Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

3.5/5 stars

The past election cycle was a wild one. So many things I believed could never happen did. But one thing I did believe on election day: HRC would win. I didn’t think it would be a blowout the way the media portrayed, but I did think she would be victorious. The reason I wanted to read this book is to try to find out why myself, the media, and the campaign got it so wrong, and were there warning signs prior to the election that were unheeded or ignored?

The prologue provides a lot of interesting information I previously didn’t know. The authors began writing this in 2014, and the title was supposed to refer to the glass ceiling Hillary was going to shatter. The authors had agreed they would not release the book before the election, and conducted all interviews on background to provide anonymity to the sources.

HRC received more votes than any Republican nominee ever, and about three million more than Trump. So how did she lose the electoral map?

Interesting facts I learned: Bernie Sanders was no more a democrat than Donald Trump was a Republican. The independent self described socialist had to run under the democrat banner to even have a shot. Both he and Donald Trump were seen as anti-establishment outsiders. While there were plenty of Bernie supporters who would never vote for Trump, there were more that would never vote for HRC. When a large swath of working-class in the fly-over states can identify more with a Republican billionaire from New York than the democrat candidate who they saw as an elitist, you’ve got a major PR problem in the democratic party.

Elizabeth Warren was considered as a running mate for Hillary, but ultimately Tim Kaine was selected. This stunned me, and I do believe this was a grave mistake. Warren would have attracted a lot of the Bernie voters. But the campaign thought it would be “too many women on the ballot.”

Donald Trump not only contributed money to HRC’s senate campaign, but called Bill before the primary season to ask his political advice on running and Bill gave it to him. At that point, he didn’t see him as a threat to his wife’s campaign.

The campaign strategy was more concerned with turning out the base than spending money to persuade undecided voters or attracting new voters. The campaign manager, Mook, was reticent to send boots on the ground to many states, including the Rust Belt. Only Bill saw the foolishness of this strategy and tried to turn the ship around. Mook came across as a real tightwad and the campaign didn’t spend any money on polling, preferring to use the much cheaper analytics to gauge the winds of the electorate. This was one of their biggest mistakes.

Despite the many foibles and missteps of the Trump campaign–and there were many–it was the drip, drip, drip of the HRC e-mail server scandal that would never go away. The contentious primary with Bernie Sanders that went on way too long did permanent damage to Hillary and reinforced Trump’s message.

Although the authors and many other people believe that Hillary won all three debates, her message could not be broken down into the easy-to-digest sound bites that Bernie and Trump both were able to accomplish. Terrible campaign slogans didn’t help. Neither Breaking Barriers or Stronger Together come across as strong messaging. I’m sure in different parts of the country, voters heard different reasons why they should vote for HRC, but where I come from all I heard was “because she’s a woman” or “it’s her turn.” Neither of those reasons are good enough to win an election.

So should you read this book? Only if you geek out on facts and figures. I do wish the authors had used a more chronological approach because when you go back and forth in flashback, it’s hard to keep track of what happened when.

Fire in His Kiss by Ruby Dixon


4.5/5 stars
I like Sasha and Dakh’s story even more than Claudia and Kael’s. There are elements of the story that never change: the fawning adoration the dragons have for their mates, but we learn a few new things too. Apparently more came through the Rift than the Drakoni. Emma’s story sounds interesting. Can’t wait for next book.

Kept by Sally Bradley

5/5 stars!

I read a review of this book and decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. I love redemption stories and books with religious themes, so this really ticked all my boxes.
I thought the characters’ reactions were pretty realistic. I love how the author had Dillan step away from Miska and let Tracy just be a good friend to her. It doesn’t always have to be the book boyfriend with the shoulder to cry on. Sometimes a good friend is better.
I also like how both questioned their feelings for each other. With Miska so new to the faith, it is hard to be sure if the change is true, and if she was really seeking God, or seeking Dillan.
The ending was expected, but with this story it is the journey and the character growth that makes it well worth your time.

Temptation Trials Part 1 by B. Truly

Today is the cover reveal for Temptation Trials Part 1 by B Truly. This is part I of a two part novel. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Bespoke Book Covers: http://bespokebookcovers.com/
Temptation Trials Part 1
By B truly
Genre: Dystopian Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: June 3, 2017

Blurb:
Will you be Tempted? Will Love save your Soul?

One nation under his rein.

Cardinal sins of man caused humanity to pay the price. Cali Nasser grew up in a world succeeding World War III. The aftermath forced the world dictatorship that she must now live in. A new Regime arose from the ashes. They demanded obedience and cooperation from every citizen, even in matters of the heart.

One domain … One accord … One nation. That is the moral code. In Cali’s eyes, it all revolves around a twisted plot for control.

