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The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista Blog Tour | Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista Blog Tour | Excerpt & Giveaway!The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Published by Swoon Reads on June 19, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother's best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she's always dreamed of—starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan...right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

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Excerpt

          “Oh, there’s pie!” Stella said. The excitement in her voice pulled him away from his thoughts. “My treat!”

          She opened her bag and grabbed her wallet. A small book fell out as she did so. Will was about to call her attention to it, but she had already scampered away to buy dessert. Curious, Will reached out for the book. It was handmade, and on the cover it said BOYFRIEND BRACKET in glittering letters.

          “What the hell?” He grimaced as he flipped through the book.

          Inside were pictures and information on eight guys. If Will remembered correctly, they all went to Oak Hills High. One of them had even been on the football team with him. The guy she was with at the frat party. On the back of the first four pages were notes in Stella’s cursive writing.

          For Tommy Larrabee, she’d written, “Give Tommy another chance. He’s a nice guy. Passionate.”

          For Kevin Marquez, she’d written, “Cute, but too self- involved. Totally no connection.”

          For Daniel Connors all she’d written was “Pervert.”

          And for the fourth guy, Joey Esposito, she’d written, “I like him.”

          Those three words were the worst of them all. They were three stabs in the gut for Will. Not only was she dating, but she had a roster of guys she had placed in a bracket so she could pick a boyfriend. Most of the guys in the book were total idiots. The kind he and Cam had worked hard to scare away from her.

54


About the author

        

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines. To learn more about Kate, please visit her website at www.kateevangelista.com or follow her on Twitter @KateEvangelista


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ARC | Between Frost and Fury (The Xenith Trilogy #2) by Chani Lynn Feener

ARC | Between Frost and Fury (The Xenith Trilogy #2) by Chani Lynn FeenerBetween Frost and Fury by Chani Lynn Feener
Series: The Xenith Trilogy #2
Published by Swoon Reads on July 24, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Sci-Fi
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Delaney has been kidnapped by aliens. Again. After only a month back on Earth with her hotnew alien boyfriend Ruckus, the deadly and devastatingly handsome prince Trystan has dragged her right back to his planet. 

While some girls may dream of winning a prince’s heart, Delaney just wishes this one would leave her alone. Instead, she finds herself at the center of both a tense political battle between two alien kingdoms and Trystan’s romantic attentions, both of which are absolutely ruining the life she’s built on Earth. Not to mention the fact that she’s about to be crowned queen of a planet she’s barely even visited. Just another day in life of an ordinary human girl.

 


⭐Here’s my review for Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1)⭐

I just couldn’t get enough. I had a hard time putting Between Frost and Fury down. I just wanted more, more, more, and the only reason I didn’t finish it in one sitting, was because it was 12:30am, and my eyes started to burn. When I woke up at 8:00am, I snatched it off of my nightstand, and refused to get out of bed until it was finished. Guys, this series is THAT addicting.

More than meets the eye. In my review for Amid Stars and Darkness, I said that I was intrigued by Trystan’s character. Now after finishing Between Frost and Fury, I’m completely obsessed. Delaney tries so hard to hate Trystan, but slowly, and at first unwillingly, she sees that he’s not all bad. Trystan’s a tough egg to crack, and when he finally starts to, Delaney acknowledges that there’s some justifiable reasons as to why he became so cold. Trystan starts a journey to redemption in Between Frost and Fury, and I can’t wait to see more of it in book three.

Sorry Ruckus, it’s not you, it’s me. I was a total #relaney fan in book one. I thought that Delaney and Ruckus were cute together and had great chemistry. Now after reading Between Frost and Fury, and I feel so bad saying this, I’ve decided to ditch #relaney at the train station so I can jump on the #drystan train. Delaney and Trystan spent a lot of time together in this book, and because of it, I felt like Relaney built a deeper, more passionate connection with Trystan than she ever did with Ruckus.

Great character growth. #Drystan aside, I’m glad that Delaney spent some time apart from Ruckus in Between Frost and Fury. She relied on him a lot in Amid Stars and Darkness, and by being on her own more, she got stronger, wiser, and more independent.

Sometimes I love being wrong. When I first read the description for Between Frost and Fury, and it said that Delaney was being brought back to Xenith to be queen, I thought it was pretty obvious why and how.  My assumptions were slightly right, but mostly wrong. I loved the surprise/twist!

If you like hot aliens, romantic tension, and clever, cheeky, strong heroines – you’ll love The Xenith series!
I dare you to go get book one asap so you can fully understand why I can’t get enough of this series.

four-half-stars
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Love Me, Love Me Not by S.M. Koz |Blog Tour| Review & Giveaway

Love Me, Love Me Not by S.M. Koz |Blog Tour| Review & GiveawayLove Me, Love Me Not by S.M. Koz
Published by Swoon Reads on June 19, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-half-stars

When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.

As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.

Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them—or will they risk it all to be together?

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My thoughts

This book was glued to my hands. On a late Sunday morning I sat down and started reading Love Me, Love Me Not, by the evening I was finished with it. I couldn’t put it down! The moment Hailey was introduced, I wanted to know more about her. I wanted to know how she landed in foster care, and why she was with a guy named Chase, who was clearly a loser, and not good for her.

