Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hello everyone,
Australian cover
I am so happy to be part of Tundra Books' blog tour for Every Breath by Ellie Marney. I saw an ARC copy of Every Breath at the ALA conference back in June and I picked one up because Sylvia (she's one of the publicist at Tundra and one of our favorite people because she feeds my and Leslie's book addiction) said I might enjoy it since it has a good romance (and she knows I'm all about the romance). I didn't think much about it because I didn't recognize the cover... Until I got back home and realized it's actually this book (see right).

The Australian novel that I've been wanting to get my hands on because it's a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes (I love Sherlock!) except with teens--Watson is a girl called Rachel Watts and Sherlock is called James Mycroft and they solve a mystery and there's an attraction between them and I needed to get my hands on it because even though I haven't even read it I already ship Mycroft and Watts but it was only available in Australia and ARGH!!!

Yeah, that was me before I realized that I actually had the book in my hands already. Thank you Tundra and Sylvia! And I am even more thankful because I get to be part of the blog tour for Every Breath.

Anywho, sorry for the long introduction. Let's just get to my review of Every Breath.

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Every #1
When James Mycroft drags Rachel Watts off on a night mission to the Melbourne Zoo, the last thing she expects to find is the mutilated body of Homeless Dave, one of Mycroft's numerous eccentric friends. But Mycroft's passion for forensics leads him to realize that something about the scene isn't right--and he wants Watts to help him investigate the murder.

While Watts battles her attraction to bad-boy Mycroft, he's busy getting himself expelled and clashing with the police, becoming murder suspect number one. When Watts and Mycroft unknowingly reveal too much to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion's den--literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning to Rachel Watts again...

Okay, there has to be something in the water in the land Down Under because every novel I've read by an Australian young adult author (e.g., Melina Marchetta, Jaclyn Moriarty, Cath Crowley) were fantastic, well-written read. Every Breath was no different. I'm giving it

I knew I was going to love Every Breath and I was right. It's actually one of those books where I love it so much that I have a hard time putting my love for the book into words. So, if this review is wonky and does not really make sense, well, basically I want you to get out there and get your hands on this book because it's friggin' good and you need it in your life.

I love Rachel! She's so relatable and... human. She's one of those characters who are imperfectly perfect. She acted her age--made mistakes and bad decisions along the way (she's teen!) but she learned from them. I really enjoyed watching her character develop and grow and mature throughout the novel. Mycroft, too, was fantastic. I wasn't sure of him at first because I had Cumberbatch's Sherlock (because, honestly, he's not that great of friend) in my head and I was wondering how good of a friend he'll be to Rachel. But he's the best! He was eccentric and self-centered like Cumberbatch's Sherlock but he was never mean or a jerk.

I love Rachel and Mycroft's dialogue. I love the sexual tension between them, which was present right from the very first chapter, when Rachel was cleaning up Mycroft's bloody face--at that scene I was full on shipping the two of them. But most of all I love their friendship. I love that it was already established that they're best friends. If you visit this blog enough, you know that I like my romances and I like them big and all-encompassing. However, in Every Breath it's more a slow burn with lots of fantastic, tangible sexual tension. I was fine with that--my favorite was actually watching their friendship and partnership slowly become more

I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Mai, Gus and Rachel's brother Mike. They added to the story. I also appreciated that Rachel's parents were there and involved in their children's lives.

The mystery really keeps you on your toes. I was right there with Rachel and Mycroft as they investigated and gathered clues and tried to figure things out. We also get some really grisly scenes from the murder but nothing too crazy. The author did a good job keeping up the suspense because the feeling of danger and fear was evident and I was glued to the pages. I was able to work out the mystery before the end of the novel but that's just how I am when reading a whodunit novel. My mind constantly works putting together the clues. However, my figuring out the mystery early did not deter my enjoyment of the novel--I was still too way into the book.

Overall, there's nothing to dislike and everything to love about Every Breath. Fleshed out, realistic characters, a riveting mystery, excellently written and just a totally absorbing read. I cannot gush about it enough. Rereading this review, everything I wrote feels so trite but I really don't have the words--I'm not eloquent enough. Just: YOU NEED TO READ EVERY BREATH. Seriously. 

I am so excited for book 2, Every Word. I need it in my life right now. Anyone from Australia can get me a copy? Because I am way too impatient to wait another year for it to release here in the US. 


If you guys haven't already, you can 

For more info about author Ellie Marney, Every Breath and the rest of the books in the series, you can visit her website and chat with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book I Covet: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 with
The title. The cover. The synopsis. The tag line is First love. Second chances. Come on! This has my name written all over it.

Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, Last Year's Mistake is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.

Last Year's Mistake will be released on June 9, 2015. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.

What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.

"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello everyone,
I am so excited to be part of the Loop blog tour with St. Martin's Press. After reading the synopsis of Loop a few months ago, I knew it was going to be a fun read and I was right. Loop comes out tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 20th) and I hope you guys pick it up because it's such a fun, entertaining read.

Read on for my thoughts about Loop and check out our fun game of Kiss, Marry, Kill with author Karen Akins.

Format: e-ARC
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 336 pages
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

You guys, I have to admit when I first saw the cover of Loop, I was skeptical. It did grow on me but I'm not a fan of the cover. The thing that did sold me on this novel was the synopsis. I knew Loop was my kind of book--already Bree's sass and feisty-ness shines through the synopsis. I had a feeling I was going to have so much fun reading it and I was right! I'm giving Loop
Loop was such a fresh breath of air after all of the adult books I've been reading lately. I loved Bree's character. She's independent, witty, funny and can take care of herself. She had the best lines, like "you smell like a wad of yummy wrapped in a layer of delicious" and "I didn't give a mouse's left butt cheek either way" and a bunch more. There were also a lot of hilarious moments and banter throughout the novel that kept me amused and entertained.

The time travel concept in this novel was really well-thought out. I was a little confused about all the "rules" of time traveling in the beginning. There were a lot of government rules, new technology, terminology, and slang in Bree's 23rd century and I kind of had a hard time trying to get all the facts straight to get a clear picture in my mind, hence the half-star. But after a while, I stopped trying and that really helped me enjoy the novel more.

With a couple kissing on the cover, you know there's going to be a strong romance. Bree and Finn were so adorable and sweet--I loved the playfulness of their relationship. I loved that Bree met Finn when he was an awkward, gangly kid and he thought she was a crazy lunatic. The two of them basically bantered and bickered throughout the novel and I ate it all up. I love book couples who banter! I've added Finn on my list of favorite YA love interests. He was such a sweet, good guy with a sense of humor and a protective nature. He had some fantastic lines too.

The plot had many twists and turns and you don't know where the story was going to go and I really enjoyed the unpredictability of it. It was engaging going along with Bree and Finn as they found clues and tried to unravel the mystery. Loop is author Karen Akins' debut novel and I detected no debut novel awkwardness. The writing was also spot on and very readable.

Loop is a good example of not judging books by their covers because I had a blast reading Loop. It was the perfect mix of time travel, romance and mystery. I think Loop is a good book to read to get out of a reading slump because it was light and fun, but at the same time it also had substance and heart. If you like books by Rachel Hawkins, Kristin Walker or Stacey Kade, Loop has that similar humorous tone as their novels. I highly recommend Loop--add it to your wish list or pick it up at your favorite library or bookstore tomorrow!

I took a Buzzfeed Kiss, Marry, Kill celebrity quiz one night--you know, you're given three choices and you have to decide which one you'll kiss, marry and kill--and I thought it'd be fun to ask author Karen Akins some Kiss, Marry, Kill questions characters-style. Here we go...

Author Karen Akins
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today to celebrate the release of Loop!

When I saw this particular post topic, I literally started squealing. And so I give, Kiss-Marry-Kill…Karen Akins edition.

Up first, Mr. Crawford from Mansfield Park, Mr. Collins from Pride & Prejudice, and Mr. Willoughby from Sense & Sensibility. I should preface this by letting you know that I am a HUGE Austen fan, so my logic might be a little wobbly, but go with me.

Kill—Mr. Collins. Kill him with fire. (Enough said.)

Kiss—Mr. Willoughby. To be honest, this one was the toughest of all the matchings because based on my feelings, I could flip a coin between Willoughby and Crawford, but if I married Willoughby, that would prevent me from marrying Colonel Brandon, who ties with Mr. Darcy as my favorite Austenian leading man. I love how he loves Marianne with this gentle, steady, patient, and ultimately redeeming love.

Marry—Mr. Crawford. Ugh. Stuck with that gorgeous rake.

Next up, Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson.

Kill—Percy Jackson. Could have used that immortality now, couldn’t ya, Percy?

Kiss—Edward Cullen. He definitely was out of the Kill category because popping his head off? Ick. Also, I’m kind of curious what it would be like to smooch an animated ice cube. Although, I suppose I did just choose the most dangerous option since he might not be able to control himself around my incredibly alluring freesia-like scent.

