therapy failed to help. Yelling spawned further rebellion.
Living under the umbrella of the band’s fame grew tiresome. Her life should be her own, to live however she pleased. Weary of the media hounding her, she craved going back to a time when nobody knew her name. A normal life like when she’d been a kid.
She’d grown up on daydreams of the band making it to the big times. They won the lottery of recording deals, while Sam discovered stardom came at a high price. Along with that knowledge came the freebie of all lessons…fantasies were often better than reality. The last time she’d visited the mall without a trail of vipers eager to report her purchases she’d been fifteen.
Sheesh!
Was it too much to ask to have a date the world didn’t scrutinize? Even the loss of her virginity made headline news. That act should’ve come with the expectation of privacy. Thanks to the tabloids, Jase almost burst a blood vessel over that exploitation.
Once she’d picked her nose in public on purpose because a rag-reporter stalked her. Scratched her butt on another occasion. Gave them something to write. Those were the photographs and articles that gave her incentive to laugh.
“The only reason they’re not pressing charges is because of Jase.”
“Thanks for the reminder.” Along with it came the reminder that her brother sent Heath instead of coming himself.
Despite the news-hounds, she got out of a lot of shit thanks to her brother’s identity. This incident would be all over the rags and Internet before morning.
‘Hot Wired’s drummer’s sister is at it again!’ They’d go on to paint her wild and immoral comportment.
Have at it you fucks. Can’t hurt me any more than you already have, but what about the band?
Distance from Hot Wired would aid all of them. She’d get her peace of mind back, and they’d be devoid of the rebel-rouser in their group.
She’d mentioned changing her last name and moving back to their Southern roots in the small Alabama town where she’d been born. Jase had gone bat-shit crazy at the suggestion and went on and on about how their parents would be rolling over in their grave at her abandoning the family name.
The name-change idea had been discarded. Swept under the rug like a dust bunny never to be spoken of again.
Torn between two worlds, Sam was suffocating. Living with someone she couldn’t have in a world where she didn’t belong.
She sank back down onto the bench and lay down on the uncomfortable metal, staring at the ceiling. “Go away, Heath. I’m not in the mood for a lecture.”
A sigh came from him, followed by a long pause. She anticipated he’d argue, but she focused on the water spot marring the tiled ceiling and prepared herself to fight back.
The sound of his retreating boots hitting concrete echoed in the room. His exit surprised her, but relieved her too. Faced with his disappointment, she vowed again she’d terminate her criminal behavior.
She settled the backside of her wrist against her forehead. She made that promise to herself often and botched the good intentions each time.
After a moment, a new set of footsteps approached the cell. Even with her eyes closed she determined the intruder wasn’t Heath. In a room full of guests, she could identify his gait. Heath’s solid steps and long stride made for a unique swagger that bespoke his self-confidence. Celebrated his rocker status. Watching him walk compared to admiring art. Ogling his ass as he strode away…eye-gasms.
This individual’s fast-paced walk reminded her of the peppered rounds of gunfire. She waited for the person to speak. The clink of metal striking metal and locks disengaging snagged her attention. She turned her head. The thirty-something deputy swung the cell-door open. “You’re free to go, Ms. Collins.”
Sam rolled off the bench and grinned at the officer as she sidled past him. She’d bragged as they booked her that they wouldn’t hold her long and the charges wouldn’t stick.
In the lobby, Heath waited for her with his hands shoved in his jeans pocket. His shaggy-butchered hair shadowed his eyes, doing a good job of hiding his expression, but the hard line of his jaw indicated he’d married his irritation. Lectures were sure to come.
Looking at him, no one would guess he rocked the panties off chicks worldwide. With his long-sleeved, pull-over black shirt, sporting a white skull, his snug well-worn jeans and scuffed boots, he appeared as average as any hard American worker.
That’s what I need to warm my cold bed. Average. Not my brother’s best friend and rock star god.
There was nothing average about Heath Fangor—Fang to his band mates and the world. Neither would he seduce her. Not even as a one-time gig. The man and his fucked up principals…or maybe they were her fucked up principals because she couldn’t say for sure if she’d enter into a one-night-stand with him if he begged for one. She wanted more, and a one-nighter would be difficult to live with.
“Thanks for the bail out, Fang.” She breezed past him with all intention of snubbing him, but he caught her arm. He held on tight, giving her a warning glare when she tried to jerk free.
“Don’t be ungrateful, brat.” He towed her toward the elevator.
“Thanks for the autograph, Fang!” She glanced back at the deputy who’d released her from the cell. He waved a piece of paper at them, grinning ear-to-ear.
Heath shoved her into the lift. The moment the doors shut, he slammed his palms down on either side of her head. Sam sucked in a breath, her eyes frozen on his sexy-ass mouth. The bottom lip was slightly puffier than the top, nice and pink, and wet. He’d probably licked them, which explained the sheen. She had naughty fantasies with them as the star of the show navigating her body. The damage she suspected they could accomplish created a slippery situation in her panties.
A slight tilt of his lips before he said, “Eyes on mine.”
She refocused and locked onto his silver gaze. The accusations she saw there struck her like a blow to the gut. Looking away would be easier, but Heath had a way of holding her to a higher level with just a penetrating stare. His expectations were tall, and she despised him for having such grand aspirations for her.
“What’s gotten into you? Base diving—”
“That was fun. You should try it.”
“—bar brawls, knifing chicks in Miami—”
“Hey! I was found innocent of that allegation!”
Elevating his eyebrows, he called her statement a lie without uttering a word.
“—and now you’re adding grand theft auto to your long list of offenses.”


