Review: The Sound by Sarah Alderson

Title: The Sound
Publication:  May 13th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Reviewed by: Taryn
Rating: 3 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review.
When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

The gripping new stand-alone novel from the author of Hunting Lila.

Ren Kingston, an almost-18-year-old aspiring music journalist, takes a summer job nannying for a wealthy family on Nantucket Island. Ren is from Bromley, a South London suburb, and life with the Tripp family couldn’t be any more different than she’s used to. The Tripps may have hired a nanny, but they still plan to send baby Braiden to daycare and 4-year-old Brodie to camp, so Ren’s nanny services are only really needed in the mornings and evenings. The rest of her time, including most weekends, is free. This is great news to Ren, who is looking forward to a quiet, mellow summer as she recovers from a heartbreak. 

However, Ren soon finds herself swept up with a group of young and rich private school kids, attending parties and cozying up to handsome and preppy Jeremy Thorne. Despite her plans to swear off boys for the summer, Ren spends a lot of time with Jeremy and also starts getting to know the local “bad boy”, Jesse Miller, at the same time. Jeremy and his friends don’t like Jesse and warn Ren to stay away from him. It turns out that Jesse has spent time in juvie in the past due to beating up one of Jeremy’s good friends. But Ren has a strange feeling that there’s more to Jesse’s story than everyone lets on, and she’s not really sure who on the island she can truly trust. When young, foreign nannies start being attacked and left for dead on the beach, Ren’s hopes for a peaceful summer are ruined. Will she survive the summer, or will the Nantucket Nanny serial killer strike again? 

The Sound was a fast-paced read that I flew through in just one day. The first few pages hooked me with a suspenseful prologue in which Ren was trying to escape a dangerous man (a glimpse of what was to come!). Then it flashed back to the present day, and I was immediately intrigued by the vivid setting and the interesting cast of characters. 

I had a pretty good idea who the serial killer would turn out to be, so the big reveal wasn’t much of a surprise to me in the end. And actually, the serial killer plot didn’t seem to get as much attention as the romantic/love triangle plot over the course of the book, so the whole story felt a little off balance to me. But ultimately, The Sound was an entertaining read that I would recommend to fans of contemporary YA thrillers.

Happy Release Day: Tease by Sophie Jordan

Tease (The Ivy Chronicles #2)

A young college woman gets schooled in life, sex, and love in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s sizzling New Adult romance series—where three Ivy League suite-mates testing their boundaries as they seek higher knowledge of just how far they can go.

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.
Never fall in love.
Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hotty from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .


Review: House of The Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

Title: House of The Rising Sun (Crescent City #1)
Publication: May 13, 2014 by Orbit
Reviewed by: Isalys
Rating:  4 Stars
Reason for Reviewing:  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia's been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It's time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city's Guardian.

House of The Rising Sun is a spin-off off Kristen Painter's exciting Urban Fantasy series, House of Comarré.  In this series, we get to know previously introduced characters better as we follow their adventures in 'Nawlins'.

If you're familiar with House of Comarré then you already know that Augustine is Mortalis' half-brother, which also makes him part-shadeux and part-smokesinger fae.  He's returned home to New Orleans after having fled for helping Chrysabelle (our heroine in House of Comarré) enter Claustrum (a fae realm that non-fae are not allowed to visit).  He's just getting settled when he learns that a vampire infestation has taken over the city and killed someone he deeply cared about.  This turn of events forces him to become the new Guardian, a job he really did not want.  As Guardian, he's now responsible for the welfare of all New Orleans' citizens, human and supernaturals alike.

Meanwhile, our current heroine Harlow Goodwin is in deep herself.  She faces some pretty hefty charges for cyber crimes that she thinks she was set up for.  She has no choice but to return to New Orleans to face her estranged mother in the hopes that maybe she can help her get out of this jam.

Harlow's relationship with her mother, Olivia Goodwin is complicated at best.  Harlow never knew her father and she can't understand why her mother refuses to share anything about him with her.  What she really doesn't know is that Olivia kept those secrets for very good reason.

