PBA Release Event Blitz: Every Ugly Word-Aimee L. Salter; Imitation-Heather Hildenbrand; Rebel Wing-Tracy Banghart

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Synopsis

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Every Ugly Word_Press Release

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

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Wunderkind PR Imitation Press Release

Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw-out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

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Wunderkind PR Rebel Wing Press Release

The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.

Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.

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Meet the Author

Aimee L. Salter

Aimee L. Salter writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, is still in touch with their inner-high schooler. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you’re really thinking. And she’ll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn’t ask you about.

Aimee blogs for both writers and readers at http://www.aimeelsalter.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Heather

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit http://www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own OutRAGEous Life.

You can find out more about her and her books at http://www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS | AMAZON

Tracy

Tracy Banghart is a cheesy movie-loving, fantasy football-playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE | GOODREADS | AMAZON

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All of these books are upcoming reviews on this blog so please check back for those. 
Happy reading, 
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ARC Review & Giveaway: My Soon to be Sex Life-Judith Tewes

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“Leading Google searches say most girls lose it by the age of sixteen. I’m seventeen, Roach. If it’s going to happen any second anyway, I just want to be smart about it. I want to do it on my terms. Hell, if a guy was out to lose it, there’d be friends cheering him on, making bets, and lots of the wink, wink, nudge, nudge.” I sucked in an offended breath. “A girl wants to and everyone suddenly needs to know, why? Didn’t we already have a sexual revolution?”

***

“From the beginning I’d wanted full ownership of losing it, but now I realized, I wanted more. I wanted to be fully alive and loving every second. I wanted to feel more than lust. To give myself, to be vulnerable. Raw. Real.”

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Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry-poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginization campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, the aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to date when she has to go pick up his Depends?

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that he is the one, not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her. 

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own-right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose. 

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4/5 Stars

My Soon to be Sex Life is a sassy, quick-witted, in-your-face read. It’s vulgar, brutally honest, and oozes sarcasm. Beneath the light-hearted surface is something deeper-a profound and powerful look into the heart of a young woman trying to gain some semblance of control in her crumbling life situation and her body is one of the few things she feels she has ownership over. If you’re looking for uproarious laughter, brilliant quips, and an honest portrait of a rash, brash, seventeen-year-old minx out to lose her virginity at all costs, this it definitely for you.

PROS:

  • My Soon to be Sex Life is a joy to read. It’s quick, funny, full of wonderful lines, sharp banter, and bold statements. During my time reading this, I was having a serious meltdown with my boyfriend and this helped me, I couldn’t not laugh. It was bold, lively, acerbic, and insanely catchy, everything about Charlie and her quest pulls you in and will leave you smiling. 
  • Apart from her quick temper, Charlie (Charlotte Webb, I pretty much died when I read that), is a confident, fiery, blunt, sexual, and overall feisty female protagonist. She puts herself out there, she’s committed to her goal, and is so driven by it that she makes choices she might not have originally made.Charlie has some of the most comical, laugh-out-loud, crazy lines I’ve ever read. The girl is a comedic genius. While it is typically crass, sexual, and inappropriate, sometimes innuendo sometimes graphic, the lines are creative and totally memorable. You know the moment in films and books when the main character gets him/herself into a particularly embarrassing and awkward situation where you have to avert your eyes, cringe, and hide your head in solidarity shame for the protagonist? Charlie is a master at these scenes. The elevator. That is all.
  • What’s equally amazing and admirable about this book is the subtle social commentary. So much is being said and written so flawlessly that it’s not only thought-provoking, it doesn’t feel like it’s preachy or being forced on you either. Virginity is a passionate, heated subject, one that can turn friends into enemies, can pit parents against children, can make girls and boys alike feel ostracized or unworthy or maybe even too worthy. I fell in love with the quote above about the sexual revolution because it’s not only accurate, it’s spot on and I think many YA writers are afraid to tackle this subject because not only does it deal with the very real reality of teen sex but it’s a touchy topic.Kudos, Judith Tewes, thanks for bringing up feminism and teen sex in a way that’s relatable, emotional, and completely honest. The way virginity seems to be a wholly female subject of scrutiny and judgement is something that should be addressed and from the male side as well. Their expectations from their peers and even adults can be just as damaging. 
  • Charlie’s vulnerability and sadness is heartbreaking. For the most part, Charlie is a rock, she’s independent and strong, she rolls with the punches and scoffs at things that would make the average girl bawl her eyes out and avoid school for a week. Charlie is a take charge woman on a mission but when she finally herself up to the reality, taking a harsh look at the truth, it’s like a sucker punch in the stomach. Charlie is a confused, growing young woman who has ideas about what she wants, whose  past has forced her to make choices and ones that may be misguided. Charlie’s relationship with her mother is complex and full of depth. The multidimensional, aching sense of love and resentment, the true, dark thoughts about her mother’s depression and her feelings of rejection are compelling to read and a little hard to chew but that’s what makes them have such an honest, real impact.
  • Eric’s role is brief but leaves a lasting impression. The chemistry between Charlie and Eric bursts off the pages, a fiery hot mess of carnal lust and passion. Their make out scenes are sizzling, it’s when they start to talk that things get awkward real quick but in that teasing, shy way that’s both endearing and blush-worthy.
  • Roach and her family are interesting. As a very religious family with strong beliefs about morals, virginity and humanity, Owen and Roach are covert, sneaky, snarky misfits. Roach is just as blunt as Charlie but she’s got a bad girl side that Charlie doesn’t come close to. Roach is a rebel and her friendship with Charlie is so natural and fitting it’s not hard to imagine them as people you’ve met or have been friends with IRL.

