Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blog Tour & Review: Friends & Other Liars - Kaela Coble

Friends and Other Liars: A Novel
by Kaela Coble
Published: February 6th 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery

Debut Novel Explores Secrets Among Friends…and Other Liars

Sometimes the secrets we keep are more dangerous than the ones we reveal…

When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown of Chatwick, Vermont, it’s under the worst circumstances.

It’s been ten years since she’s been home, and she tells herself the solitary life she’s built in New York City suits her just fine—at least well enough to avoid slicing open the scars left by her first love, Murphy, or her bipolar, recovering alcoholic mother.

But when one of her estranged childhood friends commits suicide and another compels her to attend the funeral, guilt draws her right back into the tumultuous world she escaped from a decade ago.

Her plan—to hightail it out of town the minute the last rose hits Danny’s coffin—is delayed when her former friends are called together for a reading of Danny’s last words. Their hopes to gain some sense of closure are quickly dashed when the note drips with bitterness, accusing them of abandoning both him and the promise they once made to always love and trust one another.

As punishment, they are each handed an envelope containing their darkest secret and told they can either reveal them or keep quiet, risking the secrets coming out publicly in a trap Danny left behind.

As the secrets begin to trickle out, Ruby struggles between the pull to reconnect with the friends who once meant so much to her and the desperate need to keep the secret that changed her life.

Told from alternating viewpoints and flashbacks, Friends and Other Liars is the story of five friends coming to terms with what it means to betray the ones who love you most.

Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.

ISBN: 9781492651161; FEBRUARY 2018
$15.99 U.S.; Trade Paper; Fiction/Mystery
5 Stars
"To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he's dead."

Ruby is returning to her hometown, a place she's avoided for many years, a place people she once called her best friends still live in. Ally, Emmett, and Murphy are still holding down their positions in 'the crew,’ and expanding it with their respective partners. Ruby has made herself an outsider, but she reclaims her spot to say goodbye to Danny, the fifth member. His life lost to suicide, Ruby and her friends navigate the rough waters of grief made worse by the individual letters he has left for each of them. The envelopes hold their secrets, words that could crumble their lifelong friendship. Danny is the key to the friends reconnecting again, but time and age hasn't changed how these individuals are drawn to one another, nor does it stop them from uncovering old wounds in desperation to hide their secrets.

"Each playing their part in mourning-the bereaved, the wilted, the guilty."

Friends and Other Liars is the debut novel of author Kaela Coble and the first novel to secure a spot in my Top 10 of 2018 List. Yes, it is only January 11, 2018 and I am already calling it. I was riveted by this book, unable to pay attention to anything else as I slipped into the various perspectives of the friends that make up the past and present 'crew.' Told in past and present tense, Friends and Other Liars take readers on a tragic journey through the lies we tell our friends. Spanning several years, from childhood to young adult to their twenties, we are treated to the inner thought of each member as the deal with the loss of their longtime friend Danny and the holder of all their deepest secrets. We see them relive moments from high school, times where they questioned the solidness of their friendships and times when they relied on one another so heavily they didn't realize how much they'd shared.

"Talk about secrets turning you into something dark..."

I loved each character and their individuality, each was so complex and goes through vast even further development by the end of the novel. As individuals, they might come across as boring, but they make up a very interesting group of friends. Similar to the movies we see about high school friends, there is the insecure, good looking one, the smart one, the bad kid, the jock, and finally the one that's just been there all along. Set in a small town fueled by gossip and a growing drug problem, it was obvious from the start that Friends and Other Liars was going to be dramatic. For me, the drama felt personal, my hometown very similar to that of the crew's and my experiences with loss as painful. It's a tragic novel, but written in a suspenseful way and with beautiful prose. The chapters set in the past are filled with nostalgia and the present is filled with extensive detail and mature dialogue.

"They're both really good at ignoring problems."

I often struggle with novels about the loss of a friend, I find them painful to read as they bring up personal experiences I have had. With Friends and Other Liars I found that Kaela Coble had really nailed the emotions around loss so perfectly, but she took it all to the next level with the secrets and darkness the friends keep hidden from one another. It's a dramatic book based on a horrifying matter, but it is done so very well. Kaela Coble successfully tears apart all the characters have known about their friends, about their own lives, but she sews it all back up quite perfectly. With a fantastic, well-rounded set of characters, an intriguing storyline, and a powerful epilogue, Friends and Other Liars is a must read.

ARC provided via Netgalley.
About the Author

Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter: @kaelacoble

A copy of Friends and Other Liars
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Release Blitz & Review: Gods & Monsters - Saffron A. Kent

Gods & Monsters
Author: Saffron A. Kent
Genre: Contemporary/New Adult Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2018

He was an artist. She was his muse.

