ARC Review: Rules of Survival-Jus Accardo

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5/5 Stars

Release Date: June 2, 2014

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled Embrace.

FYRP: Rules of Survival is only $.99 on Amazon right now. 

I bent down and kissed him. The smell of the forest, mixed with the scent of him, was intoxicating. Like a jolt to the body. Alive. That same feeling I’d gotten in the trailer, but ten times stronger, because this time, I wasn’t standing in my own way. I knew what I wanted and I had every intention of taking it. 

***

Mom’s rules. They carried me through almost every bad situation and tight spot in my life. Why the hell was I disregarding them now? When I needed them the most? Never give up. I made a decision. 

Rules of Survival is a gritty, non-stop thrill ride, jam-packed with enough suspense, thrills, and uncertainty to keep you on the edge of your seat, hoping for a miracle. Between the danger, blistering chemistry, and poignant honesty of the narrator, Rules of Survival is a gripping contemporary that’s addictive and hard to put down.

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Mikayla (Kayla) Morgan has broken the rules and this mistake might cost her. Her mother told her never go to back to the scene of a crime but just this once, Kayla got permission and let her guard down. Tearing apart the cabin, a place of shadowed memory and her mother’s dying breaths, Kayla is on the hunt for something her mother promised was hidden there. Kayla just knows that whatever it is will hold the clues to catching and condemning the person that murdered her mother. Kayla should have known better, just when she realizes she’s taken too long she has an epiphany. A letter filled with her mother’s familiar loopy handwriting clutched in her hand, Kayla speed reads or at least tries to when she’s assaulted by someone she didn’t expect, Patrick, a guy that’s been mercilessly hunting her and her mother for years. What’s surprising is that Patrick has a swoonworthy sidekick who looks to be around her age. Frustrated and not in the mood, Kayla moves to leave with her letter when they corner her. Turns out, not only is she wanted for her mother’s murder but she has a hefty bounty on her head. Scanning the cabin, she assesses her options, looking for a quick escape when all hell breaks loose. Bullets slam through the walls, apparently Patrick wasn’t the only one hot on her tail.

Still holding her hostage, this bounty hunters round up their resources and flee but they hardly make it out before string after string of cronies are after them eager to take Kayla and reap the rewards from her high bounty. It quickly becomes obviously after the bullet incident that this isn’t only bounty hunters but something more sinister, someone wants her and doesn’t care if she’s alive or dead. Separated from Patrick, Shaun must keep Kayla in check but the girl is a wildcard, he does the only thing he can think of, chains them together.

As the chase heats up, Shaun and Kayla make a shaky pact to help each other out and scramble for their lives. Will Kayla survive to see her mom’s killer brought to justice? Will she ever be free from the criminal way of life? Will she succumb to her desires and make nice with the enemy? Rules ingrained in her mind, Kayla and Shaun make an unlikely team and together they may just make it out alive.

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If you want to survive, you have to follow the rules…

Mikayla Morgan is wanted for her mother’s murder. She’s been on the run for almost a year now, avoiding not only the police but the real killer. Tired of running and desperate to clear her name, she breaks one of the most sacred rules: never return to the scene of the crime.

Every bounty hunter on the Eastern Seaboard is after the Morgan girl—but Shaun Denver and his partner snagged her. She’s a piece of work, and Shaun can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her. When things take a sharp turn south, Shaun does the only thing he can think of to keep her close—he handcuffs them together.

As the danger mounts and the killer closes in, the chemistry between them threatens to explode. Shaun and Kayla will need to break all the rules if they hope to get out of this alive.