My Review:

I really don't know where to start my review or what to say. This book totally knocked my socks off. I have been looking forward to it for ages and am lucky enough to be able to be part of the blog tour. I know this book was called 'Rockin' The Heart' for other reasons but, truly, it rocked MY heart. It was a full-on emotion coaster. I love how it's told from a mixture of POV's, it allowed me insight into each character - so much so that I hope Gracen will release a book for each individual character. This is mainly Sam and Heath's story. The next one will be Sam's brother Jase's story. 
The way this book was written was nothing short of amazing. I was instantly hooked like a junkie looking for my next fix. I stayed awake late at night to finish reading and didnt go to bed until after 1am this morning (19th Jan) - I was so caught up in the story that I really needed to know how it ended before I lay my head down to sleep. 
One thing I will tell you straight now is, I am a HEATH girl and NOT a FANG whore!!
Fang is a rock GOD and I won't try to say he's not but Heath is such an amazing man. When he's not being his alter-ego, he is so real and tangible, I felt like I could reach out and touch him.I won't tell you what the story is about because that's not what you're really here for. You're here for my opinion. Well if this first Goodreads status is anything to go by, I think this book may truly be one of my all time favourites.
"This book is totally amazing. Gracen Miller has the ability to deliver the most enthralling story and pepper it with sweetness, vulnerability and red hot sexiness! I want my own real life Heath - not the Fang the world sees, but the man behind the alter-ego. This story is fast-paced, exciting and has me turning the pages almost faster than I can read them!"
This book touched me in so many ways. I connected with Sam and how she felt about Heath and then when I read things from Heath's POV it was so easy to fall in love with him, and how he felt about Sam was so beautiful. I could see why he owned Sam's heart. Sam is sassy, feisty, and reckless. Fang is sexy as Hell, a rock God and a bit of a man-whore. Can they tame each other's wilder side and bring each other a love like no other? There's a chance that Sam's brother Jase will screw it all up. He's jealous and bitter that his best friend and sister decide to embark on a relationship. Could he throw a spanner in the works and tear apart what they have built so carefully? The answers to these questions lie within the pages so you'll have to read it to find out. 
My last GR status as I finished the book said this:
"What an amazing, un-putdownable, highly entertaining read. I am a Heath girl, not a Fang whore but I must say, I want Keys and Derringer to find HEAs. I love those boys. Jason? He's a rat bastard but I forgive him. I want him to get a HEA too. I was sad-crying, then laughing, then happy-crying. What an ending. Talk about rockin' the heart, Gracen Miller just rocked mine!"


