Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Blog Tour: I HATE YOU by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I HATE YOU BLOG TOUR BANNER.jpg

I want you . . . even when I hate you.

I Hate You, an all-new enemies to lovers sports romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills, is available now!

IMMIHateYouBookCover55x85_HIGH

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.

Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.
Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of her friends.
At her own party.
So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class.
He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please.She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)
Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.
Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.
So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?
Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life

I HATE YOU AD ONE.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IHateYou
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ZhXn09

Excerpt:
“Need some help?”

I’m on my tiptoes when the question comes, trying to reach a book on the top shelf in the bookstore at the student center.

My heart does a nosedive off a cliff as that familiar gruff voice washes over me, his accent a smooth drawl that’s reminiscent of hot summer nights and slow kisses—kisses we never had…well, except for that one time freshman year.

I ignore him and try to grab the book.

“You’re too short. Let me,” Blaze says, this time closer, his voice soft.

I ease back on my feet and whip around, internally wishing I’d worn something more I hate you and don’t you wish you still had me, but sadly, I’m not in my kickass shoes and itchy dress. Today it’s flat-soled red Converse, black joggers, and a Yankees sweatshirt. I blow at a piece of hair in my face. Shit.

Of course, he looks magnificent in a tight long-sleeved black shirt that clings to his broad chest and tapered jeans molded to those leg muscles. His face is unshaven, the darkness on his jawline adding a broody look.

Curse him and his hotness.

I stare at him a little too long, until I snap out of it.

“I don’t need help,” My voice is strangled as I move to brush past him—forget the textbooks—but he reaches out and takes my elbow.

“Charisma—”

His fingers are a hot brand on my skin—it’s the first time we’ve touched in three months—and I pull away. A tremble starts in my legs. How dare he?It was one thing to see him in a social setting and pretend I was fine, but when we’re face to face without people watching… “Don’t put your hands on me. I’m not your hookup anymore, football player.”

His face reddens, and he drops his arms. “I didn’t mean—” he stops, not finishing as he studies my face.

I wonder what he sees. You know what he sees, Charisma—someone who wasn’t up to his usual standards.

Everything I didn’t say last night rushes out. “Didn’t mean to what? Dump me in the middle of my own sorority’s party in front of all my friends and half of campus? And you know, that’s totally fine. We both knew I wasn’t enough to keep your attention.”

His jaw clenches and he frowns, his brow furrowing. “I didn’t plan for things to happen that way.”

“How did you want to break up with me? Over candlelight? A text would have worked just fine,” I bite out.

The silence builds between us, and he watches me intently, as if trying to figure me out. He starts at my hair and works his way down to my feet, then comes back to my face. Just when I think I might combust from the intensity of his eyes, he looks away.

“What?” I cock my hip. “You look like you want to say something.”

He taps his hand against his leg. Ice-blue eyes, ones I used to stare into and get butterflies from, glitter down at me. “You just can’t handle that ended things, sweetheart.”

“Not your sweetheart.”

“Never were.”

Shit…shit…my heart feels like an anvil just landed on it, heavy and hard, and I can’t breathe for a second at his words, part of me pissed, the other part devastated. I wanted to be his sweetheart, I did, but he…

You’re not my type.

“Thanks for the reminder,” I say quietly, my anger folding away piece by piece and slipping into that horrible self-pity I despise.

He closes his eyes and scrubs his face with those talented hands, strong and big and capable, skillful with a football.

He steps in front of me, much like he did last night, and I tilt my head back to take him in. At my height of five feet, three inches, it’s hard to glare at a guy who towers over you and not look ridiculous, but I manage—until his eyes flicker with lingering emotion.

I dart my eyes around the store, searching for a way out, but I’m stuck between him and a bookshelf. “You’re blocking my path.” I focus on his legs. No sexiness there—well, except for the tight muscles under that denim.

“This is what I know,” he says in a low voice, ignoring my statement. “You told me we were just messing around. You set all the rules. Isn’t that how you operate? So why does me ending things with you even matter?”

