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While You’re Away

    Book Watch: Releasing This Week #177

    BW-RTWnew

    Below are the (mostly) YA books releasing this week that I am spotlighting for my “Book Watch: Releasing This Week” post.

    These are books for the week of May 20th-May 26th that I have pre-ordered.


    While Your Away HC

    Add_to_GR

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, the print edition is 288 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY was also previously published in six parts in eBook and audio formats.


    I am so excited that WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is releasing this week. I read this story when it was released in parts and I absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic read, though it was torturous having to wait for each new installment.

    I’ve wanted to read it all over again, all at once, to see if it reads any differently. So I can’t wait until my print edition arrives.

    I loved meeting Will and Sarah, though I wasn’t sure if I would be biased against them for being cheaters. But I did adore them and root for them and was anxious when things got in the way.

    As I did review all six parts, and I don’t want to risk spoiling things by rambling too much, I’ll just say that I can’t wait to re-read this, the writing is gorgeous and the story is all twisty-turny and angsty and romantic. And it’s definitely the book I’m most excited for this week.

    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.


    The Art of Lainey

    Add_to_GR
    THE ART OF LAINEY by Paula Stokes will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in paperback and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by HarperTeen, the print edition is 384 pages.


    I received an early copy of THE ART OF LAINEY and had every intention of reading it pre-release – and I still might get the chance to tonight – but I’m super excited that my finished eBook copy will be downloading on Monday Midnight.

    I love the idea that instead of wallowing in heartbreak, Lainey and her friend plan to win her ex back by using the Sun Tzu book to formulate a game plan. I’m curious to see whether after all their planning she wants him back or whether she chooses to be with Micah… or whether Micah wants to be with her if he wasn’t aware he was a pawn.

    This book sounds sweet and fun with the potential for heartbreak, so I can’t wait to read it. And if all goes as planned I will definitely sneak it on the pile tonight.

    Description…

    Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

    And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

    What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?


    Dangerous Creatures
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    DANGEROUS CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl will be released in the U.S. on May 20, 2014 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at AMAZON and in all formats, plus a signed edition, at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 384 pages.

    DANGEROUS CREATURES is the first full-length book in the authors’ series of the same name. A prequel novella, DANGEROUS DREAM, released on December 17, 2013.


    I am a huge fan of the authors and I loved the books that I did read in their Beautiful Creatures series. So of course I had to pre-order DANGEROUS CREATURES.

    I can’t wait to read Ridley’s series and see what happens with her and Link. And I can’t wait to find out just what price is on his head.

    I don’t know whether there are spoilers for the other series, so I’m wary of reading this book until I finish that one. I thought the writing was amazing in Beautiful Creatures and I just know it will be the same in this series. Which makes me want to read this more than ever. So it may just be worth the risk. We shall see….

    If not, I’ll plan on reading this after reading the final book in that first series and reading the eBook novella, DANGEROUS DREAM. Now that I won’t technically have to say goodbye to Ethan and Lena, I might just be able to do so this summer.

    Description…

    A new series returns to the world of Beautiful Creatures. Some loves are cursed…others are dangerous.

    Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley “Link” Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

    Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of Beautiful Creatures, are back and casting another magical spell. Their signature mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance, along with a dash of fun and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.


    Other Books of Note

    End TimesEND TIMES by Anna Schumacher

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Razorbill

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Carbon County, Wyoming is like a current running through Daphne’s heart.

    When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home, where she believes she’ll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. It’s the sound of trumpets.

    Daphne’s desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. And incredible occurrences soon support their belief. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig, helps around the house, hangs out with her pregnant cousin Janie and gets to know Owen, a mysterious motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. But soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears.

    Daphne landed in Carbon County for a reason. She only has to read the signs—and believe.


    ThunderstruckTHUNDERSTRUCK (Weather Witch #3) by Shannon Delany

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Jordan, Rowen and the crews of both the Tempest and the Artemesia strike out for Philadelphia to start a revolution aimed at abolishing slavery and changing their stormpowered society to one that runs on previously repressed steam innovations and will allow for true equality. But can Jordan and Rowen come back together after all the things determined to drive them apart?

    Thunderstruck is the third installment in the Weather Witch series from Shannon Delany.


    RebornREBORN (Shadow Falls: After Dark #1) by C.C. Hunter

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Return to the beloved world of Shadow Falls, a camp that teaches supernatural teens to harness their powers—and where a vampire named Della will discover who she’s meant to be.

    For Della Tsang, Shadow Falls isn’t just a camp: it’s home. As a vampire who’s never fit in with her human family, it’s the one place she can truly be herself. But when a mysterious new guy arrives at camp, Della’s whole world is thrown into turmoil. Chase is a vampire with secrets, who knows more than he’s telling. But the more time she spends with him, the more she begins to trust this attractive stranger—and feel drawn to him. But romance is the last thing she wants—as she keeps telling Steve, the hunky shapeshifter who won’t stop trying to win her heart. And if Della isn’t careful, he just might succeed.  When a new case puts everyone she cares about in danger, Della’s determined to do everything she can to save them . . . even if it means teaming up with Steve and Chase, who leave her more confused than ever. With their lives on the line, will Della and her friends survive—with their hearts intact?


