Stars Shine Bright …But My Reviews Don’t Need Them

Guuuiiiseee……..

….. I’ve changed my mind.

When I started this blog I started because I enjoyed reading all types of books, and felt like it was a great way for me to share with everyone what I was reading. It was also to support friends who had published books, or were on the journey to publish. For this reason I started with no star ratings. When I first posted reviews I would write a short 200-400 word paragraph on what I disliked and liked about the story. It was a refreshing way to review without the pressure of star ratings. I later asked on my Facebook page whether people preferred stars, words, or stars and words. Most said stars and words. I tried it. I truly tried it, but I just don’t think it’s working anymore. It was just far too hard to categorise my reads and

Star ratings really do affect everyone involved, reviewer, writer, reader. I’ve noticed a lot of weight is put on to the stars, but that star ratings are a really individual thing. What I feel is a three star rating (which for the record, I think is a really good rating!) may be a one star or a five star for someone else. For me, I don’t see much value in them.

Prompted by a recent blog post by Romance Novels by the Beach, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so I‘ve decided to stop the star ratings again. In my future reviews, I will share with you what I loved, what I might not have loved, and why I think you should read that book, or who the best audience for the book is.

My hopes are now I won’t be pressured to put a book in a ‘box’. Instead I can give my opinion and share with you a well-rounded review based on the writing, the storyline, and my level of enjoyment. So now.. I will go forth and write up all the July reviews that are waiting!!


P.S Speaking of reviews. Have you heard the Amazon controversy?! They aren’t letting you review if they ‘think’ you ‘know’ the person. Strange things are happening! Check out the controversial blog post that started it all by author Imy Santiago. Read it here –> An Open Tipsy Letter to Amazon It’s gaining traction over the world and will be interesting to see what happens.

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Blog Tour & Book Review: Broken Dreams by Cassidy K. O’Connor

Genre: Young Adult A twist of fate changes her life forever… One dream put on hold to honor another… Do second chances exist? Can dreams be reclaimed? Twins, Isabelle and Ian are enjoying their senior year of high school with their whole lives ahead of them. She is auditioning for Julliard and he has offers for soccer scholarships at any school he wants. Only Isabelle knew he was planning to put off college and join the Army. Tragedy strikes one day and Ian is killed. In her grief, Isabelle decides to put her dream on hold and honor his. While deployed tragedy strikes again and she is injured. Thinking her dreams of dancing again are out of reach she gives up on life. Is she strong enough to overcome her disabilities? Can the love she finds with her brothers best friend Conner be enough to help her reclaim her dreams? amazon-logo

Excerpt: Her yoga pants stop just below the knee and are loose enough I can pull them up pretty far on her thigh. I freeze; it’s the first time since the hospital that I’ve really gotten to look at her wounds. “Hideous aren’t they?”
“Every mark, every line tells a story about someone you met over there. Each of these is a memory, this isn’t the way you would have wanted to keep them with you but that wasn’t up to you. They are your hero’s mark and you should be proud to show them off.”

Author Bio I am a born and raised Floridian who loves to travel but never forgets where my roots are. I married my high school sweetheart, have 3 kids and a crazy dog. Travelling and reading are my two favorite hobbies. I love all things Ireland and have been lucky enough to visit twice. I hope to one day watch a Major League Baseball game in every stadium in the country.

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This story definitely falls into the Young Adult category for me. I did find it a little difficult to get into the mind of the main characters, but it was because she was well written as a teen read (and for me, that was a long time ago!). The author does a good job of setting the scenes throughout and most certainly has a way of immersing such emotion into the story.

This story takes the reader through a timeline that spans a few years. The characters go through A LOT, and the story really does take the reader on that journey with them. It’s a story of heartbreak and loss, and the immeasurable feelings that come from that. At the same time, this story is about giving up one dream and creating another. Fighting back when you feel that all is lost, and living for what you believe in.

 The chapters are in alternate points of view which was done in a way that helped the story travel. I really think this story will appeal to teen readers, as well as anyone who likes a teen/young adult contemporary story. I am certain I know of quite a few young readers who would love this book. The cover is intriguing and sets the tone for exactly what is to come.

This book is out now – so grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.  Keep scrolling down below to read a fun interview with the author!