“You never asked for more. You could have.” The revealing words fall around us, tinged with hurt, and I want to pull them back.

The silence between us crackles, yet I’m aware of other people around us. There are a few girls on another aisle, and I glance over as one of them pulls out her phone. No doubt she’s taking a picture of him. Part of me retreats, anxious she’ll get me in that photo—a girl who clearly doesn’t belong. He doesn’t notice. Everyone knows who he is, and they’re probably wondering why he’s talking to me.

“No, I didn’t,” he finally says, the words taut as if pulled from him unwillingly. He taps his leg, his tell that he’s anxious or angry. We weren’t together long, but every moment we spent together, I studied him like a wine connoisseur given a glass of rare cabernet. I know what makes him laugh, usually random things that make no sense. I know that groan he makes deep in this throat when he slides inside me, like he’s home. I know the feel of his hand when he cups my face and stares at me, a hesitant expression on his face—

“You can’t even look at me anymore. I wonder why,” he says, his voice a challenge.

Steeling myself, I face those baby blues. “You know why. I wish we’d never met up last fall. I wish you’d never flirted with me. I wish I’d never fucked you that first time in the library—”

“Same page. Same fucking page, Charisma.” And then he’s walking away, broad shoulders swaying as he stalks down the aisle…



About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.



Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.



. Ilsa head shot-2

Connect with Ilsa
Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/
Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000
Stay up to day with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/contact



