Thursday, December 31, 2015

Lauren’s Best Book of 2015: Bleeding Love by Harper Sloan




Publication Date: 7/14/2015
Series: Hope Town #2







Official Blurb:


I've loved once. I gave everything that I had to that love. Blindly believing that nothing could ever take that feeling away from me. Away from us. And when my little world of happiness was ripped from my fingers, I felt a loss that still haunts me to this day. 

Now I use that lingering grief as a shield to keep my heart from loving again. It's that fear that keeps me from letting anyone, except my daughter, get close enough to make it hurt. To make my heart bleed when I inevitably lose again. 

Until the day I met Liam Beckett and everything I thought I had protected myself from was shoved back in my face. 


He's on a mission to prove to me that a love worth having is a love worth fighting for.



My Original Review



This book is bar none Harper's best novel to date. She took a step back with this story and just let it tell itself without dramatic twists or unnerving action. I knew going in that the fight for Megan's heart would be a rocky road, but I had no idea how emotional raw I would feel after turning the last page. Sloan has taken someone that is broken beyond repair and push her to the limit to raise from the ashes. Losing her husband in the war is a momentous loss in itself, but to find out the details of their relationship nearly killed me. Liam knew he couldn't push her passed her limits or he'd lose her before their love ever got off the ground. Bleeding Love is the most emotionally charged and romantically intense book of 2015. Having experienced the sudden loss of my father earlier in the year, Harper brought all the emotions I felt at his passing flooding back. It took me days to even sit down and write this review. The tears are still flowing as I write this, but I needed my review to be on paper. Harper Sloan, I want to thank you for giving me as a reader such an beautifully broken and emotional read. Liam's words towards the end of the book have profoundly affected me and made me work even harder to preserve my love for my father even if he's no longer here on earth with me. You've given me the strength to move on in my life and re-build my family. For everyone else, this may be a work for fictional brilliance, but to me this allowed me to finally let go of the pain in my heart and finally live again.

Do you want to know why I chose this book as my Best of 2015? It’s honestly very simple. When a book such as Bleeding Love has not only affected my life in a positive way, but also stuck with me throughout the entire year after reading 200+ books, you know it’s one of those rare read finds.  Bleeding Love is the kind of book you can sit down on a snowy or rainy day and get lost within its pages all over again.  Even thinking about one particular scene in the book and everyone whose read it knows which I am talking about months later, it still brings tears to my tears and makes my heart ache.  Yes, this story resonated with me after the loss of my father in February, but just as these characters exhibited even in a fictional tale, the love you feel for a loved one who has passed will never diminish over time.  This books gives those suffering from loss hope and that is the reason why I chose Bleeding Love by Harper Sloan as my pick of best book of 2015. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Nikki's best book of 2015: Fisher's Light by Tara Sivec





Series:Standalone 

Rating: 5 Amazing Stars! 







Official Blurb: 
Fisher,
I guess this is it, huh? After fourteen years together, starting a life of our own on this island, five deployments and countless letters I’ve written you through it all, I finally go out to the mailbox and see something I’ve always dreamed of: an envelope with your handwriting on it. For one moment, I actually thought you’d changed your mind, that all the awful things you said to me were just your way of coping after everything you’d been through. I was still here, Fisher. I was still here, holding my breath, waiting for you to come back even though you told me you never would. You always said you’d find your way back to me. Out of all the lies you’ve told me, this one hurts the most.

Enclosed you will find the signed divorce papers, as requested.
I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry it wasn’t me.
Lucy


To get the ending they want, Lucy and Fisher will have to go back to the beginning. Through the good and the bad, they’ll be reminded of why they always made their way back to each other, and why this time, one way or another, it will be the last time.


   I was asked to pick my top 2015 read and I kept coming right back to Fisher's light. Below is my original review that I left because that's what my heart was feeling when I read it. Tara Sivec knocked this one out of the park. It's a book that will stick with you FOREVER and I wish I could get it more than 5 Stars!! 



