Review: Winners Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

WinnersCurse
Title: Winners Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publication: March 4, 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Reviewed by: Vanessa
Rating: 5 stars
Reason for reviewing: Pleasure
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
VanessaThoughts
Short and Quick: Kestrel is an intelligent strong-willed girl who doesn’t like her options in life and is determined to try to find a way to lead the kind of life she’s dreamt of. Little did she know she’d fall in love with a slave with secrets and a mission of his own.

Favorite Quote: “He lifted her up onto the table so that her face was level with his, and as they kissed it seemed that words were hiding in the air around them, that they were invisible creatures that feathered against her and Arin, then nudged, and buzzed, and tugged.
Speak, they said.
Speak, the kiss answered.”

My Thoughts: I love Kestrel’s character. She comes from wealth and is the daughter of a popular General, but she doesn’t let that change who she is deep down. She is pensive and strong-willed. She is unhappy with her life because she is realizing that her position has boundaries and certain expectations that she does not want to give in to. I love her courageous spirit as well. Especially when she is in a tough predicament towards the end of the book. Her spirit and tenacity makes her a wonderful heroine to read.

Arin……oh Arin. Why oh why must you be so intriguing?! Arin is a quiet guy who does what he’s told by his masters but who secretly has a plan of his own. What could it be? I was definitely intrigued by this character because although he’s quiet and defiant at first you just know he’s going to change people’s lives (in more ways than one).

The supporting characters were great too. I absolutely loved Jess (Kestrel’s best friend) and Ronan, Jess’ brother. Jess is so sweet natured and brings humor and happiness to Kestrel’s life. She is the sister Kestrel never had. Ronan is a flirt with a great heart who, if Arin hadn’t been in the picture, I would have wanted for Kestrel.

Although I’m used to fast-paced books (a la Lunar Chronicles) this book has a slower pace which goes perfect with the mood and serious theme of the book. The world building is wonderful and thankfully not overwhelming. Although it’s a slower pace, it’s definitely not boring! There are twists you really don’t see coming and there are serious scenes that I would not have expected from this book.
A few more of my favorite quotes: • “She saw, yet again, that her friend's compliments were just bits of art and artifice. They were paper swans, cunningly folded so that they could float on the air for a few moments. Nothing more.”
• “Survival isn't wrong. You can sell your honor in small ways, so long as you guard yourself. You can pour a glass of wine like it's meant to be poured, and watch a man drink, and plot your revenge.”
• “My soul is yours,” he said. “You know that it is.”

My reaction to the book in gifs
Beginning:
scarjo_popcorn

Middle:
 butterflies

then….
shocked 2

End:
gasp

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Double Cover Reveal for Molly McAdams!

Two cover reveals for Molly McAdams’ books in one day?! Say whaaaaat?!

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TRUSTING LIAM by Molly McAdams

On-sale 6/4/2015

When Kennedy Ryan moves to California, she never expects to come face-to-face with Liam Taylor-the intriguing man she hasn’t been able to forget. Somehow Liam managed to get Kennedy to let down her guard for a single night of passion that ended up meaning more than it was ever supposed to. Accustomed to disastrous experiences with men, Kennedy shields herself before he can break down more of the carefully built control she’s clung to for the last four years. But every time she sees Liam, she feels her resolve weakening.

Liam Taylor has been asked to befriend his boss’s nieces. But what starts out as a reluctant favor ends up leading Liam to the only girl who ever slipped away before morning-a girl he thought he’d never find again. And now that she’s within reach, Liam’s determined to never let her go.

When a secret from her past tests their relationship, will they be able to cling to the trust Liam has worked so hard to build?

ChangingEverything

CHANGING EVERYTHING by Molly McAdams

On-sale 3/3/2015

Paisley Morro has been in love with Eli since they were thirteen-years-old. But after twelve years of only being his best friend and wingman, the heartache that comes from watching him with countless other women becomes too much, and Paisley decides its time to lay all her feelings on the table.