Monday, August 19, 2019

Excerpt: Crew Princess by Tijan


EXCERPT

You would think one might outgrow violence.
At some age—after inflicting so much pain, seeing too much blood, hearing so many cries of agony—a person would be able to walk away, turn her back, and the need wouldn’t be there anymore.
Right?
It never worked that way for me.
The urge just grew and grew until it was too much to handle.
There may not be a wish to die inside me anymore, that might’ve gone away, but a different desire rose up. I wanted to cake the streets in red. I wanted to put terror in the Normals’ hearts, inflict them with some of the quaking we woke with. I wanted them to feel what it was like to have the power against them.
But I couldn’t do any of that.
Or at least, it wasn’t time.
“Bren.”
The sounds around me permeated my mind, and I turned toward the voice amid the yells, laughter, shrieks, splashing, and glasses being tapped together.
Right. I was at a pool party.
No wonder I was feeling all murderous.
Who wouldn’t be?
“Bren!”
A lot had changed in the ten weeks since a friend was assaulted, and particularly in the last month. A lot. One of those changes was heading toward me. Tabatha Sweets. One of the most popular girls in our school, one that used to fear me, and here she was. Coming up to me. Calling my name. Acting like we were buddy-buddy, which we actually had become. Hence the not-fearing me part.
She still should have.
She came to stand right in front of me. She wasn’t blocking my sun because I’d been holed up in the corner of the backyard, lying down behind the grill, because let’s face it, I wasn’t the socialite here. I was here for very specific reasons: this pool party was at the Shaws’ house.
Cross Shaw was my boyfriend.
Taz Shaw was my friend. She was also Cross’ sister.
And the other two guys in our crew wanted to hang out. Zellman and Jordan.
So we were here.
I was here.
Unwillingly.
And daydreaming about violence.
Go figure.
I sat up, looped my arms over my knees, and sighed. “What’s up, Tabatha?”
“What are you doing back here?”
Her voice was a little snippy with frustration, but also confusion.
Tentative was the best way to describe our relationship—and I’m being extremely loose with those words to describe whatever I had with Tabatha and her minions. You can blame all the hours I had to serve on their charity committee, which was renamed their ‘event’ committee as part of my community service. Stabbing our old principal had ended with me sort of having other girlfriends besides Taz.
I wasn’t sure how that had worked out.
A couple had been after Cross, and I knew a couple still held a torch. As for Tabatha, she and Jordan were now a couple couple.
Yeah. I was surprised at how fast that happened too.
They went from one official date to being a couple, and now they were almost the lovey-dovey type of coupledom.
Anyway, right now, my crewmate’s girlfriend who was also somewhat a friend of mine (depending on the day and my mood, to be honest) stood over me. She was staring me down, hands on her hips.
I couldn’t lie, though. The urge to pull my knife out, just to hold it and know it would make Tabatha uneasy, was strong. But I didn’t. I’d grown over the last year. See? Counseling and community service could rehabilitate us lower criminal beings.
“Where are the guys?” I ignored her question. Did she not know me by now?
Pushing up to my feet, I didn’t wait for her to respond.
I took stock myself.
Zellman was on a back lounger, his on/off woman (Sunday) on his lap. Monica (one of the girls still holding a torch for my guy) was next to them, sitting on some other guy’s lap (I think a baseball player).
Jordan was just coming out of the house.
He saw me staring at him and paused, beer in hand. He raised his eyebrows in question, but I shook my head.
I didn’t need him for anything.
He kept moving, going to sit in another lounger by Z. And I knew where the fourth member of our crew was.
Jordan. Zellman. Cross. Me.
We were Wolf Crew, the smallest crew in the Roussou crew system, but also the most dangerous one.
There were other crews. Larger ones like the Ryerson Crew, or the Frisco Crew, which had popped up over the last semester. They were our neighboring town, and their high school had burned down. The town was too small to get enough funds to build a new one in time for their winter semester, so they were being bused to us. Well, half of them were. A few went to Fallen Crest Academy, and a good third went to Fallen Crest Public School, but the rest came to us. Frisco, Fallen Crest, and Roussou formed a weird triangle a bit inland in California, so those were the options.
We’d heard the Frisco students who went to the Academy shit their pants at how rich and fancy everything was. Most people in Frisco were poor like us. The Academy was for the rich. There were exceptions, but it’s what it was.
A few of their girls had tried to follow Tabatha around. She only took in two of them, literally flicking the others away with her hand.
I guess that’s what popular girls did? I didn’t know.
All this is just to say: I’m not like them.
I’m not like Frisco. I’m not like a Fallen Crusty, and I’m not even like a Normal (our term for those who aren’t in crews at Roussou). The ones I’m like? My crew. Zellman. Jordan. Cross. That’s it.
And seeing Jordan laughing so easily with that sporty guy, I felt a twitch in my chest.
I didn’t know what it was—jealousy, anger, or maybe I was just hungry. But the fact that I’d felt that twitch was enough for me. If I did emotions, it was never a good result, so I was gonna bounce.
“Oh, no, no, no.”
I began to move around Tabatha, but she blocked me.
Her eyes flashed in determination, and she pressed her lips together. “I recognize that look on your face. You’re going to ditch.” She shook her head. “You can’t ditch.”
“I don’t care.” I started off again.
She blocked me again, flipping her hair as she did. The movement was enough to draw attention, and conversations around us started to wane.
I gritted my teeth.
Tabatha was in my face, and I hated when anyone was in my face, and I was two seconds away from—
“Sweets.” The door opened again. Taz stepped out, a hand on her bikini-clad hip, dressed just the way Tabatha was. “Back away from Bren.”
Tabatha started to turn, laughing.
Taz wasn’t joking. She nodded at me. “She’s two seconds from putting hands on you.” She scanned the backyard. “Not a great situation to be in right now, if you get my drift.”
There were phones out. Things didn’t stay secret anymore, not since the Friscians came to town. And there was another development rumored as well, one that had most people seeing stars and Hollywood signs, but I can’t even get into that now. I’d been given a heads-up and knew it was going to be a pain in my ass.
“You’re close to losing it?” Tabatha asked quietly, easing back a step.
This was her redeeming quality. Sometimes she was clueless, but other times, she had learned to give me space. She backed down now, an apology flashing in her eyes.
I could move my jaw again. It wasn’t encased in cement. “I don’t like being cornered.”





Release Blitz: I HATE YOU by Ilsa Madden-Mills

I HATE YOU BANNER .jpg

I want you . . . even when I hate you.

I Hate You, an all-new enemies to lovers sports romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills, is available now!