Harlow and Augustine's paths cross when they learn that Olivia was a sort-of adopted mother to Augustine.  This in turn raises some even more complicated feelings [toward Augustine], in addition to the attraction that she's hellbent on fighting.

As a fan of House of Comarré, I was really excited about diving back into the world that Kristen Painter created.  My thoughts and feelings about this book varied quite a bit though.  There were some details that I had issue with, starting with the cover.  Artistically, it's beautiful.  Actually, all of Painter's covers are breathtaking.  However, in this book, I really felt that Augustine's voice was the strongest.  It's his path that affects the plot and storyline most so I think he should have been featured on the cover instead, or at least as well.

One of Kristen Painter's trademark writing techniques is the inclusion of many points of view.  I was very pleased that in this title, we really just focused on Augustine & Harlow.  Speaking of...  Augustine is a delight.  A quintessential hero.  He is so incredibly well-rounded.  He's kind and charming, strong and capable, brave and a little reckless, but smart and just a touch vulnerable.  On the other hand, Harlow has a lot of growing up to do.  I wanted to like her and in some ways I did, but she was bratty and petulant at times.  I would get frustrated at her and her mother's lack of communication.  They could have saved themselves a world of drama if they were just honest with each other.  The good news that as secrets are revealed and villains are brought to light, she begins to understand that it's there's more at stake than her own hurt feelings.  By the end of the story, I could already see an improvement in her and I look forward to seeing her develop even more :)

While we're being honest, I was confused about the timeline.  Augustine and Harlow are relatively close in age, if Augie has been with Olivia since he was 14 (because, if I can be perfectly frank, his mother was a bitch) then why is Harlow just now discovering that her own mother had been raising him all this time?  Has she been on her own since she was a kid?

On a positive note, the mystery behind the plot was very well done and will keep you on the hook.  Kristen Painter has a knack for creating interesting plots that are not boring or easy to figure out, yet not convoluted either.  There were still a few loose ends but that's okay because we have book 2, City of Eternal Night to look forward to.

I also really loved the setting.  I've never been to New Orleans, something I must rectify pronto, but I can clearly see it through Painter's eyes.  {Painter painted a a helluva picture! HA}  Seriously though, I love the passion with which she so obviously writes.  The juxtaposition of NOLA's old world charm with the youthful, party vibe lends it a charm that is hard to resist.

Overall, I remain a true blue fan of Kristen Painter's work and recommend this to any fans of good Urban Fantasy.  Although, if I may, I suggest starting with her House of Comarré series since it really lays the groundwork for her awesome world-building.


Cover Art: Soul Enslaved (Sons of Wrath #3)

SOUL ENSLAVED (Sons of Wrath #3)
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: David Wagner of Wagner LA Photography

Imprisonment in Obsidius. Enslavement to a soul-sucking succubus. A reproductive cycle that’d send a sex fiend running into the arms of celibacy. Given the choice, most demons would opt for death.

Gavin, eldest son of Wrath, has been sentenced to all three.

When the succubus decides its time collect, though, he fears his nightmares have only just begun.

And Sabelle’s timing couldn’t be worse.

With a bad case of uncontrollable lust, thanks to his Savidon, the last thing Gavin wants is a vengeful succubus stoking his darkest desires, but debts must be paid—he just didn’t bank on enjoying his punishment so much.

Because the swinging bachelor may have found his perfect mate in the sexy seductress.

However, just as things seem to be looking up, past sins resurface, plunging the two into a deadly game of power and deception. As their worst fears merge into one unexpected threat, Gavin is determined to protect Sabelle and win her freedom.

At any cost.

Sons of Wrath
Never gamble with vengeance …


WARNING:  Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence, sex and strong language.

Cover Art: The Darkest Touch (LOTU #11)

Release Date: November 25, 2014 by Harlequin HQN
Genre: Paranormal Romance

YOU GUYSSSS!!!!  Torin is almost here.  I can't!

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet…

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

I Read YA: Recommendations

#IReadYA Week is Here and it's time to have fun with This Is Teen and fellow lovers of YA :)
Every day we're given a different topic dedicated to our favorite YA reads.  Visit the links above for more info on how and where to play (Instagram, Twitter, etc).  But first...