In my honest opinion, Gracen Miller is an absolutely awesome author. You can just tell that she poured her heart and soul into this story. I am so honoured to have read and early copy and I am so grateful to Gracen - not just for writing the story, but for creating Heath. I know 2014 is barely under way but any book I read this year will have a lot to match up to. This is the best book I have read for a long time - it's fast-paced, highly entertaining and utterly absorbing. When you're with Sam and Heath, there is nowhere else better on earth. The secondary characters, Keys, Derringer and Jase are all so awesome in their own ways. Jase is a rat bastard at times but I can't wait to read his story and get to know what's behind the facade. Keys and Derringer are so supportive of Sam and they care about her and want to protect her, even if at times it's from her own brother.  

If you're looking for something  to really sink your teeth into, then this is the book for you. I will be honest, it  made me cry - but that just means that Gracen did an awesome job of getting me to really fall into the story and fall head first in love with Heath! This book has it all; there's passion, intensity, drama, amazing sex scenes and best of all, a storyline you can't help but be sucked in by. From the first word to the last, this book blew me away!!

Thank you Gracen for being so amazing!

Author Bio:
Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in southern society.  When not writing, she’s a full-time basketball/football/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels, movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She’s convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing together generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen and her writing or to leave her a comment, visit her at the following sites:
Twitter: @GracenMiller

Buy Links (Note: Rockin’ the Heart releases January 23rd):


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gracen-Miller/e/B005012CAU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1389376831&sr=-82

There are moments in a person’s life that defines them and alters their future forever. Some are the basic ones, like marriage, the birth of a child or the loss of a loved one. In 6th grade I had a life changing moment when my English teacher, Mrs. Syler, gave us a homework assignment where we had to write a play.

Being the drama oriented twelve year old, I was panic-stricken by the assignment and was sure I’d flunk. I’d never written anything before and wasn’t sure where I’d get a creative spark from. That afternoon I trudged into my mother’s workplace and sat down in my cubbyhole and worked on homework, saving the dreaded English homework for last.

With math and I don’t remember what else out of the way, I opened my English spiral-bound notebook. I stared at the lawn of the well-manicured golf course—my mother worked at the local country club as a waitress—and before I knew it ideas surfaced. I set pen to paper and a whole new world opened up for me.

At first it was a story about Atlantis rising from the ocean to take over the world. They were evil of course because what else would powerful beings do but take over the world?

I had the best time writing the Atlantis play! The next day I returned to school with my play and we had to share our story with everyone in class. The class voted on their favorite three to act out by classmates. Mine was one of the three picked by the class. I was shocked that my peers liked my story, but I was excited too.

That one story opened up a whole new world for me. It gave my imagination freedom to spawn and grow. I’ve been addicted to writing ever since. I wrote stories and poetry all through high school, but didn’t get serious about writing a book until my early thirties.

Do you have a defining moment in your life that changed the course of your future?



To follow the tour, here is a list of the dates and blogs:
January 19
Raver Writes (spotlight)
Nely Cab (review)
One Click Bliss (review)
ParaSuperNormalism (playlist)
*TSK TSK What to Read (guest post)

January 20
Book Groupies (playlist)
Book Flirts (playlist)

January 21
Craves the Angst (playlist)
*For Whom the Books Toll –Julianne (guest post)

January 22
Reader Girls (playlist)
January 23
*Between Moonlit Covers (guest post - spotlight)
*Bianca2B (interview)
Sassy Book Lovers (guest post - spotlight)

January 24
*Jazzy's Notebook – Jasmine Cardi (guest post)
*BookSane (interview)
*Tina Carreiro (guest post)

January 25
Comfortably Read – Stacey Nixon (spotlight)

January 26
*Gothic Angel Book Reviews – Keren Hughes (guest post) **ME**

January 27
Madison's Place (spotlight)
Bibliobelles (playlist)
Fis Fiery Reads (spotlight)

January 28
*Storyteller's Grove – Karen Smith (interview)
*Liv Honeywell (guest post)


Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour! Hope to see you soon!







Friday, 17 January 2014

*Cover Reveal* FINDING EVAN by Lisa Swallow

Hello guys and girls *waves*
I have a gorgeous cover reveal for you today. 
FINDING EVAN is the sequel to BECAUSE OF LUCY.



"She killed a part of me – the part which trusts when someone tells you they love you, and allows you to trust that person with your heart. "

Ness and Evan return to Leeds from Europe, and begin their new life together. But the past Evan has buried for years resurfaces and threatens their future.