    Biggest FlirtsBIGGEST FLIRTS (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Simon Pulse

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

    Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

    As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


    Now and ForeverNOW & FOREVER by Susane Colasanti

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Viking Juvenile

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    What if your boyfriend was the world’s biggest rockstar?

    Sterling is crazy in love with Ethan. Not only is he the sweetest boy she’s ever met, but he’s an incredibly talented guitarist, singer, and songwriter. And since forever, he’s believed he has what it takes to be a star.

    When Ethan becomes an overnight sensation, he’s thrown head-first into the glam world of celebrity-and so is Sterling. Before she knows it, she’s attending red-carpet premieres, getting free designer clothes, and flying around the country to attend Ethan’s monumental sold-out concerts.

    It’s a dream come true…but whose dream is Sterling living? And what do you do when “forever” comes to an end?


    The Rules for BreakingTHE RULES FOR BREAKING (The Rules for Disappearing #2) by Ashley Elston

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Anna Boyd almost lost her life to get what she wanted most in the world: freedom.

    But just when it seems that her family has finally escaped Witness Protection, the illusion that Anna could resume a normal life comes crashing down.

    The deadly man Anna knows as Thomas is still on the loose, and now he’s using her as a pawn in a dangerous game with the drug cartel determined to silence her forever. When Thomas and a mysterious masked man capture not only Anna but also her fragile younger sister and her boyfriend, Anna decides it’s time to break all the rules-even if it means teaming up with the lesser of two evils.

    Anna will do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves and win her life back once and for all. But her true enemies are hidden in plain sight. Before long, Anna will learn that putting her trust in anyone may be the last mistake she ever makes.


    V is for VillainV IS FOR VILLAIN by Peter Moore

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Brad Baron is used to looking lame compared to his older brother, Blake. Though Brad’s basically a genius, Blake is a superhero in the elite Justice Force. And Brad doesn’t measure up at his high school, either, where powers like super-strength and flying are the norm. So when Brad makes friends who are more into political action than weight lifting, he’s happy to join a new crew-especially since it means spending more time with Layla, a girl who may or may not have a totally illegal, totally secret super-power. And with her help, Brad begins to hone a dangerous new power of his own.

    But when they’re pulled into a web of nefarious criminals, high-stakes battles, and startling family secrets, Brad must choose which side he’s on. And once he does, there’s no turning back.

    Perfect for fans of The Avengers, Ironman, and classic comic books, V is for Villain reveals that it’s good to be bad.


    Out of ControlOUT OF CONTROL by Sarah Alderson

    Pub. Date: May 22, 2014

    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

    Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

    When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.


    The Summer InvitationTHE SUMMER INVITATION by Charlotte Silver

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Two sisters are summoned to their aunt’s Greenwich Village flat, where they must start dressing like young ladies, cultivate their artistic sensibilities, and open themselves up to Life with a capital L.

    When Franny and her older sister Valentine are summoned by their Aunt Theodora from foggy San Francisco to sunny New York City for one summer, they are taken to old-world locales like Bemelmans Bar, the Plaza, and the Sherry Netherland by their chaperone, Clover, Aunt Theodora’s protégé. As they discover New York City going lingerie shopping and learning about the simple elegance of a cucumber sandwich, they also begin to unearth secrets and answers about Aunt Theo’s glamorous and romantic past, and they have a few romantic adventures of their own.


    Kate Walden DirectsKATE WALDEN DIRECTS: NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE CHICKENS by Julie Mata

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses-her mother’s prize organic hens-are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways.

    But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch.

    If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win-with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing-in filmmaking or in life-ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.


    DollhouseDOLLHOUSE by Anya Allyn

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014

    Publisher: The Studio

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    Dress-up turns deadly. . .

    When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, disappears during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha’s boyfriend Ethan and their best friend Lacey, determined to find her. But the mist-enshrouded mountains hold many secrets, and what the three teens discover is far more disturbing than any of them imagined: beneath a rundown mansion in the woods lies an underground cavern full of life-size toys and kidnapped girls forced to dress as dolls.

    Even as Cassie desperately tries to escape the Dollhouse, she finds herself torn between her forbidden feelings for Ethan, and her intense, instinctive attraction to The Provider, a man Cassie swears she has known before…

    Because Cassie’s capture wasn’t accidental, and the Dollhouse is more than just a prison where her deepest fears come true—it’s a portal for the powers of darkness. And Cassie may be the only one who can stop it.


    Infinite SkyINFINITE SKY (Infinite Sky #1) by C.J. Flood

    Pub. Date: May 20, 2014 (first published February 14, 2013)

    Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

    Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

    Description:

    A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl’s life, as her mum leaves home, travellers set up camp in the family’s field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket – but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend?

    Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.


    There are a ton of amazing-sounding books releasing this week. And while I only have the three books pre-ordered, I just know I’ll be purchasing END TIMES, THUNDERSTRUCK, REBORN, BIGGEST FLIRTS, THE RULES FOR BREAKING, and NOW & FOREVER.

    I have been trying not to “click to buy” too many books pre-release, in order to be absolutely sure I wanted to add them to my collection. But I’m not so sure that waiting for release date to buy them has worked to reduce the number of books I order each week. Oh well.

    I’ve also tried to spend a little less time online, which means less time stalking Amazon and which is why I hadn’t had the last two weeks’ posts prepared. After spending three hours researching the books releasing and gathering the images, I ran out of time to actually put the posts together. Oops. But hopefully I’ll be back on track from now on.

    I’m hoping that I didn’t miss any books releasing this week, though I think I might have. Amazon’s search function was a little hinky so there might be one or two titles that I missed. But I suppose I’ll find out when either they download to my Kindle on Tuesday or when I see the book birthday wishes go by on Twitter.

    I hope one of your favorite authors has a book releasing this week, or one of your most anticipated reads is releasing, and that you get to add it to your collection. And as ever…

    Happy release week to some amazing books and I hope you have a very happy reading week ahead!

    DotsDiv2

    As always, I would love to hear what you’re hoping to add to your collection this week!

    And if you have any great suggestions of “must read” books to buy that are releasing this week, please let me know!

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    Top 10 Character Couples of 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the third of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best ____ of 2013

    Last year I chose favorite quotes. But this year I’m going for CHARACTER COUPLES. Even though many of this year’s reads paired up characters I’d rather see paired with someone else, there were quite a few character couples I love, love, loved.

    And instead of rambling about all of my reasons why I love these character couples I thought I’d let the characters speak for themselves. They do a much better job of it than I ever could. Though I’m so very tempted to chime in…

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    Favorite Character Couples 2013

    1.

    Shadowfever

    SHADOWFEVER (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Mac and Barrons…

    “I’m not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I’m not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There’s nothing to redeem me.”

    I want him anyway.

    It’s what he wanted to know.

    I exhale impatiently and shove hair from my face. “Are you going to talk me to death or fuck me, Jericho Barrons?”

    2.

    Endless Knight

    ENDLESS KNIGHT (The Aracana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Evie and Death…

    “What are you thinking about, creature?” His words were husky.

    Licking your runes? Thank God he couldn’t read my thoughts anymore. Face flushing, I grasped for something to say. “I bet you were expecting a taller Empress this time around.” Lame.

    “I would change nothing about your appearance.”

    When we locked eyes in the mirror, his burning gaze made even more heat cascade through my body.

    Death rose with that lethal grace and strode toward me. I swallowed. Would he try to kiss me? And what would I do if he did?

    3.

    Through the Zombie Glass

    THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Alice and Cole…

    “I just… I can’t seem to stay away. You’re like a magnet, and I’m drawn. And what about you? You’re supposed to yell at me, scream profanities and tell me to go and never come back. Why aren’t you yelling?” he asked almost bitterly.

    Because, despite everything, I liked that he was here.

    Foolish girl.

    “You want me to yell?” I said, and drew in a deep breath, preparing. “I will.”

    He shook his head, looked up at me through the thick shield of those dark, dark lashes. “It’s too late for that. I’m going to kiss you, Ali.”

    Kiss… Yes… No! “You made your bed.”

    “I know. But I still want you in it.”

    4.

    With All My Soul

    WITH ALL MY SOUL (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Kaylee and Tod…

    “This is the most frighteningly beautiful mouth I have ever seen. The most terrifyingly delicious lips I have ever tasted. These lips make me hungry for more every time I kiss them. This mouth, and the tongue inside it…they speak words I hang on to. Words that make me want to be a better man. Words I would gladly build my entire afterlife around. But they also say things that terrify me. Things that send chills all the way to my heart. They speak about dangers I can’t prevent. Threats I can’t always see. They threaten to do things that could get you hurt, when every single beat of my heart tells me that I need to protect you.”

    I stared at him, stunned, and he leaned in to kiss me again, softly. Almost chastely.

    5.

    Crash Into You

    CRASH INTO YOU (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Isaiah and Rachel…

    Rachel tries to lower her head, but I reach up and touch her chin. “Don’t.”

    I tilt her head up, engulfing her line of vision. She’s going to see me and me alone. No cars, no Zach, none of the other assholes trying to win her eye during the night. The sweet scent of jasmine entwining with the salty smell of the beach rushes into my lungs. I lick my lips, wanting to kiss her, but I’m too full of energy to dare let my lips brush hers.

    Beneath my fingertips, her pulse beats wildly. “I don’t understand you, Isaiah.”