"I read YA" because I love to recapture the fun & innocence of adolescence but in a much more interesting, diverse, and colorful way."
 Here is the schedule so that you guys can play along too:

And now on to the first topic, YA Recommendations:

I just love these books to pieces and they're usually the first ones I'd recommend when asked. There's a little bit of everything in here: romance, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian.

If you haven't read any of these yet, then may I *highly* suggest you add them to your TBR pile ;)


It’s our 5 year Blogaversary! Let’s celebrate with a week of giveaways!


We’re SUPER excited because today is a very special day for us. Yes, it’s Cinco de Mayo, and although we’d love to throw back some shots of tequila and eat some nachos, instead, we’ll be celebrating our 5 year blogaversary with you guys by hosting a week full of giveaways! WoohoO! 
[Don’t forget to check back every day!]




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cover Reveal: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love
by Colleen Hoover

Release Date: August 5, 2014 by Atria Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

UGLY LOVE hits bookshelves August 5th. Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon Kindle
Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble
Google ebookstore

Blast: Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

You’ve met Rule, Jet, Rome, and now Nash! But there’s a new boy in town, along with a new series, by Jay Crownover. Better When He’s Bad (Welcome to the Point #1) is a new adult novel scheduled for publication on June 17, 2014 by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing. 

Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Damn, right?  You can read the first chapter of Better When He's Bad at the end of Nash's book.

“It’s dark and dangerous and set in a fictitious underworld/bad part of town. The men in all of the books are way more along the line of being anti-heros than true leading men. I guess the easiest way to sum them up is by saying the books are all about the choices these characters have to make and the outcomes and results of those decisions. Bax’s book is all about having to make the hard choices and what becomes of him and his lady in doing so. They are super fun, very atmospheric and I think really what writing a bad boy should be like if you’re going to do it :)”

Teaser Excerpt: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

O.M.G! Jeaniene Frost has just released an excerpt on her latest series ‘Broken Destiny’! Oh the excitement!

