Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny, #1) by Jeaniene Frost


What it’s about



In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17158976-the-beautiful-ashes?from_search=true

 Karla’s Review


3.5 Stars! An innovative world, snarky fun characters, and Jeaniene Frost’s distinctive storytelling makes The Beautiful Ashes an entertaining start to the Broken Destiny series!  

I was hot to get my hands on The Beautiful Ashes and was hoping to get that all consuming feeling I got when I first read Halfway to the Grave, my favorite read by this author.  While I enjoyed The Beautiful Ashes, the angelic and demonic entities, the fight to save humanity story line, it didn’t quite grab me to the point of distraction. It’s hard not to make the comparison, and probably not fair to the author, but it almost can’t be helped. 

Ivy is a feisty kick-ass heroine, and it's her first person account that tells the tale in The Beautiful Ashes. Adrian is a sarcastic smoldering hottie hero, and he bands together with Ivy to fight the evil villains. They also wage war on their growing attraction to each other, which made for some very amusing moments. Ivy's take on her sticky situation, impending doom and wandering thoughts about Adrian, had me laughing out loud. These two never fully act on their impulses, but I'm hoping as the series moves forward that they will move forward too!

The plot was fun and creative, there was some unique world building, delicious devious characters, charming good guys, unusual creatures, and witty dialogue. While some of the storyline wraps up, there is much more to overcome and resolve. Ivy and Adrian are no Cat and Bones, but they do have promise, and their relationship and plight fascinated me enough that I have the need to know where their journey is headed. So, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and will step through the portal again to see what fate has in store for Ivy and Adrian!



*A copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review*


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Taken by Tuesday (The Weekday Brides #5) by Catherine Bybee




Today we welcome the amazing Catherine Bybee back to Swept Away By Romance. Catherine’s books are favourites of many of the SABR ladies, Crista and Steffi especially love her Weekday Bride Series. Today we are celebrating the release of book 5 of the Weekday Brides, Taken By Tuesday. Find out what the book is about, check out the great excerpt and enter the generous giveaway. Catherine is giving away a Kindle Fire, 1 $50 Giftcard, and 2 $25 Giftcards. WOW!! You don’t want to miss out on that chance! Good Luck!




What it’s about


Judy Gardner: College graduate Judy stands ready to conquer the world?if she can get a job. Hoping to transition from aspiring architect to famous architect as quickly as possible, the dark-haired beauty moves to LA, staying in the home of her celebrity brother, Michael Wolfe. But it's hard for Judy to focus on work when the sexy bodyguard she fell for last summer keeps showing up in her life and leaving her breathless.

Rick Evans: With his hard body, green eyes, and easy smile, Rick could have any woman he wants. But the Marine-turned- bodyguard only has eyes for Judy and her spitfire attitude. When a faceless villain attacks Judy, Rick will stop at nothing to protect the woman who opened his heart from the monster hunting her
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Excerpt


A throaty laugh made him pause.
He knew that laugh.
The smile on his face suddenly felt more genuine. His gaze slid across the room when she laughed again. Her back was to him, but it was her…Utah. She held her cue stick and pointed at a corner pocket. “Watch ‘em and weep.”
She sunk the eight ball like it was her bitch and the guys around the table groaned. A short-haired blonde lifted her hand and made a grabby motion with her fingers. “Pay up!”
Utah laughed, laid her cue on the table, and grabbed the bottle of beer at her side. All the while Rick just watched the interplay. She wore tight jeans, a tucked in tank that hugged her waist in a mouth-watering way …over the ensemble was a jean jacket that he could easily picture draped over the handlebars of his motorcycle.
“I think we just got hustled,” one of the young college kids said as he shoved his hands in his wallet to pay his debt.
“I tried to warn you.”
Judy’s friend shoved the bills into her pocket faster than the waitress had. “Anyone else? Twenty buck minimum with a round of drinks.”
This might be fun.
Rick took a step forward and lifted his voice above the crowd. “A hundred bucks.”
Utah froze, but didn’t turn around. He wondered if she recognized his voice. Had she thought about him in the last year? With the exception of her brother’s divorce party, he hadn’t seen her…not outside of a wet dream or two.
The blonde swiveled her head like a snake to prey and her eyes did that sweeping thing that happened to him once in a while. Rick knew he wasn’t hard on the eyes, knew he filled out his shirt like a Marine should. His thick shoulders and neck screamed military or linebacker. He did play a little football in high school.
“Who the hell are you?” the blonde mumbled.
Rick chuckled.
Judy slowly turned and had to tilt her head back to look at him. “Green Eyes.”
“Hey, Utah.”
“You know this guy?” The blonde shoved next to Judy and nudged her arm.
God, she was even more adorable than he remembered. He didn’t let her eyes go, just matched her stare. A blush rose to her cheeks and a few freckles peeked through. Her snarky remark about his presence was a heartbeat away. He’d lay another hundred bucks on the table as a bet that the next words out of her mouth would shock everyone within earshot.
“Did the steroid train stop in town when I wasn’t looking?”
The blonde started to laugh.
Rick stepped even closer so barely an inch separated them. The smile never left his face. “I hear steroids shrink dicks.”
As if she couldn’t help herself, Judy glanced down and it was Rick’s turn to laugh. He brushed the edge of her body with his and removed the cue from the table. “What do ya say, Utah? I’ll even let you break. Ladies first and all that.”
Rick knew they were drawing a crowd, but the interplay between them matched the sparks that hovered over them like a damn rainbow, and he was powerless to care what anyone thought.
“A hundred bucks is steep, Judy.”
“S’okay, Meg…Rick’s a big talker. Besides, he doesn’t know what I’m capable of.”
Rick shook his head and clicked his tongue. “Now, now…don’t want to show all your cards.”
“She’s really good, dude,” the guy she’d relieved of twenty bucks said from across the table.
Rick lowered his voice. “Will you go easy on me, Babe?”
Judy regained some of her lost composure and pushed away from his personal space. “Not on your life. And I’m not your babe!”
We’ll see about that. He couldn’t stop smiling.


About Catherine Bybee



New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.  

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