After fifteen years, Evan doesn’t want any contact with the woman who abandoned him, but is unwillingly pulled into his mother’s life by Lucy. 

Feeling pushed aside by Ness’s focus on her studies and new friends, Evan can’t confide in Ness about what’s happening. This return to his old behaviour adds more distance to their relationship. When Ness’s new friend Ollie picks up the pieces because Evan is away, Evan’s insecurities threaten their relationship further.

Ness becomes aware of Evan’s situation, and she questions whether he will ever be able to break his ties to those dragging him down. If he can’t put himself first, and live the life he wants, she is unable to see how their relationship could work. In return, Evan struggles with Ness’s inability to get close to people, and her distance pushes him further away.

The decision about the future of the relationship is taken out of their hands - by something which could end things between Ness and Evan forever.

Estimated release date: early 2014

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Review of Good and Better by S. Walden.


Title: GOOD
Author: S.Walden
Publication Date: August 25th 2013


Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she's lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It's a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him--a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can't help it. He's the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn't expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that's when her life goes from bad to good.

Book 1 in the Too Good series. This series will be a two-parter. The second and final book is called "Better", and will be released Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

FYI:

Georgia Law: 
16-6-3.
(a) A person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the victim.

If you are bothered by the details of this law or find it offensive in any way, then please do not read the book.

(New Adult Contemporary Romance. Translation: Description of drug use and explicit language and sex.)

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

This book appealed to me because I know Summer Walden is a fantastic author and I wanted to know how she pulled this one off. I know some people will read this blurb and immediately be put off because the subject material is "taboo". However, it was the mere fact that it was taboo that peaked my interest.

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She goes to church, she's part of a good family. She seems like your typical god fearing teenager. That is until she ends up in a juvenile detention centre. She made one mistake, but it was a shockingly big one. So as punishment, she spent time in juvie. One day, a group from juvie are collecting trash from the side of the highway and Cadence sees a guy changing his tyre. This guy happens to be the most handsome guy she's ever seen. Shame she's in heer orange jumpsuit!
Upon her release from juvie, Cadence must return to school. She expects the nasty, snide remarks. She expects her peers to act as though she has some disease and stay as far away from her as possible. What she doesn't expect is the gorgeous guy from the side of the highway to be at school. Worse still, he isn't a student. He's going to be her Math teacher!
Cadence knows that falling for your teacher isn't exactly a wise idea - it's not like it could be reciprocated. He's her teacher, a totally "no go" zone. But they say you can't help who you fall for and in this case, that's exactly right. She falls for Mark Connelly. She convinces herself that it's all her and that he can't feel the same - but there are little things he says and does that niggle at her and make her question if he could actually feel anything for her. 
Mark knows that falling for his student isn't smart, but he can't help it. Since the day they met by the side of the highway, he's been attracted to her. 
When Mark finally confesses his attraction to Cadence, that's when she finally sees that her life can be good. It's been nothing short of Hell since she went to juvie and lost her friends. She makes one new friend at school, Avery - but Avery has her very own agenda for befriending Cadence. But Cadence doesn't care about Avery's agenda, as long as she covers for her so that she can sneak off and be with her teacher.

This book was nothing less than AMAZING! I was sucked in from the first word til the last. It was a wonderfully written, highly entertaining, page-turner. Let me share with you my Goodreads statuses so you get a feeling for how I felt while I was reading Good.
At 53%, I wrote: "Holy fucking shit! This book is amazing! The only thing 'good' about this book is the title! Move over every fictional or even real man that came before... Enter, Mr Mark Connelly!! I always love reading Summer Walden's words but this? This is something else entirely - not mere words on a page, more like a movie in my head. I AM Cadence... I feel Mark's hands on her, lips kissing her... WOW!!"
At 72%,  I wrote: "Shit! I need to go to bed and I DO. NOT. WANT. TO!!! This book is amazing. So glad I bought Better earlier today (when I was only 35% into Good) You can guess what I'm reading next, right?! I've laughed, I've cried, felt like I've received a punch to the gut... This book has a hold over me and gives me goose bumps all over with a delicious chill in the warm air."
At 84%, this was all I wrote: "I'm crying and snotting like a bloody baby!!" 
And when I finished, I said: "Oh. My. God!!!!!!! I am shaking right now. The ending has left my jaw on the floor and my heart in my throat. I need to read BETTER like I need to breathe oxygen! Summer Walden has done it again, she's totally amazed me and floored me and left me feeling... I'm not even sure how I feel apart from scared for Cadence and Mark and anticipating the next book!!"