IMMIHateYouBookCover55x85_HIGH.jpg

Blaze Townsend: I hate you.

Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.
Hottest guy she’s ever seen.
Former fling.
Dumped her in front of her friends.
At her own party.
So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class.
He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please.She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)
Charisma Rossi.
Nerd girl with a dash of bad.
The one who got under his skin.
The one he cut loose.
Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.
So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?
Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life

IHY - AN.jpg

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/IHateYou
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2ZhXn09


About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.



Ilsa head shot-2.jpg.

Connect with Ilsa
Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilsasunicorngirls/
Sign up for phone alert for book releases (max of 4) Text ROMANCE to 21000
Stay up to day with Ilsa by joining her mailing list: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/contact



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Review: Crew Princess by Tijan


Crew Princess Crew Princess by Tijan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was provided an ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This picks up shortly where Crew left off. This is not a standalone, and I'd highly recommend reading Crew first before diving in to this one. The dynamics of how crews operate and the social structure of the entire town won't make sense.

This mainly focuses on Bren, much like Crew did. Again she is surrounded by The Wolf Crew, Jordan, Zellman, and Cross who is now her boyfriend. Bren is again working through some of her demons, though this time they aren't all buried in the past, some of them are forcing her to face the future as graduation is approaching. As Wolf Crew has to decide what to do about college and what to do after high school, they also have to deal with some very ugly "crew business" brewing in the background that seems centered on getting Bren to violate her probation. Bren has been trying to behave, no fighting or pulling knives on people, going to counseling, and doing her community service after what happened in Crew (go read it). She is finding it very hard not to end up back in jail with all of the shenanigans happening around her that either point to her or require her crew to take action.

When the three local towns are forced to come together when a local school is burned down things get messy. Crews are pitted against each other, and things get ugly. Wolf Crew does what they do best and retaliate because crew protects their own and they are loyal to their town of Roussou. As things unfold, Bren discovers that there is a deeper motive than just crew vs. crew rivalry going on. At the same time the school has brought in a camera crew to film a documentary on their town and the local celebrity athletes that came from the town. Turns out they want to spin it to know more about the crew system, which everyone knows you don't talk about.

This book took me a while to get into. It was all over the place at first, but I think that was because you were supposed to feel like you were in Bren's head and her thoughts were kind of all over the place. Bren is a bit of a mess emotionally throughout the book, and I had a hard time keeping up with her. I kind of think that was the point though, you go through her emotional journey with her as she figures herself out. Bren isn't the only one going through some stuff in this book, several of the characters go through some messy emotional situations. There is alot going on in this book, sometimes I felt like I wasn't sure how it all fit together. Tijan didn't fail me and brought it all together in the end and while it ended a bit on a cliffhanger, can't say I'm surprised by the ending. I'm looking forward to the next book and to see where Wolf Crew is headed in the next installment. If you liked Crew you'll enjoy this.








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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Review: The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Whisper Man The Whisper Man by Alex North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can't decide if this is a 4 or a 5 stars so it is somewhere in between. This is one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time, maybe the best one this year. This kept me guessing and left me feeling disturbed at the end. I love when I can't figure out what's happening with a thriller and this one got me every time I thought I had it figured out.

This follows writer Tom Kennedy and his 7 year old son Jake as they are still grieving from the sudden death of wife and mother respectively, Rebecca. Tom struggled to connect with Jake even before Rebecca's death and Jake is a unique child and doesn't find it easy to communicate with people. In an attempt to make a clean start, Tom finds them a new house to live in. As they start their new life, Jake starts to hear whispers in the night at his window. What makes things worse is another young boy has recently gone missing and appears to be a copycat of a missing persons/murder case from 20 years ago. The killer from that case is still in jail, however the detective is brought in to consult. Pete Willis has been haunted by The Whisper Man for 20 years because he never found his last victim and truly closed the case. Now someone knows intimate details about the case that were never released to the public and is recreating the horrific crimes from the past. As Pete is pulled back into his worst nightmare, Tom and Jake find themselves the target of the new Whisper Man's very creepy fantasy.