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Fun Questions:

1. What’s your favorite color? I feel most confident in red and it looks best with my coloring. This is also the color I associate with passion so I’m very drawn to it. My bedroom is a very deep red. I also love purple; ironically I rarely wear it though. 2. List 5 facts about yourself. I played bagpipes all through middle and high school I have 3 kids who are all musically and athletically talented. I married my high school sweetheart and we’re still going strong after 15 years. I love to travel. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England and France. I’m a terrible homemaker! I work full time plus write on the side so I’m not a true stay at home mom but I still really suck at cooking and cleaning. My husband is much better at taking care of the house than I am. 3. What do you like to do for fun? With three kids I rarely have time to consider my own idea of fun. When I do get out it’s for fondue at Melting Pot, music concerts, bowling and mini golf. I used to read incessantly but since I started writing I’ve found there is no time for reading too! Book Questions: 1. When did you start writing? Over the years I’ve written small things but never took it very serious. I met some Indie authors last year and learned so much about this DIY world. It was the first time I thought about writing for publishing. Knowing you don’t have to go through publishing companies and face rejections was eye opening for me. 2. Who are some of you favorite authors? What are some of your favorite books? Tessa Dare is by far my favorite and I love all of her books. I recently stumbled upon Barbara Devlin and have enjoyed her Brethren of the Coast series. My daughter is a huge fan of dystopian YA, I read everything she does so we can discuss them. For that genre I really enjoyed the Legend series by Marie Lu. 3. Who inspired you so start writing? Last year I was inspired to write a story for my hubby. He hates to read, I’ve tried buying him various genres but he never finished one. I decided to try writing a story I thought he could get through and maybe have it turn him on in the process. Amazingly he finished my story but sadly it didn’t inspire him to read anything else. 4. What genre’s do you like to read that most? Historical romance is my favorite genre; I am in awe of anyone that can write it.

Blog Tour & Review: Evergreen by Jessica Florence

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Evergreen New Release Blog Tour

Synopsis
It was supposed to be an easy stake out.
Until a bunch of bachelorettes mobbed me,changing my life forever.I couldn’t get Andi Slaton, with her red hair, blue eyes, and cotton candy flavored lip gloss out of my head.But when she offers herself to aid the FBI to help me take down the biggest criminal family in Tampa, Florida, my very sanity is put to the test watching her spend time with my arch enemy.She’s everything I want, I will be everything to her.
We will be Evergreen. ***
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Excerpt 1

Flaming red hair was piled on top of her oval face. Her blue eyes stared at me intensely. My gaze fell to her pink, pouty lips. Her lower lip was slightly bigger than her top. My thoughts immediately took a turn into the gutter. I imagined all the ways I could tease those lips, tasting them, the way they would look wrapped around my dick. I kept going with my gaze. Her skin was a sweet cream color. A blue corset wrapped around her petite frame, and a pink tutu with pink and blue checkered socks encased her long legs. Then, the outfit finally ended with “fuck me” black heels. I never would have thought all that combined in one package would be sexy, but, damn, I was all about this cotton candy woman.

“I appreciate you stripping me down with your eyes here, but I have a celebration to get back to, so here, please.”

I looked back up at her face in confusion. Then I realized she was holding my phone out to me.

“I’m an asshole. Thanks,” I told her as I grabbed my phone from her delicate hand.

“Nice to meet you, asshole. I’m Candy Tease tonight. So maybe you aren’t normally an asshole.”

She smiled at me. I found myself wanting to play with her.

“Candy Tease. I can see where you get your name.”

And I wasn’t talking about her outfit. Although I was sure that was what she thought I was talking about. She looked sweet as hell, and I definitely wanted a taste. My dick was throbbing at the thought of just how sweet she was. The sweetest of honey.

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Excerpt 2

“I don’t think you do. It’s actually a secret.” She winked at me.

That was all the warning I had before she gripped my shirt, pulling me toward her and crushing her lips to mine. She moaned against my lips. I groaned. After the initial shock hit me, I gave back to her as much as she was giving me. Her lips tasted sweet, with a flavor I couldn’t place. Those perfect lips parted, and I sure as hell took advantage of that, my tongue caressing hers.

Holy fuck, this woman was amazing!

She suddenly pulled back a bit so that our lips were barely touching. “Cotton candy-flavored lip gloss,” she whispered against me.

