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Nessa

~V~ Whirlwindbooks

When I'm not performing my duties as a mother, wife, trainer, taxi-driver, tutor, or chef, I read. I have a foul mouth (which I try to filter--but most of the time, fail), and I love to write. 

Currently reading

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Anne Rice, A.N. Roquelaure
Guilty Pleasures
Laurell K. Hamilton
Levitating Las Vegas
Jennifer Echols
Taken by midnight
Lara Adrian
Let Love In (Love, #1)
Melissa Collins
Whirlwind Books

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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Vanessa has completed her goal of reading 102 books in 2013!
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Late Night Ramblings...

Okay, for me it's late.  I am overwhelmed by all the different avenues there are in which to pimp authors, bloggers, books, etc.  I used to play on FB with a personal page but honestly, anyone who really talks to me about non-book related things, I know in real life...(shhh! My book friends are so much better anyway).  I just joined twitter (@crumbvwwb), I am super active (probably more than I have time for) with the blog I co-review for.  Make sure you check it out--www.whirlwindbooksandreviews.com, Goodreads (which I love), and now this!  Sheesh, my husband will never see me! Lol. I have a feeling something will have to give...I'm just afraid it might be something in reality instead of this lovely fantasy world of never-ending books to be read!  Alright, off to check the email one.more.time. then to bed...5:30 comes really fast! XOXO

From one of my all-time favorite series: Eyes Wide Open (#3 in the Blackstone Trilogy) by Raine Miller.  *sigh*

 

 

 

Let's see if this works...

Hi!  I'm Vanessa & I am addicted to books...I should be reading now, but instead I am playing on this site and I'm kind of excited!  So...here is a little picture until I can come back and fully experience all that booklikes has to offer!  *winks and waves*

Freeing Asia (Breaking Free, #1) - E.M. Abel I love when authors know how to use their words, and Abel...let's just say, her words flowed like the sweet smoke of a well-rolled...yeah, you get my drift. It was hot, it was sweet, it was real. Freeing Asia is a FABULOUS debut novel and I absolutely loved it. Asia is a strong-willed, fierce woman who realizes her strength is so much more than what she gives herself credit for. Reading this book had me wondering who the guy would be, where she/they would end up and gave me a wonderful insight into the lives of every character introduced. Definitely a book to read & an author to watch out for! **5 Smoking Hot Stars**. Please hold for full review...
Price of a Kiss - Linda Kage I think I seriously have a new favorite author...amazing book! Cannot wait for my tour stop on 9/23!
Beautiful Chances (The Beautiful Series #1) - Alicia Rae So, despite having quite a few loose ends...and me liking the emotion of Lily's loss over the love story between her & Kyle, it was a good book. Full review to come on 9/20 with my tour stop.
Crash Into Me - K.M. Scott Review to come with my tour date on 9/19.
Beautiful Broken Mess (Broken Series, #2) - Kimberly Lauren  photo WWBReview.jpg
Tattered Love (Needle's Kiss #1) - Lola Stark Hell yeah!! Review to come with my tour date, 9/15! Lola, I love you and your very dirty boys!



**FULL REVIEW**

“The store was my life, my bread and butter, my father’s legacy in a way. He too had a passion for body art and encouraged me every day to ‘step outside the box’ and ‘do what makes you want to get out of bed every day. There’s no sense in doing something that makes your life mundane.’ I knew he’d be proud of me.”

Scarlett doesn’t need anyone. She is perfectly content to just have fun, focus on her work, and take care of her baby—a cherry-red 1967 Shelby Cobra GT500. Owning her own tattoo parlor is a dream come true and has provided a safe-haven for Scar to do what she loves.



Beautiful, with dark hair laced with vibrant color that changes daily, Scarlett is anything but a girly-girl (she’s pretty badass). Working alongside two men, Remy and Trip, Scarlett is perfectly content in her life…long given up on the hope of finding “The One”.

