Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Kensington Teen
Another fabulous Five Stars addition to the Elemental series.
(This book should be read after Nick's short novella, Breathless.)

Nick Merrick is suppose to be the brother with a level head. Smart, focus, and dependable, he is the brother that the others can always depend on.

But when Nick has to worry about the family business drowning, college choices (and if his family can afford to lose his help), the Guides coming to town, Quinn's crazy new boyfriend, the talented dancer that has caught his attention, and all the SECRETS that go along with that, Nick Merrick starts to unravel.

I read this in less than a day. I could hardly put it down! I love this series (and the Merrick brothers) anyway, but Nick and Quinn's story may be my favorite so far. I loved this book!

Like the past books in this series, Kemmerer does not shy away from the difficult issues that teens are faced with on the daily. And Nick and Quinn's story is no different. Kemmerer did a great job dealing with all the serious issues presented -- from Nick and Adam's relationship to dealing with Quinn's abusive home life.

Nick & Adam
Nick felt such fear and confusion about his feeling for Adam, that he doesn't even share his sexual orientation with his brothers. Not even his twin, Gabriel. Adam was flirtatious and confident, and I loved seeing him interact with Nick. But Adam has a rough past of abuse that he is still dealing with and working through. And seeing them both begin to work through and trust each other was awesome.

The Brothers
Seeing the Merricks interact is always a plus. And seeing how they each worried about Nick and all the secrets he was keeping, but in their own individual way. Michael does an awesome job balancing between eldest brother and guardian mode. But the youngest Merrick's attitude won me over -- and may have been one of my favorite parts of the book. Then of course Gabriel's hot temper cause all kinds of probems.

Quinn & Tyler
My favorite part, however, was Quinn and Tyler. Kemmerer does something awesome as an author and story-teller, because I liked the 'bad guy.' Actually, the bad guy may have been my favorite character. Never thought I would like Tyler that much (or Quinn for that matter), but seeing Tyler's side of things, along with his softer side was amazing. He quickly won me over. And Quinn annoyed me a lot in Gabriel's book, but not the case in Secret. Not only was she facing some heavy issues, dealing with body issues, and feeling "abandoned" by her friends, but she manages to keep her head up, be a strong woman and always says what she is thinking.

I highlighted (on my kindle) so many different moments that I wish I could share, but since this is an ARC I'll have to wait till I can grab my own copy in January. But if you liked the previous in the series, then this book will not let you down. It's a great addition to the series. And I cannot wait for the next book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this copy in exchange for a honest review.

Curious about Storm (Book 1)?

Jump to my Review: Here

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: Four Seconds to Lose by K.A. Tucker

K.A. Tucker is quickly becoming on of my favorite authors. Ten Tiny Breaths was easily one of my favorite NA books this year. And Four Seconds to Lose didn't disappoint me in the least. Another 5 Star Read!

Tucker writes an amazing set of characters. And of course, seeing all of our old favorites throughout was amazing. The characters are so complex, different, and well developed. I am excited for Ben's story and crossing my fingers that Nate gets a book too.

In TTB, Cain was the Strip Club owner who wasn't a total ass, but seemed to actual be a decent guy. And in Four Seconds to Lose we see more into Cain's character. And I loved it! Total Swoon Alert ladies! He was the perfect mix of intense and caring. Breaking the stereotype for sleazy night club owners, he actually cares for his girls and wants to protect them. And even though he's sweet, he still has his alpha male moment.

Charlie is running. She is trying to start a new life for herself. And what better way to do that, then make some quick cash at the local strip club. I enjoyed being inside of her head for her inner battles -- from struggling with stripping to even bigger life choices. She is smart and has a backbone, yet still has her innocent moments. A great character with strengths and flaws equally displayed.

My Thoughts
This is an angst filled, emotional journey. The plot picks up speed quickly. And even as we were getting to know the characters -- as it switches back and forth between Charlie and Cain POV -- the plot throws us straight into emotional moments, past skeletons, and twists. From the start, I was drawn into the plot and curious "what is going to happen next." Another common thought was, "I love Tucker's writing style" or "gah, this is so good!"