The short stick. My heart hurt for Hailey, because she had to grow up with a mother that abused her verbally, emotionally, and occasionally physically. Hailey’s boyfriend Chase was no better. He was always putting her down by telling her that she was nothing more than his property. Hailey’s upbringing prior to living with the Campbells was a nightmare, and I wanted to constantly give her hugs because of it. The Campbells, along with her new classmates, helped Hailey start to see that good people exist in the world, ones that want to build you up, not just knock you down.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Hailey and Brad had great chemistry and I was rooting for them wholly. I was also super nervous for them. Their romantic relationship is something they have to keep a secret, because dating your foster sibling is a big no-no. Hailey was constantly afraid that they’d be caught, and that she’d be kicked out of, yet again, another foster home. She was especially afraid because the Campbells were the best foster parents she’d ever had. They made her feel secure and wanted and treated her like a real member of their family.

So many feels. This book just really tugged at my heartstrings. I felt so much while reading. I felt joyous when Hailey started to feel safe and loved. I felt proud when she started to work harder in school, to bring up her gpa, and increase her chances of getting accepted into college. I felt scared when Chase started showing up unannounced, threatening to ruin Hailey’s new, good life. I felt sad, when pieces of Hailey’s horrible upbringing were revealed. Like I said, so many feels! The feels were overwhelming, and made me want to read and read, until I devoured every sentence in this book.

One bone to pick. The only thing I didn’t love about Love Me, Love Me Not was the ending. I thought it was a little anticlimactic. The emotions were always running high in Love Me, Love Me Not, and I was expecting an explosive ending. What we got was bittersweet, and emotional, but not quite the fireworks I thought the story was heading towards.


About the author

SM KOZ is a medical writer from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and numerous pets. She has a BS in Biology from Duke University and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University.

When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, photographing nature and her family, gardening, travelling, and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to decorate birthday cakes. Love Me, Love Me Not is her first traditionally published novel.


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four-half-stars
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Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn Feener

Amid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn FeenerAmid Stars and Darkness (The Xenith Trilogy, #1) by Chani Lynn Feener
Published by Swoon Reads on July 18, 2017
Pages: 368
five-stars

Delaney’s entire world is thrown into chaos after she is mistaken for Lissa Olena, an alien princess hiding out on Earth in order to escape an arranged marriage.

Kidnapped by the princess’s head bodyguard, Ruckus, and imprisoned in an alien palace, Delaney is forced to impersonate the princess until Olena can be found. If she fails, it will lead to an alien war and the eventual enslavement of the entire human race.

No pressure or anything.

Factor in Trystan, the princess’s terrifying betrothed who is intent on unraveling all her secrets, and her own growing feelings for Ruckus, and Delaney is in way over her head.

Squee! Thinking about this book makes me so giddy. It’s such a fun story with a lot of heart and great character-building. Ruckus and Delaney are just too great together. Their interactions made my heart pitter-patter. No insta-love guys. I repeat NO-insta love. Just two individuals who meet in a kind-of-funny, yet also unfortunate way, and make the best of it by getting to know one another.

Delaney is the perfect YA heroine. She’s brave, but not reckless, sweet, but not naive, smart, but not cocky. She’s the complete opposite of Princess Olena who slyly switches places with Delaney. Olena, who everyone (including myself) hates, is a spoiled child who plays with people’s emotions to be cruel and to amuse herself. I felt bad that Olena was being forced into the marriage with prince Trystan in order to solidify a peace treaty between two opposing alien kingdoms, but the more I got to know Olena, the less bad I felt. I feel totally horrible saying that, but she’s not one of those characters you can easily feel pity for. Olena is selfish and entitled and doesn’t see the big picture. She likes to play games and only serves herself. Delaney is like a whiff of fresh air in the palace, because she actually has compassion and cares for others. She doesn’t let the icy prince Trystan intimidate her, at least, she doesn’t let on that he does. Delaney is a fake-it-til-you-make it girl. Even when she’s scared and full of sorrow, she raises her chin and gets the job done.

OMG. Trystan is so horrible. Entitled. Rude. Demanding. Intrusive. And yet. I’m so in love with him. Not like new bookish boyfriend, but just like, invested in him. It’s my weakness, those damn broody, rude, bad boys that I hope a strong girl will come along and soften up. It’s those attractive jerks who are on the cusp of redemption that I fall the hardest for. Regardless, I’m still team Duckus… or is it Relaney?  Ruckus is just so perfect. He’s attractive, sweet, and protective. He’s the type of guy who doesn’t want to lock you away in a tower, because he knows your’e not a damsel in distress. He treats you like an equal and wants to teach you self-defense so you can kick ass too. Those book boyfriends are so hard to come by. Most YA book guys are so overprotective and you have to fight with them constantly just to show them how strong and bad-ass you are.

I felt like this book lacked planet Xenith world-building, and that there was also a lack of details regarding how Earth coped with the aliens revealing themselves a few years ago, but I still gave it five stars. Call it personal preference, but sometimes when a book has characters that are so enjoyable, and reveals that continue to surprise and delight me, I can overlook small disappointments in other areas.

The cliffhanger was totally cruel, but also totally understandable. I mean, how could you not need book 2 immediately after the end of book 1?!!

This book made me smile and melt and left me shocked. I re-read many passages, one, two, even three times, because I wanted to re-feel the feels they gave me. This is one of the books you keep in your head for a while down the road. I just know that I will have a hard time not comparing it to the next couple books I read, because it was so good and the next few have a lot to live up to. I’m not huge fan of aliens, but this book made me a believer!

five-stars