Who knew that someone she already knew would be that guy…



Mace. All lean muscle, buzzed hair, blue-eyed gorgeous, hot as all get out, saunters into Needle’s Kiss. Surprise! Mace is Trip’s older brother and he’s back in town. Permanently. And he’s staying right across the street from Scar. Let the fun begin; because it is just that, fun. No way could anything ever come from a little harmless flirting, maybe a roll in the sack…right?

“Scarlett took a small step back on wobbly legs. I nodded toward her boots and observed, ‘Got a pair just like those. Never seen ‘em lookin’ like that though.’ ‘Like what?’ Sauntering away from her, I smirked. ‘Sexy as f~ck.’”

Oh, he plays dirty. Well, Scarlett is more than capable of holding her own when it comes to men. What neither of them realize is that both are looking for something “more”. On the surface it may be all about talking dirty, a little sexy time, and harmless fun; but deep down, there is a connection between them that cannot be denied. Too bad they are both standing in their own way; Mace because of secrets buried that hurt too much to dig up, and Scarlett because she’s been hurt one too many times, leaving her with a fortress around her heart.

“Once I laid her down in bed, she reached up, stroked my face and babbled, ‘You were just supposed to be a one night stand but you poked my eye, and kissed me sweet and listened to my car. Now, I kinda wanna keep you.’”

All a girl needs is her best friend and a little alcohol to break down some of those walls…and a man who is receptive to what she’s REALLY saying, even when she’s pushing him away. We can only hope that Mace’s past doesn’t catch up with him, erecting the walls he has worked so hard to tear down. At the same time, Scarlett has to remember: Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Can she put aside her fear of being broken again in order to have EVERYTHING she’s ever wanted?



“Scar, inside right now is a sexy-as-hell guy, who’s so into you, it’s kinda scary. He’s a decent guy from what I can see, and you are standing in your own way. What if he’s IT, babe? What if he’s not just another asshole wrapped in tin foil? What if he’s your knight in shining armor? Are you going to throw that chance away because you’re a little scared?”

Go get ‘em girl! I LOVE LOVE LOVED this book! It pulled me in from the very first chapter and kept me glued until the very last page (which I’m not very happy with you about that, Lola—it’s too long to wait to find out what happens next)! Mace & Scarlett are a sizzling couple, with some of the hottest love scenes I’ve ever read…and re-read. I am a huge fan of a dirty-talking man and Mace does not disappoint! The dual POV of sexy banter, witty conversation and chemistry between the characters is truly magical, along with a storyline that keeps you engrossed from start to finish. Stark’s attention to detail in even the most simple of ways made this story not only believable, but real. It has everything I would look for in a great book, or even movie (as that is how it plays in my mind) and I cannot wait to see where the story goes in “Conflicted Love”.

“As I drifted toward sleep, I swear I heard her whisper a barely audible, ‘Don’t break my heart; I don’t think I could take it.’”

**5 Needle Kissing Stars**
Pearl (Alexandre Chevalier's Story, #1) - Arianne Richmonde Hmmmm....can't say I didn't see that coming. Review to come with my tour date on 9/13.

**FULL REVIEW**

“How did I know all this at the tender age of twenty-five? I won’t go into it now, but trust me, I know women. I’ve been intimate with the female species—because they are a ‘species’ unto their own…Because I started young, but the time I was college age, I really was au fait with the physical and physiological machinations of the female sex. Not that I went to college. Not for long, anyway. I was too busy plotting to take over the world, shut in my man cave. Coding. Being a nerd. Designing HookedUp. But as most people know, nerds get their revenge…I was right…by the time I was the grand old age of twenty, I’d played the field so much that all I wanted was a safe, stable relationship with a normal girl…and that somebody was Pearl Robinson.”


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As much as this was the same story, it was very different. Reading Pearl & Alexandre’s story from his point-of-view gave me a new and deeper perspective on this relationship between an older woman and younger man. I can honestly say, Alexandre is hot. I thought he was pretty hot before…now, oh.my.goodness. *swoon-worthy for sure* I love books told from the male POV and this is no exception. Listening to the inner monologue of a man is like uncharted territory, hearing the thoughts and feelings that most of the time as a woman, we miss; Arianne captured him perfectly.