 This is by far one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. Being a military wife myself, this book hits close to home in many ways. The journey of Fisher and Lucy is not pretty at times but it’s a journey that is filled with love, compassion, understanding, hard times, weakness, suffering, and every emotion in between. 

After 14 years together, Lucy is lost completely without Fisher and she realizes life isn’t always fair. But Lucy is doing the best she can to keep her head above water. It’s been 1 year since Fisher left Lucy and there are still many questions that need to be answered. She struggles with a lot of things but being by Fisher’s side had never been an issue until he left. 

Oh my Fisher. It’s really hard to express my LOVE for him. At first I was upset at him for leaving until you get his side. I literally wanted to crawl into my kindle, grab him up, and hug him for hours and hours. My heart broke for him in many ways. 

I am not going to lie …. Be prepared to CRY!! Yes I cried throughout half of this book. Was it worth it? HELL YES every single minute!! Life isn’t always fair and you have to get through the bad to get to the good. No one knows what it’s like or how it feels until you are in that situation. Fisher didn’t always make the best choices but he did what he thought was right. When two people are truly in love, they will always find a way back to each other. I went down this path with Fisher and Lucy. We laughed, cried, screamed, jumped for joy, and cried some more but we made it to the end together. And everything that was supposed to happen did. I couldn’t see a different journey for these two and I LOVED EVERY SINGLE MINUTE!!!!! Fantastic job Tara you wrote a story that will ALWAYS be in my heart.



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cherry'sBest of 2015 Books: The Deal and The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

As 2015 draws to a close we here at SNSB would like to take a second to acknowledge our favorite books of the year.  I love all my book boyfriends and having to narrow the field down sucked.  I just couldn't do only one book, so I narrowed it down to two.  These are not just my favorite of the year, these are two of my all time favorites. 


Publication: 2-24-15
Series: Off Campus #1
Rating: 5 Cherries

Blurb: 

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Review: 

I really can't say enough about this book.  There are just too many awesome things.  Garrett Graham



and Garrett Graham





and Garrett Graham.... 



Hannah and Garrett shine bright together.  This is nerd meets jock at its finest.  Garrett doesn't want to fall in love with Hannah and Hannah doesn't believe it is possible to love a jock like him.  After a lot of ups and downs Garrett and Hannah get a happily ever after.



Publication: 5-6-15
Series: Off Campus #2
Rating: 5 Cherries

Blurb: 

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Review:

I really didn't think it could get any better than Garrett, until I met John Logan. 


We first meet John Logan who also goes by just Logan in The Deal.  Logan knows what he wants and an HEA on the scale of Garrett and Hannah's epic love is the only thing that will do.  Logan actually thinks he might even be in love with Hannah.  That is until he accidentally meets and hits it off with Grace Ivers.  Grace is a freshman and completely not what Logan thinks he could ever want or need in a girlfriend.  Try as they might to just stay friends Logan and Grace keep getting pulled into each other deeper and deeper.  Grace has major relationship hangups and Logan has baggage the size of Texas but they manage to fight hard for their HEA.

I really can't say enough about the writing of Elle Kennedy.  These two books are phenomenal.  Not only do they have solid stories but great character building as well.  You can tell that Elle has spent a lot of time crafting the stories of each character and seamlessly twining them together.  While you can read these as stand-alones I would recommend reading both.  I am already eagerly awaiting the next book in the Off Campus series called The Score.  This will be Dean's story (we meet him in The Deal) and I am sure it will be just as awesome as the first two. 

Thank you to all of the fans of SNSB and all the fans of my reviews.  You guys don't even know how much you mean to us.  We would be nothing without our followers!! 


I hope you all have a happy and prosperous new year!!!!






