28 August 2014

The Real Thing Blog Tour - Review & Excerpt plus a giveaway!

The Real Thing by Cassie Mae
Published by Flirt
August 19, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-553-39253-1

The Real Thing on Goodreads

In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.
Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.
When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.

Get your copy of THE REAL THING
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Amazon UK | Google Play | Kobo 

About Cassie Mae
Cassie Mae is a full-time writer and mother from Utah. She loves being glued to the computer, thinking up new stories, and writing the day away while the kids run wild at her feet. When she finished her first novel, she started a blog that now gets more than five thousand hits a month. Her group blog is also dedicated to reaching out to aspiring authors by providing critiques and other marketing tools to help them succeed in the industry. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Connect with Cassie
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Connect with Flirt
Website | Facebook | Twitter

My Review:

As soon as I started this book I fell in love with it. What I love the most about this book is that it is so realistic with the use of social media and it also made me see just how much we all seem to use it. Another part of the story that I loved was that it wasn't all about the romance and social media but body issues and what is so unique about this is that it isn't the girl that is hung up about her body but the guy which was great to see. I loved the relationship between Eric and Mia as they was friends first which I felt like it made the book even more realistic than if they had jumped into a relationship without knowing each but in this case they had know each other for year whilst secretly wanting each other for pretty much the same amount of time. When they where together it was sweet but also hot I just needed them to be together forever as they made such a cute couple. I loved the ending for this book as it was the kind of ending that I always feel like I need in a stand alone book, as we got to see what was happening a year later.

I absolutely adored Eric he is the sweetest guy ever he seemed so genuine that I just couldn't help but love him. He did break my heart a lot of the time but not because of anything he had done but the issues that he has had to deal with. With Mia I had a love/hate relationship with her as there was a lot of times when I felt she was sweet especially when she was in the same room as Eric but she was annoying at times and I wanted to slap her phone/computer away from her. It was great that in this book we got to read from both Eric and Mia's perspective as this gave us the chance to get to know what each of them was thinking which I always want to know what the other person was thinking and in this book we get to know.

Overall this was a great modern day romance book that everyone who loves contemporary romance should read.

“Should I reply?”
I raise an eyebrow, glancing at her profile. She pulls at her bottom lip, tilting her head back and forth as she stares at the screen.
“What would you say?” I ask.
Her fingers tap the home row, and she gives a little shrug. “Not sure. But I feel bad if he thinks the right Mia is ignoring him. But seriously, you’d think he’d know her email if they were going out.”
“I don’t know.” I point to her email address at the top. “How many Mia Johnsons are there in the world? And not all people have relationships with their computers.”
She turns to face me, almost smacking me in the nose. I must’ve gravitated toward her without thinking.
Instead of making it majorly awkward, she presses her forehead to mine and says, “But some online relationships are the best kind.”
I gulp, and then my mouth goes dry. I can’t argue with her. It was because of the Internet that we’ve been able to keep up with each other—the reason we’re here together now like we just talked yesterday. We did talk yesterday.
I’m about to make a stupid move by tucking hair behind her ear just to touch her, but then I remember I’m still in my sweaty clothes, and I get a dizzy spell and pull back.
“Uh, I’m gonna jump in the shower,” I stutter as I slide from the bed.
Em nods and clicks her mouse pad a few times. “Okay. I’m going to order some food. You still like Hawaiian pizza?”
I think I do, but I don’t eat pizza anymore.
“Get what you want. I’ve already eaten.” It’s bullshit, but if I have one slice of pizza, before I know it, I’ll have eaten five more.
Her brow furrows and her eyes drop to the bottom corner of her screen. “Oh crap, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize what time it was. And you’re probably still in a different time zone in here.” She pats her stomach, flicking her eyes from the screen to me.
“It’s no big deal.” I smile and go to hit her door frame on the way out, but she
stops me.
“Oh, Eric?”
“The whole ‘make yourself at home’ thing goes both ways.” She nods toward my chest. “I don’t care if you walk around without a shirt on.”
She points at my neck, and I look down and see the tag sticking out under my chin. Inside out . . . and backward.
She laughs and her eyes rest on the screen again. I let her return to her email, but I keep my shirt covering me until I’ve locked myself in the bathroom. Twenty more pounds and I’ll walk around buck-ass naked if I want to.