“It was evident that neither of us could keep away from each other. Love is not logical. If it were, we would all be able to follow the rules and live in a nice, neat, square box. Love is a hurricane or a tsunami. It hits you when you least expect it. And what you have to work out…is how to survive it.”

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I am so excited to see where things lead between Alexandre and Pearl. What new challenges will they face as they continue on their journey? Seeing things from his side and then watching them unfold just a little further than in Shades of Pearl…it was pretty magical, and I kind of loved it.

**4 Double-Infinity Stars**
Forty Shades of Pearl (The Pearl Trilogy, #1) - Arianne Richmonde The story-line...not bad. The terminology for body-parts....oy! I could only laugh because no one seriously refers to their lady-parts as a "Venus mound". Ever. Even if she's 8 years old...this woman is 40!! Bahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Okay, okay, for real, review coming soon. I am going to now read this from Alexandre's POV. I know a Frenchman is not going to call his parts anything crazy...I hope! :-)

**FULL REVIEW**

“My dream is to run through lavender fields, taste the sun on my skin, and be loved forever and ever by this man’s side; this man who has seduced me with his quirky sense of humor, with sex, and now his home-made food, and hints of what could be in the future.”

A girl can dream…

A woman needs to make things happen. Pearl Robinson; a woman who is solely focused on her career, being that is the only thing she has these days. Middle-aged, divorced, and with no hope for the future of her love-life, but promising as a producer for independent films; it seems Pearl’s life is destined to be a lonely one.

That is, until she accidentally meets the man of her dreams. Wait? He’s fifteen years her junior, incredibly handsome, is part of a huge Social Media enterprise, and French! Pearl doesn’t know what hits her when this man approaches her in the coffee shop not even an hour after she misses him (for a business meeting) at a local IT conference. Fate has better plans for Pearl and Alexandre than just a business encounter.

Alexandre is a different breed of man. He has lived more in his short 25 years than most men and women have, life experiences starting at a very young age, and hard-times making him into the man he is now. He has an appreciation for women, seasoned women; women who have lived…not a girl who does nothing but hang on his every word. Pearl is that woman, and what’s more, she’s American. The American woman who will change Alexandre in ways he never realized.

Oh, what a ride they are in for!

“What about French women? Do you see a difference there?”…He ponders this. “Not so much the women themselves, but people’s attitudes towards them. In America, youth is worshipped. In France we love WOMEN. Girls are for boys. Women are for men. At least, I speak for myself. I am attracted to women, not girls.”

I won’t tell you there isn’t a complication in this dynamic between a young man and older woman…but this story just works. Alexandre and Pearl share a connection despite outside influences and obstacles. Aside from the very comical names used for Pearl’s “lady-parts”, I enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to finding out the rest of the story…Alexandre is a prideful, strong, Frenchman. Pearl is a beautiful, insecure, American woman. Wondering if they can really get past all that stands in their way.

**3.5 Cougar-Lust Stars**
Tears of Tess - Pepper Winters Twistedly amazing! Who needs sleep when you read books like this? Review to come with my tour stop on 9/11.

http://www.whirlwindbooksandreviews.com/2013/09/tears-of-tess-book-tour-v.html

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**REVIEW**

“My mind fractured, literally unthreaded, splitting into two entities. The girl I was; my hopes and dreams, aspirations and love for Brax all blazed bright and true. My insecurities and need for love saddened me. I saw my own fragility. But that didn’t matter, because the other part—the new part—was fierce. This girl had no brokenness or issues. She was warrior, who’d seen blood, stared monsters in the face, and knew without a doubt her life would be hers again.”




Never in her life would Tess have imagined how things could change in a blink of an eye. What started out as a romantic vacation to Mexico with her boyfriend, Brax; ended with him beaten on a bathroom floor and Tess…



Taken. Beaten. Bruised. Branded. Sold.

