Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mini Reviews: Kiss Me That Way & Then He Kissed Me

Title: Kiss Me That Way
Author: Laura Trentham
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: May 31st
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Goodreads Synopsis:

A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

Review:

I'm personally a huge fan of small town books. Blame it on Gilmore Girls and Stars Hallow really. So whenever I see books on small towns, I find myself drawn, and Cottonbloom is definitely an interesting town to visit!
The cool thing about the town is that it lands on the border between Mississippi and Louisiana that are separated by a river. The older generations of both sides of the town are not really fond of one another, which causes friction between the people and a lot of arguments and debacles.

Cade, born on the Louisiana side, has had to take care of his family until they were old enough not to need him again. So he took off, made a name of himself, and was forced back into town by his brother after he sustained an injury. Cade doesn't have any good memories of his life in Cottonbloom and wants to leave as soon as he has mended himself. Until he finds out Monroe is his physical therapist. Monroe was born on the Mississippi side of Cottonbloom, and even though everyone thinks she's had a glamorous life, it isn't true. But she's always thought of Cade, her Knight in shining armour and how upset she was he'd left town without saying goodbye. As both reconnect, they need to find a middle ground between their warring sides, lives and selves.

I absolutely loved Cade. He's a dark and brooding character who was forced to grow older because of his parents' death and his mountain-load of responsibilities. I especially loved his protectiveness towards Monroe, even when he didn't want to be. I liked the family conflicts and how the story played out. It was such a fun introduction into this new town!

Rating: 3.5/5.




Title: Then He Kissed Me
Author: Laura Trentham
Book Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 28th 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

Can two hearts come together in one divided town?

As a boy, Nash Hawthorne spent countless afternoons on the Louisiana side of Cottonbloom with Tally Fournette, wading in the river, peeling oranges and catching frogs. When illness stole his mother, Nash yearned to take Tally and run away—for good. Instead, he crossed the state line to live with his aunt. It was a short distance as the crow flies, but it swept him into a whole new world…

After Nash left, Tally managed to struggle through her own losses without him. But now that she’s crossed paths with him again—at Cottonbloom College, where the grown-up, gorgeous Nash teaches history—she is reminded of their cherished youthful connection…and an attraction that has only gotten stronger with age. Between Tally’s possessive ex and Nash’s snobbish aunt, no one thinks they belong together. In a town torn apart by old resentments and rivalries, can they find their way back to the life they once shared—and turn their long-lost dreams into a real and lasting love?

Review:

Tally has always rebelled and lashed out growing up to cover up her feelings of inadequacy. Being reunited with her childhood friend Nash fills her with mixed feelings of joy, abandonment, comfort, pain and that she cannot measure up to him. Nash used to be a swamp rat like her, until his aunt took him to the Mississippi side when his mother died and they never got to see each other after that. Not only is he on the rich side, but he's much smarter than she could ever hope to be. Nash has hated the move to the Mississippi side. He missed his best friend, he hated being bullied, and had no friends. But he loved his aunt, and loved the opportunities he was given. Even though he loved traveling, seeing the world, and learning more, he missed Cottonbloom, his aunt and his best friend. Only this time neither of them is ten years old anymore and they can't seem to get back to being just friends.

Nash and Tally's story struck me as similar to Cade and Monroe in some parts, especially since they both shared history (except that everyone knew about their friendship). But I did like the differences with how nerdy and awkward Nash is in comparison to Cade. There were the warring sides, obviously, especially with the festivals going around in the background making interactions between the characters more difficult. 

I really loved the depth behind both chracters and their separate insecurities that almost tore them apart and made it hard for them to see eye to eye on things and do well together. Even though Nash has excelled in academics and made a great future for himself, he still feels like the ten year old boy being bullied for being different. The same with Tally, even though she successfully opened a gym and is looking to expand, her past failure seems to haunt her.

I can't express how much I enjoyed this story (more than the rest in this series so far to be honest). I'm hoping there's more to the series than just the siblings!

Rating: 4/5.

2016: Wishlist Wednesday (1)







"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted @ Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating






It's been FOREVER since I last did either a Wishlist Wednesday or a Waiting on Wednesday post, like almost 2 years? I have been neglecting this blog I know, but as a part of the revamp, I'm trying to make it more alive! This is this week's pick (which I'm frankly more than excited about!)


Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 28th 2016

Synopsis:

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Top Ten Reasons I Love Cherry Blossom Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list  that one of their bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.


This week's Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten Things I Love About Cherry Blossom Books

1. Its name.

I am personally in love with everything that has to do with Cherry Blossom flowers, they might even be my ultimate favourites of all time (except for the fact that I've never actually seen one in real life).



2. They have the awesomest packaging ever.


No matter the size of your shipment or whether you're getting the books online or from the store, they send it to you in the coolest boxing ever.

3. The gorgeous bookmarks


Look at how beautiful they are!


4. Seasonal gifts


They have the coolest winter bookmarks around Christmas, and Ramadan related ones for the month of Ramadan. They also give out Calendars at the start of the year, and I got an awesome Egyptian flag too.

5. Delivery Leniency

More often than not I order something just so I get it before it's out of stock, but I don't actually want it that week yet, so they are more than helpful in sending it whenever is best for me, sometimes including the time of day!

6. It's a one woman show & she loves Japan

The owner initially had a partner, but has more or less been doing it on her own, and honestly she's been doing an incredible job with it all. GIRL POWER! (I know it's obvious because of the Cherry Blossoms but it is still worth mentioning). I say this because I'm in love with the culture and the country and everything in relation to it. We both had great talks about anime, manga and learning Japanese in general.

7. The cool discounts

She has a lot of cool offers in addition to random sales and discounts for loyal customers. I believe I would have been beyond broke had I not had those discounts since I spend a fortune on books every month.

8. It made Manga and YA books more accessible in Egypt

When I first came to Cairo I couldn't find the books I liked or the manga I liked, and even when I did, the prices were absolutely ridiculous. Cherry Blossom Books' pricing is reasonable, and I don't have to pay a fortune on shipping like I would have had with amazon.com.


9. They occasionally give out some cool book swag!



10. They are the nicest.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Kiss Me That Way: Excerpt


Title: Kiss Me That Way
Author: Laura Trentham
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: May 31st 2016
Buy Now: Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:


A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…

Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…
Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

Excerpt:


Monroe’s lips silenced the rest of his question. The champagne on his tongue was almost
as intoxicating as his scent. The music from the great room drifted, muted and unrecognizable.
As if slow dancing, Cade wrapped his arms around her and turned them enough so he could close
the door, leaving them in silence, except for the ticking of a clock.
     His hands roamed her bare back, slipping inside of her dress to brush the top curves of
her buttocks. She pushed him backward against the wall. Infinitely stronger than her, he could have held his ground or taken charge at any point, but the fact that he let her lead only made her want him more. She was done listening to logic, done fighting her hunger for him. She wanted him.
     Cupping her cheeks, he pulled his lips from hers. “And again you do the unexpected.”
     “Unwanted?” she whispered.
     “Does it look like I’m protesting?” His breath puffed against her cheek before he kissed her once more, slipping his tongue alongside hers, before his mouth retreated once more. She tipped into him seeking more. He took her weight, bracing his legs farther apart, but evaded her mouth.
     “I watched you dancing with Tarwater. What are you playing at? Is he the man you want to be seen with and I’m the one you’re keeping for the dark?” A thread of emotion in his voice tied itself around her heart and bound her. Was he jealous? Hurt? Angry?
     “Do you think I’m using you?” She pushed off his chest.
     “You know I’m not staying long.”
She did know. She just didn’t want to think about the day he would walk away from Cottonbloom. And from her. “What are you getting at?”
     “I think you get something from him you can’t get from me and vice versa. He has clout in this town, but I’m the man that you want in the dark and in your bed, aren’t I?”
     “If you think all I care about is my standing in this town, why did you follow me?”
     “Because I want you. That’s why I came.” Belligerence instead of seduction beat at his words. Underneath was a boy who did care what Cottonbloom thought of him. He hadn’t always been the poor swamp rat sneaking around in the dark.
     “All you want is sex?”
     “If that’s what you’re offering.” His voice softened, and he squeezed her hips and fit them together. “I can be rough and dirty and a little bit dangerous if that’s how you want me.”
     Arousal flared even as the gentleness of his touch belied his coarse words. He skimmed his good hand from her hip to settle under her breast, his thumb running up and down the exposed skin in between. Her nipple puckered, begging for his touch.
     “Is that what you want, sweetheart?”
     Her body shifted toward his instinctively, seeking to anchor itself to him, needing to draw from his heat and strength. “Th-that’s not what I want.” Before the words were even out, she knew they were untrue, or at least a partial truth. Sex wasn’t all she wanted. But she did want it.
     “Don’t lie to yourself or me.” He dropped his lips to the shell of her ear and nuzzled. She grabbed the lapels of his jacket. “I could take you right here, right now, with the Tarwaters and all of crazy Cottonbloom a few rooms away. And I’d make it good, Monroe. I’d make your body sing. I’d make you beg before giving you everything you need. Then, you could walk back out into that damn party like nothing happened. No one would know the things you want to do in the dark with a poor, dirty boy from Louisiana.”
     Her body sang a song of longing and need. She wanted to stay in the dark with him the rest of the night, but there was something even more important she needed to do. With the effort of separating strong magnets, she pried her body from his, opened the door, and took him by the wrist.






Author's Bio:



Laura Trentham is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She is a member of RWA, and has finaled multiple times in the Golden Heart competition. A chemical engineer by training and a lover of books by nature, she lives in South Carolina.