It used to sicken Cali how people would allow the Regime to test their love through the Temptation Trials. That is, until she met Kincade. Cali’s entire point of view changes when she falls for him. She struggles with herself, debating if she should challenge the government’s law of arranged marriage.

Cali’s childhood friend, Stefani, always kept a positive perspective about their lives until she was threatened with the same dilemma, at odds over the man she loves.

Now Cali and Stefani face a desperate choice—submit to the Regime’s will, or fight for what they value most—love. Although lust, mistaken for love, could lead to damnation. Do they give up on love or sign up for the Temptation Trials, a reality TV show where every temptation is laid before them?

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Can love save their souls?

You can find Temptation Trials Part 1 on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34396154-temptations-trials-part-i  
About the Author:
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old and is grateful to have accomplished this dream. She has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of action and sci-fi. She writes New Adult and Adult, Romance. Sci-fi, Dystopian, and Paranormal genres.

B. Truly likes to explore different elements of sci-fi romance, and create various realms of reality. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.

B. Truly has three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.

You can find and contact B Truly here:
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BTrulysFantasies/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrandyTruly
– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276631.B_Truly
– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/B-Truly/e/B00FMERBFG/ Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Temptation Trials Part 1. One winner will win a 15$ amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Temptation Trials Part 1 by B Truly

5/5 lust-filled stars

That’s me while reading this.
I have never read a dystopian tale like this before! After World War III, a world-wide dictator has come to power. In this bleak future the people aren’t allowed to make the most important decision in their lives–who to love. At age 21 the government matches you with whomever they feel will suit you best. If that person is on another continent, you pick up and go, leaving family and friends behind. There is only one way to avoid an arranged marriage–agree to go on a government-sponsored reality television show called the Temptation Trials.

The couples are separated. The guys go to one island, the girls to another. Each island is filled with beautiful and seductive people whose sole purpose is to tempt the contestants to be unfaithful.

This tale is told through alternating viewpoints of Stef and Cali. They have met and fallen in love with two terrific guys, Tobias and Kincade, respectively. With their twenty-first birthday rapidly approaching, they know their only shot at staying together is to go on the Trials. It should be simple to resist infidelity if you truly love your soul-bound. (That’s what they call their soulmates.) But in the five seasons the show has been on, not a single couple has stuck together.

They weren’t expecting the raging out-of-control hormones and a lust so powerful it makes the contestants lose all sense of propriety. Morals are thrown out the window. I won’t give any spoilers, but there is a nefarious reason no one can keep it in their pants.

I liked both the women. Their boyfriends and the two island tempters are great too. It was hard to make up my mind who to root for.
By the end of the story, the women and the island tempters realize they have all been played. Can love save their souls? Not likely.
They learn you can’t sin your way to righteousness, and doing the “right” thing the “wrong way” never works out.

I threw everything into the kiss, not knowing if it would be our last, or are future.

The story ends in a cliffy. B, hurry up and publish the next installment.

Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

4.5 anxiety-inducing stars.

I received a copy of this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I actually liked Losing Kyler better than Finding Kyler. The author has requested a review without spoilers, so I will refrain from that. I will simply say that for me, this story is 100% plot-driven. Many of the characters aren’t even that likable and all of them are flawed. It was the twists and turns of the plot that kept me turning pages. And turn pages, I did.

As I can’t reveal much about the plot, I will focus this review on some of the characters.

Faye: It is hard for me to judge her. It seems like tragedy continues to plague her. Most of the time she is a strong young woman, but she doesn’t always exercise great judgment. She does seem to be a slave to her hormones. Unfortunately these hormones lead her to make some of the mistakes she made in the first book.

Kyler: As with Faye, I can understand the lingering deep feelings he has for her, but it seems like his lust would be turned off like a light switch. I genuinely like Kyler but keeping secrets, especially from Faye, leads to repeating a serious mistake he did in the first book.

Brad: I like Brad, but I don’t buy his selfless, boy-next-door act. You didn’t follow the bro-code in the first book and you don’t in this book either. Even if you have no respect for your best friend, have some respect for yourself. You come across as an opportunistic creeper.

James: He is a cheating, horrible husband. I disagree with Alex; he is not a great father. Kyler and Faye are better parents to the younger cousins than he and his wife. He improves toward the end, and becomes more responsible. But over all he is a WEAK man, and I can’t respect him.

Alex: One of the worst characters in the book. I can’t buy that she was ever a successful business woman. If James is WEAK, Alex is WEAK, WEAK, WEAK. By the end I was completely disgusted with her and her hypocrisy. At this point I’m cheering for her nemesis, Courtney.

The cousins with the K-names are too difficult to keep up with. These cousins and Faye were too grabby hands with each other for my taste. I don’t constantly hug, hang on, sleep next to my male cousins.