Cain and Charlie are on of my favorite couples. Their love story has a beautiful build, that has you routing for them from the start. From their flirtatious moments and playful moments to the steamy ones, they have a lot of spark.

I loved, loved Four Seconds to Lose. And cannot wait to pick up another book by Tucker. If you loved TTB then you have to pick this up ASAP. I dare say, you'll fall for Cain even quicker than Trent. If you are looking for an well written read, some angst and spark, and genuine likable cast of characters, then pick this book quick!

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for providing this copy in exchange for a honest review.

My 5 Star Review of Ten Tiny Breaths.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reading Cram -- Goals


The hosts are Juliababyjen's Reading Room and Dana Square.

This is the End of the Year 2013 Reading Cram and will run from Dec. 9-22nd.

Twitter -- #ReadingCram

I'm a day behind, but I am planning on joining in because I have a ton of books that I'd like to get read before the New Year.

My Personal Goals:

  • Read at least 100 pages a day (or 700 per week)
  • Finish reading Outlander
  • Reread Mockingjay
  • Read The Book Theif
  • Read a total of 5 books

Secret Santa Fun


I particpated in The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa this season. And it has been an absolute blast! I've had so much fun picking out the books and gifts based on my persons information card. Seriously, who knew Christmas shopping for another book lover could be so much fun? On the day that I went to the Post Office to mail off my gift -- I got another surprise. My own Secret Santa Gift had arrived.

It felt like Christmas had came early (which I guess it sorta did). When I finally got it home and tore open the box (which might have been channeling Thor, cause it was hard to crack), I was meet with some gorgeously wrapped presents. Which I, of course, quickly destroyed. She did such a good job picking out the different items for my package! Those chocoletes....mmmmm! The Book Thief has been on my TBR list for a while now. I just saw the movie and bawled, so I cannot wait to dive into the actual book. And Bitterblue!! How can you not like the Graceling series? Then there is those amazing quotes (which are already hagging on my wall)!

My Secret Santa chose to stay anonymous, but I just want to send her a virtual hug and say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I seriously love ever single item! Thanks for bring joy to my Monday and being so thoughtful this Christmas season. And hope you and yours has a blessed and Merry Christmas.

Hope my package makes it soon too. And that my TBTBSanta person loves their gift as much as I love mine.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fitness Wednesday: Starting T25


This picture sums me up perfectly. My favorite activity is chewing. More specifically, eating potatoes, cheese, cheese on my potatoes, steak, anything teriyaki flavored, and of course sweets.

Now let me tell you something else, the Freshman 15 (or in my case, the College 15) is no lie. Life has been stressfull and the past few years at the University, I have packed on a little weight.

Since I'm already weighing heavy and my favorite pastime is eating deleciously bad for you food, my goal for this season is to lose bit of weight.


Solution -- Starting T25. I have other beachbody programs, but this one seemed like the best choice because of my busy life. These workouts pack everything you need into 25 minitues for only five days a week.

Speed 1.0 is my favorite workout so far. I worked up a sweat, loved the beat and enjoyed all 25 minitues. Earlier tonight though, the day three workout Total Body Circuit really kicked my butt! Like majorly. It was a lot of upperbody work (which let's face it I have goose arms) and squats (ahhh......). My shoulders are already sore. And so it my legs and booty from yesterday.

Plus, I've been trying to change my eating habbits. I quit sodas cold turkey. Dang -- thank goodness for my free week of Shakeology. And I've been trying to follow the meal plan/guidliness. Granted it is only day three -- but I pretty much am dying to go on a fast food binge. You can probably see the golden archers floating over my head. But I'm staying strong.

1) Eating healthier will be help me feel better and actually live better in the long run, and 2) I have a cheat meal coming up on Saturday.

So I'm starting T25. Three days in I'm sore and wanting some major munchies, but I'm feeling good. It only takes like 20ish days to make a habbit right? Wish me luck! And if I do succed I'll be sure to post before and after photos.

For more about my personal life, adventures, and general wildness -- you can visit me at my personal blog Purple Daisies.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WoW: To All the Boys I've Loved Before


To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Expected publication: April 15th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I've not read a lot of YA lately, but this sounds really good. Jenny Han has a great reputation, and a lot of her books are on my TBR list.