Eli Jenkins has a life most guys would kill for: Dream job, countless women, and his best friend, Paisley, to be the girl he can always count on for everything else. But one conversation not only changes everything between them, it threatens to make him lose the only girl who has ever meant anything to him.

When tragedy strikes his family and Eli is forced to reevaluate his life, he realizes a life without Paisley isn’t a life at all. Only now, he may be too late.

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So what do you guys think?! Don’t they sound amazing?!!! Yup. We’re excited!

XO!
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Review: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Cress_Marissa_Meyer
Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication: February 4, 2014 by Feiwel and Friends
Reviewed by: Vanessa
Rating: 5 stars
Reason for reviewing: Pleasure
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
VanessaThoughts
Short and Quick: Holy shit balls. Yup. HOLY. SHIT. BALLS. This book has battles in space, in the dessert, on Earth…. everywhere! There’s romance, there’s humor, there’s adventure, and yes…. there’s heartbreak. This book does not disappoint!

Favorite Quote: “He froze, becoming stone still. As the hover climbed the hill to the palace, his shoulders sank, and he returned his gaze to the window. "She's my alpha," he murmured, with a haunting sadness in his voice.
Alpha.
Cress leaned forward, propping her elbows on her knees, "Like the star?"
"What star?"
She stiffened, instantly embarrassed, and scooted back from him again. "Oh. Um. In a constellation, the brightest star is called the alpha. I thought maybe you meant that she's...like...your brightest star." Looking away, she knotted her hands in her lap, aware that she was blushing furiously now and this beast of a man was about to realize what an over-romantic sap she was.
But instead of sneering or laughing, Wolf sighed, "Yes," he said, his gaze climbing up to the full moon that had emerged in the blue evening sky. "Exactly like that.”


My Thoughts: Where do I even begin?! Oh the feels!!! I thought I loved Cinder (the book) but man oh man did this book blow it out of the water! I feel like I can’t put my review into words…. so much happened… so much was brought to light…. so many obstacles were put in the characters paths yet they prevailed! (or have they…)

We begin the book with Cress, a shy and lonely Lunar who was the one that helped Cinder in the first book (she’s the one who reached out to Cinder and told her about Queen Levana’s evil plan). She is incredibly smart but emotionally immature and naïve because of her seclusion (those traits aren’t annoying on her though!). Ahhhh, I don’t want to give too much away but let’s just say she has a budding romance with a certain someone that I just hope realizes her worth before it’s too late!
Cinder’s storyline gets even more intense. She has an inner conflict regarding her Lunar powers and struggles with not wanting to use them but being put in situations where she has no choice but to use them. Her main goal in the story is trying to stop Queen Levana from marrying Emperor Kai but boy is it hard to do with all those darn obstacles getting in the way!
Scarlet and Wolf are just adorbs. Again, there’s heartbreak with them but I hope it gets resolved in the next book! It simply must! *stomps foot*

Captain Thorne…. oh Captain Thorne ♥. I LOVE his humor! His character really evolves in this book. You get to see his strength (both mentally and physically). I love how matter of fact he is and how he doesn’t let life get him down. Even when something seriously bad happens to him (sorry can’t say what….don’t want to spoil it!).
Kai on the other hand…. has annoyed me quite a bit throughout all these books. There are parts of him that I like… but… I want to shake him and tell him to grow some balls! I know he has a tough job but damn…

Overall I’d have to say this is my favorite book of the series! They just keep getting better and better. I can’t wait for the next installment, Winter, coming later this year. There’s also an ‘in between’ book/novella called Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) that is coming out this month and guess who it’s about…. Queen Levana! Woot woot!