To everyone in town, Abel Adams was the devil's spawn, a boy who never should have been born. A monster.
To twelve year-old Evie Hart, he was just a boy with golden hair, soft t-shirts and a camera. A boy who loved taking her picture and sneaking her chocolates before dinner. A boy who made her feel special.
Despite her family's warnings, she loved him in secret for six years. They met in empty classrooms and kissed in darkened church closets. Until they couldn't.
Until the time came to choose between love and family, and Evie chose Abel.
Because their love was worth the risk. Their love was the stuff of legend.
But the thing about legends is that they are cautionary tales. They are made of choices and mistakes. And for Abel and Evie, the artist and the muse, those mistakes come in the form of lights, camera, sex.
NOTE: This is NOT a paranormal or a priest romance.

Gods & Monsters Links
Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
Free in Kindle Unlimited
4 Stars

Gods & Monsters is about what you think it is about in a very small way, but beyond that it really is a years long tale of two young children caught in the midst of a small town's ugly beliefs. It's a story of their strength and their bravery and their determination to not be like their parents. It's their journey into adulthood as their innocence is taken from them and they discover the truths of the world on their own. It's about companionship and hope and the unjust things that can weigh you down if you let them. The book follows Evie and Abel, children not meant to interact that ignore the rules and find friendship and love in one another. 

"But something makes Abel Adams different."

I loved Evie for so many things, but particularly for her strength and acceptance. She faced everything with optimism and viewed everything from childlike eyes, even as she grew into an adult. Abel was a hard character to love, his past making him hard and angry, the love from Evie barely enough to light his way. Though their friendship and romance is sweet, the journey they take together is dark and fraught with hardships. Both children do not know the type of love they deserve and, though they find it in each other, it affects them when they are older. Both struggle with anger, with their desperate need to be together and the things they must do to actually succeed together. They grow up to fast, missing the things they shouldn't have to miss, but finding a way to do it together anyway. It was heartbreaking to read, so many scenes hurt me and felt so real, and so many scenes made me very angry too, but ultimately I just loved these two and loved what they found in each other. 

"And then, when I've given you everything, I'll take. Whatever I want."

I deducted a star due to my need for more from Gods & Monsters, it just felt like something was missing especially with the lack of changing POV until the very end. I understood the reasoning, I absolutely felt the impact of the transition and why Saffron A. Kent went that route, but I think most of the gaps in the story stemmed from Abel. I wanted more of his story to be revealed, I wanted the recovery of their relationship to be detailed, I just...wanted more. I'm like Ariel from The Little Mermaid over here, haha. Additionally, I would have really appreciated timeline markers in Part I of the story, as the time moved quickly and it did take me a few pages into each chapter to realize that our main character had aged. That said, I did enjoy how the book was broken into parts and each had a very significant message and complex storyline that was unique to the characters and the story as it progressed.

"They say history repeats itself more often than not. There's poetry in nature. A symmetry."

Overall, Gods & Monsters was a fantastic read and I really found it to be a unique contemporary romance that readers will enjoy reading. Much of it was unexpected, yet relevant to many issues youth face today. As a coming-of-age story, it is very fitting of the times and I appreciated the introspective evaluations of self that each character went through. It's the sort of book where you can see something is coming and it's shocking when it does, but it also is the sort of book where you have to trust the characters, that they will do what's right and that the author, Saffron A. Kent, will do right by them too.
Author Bio

Writer of bad romances. Aspiring Lana Del Rey of the Book World. 

Saffron is a big believer in love (obviously). She believes in happily ever after, the butterflies and the tingling. But she also believes in edgy, rough and gutsy kind of love. She believes in pushing the boundaries, darker (sometimes morally ambiguous) emotions and imperfections.
The kind of love she writes about is flawed just like her characters. And she hopes by the end of it, you’ll come to root for them just as much as she does. Because love, no matter where it comes from, is always pure and beautiful.
She is represented by Meire Dias of Bookcase Agency 

Author Links

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Release Blitz: Elite - Carrie Aarons

A Privileged Novel
Author: Carrie Aarons
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: February 18, 2018

If you’re in, you’ll never have to ask. If you ask, you’ll never be in.

Eloise Mason knows what it’s like to live among the privileged. Seeking a change from the upper crust society of Europe, she flies halfway across the world for a semester abroad in the one place guaranteed to toss responsibility out the window and provide some good, old-fashioned fun; college in The United States.
Except nothing at the picturesque, Ivy-covered university in Vermont appears as it seems. And after a mysterious invitation arrives on her doorstep, curiosity wins over the need to turn her back on games meant for the rich and ruthless.
Secret societies, risky tasks, and an inner circle to rival the royals. But it may just be one American boy who threatens to be the most dangerous endeavor of all.
Colton Reiter defines the word idolized at Jade Mountain University. In fact, he practically rules the roost from the three point line of the basketball court. The college’s star point guard, he is a god and treated as such; professional scouts at every game, teachers looking the other way when it comes to grades, and girls falling into his lap at the snap of a finger. He wants for nothing, or at least that’s what he wants everyone to believe.
But when he meets the sassy girl with the British accent who could care less about his status, her very existence threatens to unveil the skeletons buried deep in the back of his closet.
With stakes this high, and hearts on the line, can they turn their backs on power and popularity before the ivory tower comes crashing down on their heads?


Purchase Links
99c for a limited time
Free in Kindle Unlimited

Also Available

99c for release day only!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.

