Tag «#excusetoread»

Series Review: Neon Dreams by Caisey Quinn

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Leaving Amarillo (from Goodreads):
Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother, Dallas, are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Neon Dreams Trilogy
Author: Caisey Quinn
# of Books: 3 (Leaving Amarillo, Loving Dallas, Missing Dixie)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Music, Drama, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Single (Leaving Amarillo); Alternating (Loving Dallas, Missing Dixie)
Publication Dates: March 2015 – October 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’ve really enjoyed Caisey Quinn’s other two New Adult series. She is really a must read New Adult author for me at this point so I was really looking forward to reading Leaving Amarillo–though I did have some hesitations.

I really liked the Kylie Ryan Series, which is about a young woman trying to make it in the country music world. So I was worried that this series was going to have a lot of similarities…

Yeah…I was so wrong!

The Plot:

I won’t lie, I was expecting a straight-up romance when I started Leaving Amarillo. So I was a little shocked when I saw that the eBook was close to 300 pages long (the average book is about 230-250 pages long). Did that mean that the romance was going to get dragged on? I sure hoped not.

Silly me! You can tell it had been a long time since I read a Caisey Quinn novel because I really should know better!

What I love about Quinn’s novels is that she truly balances the romantic side with the character and plot development. Meaning, she really hits the tri-factor of what a great New Adult novel should be: a strong romance, growing characters and an interesting plot. In other words: New Adult Goldmine!

What I love about the plot is that it spans all the books; meaning it doesn’t get fully resolved in the first two books and there are some lose ends to tie up in Missing Dixie. Which is great! It’s been a long time since I’ve followed a journey with a set of characters in contemporary romance. Most New Adult series focus on a core group of friends but each book is dedicated to two specific people. So you don’t really get to watch the characters you meet in the first book continually grow. I mean, you see their little cameo appearances here and there but my point is that everything usually gets wrapped up within their own books and that isn’t the case here. Leaving Amarillo follows the band, but mostly focuses on Dixie; Loving Dallas focuses entirely on Dallas and Missing Dixie will be the resolution for the band.

Perhaps that’s a little frustrating because you have to wait for the next novel, but is it worth it? Definitely!

The Characters:

I really grew to like these characters. They have so much history between them that at times you feel like the new kid trying to break into their existing group, so it took me a while. Everything builds slowly with these people but by the end you go “where did the last 150 pages go?”.

I was really worried Dixie would be just like Kylie (who I love don’t get me wrong) but I was pleasantly surprised that they really aren’t anything alike. Yes, they share a similar path of finding what they want in life and moments where they take a stand for themselves but they are different. Dixie is much more timid and has to find confidence in herself; which makes her character development so great. I never got annoyed with her and she never rubbed me the wrong way.

And that’s the same with the rest of the characters–well, maybe Gavin who I wanted to give him a little wake-up smack but that’s all part of the romance–I really began to root for these characters as I read their stories which made it so much more enjoyable.

The Romance:

Gah, there was the perfect amount of focus on the romantic side of things. You have all the sexual tension and then the actual “moments” (if yah know what I mean ;)) but I never felt like you had too much of one or the other. And the romance never overshadowed the plot. It complimented it in such a great way that made these books so much fun to read.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I can’t wait to see everything wrap up in the finale! I’ve really come to care for these characters and I’ve really enjoyed this journey so far!

updates

–December 11– Book #3: Missing Dixie

This was a fantastic way to end the series! I felt like it started a little slow but it did build up it momentum as it went. I really like the direction this story took; it surprised me in a great way and I loved how everything had built up to this grande finale. The romance is white hot–I mean the tension is so there it is almost palpable. Sure, it was frustrating watching these characters not communicate when it would solve all their problems but I want them to succeed SO MUCH it made reading it frustrating in a fun way. Also, I definitely shed some tears with this one! I don’t think there has been a Caisey Quinn series that I haven’t shed a few tears for at some point.

Series Rating: 4/5

Leaving Amarillo 4/5  |  Loving Dallas 4/5  |  Missing Dixie 4/5

overall

If you want a New Adult story that is realistic in its approach to the music-celebrity-lifestyle, this is the series for you! This series has a great blend of romance, plot and character development. One of the best new New Adult series I’ve read this year!