THE REAL THING GIVEAWAY a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

The Return (Titan, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Expected Publication: 17th February 2015

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody – which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet. 
Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to “puree”. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of an ancient myth is gunning for her.
But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.
Book 1 in the new adult paranormal TITAN series, spin-off to the best selling COVENANT series.Seth's Story.

I haven't finished the Covenant series yet (just one more to go) but I am already excited by the spin-off. It may not be out until next year but it is getting ever so closer!

What are you waiting on?

20 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles, #1) by Amanda Hocking
Expected Publication: 6th January 2015

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Brynn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

This book is a spin off to the Tryelle trilogy which I am so excited about as I absolutely loved the Tryelle series so I'm hoping this one will be just as good.
On another note that cover alone would draw me in (yes I so judge a book by its cover)

What are you waiting on?

19 August 2014

Book Review: Apollyon (Covenant, #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Paperback
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Published: 4th April 2013
Pages: 343
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Main Characters: Alex, Aiden
Date Read: 13 July - 13th August 2014
Rating Given:
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Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.
Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.
The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.
Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

“Tipping my head back, I screamed.
Unlocked from the depths of my soul, it kept coming and coming. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't comprehend what I'd become—the things I had done. And when I stopped, it was only because my throat was raw.” 

I have had this book for a little while now and so I thought I should try and finish the series by the end of the year and with only one book to go I think I will be able to succeed I just wish I loved this book as much as the previous books in this series...

As I say every time I review these books this series of covers are so beautiful and are by far one of my favourite covers in a series. I love the way that all the books tie in with the series and this one is no exception. I love the use of colour for this cover as for me it makes it stand out a lot more than if a different colour was used.

I can't believe it took me over a month to finish this book which is one of the longest amount of time its taken me to read a book that isn't even 400 pages long! To be fair though it wasn't all because I didn't like the book as there was just over a week when I hardly read anything and when I did it was on my kindle. When I first started this book I was completely confused I had no idea what was happening so I did go and read Elixir before I went any further which did help but I really should have read Deity again as I could not for the life of me remember what happen in that book making it so much harder to get into this book. Once I got over the initial confusion I actually really enjoyed the book but every time I put it down I just couldn't get the enthusiasm to pick it back up. After I hit the halfway mark I really started to enjoy it especially closer to the end as there was so much going on that I just had to find out what was going to happen next. What I really enjoyed in this book was the way in which Aiden and Alex's relationship seemed stronger and stronger, it felt like I could feel Aiden's love for Alex through the pages. I really did love the way that Armentrout really had me going through the emotions as one minute I would be laughing out loud then the next minute I would want to cry. I loved the ending as it has set me up for what I hope will be an epic finale.

My feeling towards certain characters changed throughout Apollyon and some from previous book I actually liked! Alex was the main one who had so many different personalities throughout this book that it was hard to keep up until she settled down (that's all I will say as I don't want to give anything away but put it this way it was heartbreaking). I loved Aiden even more in this book which I didn't think was at all possible but he just really stepped up and it was sweet/heartbreaking to see.

Overall a disappointing beginning but once I got into it I really enjoyed it.

“He was there. Like always, holding me up when I couldn't stand and letting me go when he knew I needed him to. He was more than just a shelter. Aiden was my other half, my equal.”

17 August 2014

Showcase Sunday #94

Showcase Sunday is a weekly Meme that I am taking part of. This weekly meme is hosted by Vicky over at Book, Biscuits and Tea.
Click images to take you to Goodreads.

Physical Review Books
Received both these books this week only requested Better Than Perfect (which is Wild Cards but with a new name). 
Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending both of these books.

Free Kindle Books

Kindle Review Books

What did you receive this week?

13 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

On the Edge by Allison van Diepen
Expected Publication: 25th November 2014

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.
Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back. 
But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?
On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.

I haven't read or even heard of Allison van Diepen before I came across it on someone's WOW post and now I am really looking forward to welcoming a new author to my collection. I love the sound of this book as it sounds similar to one of my favourite books Perfect Chemistry so if it is anything like it then I'm sure I will enjoy it!

What are you waiting on? 

12 August 2014

Book Review: Off Sides (Off, #1) by Sawyer Bennett

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US |

Format: Kindle 
Publishers: Big Dog Books
Published: 21st February 2013
Pages: 166
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Danny, Ryan
Date Read: 6th August - 12th August 2014
Rating Given:
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“I'm not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone... something... to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost... a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved...”
Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.
Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.
With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days...

