Book Review: Finding It

Finding It (Losing It, #3)Finding It

by Cora Carmack

Published: 10 October 2013 by Ebury Press

Version: Ebook received from InkSlinger PR (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong…

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

I am thrilled to be taking part in the review tour for Finding It (organised by InkSlinger PR). I have adored Cora’s previous books and was excited to hear more about Kelsey. I always eagerly anticipate Cora’s books as I know just what to expect: a little bit of sexy romance combined with funny awkward moments, and above all a great story. I can tell you know that Finding It certainly did not disappoint, so if you loved her others you should definitely pick this up. And if you haven’t, you really should! 

We follow Kelsey (who we met in Losing It) as she goes travelling around Europe. Kelsey is a fun loving character, but when she appears to be followed by a sexy soldier, it sends her party plans out the window. 

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“Adventures don’t happen when you’re worried about the future or tied down by the past. They only exist in the now. And they always, always come at the most unexpected time, in the least likely of packages. An adventure is an open window; and an adventurer is the person willing to crawl out on the ledge and leap.”

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I’d love to be able to travel around Europe and visit all the romantic and exotic locations, such as Italy and Paris. I’m just not brave enough to do so! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with this book; each location Kelsey and Jackson travel to makes me more wistful of beautiful places. Sometimes fun and usually romantic, each setting is special in its own different way, and this set Finding It apart from Cora’s other books, which have both been focussed around  America. 

Kelsey as a character was quite hard to love. The way she wore her happy mask showed pretty much from the beginning that she was a girl running away from something. Heavily in denial about her baggage, she threw herself into the partying lifestyle. In a way, she reminded me of Max from ‘Faking It’. Unfortunately, while Max’s story hit me hard and made me fall in love with her, I just didn’t take to Kelsey the same way. Whether it is because I was more invested in Cade as a partner than Jackson, I’m not sure.

If you love European romances, this is definitely the book for you. Fun and very romantic, this made me want to explore secret locations all over the world. Yet another winner by Cora! 4 sofas.

Author Bio

Cora Carmack bio pic

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

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Cover Reveal: April Fools (April #2) by Karli Perrin

Today I am thrilled to be sharing with you the title and cover of Karli Perrin’s new book April Fools. The first in the series, April Showers, followed April as she began life at University. If you check out my review here, you’ll know that it ended with a bang! I CANNOT WAIT to find out what happens in April Fools. It’s expected to release in December 2013, so it’s definitely on my Christmas wishlist!

April Fools Cover Image-02 (1)

Love. Hate. Fear. Fate.
All four letter words.
All consuming. 
Naked to the eye, they have the power to control the heart and destroy the soul.
April Adams is about to experience them like never before. 
When everything in April’s life goes up in smoke, she is faced with some life changing decisions.
Join April as she continues her journey of love and loss.

Author Bio

karli perrin

Karli Perrin is a 25 year old English Language & Linguistics graduate from Manchester, England. She has always been a big lover of books and is the author of the ‘April’ series. 

She is a big believer of fate and is a sucker for a happy ending. She honestly believes that there is a reason why you are reading this right now (apart from the fact that you are awesome!) Her ultimate goal in life is to live in a house made entirely out of books with her best friend, who also happens to be her fiancé.

…Hogwarts is plan B.

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Thanks to Court from Love N. Books for organising.

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Book Review: Faking It

Faking It (Losing It, #2)Faking It

by Cora Carmack

Published: June 2013 by Ebury Press

Version: Paperback from Ebury Press via blogger party (review is my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 5 sofas

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

After reading Losing It and absolutely LOVING it (check out my review here), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next one. I was lucky enough to bag an invite to the Making It Faking It party hosted by Ebury Press. Ever since reading Losing It, I have been stalking Cora Carmack on twitter. She is just so AWESOME. It was great to finally meet her, and hear about how she wrote the books. She read one of my favourite passages from Losing It, and also a bit from each perspective of Faking It. And my god, did it make me want to read it!