    “Then we have something in common, because I don’t get you at all.”

    6.

    Sweet Peril Cover

    SWEET PERIL (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Anna and Kaidan…

    “For the record,” he ground out in a guttural whisper, “I was more myself with you during those three days than I’ve ever been with anyone in my life. It’d be easier if I could be fake with you, but you bring out everything in me, little Ann. All of it.”

    His sudden fierceness frightened and excited me. He was not in his right mind. I blinked several times before taking a step back and running into the rail. I could do nothing but stare as he went on.

    7.

    Foreplay

    FOREPLAY (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Pepper and Reece…

    He gave my sweatshirt a small tug, inexorably pulling me toward him, bit by bit, and it was like the other night again. His presence was overwhelming, the heat that emanated from him. The blue of his eyes that seemed to turn to smoke when he looked at me. I was under his spell. Maybe I had never ceased to be. I’d been spellbound since our first kiss and especially since the night I spent in his loft. Maybe this was what had brought me back here in the middle of the night. Maybe I was hoping to repeat the experience.

    “I’ll never lie to you, Pepper.” That soft utterance blew through me like a sonic blast. Crazy, but I heard more than his vow to be honest. The words were full of the expectation that there would be a him and me, an us. That we were really doing this. Whatever this was.

    8.

    While You're Away

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Sarah and Will…

    It was easy to kiss Will Spencer. We moved in tandem, both turning at the same time. It was like we were machined to fit together, the right key in the right lock. Rising on my toes to meet his mouth, I looped my arms around his neck. Stretched against him, I felt long and tall, and strangely lovely. I wasn’t transformed by his touch. I was revealed.

    9.

    The Beautiful and the Cursed

    THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED (The Disposessed #1) by Page Morgan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Ingrid and Luc…

    Ingrid froze as he grazed his fingers through her hair, scattering a few pins to the floor. Then he gripped the back of her head, his tangled fingers tugging at her hair, and Ingrid thought she could finally read something in the way he looked at her: a longing so tangible that it made her ache.

    “I haven’t ended you because you’re my human.”

    And then Luc did what he hadn’t done in the orangery. His lips found hers. It was a light sweep of a kiss, and Ingrid, who’d quit breathing, feared he was going to stop again. The idea of it knifed through her and her hands itched to reach up, latch on to him, and refuse the retreat.

    It didn’t come to that.

    10.

    The Collector

    THE COLLECTOR (The Collector #1) by Victoria Scott

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Dante and Charlie…

    “But you need to know the truth. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” I stop, considering what I just said. “Actually, I guess I did mean for this to happen. At first. But then I got to know you, Charlie. I got to see how you are, the things you do for other people. The way you smile when there’s nothing left to smile about, and the way you laugh…it hurts to even hear it. Because it reminds me what it’s like to live. To be happy.” I take a deep breath. “You are beautiful, Charlie. You’re so beautiful, and I can’t believe I let you think you weren’t.”

    I turn around but focus on the ground. I can’t see her face. It’ll end me. But my eyes are deceitful, and before I can gouge them from my face, they slide up and land on her. On Charlie. And she’s crying. Tears rolling down her cheeks, sliding into a wide, happy smile.

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    A Few Other Couples I Love

    Deception

    Rachel and Logan

    DECEPTION (Defiance #2) by C.J. Redwine

    The Eternity CureAllison and Zeke

    THE ETERNITY CURE (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

    The Girl with the Iron TouchFinley and Griffin

    THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH (The Steampunk Chronicles #3) by Kady Cross

    DescendantCoverMason and Feen

    DESCENDANT (Starling #2) by Lesley Livingston

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    Wishful Thinking Character Couples

    As I mentioned, there were a number of characters I’d have liked to see paired up with someone other than the character they ended up with… or the character they’re with at the moment.

    So I decided to create a Top 10 Wishful Thinking Character Couples list. But instead of listing them here, since I have exactly ten, I thought I’d create a completely independent list over at The Annex.

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    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


    Share

    Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the first of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best Books I’ve Read in 2013

    I read a ton of awesome books this year. Many from the same series by the same author. But as I was trying so very hard to keep my list to just ten, I decided to choose only one book from each series, even if I read multiple books in a particular series that I thought were amazing.

    And I couldn’t list all my favorite reads this year since one or two of them were a secret. Nor could I list all the 2013 releases I love, love, loved since I read some of them in 2012. But I’m not too sad about that, because reading them last year made creating this list just a little bit easier.

    There were also a few books I loved in 2013 that were not YA. But in keeping with my typical YA only “best” list, I didn’t include them in this post. Though I plan on posting my non-YA favorites on The Annex. Yes, I’m cheating just a little… as usual. But I just can’t seem to help myself.

    Anyway…

    It took me ages to narrow my list down from my original picks and to keep my “honorable mentions” to only four titles, just like last year. But after much hair pulling and nail-biting I was able to get it done.

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    The Best I’ve Read in 2013

    1.