I must mention Addison at this point. She doesn’t have a lot of page time per say, but she wreaks havoc on all the characters to some extent. She has to be the most-hated villain in the history of contemporary romance. She’s got her evil fingers in so many pies. I wouldn’t be surprised if in book three we learn that she is responsible for global warming, the economic housing crisis of 2008, and the defeat of HRC.

Barbarian’s Lady by Ruby Dixon

1

5/5 Twilight flashback stars!

***********************************************Spoilers Abound***************************************************

This is the story of Harrec and Kate. Or actually, Bella and Edward, if Bella was a blue alien with a boisterous personality and wicked sense of humor, and Edward was an Amazonian human who could give as good as he got.

Why do I say that? Let’s make some comparisons.

Bella

is afraid of the sight of blood. She passes out during a blood testing lab at school.

is hopelessly clumsy. She slips on ice and trips while walking on level ground.

rides on Edward’s back like a spider monkey.

Harrec

is afraid of the sight of his own blood. Will pass out every time he sees himself bleeding–a major safety issue on the Ice Planet.

is clumsy/accident prone. In a previous book he gets a fish hook in his palm. In this book he burns his hand, spills baskets of supplies, and accidentally knocks snow on the fire, putting it out. He freely admits that he likes that Kate is tall and strong–not too delicate for his clumsy hands.

passes out from seeing his own blood when his leg is severely injured. Kate has to fireman carry him to safety.

Edward

is deeply attracted to Bella, but fights it hard at first. He says rude and insulting things to her,  hoping to scare her away.

hates that he is a vampire. Has never had a girlfriend.

is a virgin who wants to wait for marriage.

Kate

secretly likes Harrec and enjoys his company. But she takes his flattery as mocking. She says rude and insulting things to him, to try to keep him away and protect her heart.

hates that she is super tall. Has never had a boyfriend.

is a virgin who wants to take things slow.

The mood is more light hearted in this than in Twilight, although there are some serious moments. Ruby Dixon leaves in all the territorial mating and khui stuff we love in her tales. Can’t wait for  14.

 

 

 

 

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Broken and Screwed 2 by Tijan

4/5 stars

For me, the whole reason for continuing with this series was to find out what Jesse knew about Ethan’s death. Tijan dragged it out to the very end.  With all the build up, I was hoping it would be a bombshell. I was mostly satisfied with how it went down. I only wished we got more of an explanation on Ethan and Alex’s parents. I never understood the why of how they treated Alex. They were worse than negligent.

In book 2, Alex has left her high school friends behind.  She says it’s kind of an accident because she forgot she applied to the same college Jesse went to because that’s where Ethan wanted to go. That may have been the original reason, but the reason she followed through with it was to get to Jesse. It takes little time for them to hook up again.

As with other Tijan books, it as all about the party, getting drunk, and hooking up. There is plenty of jealousy to spice up the drama.

I like Alex’s friends in this book. Hannah and Beth are as broken as she is. They are better friends than Marissa and Angie, who only have a very small part in this book.

I give Tijan props for keeping me guessing. I had no idea what Ethan’s secret was until it was revealed. I liked the ending and I thought Tijan did a good job of wrapping things up.

Cover Reveal – Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

Cover Reveal Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis

Today is the cover reveal for Losing Kyler by Siobhan Davis. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Losing Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #2)
by Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Upper Young Adult
Release Date: 27 March, 2017

Blurb:
Condemned to repeat the sins of the past…

Faye thought losing her parents was the most devastating thing to happen to her, but she was wrong. Her uncle’s scandalous revelation has sent her into a tailspin, leaving her questioning her entire existence.

Everything she believed is built on a lie.

And the one person she shares a passionate, soul-deep connection with can’t be there for her.

Faye and Ky can’t be together. It’s forbidden. Though they are determined to avoid replicating their parents’ mistakes, caving to their feelings is as tempting as the apple in the Garden of Eden.

Ky had sworn off girls until Faye bulldozed her way into his life. Now, she’s his whole world, and their forced separation is crushing him. Once his manipulative ex resurfaces—hellbent on ruining the Kennedys—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones including turning his back on the one person he can’t live without.

Then tragedy strikes and all bets are off.

But is it too late?

When Faye needs him and he isn’t there for her, guilt and hurt threaten to obliterate their love. As they start to rebuild their fractured hearts, another sordid family secret is uncovered, and Faye worries Ky may be lost to her forever.

But can you truly lose someone if they don’t want to be found?

You can find Losing Kyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32950654-losing-kyler
You can pre-order Losing Kyler on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/LosingKylerAmazon

Cover reveal media kit Losing Kyler

Losing Kyler Excerpt