So yes, Faking It. It is written from two perspectives (Cade’s and Max’s). Cade we already know from Losing It, as Bliss’ best friend. He is the boy next door, the good guy, that one that always misses out. To be honest, from Losing It I kind of thought he was a bit of a wimp, but boy did Faking It change my perspective! As the book starts, Cade is still moping after Bliss. But when Max waltzes into the coffee shop and asks Cade to pretend to be her boyfriend and meet her parents, his life flips completely.

Max is a very closed off character. Its clear from the beginning that she has emotional issues, and usually picks bad boys so that she doesn’t have to open herself up. She chooses Cade to meet her parents to impress them, as she knows they don’t approve of her string of tattooed, highly pierced ‘bad boy’ boyfriends. She is shocked (and a bit jealous) how much her parents love him, but then starts to realise why.

At the beginning Max is quite hard to love because of her defensive nature. But even Cora said that it was easier to write Cade at first. He is familiar, like an old shirt. But Max has her good side too. I love the banter between them, it had me stifling giggles on the train. I retreated further into the book during the sexy scenes too! From the first page I was addicted, and did not want to put it down. 

I didn’t think I could love an NA book more than Losing It, but I actually think I enjoyed Faking It even more. Cora’s writing just makes me smile and it exudes sexiness and funniness. However, Faking It has an added depth that make the characters so much more real and emotional. The dual POV really worked, and I especially loved getting to know Cade more. A definite 5 sofas from me, and I can’t WAIT for Cora’s next book!

Blog Tour: Freshman Forty

Freshman Forty

by Christine Duval

Published: Currently self-published

Version: Ebook via Xpresso Book Tours (all views my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 3.5 sofas

When eighteen-year-old Laurel Harris discovers she’s pregnant four weeks into the start of her freshman year at prestigious Colman College, she has all intentions of telling her father. But being away at school makes it too easy to hide. And while she can’t explain to her friends, or to herself even, the reasons why she doesn’t want the baby’s father to find out about the pregnancy, the rest of her world begins to unravel. 

Freshman year is hard enough. Most girls get through by forming close friendships, finding new boys and a phone call from mom or dad on Sunday. Laurel has to navigate all of it while hiding an unplanned pregnancy from a summer fling… 

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and haunted by the memory of her deceased mother and grandparents, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she navigates teen pregnancy, in secret, in a remote college setting.

 Awards:

-Freshman Forty took won an Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival
-Won an Honorable Mention under General Fiction for the Beach Book Festival.

Purchase via Amazon US

Freshman Forty was originally self-published, but Christine just signed a deal to have it re-released by a publishing house this fall! Follow Christine on Twitter for updates @Christineduval1 or on her Goodreads author page.

Author Bio

Christine Duval has been writing creatively since the fourth grade when she penned her first short story entitled “London Terror,” about the murder of a cat in London. She grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and lived in Italy twice as a teenager: once when she was sixteen in Bologna and in a small town on the Adriatic Sea called Porto San Giorgio; then in Florence when she was nineteen. Her parents wondered if she’d ever come back.
College was spent in the Finger Lakes: the inspiration for Colman, Milton, and Kashong Lake in Freshman Forty. It really is cold, wet and grey there – OFTEN! But when the sun comes out, boy is it pretty.Life eventually took her to New York’s Upper West Side, the place she’ll always consider home. Though for now she resides in New Jersey with her family and a very spoiled love bird who can’t decide if he’s a boy or she’s a girl.
LINKS:

My Review

Freshman Forty begins with the discovery of Laurel’s pregnancy. Thus the book doesn’t really feature a lot of sex or sex-based scenes. Presumably it all happened before the book starts! I didn’t really know what to expect elsewise, as all the NA I have read so far features/relies heavily on sexiness. Teenage pregnancy is something that really interests me as a fiction topic though, so this was definitely a book I was eager to read. 

One of the things I really enjoyed about the book was the real life issues it tackled. The risk of pregnancy in uni/college years is high, because its generally the first real freedom people get away from their parents. Naturally, mistakes happen. It was interesting to see how Laurel copes with her pregnancy amongst everything else. I would’ve liked a bit more detail, as I think the story could have been made a bit deeper. 

