Friday, January 13, 2017

Cover Reveal: Rocked Up

It shouldn't be a secret that I adore Karina Halle's contemporary novels. I was so excited and intrigued when I learned she had written a novel with her husband, Scott Mackenzie! (As they say in their author bio for this book, it's like her novel Smut come to life! And if you haven't read Smut, you should.) Rocked Up is set to be released on April 12th.

Here's what the novel is about:
Rocked Up is a STANDALONE rockstar romantic comedy and the fun and sexy brainchild of New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle and her husband Scott Mackenzie.
I have been watching him since I was a child.
He didn't notice me back then and it didn't matter. Brad Snyder, guitarist and singer for one of the world's greatest bands, was my entire life.
My father, the CEO of Ramsey Records, takes credit for all of Brad's success, trying to control him in the same way he's controlled me.
But I finally get an opportunity to prove myself.
To be wild.
To be free.
Today I'm auditioning to be the replacement bass player for Brad's band. If I get the job, I'll go on tour and work with Brad every day, in very close proximity.
There's only one rule: he's not allowed to touch the boss's daughter.
Remember when I said that Brad never used to notice little ol' me?
Well, Brad's noticing me now.
In a way that's going to get us both in trouble.
My name is Lael Ramsey and we all know how this will turn out.
Doesn't that sound great?

Hang Le has designed many of Halle's covers in the past and I adore her work. Ready to see her latest work? You bet you are!

I'll admit that I hadn't realized the play on words until I saw the pregnancy test on the cover. Knocked up, rocked up. It makes me even more intrigued about this book - and I hope you are too!

Author Bio:
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Smut, The Artists Trilogy, Heat Wave and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her rescue pup and her husband Scott Mackenzie, who co-wrote Rocked Up with her. That's right. It's like the book SMUT come to life! This is their first venture as a writing team. A lot of music was played. A lot of laughs were had. A lot of sex was...put in the book!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

7th Annual End of Year Survey

It's that time of year again! Time for the End of Year Book Survey, courtesy of Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner! To be honest, it's past that time of year. But that's ok! I'm still going to post my answers. How was your reading life in 2016? Links will lead to Goodreads (but only the first time I mention the book/author) or, if noted, to my review.

Number Of Books You Read: 103
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Adult Contemporary (fiction, chick lit, romance, and so on)

Best in Books 

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?
You can’t expect me to pick just one, right?
Best Reread: Arranged – Catherine McKenzie
Best (Romantic) Suspense: He Will Be My Ruin – KA Tucker (review here)
Best (Adult) Contemporary: Poles Apart – Terry Fallis
Best YA: The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson
(Fun fact: almost all of those authors are Canadian!)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. I’ve been a Giffin fan for years but I just didn’t love this one, even though many others did.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
It wasn’t so much the book itself that was surprising but the subject matter, which was based on truth. In The German Girl, by Armando Lucas Correa, it’s 1939 and a ship full of Jewish refugees was turned away in Cuba, the USA, and Canada before being forced to head back to Europe. Some people were allowed off and the novel focuses on a fictional girl who stays in Cuba with her pregnant mother but her father is not allowed off the ship. He, like many others, dies in a camp in Europe. I didn’t love love love the book but it made me realize how many stories I just don’t know from history.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I reread Arranged by Catherine McKenzie this year because my book club decided to read it (yes, with my urging) and it’s one I’ve pushed on many people over the years.

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?
I finally read All Lined Up by Cora Carmack and loved it. I wish my library had the books because I definitely can’t afford to buy the rest of them! 
I also freaking loved Sarah Morgan’s series From Manhattan with Love. A definite must for romance lovers. 

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?
Karma Brown. I actually came across her in a way that’s fairly normal for others but not for me. A co-worker was given her book and because she doesn’t read, she passed it off to me. See the blogging life category further down for more on Karma!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Literary fiction is not usually my jam but I freaking loved The Hidden Keys by Andre Alexis (he won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015 for Fifteen Dogs…which is also very good.)

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker. I love her writing anyway but she wrote such a suspenseful book that I just could not read fast enough.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Arranged was a re-read and I’m likely to re-read that one as it’s one of my all-time favourites. I also imagine I’ll reread the Lucy Maud Montgomery books I read this year. But will any of those get read in 2017? Unlikely.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
The Regulars by Georgia Clark

11. Most memorable character of 2016?
Most of the characters from We’re All in this Together by Amy Jones were pretty memorable but I think I’ll have to choose Georgia Nicolson from Louise Rennison’s series. I read these back in high school and a blogger friend and I reread them after Rennison’s death earlier this year. Georgia is a bit ridiculous and has so much growing up to do but she definitely qualifies as memorable!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery.   