Then she did the strangest thing. She turned around and walked away.

What the hell?

I stood there stunned. I could still taste her. No fucking way was I going to let her walk away. She made a turn into a nightclub ahead. I started to follow her, then stopped and pulled out my phone. Those assholes were still being tracked, thank Christ. I pulled up Rex’s number and pressed call.

He answered on the first ring. “What happened?”

“I got mobbed by a group of bachelorettes and lost sight of the targets. Nice work on the tag, by the way.” I laughed remembering him stumbling like a fool.

“Yeah, well, it worked. I’ll keep tabs on our guys. It looks like they’re on the road, going south on 75. Talk to you tomorrow.”

Not much we could do now until they stopped.

“Sounds good.”

With that taken care of, I had some unfinished business to attend to. I walked like a man on a mission. I had one thought driving me. Cotton candy.

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Excerpt 3

We gathered in a circle and started swaying with the beat.

I was having a great time, when Jules moaned, “Oh Lord, I would sell my soul for a piece of that.”

Curiosity coursed through me. I started to turn around to see what guy she was looking at, when hands gripped my waist, bringing me close to a warm, hard body.

I was two seconds away from blowing my shit, when a sexy voice whispered against my ear, “Did you think I would let your sweet fucking lips walk away without another taste? I don’t think so, Cotton Candy.”

I shivered at his words. Whoever this stranger was, I didn’t want him to let me go. His hands gripped me harder bringing me flush with his obvious hard-on.

“I can’t get the taste of your lips off mind. I wonder if you are sweet everywhere. I bet you are.”

He spoke as he ran his nose up the side of my neck. The feeling made me start panting.

Dear Lord, what was this man doing to me?

“Move for me, sweetness.”

My hips started moving of their own accord; my body wanted to please him. I heard a growl of satisfaction from him. My eyes closed, just giving into the feeling of this mysterious, sexy man. I twisted my hips against him, laying my head against his shoulder. My hands slowly crept up and joined his; our fingers entwined against my corset-clad waist.

“What am I going to do with you, sweetness?” he purred against me.

I wanted nothing more than to do dirty things with him. As long as he touched me and kept talking, I was a goner. His lips touched my neck, and I practically convulsed. A moan slipped through my lips. Then someone coughed.

Excerpt 4

I let go of the man’s hands and turned around to face him. Oh my God, he was so fine. His eyes were dark and flared with desire. He was looking at me like he wanted to take me right then and there on the dance floor. Desire pooled between my legs. If he propositioned me, I wasn’t sure I would say no.

I spoke first, trying to break the spell he held over me. “Um, I have to go.” I was just full of words.

“It would appear so, Andi.” He drew out my name as he spoke, as if he was savoring my name on his lips.

I shifted from one leg to the other. He slowly moved closer. He was like a predator, and I his prey.

“This isn’t the end, sweetness. I will find out the answer to my question.”

I raised my chin slightly, bringing our lips inches from each other. “What question is that?” I whispered.

He growled and kissed my lips with a fever I’d never experienced before him. I wanted to wrap myself around him, feel all the pleasure I knew he could bring.

He slowly eased back and spoke against me. “If you taste as sweet everywhere else.”

He smiled a half-mischievous smile. That same smile made me feel bold. I wanted to accept his challenge.

“You can find out, if you can find me.”

With that gauntlet thrown down, I left him staring at me fiercely as I walked away. I threw a little extra sway in my hips as I passed through the door.

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First of all, apologies to the author for missing my blog tour time slot. Life is crazy, but when is it never not?!
As for my review:
Well this was unexpected! I went in reading this book having never read any of Jessica Florence’s previous novels. I was quite impressed with the ease of her writing. It was a pleasure to read. I really enjoy novels that are well written and allow me to cruise through it without getting overcomplicated, or over explaining things. The relationship between Ryder and Andi is a bit cute, if not marred with some tensions and distractions. There is a significant arc to the story that may have had me a little….frustrated However, I think it’s a sign of a solid author, when just a few words can cause the reader to have to pause and think some strong words that can’t be repeated! If it had been a physical book, instead of an e-book I probably would have closed the book for a bit before continuing on! It was an action packed, kismet style, sexy at times, quick read.

 I highly recommend this one, (Non-spoiler alert, of course!) especially if you’re a fan of Ed Sheeran!!