    With All My Soul

    WITH ALL MY SOUL by Rachel Vincent

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    As sad as I was to see this series end, I still couldn’t help falling madly in love with this last installment. It was heartbreaking and nerve-wracking and exciting and heartwarming and I loved every single minute of the read.

    I especially loved the fact that I was able to become intrigued by a brand new character, that the story wasn’t rushed and that the ending didn’t leave me feeling like something was missing. It was the perfect ending to an amazing series and I couldn’t have loved it any more than I did.

    2.

    Endless Knight

    ENDLESS KNIGHT by Kresley Cole

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles are completely and totally amazing. They are so my kind of books. From beginning to end in both books in this series I was utterly riveted.

    And while I didn’t think it was possible, this second book in the series was even more exciting than the first. It was darker, it was hotter, it was all sorts of sexy. The lore was fascinating. And it made me fall head-over-heels in love with Death just like I hoped it would.

    To say that I am dying for the next installment in this series would be a major understatement.

    3.

    Through the Zombie Glass

    THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS by Gena Showalter

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I read both books in this series in 2013 and absolutely loved both of them. They were unputdownable reads and I couldn’t have been more surprised by the fact that I fell so completely in love with zombie books that gave a nod to Alice in Wonderland.

    Gena Showalter was incredibly creative with her stories. She did not skimp on the action. It was edge-of-your-seat exciting. And the love story was angst-filled and twisty-turny to the max.

    And as I opted to choose just one of the two books in this series as a favorite, I had to select the one that absolutely killed me in the best possible way.

    4.

    The Eternity Cure

    THE ETERNITY CURE by Julie Kagawa

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I did not expect to love the Blood of Eden series more than I loved the author’s faerie books. But oh my gosh I couldn’t help myself. Dystopia and vampires are an unexpected combination but one that the author made work so amazingly well.

    The characters, the epic journey, the killer cliffhanger all worked together to make this one of my favorite books and not simply a 2013 favorite. I’m talking all-time favorite.

    5.

    Crash Into You

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I fell under Katie McGarry’s spell in 2013. She is a fan-freaking-tastic writer and her Pushing the Limits series is one of my very most favorite contemporary YA series.

    I read all three books in this series, plus the novella, in 2013, which made it very hard to choose only one of the books for my top ten list. But I had to choose Isaiah and Rachel’s story, even though I adored Noah and Echo’s story so, so much.

    Perhaps it was getting to know and love Isaiah before reading his story that made me love it that much more. Or perhaps it’s simply just that Isaiah is amazing. But whatever the reason, it is my favorite of the series and it’s definitely one of my favorite reads from 2013.

    6.

    Afterglow

    AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I was devastated to see this series end. The world that Karsten Knight created was so unique and fascinating and exciting. The characters were lovable and detestable and completely and totally kick-a**. And this final installment in the series was just as phenomenal as its predecessors.

    And that ending. Oh. My. Gosh. That ending. While I can’t talk about that ending, I will just say that it gives me hope. For a certain character. Oh the possibilities.

    7.

    Star Cursed Cover

    STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I was so glad that I got the chance to read both books in The Cahill Witch Chronicles this year. I was completely surprised by how much I loved each of the books. They are not stories in my typical go-to genre and yet both books are among my most favorites.

    I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story, the setting, the characters. It’s a totally addictive read and one that’s definitely re-read worthy. Though even after a re-read, it’s no easier to have to wait for the next installment in the series. This I know all too well.

    8.

    The Beautiful and the Cursed

    THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED by Page Morgan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Yet another unexpected favorite on my list is Page Morgan’s THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED. If someone told me that I could fall in love with a gargoyle I would have totally rolled my eyes at them. I might have even told them that they were crazy. I would have definitely thought it.

    Well, this author made me not only fall in love with a gargoyle, but her story about them. The sequel is one of my most anticipated reads for 2014. And the wait is killing me.

    9.

    While You're Away

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    I read this book in its serialized format, with just a few chapters available to read in one sitting. It was exquisite torture. This story was tantalizing and nerve-wracking and beautiful and nerve-wracking – yes I said it twice, but it needed to be said two times… if not more.

    I was made to root for a love story that I never would have thought I’d cheer for. I was made to wish and hope for a happily ever after for two characters who, at first, I didn’t think deserved one. I was anxious, I was fearful, I was tentatively hopeful and at times I was even sad. But I was keeping my fingers crossed the entire time for the slim chance that things would work out.

    10.

    A Touch Menacing

    A TOUCH MENACING by Leah Clifford

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Leah Clifford’s Touch Trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time. It’s so very different from anything I’ve ever read. It’s very dark. It is full of surprises. Shocking surprises. Devastating surprises. But it is wicked, wicked awesome.

    The end of this final installment in the series left me in tears. And, no, I won’t say whether they’re happy or sad tears. But if you have read this book or you’ve read any of the books in this series by this author I think you will know exactly what kind of tears there were.