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?
Either The Break Katherna Vermette or The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall. Both are must reads.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I know. I had it on my shelf but it took the movie and going to a (very very quick) signing for me to finally read this one.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?
So many parts of Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy had me laughing so hard I was in tears or nodding because I totally understood what she meant. This one is one of the funny ones.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Longest: The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson (Goodreads says 519 pages)
Shortest: Winter Wishes – Karina Halle (Goodreads says 87 pages – it’s a novella)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
While I read many shocking stories this year, most of them had expected shocking moments. Finding out who the killer is, if the father and pillar of the community really was guilty of sexual abuse, who it really was who raped a young girl (oh yeah, I read some really light books this year)…those are all things you expect to find out through the course of a gripping, suspenseful novel. But I had a literal jaw drop moment when I read Karen Swan’s latest book, of all things. Christmas Under theStars had a few more twists than I had anticipated and I think I was more shocked because I figured out one revelation and then, bam, Swan surprised me with another.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Georgia and Dave the Laugh from Louise Rennison’s series.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
The friendship between Hannah and Kate in Karma Brown’s The Choices We Make is one of the strongest and best I’ve ever read. 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
He Will Be My Ruin by KA Tucker

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I kind of wanted to read it anyway but all the press about The Nest made me look forward to the book. End result? Meh. I do not see what the fuss is about.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Blake Crawford from Karina Halle’s Smut. Blake is British, smart, funny (sometimes more on the dry wit and sarcastic side), and good-looking. Sign me up. Plus – Halle’s muse was Sam Claflin. Yum.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?
Technically Amy Jones has been published before but We’re All in This Together is her first novel (and it’s delightful). Also a stretch because it’s not her first book but it is her first novel, The Break by Katherena Vermette. Although, I did read Karma Brown’s debut novel, Come Away With Me, this year even though this wasn’t the year she published it.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
The Break takes place in Winnipeg, which is a real place and wouldn’t necessarily need a lot of “worldbuilding” but in order for the story to work, Vermette had to paint a picture of what it’s like to live as a Native Canadian. She did and it’s a total gut punch. And a must read.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I read a lot of books that are on the lighter side so they have funny and sweet moments throughout so, I think I’ll go with Hot Dudes Reading because, hello.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?
Raise your hand if you’re surprised that it was Me Before You.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Pretty much anything by Karina Halle but Smut and Heat Wave in particular.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. Read it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
I really enjoyed Don’t I Know You? by Marni Jackson. It’s a book of short stories that follow a woman from 16 to 60 as she has the most random encounters with celebrities in her everyday life. You have to suspend your belief a little bit but once you do, it all works and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Notable celebrity mentions: Leonard Cohen, Taylor Swift, Keith Richards, Meryl Streep, and Bob Dylan.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
I had an ARC that infuriated me but some of the issues did get resolved so my pick is Falling by Jane Green. It was infuriating and I think tried a little too hard to be like other popular books.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?
Every year I say, “Kaley, make sure you write down which new blogs you’ve discovered otherwise you’ll forget when it’s time to do the end of year survey” and every year I forget. So, I’m going to promo for a friend (who has no idea that I’m going to hehe) Rattle the Stars belongs to a girl I went to university with. She’s just about to celebrate her first blogoversary (so I guess, technically, I did discover it in 2016 lol).

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
I’m going to go with my review of Hot Dudes Reading because the book and review meant staring at hot dudes who were reading. You cannot go wrong with that.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
2016 was my sixth blogoversary, can you believe it? I kind of let it all out in a post celebrating that and I’m glad. We always talk about being yourself and blogging the way you want to blog so I kind of just talked about everything that was good and bad and in between with blogging over the last year.