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Buy Evergreen:  amazon-logo

Other Books by Jessica Florence

Surviving Valentine

Synopsis

Beach Eyes: Beautiful gold surrounding the pupils, just like sand at the beach, and then suddenly BAM! A deep blue like the ocean.

It all started with beach eyes for Scarlet Barnette. After jumping into bed with men
without getting to know them first, she has learned it always ends in disaster. So she puts everything she has into running her self defense studio. As Valentine’s Day approaches Scarlet tries to steer clear of men who promise her a good time. Until she meets Darien Valentine and his beach eyes.
Resisting him is going to take every ounce of control she has. Especially when she finds out he is her sexy new neighbor.

Darien Valentine wants Scarlet.
As soon as he saw her, he knew he had to have her.
She says she wants to be friends before lovers. Well Darien is just going to be the best friend she will ever have. Looks like this Navy Seal has his next mission.

Will they be able to resist giving in?
And when Tragedy strikes, will they survive it at all?

Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

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Weighing of the Heart

Synopsis

The more I see the less I know for sure- John Lennon.

After living in peace for twenty five years Thalia Alexander’s life is about to change.

A black hair, grey eyed, sexy man shows up in her dreams, and then in reality. He looked like trouble with a capital T, but she couldn’t stay away. Something inside her called out for him.

Tristan Jacks is intense, and has a possessiveness for Thalia that she doesn’t understand. They just met, but it would seem like she has known him a lot longer.

Those strange dreams continue to stalk Thalia as her relationship with Tristan builds to be an epic love for the ages.

What do those dreams mean to her? Is Tristan the sexy, sweet, bad ass man he claims?

And when secrets are revealed will she be able to handle the truth?

** Not suitable for anyone under the age of 18, Language, and Sexual Content**

Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

1888809_1474805242800202_5607088414717944536_oAuthor Bio:

I am a books, movie, and music nerd. I can tell you about every book I’ve read chapter by chapter. Can tell you about every movie I’ve ever seen, and can sing songs I’ve only heard once.

I’m pretty talented right?!

I absolutely love writing. It’s been a pure dream to write and put my stories out into the world for all the lovely readers to have in their grabby hands.

I currently own my own business in Southwest Florida.

I love the warm weather, and the humidity.

I love torturing my husband 😉 playing with my dog Rogue, and making my super cute as hell baby smile.

I’m obsessed with survival stuff. Just put me out in the woods for a weekend and I will Bear Grylls it up!

I’m not a good cook, I can make quesadillas like no bodies business though!

I will always be me, and stand up for what I feel.

I am a geeky redhead that reads books, and likes to be outside.
That’s me. ❤

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Book Review: Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Tattoo Thief Cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

A rock star on the run meets his match in the stranger who wants to bring him home.

Beryl doesn’t know why Gavin Slater trashed his penthouse, abandoned his dog and fled the country. But as his house sitter, she must pick up the pieces for the front man of the white-hot rock band Tattoo Thief.tattootheifgavinandberyl

When Beryl confronts the reckless rock star, she wants to know more than just what to do with his mess. Why is he running? What’s he searching for? And is he responsible for the death of his muse? Beryl must find her footing in Gavin’s crazy world to discover her own direction and what can bring him back.

TATTOO THIEF is a full-length, standalone new adult contemporary romance (no cliffhanger). It contains steamy scenes and strong language intended for mature readers.

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Beryl, the main character is trudging along in life. She’s graduated from college, but is stuck doing something she doesn’t love. Instead of journalism, she’s managing a coffee shop. A chance meeting with an old family friend has her packing everything up from leafy Oregon, and trying to make it in the concrete jungle of New York.

Beryl takes on a housesitting job and discovers she’s looking after the house of one of the biggest rock stars in the tattootheifpromo2world, Gavin of Tattoo Thief. She starts communicating with him via email about the state of his house and what needs to be done before he gets home from his “self-imposed sabbatical”. Beryl settles into New York life and through her daily business develops a ‘relationship’ with Gavin.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book and the flow of the words had me reading this in a day. It kept me interested and wanting to know what happens. If you’re looking for a hot tattooed rock star book, then this probably isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a book about a girl who moves to the big city and rediscovers herself, and learns a valuable life lesson along the way then this is definitely the book for you.