CONS:

  • Charlie is almost too spontaneous, she tends to rush into things, blurt out everything she’s feeling at the moment, and for a girl who has absolutely no filter, it can be really hurtful. Her anger is fierce but sort of flip-flops. One minute she’s full on enraged, ready to take people out, throwing punches (sometimes knees to groins) and lashing out with her words, others she laughs it off, barely reflecting on the issue. For the most part, this adds to the overall comedy except for when her mom is in rehab. Charlie can’t get a grip on the situation and in order to deal, she pokes fun at the whole issue and it does not always come off well.
  • It was unbelievable how easily Charlie got over what would be seriously devastating social faux pas in high school and bullying. She sulks for a minute and then it’s like nothing happened. It takes a while for Charlie to learn that her actions have consequences and it’s not pretty, she learns the hard way.

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Judith Tewes AuthorWebsite/Facebook/Facebook Author Page/Twitter/TUMBLR/Goodreads

Multi-published, award-winning author, screenwriter, and playwright, Judith Tewes resides in small town Alberta, where she: writes, sings, plays bass guitar in an all-woman band, walks her three crazy labs, and suspects she’s living the life of a superhero’s alias. A commercial writer writing under several pen names, Judith’s work includes: paranormal, steampunk, and contemporary young adult fiction, as well as thriller, horror, and dramatic comedies for the stage and screen.

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Enter for your chance to win one of FIVE e-copies of My Soon to be Sex Life and a $20 Amazon giftcard.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading, 

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Cover Reveal: Breathe + Shimmer-Elena Dillon

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Breathe by Elena Dillon

Book 1 – Breathe Series

Young Adult Romantic Suspense

Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.

Shimmer by Elena Dillon

Book 2 – Breathe Series

Young Adult Romantic Suspense

Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take. When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?

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Facebook / Twitter

I have had a love of books for as long as I can remember. I got in trouble as a kid for staying up too late on school nights, reading. I’m a nerdgirl and proud of it. I’ve been writing my whole life but only recently decided to come out in public with it.

I write Young Adult love stories because as my husband would tell you, I never matured much past fifteen. There is nothing better to me than a good romance with an amazing hero, throw in some creepy suspense and I’m in.

I write from my home office in Southern California with our English Bulldog, Brutus to keep me company. To hear about him, my writing experience and read some outtakes of my stories check out my blog at elenadillon.com.

I love to chat with other readers and writers.

Pleasant reading, 

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Q & A with Melissa Haag

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I had the incredible opportunity to interview the lovely Melissa Haag about her books, favorite paranormal creatures and other fun stuff. I hope you enjoy and learn a bit about Melissa’s wonderful books. 

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1.What do you like to read?

Romance, hands down. After that, paranormal thrillers. But, really, if a cover catches my eyes, I’ll consider the book no matter what the genre.

2. Do you have a favorite supernatural creature?

Right now, I’m on a werewolf kick. The idea of recognizing your future mate, and knowing with a certainty you found the right one, is a pretty cool concept that opens the pair to a lot of potential conflict, especially if one of the pair is human.

3. What inspires you to write?

I write for the same reason many people read, escape. Usually, after a tough day with the kids, I have plenty of new material to share with my laptop. I’m not sure how it pops into my head while scolding boy 1 to stop kicking boy 2, but it does.

4. Your Judgement of the Six series is all about the werewolves. Do you have a favorite tv/movie werewolf?

I just recently discovered Bitten on Syfy and even more recently discovered it’s based on a book by Kelly Armstrong. The book is definitely on my TBR list because I really liked the show. 

I also really like Lost Girl on Syfy. Weird that I like two shows from Syfy but I don’t have cable. Lol.

5. Do you have any upcoming releases?

Nothing with a set date, but I have several works in progress and my hope is to release two more books yet this year.

6. Some writers have quirky writing/editing rituals. Do you have any?

Nah, nothing quirky. I procrastinate and avoid editing just like the rest. ;) 

7. How do you feel about love triangles?

If the love triangle is handled without the physical flip-flopping between boys and without angst, I’m okay with it.

8. Do you think any supernatural creatures or themes are played out or overdone in YA/NA?

When I started writing the Judgement series, there were so many vampire books available but very few werewolf books. Even fewer that were rated YA/Mature YA. Since writing Hopeless, a few YA werewolf books have become popular. But I haven’t seen so many as to think paranormal is dead. There’s too much our imaginations haven’t yet explored.

9. Is there any genre that you’ve admired but haven’t yet written and see yourself tackling in the future?

Hmm…this is a tough one? I know contemporary is really “in” right now, but life is real enough for me that I have no desire to write about romantic possibilities that could really happen. I like the unreal. I’ll probably always stick to Paranormal and Fantasy but boundaries in genres are blurring more every day so who knows what I’ll write in the future.

10. Advice for aspiring authors?

Tons! If there are any aspiring authors out there with questions, hit me up. I’ll answer what I can. The publishing world is going through big changes. Now’s the time to be an author.

Thank you for the great questions.

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Our world is being judged, and we remain unaware.

In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny glowing sparks that fill her mind and represent the people around her, confirm it.

Clueless regarding the reason behind her sight, Gabby struggles to find an explanation. A chance encounter leaders her closer to the answers she has struggled to find and into a hidden society where fur is optional. There she meets Clay, the intense werewolf delusional enough to think he has a chance with her.

Gabby escapes back into her old life, but not quite alone. Clay follows her and silently makes a place for himself in her world. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, problems compound when other werewolves, ones with abnormally colored sparks, begin to stalk her.

Instead of gaining answers, her list of questions is growing. What do the other uniquely colored sparks mean? Is she not as alone as she thought?

Judgement has begun…

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A touch. That’s all it takes for Melissa to know her future with a boy. Her mom tells her she needs to choose her best option before she turns seventeen. Problem is, she sees all her ‘options’ dying before they turn thirty. That may have worked for the last fourteen generations of women in her family tree, but she can’t choose and condemn someone to an early grave. 

An unfortunate incident at school starts a chain of events that reveals a centuries old chaos demon and a chance to remove her ‘gift’ forever. 

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Reap the Shadow, Slay the Light. I don’t know what I am but I’m not human…and neither are the creatures that killed my mom. Running will only carry me so far because there’s a darkness within me, ready to destroy me, and a burning light, begging for escape. It’s the light that screams to my pursuers and works them into a frenzy. Though the darkness might kill me, releasing the light might kill us all…WarWolf: Half breed Ema fights to suppress her werewolf emotions and deny her warlock powers. It isn’t easy being a half-breed, but she’s determined to slide through life unnoticed by either group. When the warlock leaders team up with the humans to force paranormal registration, Ema believes she must choose between her two unwanted worlds. An unexpected companions shows her not all emotions are bad, and power has its benefits. Moved “Werewolves are real but the legends are wrong.” It’s the secret Gillian’s father has tried to keep from her and the reason he’s so overprotective. But, he goes to far when he exiles Gillian to a house in the middle of nowhere. Her new landlord, Racer, is more like a cute jailer who has strict orders to keep her safely trapped. Battle lines between independence and obligation are drawn as Gillian decides just how far she’s willing to go to win back her freedom. And Racer needs to decide what he’s willing to endure to keep her close. 

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PortraitWebsite/Twitter/Facebook

Melissa Haag currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. Touch is her first published novel. She is currently working on book three of separate five book series. To learn more about her upcoming projects visit her on social media sites above.