Monday, December 28, 2015

A Beholden Heart by M.L. Steinbrunn

Title: A Beholden Heart
Author: M.L. Steinbrunn
Genre: YA/NA Romance
Release Date: January 15, 2016
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought to yourself, this can’t be what the universe had planned for me?
This thought enters my brain…Every. Single. Day.
I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, but this isn’t it.
I don’t want extraordinary. I’ve never wanted extraordinary. I just want normal…whatever that is.
When I enrolled in Middleton High School, I was just looking to find some resemblance to the typical high school experience.
Then I met Matt Rhodes. He lives the life of envy: popular, athletic, top of his class. Yet he wants none of it; he would gladly give it all up to gain back everything that he’s lost.
Together we will redefine normal.

My name is M.L. Steinbrunn and I am a young adult and contemporary romance author. My work includes the popular Redemption Series and a young adult series, which includes my new release, A Beholden Heart. 
In addition to writing, I work full-time as a high school educator and coach in rural Colorado where my husband and I are raising our four young children. Through education I have enjoyed guiding others on their paths and helping students build their own stories. After countless evenings of discussing story ideas, it was my husband who encouraged me to follow my own path of self-publishing.
I want to send a huge thank you to those who have been overwhelmingly supportive of this journey. 
--M.L. Steinbrunn
HOSTED BY:

Tiffany's Best Book of 2015: Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer


Publication Date: October, 26 2015
Rating: 5 Stars!



Official Blurb: 

If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to see.
If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to feel.
If I were dead, he'd never raise his hand to me again.
If I were dead, his words wouldn't cut as deep as they do.
If I were dead, I'd be beautiful and I wouldn't be so...ugly.
I'm not dead...but I wish I was.



I was asked what my top book for 2015 would be, after thinking about all the others I have read I was completely stumped. ONE book, as was my favorite out of the WHOLE year? Hmmm I thought and then I remembered Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer. I bought it on a whim, I saw a blog share the cover and blurb, it was simple but it spoke to me. I like a darker read, a story that the heroine has to endure, triumph and ends up BEATING the odds. This book has torn me to pieces, it is a long book and at times you will cry or be so pissed off at the characters that you will want to stop reading for a bit. In the end its worth it and I think it deserves recognition for what it is, a survivor’s story. It tells you that no matter what may happen in life, you can and will overcome it and survive to live another day. That the world is not all bad and you are worth everything. So let’s go into my original review of how I felt right after reading this book that still lives inside me, and always will.

Wow when I started this book, I thought to myself, I'm not sure I'm going to like this at all. Although I have read a lot of dark books, this one just really socks it to you. I just couldn't believe everything that this poor girl had to go through and endure even as a child.

Her name is Lily, and her parents weren't very caring for as long as she could remember. She has wonderful dreams though, of caring parents and a wonderful little brother. Sleep is her only escape while she lives with her alcoholic father and tries to finish school. Being
neglected, starved, and beat is all she has ever known, since she was 6 years old. At 17 she meets this good looking young man, Trent and it seems like everything changes and her world doesn't seem so dark. But things aren't always what they seem and she trades one evil for another. After fleeing from the beating her father gave her, Trent and his parents seem like a Godsend, but it's not so. As a reader, we pick up on these red flags right away, but to a girl who has been both mentally and physically abused her whole life, she doesn't catch things that are amiss. Though she does question certain things.


While reading Lily's story I became so sad, and angry at what she has to go through and suffer. It was quite a long journey for Lily to actually get away from the horrible people in her life who just took from her and belittled her. She was lucky to be alive. For me, this was a really good book, it kept me interested and wanting to know if Lily was going to be able to cope and move on with her life after everything. I also wanted closure and an explanation as to why her parents treated her the way they did. I feel like it wrapped up nicely. But even though I'm not a parent myself, I don't think that my reaction would have been the same as theirs, and treat my child as the culprit, placing blame on the young child’s shoulders. Overall I really enjoyed it, she stood up for herself, took a chance and made it out alive. Lily is a survivor, she has strength and she finally saw herself, and knew she was worthy of anything and everything her heart desired.