Marry—Harry Potter. What's not to marry? Loyal, loves kids, could do the dishes with a swish of his wand. Plus, he got rid of that nasty sliver of Voldemort's soul that was clinging to him.

And finally, the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Magneto.

Kill—the Joker. He’s just pure, demented evil. Brilliantly played by several actors, but yeah. Evil.

Kiss—Magneto. Umm, I’m sorry. Have you seen Michael Fassbender?

Marry—Lex Luthor. Yeah, he’s still on the evil side, but at least you’d be rich. And you could secretly throw out his Kryptonite stash.

Thanks again for having me! I hope everyone enjoys Loop.


Thank you, Karen, for playing with me! I love your answers. For more info about Karen or to chat with her, visit her website, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Remember, Loop comes out tomorrow! If you haven't already,

Have a wonderful week filled with the best books!

Happy reading,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hello everyone,
TGIF! Today, we welcome back author Sarah Beth Durst. I love Sarah's books! None of the books I've read by her  She writes these amazing standalone reads that are always so different and unique.

Sarah's new book Chasing Power, which came out on Tuesday and I am so excited to read it. Actually, I would've read it already because it's waiting on my shelf except it's first quarter report cards and parent-teacher conference week crunch time at work. Sigh. But it will be my treat as soon as I'm done with all the things.

Anywho, here's the synopsis in case you need it.

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla's life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she's caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel's kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive... or survive.

Author Sarah Beth Durst
Would your rather have Kayla's power (telekinesis) or Daniel's power (teleportation)? Why?

Telekinesis. I've wanted telekinesis ever since I read (and reread) The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts and watched (and rewatched) Escape to Witch Mountain.

I admit, though, that teleportation is probably the more practical choice, given how much you'd save on airfare.

How was writing Chasing Power different from writing your previous novels? Did you run into some challenges that you didn't have when writing your previous books?

Every book is the same in essentials -- you sit down with an idea that feels wonderful, you panic that you won't be able to match that wonderfulness, you start writing and fall in love, you worry you've made horrible mistakes, you fix the mistakes, you fix more mistakes, you eat some chocolate, you make a lot of sentences prettier, you add and delete and tweak and whine and exalt and laugh and cry and eat more chocolate... and then all of a sudden, you're done and weirdly sad and empty because you miss it.

The difference is what point you feel doomed and what point you feel victorious. That varies from book to book.

With Chasing Power, the primarily challenge was continually ramping up the adventure. I really wanted it to feel like a roller coaster ride, complete with moments to catch your breath and other moments where your breath is ripped away. I spent a lot of time on pacing.

What is your favorite scene or line from Chasing Power? Why?

Pretty much loved writing every scene with Selena. And every scene in which Kayla uses her power. I have two favorites: the jewelry-stone scene from the first chapter (because that's when I wrote that, it was the moment that Kayla came alive for me) and the catacombs scene (which I can't describe because spoilers). But if you're curious and want to read the first scene, it's posted on my website here:

Time for some Kiss, Marry, Kill! Who would you kiss, marry and kill:

Bear, Korbyn, Daniel
Marry Bear (because Ice is, at its heart, about marriage -- in many ways, it's a love letter to my husband. Plus the ice castle!). Kiss Daniel (but in a motherly way, because he's too young for me and not my type -- he's perfect for Kayla). Kill Korbyn (because he's a god, and he'll be fine -- sorry, Korbyn!).

Edward Cullen, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson
Kill Edward (absolutely nothing against Twilight, but broody isn't my type -- besides, he's completely obsessed with Bella, so it really wouldn't be right). Marry Harry (but only if we can have a pet hippogriff). Kiss Percy (again, age difference issues).

Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Mr. Wentworth
Kiss Mr. Darcy, marry Mr. Knightley, and kill Mr. Wentworth. Or maybe swap Darcy and Knightley. Actually, my all-time favorite couple in literature is Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. They're so wonderfully stable. So many books, including Austen's, are full of bad examples of married life that it's refreshing to see a couple that isn't dysfunctional.

Dumbledore, Gandalf, Obi Wan Kenobi
Marry Kenobi (but only if we could work out the whole ghost thing), kiss Gandalf, and kill Dumbledore (because it's necessary in order for Harry to defeat Voldemort).

Whew -- that was hard. What would you have answered?

Thanks so much for interviewing me!


A big thank you to Sarah for answering our questions. Guys, Chasing Power is already out in your favorite bookstore and public library.