    This last book was non-stop action, with more than a few punches to the face. I couldn’t devour it fast enough. It was that epic. And if I didn’t think it could get any better, the unpublished epilogue made this book that much more off-the-charts amazing for me. Holy-freaking-wow.

    Other Books I Love, Love, Loved

    SweetPeril

    SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins

    Exciting. Sexy as heck. Captivating from start to finish. Delicious. An absolute must.

    The Testing

    THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau

    Gripping. Surprising. Totally addictive. A total stand-out.

    The Burning Sky

    THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas

    Magical. Enchanting. Captivating. Epic. Fan-freaking-tastically good.

    Pivot Point

    PIVOT POINT by Kasie West

    Intriguing. Nerve-wracking. Unputdownable. Amazing.

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    I tried to keep my rambling to a minimum when it came to my top ten picks for 2013. But I may have gone on just a little longer than I’d planned. Oh well…

    But I just couldn’t help myself. They are my favorite reads this year… well, most of them. There are a few others…

    I will try to be a lot less wordy in the rest of the posts this week, but when it comes to favorite reads I always feel the need to go on… and on… and on.

    But now that I’m done I can’t wait to check out what your favorite reads are, so be sure to leave a link to your posts or Goodreads shelf in the Linky List that follows just below the giveaways.

    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


    Share

    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part VI: When I Heard the Truth

    While You're Away Part VI

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part VI: When I Heard the Truth by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. today, November 19, 2013 in audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and eBook format at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 47 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part II: When I Retreat was released on October 22nd, Part III: While You’re Confusing was released on October 29th, Part IV: When We’re Together released on November 5th, Part V: While You’re Distant released on November 12th.

    Part VI: When I Heard the Truth is the final part.

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    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

    Dots_Divider

    Review

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART VI brings this sexy, angst-filled, exciting and beautifully written love story to a close. It answers the question of whether Sarah and Will are able to overcome the obstacles of distance, jealousy and temptation. And it reveals whether what they had together was real or whether it was all a lie.

    Jessa Holbrook keeps readers on the edge of their seats in these final five chapters and the epilogue. With the way things left off at the end of the fifth part to this story, readers will have expected no less of an exhilarating ride as they discover the truth about what happens with Sarah and Will.

    From Part I to Part VI, this story is immensely entertaining, utterly enchanting and wickedly sexy. And with moments that are beautiful and fragile, moments that are steamy hot, moments that will shred your nerves and others that will break your heart, WHILE YOU’RE AWAY more than delivers on its promise.

    A love story that is challenged from the outset, two flawed but likable characters who you’ll want to see end up together, gorgeous writing that brings their story to life, five deliciously torturous mini cliffhanger endings, and a conclusion that is guaranteed to leave you breathless, make this serialized novel an absolute must read whether in pieces or all at once.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    6

    Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.

    On a personal note…

    This last part to the story was all sorts of amazing. Of course I can’t say why without spoiling the ending. And it’s killing me.

    I can’t say whether or not I thought it was amazing because it ripped my heart out or whether I thought that way because Sarah and Will got their happily ever after. I can’t even reveal who one of the sexiest scenes in this story was with.

    But I so desperately want to talk about what happened in this final installment. I want to reveal whether my fears about what was going to happen in this part of the story did happen or whether everything worked out.

    I want to talk about what happened with Will and whether Sarah was right or wrong to think the worst. And I really want to talk about what happened between Sarah and Dave.

    But I can’t talk about any of it. I can’t say whether I was left in tears or I was all smiles or if there was a little bit of both happening for me. I can’t even say whether I loved the way things ended because that would be too revealing.

    I can only say, once again, that it was abso-freaking-lutely amazing and that when this is released as a complete novel I will be buying it all over again and reading it from beginning to end.

    And I can admit to being super curious about whether I’ll love this story even more without the agonizing wait. Or if I’ll become even more connected to the characters without having to wait a week to reconnect with them.

    While that remains to be determined, the one thing I do know for sure is that I will still be as madly in love this story and its characters as I am right now.

    Favorite passage

    There were quite a few perfectly written scenes that I consider favorites. But as this is the last part of the book I didn’t want to risk sharing something too spoiler-y. Of course this tiny fraction of this one particular scene that I love does suggest something…

    Slowly tensing, Dave lingered there as his breath grew ragged. My lonely body yearned to leap up to meet him. I had places that needed to be kissed. Curves that needed strong hands to shape them.

    The moment was full of possibility. It bristled with it, bright and sharp.

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    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part IV: When We’re Together

    While You're Away Part IV

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part IV: When We’re Together by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. on November 5, 2013 in audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and eBook format at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 48 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part II: When I Retreat was released on October 22nd, Part III: While You’re Confusing was released on October 29th, Part V: While You’re Distant releases on November 12th, and the final installment, Part VI: When I Heard the Truth will be available on November 19th.