-via Goodreads

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  • Kayla is a control freak, she always needs a plan and lives by the sacred rules her mother taught her. Kayla is feisty, full of snarky comments, and a lot of talk, always trying to barter herself out of terrible situations. Kayla has spent her life running and was defined by her mother, without her she is lost and doesn’t quite know who she is anymore. All Kayla wants is a break, to find peace and feel alive, to be normal. This yearning is agony and so sad. Her heart is dying to trust, to open to someone who will listen but she’s never had the chance. As the story progresses, Kayla comes into her own, she’s brilliant, weirdly innocent given her lifestyle and a dominant, passionate protagonist. She fights her feelings and takes punches but when she gives in it’s beautiful and a bittersweet moment of self discovery and raw feeling.
  • Shaun is a complex, real, and incredible character. He breathes confidence and life, exuding a cocky, sarcastic swagger that is as compelling as it is devastatingly sexy. He’s got so much depth, beneath his tough and arrogant visage is someone who has lived a hard life, full of memories that haunt him and staggering strength. Shaun’s trauma is heartbreaking, his scars are worn without shame or even pride but a fierce acceptance that is beyond admirable, it’s inspiring. Shaun is far from perfect, he has impulse control issues and a nasty temper but his heart is always in the right place. The tattoos that highlight his toned body are symbolic and powerful, not only emphasizing that mysterious bad boy vibe but suggesting a deeper, compassionate soul that uses the tattoos as a reminder and pledge to himself. Completely loyal and understanding, Shaun doesn’t try to sugarcoat the situation, he tells it like it is and doesn’t come up with inane pacifying comments. He’s bold, flirtatious, and ever eager to embarrass and tease Kayla. It’s charming and infuriating in that wonderfully attractive way that marks the best book boyfriends. 
  • The chemistry between Kayla and Shaun is hot. The pause in your reading and catch your breath kind of scorching.The descriptions are full of that not so patient yearning and angst that borders on insanity. It’s a heated battle of sexual banter and loaded gazes. The trailer scene.
  • Rules of Survival is a murder mystery meets contemporary. With graphic violence, ingenuity, quick thinking, and sticky situations, Shaun and Kayla end up in the most dire and precarious situations. Every moment is fueled with paranoia and looking over their shoulders. The hunted feeling and sense of urgency make this read a heart-stopping, fast-paced adventure.
  • Deeds and Mick are disgusting, vile men that make skin crawl and nausea imminent. Their hatred and grotesque wandering eyes create real fear and panic for Kayla and Shaun in a way that simply knowing a killer is out there doesn’t. No one can be trusted and this duo must learn from their mistakes fast or end up dead.
  • The puzzle pieces and hints at what was in the letter Kayla’s mom left her are subtle but there. The clues are a lesson in logic games, all of its there if you can just sort it out.
  • The plot twist and climax scene will send you in a frenzy of hysteria. The utter chaos, vileness, and insanity of the whole incident will leave you breathless and terrified, unsure of what will happen.

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  • I’m slightly disappointed that Shaun is on the cover. The story is told from Kayla’s perspective and she’s a kick ass heroine that definitely would have rocked the cover as a sassy, jaded-looking brunette. 
  • It was a tad unbelievable that out of all the cities they travel too and the vast changing areas they run through that not once could they find a bolt cutter or hardware store. While it was a hilarious, albeit endearing and fun plot element sometimes it stretched the realism of the overall story.

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

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Happy reading, 

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Cover Reveal: Girls on Fire (YA Box Set)

GOF Front cover - largeGoodreads

Publication date: June 16, 2014

Price: 99 cents for 10 amazing YA novels!

WITCH FALL – Amber Argyle

 Amber Argyle

High Fantasy

Supreme in their dominion over seasons, storms, and sea, the witches have forgotten the unmatched destructiveness of mankind. And among the weapons men seek are the magical songs of the witches. Born of witches but raised among their enemies, Lilette searches for a way to heal the rift between mankind and the witches. But it may be too late to save either. For if there is one thing Lilette has come to know for certain, it’s that all things fall.

ETERNAL STARLING – Angela Corbett

Angela Corbett

Paranormal Romance

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie Starling. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

 AWAKENING – Christy Dorrity

Christy Dorrity

Fantasy

When an ancient curse threatens McKayla McCleery’s family, she must decide what in her life is real and what is fantasy. Based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy that is rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

INEVITABLE – Tamara Hart Heiner

Tamara Hart Heiner

Suspense

Visions of death plague Jayne, who thinks watching her sister die is the worst that could happen to her. But when she witnesses a murder, Jayne realizes that the next death she sees might be her own.

WATCHED – Cindy M. Hogan

Cindy M. Hogan

Romantic Suspense

Change. She longed for it.

A murder. She will never be the same.

THE FORGOTTEN ONES – Laura Howard

Laura Howard

Fantasy

Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

ELEMENTAL HUNGER – Elana Johnson

Elana Johnson

Futuristic Fantasy

Sixteen-year-old Gabriella Kilpatrick can shoot fire from her hands, which would be great if she didn’t get blamed for a blazing inferno that kills 17 schoolmates. Gabby will have to learn who she can trust, how to control her own power, and most of all, how to lead a Council of Elementals, most of whom have more control over their power than she does. If she can’t, she’ll find herself just like those 17 schoolmates: burned and six feet under.

THE FAERIE GUARDIAN – Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan

Fantasy

Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion.

PERCEPTION – Lee Strauss

Lee Strauss

Dystopian/Romance

Eternal Life is to Die For.

A spoiled genetically altered girl needs the help of a jaded “natural” boy to find her missing brother.

INTRINSICAL – Lani Woodland

Lani Woodland

Paranormal

The gene that allows the women in Yara’s family to see and communicate with spirits seems to have passed her over. Until the night she rescues a local hottie from an attacking ghost. Her act of heroism attracts the attention of the evil spirit, and she finds herself entrenched in the middle of a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening her own life as well as that of her friends.

I’m always down for powerful female leads. Definitely adding this to my TBR.

Pleasant reading, 

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