This book provoked so many feelings in me. It was such a powerful story. I felt such a connection with Cadence, it was like I was her. I was totally and utterly in love with Mark Connelly and I needed the next book, Better, immediately. I downloaded it when I was around 25% into Good so that it would be waiting for me at the end.
I love the way Summer writes and how she isn't afraid to write something that pushes the boundaries. Her writing style is all-consuming, I can't help but get encompassed by it. 
Yes, there were times when I wanted to slap Cadence for her immaturity, but then I am a 30 year old woman and she is only 17, so, it was to be expected that I would find her actions a little childish. Mark made me want to rage and to knock some sense into him too. The characters both had their flaws - but that's what made them feel so real. Who isn't flawed? If you can show me someone without flaws, I will show you a liar.  
I hope when you are considering whether or not to read this story that you will stop to think that yes, the subject matter is seemingly a little taboo, but in reality, Cadence was a consenting adult and nothing they did was illegal. 
  

Now onto my review for BETTER. If you don't want any spoilers, then this is the place to stop reading. The only spoilers contained will be because you haven't read Better for yourself.


Title: BETTER
Author: S.Walden
Publication Date: November 19th 2013

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her family and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he should share his secret with Cadence. He should trust that she’ll understand. But what if she doesn’t? What if their love doesn’t grow stronger?

What if it doesn’t get better?

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 wings!*

What can I say about Better? It is yet another example of Summer Walden's all-consuming, fantastic writing. This story is where we find out a lot more from Mark's POV. He is a 28 year old high school teacher who is in love with his student. He knows he'd lose his job if anyone found out but it turns out Cadence is more important than his job.
Cadence's family knows about their relationship and now with it exposed, it's only a matter of time before the school finds out. 
Mark and Cadence are suddenly thrust out into the limelight and though they say 'what doesn't break you makes you stronger', there is something in the air that says the couple are fighting an uphill battle that makes them both question whether their love will survive. 
Cadence is a little girl lost in a grown-up world, she needs something to anchor her before she drifts off, lost at sea. She gets a job and she goes to college - but she didn't expect to feel the way she does about things. 
Mark has a secret. Though the couple have been together for a year, Cadence doesn't know what Mark has hidden in his past. Her attempts to find out fall flat. He knows he has to tell her, yet there's never going to be a "right time". 
We see their relationship progress and blossom. We are witness to the ups and downs of a relationship that everyone thought of as doomed to fail. Yes, there are trials and tribulations both must endure. But if you are anything like me, you will be rooting for them to pull through it all and come out stronger. 
I absolutely adore Mark, he really is one of my favourite love interests of 2013. I love Cadence too. Though she is prone to bouts of typical teenage behaviour, I felt a connection with her because I myself was in a relationship with a large age gap at her age. I was 17 and he was 36. I had 2 step-children and one step-grandchild to contend with and I really was a little girl lost in a world where grown-up was something I wanted to be, and I had to grow up fast in order to deal with the stresses and strains of such a relationship. so yes, I totally felt for Cadence. 
My Goodreads statuses said:
55%: "I've laughed and I've cried which, to me, means that Summer Walden has cast her spell upon me once more. I am having to go to bed now as I am finally at a point where I feel okay stopping - if not for the late hour (midnight) I would read it in one sitting. I have read 55% straight off and nowhere has felt like a place to break for sleep.
and 100%: "I'm crying again! Who knew you could cry so much? I loved this book, this series. I wish there was more. I loved both Good and Better beyond belief!"

I cried at both books and that is because Summer Walden knows how to play on my emotions. She is an uber-talented author. I was up and down like a roller-coaster. But I wouldn't have it any other way. In essence, me being an emotional mess means that Summer did her job right. 

If you haven't yet read Good or Better, then may I make a polite suggestion that you do? :D

Thank you for coming by to read my reviews today. I hope to see you again soon!











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