Thursday, November 22, 2012

Good For You by Tammara Webber

Title: Good For You
Author: Tammara Webber
Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human.

Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.

Good For You on Goodreads 

 Kala's Review:

I have mixed feelings about Good For You. Reid has been such a dynamic and interesting character and I was curious about how Tammara Webber would write his love story.

At the start of the book, Reid is up to his usual antics - partying, womanizing, and drunk driving. After being completely wasted and plowing in to a house, Reid finds himself in front of a judge who sentences him to a month of community service building houses.

He meets Dori at the home building site where she is a volunteer. Dori is such a goody-two-shoes it got to be annoying. She says things like "Popsicles!" instead of cursing and spends every minute of her free time doing some sort of volunteer work (she delivers Meals on Wheels, works for Habitat for Humanity, works with kids, etc). I have no idea how she finds time for all of that! On top of it all, she's the preacher's daughter.

Dori is described as plain faced and wears baggy ugly old clothes all the time. She takes an instant disliking to Reid and the two spend the first half of the book bantering back and forth with insults. She is attracted to him though (he's a hot movie star, who wouldn't be?), and for some reason Reid is attracted to her. I don't really know why.

Reid's POV throughout the story was pretty good - though I found his transformation to be REALLY fast. The guy has been a larger than life, party-going celebrity for years and makes a very sudden switch to sober, stay-at-home, celibate good boy.

I also don't really know how this relationship will work. Reid is a celebrity. A huge A-list celebrity. While he and Dori have a great relationship when they're hanging out alone at his house, he can't stay cooped up in there forever. He's going to be on location a lot for movies, at premieres, at parties, etc. How does Dori fit in to all of that? It's never really brought up.

3 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where You Are by Tammara Webber

Title: Where You Are
Author: Tammara Webber
Blurb: Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is.

Emma Pierce is forsaking an up-and-coming Hollywood career to embark on a life she’s only dreamed of—the life of a regular girl. After spending months burying her feelings for the two night-and-day guys who vied for her heart while filming her last movie, a twist of fate puts her in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan with the one she still misses.

Brooke Cameron was a fresh-faced Texas girl when she arrived in LA. Now she’s a beach sitcom star turned conceited heiress on the big screen. Having just survived three months on location with her ex—Hollywood’s reigning golden boy—she’s older and wiser and has set her sights on her close friend Graham. The only thing standing in her way is the girl he can’t forget.

Reid Alexander can sum up his life in one word: boring. Between film projects, there’s little going on outside of interviews, photo shoots, and the premiere of the film he finished last fall. The next-to-last thing he expects is to get a second chance with Emma, the girl who rejected him. The last thing he expects is for his still-bitter-ex to be the one to offer it to him on a platter.

(Mature Young Adult / New Adult)

Where You Are on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

It took awhile for me to read this because I was so disappointed by the first book in this series. However, I love this author and eventually decided to buy Where You Are and give it a go.

SO glad I did! This book blows book 1 out of the water!

Where You Are alternates between four POVs, Emma, Graham, Brooke, and Reid. It's done in a way that's easy to read and understand and definitely brings a lot to the story. Usually I'm not a big fan of rotating POVs constantly, but this story needed it!

The plot basically revolves around Emma and Graham's relationship, with Brooke (and sort of Reid) doing everything they can to break it up because Brooke wants to be with Graham and Reid wants a second chance with Emma. You also really get a feel for the characters this time around - I felt like I finally understood where all of them were coming from. One of my major issues in Between the Lines was we only really got to know Emma and Reid (and Reid only kind of), yet Emma ends up with Graham.

When the book comes to its climax, it's not a surprise. The surprise is all the twists and turns it took to get to what you know is inevitable and the ride was well worth it. Reid is one of my favorite characters and I liked how this book ended for him (despite me being unhappy with how he ended up in Between the Lines).

Great read!

4 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

Title: The Perfect Hope
Author: Nora Roberts

Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out—with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a tool belt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except apparently Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be—except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.

