Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Romance Blog Tour Review: Hollywood Sins

The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House Presents...
Hot Summer Romance Blog Tour 
Featuring 
N.K. Smith, M.A. Stacie,
J.J. McAvoy and Lorenz Font!
And revisiting other great 
TWCS romantic titles and authors...
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Hollywood-Sins-Hi-Res-Cover
Release Date: July 10, 2014
Published by The Writers Coffee Shop
Summary
Hollywood-Sins-3D-BookstackPublic spectacles, private breakdowns, and terrible choices. How can a beloved Hollywood star feel so unloved?
Twenty-four year old Adra Willows grew up in the spotlight, but navigating the shark infested waters of show business doesn’t get easier with age. Constantly comparing herself to others, Adra has experienced mild success but nothing like the achievement of one of her best friends.
With her manager giving her questionable advice and her relationship with a leading comedic actor on the rocks, Adra finds herself at the crossroads of Virtue and Vice. She can either continue along the path of taking roles that showcase her body instead of her acting skills or she can forge ahead of her competition, ignore the wishes of her manager, and make her own decisions.
The red carpet of life is lined with virtue and vice, but which side will the actress choose to walk along?


Every time I’ve read one of N.K Smith’s novels I have this overwhelming feeling to sit down and pound out something of my own. She inspires me to want to try and write. But I don’t have to patients, time or honestly the attention span to sit and do what needs to be done to write something amazing—or even half assed mediocre. But the fact that she makes me want to? That’s saying something about this wonderful author.

I knew I was going to love this one from the very first page. It instantly drew me in and I couldn’t put it down. N.K really knows how to write a tortured character, but at times I wanted to slap Adra. Yes, she’s an addict and she was acting like an addict would (I’m assuming since the only addicts I’ve ever actually seen is on TV) but there were times it was just too much.

I blame Elsie. She was behind the start of Adra’s downward spiral. A manager is supposed to look out for you, help take care of your career and, in this case, she was supposed to help take care of Adra. Elsie was there when no one else was and therefore like a surrogate parent. She should have acted that way. In my opinion the best part of the book was when Adra finally grew a backbone toward Elsie. And really, I think she got what she deserved in the end.

Can I talk about Peter for a minute? If Adra doesn’t want to treat him right and give him what he deserves you can send him my way. I loved Peter. And I loved that he didn’t have some fucked up issues going on with him. He was the normalcy that Adra needed even if she didn’t realize it at the time. There was a part in the book where Adra was moaning that there were other people in her life that should have known better (or something like that) and helped her. Peter was one of those people. He was there for her over and over again and got shit on for his efforts. I kept waiting for him to just throw his hands up and give up on her because it was exactly what she deserved.

What I really love though? It was Adra that finally woke up and realized only she could change. She wasn’t rescued by Peter like SO many heroines are. She did it all on her own. She wasn’t forced to get the help she needed, or compromised to go there because of her love for someone. She did it for her, and that’s something so rarely done. Usually it’s the hero that convinces the girl to get the help, or gives her the help himself. It’s one of the things I really adore about Smith’s heroines; they’re strong on their own even when they completely fuck up their lives.
                         


About the Author 
nsmithN.K. Smith is the author of several books including the young adult sensations The Old Wounds series and My Only. Interested in a variety of genres and styles, she also penned Hollywood Lies and Ghosts of Our Pasts. She lives in the Midwest.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review: Winter Hopes


Winter Hopes (Seasons Of Love, #2)

Title: Winter Hopes (Seasons of Love #2)
Author: Jennifer Gracen
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Booktrope Publishing
Summary: Author Jennifer Gracen reunites sexy, sophisticated Sam and sweet but wounded Lydia in Book Two of the Seasons of Love series, ”Winter Hopes.” Newly divorced mom Lydia is just getting back on her feet, and still reeling from her intense encounter with Sam at a friend’s destination wedding. As they tentatively explore the demands and rewards of long-distance dating, their instant connection evolves against the vibrant backdrop of New York City. Each begins to trust again – opening up is difficult, even painful, but the joy and hope they feel in each other’s arms demands they lay their hearts on the line. Can their love survive the miles that separate them, and the complexities of nurturing a relationship via email, text and phone? And when Sam finally meets Lydia’s family, will old resentments and unspoken biases bring them closer together or drive them apart?

Full of the passion and tension any newly-joined couple experiences, this steamy yet hopeful book lays the foundation for Lydia’s budding relationship with Sam, and offers hope for second chances and a deep appreciation for the value of loyal friends


Okay, this will contain a spoiler or two, so proceed with caution, you’ve been warned.

I was very excited to get an ARC of Winter Hopes after reading Autumn Getaway. I wanted to know how the story played out for Lydia and Sam.

While the first book in the series focused on them meeting, this one brought us into their budding relationship a little more. Lydia is still cautious, and rightly so, but by the end of the book we see her opening up more, trusting Sam more and letting him into parts of her life that are extremely important for a single mother.

I once again loved the relationship between Lydia and her son. The bond they share brought me to tears during some parts. Andy is such a sweet little boy and, having dealt with speech problems in my family as well, my heart goes out to this character. I want to wrap him in my arms and give him a big hug.

Now, here’s where you might want to skip if you don't want to get a spoiler in rant form.

I didn’t get into too much Sam detail with the first review, but oh, am I going to get into it now.

Sam seemed like a decent guy; honest, trustworthy…which is why I had such a hard time with him and Hailey. I mean, yeah, okay, Lydia and he had just met, there were no commitments yet, they were still getting to know each other, but… he was desperately trying to pursue her. He wanted to date long distance, he wanted Lydia to give them a chance, it was his idea to see where things went between them once he was back in Chicago and she was in New York. And then the first chance he gets he meets up with his fuck buddy?

I felt sick reading that scene. Seriously, punched in the gut, wanting to throw up sick. Here’s Lydia back in NY, thinking she’s got this good thing starting with such an amazing guy, gushing about him to her friends and family and he’s banging his friend with benefits. Why? Because he had built up sexual frustration from not fucking Lydia? Asshat.

And then when Sam is questioned by his friends, and asked if him and Lydia were turning into a thing he said yes! Yes! He was just screwing someone else but it’s turning into a thing? What the fuck man? Yes, I know she wasn’t his girlfriend yet. Yes, I know they weren’t technically dating and still in the getting to know each other stage. And yes, I know this is typical behaviour of men…Okay, alright and of women too, but it still made me sick.

And to top it off, he’d be pissed off if he found she had been screwing around with someone else the entire time they’d been talking. Hypocritical much, buddy?

*deep breath* Okay, rant over.

Sam did redeem himself though, and turned back into that decent guy once more. And I have to say this: Even though I hated what he did with Hailey, I like that the author made him do it. It was real. And, I may sound like a hater, but it was definitely something a man would do. And the fact that Gracen got that kind of reaction from me just proves what a great writer she is.

Winter Hopes was another great read. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the series has in store. 
                                       

About the Author


Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and is immersed in her passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance for readers who look for authentic characters and satisfying endings. When she isn’t with her kids, doing freelance copy editing, or chatting on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. Jennifer is the author of Autumn Getaway and Winter Hopes, already published by Booktrope Editions. Spring Shadows, Book 3 of the Seasons of Love Series, will be published Fall 2014. Jennifer is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is active in the Long Island Romance Writers. Please visit her at: http://www.jennifergracen.com



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