Sunday, December 27, 2015

Brandi's Best Book of 2015: The Summer Remains by Seth King



Publication date: February 14th 2015
Series: The Summer Remains #1
Rating: 5 stars

Official blurb:

Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may or may not end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.
As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app - and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.

Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.



Favorite/Best book of 2015

I chose The Summer Remains by Seth King for many reasons. One of those reasons are, when I was looking through my list of read books for the year, this one is the one that stood out to me the most. Even as I looked at more books, The Summer Remains was the one that lingered on my mind. That’s how you know a book is a great read. This one will forever stay with me for a long time.

Original Review:

When I first started The Summer Remains, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I jumped head first, and once I was in, there was no stopping it or me. This was my first book I have ever read from Seth, and I couldn’t wait to see how this book would go. But, let me tell you, this book will make you do some of the many.

It will make you think long and hard about your life, and the people around you. It will make you question somethings you have done or have seen done to others. It will give you some laughter, that warm fuzzy feeling when something makes you happy, but most of all, it will make you wish things could be different.

Now, I loved this book. Absolutely 100% glad I picked this up and gave it a chance. Was I heartbroken at the ending…yes. Did I learn a valuable lesson from this…yes. This book has so many things that are true in life and I couldn’t help to agree with everything. It was crazy to me how much social media runs our lives, and how true it really is.

Summer is one of those characters that you wished wasn’t just a character. Her story is epic. She wasn’t one the type of person who wanted you to feel sorry for her or treat her any differently. She is just a girl looking for love. Cooper is the same. He has some troubling things that happened to him, but when he meets Summer, she changes him just like everyone else Summer met. Their love was just as epic and moving as the entire book. One that I know will stay with me for a long time.


I know this book has some heartbreaking things in there. I know a lot of people wouldn’t want to read it, but you have to give it a chance. There is so much more in this read than just love, and loss. This was a great read, one that I would re-read again someday. Highly recommend picking this book up and giving it a try! Awesome job Seth. I am still blown away by your words. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Review: Driven by Kelley Armstrong




Publication Date: 12/5/2016
Series: Otherworld Series # 13.6
Rating:  4.5 Stars







Official Blurb: 

Subterranean Press is pleased to present a long Otherworld novella by Kelley Armstrong, featuring a number of full-color illustrations by Xaviere Daumarie. The Trade Hardcover of Driven will feature a full-color dust jacket as well as four full-color interior illustrations. The Signed Limited Edition will have a completely different dust jacket, full-color endsheets, and two additional full-color illustrations not in the Trade. If you own a copy of the limited edition of Forsaken, please mention your number to match when checking out.

Cains are known for being big, brutish and not-too-bright. The mutt clan embodies all the supernatural world’s worst stereotypes about werewolves. But not even the Cains deserve to be hunted down and skinned like animals.

When young Davis Cain comes to the Pack for help, Alpha Elena Michaels can’t refuse him. It isn't about morality or justice. It’s about not letting anyone think they can do this to werewolves and get away with it.

But Elena is also dealing with the Pack’s homegrown monster—Malcolm Danvers, onetime enforcer, full-time psycho. Malcolm is now under Elena’s control, as part of the most difficult decision she’s had to make as leader. But if she has to let Malcolm in, she’s going to make full use of him…and the best person to catch monsters is one who knows exactly how they think.


Driven takes us back to our favorite werewolf pack and one of their long standing foes, Malcolm. As Elena continues to battle for respect as the first female American Alpha, she has to face so many obstacles. Rogues and other packs don’t respect her like she should and she has to fight every day to prove her worth.  Elena and Clay have always been my favorite werewolf couple so to say the least getting to see them back in action was amazing.   Armstrong gave us a fresh take on the life of Elena, Clay and all of the pack members after the end of the series. Longtime fans of this series will lavish in the return to the manor and the fight that’s brewing, but most of all, fans will love with that certain sexy curly top character says… darling. Insert swoon here!