For more info about Sarah and her novels, stop by her website, Twitter and Facebook. Look for my review of Chasing Power next week.

Happy reading,

**We are not affiliated with any of the retailers listed and will not earn any referral fees if you click on the links.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hello everyone,
I was going to separate my posts for Bound by Night and Chained by Night but since the books are one and two in a series, it'd be better to have my reviews on a single post. It'll save you the clicks. That being said, here are my thoughts about the first two books in Larissa Ione's MoonBound Clan Vampire series.

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 392 pages
Release Date: 9/24/2013
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: MoonBound Clan Vampire #1
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pages: 400 pages
Release Date: 9/30/2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: MoonBound Clan Vampire #2
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction - or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader's daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress's identical twin sister?

I read the first four books in Larissa Ione's Demonica series years back and I remembered really, really enjoying all of them. I don't know why I didn't continue on with the series. I think I was getting over my paranormal romance craze by then. When I was contacted to review the first two books in Ione's new MoonBound Clan series, I was admittedly hesitant. The only paranormal books I pick up nowadays are Nalini Singh's books and I'm kind of anti-vamps. 

But, you guys, I'm in love with the MoonBound Clan Vampire series! This series is so good! I love the world and vampire mythology Ione created, I love the characters--the strong heroines, the alpha male heroes and the secondary characters **Myne seriously needs his own book!** dying to for their own book--and I love all of the conflict among the vampire clans as well as between the vampires and the humans. 

Bound by Night
In the world Ione created, vampires are seen as less than animals. They are slaves for rich humans, experimented on and poached because some of their parts can be harvested for human medicines and enhancements. That is, until some vampire slaves rebelled against their human masters. Eight-year-old Nicole Martin, whose family owns the biggest vampire scientific facility, got caught in the middle of it. She lost her family that night but the most traumatizing event for her was witnessing her beloved nanny (who was vampire) killed by her own mate, Riker.

The thing that most intrigued me about Bound by Night was that the author paired up Nicole and Riker. They are from the opposite side of the spectrum--she hates vampires (for very good reasons) and he's a vampire and hates humans (also for very good reasons). I knew the road to HEA for these two was going to be bumpy and I was very interested to see if they can come together in an organically. And they did! 

I especially enjoyed Nicole's journey and how she worked through the issues from her past. She's intelligent and open-minded (despite what happened to her when she was little) and she continually surprised Riker of her hidden strength and capability. Riker was great as well. He's rough around the edges and not very likable at first, but the more I got to know him the more I warmed up to him and liked him by the end. The chemistry between the two of them was fantastic and there were some very steamy moments.

The author did a great job keeping the action and at the same time building the world. While were were some slow moments, there were never any parts that I felt dragged. I was entertained the whole time.

Chained by Night
I read books one and two novels right after the other and that was very unusual for me. Usually, I need a different book in between series books because I get bored and I don't want to spend too long in the same world. But with the MoonBound Clan Vampire series I wanted to keep going and I was so thankful that I have both books on hand.

Chained by Night was even better than Bound by Night! While Bound by Night focused on the vampire and human relationship, Chained by Night delved more into the the origin story of how vampires came to be and how the distinctive Native American flavor to the series came to play into the mythology. 

Bound by Night ended with Hunter agreeing to mate a rival clan leader's daughter to save Nicole and Chained by Night picks up from there. Hunter's future mate Rasha and her entourage, including her twin sister Aylin, were on their way to MoonBound when they were attacked by human poachers. Hunter and his soldiers arrived to rescue them, but he and Aylin ended up being separated form the rest and escaped together. After an awkward case of mistaken identity, Hunter and Aylin formed a sort of friendship, which of course grew to attraction. Rasha was a real piece of work--I wanted to hit her upside the head with all her antics! But Hunter knew for the sake of his clan that he needed to follow through on his promise and even though Aylin does not always have an easy relationship with her twin (Rasha and Aylin have an interesting sibling dynamic), she does not want to betray her sister. 

There was a lot of pent up attraction, inner turmoil and lust between Hunter and Aylin and that was fun to read about--how they have to keep their feelings and hands off each other. The chemistry between the two of them was hot and the build up to the sex scene was wonderfully done. I love Hunter. He's an easy going, video game playing guy on the surface but underneath he had his issues and hidden pain and he made for an interesting character. But it was Aylin who shined in this book. Even though her father was clan leader, she was born second and has a leg deformity so she had no standing in her clan--she was treated no better than a mangy dog. But living with the MoonBound Clan, she comes into her own and proves to herself that she is a strong woman capable of great strength and heroism. I loved watching her change and come to herself.

