Review of Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

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Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Publication Date: March 26, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Romance, Mental Health, New Adult, and Contemporary Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice 

Synopsis: It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

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Content warning: this book deals with depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. Some of this will also be discussed in my review.

What makes Sounds Like Summer a must-read romance novel is the fact that it mixes the best parts of what makes a typical summer romance novel amazing with heavy hitting topics such as what it’s like to live with depression. This book is about Lux Castelo and Micah Jacinto and the weekend they spend at Summer Storm — a weekend-long festival filled with live music acts, parties, and time spent at the beach by the ocean. However, this book is about more than just the romance; this weekend is about Lux escaping her life for a weekend to process what she has been through because of her depression and to, for a moment, forget. After Lux and Micah spend this weekend together, they find out that what happens at a summer festival does not have to stay there and sometimes the smallest of coincidences can lead to the greatest of adventures, no matter how small and scary they might be.

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BLOG TOUR – ARC Review of Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

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Hi readers and welcome to my blog post for the Star-Touched Stories blog tour. Here you can expect a thorough review of the book, purchase links, early praise, and more. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: August 7, 2018.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press.

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, and Short Stories.

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Purchase here: Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice 

Synopsis: Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.

Death and Night

He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.

Poison and Gold

Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.

Rose and Sword

There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?

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Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for my ARC of Star-Touched Stories. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Star-Touched Stories is an anthology filled with three stories from the world established in The Star-Touched Queen and A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. The three stories are beautifully written and I was blown away by their excellence, their originality, and the way they made me feel. This book was so much better, so much more than I ever could have imagined. I have decided to review the three novellas separately for you to truly see what makes them magical.

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{The Paths We Choose Release Week} ARC Review of The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

The Paths We Choose Release Week: Day One – My ARC Review

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Hi, readers and welcome to day one of my The Paths We Choose Release Week. There are four days left until The Paths We Choose is released into the world and to celebrate I’m releasing a fun new post every day until the book is out. Today I have my ARC review of the book, and as you might have suspected already, I absolutely loved this book.

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The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Publication Date: April 6, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: New Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, and Romance.

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Selling points: Strong friendships, chosen family, and girls owning their sexuality.

Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.

A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs. Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

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Thank you, Maria Hollis, for my advanced review copy of The Paths We Choose. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The Paths We Choose is amazing in its simplicity and grace. It shows us the story of two very different girls, Lily and Mayte, who after a one-night stand start a causal relationship before Mayte leaves for Florida to study her masters. This story is about two women proud of their sexuality and even if their agreement to only be friends with benefits is kept somewhat a secret they are not afraid to be open with what their relationship is, to a certain degree. This book is definitely one I would recommend if you love seeing girls supporting girls and just girls being proud of their sexuality. There is a strong sense of friendship and family, in the sense that family is not blood but instead it’s who you choose to love and stand by no matter what. What I love about Maria Hollis’s books is that she makes you feel as if you are a part of the girl gangs she portrays in her books and that you’re just as awesome and supported as they are. Her books are really positive and uplifting.

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ARC Review of Bluff by Julie Dill

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31748403Bluff by Julie Dill

Publication Date: February 7, 2017.

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing.

Genres: Young Adult and Contemporary.

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Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Chelsea Knowles is surrounded by the privileged. Michael Kors gym bags and designer shoes are part of her daily scene, but the talented cheerleader has a secret: she and her dad can barely pay the bills. Broken by his wife walking out on their family, Chelsea’s father ignores his responsibilities. Between cheer costs, grocery bills, electricity, and other regular financial burdens, it’s no surprise when a cut-off notice arrives in the mail. Chelsea knows it’ll be up to her to keep the lights on.

With the deck stacked against her, Chelsea decides to bet their future on the dubious poker knowledge she learned from her father before he gave up on parenting. Nervous but determined, Chelsea heads to a casino with very little security and wins big. Thrilled by her win, she’s quickly drawn to the casino again and again. She risks it all, especially when the attractive, young pit boss takes an interest in her.

Chelsea’s life, no longer filled with cheerleading, school, and hanging out with her friends, is now consumed by smoky casino floors and the ups and downs of a gambler’s life. True gamblers know when to fold, but Chelsea keeps betting long after her needs are met. The complicated web of lies soon begins to spin out of control, threatening to expose everything. Will someone see through her bluff?

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Thank you, Amberjack Publishing, for my advanced review copy of Bluff. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Bluff by Julie Dill tells the story of 17-year-old Chelsea who lives with her irresponsible dad. Every month they can barely pay their bills, and in a moment of desperation, Chelsea goes to a casino in the hopes of making some cash. There she lies about her name and age and starts playing poker. Bluff had a lot of potential, potential to do amazing things. When I first saw the book, and read its synopsis, I thought, finally a book about teenage addiction, specifically gambling addiction. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

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Review of Roller Girl by Vanessa North

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Roller Girl by Vanessa North

Publication Date: July 23, 2016.

Publisher: Riptide Publishing.

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, and LGBT.

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Selling points: Female empowerment, amazing f/f ship, and derby.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: Recently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.

Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.

Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at the derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.

With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.

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Thank you, Riptide Publishing, for my advanced review copy of Roller Girl. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Roller Girl is a story with heart. It’s a story that’ll make you smile and feel all warm and fluffy inside. What I love the most about this book is how well done it is, this lesbian romance is about so much more than just love (which all in itself is absolutely amazing). Roller Girl is about companionship, friendship, and women supporting other women.

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Review of Choosing You by Allie Everhart

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Choosing You by Allie Everhart

Publication Date: September 21, 2013.

Publisher: Waltham Publishing.

Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, and College.

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Selling points: Slow burn romance, mild suspense, and excellent banter.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository 

Synopsis: When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.

Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.

As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.

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Choosing You is a book I didn’t expect to love but immensely did. It has been in my Kindle library for quite some time now and I finally decided to give it a try, something I’m now so happy about.

“He gives me a cocky grin. He knows damn well I want to see his nearly naked body. Every girl on campus would like to see that.”

Choosing You is a book filled with wit, banter, romance, wealthy families, and suspense. In my eyes, there are so many things this book is doing right. In a lot of ways, this is a typical rich boy meets poor girl story but the story is so much more than that. It’s complex, with a proper relationship build-up and clear character development.

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Review of Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

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Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

Publication Date: April 21, 2016.

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, and LGBT.

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Selling points: Magical creatures such as unicorns and mermaids, girls loving other girls and girls saving the day.

Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository

Synopsis: After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

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Thank you, Julia Ember, for my review copy of Unicorn Tracks. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember, I mean what do I even say? I’m absolutely in love with this piece of literature. It is a story rich in culture, magical creatures and girls. There is so much to appreciate and love about Unicorn Tracks, but most of all I love how it is a story about two girls who come from two very different places in the world with very different experiences. We have the main character Mnemba, a girl who has been through so much and who has so much depth. She is an amazing person with a huge heart. Then we have Kara Harving, a girl with a sparkling personality and wonder in her eyes.

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