One of my favourite lines out of the book was “Be Safe, but have an Adventure” ….

A between stars read for me – 3 ½ – I’m hanging for Gavin’s POV! IMG_20150217_141911IMG_20150217_142229

It is a part of a series and I think I’ll be picking up the rest so I can see where it all goes!

This book is currently FREE!

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Book Release & Review – Winter Wolf by Rachel Raithby

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Genre: Young Adult. Paranormal Romance. 
Katalina Winter has been living for eighteen years, with a secret hidden inside of her, a secret not even she knew.
With this secret comes consequences, expectations, one’s she’s not willing to fulfill; she’ll give her heart to whom she wishes, even if he is, a Dark Shadow wolf…
Join Katalina as she navigates her way through this world at war, where the alpha is law, and only the strong survive. You will see the power of true love, and the length’s people will go to destroy it.
**Please note this is a YA Stand alone novel, no cliffhangers**
 

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 REVIEW:

The first three chapters of this book is a whirlwind of action as the book is set up in a paranormal world of wolves and packs at war. Be sure to read them for free, I’m fairly certain you’ll want to grab the whole book to see what happens!

This young adult paranormal romance was captivating, and really sucked me in. The author has a great style of writing, and I often forgot I was reading a “young adult/teen” genre. The prose was well developed, and the story line was captivating and had me up until the early hours of the morning. Katalina has many struggles to face all of a sudden, and the way she handles them is up to the help of a wolf from the rival pack. Their story and the relationships in the book are well-developed. The supporting characters were a valuable asset to the storyline, and I enjoyed the set up of pack relations, politics, actions, and resolution. Reading this book will leave you satisfied, as the author does a wonderful job of creating a story arc that loops around and finishes without any cliff-hangers. Also – LOVE the cover!!!!

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 Click on the image below to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!
Prizes
2 E-Books of your choice to the value of 1.99
4 Rachel M Raithby Swag Packs
2 Kats Book Promotions Swag Packs

 

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About The Author:
3
I’ve being reading books for as long as I can remember but I never thought about writing until I read Nalini Singh – Slave to sensation which is the first book in her psy-changling series.
At first I just wrote fan fiction until one morning I woke up with a story of my own. Lincoln and Lexia were born! I spent 6 solid months writing and re-writing and now their story is out in the world and I am currently working on the final book Holocaust due 2015.
After the birth of my 3rd child I wrote Winter Wolf a YA Paranormal Novel which is due for Release in November.
I have lived in England, New Zealand and currently live in QLD Australia but to me England will always be home.
I’ve been a dish washer, Admin assistant, horse groom and now spend my days looking after my 3 children and writing as often as I can.
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Thanks to Kat’s Book Promotions for letting me be a part of the release blitz!

Pre-Release Blitz – Winter Wolf by Rachel M Raithby

winterwolfpolaroidGenre: Young Adult. Paranormal.

Katalina Winter has been living for eighteen years, with a secret hidden inside of her, a secret not even she knew.

With this secret comes consequences, expectations, one’s she’s not willing to fulfill; she’ll give her heart to whom she wishes, even if he is, a Dark Shadow wolf…

Join Katalina as she navigates her way through this world at war, where the alpha is law, and only the strong survive. You will see the power of true love, and the length’s people will go to destroy it.

**Please note this is a YA Stand alone novel, no cliffhangers**

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I’m looking forward to reading this book, which will be released soon! If you’d like to get a sneak peek  and read the first THREE chapters  – click on the teaser below!!!

Winter Wolf Teaser1

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About the Author:

I’ve being reading books for as long as I can remember but I never thought about writing until I read Nalini Singh – Slave to sensation which is the first book in her psy-changling series.
At first I just wrote fan fiction until one morning I woke up with a story of my own. Lincoln 3and Lexia were born!  I spent 6 solid months writing and re-writing and now their story is out in the world and I am currently working on the final book Holocaust due 2015.
After the birth of my 3rd child I wrote Winter Wolf a YA Paranormal Novel which is due for Release in November.
I have lived in England, New Zealand and currently live in QLD Australia but to me England will always be home.
I’ve been a dish washer, Admin assistant, horse groom and now spend my days looking after my 3 children and writing as often as I can.

Pre Order Links Below:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA

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