While the Inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome—and embarrassing—appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

The Perfect Hope on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

Nora Roberts books just keep getting more and more formulaic. I have already given up on her "In Death" series because the last few have bored me to tears. There is no spark in them anymore.

Despite that, I've generally enjoyed her trilogies. Chesapeake Bay and the Key trilogies are some of my favorites. The Bride quartet was also really good, and I had high hopes for the Inn Boonsboro series, but it just fell flat.

The Perfect Hope suffered from some of the same nonsense as The Last Boyfriend. The characters spend a lot of time talking and very little time doing anything. Hope and Ryder (the couple of this book) have a small kiss. We then have to slog through pages upon pages of Hope talking to Clare and Avery about it. Then Avery and Clare talking about it without Hope. Then Hope talking about it with Ryder's mother. Then Ryder talking about it with his brothers. Then the brothers talking about it without Ryder. None of these conversations was THAT important. Did we really every single character's opinion on a kiss between two unattached adults?

In The Perfect Hope, Roberts also continues her new trend of having her characters schedule sex. I'm sorry, but this is NOT sexy or romantic at all. Hope and Ryder admit to each other that they want to have sex, so they decide to schedule it for the following Tuesday. Avery and Owen did this in The Last Boyfriend as well. It's not funny, or sexy, or interesting at all.

Considering Roberts' publisher also charges $10 an ebook (sometimes closer to $15), I think I will be stopping here with her novels. There are so many other books out there that I can't continue wasting my time and money on stuff that just isn't magical anymore.

2 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chance Encounters by J. Sterling

Title: Chance Encounters
Author: J. Sterling
Blurb: Caroline Weber was a normal girl who thought she had her life figured out. After graduating from college in New York, she moved to San Francisco with her boyfriend, Clay. Everything in her life felt perfect. There wasn't anything she would change...

...until she met Jackson Parks.

Is it possible that a chance meeting with a stranger can make you question EVERYTHING you thought you wanted? Caroline tries to carry on with her life as if nothing has changed...but the truth is, nothing can ever be the same.

Chance Encounters is an emotional love story about trusting and following your heart, even when it's leading you down a difficult path.

Sometimes other hearts have to break in order to keep yours intact.

Chance Encounters on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

I recently read The Perfect Game by J. Sterling and I liked it a lot. It had some issues with the plot that made me give it only 3 stars, but overall I enjoyed the characters and the writing.

Not as much with Chance Encounters. I thought the first meeting between Jackson and Caroline was awkward and unrealistic. I didn't buy the progression of their relationship at all.

It's also difficult to become attached to a character as unlikable as Caroline. She is constantly talking to Jackson, mooning over his gifts, swooning over his letters, but she is in a steady and committed relationship with another man that she claims to love. I have a really hard time identifying with someone who cheats for an extended period of time. No, Caroline did not have sex with Jackson, but she had a relationship with him and she continued that relationship for over half a year (until Jackson broke it off after he found out Caroline got engaged to her boyfriend).

We don't get to spend much time with Jackson or really get to know him at all, but he was pretty bland. He was too perfect. I can't even think of one flaw the guy had.

I think the author wrote this before The Perfect Game and her writing has definitely improved. I'll probably check out future books by her, but this one just wasn't great.

2 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Charade by Nyrae Dawn

Title: Charade
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Blurb: Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

Charade on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

Nyrae Dawn ... I heart you very much.

Charade is another awesome book from self-pubbed author Nyrae Dawn. I've read all of her books now (I think) and I liked all but one (her paranormal one). Her contemporary stuff is just amazing, and Charade is no exception.

The dialogue is funny, the plot is fast moving, and the characters are likable and interesting and compelling. Cheyenne and Colt both have intriguing back stories and their romance is believable and cute.

This author is on my auto-buy list and her contemporary stuff hasn't let me down yet. Another great book!

4 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea Cameron

Title: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea Cameron

Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it's too late.