Happy reading, 

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ARC Review: Threats of Sky and Sea-Jennifer Ellision

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3.5/5 Stars

Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea, #1)-Jennifer Ellision

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Jennifer Ellision

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“It isn’t water but fire in my blood at Caden’s touch. Flames race through me, burning me with their insistent need to be fed more. More of him, more of his lips. My arms wind themselves around his neck as my toes curl inside my shoes. His hands are in my hair, at my hips, caressing my cheeks. They’re everywhere at once, but it’s not enough.” 

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Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail-along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has the faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time. 

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life-and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

-via Goodreads

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PROS:

  • Threats of Sky and Sea reads like high fantasy. It’s almost medieval and in the vein of R.A. Salvatore or Robert Jordan. There’s an old-fashioned, village atmosphere that feels bawdy, rustic, and full of merry drunk people. Threats of Sky and Sea transports you to another time, one that’s much simpler but full of just as much danger. Here there are people who wield forces of nature and kill on a whim, corrupt rulers, and deadly games of conquest. 
  • The cover is beautiful. It’s whimsical and vibrant, the way the water wraps around her, the shooting star, it’s wonderfully magical.
  • Breena is strong, she doesn’t let anything beat her. No matter how betrayed she feels, how alone, and hurt she picks herself back up and plans for escape. Breena’s internal dialogue is authentic, that of a teenage girl conflicted about her dad, the lies he’s told, and her new role in a society she’s never dreamed of. Breena is a fierce girl, she fights, speaks her mind, and is unafraid of conflict. Breena is intelligent, calculated, and embraces her identity, not allowing anyone to change despite severe pressure.
  • Aleta is a badass, fierce girl who holds her head high and knows how to play her part well. She’s brutally honest, snappy, and holds a grudge like nobody’s business.
  • Caden is sweet, caring, and playful, the way he looks at Bree is enough to make any girl melt. Their interactions are so casual and right that there’s no doubt they’re perfect for each other. Caden has so much on his shoulders, and under the gaze of his father it’s remarkable that he’s brave enough and smart enough to hope for a brighter future surrounded by so much greed.
  • The villains are ruthless, evil, and merciless in their taunts, they have absolutely no regard for human life and Kat especially is a dangerous, deadly foe. Her violent, volatile temper increases the tension.
  • Jennifer Ellision is a MASTER of surprise. You will never see the truth coming. Just wow.

CONS:

  • There’s a substantial section when they’re wandering through the woods that drags and slows the plot.
  • The overall mythology of the Earth and recycling the world to one without corruption and giving the power to Elementals was incredibly interesting and inventive but not as detailed or explained as it should have been. More of this back story would have enhanced the plot and really clarified the significance of Elemental power. 
  • The super secret gift from her father seems to have huge importance but is ignored for most of the plot and even as the story ends, it’s still a mystery. 
  • Breena’s father is cocky, confident and infuriatingly smug. His little smirks and refusal to speak to Bree, the way he ignores her, his mannerisms, everything about him just rubbed me the wrong way and really made me angry. However, it increased sympathy for Bree, when you see the kind of mocking arrogance of her father it’s easy to understand and appreciate her confusion towards her father. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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Promo & Teasers: Charming Selene-Dee King

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cooltext1602390596 copyAnd a Choice that will change her life forever.

I was just an ordinary teenager with a massive crush. Alex is the cutest guy in school, but her hardly knows I exist. Everytime I try to talk to him Cali is there. Sebastian is an arrogant jerk and royal pain in my butt. I though these were the biggest problems I had. But that all changed in one night. The girl I thought I was disappeared. My name is Selene Athans and I am a Migades.

Charming Selene is a magical mythical tale of gods, goddesses and impossible choices. 

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Amazon/Twitter/Facebook/WordPress Blog/Blogspot Blog

Dee King is the author of The Charming Series. The first novel of the series being Charming Selene. Dee in married and has two beautiful daughters. She lives in Missouri with her two dogs and two cats, Salem and the Princess Alice. When Dee is not writing she enjoys music, watching movies, spending time with family and friends.

Pleasant reading, 

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ARC Review: Perfected-Kate Jarvik Birch

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4/5 Stars

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled Teen.

“I thought that freedom and happiness would be indistinguishable, but now I didn’t know. Maybe freedom wasn’t a state of being. Maybe it was an act of courage. Maybe freedom was definace and sacrifice and pain, something that couldn’t be won without giving up something else in return.”

***

“I reached out for him in the dark, desperate to feel him, as if his presence could keep me from being swept away. My touch was like a lit match, igniting him. He pulled me to his cheat, just as frantic to hold me as I was to hold him.”

cooltext1544204149 copyPerfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life full of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate worse than death. 