Read if You Like: stories about making it big in music, sexual tension, drama
Avoid if You: don’t like overarching plots, want more romance

similarreads

readingchallenges

book

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Vengeance Road (from Goodreads):

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Read 2015, Favourite Heroine (Vengeance Road)
Series: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
# of Books: 2 (Vengeance Road, Retribution Rails)
Book Order: Connected by Chronological Events / Spin-off
Note: The Author calls the sequel a companion novel but to me, a companion novel is the original story told from an alternate POV. As such, I label it as a connected sequel or a spin-off.
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Action, Historical, Western, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single; Alternating (Retribution Rails)
Publication Date: September 1, 2015 – November 2017
Source & Format: ARC Paperback — A prize from Lola @ Hit Or Miss Books! Thanks so Much! | Hardcover (RR)

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Single Sunday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I won this book through a contest on Lola’s Hit Or Miss blog and immediately loved the cover. I wasn’t planning on reading it until late August, but the cover kept popping up everywhere and I was eager to try reading a Western novel–something I had never experienced before–so I decided to post-pone some books and bump this one up to the top.

The Concept / The World:

I was speaking like a prospector by the end of this one! From the language used to the descriptions of the setting itself: I really felt like I was in the Wild West. It has all the “stereotypical” aspects of the Wild West but is grounded in a realism that shows Erin Bowman did her research. I was really impressed with how the world-building came together in this story and it easily drew me in!

The Plot:

Normally, I’m not one for adventure stories. I find they drag and if I don’t like the leads, my attention wanes. That isn’t the case with this story! Part of it is because of the heroine (more below) and the other part is that this story never lags. We aren’t left in the Arizonian desert  stewing for the next exciting thing because plot twists are happening every few pages. It builds up the excitement and keeps the pages turning.

I really didn’t know how things were going to end. I had my theories but I was definitely surprised by some of the events that happened, thus the 5/5 because I loved that!

The Characters:

Can Kate be my new BFF? That would be great thanks! She reminds me a lot of Scarlet from A C Gaughin’s Scarlet Trilogy: one kickass, let’s get-er-done heroine who takes no attitude from no one. I loved her by the end of chapter one and rooted for her the entire way. Definitely a new favourite heroine for me!

As for the rest of the cast, they are great! While they fill your typical Western roles, they each have their own unique quirks that made it so enjoyable to read. Overall, a solid cast that does their job perfectly.

The Romance:

This isn’t a straight forward romance as the romance takes a backseat to the revenge-adventure plot. There is enough to satisfy the romantic reader (I’m a huge romance junkie and I was more than happy) and when it is there, it helps keep the plot moving–it doesn’t overshadow it and its great!

updates

–January 21, 2018– Book #2: Retribution Rails

I would say Retribution Rails was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. Unfortunately, it took me forever to get to it thanks to life and my mom (I let her read it first), but thankfully, I was able to renew my library copy enough times to get to it myself.

It took me a while to get into this one. I’m not sure why because I loved both leads and their stories. I think it just took a little bit to get the plot in motion for me. I wasn’t as into it as its predecessor (which I couldn’t put down) and I’m not sure why. It wasn’t like this book was predictable–it went in directions I didn’t even fathom.

I think it was just the different style this book took. The revenge plot needed to brew instead of being the main drive like it was in the first book. The characters get a little more time to develop and make mistakes. And the romance is very subtle and goes unnoticed.

But the last third of this book was awesome! It had that faster, thrilling pace to it that reminded me of Vengeance Road and I enjoyed that a lot.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Vengeance Road 5/5  |  Retribution Rails 4/5

overall

I loved the Western setting, the AMAZINGLY strong heroines (and later hero) and the plot!

Read if You Like: kickass heroines, revenge stories, Westerns
Avoid if You: want more romance, don’t like action stories

similarreads

readingchallenges

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Read-a-thon: Excuse to Read Wrapup

  • What is it? The Excuse to Read Readathon
  • When is it? July 28th (12am) until August 3rd (11:59pm)
  • Tag? #ExcuseToRead
  • How does it work? Read as many books as you want!
  • My Goal: Read 7 books!