I really loved how everything wraps up in this and everything is connected. All of the plotlines come together so smoothly in the end. There were times when I was thinking I wasn't sure why this or that was part of the story, but Alex North does not disappoint with plot holes and useless threads. Everything serves a purpose and all is revealed in due time if you let it. This book is eery, creepy, suspenseful, and kept me turning the pages. There is quite a bit of character and relationship development in this book which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend it.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This book will be released on August 20, 2019. 

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Review: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was provided a copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  Since I picked up the review copy after the book was published, I listened to the audiobook so I could move this up my review list a bit faster.  This was published March 26, 2019.

This book was pretty good I really liked the twists and turns but found it predictable. It is a decent domestic thriller but unlike most other readers it just didn't keep my attention. It just didn't grab me and keep me in suspense like I wanted it to. It was well written and dark at times. Some of the scenes are pretty crazy, but a lot of it was pretty unrealistic and just didn't keep me guessing. Overall it was entertaining; I just didn't love it like everyone else seemed to.

This follows seemingly perfect couple Millicent and he who never gets a name, but sometimes calls himself Tobias, for the sake of the review we’ll call him Husband. The story is narrated from Husband’s perspective, and the story he tells is quite an interesting one. He meets Millicent when they are young and barely have a penny to either of their names, they marry and have kids. Through some strategic networking, they work their way into better clientele as a real estate agent and tennis pro at the local country club. They both start to make better money and are able to move into the better part of town and provide a better life for their son and daughter. Seems like a pretty straight forward life right? Wrong! Millicent and Husband both keep quite a few secrets from each other, but that isn’t the weirdest thing about their relationship. They develop a murderous hobby filled with stalking, lies, and all sorts of twist and turns. I don’t want to tell you what they get up to because that would spoil the fun. They get up to some pretty crazy and dark shenanigans to spice up their marriage, but all is not perfect and Millicent takes Husband on a pretty wild ride.


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Review: Extinction of All Children by L.J. Epps

Extinction of All Children Extinction of All Children by L.J. Epps
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a decent start to a trilogy. It has quite a few of the typical YA dystopian tropes. The main character sticks up for what she believes in and finds herself learning that there is more to the oppressive government that she lives in than she knows. The story follows Emma Whisperer, the last child to be born and live to turn 18. Emma lives in Territory L, which is where the poor live, and no one is permitted to have children because the President determined poor people cannot afford to take care of children. If you break the law you are jailed and your baby is killed after birth. Emma is not a supporter of many of the President's laws and doesn't understand why the people have put up with the President for so long when democracy used to rule in the past. Emma is honored at a ball and when she is given an opportunity to give a speech, she says what is on her mind instead of the propaganda President wants her to say. For her disobedience, Emma is jailed for 30 days and during her sentence she learns why her family has be so oppressed, why the laws are so strict, and makes some friends and enemies during her stay. The President gives her an ultimatum to end her jail time, become a guard and take back her traitorous words or stay in jail for standing up for what is right. Emma has more than befriended one of the guards and they decide that if Emma becomes a guard, they can fight for what is right from the inside. When they learn the President wants to make a fool of Emma and hurt her family, they decide to run for one of the other territories. The book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger but it isn't too terrible.

I found this fairly predictable and that the characters lacked development. Emma wants to go up against the President but she has no idea what she stands for and she never thinks things through. I'm all for a character making decisions in the heat of the moment, but Emma is portrayed as kind of a dumb, immature girl who keeps making bad decisions and doesn't think about the impact to her family or anyone else until someone points them out to her. Then she has guilt about what she's done or is going to do after the fact. I hope that in the next two books she grows as a character and if she is going to be the leader of some sort of revolution she grows up and starts thinking things through just a bit. I also couldn't get into the love triangle, it felt awkward. The writing was a bit redundant and repetitive at times.

Overall this was OK. I have the other two books in the series and I liked it enough to continue on with the series.

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