Heart of Thorns book cover

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry | A spicy romance

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry | A spicy romanceNowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1) by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 26, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Goodreads
four-half-stars

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


This book surprised me. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would! 

I’m glad I took a chance. When I read the description for this book, and saw Motorcycle gangs, I was like – eh, no thanks. Then I saw forbidden romance, and I was like – heck yeah, let’s do this.

Bad Lauren. I’m ashamed to say that this is my first McGarry book. But believe me, it’s not going to be my last. Now I know why so many readers love this author.

Real characters. All the characters in this book were complicated and felt so real. They all had their own issues to work through, and I enjoyed following them on their personal journeys.

The MCs had great chemistry. I immediately loved Emily and Oz because of the zingers they shot back-and-forth. From the moment they met, there was  a lot of sexual tension, and it was agonizing waiting for them to acknowledge their strong attraction.

I’m a hungry reader. This is yet again, another book I started listening to, and then switched to reading, because I wanted to devour it quicker than the narrator allowed me to.

I plan on reading the rest of the books in this series eventually, I just don’t know when, because my TBR is huuuge. I’m sure my fellow bloggers can relate. #thestruggleisreal

four-half-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It’s Real by Erin WattWhen It's Real by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 30, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 413
Source: Self Purchase
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley's team decides it's time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he's settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of "normal." Under ordinary circumstances she'd never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn't have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley's team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley's a shallow, self-centered jerk? It's not like they're going to fall for each other in real life…right?



I borrowed When It’s Real from Scribd, because I was already a fan of Erin Watt’s book Paper Princess, and I wanted to see what else she had to dish up. I’m so glad I did because it was fabulous! I couldn’t put it down! I had originally borrowed an audio-book of it, but I can be a fast reader when I’m really into a book, and the narrator was not going fast enough for me. I wanted more, more, more! Plus, it was clear early on that there was going to be some moderate swears, and sexual content, and I felt weird listening to that during my work commute.

Oakley has a huge ego, is possessive, occasionally rude, and very often makes impulsive decisions, but even with all that, I still hearted him. I’ve now read a couple books where there’s a male movie star/musician/famous person, who starts a “fake” relationship with a “wholesome” girl to clean up their image. In the other books that I’ve read, the guy appears to be rude, dismissive, cocky, etc., but then deep down it’s all an act. Nope. Not for Oakley. I mean, he’s not a total a-hole, he can be generous, sweet, thoughtful, and kind, but he’s also occasionally all those other things too. I liked that his character was truly flawed, and that at the end of the book, he wasn’t completely cured of his unappealing qualities. He was real and relatable.

Vaughn also had her faults. I loved how she was super sassy and didn’t put up with Oakley’s bullshit. But unfortunately when it came to her boyfriend W,  she was very gullible and unwilling to acknowledge how much of a jerk he was. She should have dumped his ass way before Oakley entered the picture. I was so happy when Vaughn started to drift away from W and towards Oakley, because she finally started to realize that she deserved so much better than W.

The pacing for When It’s Real was spot-on, and the constant sass and sexual tension between Vaughn and Oakley had me frantically flipping pages.

This was a borrowed book, and will soon be a purchase of mine. I could definitely see myself reading it again in a year or so.

four-half-stars
Heart of Thorns book cover

Book Review: “Grim” by MULTIPLE authors

Book Review: “Grim” by MULTIPLE authorsGrim by Christine Johnson, Kimberly Derting, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Amanda Hocking, Ellen Hopkins, Shaun David Hutchinson, Julie Kagawa, Malinda Lo, Myra McEntire, Saundra Mitchell, Jackson Pearce, Sarah Rees Brennan, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jon Skovron
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 25th 2014
Pages: 480
Goodreads
four-stars

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, Jon Skrovon

Ringing-in at 480 pages, Grim is a compilation of suspenseful and dark short stories, by 17 of today’s hottest young adult authors. Even though the stories only span between 20-30 pages each, the authors; such as Kimberly Derting, Tessa Gratton, Julie Kagawa, and Rachel Hawkins, all manage to create vivid worlds with solid characters that you find yourself instantly rooting for. In a lot of cases, you’re rooting for the character’s survival of a potential, grim fate…

All the stories in Grim, were entertaining, but there were a couple in particular that really struck me. The Key for instance, is the opening story in Grim and really sets the bar. The tale was short but provocative. Once the plot built-up steam and I got a sense of the direction of the story, I couldn’t read fast enough. If you like high stakes and suspense, this will instantly become a favorite of yours.

Light It Up, another favorite of mine, is a twist on a morbid and well-known fairy tale. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one, because I hope you’ll be as delighted as I was when it clicks. In Light It Up we have two abandoned siblings in the woods. I got a huge ‘Wrong Turn’ vibe when reading this story which made the creeped-out factor skyrocket. This story is action-packed and fast.

A Real Boy stands out among the rest because it takes place in a dystopian future where robots are very common and utilized. Although not at the top of my favorites list, I enjoyed A Real Boy for its change of pace. It wasn’t eery or gross or another dark-like adjective, mostly just suspenseful.
The final story I’ll comment on is Skin Trade. This story was all-kinds of eek and made me squeamish. Which I loved of course. When it ended, I really had no clue what had transpired, just that intense feelings of horror stuck with me. Skin Trade is a whirlwind story, graphic and chock-full of Poe-like macabre.

If you’re a fan of Poe, HP Lovecraft, or just like short, dark and twisty stories, checkout Grim. It’s a great way to past the time and get a little horror-loving fix.

A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen.

four-stars