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?


**This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine. **


Monday, November 18, 2013

Book Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon


5++ Stars
Victory is in the battle...

I've been a book hangover for a few days now. I'm floored by the authenticity, heart, and strength of this book. Amy Harmon has poured her heart and soul into every page. Not only do you feel for the characters, route for the true hero, and fall in love with a broken but still gorgeous MC, you discover that true beauty, strength, and love comes from the inside.
"I think people are like that. When you really look at them, you stop seeing a perfect nose or straight teeth. You stop seeing the acne scar or the dimple in the chin. Those things start to blur, and suddenly you see them, the colors, the life inside the shell, and beauty takes on a whole new meaning."

Fern was plain in high school. She wasn't drop dead gorgeous like her friend Rita. Instead, she deals with curly hair, braces, and glasses. Smart and the hopeless romantic, Fern can't help but fall in love with gorgeous Ambrose. Ambrose is the town hero with athletic ability, stunning singing voice, and of course a body and face to match.

“Do you think there's any way someone like Ambrose could fall in love with someone like me?” Fern caught Bailey's gaze in the mirror again, knowing he would understand. “Only if he's lucky.”
Then there is Bailey, Fern's cousin and best friend. Bailey suffers from MD. And even though it restrains his ways of life, he keeps a positive attitude and brings much joy to those around him. He's brilliantly smart, hilarious, and not afraid to speak his mind.
After they graduate from High School, Ambrose and four of his friends venture off to war. Only, one comes back. Only Ambrose. With many emotional and physical scars.
I wrote your name across my heart, so we could be together , so I could hold you close to me, and keep you there forever.

The characters are amazing, yet beautiful flawed.

Fern is one of my favorite contemporary heroines. She is strong & beautiful (inside and out), yet she is suffering from 'ugly girl syndrome.'
And seeing Ambrose slowly open back up to his friends, come out of his war shell:
“I've seen those books you read. The ones with the girls on the front with their boobs falling out and the guys with the torn shirts. You read smutty romance novels and quote scripture. I'm not quite sure I have you figured out.” “Scripture comforts me, and romance novels give me hope.” “Oh, yeah? Hope for what?” “Hope that I'll be doing more than quoting scripture with Ambrose Young in the very near future.” Fern blushed furiously and looked at her hands.
Harmon create the perfect blend of emotional and inspirational. The heavy moments are peppered with light ones. From swooning and chuckling along with the characters to feeling your heartbreak and tears in your eyes, this story will take you on an amazing journey.
I already want to curl up in a cozy corner, dive back into the world of this small town, and experience the heartache, joy, swoon, love and heroism all over again. If I had to recommend one book for you to read this Holiday season -- heck, this year -- I would recommend Making Faces.
I'm giving away an e-copy of this book as a part of my birthday celebration. Click the banner on the left side of this page, if you're interested in entering.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [13]

Meme is hosted by Tynga's Review.


So excited for my haul this week:

Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

A is for Alpha Male by Laurel Ulen Curtis

Thief by Tarryn Fisher

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Greed by Fisher Amelie


Also, I'm hosting my first giveaway here at Book Beatsin honor of my 23rd birthday. You can win an e-copy of Making Face by Amy Harmon or Vain by Fisher Amelie.

Click here to jump to the rafflecopter.

Link up your StS below and be sure to enter the giveaway if either of those books appeal to you.

Have a good Saturday.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Follow Friday [8] & A Birthday Giveaway

This meme is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read

A: The Ultimate Gift by

If you'd like to follow me here at Book Beats, you can do so through Bloglovin, GFC, or Linky. Be sure to leave your link below, so I can return the favor & see some really great movie recommendations.
Follow on Bloglovin
Also I love connecting with book lovers on twitter and goodreads. If you do too, feel free to add me:

Twitter: @BookBeats15
Goodreads: Friend Me

Also, today -- the wonderful day of the 15th -- is my 23rd Birthday. To Celebrate, I'm deciding to have my first ever giveaway here at Book Beats. Nothing too crazy, but I've read some really amazing books lately, and think that others should have the chance of reading them too.