"She definitely is not dating material because my parents would have a fit if I showed up in the media with her on my arm. This thought is disappointing to me. It's been a really long time since someone has interested me like this and now I'm pissed off that I have to live by my parents' standards."

I found this book for free ages ago on Amazon so I obviously got it as it sounded like something I would very much enjoy and I wasn't wrong...

I like the top half of this cover as it's more interesting but the bottom half I felt just added those things as an after thought and even though it's in keeping with the book I (surprisingly) didn't like it. I love the use of colour as I am a sucker for black and white with one other colour as I think it looks so artistic and this is no different plus purple is used in the book so it fits with the story.

It has taken me well over a year to actually start this book and I do wish I had started it sooner as I loved it so much. The reason why I actually got around to reading it was after reading and loving one of Sawyer Bennett's other books and as soon as I picked it up I didn't want to put it down. The only thing I can think of that is wrong with this book is the length at only a 166 pages everything felt rushed and a few things that where a little on the unbelievable side. As soon as Danny and Ryan meet one another they instantly fall in lust and within a week they are madly in love and after two weeks there is also talk of marriage, usually I don't mind this instant love but I just felt like in this case it was too much too soon. Even though I was too sure on their quick feelings I still enjoyed them together as there was definitely chemistry and maybe if it was a longer book then maybe the love would have had a longer timeline to grow instead of instantly. It was a predictable book but I don't mind guessing what is going to happen next as long I don't guess everything as I do like a few things that take me by surprise which in this case it does. I loved the blend of music and sport but then again I do love my athletic men! I did like the ending as all the questions where all answered and after the 'The End' part it also said we will get more from Danny and Ryan so I'm pleased about that.

I loved Danny and Ryan and a few of their friends but there was a lot of other characters that where pure evil. Danny was a strong independent women who had a lot of bad things happen in her life but this just makes her stronger. She may seem like she doesn't care about what anyone says about but we soon find out that that wasn't the case. Ryan was just amazing he was so sweet and he was always there for Danny, I just loved everything about him and what I love about him the most is that he isn't the one that screws everything up. Paula and Mike were a great addition to the story as they was so funny I just wish we would've got to see more from the both of them. Ryan's sister wasn't in it that much but when we first met her I didn't like her but then we see her again and she seemed to be a bit nicer so I'm hoping that this change will be here to stay as it's her book next.

Overall a short but sweet book it just could've done with being a bit longer so there would be more depth to the story.

"You are more important to me than anything else in the world. As long as I have you, I don't need anything else. It's you Danny. It will only ever be you."

10 August 2014

Showcase Sunday #93

Showcase Sunday is a weekly Meme that I am taking part of. This weekly meme is hosted by Vicky over at Book, Biscuits and Tea.
Click images to take you to Goodreads.

Books Won
I won these two signed books which I am so happy about as I only have a couple of signed books but no other books personally signed for me! Thanks to Book Passion for Life for hosting an amazing competition!

Kindle Books Bought
I sold a book for postage so I was able to get a few cheap kindle books. The first one was 77p and the other two was 99p so I just had to get them before they went back up. I have read Come Back To Me which I loved so much that I had to get a finished copy, now I just have to wait until October to get the paperback version!

Review Kindle Books
Some books here I am so excited to have to read especially Black Ice as I loved Becca's Hush Hush series.

What did you receive this week?

9 August 2014

Book Review: All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1) by Cora Carmack

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle 
Publishers: William Morrow Paperbacks
Published: 16th September 2014
Pages: 320
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Dallas, Carson
Date Read: 20th July - 3rd August 2014
Rating Given:
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.
In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.
Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.
But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.
Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.
Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.
And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

“I don't know that dancing fixes anything. I don't feel magically happy because of it. My problems don't disappear when the music ends. But I understand life better when I dance, and understanding is half the fight of surviving.” 

I had only ever read one of Cora's books before reading this one but I enjoyed it so much that every book she brings out I try and get my grubby hands on it and this one was no different. I'm glad I did get this book as I loved it...

I do feel as though the cover is a little bit cheesy but I can imagine the couple on the front cover is Carson and Dallas. I do like the font used for the title as it reminds me sport which is heavily involved in this story.