Hunter himself has been been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn't a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he'll leave the apartment--and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor's fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

My Favorite Mistake on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

How common are forced co-ed living situations at college? I haven't experienced it myself, but I have a hard time believing that a college would force a girl to have a boy as a roommate who is making her uncomfortable.

Taylor is surprised when Hunter shows up as her new roommate. He immediately rubs her the wrong way and makes things extremely uncomfortable and awkward for her. He sleeps naked and borderline sexually harasses her.

He eventually comes around and is pretty likable, but that's long after Taylor has complained to the housing admin about him and his behavior and they refused to change anything. I don't know, I just don't find this realistic at all.

Either way, once we get into the meat of the story, it becomes much better. I started liking Hunter and I liked Taylor from the start. They're both individuals with screwed up pasts who end up on a collision course with each other from the moment they meet.

Once they started admitting they didn't hate each other, the progression of Hunter and Taylor's relationship was really cute and fun to watch. Not to mention HOT HOT HOT! These two have some serious chemistry!

Overall, I liked the book quite a bit. My only other big issue was the nickname of Missy which was just weird. How it came about was kind of strange, and Missy/Miss just seem like a title, not a nickname.

3 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Title: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Author: Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan is back, and it's clear that her life hasn't calmed down since the events of I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie's elite spy school, is hosting a visit from a covert training center for boys. Soon after the boys' arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school's top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

I actually liked this one even better than the first! While I really enjoyed getting to know Cammie in the first Gallagher Girls book, I found the secondary characters to really shine here.


The book starts off with Cammie and her friends having another Covert Ops assignment where they have to try and avoid being seen by some other unknown spies. Cammie thinks she's done well, and even takes time to flirt with some cute boys, until she finds out that the boys are the spies and they're from a rival school! Oops!

Cammie and her friends return to school a little worse for the wear, and suddenly have to solve another mystery - why is there a wing of their school closed? Why are the teachers lying about it?

Zach, the new love interest for Cammie, is SO much more fun and interesting than Josh. While Cammie is still pining away for Josh, she can't help but be intrigued by Zach (and neither could I!).

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy reads a lot like the first book - meaning it's quick and easy and cute and fun. I'm definitely going to be continuing on with this series.

3 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The A Circuit by Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka

Title: The A Circuit
Author: Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka

The A Circuit is the top of the top when it comes to horse shows. It's a world with its own rules and superprivileged lifestyles. Teens travel the circuit all year, showing horses that cost as much as some homes.

Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite competitors on the circuit, but they come from totally different backgrounds. Tommi is a billionaire heiress trying to prove she has real talent (not just deep bank accounts). Kate puts the working in working student-every win has been paid for with hours of cleaning stalls. She's used to the grueling schedule, but Fitz, the barn's resident hot guy, is about to become a major distraction. And then there's Zara. She's the wild child of a famous rockstar, but she's ready to take riding seriously. Can a party girl really change her ways?

Readers who enjoy peeking into the elite world of Gossip Girl or The A-List will feel right at home in this new series with its friendships, drama, and privilege set against the backdrop of competitive horseback riding.

The A Circuit on Goodreads

 Kala's Review:

This book is terrible.

I'm a big fan of horses (I own two) and I used to compete on the A-circuit quite a bit, though not at the level of the girls in this book. I'm glad I have that background, else I wouldn't understand half of this book. If you don't know a lot of equestrian vernacular, this book will be VERY confusing for you!

The characters in this book are all over the top and unredeemed at the end.

Kate is probably my favorite, as she is the most down to earth of the three female leads. She's the poor girl who has to work her butt off for a chance to ride some nice horses in big shows.

Fitz is the guy rider who is a player. He has a thing for Kate, but she is scared to get involved with him because of his reputation.

Tommi is just kind of there. She's super rich, has lots of expensive horses, doesn't have a great relationship with her family, and is kind of boring.