It did make me think what it would be like to be in that situation. Laurel spends a lot of time in denial, and she is pretty lonely for a lot of the book. This obviously doesn’t really make for a good story, as it lacks drama in places. However, it is very realistic compared to what girls go through every day. The feeling of being ashamed and trying to hide her bump in baggy clothes made me feel sorry for Laurel. I just didn’t felt like I knew enough about her to really care. I obviously wanted a happy ending for her, but there was never really a gripping moment.

Freshman Forty is the first NA I have read that isn’t primarily sex-based. It was refreshing, but a little predictable. I adore that it tackled real life issues, and I hope this trend continues in NA. 3.5 sofas! 

Giveaway

Enter to win an ebook copy of Freshman Forty. Open internationally!

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Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for organising and providing a copy of the book for review.

Cover Reveal: Finding It by Cora Carmack

Today I am delighted to share with you the cover for Cora Carmack’s new novel, Finding It. The second companion novel to Losing It, it takes place from Kelsey’s perspective as she travels Europe. Due for release October 1st by Harper Collins (US) and September 26th by Ebury Press (UK). Please note that the image below is for the US cover. 

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to be able to read more from Cora. Just thinking about her books puts a smile on my face! 

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life…or that’s what she keeps telling herself.

It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.

Book Blitz: Keeping Her

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to share with you a preview of Cora Carmack’s new book, Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5). Told from Garrick’s point of view, it continues with his and Bliss’ story after Losing It. Available 15th August 2013, it is available to preorder now!

Keeping Her (Losing It, #1.5)

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren’t quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

Check out the link below for an excerpt from the book, and to preorder now. 

Preview Package: Cora Carmack’s KEEPING HER

Blog Tour: April Showers

April Showers

April Showers

by Karli Perrin

Published: June 14th 2013 (self-published)

Rating: 3.5 sofas

What happens when your head and your heart pull you in completely opposite directions? 
April Adams is about to find out the hard way.
When April enrols at Manchester University, it feels like a whole new life. New city, new house, new friends…new crush. 
Isaac Sharpe is the hottest guy on campus – with an even hotter reputation. After a chance meeting, April quickly finds herself wrapped up in all that he is. But what if all that he is isn’t what it seems?
Caught up in a battle between what she wants and what she thinks she needs, April meets Lukas Roberts. Lukas is the security blanket that she craves so desperately and she finds solace in their friendship. But what happens when she finds more than she bargained for?
April has always been a big believer of fate, but will she learn that she’s in control of her own destiny before it’s too late?
Join April as she embarks on a life changing journey of love and loss, which will have you laughing and crying until the very end.

Buy links: Amazon UK / Amazon US

My Review

So, I gotta be honest. At first, I wasn’t really enthusiastic about the book. The relationships between April, Lukas and Isaac were ones that I had seen recently in other NA novels, so I was kind of disappointed by that. But as I kept reading, April’s character really emerged. Witty and sarcastic, April has a lot of fire. I slowly fell in love with her and her strong nature.

And Isaac. Oh, Isaac! Irresistible in every way, he just tugged on my heartstrings. Although he is kinda pitched as the bad boy, there are some really sweet moments with him in the book. Throwing Lukas into the mix as well, and this makes for an emotional rollercoaster!

While there are some sexy scenes, this book is so much more than sexy YA. It made me smile and Karli’s writing style is so free flowing that I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Just as I was getting gripped in the story, I was hit with the cliffhanger. I kept trying to turn the page on my kindle, but alas, that was it. I felt totally frustrated, but that only demonstrates how involved I got with the story that I didn’t want it end. Very sneaky!

Overall that while it started a bit shaky, it definitely picks up by the second half, and that cliffhanger only left me wanting more! As a debut author, Karli has leapt into the NA world and managed to surpass a lot of competition. I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on book two, and I know that I can expect lots of good things from Ms Perrin in the future. 3.5 sofas!