I can't believe I forgot to do a review for this book (but in my defence I thought I already had) and that it took me so long to read it as there was nothing wrong with this book and as a matter of fact I loved it. From the very beginning I felt strongly invested in the story as I was completely hooked and just wanted everything to turn out the way I felt like it needed to end. Even though there was an instant attraction between the two main characters it still felt like it was longer before they felt anything more than lust for one another even if it wasn't as long as what I had initially thought. The chemistry between these two characters definitely felt like it jumped out of the pages even when they wouldn't admit to their feelings I felt like us the reader knew better. For some strange reason I love books that are sport related as I can't stand to watch most sports but it doesn't seem to matter when reading about the sports. I think the reason why I love the sports related books is because I feel like I can feel their passion in what they want to do and it adds another dimension to the book. All Lined Up isn't just about sport and romance but also about the relationship between father and daughter as well as pressure you get from family and team mates. What I really enjoyed about this book is that it made me laugh out loud but there was also some really heartbreaking parts as well which sure kept me on my toes. I loved the ending as it felt like a lot of things was cleared up but not everything was perfect which makes me want to see if we find out more about hose in the up and coming books even if they are from different characters perspectives I'm sure we will still see more from Carson or least hear about him.

I loved the two main characters as well as some of the side characters but there was a couple that I couldn't warm up to main one being Levi not sure I even want him to get his own book. I loved Dallas's character as even though on the outside she seems fine but the more we find out about here everything is far from fine with her making her a more real character. Carson I absolutely adored he was so sweet as I am used to the male characters in New Adult books being the bad guy but he is far from a bad boy but I love him all the same. There was a couple of characters that I wasn't too sure about but then by the end they really grew on me which I'm pleased about as one of those characters was Silas and his book is next!

Overall another hit from Cora Carmack and now I need to read some more of her books and I hope that is sooner rather than later.

“Carson McClain, you scare me like nothing has ever scared me before. You drive me crazy and make me laugh and push my buttons on purpose. You make me feel safe and smart and pretty. Sometimes I think I might actually melt when you wrap your arms around me, and right now I feel a little bit like I might die if you don't kiss me.” 

8 August 2014

Book Review: Made For You by Melissa Marr

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle (earc)
Publishers: Harper Collins
Published: 16th September 2014
Pages: 368
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance, Thriller
Main Characters: Eva
Date Read: 11th July - 19th July 2014
Rating Given:
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Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

This was my Waiting on Wednesday post not so long ago and was surprised when Melissa Marr's assistant got in touch to say Melissa was willing to send me a review copy of Made For You which gave me a fangirl moment. Made For You was just as good as what I had hoped if not even better...

I do love the simplicity of the cover especially the use of very little colours and the colour that was used is a beautiful colour which stands out. Not sure what reference the fly makes as to the best of my knowledge there wasn't any flies mentioned (could've forgotten about it). I love the font used for the title as it does remind me of a stalkers' note which is in keeping with the story.

This book is one of the best books that I have read all year, it was such an addictive and on the edge of your seat book that kept me guessing until the very end. I haven't read many thriller books but the other thriller book that I read had an unknown killer on the loose but that is where the similarities end as the rest of the book was different to what I have read before. What made this book different to most books that I have read was that some of the chapters was from the murderers point of view which I liked as we was able to get into his head to see just how sick and twisted he was. I would love to see this book as a film it was so engrossing and very realistic which is always a plus for me. There was a bit of romance in Made For You but it wasn't the main focus but I didn't mind as everything else was so entertaining that I forgot I love romance as the main focus. What romance we did get I loved as you could see how much they really did care for each other with some very sweet moments but also those moments when you just want to smack them upside their head. I would also say there was a hint of paranormal in Made For You but that's all I will say on that as I don't want to give anything away. The ending was great as every question you have throughout this book is answered and I found it really sweet as well.

There is so many great characters in this book that it is easy to feel for everyone of them except one although that person I felt like I understood him more than if we didn't get his views across but he was still very twisted. Eva seemed to really grow into herself thoughout Made For You as she started off being in the background and pleasing everyone but herself but once she has her accident I feel like she came out of her shell and went for things that she wanted. I would say she was a very strong character as the things that she went through and still be able to get up in the morning is just astonishing.

Overall there is so many things that goes on in this book that I could go on forever but put everything together you get one perfect book! If I could give this 10 stars I would it was just pure perfection!!