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

A familiar song was playing, but I couldn’t remember the name. That bugged me enough to open my eyes. A wall of black met my gaze, slick and smooth like glass. I reached up to see what it was, and that’s when I realized my hands were tied.
“Silent Lucidity” by Queensryche, my mind supplied, followed immediately by, I’m in the backseat of a car. One that was well taken care of, going by that flawless, shiny roof. With those details filled in, I also remembered what had happened right before I’d passed out. And who I was with.
“Why are my hands tied?” I said, heaving myself into an upright position.
For some reason Adrian didn’t have a rear view mirror, which was why he had to glance over his shoulder to look at me.
“Does anything make you panic?” he asked, sounding amused. “You’re tied up in the backseat of a cop-killer’s car, but I’ve seen people get more upset when Starbucks runs out of pumpkin spice flavor.”
Anyone normal would panic, not that it would do any good. Besides, I ran out of “normal” a long time ago, when I realized I saw things no one else did.
Speaking of which, why wasn’t I in pain? The lump where Mrs. Paulson had whacked me was gone, and my shirt was red from blood, but aside from a mild kink in my neck, I felt fine. When I pushed my shirt up, somehow, I wasn’t surprised to see smooth, unbroken skin on my abdomen. Well, that and a bunch of crumbs, like I’d eaten a dessert too messily.
“Why does it look like I have angel food cake on my stomach?” I wondered aloud.
Adrian snorted. “Close. It’s medicine. You were injured.”
“You can tell me how I’m not anymore,” I said, holding out my bound hands, “after you untie me.”
Another backwards glance, this one challenging.
“You may be the calmest person I’ve ever been sent to retrieve, but if I tell you now what you want to know, that will change. So pick—the  truth, or being untied?”
“Truth,” I said instantly.
He let out a laugh. “Another first. You’re full of surprises.”
So was he. He’d just admitted that he regularly kidnapped people—which was how I translated “retrieve”—so I should be trying my damnedest to get free. But more than anything, I needed answers. Besides, I still wasn’t afraid of him, and somehow, that had nothing to do with him magically healing me.
“Truth, Adrian,” I repeated.
He turned once again and his gaze locked with mine, those odd blue eyes startling me with their intensity. For a moment, I could only stare, all thought frozen in my mind. I don’t know why I reached out, awkwardly touching his arm to feel the hard muscles beneath that bulky jacket. If I’d thought about it, I wouldn’t have done it. Yet I couldn’t make myself pull away.
Then I gasped when his hand covered mine. At some point, he’d taken off his gloves, and the feel of his warm, bare skin sent a shock wave through me. The touch seemed to affect Adrian, too. His lips parted and he edged over the back of the seats—
He yanked on the steering wheel, narrowly avoiding another car. A horn blared, and when the driver passed us, an extended middle finger shook angrily in our direction. I leaned back, my heart pounding from the near collision. At least, that’s what I told myself it was from.
Dyate,” Adrian muttered.
I didn’t recognize the word, and I was at a loss to place his accent. It had a musical cadence like Italian, but beneath that was a harsher, darker edge.
“What’s that language?” I asked, trying to mask the sudden shakiness in my voice.
This time, he didn’t take his eyes off the road. “Nothing you’ve heard of.”
“I picked truth, remember?” I said, holding up my bound hands for emphasis.
That earned me a quick glance. “That is the truth, but you don’t get more until you meet Zach. Then we can skip all the ‘this isn’t possible’ arguments.”
I let out a short laugh. “After what I saw on Detective Kroger’s face, my definition of ‘impossible’ has changed.”
Adrian swerved again, but this time, no other car was near.
“What did you see?”
I tensed. How did I explain without sounding insane? No way to, so I chose to go on the attack instead.
“Why were you in my hotel room? And how did you heal me? There isn’t even a mark—”
“What did you see on his face, Ivy?”
Despite his hard tone, when my name crossed his lips, something thrummed inside me, like he’d yanked on a tie I hadn’t known was there. Feeling it was as disturbing as my inexplicable reaction to his clasping my hands.
“Shadows,” I said quickly, to distract from that. “He had snakelike shadows all over his face.”
I expected Adrian to tell me I’d imagined it, a response I was used to hearing. Instead, he pulled over, putting the car in park but keeping the engine running. Then he turned to stare at me.
“Was that the only strange thing you saw?”
I swallowed. I knew better than to talk about these things. Still, I’d demanded the truth from Adrian. It didn’t seem fair to lie in return.
“I saw two versions of the same B and B earlier. One was pretty, but the other was old and rotted, and my sister was trapped inside it.”
Adrian said nothing, though he continued to pin me with that hard stare. When he finally spoke, his question was so bizarre I thought I’d misheard him.
“What do I look like to you?”
“My appearance.” He drew out the words like I was slow. “Describe me.”
All of a sudden, he wanted compliments? I might have finally met someone crazier than me.
“This is ridiculous,” I muttered, but started with the obvious. “Six-six, early twenties, built like Thor, golden brown hair with blond highlights, silvery blue eyes…you want me to go on?”
He began to laugh, a deep, rich baritone that would’ve been sensual except for how angry it made me.
“Now I know why they came after you,” he said, still chuckling. “They must’ve realized you were different, but if they’d known what you could see, you never would’ve made it out of that B and B.”
“You can stop laughing,” I said sharply. “I get that it’s crazy to see the things I do.”
Lots of kids had imaginary friends growing up. I had imaginary places, though at first, I didn’t know I was the only one who could see them. Once my parents had realized that what I kept describing went far beyond childhood fancifulness, the endless doctor visits and tests began. One by one, diseases and psychoses had been crossed off until I was diagnosed with a non-monoamine-cholinergic imbalance in my temporal cortex.
In other words, I saw shit that wasn’t there for reasons no one could figure out. The pills I took helped a little, though I lied and said they got rid of all my hallucinations. I was sick of doctors poking at me. So whenever I saw something that no one else did, I forced myself to ignore it—until Mrs. Paulson and Detective Kroger had tried to kill me, of course.
Adrian did stop laughing, and that unblinking intensity was back in his gaze.
“Well, Ivy, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you’re not crazy. The bad news is, everything you’ve seen is real, and now, it’ll be coming for you.”

The feels!
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