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.