A sizable chunk of the novel took place in an alternate demon world where Hunter and Aylin had to complete three dangerous tasks. That was my favorite part of the novel. It was very video game-y the images those scenes evoked. I really liked where Chained by Night took us and added to the over-arching plot. We learned new things about the vampire world, as well as new information about certain characters. 

Overall Thoughts
Bound by Night and Chained by Night were a fantastic start to a very entertaining series. The world building was excellent--it was intriguing how the author added a Native American element to her vampires. I'm officially hooked after reading Chained by Night. I am definitely going to be following this series and I am so excited to read the next book in the series--I hope it's Myne's book. After reading the first two books, I'm giving this series 

Happy reading,

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Allium Press
Pages: 382 pages
Release Date: June 8, 2014
Source of my copy: author
It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.

Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.

Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.

As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.

With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.

I absolutely enjoyed Come Dancing! I'm giving it 

Ever since reading Catherine McKenzie's Arranged a couple of months ago, I've been in the mood for fun women's fiction with a strong happily-ever-after kind of romance and I found it in Come Dancing.

The description above does a good job explaining the premise of the story but it makes it sound like Julia just pretty much fell into Jack's bed and got really caught up in Jack's glamorous world. That isn't it at all. Julia had a good head on her shoulders and that's what I most liked about her. I loved Julia and connected with her. She's very intelligent, bookish and loved books (like me!), she's at the start of her career and she has her eye on advancing (I'm also at the start of my career and working on my tenure), she knows hard work is the way to success and did not succumbed to her douche of a boss's inappropriate come-ons.

She was really into Jack and their hot new relationship, but she did not forget about building her career in the publishing world, she didn't use her connection with Jack and his famous friends to get ahead, she didn't forget her friends... basically, she was still her own woman and didn't lose herself despite the fact that she's dating a world famous rock star. One of the big issues she had was that she never really trusted that Jack was in a monogamous relationship with her. Yes, she also had her daddy issues and her previous relationship did not end well but I totally got where she was coming from when it came to Jack and monogamy. I never really trusted Jack myself. 

And Jack... Okay, I liked him by the end of the novel but he was always kind of shady to me, especially when it came to women. This may be completely personal because, as I mentioned in a previous review, I'm not into rockstar heroes. I pictured him as Russell Brand in my head and I didn't find him sexy. I don't know you guys... I never really got into Jack.

The fact that Come Dancing was set in New York in 1981 gave it an interesting flavor. I'm not familiar with the 80s (I'm a late 90s/early 2000s child) but I'm those are will find a lot to bring them back to that era. I also found the peek into the world of book publishing fascinating being the lover of books that I am. But the rampant recreational use of cocaine and weed though! Was it really like that in the 80s or it was just the rockstar lifestyle?

There was a lot to like in Come Dancing. Julia's choices and responses were grounded in her personality and her experiences so I got her character. It read like a very, very good romantic comedy movie. There was drama but nothing too dramatic. There were some steamy scenes too so have a cool drink while you're reading. Come Dancing was a really fun, readable chick lit--I was entertained and whenever I put down the novel, I was always eager to pick it back up. Highly recommended for an entertaining weekend read.

“Are you ever getting out of there?” my friend Vicky complained.

I crooked the receiver in my shoulder, scrabbling papers together. “I’m heading out now. Harvey dumped a bunch of stuff on me right before he took off.” My boss, the publisher, liked to clear his desk at the end of the week—which meant I got to stay late every Friday night.

“About time. I’ll see you at your place in an hour.”

“We’re going to stick together tonight, right? Avoid the meat market?” I loved dancing off my pent-up energy from long hours sitting at my desk. Vicky saw it more as a smorgasbord of men,served up buffet-style.

“Depends what’s on the menu. See you in a few.”

The minute she hung up, my line rang again. “Is this Julia?” a familiar voice screeched.

“Hi, Louise. How’s it going in Seattle?” Our high-strung author was on a twelve-city tour for her new thriller, and the campaign had been plagued with problems. A celebrated Texas crime reporter, she had braved drug dealers’ bullets but couldn’t cope with delayed flights and lumpy hotel pillows. Harvey had stopped taking her calls a week ago, and ever since she’d been haranguing me.

“The escort hasn’t shown up yet. Why can’t these people be prompt?” Louise fretted.

I held back from pointing out that it was over three hours until her event. “Let me see if anyone’s left in publicity; maybe they can locate her.”