7 August 2014

Nothing Life the First Time Blog Tour - Review & Guest Post

Guest Post by Keren Hughes
How and why I became and author!
I have always loved reading, from the moment my Granddad bought me a copy of The Hobbit. He used to get me to read pages aloud to him every day. From there I read things like Black Beauty (I still have the green leather-bound copy my Mom bought me about 20 years ago), What Katy Did and of course Point Horror and Point Romance books.
My family used to love me reading aloud to them and I loved spending my summers in my room with my latest book.
I was fifteen when I first decided to try and write my own book. I had aspirations to be a Point Horror author. ‘The Angel of Death’ was the title of the book I wrote. I drew the cover—although art is definitely not my forte—and I wrote the book by hand because I didn’t have a computer. My Mom was the only person that read it and I remember how she wrote a sheet of minor edits for me.
I was sixteen when I wrote my second book, ‘Skye’s Secret’. This time I didn’t have to write it long hand as my Step-Dad had a computer that he allowed me to use. I don’t remember allowing anyone to read it.
When I was twenty-three, I got pregnant with my son and my fiancé bought me the Harry Potter series to read during the long periods that Calum would sleep. There’s only so much housework you can do before you want to pull your hair out, so reading was a great way to escape for a few hours.
I devoured the HP series and so I began to buy books like the Twilight series, which I could read once my son had gone to bed. After Twilight, came True Blood. Then it was Meredith Gentry by Laurell K Hamilton.
I had once again been bitten by the reading bug.
The next step was becoming a reviewer. I bought a Kindle and started following several indie authors on Twitter after reading their books. My fiancé told me that I should start reviewing books and create a blog. That was when Gothic Angel Book Reviews was born. I was reading and reviewing many indie authors’ books and I was really in my element.
When I had been reviewing for about eighteen months, my author friend Kira Saito asked me if I had ever thought about writing my own book. I said I had thought about it but not in a serious way. I thought no-one would ever want to read something I wrote. But she kept telling me that I should write and one day, I came up with an idea for a book.
The idea for the book stayed in my head a while longer, I kept procrastinating and not even trying to get anything written. Just because I had an idea, didn’t mean it would work out well.
In October 2012, I had an operation on my spine and was left with lots of tie on my hands while I recovered. There was only so much staring at the same four walls that I could do, so I decided it was about time to buy a decent laptop and get on with writing.
Over the next couple of months, I wrote Stolen, a YA Paranormal Romance about a girl whose parents are murdered and their souls are stolen. I planned to self-publish because I was so scared of rejection from publishers. But a few friends coaxed me into submitting to a publisher they were published with, so after months of chickening out, I finally submitted to two publishers.
I was extremely lucky because both publishers offered me contracts within a day of each other. On August 10th 2013, I signed with Limitless Publishing. It had been my dream to be published before I hit the age of thirty and I signed that contract just twelve days before my thirtieth birthday.
Stolen was published in November 2013 and then it was time to work on something new.
I have a passion for music. I can’t play an instrument, except for a couple of songs on the piano, but I love to listen to music and I have very eclectic tastes in what I enjoy. I love a range of artists from The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, to Panic! at the Disco, Pink, Usher and many in between. My favourite two bands couldn’t be more polar opposite to each other, they are Depeche Mode and Lady Antebellum.
My second book idea came to me when I was listening to Lady Antebellum. There was one song that would stick in my head, begging to be written. Of course, no two people’s interpretations of one song will be the same. My book is just my interpretation of it.
The song is called Nothin’ Like The First Time. The lyrics are so beautiful and I couldn’t help but feel that maybe there is some truth to them. Everyone has a first love and for me, no relationship I’ve had since has been the same. I don’t mean that in a negative way, I just mean all relationships are different.
I began to think about a story I could base loosely around the lyrics and what I came up with is my now best-selling novel Nothing Like The First Time, an NA Contemporary Romance. It’s about a couple that were each other’s first kiss, first relationship, first love. Then Grey had the choice between his career and his girl and he chose his career, taking him to the other side of the world. Carly never had another relationship like that of her first love, she chose to focus more on her career and men were the last thing on her mind. Then ten years after leaving, Grey comes back to town. Can they rekindle the love they had? Will there ever be anything like your first love?
At the time of writing NLTFT, I was going through a relationship break-up and writing was my escape. I poured all my grief, my heartache, my loss and my love into writing. This novel became very personal to me. It wasn’t just mere fiction, it was based, in parts, on real life events.
Carly was very much an extension of myself. We have many of the same character traits. I wrote it from her POV because it was so easy to just step into the pages of the book and become her. Grey is a composite of a few of my exes. In the main part, he is modelled on my first real love, Mark. A lot of the things that happen to the couple are events that really happened with me and my exes, sometimes I changed them slightly to fit the story better, but most of the things happened to me at some point.
The ending between Mark and I wasn’t the HEA I wanted, but at the time that we were together, I didn’t realise that there were reasons we weren’t meant to be. One of those reasons was my son. For Carly and Grey, they had a lot of ups and downs, but they have the ending I wish Mark and I had been able to have.
I am so glad I wrote NLTFT. It helped me begin a chapter in my life labelled ‘Closure’.
To see my novel hit the Amazon US best seller list at #27 was amazing and I never thought it could get any better than that but I was wrong. I started ranking on Amazon UK and as of right now, it is at #17 in the Coming of Age list.
I am stunned, pleased, and very proud that my book has done so well. I can’t thank people enough for taking a chance on my book. I hope you’ll all continue to take a chance on my future books.
I have been bitten by the writing bug and now I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to. But why would I want to? Writing is an escape that even reading can’t top. Reading takes me to another reality for a while, one created by an author for my pleasure. But writing takes me to another reality that I create myself. I love nothing more than getting lost in the characters I create.