4. Best event that you participated in?
I finally read Me Before You this year and adored it. I heard Jojo Moyes would be in Toronto (about 1.5 hours away from me) for a signing so made plans to go. It was a bit of a clusterfuck getting there as I didn’t realize until close to the event that it was just a signing, and a fast one at that, and realized the day before that it was at a different Indigo than I thought. I almost didn’t go but having the chance to hang out with Jess from Paper Trail Diary was too good of a chance to pass up. Fast forward to the day of and having to drive into Toronto (shudder) and almost not finding the store and having to buy new copies of the book for Jess and myself because of their stupid rules and not being able to hear any of the Q&A before the signing, we got our copies of Me Before You signed by the lovely Moyes. That doesn’t sound like much fun, right? Well, you’re right. But because of who I was standing with (Terri from Read and Riot), we all got passes to see the movie Me Before You that night – about two weeks before it was released in theatres. VIP theatre (my first experience), free popcorn, water (or pop), magazine, and Kleenex (and yes, it was necessary). It was so much fun and I was so glad I made the trek into the city for the signing!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
As I mentioned earlier, Karma Brown was a new to me author in 2016. I saw an event coming up where Karma was being interviewed by another author I knew and liked (Marissa Stapley) so I devoured her first book (Come Away with Me, the one I was given) and bought the second (The Choices We Make) at the event. It was a great event – two smart women talking about books and publishing! – and I had a chance to hang out with my Toronto author friend Samantha Stroh Bailey and bumped into author Chantel Guertin too! But that wasn’t the best part of my year with Karma and her books. My book club decided to read Come Away with Me so I tweeted at Karma to tell her that. She ended up coming to our meeting! It was an excellent night and almost everyone in my club was engaged and asked questions. We kept Karma for almost two hours (sorry about that…) but it was a fantastic evening.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
Fitting in time to blog and being inspired to write were my biggest challenges. I got a lot of reading in but just did not feel like sitting down to write the reviews. Sigh.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My post on my blogoversary was well loved (thanks, guys!) but my review of The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson was a popular one, too!

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I think everyone needs to read Karina Halle and everyone can because she has something in pretty much every genre. I reviewed a couple of hers this year, and read a few more, but I don’t think enough readers know about her. If you’re a fan of KA Tucker or Colleen Hoover, you should really read Halle.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Hamilton Review of Books (not to be confused with the musical…I live near Hamilton the city) just started up a month or so ago and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with next. The Penguin Shop in Toronto opened this year but I have yet to visit (they’re only open during the week and I’m never in Toronto during the week or, if I am, it’s after the store has closed). Finally, I discovered FirstEdition Tea and have even bought some…I just haven’t tried it yet. Oops. Their packaging is just so fun!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I had decided to make my reading goal 75 because I was hopeful I would eventually work full time and would therefore have less time to read. I did get full time but I also managed to read 103 books.
I also reread all of the Georgia Nicolson books with Jessica from Paper Trail Diary. It was a mission and a half (and we may have regretted our decision partway through the year) but we stuck with it. It was really interesting to read YA books from when we were teens and compare them to what teens are reading these days. Let me just say, thank goodness some things are changing.

Looking Ahead
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I bought it the day it released (the actual day time…I didn’t do the midnight release) and because of magazine deadlines and other books and life, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen (my all-time favourite author!) and Until it Fades by KA Tucker. Oh and Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley! And for a non-fiction choice, Baseball Life Advice by Stacey May Fowles (It looks like Goodreads hasn't updated the listing for the book yet with the right title or new cover but that's the book! You can see the cover here).

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer! I’m so bad at knowing what debuts are coming, plus I always find it’s YA debuts that are talked about most in the blogosphere. Not helpful for me. (Even if answers for 2 and 4 make you think otherwise haha)
I did find one article on the interwebs that included The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell. I have no idea if I’ll get to it this year or not, but it sounds intriguing and it’s her first novel.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Always and Forever, Lara Jean (SO EXCITED) by Jenny Han and The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie (that one will be my first read of the year!).

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
Other than recommitting and blogging more, I really really really want to finally redesign my site. There’s so much work involved (design, hosting, etc etc etc) that I’ve been putting it off for awhile now.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I beta-read one upcoming novel which I’m really excited about but you’ll just have to wait to hear more about that one.

I did finish Juliet’s Answer: One Man’s Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak by Glenn Dixon, which releases later this month, and it was delightful. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: Christmas Under the Stars

Over the years Karen Swan has become synonymous with Christmas books. This year's winter offering is Christmas Under the Stars. A wintery book that's set in Canada? I'm in.