-This giveaway is only open to those who can receive e-books via amazon.

-I'll e-mail you within 48 hours if you win.

You can win your choice of Vain by Fisher Amelie or Making Faces by Amy Harmon.

They both were 5++ heart exploding stars for me.

Vain by Fisher Amelie
Making Face by Amy Harmon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a great weekend :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stacking the Shelves [12]

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


I know I'm a little bit behind with this weeks StS. November has been really good to me with book finds/purchases. So I had to share some of the books that I've recently added to my shelf these past few weeks.



Sempre (Forever #1) by J.M. Darhower

Unique plot. Amazing Writing.

See my review here.




Days of Blood & Starlight by Lani Taylor

Daughter of Smoke of Bone (review here) was one of my favorite book read this year. Cannot wait to dive into the beautiful, enchanting prose of the second.


Easy by Tammara Webber

So many fabulous reviews about Easy.


Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover

I couldn't resist buying this even though I've not read the first one. Have to get my hands on a copy of Slammed soon.

Reflected in You (Crossfire #2) by Sylvia Day

I do believe, ladies, it's about time I meet Gideon Cross. Am I right?

Don't worry, I'll read Book I first.

Tiger's Curse by Collen Houck

This has been on my TBR list for a while now. So when I saw it on sale -- had to snatch it up.



Ebook (Loan & Bought):


Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park

I read Flat-Out Love last November. So it only makes sense that I read Matt's story this November.

Ceaseless (Existence #3) by Abbi Glines

Time to finish this series.

Review of Predestined - here

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Mixed reviews on this one. But thought I'd check it out myself.


Well there you have, my haul. Leave your link below and I'll be sure to hop by your StS. Hope you have a great weekend and week.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review: Sempre by J.M. Darhower

Sempre (Forever Series #1) by

4.5 Forever Stars

First Love. Family Secrets. The Power of Hate verses Forgiveness.

Sound like your kinda story, yet?

Now add...

Italian Mafia. Slave Trade. Danger. Sacrifice.

Sempre has everything needed to be gritty, intense read.

Haven and Carmine are two teenagers from opposite ends of the dangerous mafia world.

Carmine, born into a wealthy Mafia family, lived a life of privilege and excess.

Haven, a second-generation slave, was isolated in the middle of the desert, her days full of hard work and terrifying abuse.

Carmine's father, Vincent, buys Haven. And it's like lighting strikes for the two teens.

"Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is irrevocably changed.”
Carmine hates the world. Always acting out, fighting, and drinking, it's all his rich father can do to keep him out of serious trouble. But when Haven enters his home and life (and Colpo di fulmine strikes), he begins to change.

Haven has only known the life of masters and torture. Carmine begins helping her adapt, heal, learn, and grow. As there worlds collide trouble begins to brew, and while both teens yearn for freedom:

nothing comes without a price—especially not freedom.
And each of them would risk everything to help the one person they feel connected too.

J. M. Darhower has pieced together a powerful, emotional story. Sempre is more than a so called "forbidden love," but gives a true definition to the meaning of sacrifice and loyalties.

Written in third person, Darhower lets the reader to become attached to more than Carmine and Haven's characters. And to get a full-scope of the mafia lifestyle from different prospectives. And allows for moments of redemption from different characters, because you begin to understand their motives and reasons.

The plot builds with a steady pace that introduces you to the characters, their lifestyle and issues. But then when you think you understand everything, the plot takes unpredictable turns. Be prepared for gritty, emotional, thrilling, nail bitting, swoon worthy moments. The last half of this book will keep you on the edge of your seats.

The characters, the plot, the emotion. Pick this book up and experience Carmine & Haven's world -- this story of family, hope, and redemption will stay with you long after you've finished.

November 25, 2013 )

Copy provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley for a honest review.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Want

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


TTT: sequels we can't wait to get our hands on.

Most of these are already out, but I haven't had a chance to pick them up yet. I'm really backed up with my reading because of school and some other family stuff. Here are ten sequels that I want to pick up ASAP.

Not pictured: by Cause I cannot have a list like this without including at least one Maddox brother.