Nothing Like the First Time
By: Keren Hughes
Limitless Publishing
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Released: May 20th, 2014


Carly Summers and Greyston Sterling were each other's first kiss, first sexual experience, first love, first everything...

They were a match made in Heaven, that was, until Grey took a job as a freelance photographer which took him to the other side of the world. When it came down to a choice between his career and his girl - he chose his career.

Now, 10 years later, Grey's back in town and wants to see if they can rekindle what they had all those years ago. Carly has had relationships but nothing that lasted. No one ever compared to Grey.

But how can they if he's engaged to somebody else?

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Nothing Like The First Time

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Early Reviews:

"This book really makes you believe in love forever and happy endings." -Kay

"This book has everything you need in a romance novel: love, heartbreak and even a little suspense." -Vikki Love

My Review:

As soon as I started this book I was addicted to it as I just couldn't and didn't want to put it down. When I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it. The relationship in this is the kind I would dream of as it was so sweet but it wasn't always perfect which made it feel more real. Even though I was very much drawn into  this book there was times when it felt too real to the point I got a little fed up as there was a lot of mundane things that happened during this book. There was a few dramatic things that happened to make it more interesting which I hadn't expected but it sure did add to the story. The ending was perfect as it went a few years later which is always great to see, and even before the epilogue I fell in love with the last chapter  it was so sweet and romantic.

I loved every single one of the characters as they all seemed so realistic that I could imagine that they where right in front of me. Early was a very strong person that we didn't even realise how much she had gone through until near to the end which kind of broke my heart but I do feel as though that particular part was a bit glossed over and came out of the lie. I could imagine Carly as the kind of person I would like as a friend as she would do anything  anyone she loves. I loved Grey the moment we meet him even though I felt like I shouldn't I just couldn't help myself he was just too selfless not too.

Overall this was a great, real book and I ant wait to read more from Keren.

About the Author:
Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm; she has been since she read things like Black Beauty, What Katy Did and The Hobbit as a child. Her first real memories of reading are the summers she used to lie on her bed and re-read What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next.

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit OCD about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage.

She is a book reviewer and has been for the past 18 months or so.

The idea for Stolen came to her one day but she never thought she’d actually write it let alone publish it. If it wasn’t for her author friend Kira Saito, the idea would still be stuck in her head not on paper. But constant love and support from Kira is why you are now able to read Stolen.

Stolen is her first novel but now that she’s written one, she knows she needs to write more. There will be one sequel, called Freed which will be from Bodhi’s POV. This will be set a couple of years on.
Then, the plan is for her to write either NA or Adult Contemporary Romances. She has a big crush on Lady Antebellum’s music at the moment and their songs have inspired a few book ideas.

Keren loves hearing from her readers and if you want to contact her, you can do so at any of the following places:

Twitter: @Keren_Hughes
Facebook (review page): www.facebook.com/GothicAngelBookReviews
Facebook (author page): www.facebook.com/kerentshughes