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy, Perfected is a chilling look at what is means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous-and dangerous-bow. 

-via Goodreads

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Ella has known nothing but the inside of the Greenwich Kennels her whole life. She’s been primped and pruned, genetically designed to not only be pleasing to look at but to acquiesce to her future master’s every desire. Ella has been taught poise, etiquette, talents to impress and most importantly how to be the perfect pet. Ella has wanted for nothing and she’s never known what it means to yearn because she never knew that anything like free will was a possibility. Her life, her every action caters to the wants of others.

When Ella is purchased by a very eager congressman, she’s comforted by the knowledge that the girls at Greenwich are not pets for just anyone, they’re elite, the toys of the top 1% of upper class society and this means that nothing unsavory or bad could ever happen to her. 

Ella is content in her new life but she has the sneaking suspicion that not all is as it seems. Ella learns of a previous pet, one that has a supposedly untreatable illness, of people who are against pets who run an underground haven for girls like Ella, and of what happens to pets once they get older.

Ella is not safe, she never was and the harder she fights to be perfect, it seems the more trouble she gets into. Ella knows she must not dream, that she should be grateful for what she has, after all, it’s what she was born for, but her heart has other plans. The congressman’s son, close to Ella’s age and a mystery, seems to call to her, awakening something in her she never knew existed. More than a thirst for companionship, this runs deeper and more fierce. Penn sees her as a person, as something more than an accessory or pretty house decoration to be shown off. To him, Ella is very real and very much alive with her own thoughts and feelings. 

But Penn and Ella can never be together. She’s not permitted to love or to disobey, she must do as she’s told and never question. When her life is put on the line, Penn and Ella hatch a plan, one that if it fails would doom them both.

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PROS:

  • The premise of this book is just a jaw-dropping shock to the system. The idea that humans, the elite upper class of society would breed people to put on display like show dogs is completely disgusting and utterly unsettling. Perfected is an original, eye-opening story of how morally bankrupt and delusional society can be. 
  • Kate Jarvik Birch does an amazing job channeling the slimy, creepy gaze of the congressman and the others whose seedy eyes rove Ella’s body, equating her to something less than human, a toy to be played with and who would be a source of amusement, regardless of her feelings. She’s someone they can use and abuse, taking advantage of her and her role as a possession is just nauseating. The sense of danger, the perilous and precarious position she’s in is emphasized with every moment that Ella is alone with the congressman and the way he caresses her body, possessive and domineering. It’s despicable and will make your skin crawl. 
  • Spaying. Horrific. Seriously nightmare-inducing and disturbing; the thought of forced sterilization just because an ‘owner’ doesn’t want to deal with the possible repercussions of their actions. I was appalled and so sick with how easy it was to dismiss Ella’s rights and feelings as a woman. 
  • Perfected makes you think. So many things that are taken for granted, our ability to choose, to procreate, to love and receive love are just some of the many deep, philosophical questions on morality and humanity that are piqued in this story.
  • Ella’s growth is stunning and beautiful to read. As she discovers her feelings and what her heart yearns for it’s breathtaking and almost whimsical, watching someone who had been refused the ability to choose and to feel open her eyes is something profound and incredible to watch. As Ella’s delusions about how life is supposed to be crumble, she comes into her own and realizes that her life shouldn’t belong to anyone but herself. Ella is childlike, sweet, and so insanely innocent. She’s meek and charming and doesn’t know what to do with herself. The struggle she goes through to find the correct response to scenarios she hasn’t been trained for is heartbreaking. So much has been taken from her and as she realizes just how much it’s hard not to feel for her. 
  • The scenes between Penn and Ella are magical. They’re short and tame but full of longing and their chemistry just glows right off the page. They’re playful and loving, they get each other and sometimes their encounters are embarrassing and awkward yet full of angst.
  • Penn is a regular hero. He’s a musician with a big heart and strong sense of morals. He’s calculated, caring, and goes out of his way to make Ella comfortable to open up and become her own person.

CONS:

  • Parts seemed to drag on where nothing really happened. Sitting in the lap of luxury is a dull and tedious lifestyle and much of Ella’s time is just slow-paced and Gatsby-esque.
  • There’s not much character development other than with Ella. Many of the others were closed off and something was lacking in interactions and dialogue. Apart from small insights into their overall character, many were one dimensional. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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