Well, there is my list. It would amazing if I could get most of these (or the ones that have been released) read by Christmas time. We shall see...

Leave a link to your list and I'll be sure to hop by.

Happy Tuesday!


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Review: True by Erin McCarthy


True (True Believers #1) by Erin McCarthy

Goodreads | Amazon



Rory wants to be the best. Especially when it comes to her schoolwork and her premed major. She likes things logical and is bit of a nerd. She hasn't had time for boys or even much of a social life.

That is till she meets Tyler.

"There are a lot of organs packed into our chest and abdominal cavities."
"That's the sexiest thing you've ever said," he teased.

"Really? Then I guess I need to step it up."

"I'd like to hear that. Talk dirty to me, Rory."

I open my mouth wanting to accept the challenge. But nothing came out. My mind went totally blank. We both laughed.

"That's about what I thought," he said. "I guess I'll have to be dirty enough for both of us."

Did I mention Rory's a virgin? And Tyler's your typical bad boy. A bad boy that her "friends" pay to sleep with her. What kinda of friends pay a guy to sleep with you?

Only, he's not your typical bad boy. Not really.

...he withdrew and held out a very battered card. "Da-dum. My library card. Sexy, huh?"

Tyler's smart and enjoys literature. He takes care deeply for his family. And is constantly stepping up when his mom is too drugged up to care. He has to focus on a college degree that will bring him money --- even if he rather major in English.

But of course, he still slings a couple of punches, downs a few beers, knows how to break the ladies hearts, and bit prideful. But most importantly he's sweet, loving, and actually a great guy. He charmed the socks off of me multiple times.

Seriously, where can I meet my version of Tyler?

He cares for his family and seeing him with his little brothers really won me over. They will win you over too. They are super sweet and caring even though they come from a roughier home.

Rory's friends annoyed me at times. But I pushed beyond them and their 'good attentions,' and accepted them. Can't wait to read Jessica's story in Sweet, which is given a brief nod to in this book.

The story is more than your classic bad boy meets sheltered girl. It has many layers and explores the loyalties of family. It addresses serious issues like drugs and the effects it can have on a family, a person, and a relationship. At times even squeezing my heart and bringing tears to my eyes.

I wanted to explain to him that some stories were loud, and some were quiet. His was filled with verbal arguments, slammed doors, heavy metal, and bad mufflers. Mine was one of ... empty house where the most noticeable voice, the one of laughter and encouragement and cheerfulness, had been silenced.

Loved, loved, loved True from beginning to end. The writing and plot just worked for me and I easily flew through this book. And, It easily slipped into one of my favorite spots.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Review: Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines #1) by Ginger Scott

Goodreads | Amazon


This book will transport you straight back to your high school days. And remind you how difficult the 'food chain' of popularity really can be, and the challenge of finding yourself and coming into your own during highschool.

Nolan is a tomboy. She lives in her older brothers hand-me down clothes and loves her well worn pair of converse. Reed, who is the school's new 'famous' quarterback, has money, status and legacy. When the two are assigned to work together for a project, they slowly begin forming a friendship.

Nolan is pushed into a new world of mean girls, bitchy girlfriends, being one of the guys, high school crushes, first loves, and knowing where you stand among everything. And it is amazing (and potentially tear-jerking at times) to see how she responds and rises, and forms from shy kid to confident young woman.

One key thing I could say about this story: Relatable. That is what makes Nolan and Reed's story so fantastic. And believable. It helps you remember your own high school days, crushing on that certain guy, dealing with friendships and mean girls. I grew up in a small town (and in a trailer) like Nolan, and I love how that never stopped her. Not only this, but many times, I found myself comparing this to my own high school experience and found it eerily familiarly.

If you are looking for a slow building romance this story is for you. It follows Nolan and Reed over the four high school years, and even though at times you want to beat some sense into each of them, you'll be pulling for this characters from the start. Even though this story is a slow build, it is exactly appropriate for this realistic genre. You follow Nolan through her struggles and successes. If you are looking for a fast instalove sorta story, then this story isn't for you. But if you are ready to slow down, meet the characters, enjoy their friendship, remember your own first love, and savor every page then this is the story for you.