    Dots_Divider

    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

    Dots_Divider

    Review

    Things heat up in WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART IV, resulting in an incredibly sexy installment of this already exciting, heartbreaking, deliciously torturous and beautifully-written novel. In this fourth part, only five chapters of Sarah and Will’s story are told, but as they contain both scenes that sizzle and those that continue to sow the seeds of doubt about their relationship, readers will not miss the sixth chapter. Part IV is the most riveting yet.

    At this point in the story, things between Sarah and Will have intensified. They’ve passed the point of indecision and have committed to taking that next step. Though once they have, they’re forced to face the next test in their relationship – being separated. And as Will begins to build a life at college and Sarah continues her life at home, doubts and insecurities arise.

    Author Jessa Holbrook continues to grab readers with her characters’ complicated but wildly appealing love story. With each new obstacle she puts in Sarah and Will’s path to a happily ever after, readers will wonder whether being in love is enough. And with distance, loneliness, exes, reputations and jealousy, it might not be.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART IV is utterly captivating from its beginning to its end. It teases readers with the highs of being in love and torments them with some of the lows. And with two characters whose love story readers will want to see succeed, it offers no such guarantee, making not only this part of the story an absolute must read, but the two parts that remain.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    5

    On a personal note…

    Wow, PART IV is totally HOT. When the description promised steamy, I didn’t really believe it would bring as much sizzle. But it totally did. If I were wearing reading glasses the lenses would have been completely fogged up.

    It also left me with this gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach caused by what I think is going to happen in the next part. I am both anxious and filled with dread about what’s coming up. While I don’t want to reveal spoilers about what happened in PART IV, between Sarah’s insecurities, Will’s past reputation and certain temptations that are presenting themselves, I am totally worried.

    With such small bites of the story being released each week, I am still amazed by how invested I’ve become in these characters. I desperately want things to work out between Sarah and Will, even though the way things began for them made them not entirely honorable. But I do adore them and their love story makes me swoon.

    Each week I fall a bit more madly in love with them. Each week I become more hopeful things will end happily. Each week I become more sure that things won’t. Next week I am anticipating tears.

    And while I love getting this story in pieces, forcing me to wait each week to continue, teasing me with just a small peek, I know I would love WHILE YOU’RE AWAY just as much if I had it to devour in one sitting.

    This is such an amazing story. The writing is incredible. The love story is at times so unbelievably breathtakingly romantic it breaks my heart. It’s fragile and delicate. And it’s so totally not fairytale, which I love, love, love.

    Favorite passage

    Aside from the many incredibly steamy passages, there were three that I absolutely loved. As two were a bit too long to reveal here, I chose this one.

    There was a subtle possessiveness in his touch. Just a way that he pulled me to his chest that screamed ownership. It wouldn’t have mattered if we were in the middle of Grand Central Terminal—his touch stripped the rest of the world away.

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    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part III: While You’re Confusing

    While You're Away Part III

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part III: While You’re Confusing by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. on October 29, 2013 in audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and eBook format at BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 47 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part II: When I Retreat was released on October 22nd, Part IV: When We’re Together releases on November 5th, Part V: While You’re Distant releases on November 12th, and the final installment, Part VI: When I Heard the Truth will be available on November 19th.

    Dots_Divider

    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

    Dots_Divider

    Review

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part III is yet another beautifully written and exquisitely torturous installment in this serialized novel. In Part II, Sarah made her decision. In this set of six chapters, it’s now up to Will to decide, to prove himself, to show Sarah whether his feelings for her are real.

    Author Jessa Holbrook teases readers with her characters’ indecision and inaction. She plants even more doubt into the relationship and begins to set the stage for their biggest obstacle yet – being apart. But she also continues to allow her character, Sarah, to grow and other parts of the story to progress.

    While the main focus is the complicated, romantic and incredibly sexy love story, Sarah’s friendships, family and passion for music play a significant part in this story. They add layers and interest and provide more to think about than just the roller-coaster that is Sarah and Will’s relationship.

    At the halfway point in this novel there are more questions than ever awaiting answers. Questions about what Sarah wants with and from both Will and Dave. Questions about Will’s feelings, about their future together, about their future apart, about Sarah’s family, about her and Dave’s band Dasa. Questions that will hopefully be answered by this novel’s end.

    With each new installment readers will become more invested in the story and characters and with each part’s ending they will be that much more anxious for the next. Whether read all at once or week by week, WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a riveting and absolutely gorgeous read.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    5

    On a personal note…

    Oh my gosh this book is amazing! Torturous but amazing. The way this author writes those scenes between Will and Sarah makes me melt. I’m talking a pile of mush. I wish I could share my most favorites so you’d know exactly why, but they are so much better when read in context. They’re also way too spoiler-y to share.

    But at the same time that I’m all swoon-y, I feel my heart aching for Sarah and Will. Because everything is so up in the air. Everything has the potential to fall apart. Everything feels like it can change drastically in an instant. Including their feelings for one another.