When I first got Twitter, I knew I wanted to participate in a readathon. They seem like a lot of fun and with summer winding down for me (school’s only a month away now!), I knew it was a now or never kind of deal. I first found the Make Me Read it Readathon first and had decided to do it when I found this one as well. The timing between the two was perfect (one day separated them) so I figured, why not?

This one was more flexible in what you got to read, so I opted to just select the books I already had out from the library plus an ARC from Netgalley. Because we had a long weekend in Canada during the readathon time frame, I opted to read 7 books:

Loving Dallas (Neon Dreams, #2) Forbidden When You're Back (Rosemary Beach, #12) Mechanica Mai Tai'd Up (Cocktail, #4) Broken Juliet (Starcrossed, #2) The Program (The Program, #1)

And while having a long weekend was helpful, what wasn’t so helpful was ordering and receiving my brand new sewing machine to finish my t-shirt quilt. BUT, I did manage to accomplish my goal, even if it wasn’t with the books I had set out to do it with.

Here’s what I actually ended up reading:

Loving Dallas (Neon Dreams, #2) Vengeance Road Forbidden When You're Back (Rosemary Beach, #12) Mechanica Mai Tai'd Up (Cocktail, #4) Last Call (Cocktail, #4.5)

So here are my Wrap-up Stats:

Favourite Cover:

Vengeance Road

I actually picked up this book because I couldn’t resist the cover any longer!

Fun Find (book you’re most glad you picked up)

Vengeance Road

I loved this book and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up albeit impulsively!

Author Love (author you’re definitely going to read more of)

Forbidden

I was so scared to pick up this book but I absolutely loved it! I really want to read more of Tabitha Suzuma’s work in the future!

Favourite Quotes Read

“My family is me. They are my life. Without them I walk this planet alone.” ~Forbidden

“I’ll be more bad than good, more revenge than forgiveness” ~Vengeance Road

“Gold makes monsters of men” ~Vengeance Road

Old Geezer (book you’ve been meaning to read the longest)

Forbidden

Goodreads tells me that I’ve wanted to read this book since January 2015 but I know that I thought about reading this book 3 years ago and just couldn’t bring up the courage to do so.

Reading Stats:

  • I finished 1 series (Cocktail)
  • I read the next books for 2 series (Rosemary Beach; Neon Lights)
  • Read 2 ARCs (Vengeance Road; Mechanica)
  • Read 3 standalone (Vengeance Road; Mechanica, Forbidden)
  • Finished 5 reviews for my blog! (Vengeance Road; Mechanica, Forbidden, Neon Lights, Cocktail)

All in all, I feel like it was a good readathon. I definitely could have dedicated more time to reading but I’m really happy with my end results!

Anyone else do this readathon or another? How’d you do?

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Rosemary Beach by Abbi Glines

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

book book2 book book 

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Adult Series, Favourite Author
Series: Rosemary Beach + Too Far; Perfection; Chances Series
Author: Abbi Glines
# of Books: 14 (See All Books + Reading Order Here)

There are also a number of novellas. See the reading order and list here.

Book Order: Chronological but connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: First Person, Single (The Too Far Series), Alternating (Twisted Perfection onwards)
Publication Dates: December 2012 – ongoing
Source & Format: Own–eBooks + Public Library–eBooks & Paperbacks

thoughts

I decided to create one homepage for this series because I realized that there are quite a few more books that are going to be published (yay!) in this series that are technically classified as “Rosemary Beach” and not by a spin-off series title.
That being said…

This review post will begin to review books 9+ in the Rosemary Beach Series (so anything after You Were Mine). If you have not read books 1-8 this page may have some spoilers.