Here's the synopsis:
Worlds apart. A love without limit.
In the snow-topped mountains of the Canadian Rockies, Meg and Mitch are living their dream. Just weeks away from their wedding, they work and play with Tuck and Lucy, their closest and oldest friends. Meg and Lucy are as close as sisters - much to Meg's sister's dismay - and Tuck and Mitch have successfully turned their passion for snowboarding into a booming business.
But when a polar storm hits, tragedy strikes. Alone in the tiny mountain log cabin she shares with Mitch, Meg desperately tries to radio for help - and it comes from the most unexpected quarter, a lone voice across the airwaves that sees what she cannot.
As the snow melts and they try to live with their loss, the friendship Meg thought was forever is buckled by tensions, rivalries and devastating secrets. Nothing is as she thought and only her radio contact understands what it is to be truly alone. As they share confidences in the dark, witnessed only by the stars, Meg feels her future begin to pull away from her past and is forced to consider a strange truth - is it her friends who are the strangers? And a stranger who really knows her best?
I've never been to Banff but it's somewhere I'd like to travel to. If you don't know what that area of Canada looks like, look it up and start planning your trip. So. Beautiful. Anywho...I don't think I've ever read a novel that's set in Banff so I was excited about that. Even though I haven't been there myself, I felt that Swan managed to capture the essence of the city. Apart from a few word choices and terms, it really felt like I was in Canada and I loved that. But those few words and terms irked me quite a bit, unfortunately. Canadians do not use the term "ice-hockey", OK? We call it hockey, full stop. We use Celsius for temperature, not Fahrenheit, and while we're taught metric weights in school now, we tend to use pounds, not kilograms. Here's a big one: Canada has provinces, not states so don't have a Canadian ask someone when they last left the state, please. And yes, I did check my ARC against a finished copy (and you should be glad I did because there were two major mistakes in the advanced copy that were thankfully fixed in the published book). Oh, and my one final annoyance...the characters go to a Stanley Cup quarter final game in Calgary. The Flames are playing against, wait for it, the Toronto Maple Leafs. First of all, the Leafs are sucking so they wouldn't make it to the quarter finals. (OK, so that's just mostly a dig at the Leafs haha) Second, these two teams would not be playing each other in the quarter finals because one is an Eastern division team and the other is a Western division team. Am I reading too much into this? Maybe. But this is a novel about my countrymen (and countrywomen) and I want it to reflect my country properly, you know?

*breathes* OK. Time to be positive because the book had a lot to offer.

This story twisted and turned in so many amazing ways. It wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be and that was amazing. Swan is able to write these heart wrenching, drama filled stories that keep you interested and turning the pages right to the very end. I actually could not believe how the story ended up. I do believe my jaw dropped! 

The book wasn't all about the drama though. There was a romance woven throughout that was so sweet and such a slow burn, which it needed to be. Meg was in no place to start dating but, bit by bit, she realized that maybe she could open herself up to love again. Jonas seemed to be such an incredibly smart and decent man and I really wanted that for Meg.

I really loved that Meg and her sister, Ronnie, rediscovered their bond over the course of the novel. They were close growing up but something shifted as they got older. I'm pretty close with my sister (which I'm sure she'd agree with when she's not annoyed with her big sister haha) so I always enjoy books about sisters. It was great to see Ronnie help Meg emerge a little bit more from her grief when Meg visited her in Toronto.  

I know I'm posting my review after Christmas (and I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful holiday!) but you can definitely still read this book now that Christmas is over. Even though the holiday is right in the title, it doesn't have any holiday spirit. The book is written so you know what the date is for every chapter. Christmas Day is actually skipped right over. I'm glad I wasn't reading this looking for a festive novel because I wouldn't have gotten it. But it's a wonderful winter read that is perfect for reading by the fire while looking out at the snow. Or, I suppose, giving you a great image of snow if you live somewhere that doesn't get the frosty white stuff (lucky you!). 

It might not seem like it, but I did enjoy Christmas Under the Stars. Karen Swan has written a book unlike one I have ever read before. Even with the few things that annoyed me, the unique story and setting really helped me like Swan's latest novel. 

*An ARC of this novel was provided by Publishers Group Canada in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Miracle on 5th Avenue

Miracle on 5th Avenue is the third and final book in Sarah Morgan's From Manhattan with Love series. I wrote about the first two books (Sleepless in Manhattan and Sunset in Central Park) earlier this year. OK, maybe "wrote" isn't strong enough..."gushed" might be more accurate. I just adored this series and was both sad and happy to finally read the last story.

Here's the synopsis:
It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York!Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?
I knew even before I read the synopsis of this book that Eva was going to be paired with Lucas, who also happens to be one of Eva's best friend's favourite authors. I could sense how Morgan was setting it up in the first two books but I was looking forward to seeing how she was going to have the pair actually meet. And seeing how on earth they'd get along. Eva is all sunshine and sweetness and Lucas is a crime writer who tends to see the worst in the world. Talk about opposites attract!

And attract they did! It's almost always amusing to be the reader and know that both the heroine and the hero are attracted to each other but aren't doing a damn thing about it and/or trying to deny their attraction. Why they tried to resist it, I'll never know but I did love reading as the attraction between Eva and Lucas grew. And grew...and grew...until they finally gave in.

I'll admit I was very worried about Eva because she's such a sweet character. But don't confuse sweet with boring or helpless. She is a strong female who just loves love and tries to be positive as much as possible. I did like that Morgan allowed Eva to finally grieve some more for her grandmother without feeling so guilty about it. I was worried because I knew there would come a time in the book where Lucas would inevitably hurt her (I'm no newbie to romances...I know the formula and don't mind it as long as the author makes me want to keep reading. And Morgan always makes me want to keep reading) and I didn't want to see her hurt. Of course, I also knew I'd get the Happily Ever After I wanted :)

I had put off reading the third book in the series for a couple of reasons. I like to give myself a break between books when I know the main characters are going to change. I fall in love with them and I want to keep reading about them and I know if I switch too soon then I won't love the next pair as much as I should. I also wanted to wait to read this until closer to Christmas because I knew it would help get me in the holiday spirit. It's not so Christmassy that you can't read it at any time of year but it has enough festive cheer to make it a fantastic read for the season. Decorations, holiday galas, New York in December, and the magic of just all works so well for romance novels!

I don't know how much else I can say about Miracle on 5th Avenue that I haven't already said about the first two books in Sarah Morgan's series. I loved it and didn't want it to end because I just adored spending time with Eva, Lucas, and the rest of the characters (though I found they don't make as many appearances in this book as in the others...perhaps because Lucas isn't part of their group and he's holed away trying to finish his novel). I highly recommend the From Manhattan with Love series. In fact, the first book would make a great stocking stuffer for the romance lover in your life!

*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, Harlequin, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: Until It Fades

If you know me, you know that I am a HUGE K.A. Tucker fan. I've met her a few times over the last two years and she is so great! Because I absolutely adore her books, I'm thrilled to be a part of the cover reveal for her upcoming novel Until It Fades.

Here's what the book, which will publish on May 2, 2017, is about:
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population three thousand outside of tourist season. And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling. Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time. But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust. Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Gah. I cannot wait. 

I won't make you wait (or scroll) any longer. Here is the gorgeous cover of Tucker's Until It Fades!

You're hooked, aren't you? Good :)

Here are the all important pre-order links:

About K.A. Tucker 
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.
She is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 books, including Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water, and her latest Adult Suspense novel, He Will Be My Ruin. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publisher's Weekly.
K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.

Connect with Tucker

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube ** Pinterest ** Instagram

Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: What Light

I haven't read Jay Asher's other novels (Thirteen Reasons Why, The Future of Us) so when I heard about What Light wanting to read it was based on the synopsis alone. In its favour? It's a contemporary YA (pretty much the only YA books I'll read these days) and it's set at Christmas! Plus, the cover is freaking adorable.

Here's the synopsis:
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.
Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.
By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.
I will read pretty much any Christmas book that even hints at a romance but most of the time (almost always, in fact) they're adult novels. Sometimes Christmas books hardly mention the holiday and sometimes it's all Christmas, all the time. What Light was a perfect balance and had just enough Christmas spirit. 

What helped a lot with the holiday spirit was that Sierra's parents own a tree farm and they sell their trees in California for a month or so before Christmas. They're such an integral part of Christmas for so many people and they absolutely love it. It sounds so cheesy, that they really look forward to seeing who their trees go home with every year, but I absolutely love that sentiment. The family isn't just trying to sell trees for a profit (in fact, Sierra thinks this Christmas might be the last one they are able to sell at their lot), they're trying to supply families and individuals with one important part of Christmas. 

I struggled a lot with Caleb's past and how I felt about it. I completely understood why all the parents in the story were concerned (is that a sign that I'm an Adult? Identifying with the parents in YA novels?) but I could also see why Sierra wasn't at all concerned. She felt that she could see the damage it had done to Caleb and how he was still trying to make up for it. But, once you met the other person involved in the event from the past (no spoilers here, folks!), you realize that it should be a non-issue at this point. Now, a few days after finishing the book, I think I've settled on feeling like Sierra's parents...concerned but with trust in Sierra to make sound decisions. 

What Light is one of those YA novels that adults can totally read and love (hello, I was thrilled with it) but there are those few moments that had me smiling and thinking, thank god I'm no longer a teenager. Heather, Sierra's BFF in California, is so distraught with her boyfriend situation (he's just so dull!) that she's determined to break up with him after the holidays. Grown women don't always know what they want in relationship but there's a certain adoreableness (yes, I'm making up words here) to this particular dilemma because Heather is still so naive. It was actually kind of a sweet reminder what it really was like to be a teenager in love. But no. I do not want to go back to being 17!

Jay Asher's latest novel is exactly the book to pick up this season if you love sweet and real Christmas stories. What Light is an easy read but it will make you feel a little bit of everything - happy, sad, nostalgic, romantic. The Christmas spirit is in every single one of these pages and I adored that. It's definitely a book for the Christmas and book lover in your life (and I won't tell if that's you!). 

*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*