    I want so badly for them to have their HEA but as this story feels so very realistic I’m not sure it’s possible. I’m already starting to get that pit in my stomach. The one that I get when I’m anticipating that something really bad is going to happen, something that’s going to leave me in tears. But I have to wait a week… or more… to get answers and to live with this feeling. And it’s killing me.

    If this story wasn’t as utterly ahhhh-mazing as it is, if I wasn’t so desperate for it to download to my Kindle each week, I might consider waiting until all parts to this novel are released before reading. But that’s not going to happen. Because this book is way too awesome and I’m way too invested to have to wait until then.

    So, while it is killing me to have to wait, and it is unbelievably torturous, it’s deliciously torturous. Which is not entirely a bad thing. It gives me something to look forward to each week. Each installment does not disappoint – this story just keeps getting better and better. And oh my gosh I seriously love these characters.

    I’m just so glad the wait is only a week.

    Favorite passage

    Once again there were so many beautifully written passages in this third part of the story. I had two favorites but as they are incredibly spoiler-y I chose this one.

    Will put his brow to my temple, shuddering with a long, exhaled breath. Beneath the tinny, raucous sound of CGI battle, I heard Will whispering. I couldn’t make out his words at first. It sounded like a prayer, a rosary whispered against my curls.

    Then aloud, so loud it seemed to echo off the broken-down statuary around us, Will said, “Are you really mine, now?”

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    Mini Review: While You’re Away Part II: When I Retreat

    While You're Away Part II

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    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part II: When I Retreat by Jessa Holbrook was released in the U.S. on October 22, 2013 in eBook format. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Razorbill, this book is 52 pages.

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a serialized novel in six parts being published weekly. Part I: Our First Encounter was released on October 15th, Part III: While You’re Confusing will be released on October 29th, Part IV: When We’re Together releases on November 5th, Part V: While You’re Distant releases on November 12th, and the final installment, Part VI: When I Heard the Truth will be available on November 19th.

    Dots_Divider

    Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

    Dots_Divider

    Review

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY Part II takes Jessa Holbrook’s story to an entirely new level. Beautifully written and heartbreaking, this second set of six chapters are emotionally-charged and add depth to this incredibly captivating and sexy story.

    In this next part of the story, the unexpected relationship between Sarah and Will continues to develop, creating even more conflict for the story’s main character. Sarah is torn between a boy she has loved for years and who is also her friend and partner in her band and a boy she feels an intense physical connection with and possibly something more, but who is still somewhat of a question mark.

    This choice she is faced with, and the anguish she feels, makes for a riveting and heart-rending read. The author’s writing creates moments that are fragile and beautiful and others that are hot and steamy. There is a wonderful flow to the story that will keep readers engaged. And there’s a nice balance between the author’s development of the characters and story and the emotional intensity she infuses at key points.

    This second part once again leaves off at an important juncture in Sarah’s life. While not exactly a cliffhanger, there are numerous questions up in the air about what choices Sarah will make and what the repercussions will be of the decisions she has already made. And at this point in the story, after getting to know the characters a bit more, and after all that has happened, it will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next part.

    In just twelve chapters of WHILE YOU’RE AWAY, author Jessa Holbrook has created a story that is an absolute must read.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    5

    On a personal note…

    Wow. Just wow. This second part blew me away. The author is an amazing writer. She has this way with words that totally played on my emotions. I was completely shredded. With just one sentence I’d become all twisted up. The next I’d feel hopeful or heartbroken or anxious.

    The description made me believe that this story wasn’t going to have as much depth as it does. But it’s not a surface story. It’s not just a story of two characters having some fun. It’s not simply a story of two cheaters who possibly get what’s coming to them. The characters are ones I’ve become invested in, especially Sarah. Which does not usually happen quite as quickly as it did with this book.

    It’s hard, when reviewing, to take a story apart into its pieces. I usually judge stories as a whole. But this serialized novel has forced me to do just that. And so I shall…

    I loved the introductory part, it made me want to read on. But this second part, now that the foundation has been established, was absolutely incredible.

    Somewhere along the way in these six chapters I fell madly in love with this book. I desperately want to be able to keep reading. I don’t want to meet any new characters before I find out what’s in store for Sarah and Will. I’m already hoping for a happily ever after. And I am anxious to find out if Will is everything he seems to be or if he’ll break Sarah’s heart… and mine.

    Favorite passage

    These six chapters were filled with amazing passages that just tore me to pieces. And this one exchange between Sarah and Will knocked me over with its beauty and simplicity and perfection, but out of context it wouldn’t make sense or have the same impact.

    So I chose to share this one which isn’t too spoiler-y.

    I wanted to gather him in my arms. I wanted to protect him from the rest of the world, who looked at him and couldn’t see past the surface. I was sad that he hadn’t had a chance to just be until now. His whole life, stuffed into a shape that didn’t fit him…

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