Author Links

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Release & Review: Sordid - Ava Harrison

Author: Ava Harrison
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 16, 2018 
It was his lips.
The way his stare sent shivers down my spine.
The way his rough voice whispered my name.
So I caved.
I did what I knew I shouldn’t.
But as quickly as he’s there, he’s gone.

Leaving me confused. 
I hope I’ll never see him again…
Then I do. 

He’s my new boss. 
And he has secrets.
*Sordid is a COMPLETE standalone novel.

5 Stars
Bridget is determined to make a name for herself without the help of her parents or her sisters. She's always been the shadow, but it turns out her first big job isn't working out how she planned and when she lands on the steps of The L she doesn't have a choice but to work for the one family she doesn't want to work for. Except, her boss is the man she met one lonely, drunken night and found herself enjoying his lips, and fingers, in some alley by a dumpster. He's the kind of guy you're supposed to forget, the kind that leaves you hanging and even angrier, but working with him reveals another side to him. She finds herself desperate to help him and soon she's under his spell.
Grant Lancaster is the outcast of his family, his success dependent on his own hard work, if only someone else wasn't trying to ruin everything along the way. He may be estranged from his family, but he doesn't wish any harm on them and he's trying to save them and his new hotel as best he can. When the beautiful, sassy girl from the alley becomes his right hand woman he becomes even more insufferable, but she proves there's more to her than some rushed kisses. He finds himself being better because of her, his hope for his hotel returning, and his hope for a future with her by his side encouraging him along. Things aren't that easy though and there's one woman desperate to ruin it all, for everyone.

"If she get's too close, I'll cave. The flowery smell of her hair, the mint on her breath, I'll come undone."

My first Ava Harrison book, y'all, and I'm giving it 5 stars! I've been wanting to branch out and after seeing a lot of love for Ava Harrison I decided to give Sordid a try and I am so glad I did. I was completely caught up in this book, I loved every single part of it. It's classic boy meets girl, their connection instant, but they're unable to be anything more thanks to a number of things. The chemistry between these two is palpable, the sizzling looks they share and non-PG thoughts giving away just how much they want each other. I love boss employee relationships, especially when there's more to the story than just the relationship between the two. Grant is handsome, unbearable, and the keeper of a pile of secrets that weigh him down day in and day out. I love that our first glimpse of him is the honest Grant, because overtime it was really easy to hate him and I had to remind myself he was being held back from who he truly was. Bridget, on the other hand, is likeable in every single way. She's smart and determined, with the usual little sister syndrome. She's also the thing that brings out the best in Grant, but she does that by not giving in and by giving him her best attitude. Though their connection is instant, it's how they work together at both work and at some semblance of a relationship that makes the book so good.

"I don't mean them to be anything other than an offer of help, but they sound like so much more."

Things definitely get messed up in this novel, there's some moments of shock, some ultra sexy moments, and some really huge moments that will make you angry. Grant's past isn't pretty, but Ava Harrison sells you on him and even with all the ugly you find yourself loving him and cheering his change along. There are a handful of secondary characters, they each move the story along in their own way, but obviously Chelsea, who you will meet, is the worst. I struggled through every scene that involved her, angry at Grant and also angry for him. I felt like I was Bridget the entire time I read, my reactions mirroring hers in the books. Her decisions were similar to the ones I would've made in a similar situation and I had a lot of compassion for her as she dealt with Grant and Chelsea. The struggle she goes through is hard, but worth it in the end and definitely makes for the perfect HEA.

"As if I'll save him. As if I could."

I loved Sordid and I am so glad it was my first Ava Harrison book. The characters were complex and Ava's writing is so descriptive and emotive. I loved this entire book, front to back, and I definitely think it's a must read for romance readers. Also, there's sexy times in the office, it is impossible not to enjoy that!
Ava Harrison is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author. 
When she's not journaling her life, you can find her window shopping, cooking dinner for her family, or curled up on her couch reading a book. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Whatcha Reading Wednesday: Valentine's Day Edition

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday, whether you celebrate today or just treat it like any other! I'm spending today with my significant other, after work that is, but I have always thought the idea of a Galentine's Day sounds like so much fun. ❤️ I also think the idea of lazing around with a good book sounds like the perfect thing for the day, so I thought I'd share some romance novels with you all!

It's a happy mix of old, new releases, and upcoming releases with a little something for everyone. I have included the Goodreads, Amazon purchase link, and my review link if available.

I am currently reading:
Celia Aaron surprised all of us yesterday with this sexy little release, so of course I have to read it today. It's quick, it's very steamy, and it's just 99 pennies.
Her Professor's Valentine - Celia Aaron
Having a crush on her demanding—and sexy—law school professor seemed inevitable for Penny. Professor Elliot was smart, hot, and intense. There was only one problem: Professor Elliot never looked at her, never so much as glanced her way since he called roll on the very first day. When professor and student are thrown together by chance, Penny will discover just how far her professor will go to make her his Valentine. 

Goodreads | Amazon 

Available Now:

Coming Soon (pre-order today!):

Goodreads | Review

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