Some more of my favorite quotes:
• “Captain?"
"Yeah?"
"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.”
• “I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
• “Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
• “But you are crazy.”
“I know.” She lifted a small box from the basket. “Do you know how I know?”
Scarlet didn't answer.
“Because the palace walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.” She shrugged, as if this were a perfectly normal thing to say. “No one believes me, but in some corridors, the blood has gotten so thick there's nowhere safe to step. When I have to pass through those places, I leave a trail of bloody footprints for the rest of the day, and then I worry that the queen's soldiers will follow the scent and eat me up while I'm sleeping. Some nights I don't sleep very well.” Her voice dropped to a haunted whisper, her eyes taking on a brittle luminescence. “But if the blood was real, the servants would clean it up. Don't you think?”
My reaction in gifs:
Beginning:
(Because I couldn’t wait for this book! And then I started it and so much happened! And then so many feels!)
excited (1)

Middle:
glass-case

End:
There’s a particular scene in the book that gets me giddy and yelling ‘Ohhhh damn!’ for the next book. The last quote above is part of that scene ;)
love this

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Cover Reveal: Losing It: A Collection of V-Cards by 22 Bestselling Authors!

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Losing It: A Collection of VCards
22 Bestselling YA authors reveal what went on behind the curtain in your favorite YA novels! From paranormal to contemporary, this collection features over 200 pages of ALL NEW CONTENT full of deleted scenes, extended endings, and more from the young adult series’ you love. 
In this YA/NA crossover collection all of your favorite heroines are cashing in their VCards! YA just got steamy, sexy, and not afraid to go all the way!


Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers. 
Stories include excerpts and extended material--ALL NEW CONTENT featuring the following YA novels & authors:
The Grimoire Saga by SM Boyce
The Death Series by Tamara Rose Blodgett
Penny Black Trilogy by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Dirty Blood series by Heather Hildenbrand
The Mythology Series by Helen Boswell
Stories About Melissa Series by Bethany Lopez
Keegan’s Chronicles by Julia Crane
The Tate Chronicles by K.A. Last
Fragile Creatures by Kristina Circelli
The Spellbound Trilogy by Nikki Jefford
Judgement of the Six Series by Melissa Haag
A Dark Faerie Tale Series by Alexia Purdy
The Double Threat Series by Julie Prestsater
The Elsker Saga by S.T. Bende
Ovialell Series by Tish Thawer
The Runes Series by Ednah Walters
The Cornerstone Series by Misty Provencher
The Waiting Series by Ginger Scott
Forged Series by A.O. Peart
The Arotas Series by Amy Miles
Funeral Crashing Mysteries by Milda Harris
The Wolf Trilogy by M.R. Polish
The Good Girls Have Gone Wild!!
Don’t want to wait? Want a sneak peek NOW behind the curtain with these authors? Request access to the Champagne Room on FB, a private, VIP group where you’ll get excerpts, giveaways, and the dirty details about the VCards we’ve cashed in…in our stories, of course!
Request exclusive access here
*Must be 18 to enter
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Book Blitz Book Tour: The Game by Shawnte Borris

 
 


SYNOPSIS:

Kirsten Backhard is a highly respected senior negotiating executive based in Toronto. She plays with some of the most powerful men in her field. Kirsten is confident, sexy, and hell on heels. She fights with a straight face, doesn’t back down easily, and believes in using her ASSets to get the deal done her way. Kirsten loves toying with the game in a man’s world.

But is every angle of her life this easy to play? One night can easily change everything. What she thinks is all love and fairy tales quickly becomes highly overrated. Will Kirsten be able to overcome? Or will she remain the cool poker player?

Contains crude language, sexual intercourse, and really bad jokes.
 
 
 

Introductions
 
Hey, what’s up? Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kirsten Backhard. Before you ask, yes, during high school, the boys use to call me “back-her-up-hard.” I think that was why I was popular. It had nothing to do with the fact that I had beautiful breasts or what the football team might have accidentally seen while I was in cheerleading practice.
 
I am from a small community, but let’s face it, I’m way more of a city girl. I was the girl that introduced tampons back in junior high in the girls’ change room. Remember that room? It smelled like socks and had six nonprivate shower stalls with mirrors all over. When you think about it, those rooms were kinda like your first introduction to really bad porn. Anyways, there was always a girl after gym classed who yelled, “Fuck, who has a pad?”
 