I scurried around the corner to the desolate PR department. The lights in Erin’s cubicle were still on, which gave me hope. A few doors down, I found her on her knees in front of the copy machine. Erin looked up at me and smiled. “Got it!” she exclaimed, extracting an inky wad.

“Could you come deal with Louise? She’s all pumped up for her signing, but the escort has gone awol.” I rolled my eyes.

“God forbid she should ask the front desk to call her a cab,” Erin grumbled as she followed me down the hall. “She’s stared down gun-toting Mafiosi, but on the road she turns into a quivering mass of jelly.”

“Typical of her,” I said. Most of our authors were great, but a few were real doozies. “Do you want to come out with me and Vicky later? We’re going to hit the Palladium around eleven.”

“I have to finish a press release for that astrology guide. Another glam night in the big city.”

“Okay, be that way. Call me if you change your mind.” I ducked into my office and switched Louise over to Erin, covered my typewriter, then crammed my weekend reading into my backpack.

I sprinted down the deserted hall past shelves overflowing with manuscripts, a few framed awards gathering dust. Our titles ranged from literary to pure fluff; with the economy still in the pits, we were hawking anything from pop psychology to diet fads. This had been a shock when I’d arrived as a starry-eyed editorial assistant after a brief stint in grad school, thinking I’d be spending my weekends holed up with hot talent from The New Yorker. But now I was seasoned enough to plow through the B-list celebrity memoirs and breastfeeding manuals, while relishing any good novels that came my way.

I caught the elevator with a jittery messenger who bounced his bike tire, making the floor shimmy. I waved to the security guard and headed down lower Park Avenue in the balmy air. Usually I walked home to save money on subway tokens; I figured I had time tonight since my best friend was probably still primping.

Vicky had left the company a few months ago to join the publicity department of a larger midtown publisher. I missed her at the office, and I was also envious of her escape from assistantdom. But we still got together on weekends, and now I couldn’t wait to go to our favorite club. We liked the Palladium for its edgy mix of punks, rockers, and regular people like us.

I wove through some guys hissing “Sens, sensimilla!” in Washington Square and stopped at a street vendor selling earrings. A pair with long strands of beads and feathers caught my eye. I fingered them for a minute, calculating. Seven bucks for drinks; three for a cab home tonight ... Reluctantly I put them back.

Halfway down MacDougal, I came to a screeching halt. An absolutely perfect small table was sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk. I stepped close for a better look. Gold leaf curlicues adorned its surface, and ornate lion heads were carved into its corners. I gave it a shake to see if the legs were loose, but it didn’t even wobble. I couldn’t believe someone had thrown out something this nice—it wasn’t even large garbage night! At last I could get rid of the stacked milk crates I ate on.

Now I just had to get it home. My place on Broome Street was eight blocks away, and the table was about three feet square. Maybe if I swung my backpack around to the front and hoisted the table on my back ...

As I stood there considering, a guy in a dirty tee-shirt approached, holding a can of beer. “You need some help with that?” he asked, swaying a little.

“I think I can get it. Thanks anyway.”

The man leaned against the brick wall of the apartment building to watch. Turning around, I backed up to the table. I tried to reach behind and grasp its sides, but I couldn’t bend back far enough—why I’d always stunk at the limbo-la. Maybe if I bent lower ... I crouched down, the backpack wedged against my belly like an unwanted pregnancy, and strained to get a grip on its legs.

Suddenly a woman ran screeching out of the building. “Stop that! What are you doing with my table?”

I stared at her. “This is yours? I thought somebody was throwing it away.”

“Are you kidding? This is an antique! You couldn’t have thought it was being thrown out.” The woman glared at me, hand on her hip.

Oh my god, how embarrassing. “I didn’t realize—I mean, it was sitting here all by itself with no note on it or anything. I thought it was meant for the garbage.”

“The garbage!” the woman shrieked. “I paid six hundred dollars for that! I was waiting for my husband to bring it upstairs! You should keep your paws off things that aren’t yours,” she huffed as she flounced back inside.

The man in the tee-shirt smiled and took a gulp of beer. “Baby, you just took a bite of the B-i-i-i-g Apple.”

“Actually, I think it just bit me.”

About the Author
Leslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.

Catch the next posts in the Come Dancing Blog Tour

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Wednesday, October 22
Interview at Room with Books
Thursday, October 23
Review at Lusty Penguin Reviews
Monday, October 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, October 28
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, October 30
Review at The Danish Bookaholic

Happy reading,