After fighting her way through captivity in Mexico and handed off to a very powerful man in France, Tess bides her time until she can return to the life she knew. One where she feels safe, but incomplete. Being in captivity has taught Tess a few things about life, about people, and most importantly, about herself. She is no longer the woman she once knew; a broken girl who would sacrifice her needs just to make sure she is wanted. No, that woman is gone. In her place stands a woman who realizes she was never broken to begin with…and absolutely wanted.



“Our eyes locked, and something tingled across my flesh. Fear? Terror? Something inside knew he was dangerous. His lips twitched as I sucked in a breath. He removed hands from pockets and placed them on the banister, his fingers long and strong, even from this distance. The way he stared became too much. I felt undone, stripped to my soul. I stepped back, bumping against the guard behind. He bent his head, whispering in my ear, ‘Say hello to your new master.’”


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I cannot even begin to explain my feelings. Tess is stronger than any woman I have read about. She has needs and wants, some of them very dark in deed. I loved her…shit, I think I want to be her. Fearless despite being terrified. Continuing to rise up against whatever is thrown her way, not by dodging it, but by staring it in the face, with a kick to the nuts and punch to the throat; Tess is a delicate bad-ass. Knowing that she has desires unlike anyone she has ever known…until she comes face to face with the beast himself—Q.




Q is her match in every dark way possible. Where she wants to give, he longs to take. But Q has his own demons that he faces on a daily basis. He is not really the monster both he and she think he is…is he? Tall, dark, handsome, with a lethal beauty and grace about him, Quincy Mercer is Tess’ new Master. There is just one problem; Tess is not like the other girls that have come to Q in the past…she’s a fighter, and she will fight him with everything she has until she escapes or dies. Q only hopes he can contain himself long enough to see things through with Tess; she is nothing like anyone he has ever known, and everything he’s ever wanted.



Rules broken. Desires awakened. Hearts involved. Lust and love become interchangeable…or just blurred lines between captor and captive, master and slave, man and woman. Life becomes more than just going through the motions…

“The thought rocked my soul. While being Q’s prisoner, I’d never been so alive. Sure, he was a bastard, and the things he did weren’t legal, but at the same time he made me LIVE.”



“For the first time in my life, I felt a bond. A profound connection, and intrinsic part of me belonged to him. Not just master and slave, but man and woman. Was he the man to make my heart sing? This overbearing Dom who wanted me to submit one moment, then wrapped me in cotton wool the next?”

What else can I say without giving everything away? This book rocked me. It made me laugh, cry, and hot as hell…Pepper definitely found a fairytale wrapped in a very warped package. I loved learning about Tess and how she might think something was wrong with her, yet fully embracing her desires when put in a situation with just the “right” person. I loved Q and all his messed-up back and forth, he of course is hardest on himself…a dark legacy and his own “wrong” desires, kept me guessing. I am completely in love with both the man and the beast that is Quincy Mercer. A man who fights with himself over what he really wants only to have met his match in a woman he never expected…yeah, it was good.



“Q narrowed his eyes, our souls screamed at each other, unhindered by human words.
I want to hurt you.
I want to own you.
I want to devour you.
I want to make you mine.
I am already yours.”


Yes. I. Am.

**5 Finding Monsters in the Dark Stars**

The Flesh Cartel, Season 1: Damnation - Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau Um...I don't even know what to say. This was probably one of the hardest books I've ever read. I feel horrible saying that because usually I'm all for the "dark" books. Something about having these horrible things happening to men just twisted my stomach in ways it doesn't when I read about the same situations women are in. (Gosh, I cannot believe I just admitted that).

So, here is my review, plain and simple: I'm now hooked. I'm hooked because my morbid curiosity has gotten the best of me and I truly want to know what happens to Mat & Dougie. I'm hoping that I have experienced the worst of what happens to them (because that has very well scarred me for life)and that it can only get better from here...what ever better may be.

What I liked about the book: I like that I could see it from both brothers POV. I liked the beginning and end where you heard from "the buyer". I also liked the relationship between the brothers...that I think is what broke me too.

What I didn't like about the book: I did not like that there was not a clear switch between the POV's. I found that a little confusing...I had to go back and re-read to see who was talking. I had a really hard time with the content and how horribly graphic is was. (Now, that is also what kept me reading--see very morbid fascination).

All in all--I gave this 4 Stars. I'm afraid to keep reading and will probably wait a minute before continuing the series...but I will come back. I have to know if everything works out.
Arsen - Mia Asher I am so wrecked right now, I can't even form complete thoughts....amazing, heart-shattering awesomeness I just read. Review to come with the tour 9/2.

Review:

Arsen--C&B photo Julian-Marti-hellcats-31079543-500-282.jpg

“’Babe, please…don’t give up. It will be okay…’ As I return his embrace, I believe the earnest prayer he’s chanting in my ear, and I believe his words with my whole heart, but even Ben can’t stop the numbness settling around me, settling around my heart.
I can feel myself withdrawing from him.
From his love.
From my marriage.
And there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
Nothing.”


Cathy:
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Ben:
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Cathy and Ben have an epic love. The kind of love most people only dream about. Meeting by chance and having that instant connection is stuff books are made of, right? Well, this story is just that way…except it isn’t. This story is real (as real as real gets in fiction); a story where life gets ugly and someone gives up. Cathy is that person.

Devastated over their losses and continued struggles, Cathy mentally checks out of her marriage. Ben, being the man that he is, doesn’t want to believe that this “road block” is permanent; instead choosing to hold on tighter and work harder in order to move forward. What Ben doesn’t do, is listen. He hears Cathy’s cries for help, but doesn’t absorb them the way she needs him too; causing her to shut down and shut him out.

“With this huge gaping hole inside me, and my taunting doubts as constant companions, I’m left hollow, angry, and afraid of intimacy with my own husband. Physical intimacy won’t close that gap.”

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Finding a way to cope with everyday life is becoming more and more of a struggle for Cathy. She is growing resentful of her “perfect” husband and his need to “fix” her. Pushing him away doesn’t help…but along comes a distraction, one Cathy had never anticipated to destroy her life as she knows it: Arsen.

“It’s funny that his name reminded me of fire because he certainly looked like someone who could burn you to the ground.”

Arsen:
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And so the match is struck. There is an instant attraction to the forbidden; fight as she may, Cathy ultimately caves to the fire that will burn her marriage to ashes. Arsen. Playboy heir to a hotel fortune. A man who was supposed to be a boy, and has absolutely no regard for other people’s lives…sometimes, even his own. Reckless and young, Arsen goes for what he wants, and he wants Catherine. Knowing that she is married I guess is part of the allure…I mean, who doesn’t want what they can’t have? Cathy suddenly finds herself tangled into a web of deceit that she no longer has any interest in getting out of.

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“I loved the attention he paid to me and the way he made me feel. Alive. Happy. He made me forget. Ignorance is bliss, right? Well, knowledge is misery. And the truth hurts.”

Finding solace in the arms of another seems to be the only thing that keeps her together (at least in her mind). This is NOT normal! This is NOT okay! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Every alarm bell is going off in my head, my heart, my stomach was even in knots as I watched the story unfold. What I didn’t anticipate was that Arsen did something for Cathy that her husband couldn’t do (not because he actually couldn’t but because she wouldn’t let him); he gave her hope back. Arsen convinced Cathy that life is what you make of it…and you have to make it work, no matter the obstacles.

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“’Life without love, without chasing your dreams, is nothing. It means nothing. It’s a sad f*cking empty shell, Catherine. It’s so easy to drown in darkness, to let it smother you, swallow you whole, to be blinded by it. But you gotta fight. You gotta f*cking fight…You need to look the f*cking sick joke that is life straight in the eye and tell it to bring its f*cking A game because you shouldn’t go down without a fight.’”

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What does a woman do, who feels she has nothing left of her life? A woman who feels less or not worthy. How can one cope with those immense feelings of despair, pain, and loneliness when she, herself has no control over the very make-up of her being? Cathy doesn’t cope. She retreats. She self-soothes (in the worst possible way). Unfortunately, she isn’t the only one who pays the price of her indiscretion.

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“And now I have to face the music. I have to make a choice once again. And it doesn’t matter what choice I make. Which path I choose to follow. Either way, I will break my own heart. I will lose a part of myself.
But I think I already have.
I love two men.
And this time, the monster that I am, the one I’ve become, will bring someone else down with me. It’s the darkness in me, I tell you…it follows me everywhere I go, spreading like spilled black ink on white paper.”


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I can’t even tell you how many times I broke down sobbing while reading this book. It tore my heart to shreds. I couldn’t even escape it in my dreams because it played like a movie on repeat. All I could do was picture the agony that each person went through on their separate journeys through hell. I absolutely do not sympathize with anyone who cheats on their spouse. I also think there are two sides to every story. Mia does a phenomenal job of describing her characters and with the attention to detail for every aspect…ugh, tearing up just thinking about it. I loved that this book touched on multiple POV’s because it gave insight as to what the other was feeling while events were taking place. I highlighted so many passages in this book, I’m surprised there was any unmarked text…what I found interesting though; most of it was with Ben or from Ben’s POV. So, yes, I am totally TEAM Ben.

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“Falling in love with someone is easy. It’s loving when the newness has worn off, when life gets tough, when things get in the way, when physical passion is gone, that true love remains. When love can conquer it all.”

I only wish it were enough for her to remember that in the beginning; before the fire started burning for someone else…before everything went up in smoke…all because she fell for Arsen.


**5 Charred-Heart Stars**
Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2) - Colleen Hoover It was just as good from Holder's POV...


“My teeth are clenched, my jaw is tight, and my pulse is pounding in my head. I’ve never hated anyone more than in this moment. The intensity of what I wish I could do to him right now is even scaring me.”

Forcing someone to do something or not do something never works out for the person doing the enforcing. Dean Holder learns this in a very hard way. Being naturally protective of his twin sister, Lesslie, Holder takes matters into his own hands when it comes to her. Grayson (you remember him), is a douche (yeah, he was always that way) and while Les is at home, missing her boyfriend; Grayson is hanging out at a party with some random girl straddled on his lap. Rather than tell his sister, Holder forces Grayson to end his relationship with her (over the phone no less), not knowing that it would be the final nail in his sister’s coffin. The tragedy that follows leaves Holder with more than unanswered questions…he’s left with a never-ending guilt. Guilt over Les, his mother, and most of all, losing Hope.

“I don’t know if she’s in a place where she can see me right now, or if she’s even in a place at all, but in case she can see this…I want her to know how her selfish decision affected me. How hopeless she left me. Literally hopeless. And completely alone. And so, so incredibly sorry.”



When all else fails after Les’s death, Holder starts to write. He writes in a journal he found in her room; a journal that was meant for her to express what was happening in her life…instead it was left empty. Pages and pages of nothing. That is all that is left of Les; and Holder, as much as he won’t admit, isn’t ready to let her go. So, he writes. He writes to Les almost daily; maybe it’s his way of grieving or just a way to feel closer to the one person he thought he could save. He had already lost Hope, losing Les was just too much.

“What are the chances that the only two girls in my life I’ve ever loved…I’ve lost? It’s killing me piece by piece every single day. I know I should probably find a way to try to get over it…to let go of the blame. But to be honest, I don’t want to get over it. I don’t want to forget that my inability to protect either of you is why I’m the only one of us left…Yeah, I definitely need a reminder. Maybe I should get a tattoo.”