Read reviews for books 1-4 (Too Far Series) here

Read reviews for books 5-6 (Perfection Series) here

Read reviews for books 7-8 (Chances Series) here

updatesAlrighty, now that that is all out of the way…

–December 17, 2014– Book 9: You Were Mine

You Were Mine is probably a novel that readers of the series have been waiting for since Fallen too Far–I know I have. And my anticipation for this book increased incrementally after Simple Perfection and the CRAZY twist we get. And after reading it, I have to say that it is the perfect answer to all fans’ wants. Thankfully, the story isn’t dragged out into two books and sticks to the one. It’s heart-breaking, sweet and just a great addition to the series.

–April 22, 2015– Book 10: When I’m Gone

I walked through rain, hail and sunshine to get When You’re Gone–I’m not lying! We had the weirdest weather when I left to go pick this book up! So despite it being in the thick of exams AND already having 2 books on the go, I finished this book in day. It was really addicting because it was a such a sweet romance! I loved Reese’s story and how she was trying to find herself after years of abuse and working with her learning disorder. And her hero (I don’t want to give away exactly who he is for those not yet reading the series) was the perfect compliment for her. Though I don’t love the alpha male tendencies it wasn’t overwhelming and he really did let her work through her issues on her own when it came down to it. Of course, there were some dramatics but they weren’t anything new (ie unexpected) to the series–it’s your regular antics but it was still fun to read! I’m looking forward to their story wrap up in the next book, When You’re Back.

–August 1, 2015– Book 11: When You’re Back

When You’re Back has to be my least favourite book in the series. I was expecting a completely different plotline with this book given how the previous book ended

–one that emphasized character growth and not just jealous inducing situations. I’m tired of sequel books where the leads are the most desirable people in the world that everyone wants to bang, regardless of the fact that they are in a committed relationship with someone. Because when that is the case, the leads to communicate and the entire plotline becomes something that could have been prevented if they had just SAID THEIR FEELINGS!

I just felt like this book went in the wrong direction. I felt like I had been there, done that with this book so I was really disappointed in it. It was a good bridge for the next two books–and I will admit there was one great twist–but overall, it was sub-par at best.

–January 23, 2016– Book 12: The Perfect Goodbye

I was really curious to see what would be in store Captain in this book. He definitely isn’t a favourite character of mine but the bits and pieces I knew about him had me more than a little anxious to see what Abbi had in store for him.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book a lot more than When You’re Back. The execution and flow was simply much stronger than the previous instalment. I liked the back story we got for each character and how it made me love their characters even more. They were also stronger characters individually can while I found myself frustrated with them at times, knowing their past and what was happening, I found it easier to understand and look past it.

However, I thought the ending was rushed. Everything wrapped up too quickly but at the same time, I’m glad it won’t be dragged into a sequel book. At the same time, I made me excited for the very last novel, Up in Flames by dropping a few little hints…I can’t wait for this grand finale!

–August 11, 2016– Book 13: Up in Flames

The grande finale is here! I’ve been waiting for this story since book 1…and it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting.

I gotta give Glines credit here: this story is unlike anything else we’ve seen in this series. It’s perhaps a bit of a risk but it kept me curious to see how everything would fall into place. I’ve found the last few novels to be very similar to each other, and while enjoyable, I wasn’t overly impressed.

But this one was different. It grew on me as I read and I got into the story more and more. And by the end, it had won me over.

I dunno how else you could have concluded this story–and this series–but Glines does a great job! I’m going to miss this series!

Series Rating: 4/5

Fallen Too Far 4/5 | Never Too Far 4/5 | Rush Too Far 4/5 | Twisted Perfection 4/5 | Simple Perfection 4/5 | Take a Chance 4/5 | One More Chance 5/5 | You Were Mine 4/5 | Kiro’s Emily TBD | When I’m Gone 3.5/5 | When You’re Back 3/5 | The Best Goodbye 4/5 | Up in Flames 4/5

overall

One the best and one of my personal favourite New Adult Series. Full of swoon-worthy guys, drama and great heroines–a must read for any New Adult fan!

Read if You Like: soap opera like drama, hot new adult romances
Avoid if You: don’t like some alpha male tendencies, new adult novels

similarreads

Synopsis of Fallen too Far (from Goodreads.com):
To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.

readingchallengesbook

recapbutton

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase