BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Crave by Jennifer Dawson

Hello internet! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The past month or so has been rather rough but I’m here now and I can’t wait to share the book I’ve been reading with you!

BLOG TOUR: WHAT DO YOU #CRAVE?

Adult Romance  | 308 Pages | Received an ARC from Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer | Goodreads

Amazon | Kobo | Itunes | Barnes and Noble

Blurb:

I vow. I crave. I give in.

I used to be a nice, normal girl. I had dreams. Good, happy dreams of white picket fences, 2.5 kids, and

a fairytale love that lasts forever. Nobody warned me the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.

Like any addict, I swear this time is the last….

Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life

pretend to believe me. But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving my dead fiancée left

behind, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit. It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop,

and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. With free,

no-strings attached sex; men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.

And, like any addict, I’m wrong.

I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off

him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me forget. And that’s not an option

Review:

When I first heard about this first book in Jennifer Dawson’s Undone series, I had no idea what I was getting into. I passed it over as something I wouldn’t enjoy. I am so glad that I changed my mind and decided to give it a chance after all.

At first I was a little wary because while I don’t mind sex scenes in books, stories like Fifty Shades of Grey have made me rather uncomfortable when it comes to having sex as a main focus or plot device. However, Crave ended up taking that discomfort and changed it into something else. While there is a lot of sex and talking about sex in this book, it’s a story of one woman’s journey to heal and liberate herself from her grief, with a little help of a dominant homicide detective.

Dawson paints a very realistic portrait of grief in her portrayal of Layla Hunter. Which, to me, makes this story very relatable even though I haven’t been through anything close to what this character dealt with. However, the incredible sense of loss and the struggle to reclaim control over your life after having everything ripped from you are things that I can easily understand.

While I found some of Michael’s lines to be a bit repetitive (Seriously, who says “Do you trust me to give you what you need?” over and over again?) I found him rather refreshing. Sure, lots of books can boast about having dominant male leads but the way that Michael is portrayed more as a protector instead of a conqueror. The side characters weren’t the best in my opinion, I feel like they could have been developed a lot more as they came across as rather flat and didn’t hold my interest but since the story is based around Layla and Michael that’s perfectly okay.

One thing that did make me pause is the fact that this book does delve a little bit into the world of dom/sub relationships. However, unlike other books that bring up BDSM, Crave approaches it from the standpoint of someone who knows what they’re getting into and enjoys it immensely. There is also a mutual respect between the two partners and safe words and worrying about each others comfort and safety which is how any relationship should be. If you’re wary of this kind of stuff, I’d suggest giving this book a try anyway. You won’t find whips and chains and floggers here so don’t worry. What you will find is a sensual surrender into someone else’s control which can be both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Overall this is a solid 3.5 star book. The writing style was a little bland sometimes, being more technical than descriptive but it made up for it with a great story and realistic emotions and reactions from the characters. I really enjoyed it and while I’m not jumping at the chance to read the next book, if I come across it I’d be likely to read it. This book taught me a lot about being in a relationship (not just romantic ones) after going through a trauma and how important it is to learn to let go of negative emotions and give yourself a chance to heal and I am really grateful for that.

About the Author

Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree

in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still

maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later they’re married living in a

suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. Despite going through a light

FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more

practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and

disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is

history. These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer writing her next novel, chasing

after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her

Website

GIVEAWAYS

1 US Winner will receive gift basket that contains a signed copy of CRAVE

Prize package contains:

Decorative reusable storage trunk

Signed copy of CRAVE

$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

4 Premium Chocolate Truffles

Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie

Pink & black Pillar Candle

Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot

Hanging chalk board

Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive

3 INT/US winners will receive an e-Copy of CRAVE

EntryForm

I received this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the What Do You #Crave Blog Tour. This did not influence my opinions in any way.

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Book Talk: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This review was originally posted here on May 14, 2014 

So I’m going through my old Tumblr and pulling up some old book reviews I’ve done in the past and thought I’d give them a make over and post them here while I work on getting some new ones up. First one on the list is…

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle

 Young Adult Fantasy | 345 Pages | Borrowed | Goodreads

May 13, 2014 – May 14, 2014 | ✦✦✦

Goodreads Synopsis

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

Review

This is my first Rachel Hawkins’ book and I can’t say that I’m disappointed but I’m not exactly blown away either. I really enjoyed Rebel Belle to the point of reading it all in one sitting. This book is fun, engaging, hilarious, and a lighthearted read. However, it also has some major flaws in editing/proofreading, flow, and overall feel that made it a little hard to read. It’s just one of those books where I’m curious as to what happens next in the series but I’m not chomping at the bit for the next book.

The characters in this story are phenomenal. Harper Price is the all American southern belle who can take on the world and not have a hair out of place. It appears she has everything; perfect parents, perfect boyfriend, perfect grades, and the only thing wrong is that she doesn’t have the right shade of lipstick (or was it gloss?) for the school dance. You know, she’s that girl. The one you would normally hate in a novel. However, her snarky attitude and private wounds give her an edge that makes her stand out from the other characters in the book. David Stark is my favorite. He’s mysterious and has this issue with Harper ever since they were little that gives all of their interactions an underlying tension that is absolutely entertaining. He also understands Harper in a way but he is also able to reign her in enough to see the bigger picture.

Best part about this book is that it’s funny. There is so much humor in the dialogue and action scenes that it’s almost impossible not to enjoy it. Also, I grew up in the South so I’m pretty good at doing a Southern drawl when I want to so reading this book aloud makes it 100x funnier. Rebel Belle has a lot of funny little quirks that make it a light and airy read and a great go to book for when you’re getting over a serious book or series.

I have three main issues with this novel. The first is in the editing/proofreading. It’s mainly continuity issues such as at the beginning of the book the teacher starts to say a word but Harper never finds out what it was. However, a sentence later she suddenly knows exactly what he was saying but then forgets the word later. This is an issue again in another early chapter when Harper is returning home and on one page it says she’s late for her midnight curfew but then it’s mentioned on another page that it’s before midnight on the same night.. And a minor one is when the school’s dress code is mentioned as not permitting jeans, but David is mentioned wearing jeans. Though it’s possible that he’s just being rebellious or something.

The second issue is that the story wasn’t believable. I understand that it’s fantasy but I expected to get drawn into this book and it just didn’t happen. It felt like there wasn’t a lot of world building, though this is supposedly taking place in a world somewhat similar to ours with magic thrown in. Reading this book didn’t feel like an immersive experience and I don’t know if it was due to the writing style or if it was because everything is presented very straightforwardly instead of with hints and build up.

My final issue is with the flow of the writing. It felt very choppy and strange to read. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t get into the book but I feel like it could have flowed a lot better with a bit more description, character interactions and world building. I know we’re limited to Harper’s perspective but it felt like there was a lot missing from it so I’m hoping that the next book has a bit more in the way of making us ‘see’ what is going on.

Overall, I thought it was a pretty good read. I really enjoyed it but again I wasn’t blown away by it. I do want to pick up the second book when it comes out and read it eventually but it’s not at the top of my to-read list.

3 out of 5 stars!

Just a reminder that I’m currently taking suggestions for books to review. You can either email them to me or leave them in the comments below! If you’ve read Rebel Belle let me know what you thought!

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Waiting on Wednesday #1 – Beautiful Sacrifice by Jamie McGuire

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine and is a great way to showcase any upcoming books that you’re eagerly anticipating.

This weeks up-coming release is…..

Beautiful Sacrifice (The Maddox Brothers #3) by Jamie McGuire

May 31, 2015 | Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis

Falyn Fairchild can walk away from anything. Having already left her car, her education, and even her parents, the daughter of the next governor of Colorado is back in her hometown, broke and waiting tables for the Bucksaw Café. After every shift, Falyn adds to her shoebox of cash, hoping to one day save enough to buy her a plane ticket to the only place she can find forgiveness: Eakins, Illinois.

The moment Taylor Maddox is seated in Falyn’s section at the Bucksaw, she knows he’s trouble. Taylor is charming, breaks promises, and gorgeous even when covered in filth—making him everything Falyn believes a hotshot firefighter to be. Falyn isn’t interested in becoming another statistic, and for a Maddox boy, a disinterested girl is the ultimate challenge.

Once Falyn learns where Taylor calls home, everything changes. In the end, Maddox persistence is met with Falyn’s talent for leaving, and for the first time, Taylor may be the one to get burned.

What books are you waiting on this week?

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