Hopeless is Sky’s story. In Losing Hope, we learn the ins and outs of Dean Holder and how he came to be the “bad-boy” we met in Hopeless. What makes his POV different is that it starts prior to his chance meeting of the girl we learn to be Hope. What makes it the same is that we get to experience Sky/Hope’s story again (which was amazing) through Holder’s eyes. Maybe it’s just me, but I love books from the guys POV…something about being in their heads.

“I wonder if it’s possible for people to fall in love with a person one characteristic at a time, or if you fall for the entire person at once.”





I fell in love with Holder all over again in this book. Colleen Hoover is a master when it comes to capturing the feelings of both her characters and her readers. My heart hurt all over again for completely different (and yet the same) reasons. In the words of Holder:

“I’m pretty sure it’s too soon to love her, but shit. She’s got to stop doing and saying these unexpected things that make me want to fast-forward whatever’s going on…”



Yeah, this book had that effect on me.

**5 I Live You Holder Stars**

My Dean & Sky/Hope:

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Bully (Fall Away, #1) - Penelope Douglas Forgive my language but that was FUCKING AMAZING! I think Penelope might be one of my new favorite authors...Review to come on 8/27 for my blog tour stop!
Make sure you check the blog with the entire post (a little later) for an excerpt from Penelope's next book: Until You. http://www.whirlwindbooksandreviews.com

Review:

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“Jared walked into the kitchen, and I froze. He was exactly the person I’d hoped not to see tonight. His eyes met mine with surprise followed by immediate displeasure. Yep. I’m totally familiar with that look. The I-can’t-stand-the-fucking-sight-of-you-so-get-off-my-planet look.”

What can you do when the one person you used to love, suddenly hates your guts? Tatum Bryant has had enough of the abuse she has put up with at the hands of Jared Trent. After a year spent in France, she has finally decided enough is enough and is fighting back. But how far will she go to prove she isn’t going to take his (or his entourage’s) crap? No matter what has happened between them, Tate feels something for Jared; she can’t decide if it’s love or hate.

Even after everything he’d done, part of me still missed that boy that was my waking thought and constant companion as a kid. But that Jared was gone now. In his place was a sour, hateful douchebag that had no regard for me.”

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Tate essentially lives on her own. Because it is her Senior year in high school, her father (who is overseas) reluctantly agrees to allow Tate to be at home, alone, with only her estranged next door neighbor and ex-best-friend for company. One problem, Jared cannot stand the sight of Tate and after what he has put her through, she feels the same way. If she can just get through this last year relatively unscathed, Tate can go to college at Columbia and leave Jared, her little town, and sad past behind her.

“’You’ve already made me cry countless times.’ I raised my middle finger to him slowly, and asked, ‘Do you know what this is?’ I took my middle finger and patted the corner of my eye with it. ‘It’s me, wiping away the last tear you’ll ever get.’”

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But when is enough, enough? Tate is so fed up with the constant bullying that she, herself, becomes one. This is how bullies are made. Jared unknowingly created a monster; and with every remark, he fed that monster until she snapped and started fighting back. This is how bullies are made. I couldn’t get that quote out of my head because it’s true. Tate became everything she hated about Jared. As much as I sided with her, it also broke my heart. Someone has to be really hurt in order to lash out at everyone they care about in the ways she and he did to one another…oh, how I loved finding the answers to those questions.

“After my disgusting behavior yesterday in class and the way I’d gotten sidetracked from my goals, I decided to give up the tough-girl act. His game was too hard, and I was turning into a person I didn’t like.”

I cannot tell you how the story ends for Jared and Tate. You ABSOLUTELY have to read that for yourself. I promise, you will not be disappointed. If you are, blame me. I truly thought this was a fabulous book and look forward to more. To me, this book speaks volumes more than just the story being told. This is something that happens in everyday life for so many people.

“What was happening in his head? And would I ever find out?”

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I hope Bully finds the hands of people who could really benefit from the message delivered. I got the message…loud and clear.

**5+ Tree-climbing in the Rain Stars**