Before we get into the really good stuff, I should probably talk about where I came from. No, this will not be an education class on the birds and the bees or sex 101 for those that have a dirty mind. Shame on you. J
 
I came from a middle class family where my father worked in construction and my mother was a bank teller. I have two siblings: my older sister, Marie, who has like four kids or something, and my brother, Derek, who happens to be my older twin and who is hot. Yes, I don’t mind telling you that. You know what comes from a hot brother? That’s right— super hot friends that I might have taught how to french kiss. What? Don’t judge me.
 
We lived in a good community with a crap-load of kids. You could tell that most people that lived on our street were Catholic, and they didn’t get the memo on why or how they ended up with so many kids. As for myself, as soon as that first period came, there was no way in hell I was going to have that, so off to the medi centre it was!
In my last year of junior high, we had new neighbors move in. There was a cute girl named Liz. She had blonde hair and brown eyes. I know, it’s a weird combination. Anyways, she was a runner like me, which meant she also had a killer body. Liz and I instantly became best friends. She is totally my better half, and if I ever decided to go muff-diving, I’m totally calling that bitch up. Liz has a brother named Steve, who ended up being gay no matter how hard I tried to convert him.
 
Today I am…swallowing hard here…thirty-three years old. Yes, I am thirty-three, but my ass and tits show that I’m much younger. Thank God! I hold a senior  executive position at a downtown financial firm. I travel all over the U.S., placing bids on stupid-ass shit for men that are trying to compensate for their small penis. But who am I kidding? I love my job. I love to travel and experience new things. I have no one waiting for me back home, especially not a cat, and I’ll definitely know if I’ll receive a Happy Mother’s Day card in the mail any time soon.
 
My mother recently told me that I should start thinking about settling down and start acting my age. Like seriously? What the fuck? If I had a penis, I guarantee you that this conversation would never happen in a million years. She lives her life by double standards. I, however, do not. I like living my life by my penis, figuratively speaking of course. It has never poked me the wrong direction before, so why start doubting it now? Is it really my fault that it’s always on the prowl?
 
Don’t get me wrong. We have had our fair share of amazing, head-shaking experiences. I think it’s only fair to share some of these adventures with you, so you know how much my mother is off her rocker.
 
P.S. I love you, Mom. <3
 
PURCHASING LINKS:

 
 
 
 
 

EXCERPT:

“First of all, Mother, it is called a sperm bank, not a sperm bar.” I cannot believe I am having this conversation right now. “And where did you get this information from?”

Max looked over at me, smirking.

“Why does it matter where I heard it from? What will people think?” cried my mother.

“F**k! Mom, no one is gonna care where or how I get a baby.” I want to crawl into a hole and die. “Mom, you wouldn’t by any chance be talking to Marie, would you? Is that where all this came from? Did she tell you I’m planning to go to a sperm bank? Or did she tell you I should think about going to a sperm bank?”

“That’s not the point, Kirsten. The point is that it’s time for you to settle down and think about having a family. You need to be more like Marie,” my mom lectured.
“Like Marie? My sister, Marie? The one who wears yoga pants and ponytails everywhere.”
 
 
  




Author Bio:

Shawnté lives in central Alberta, with her husband Ricky of 10 amazing years and together they have two beautiful children. Somehow her husband has managed to trick her into running a cow/calf operation. As much as she fusses about it, she loves it. 

When Shawnté is not sitting at her kitchen table hammering away on her laptop while watching the moose chase her cows across the yard, yes this really happens. Then she is busy attend school activities, community events and chauffeuring children here and there. She is big on playing softball and watching hockey.
When the time comes to relax, you will find her snuggled underneath her down comforter reading on her Ipad. Wait…who are we kidding, if the dishes, vacuuming, laundry or the bathrooms needs a hose down, you’ll always hear her say, “Just after this chapter.” She doesn’t have a favorite author or best story because everyday she falls in love with someone new. 
Shawnté is technology challenged so with the help of Lacy you can find her anywhere. Please go like her page and leave a review/star rating on the books she’s wrote.

Ways to stay connected with Shawnte Borris:

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