Zara is terrible. She is absolutely terrible. I could deal with the horrible attitude if she learned something by the end... but she doesn't! At the end (SPOILER ALERT) she is drunk, takes someone else's horse out, starts jumping huge fences with it, and seriously injures it to the point where it probably can never compete again. At this point, Zara has been a completely idiotic rude bitch for the entire novel and this incident is the icing on the cake.


She doesn't get in trouble. She suffers NO consequences for her bad behavior. Ever.

Instead, FITZ volunteers to take the fall for Zara's COMPLETELY AWFUL behavior that RUINED someone else's EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE horse. Him volunteering to get in trouble for this is supposedly a way to prove to Kate that he's serious about their relationship. This makes NO sense at all. NONE! NONE NONE NONE!

And Zara gets away with a completely heinous crime against a horse (and that horse's owner).


What? What???

The horse trainer put up with Zara's bad behavior for the entire novel, despite her disrupting everything in his barn. Everyone basically puts up with it, and when she finally spins out of control enough to really cause some serious damage and you think she's FINALLY going to turn things around... someone else takes the fall for her and she gets away with it again. And continues acting horrible.

Absolutely terrible terrible awful awful book! Do not pay money for this garbage!

1 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly

Title: The Husband List
Author: Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly
Based on the family from the bestselling Love In A Nutshell, the story of an heiress longing to marry for love or not at all

From The New York Times bestselling writing duo Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly, comes the story of a young woman’s search for true love. Caroline Maxwell would like nothing more than to join her brother, Eddie, and his friend, Jack Culhane, on their adventures. While Jack and Eddie are off seeing the world, buying up businesses and building wildly successful careers, Caroline's stuck at home frightening off the men her mother hopes will ask for her hand in marriage.  When her mother sets her sights on the questionable Lord Bremerton as a possible suitor, Caroline struggles with her instincts and the true nature of her heart.  She longs for adventure, passion, love, and most of all . . . Jack Culhane, an unconventional Irish-American bachelor with new money and no title. A completely unacceptable suitor in the eyes of Caroline's mother. But Caroline's dark hair, brilliant eyes and quick wit have Jack understanding just why it is people fall in love and get married.

Set in New York City in 1894, The Husband List is an American gilded age romantic mystery. It evokes memories of the lavish lifestyles and social expectations of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers—a time when new money from the Americas married Old World social prestige and privilege. Dresses by Worth, transcontinental ocean voyages, lavish parties, a little intrigue, and a lot of romance await in, The Husband List.

The Husband List releases on January 8, 2013!  Available now for pre-order on Amazon!
The Husband List on Goodreads

The Husband List on Amazon

 Kala's Review:

I received a free copy of this book via the "Goodreads First Reads" program. When I signed up for it, I didn't realize it was set in the late 1800's (my mistake for not reading the blurb!). Generally I'm not a big fan of the genre, but I have enjoyed some of Janet Evanovich's work in the past and I got the book for free so I decided to give it a go.

I'm so glad I did!

One of the reasons I don't read a lot of historical romances is that I just find the language to be too flowery for my taste, but The Husband List did not suffer from that fate at all. It was a quick and easy read with likable fun characters and witty dialogue.

I adored the main female lead, Caroline. She was one of those debutantes who is being forced into it by her parents and she wants nothing more than to be young and experience life. Her brother's best friend Jack is a traveled Irishman, rich, but without a title and completely unacceptable according to her mother. Her mother has picked out an "almost" Duke for her that Caroline hates.

Caroline is hilarious throughout the novel, and I loved her dialogue in nearly every scene she's in. She's funny and smart and has rapier wit. Her directness surprised Jack, and me, but I loved seeing his reaction to it. He was intrigued by her at first, and he couldn't help but fall for her.

The plot line wasn't original by any means, but these two authors managed to make it fresh and fun still. I enjoyed this book so much that I may take a peek into a few other historical romances to see if perhaps I'm missing out on others like this. Highly recommend!

4 out of 5 stars.

Link to Kala's review on Goodreads: