Jul 22, 2014

Book Blitz: Deep In Death & GIVEAWAY



Deep in Death – Release Blitz
A Shelby Nichols Adventure – Volume 6
Paranormal Mystery
Date Published: July 22, 2014

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Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined. In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?



EXCERPT

A twinge of pain burned through my arm, and I gently rubbed the spot where I’d been shot nearly three weeks ago. Getting a shot in the arm may sound like a simple thing for most people, but when it’s done by a bullet, it’s a whole different story. At least it was healing nicely, and the scar wasn’t too big, but every once in a while my arm ached like it had happened yesterday, probably because I was overdoing it again. After a few seconds the pain subsided, and I finished pulling on my shirt and got dressed.
Today was my first day back at work since the shooting, and I was ready to take on a new project. This time the job was a client from my consulting agency, which suited me just fine. My last job for Uncle Joey, the local mob-boss, had gotten me both arrested for murder and shot by a bullet in the arm, so I was a little nervous about doing anything for him again.
A few months ago I had to tell Uncle Joey my secret that I could read minds so he wouldn’t kill me. We’d worked out a compromise, and over the course of our association, we’d even become close. Crazy as it sounded, I’d started to think of him as my real uncle, even though he wasn’t. Since most of his errands seemed to get me into trouble, he’d also saved my life a few times. Well, to be honest, it was his hit-man, Ramos, doing most of the saving. But it was Uncle Joey who’d told him to watch out for me.
I sighed every time I thought of Ramos. He had a troubled past which only I knew about, and I’d helped him come to terms with it. Besides saving my life several times, there was also a physical attraction that I only dared admit out loud to my best friend, Holly. Of course after seeing him, she had a crush on him too, and since we were both happily married, I had to think it was all right. But with all of that going on, I had to wonder about myself. I mean, Uncle Joey was a big, bad mob-boss who had threatened to do me bodily harm, and Ramos was his hit-man. They were the bad guys and I had a soft spot in my heart for them. Was something wrong with me?
My husband, Chris, had no qualms about severing all ties with Uncle Joey, and it put me in a hard spot trying to please them both. But since the last job, things had changed. After I got shot, Chris had a long talk with Uncle Joey, and I hadn’t heard from him in three weeks. In some ways it was a relief, but in others, I kind of missed him…and Ramos…well…mostly Ramos. Still, I wasn’t about to call and offer my services. Not considering what had happened last time. Nope. I wasn’t ready to get shot again. In fact, I would be pretty happy if I never saw another gun in my life.
I took a deep cleansing breath and checked the time. I had an appointment with my client at ten this morning, and it was time to go. Her name was Tiffany and this was her senior year of college. Since I didn’t have a real office, I’d told her we could meet at the campus library in-between her classes, and with her busy schedule, meeting on campus worked out great for both of us.
I drove through town with my windows down and breathed in the crisp fall air. It was the first part of October and the sky was the perfect color of blue. The trees were just beginning to change into brilliant autumn colors, and framed against the blue sky, the pure beauty and serenity lifted my spirits. With everything I’d gone through lately, I knew I was lucky to be alive.
I parked at the visitor parking meters near the library and headed toward the front of the building. It had been several years since I’d been there last, and a wave of nostalgia washed over me. I’d only been to one year of college before I’d talked Chris into marrying me. It was love at first sight for me, but it had taken some gentle persuading on my part to help Chris see how perfect we were together. Right after our marriage, we’d gone off to law school in another state. Josh had been born exactly nine months later followed by Savannah two years after that. There were times when I regretted not finishing college back then, but I wouldn’t trade the life I had now for anything.
I loved my family and, as it turned out, I had a pretty good career without a degree, and I was proud of what I’d accomplished. Of course, if I hadn’t gotten shot in the head during a bank robbery, which left me with the ability to read minds, it might be a different story.
It was still hard for me to believe how my life had turned upside down simply because I’d stopped at the grocery store for some carrots. Who would have thought? Now I had my own consulting agency where I could get paid for helping people, and most of the time, all I had to do was read their minds. Not that it was always that easy, but after getting shot, I’d take some simple cases for a while.
A young woman sat on a bench near the fountain where we’d planned to meet. Her gaze caught mine and her eyes widened slightly before she recognized me. As I approached, she smiled and gave me a quick wave. She had long blond hair and a sweet face, but her somber eyes seemed out of place for someone her age, like she’d gone through some hard times.
Since she was a college student, I was a little nervous that she couldn’t afford my one-hundred-and-fifty-dollar-an-hour fee. But we’d talked about that before I agreed to meet her, and she’d seemed fine with it then. She stood to greet me.
“Shelby Nichols? Hi. I’m Tiffany Shaw. Thanks for meeting me.”
“Hi Tiffany, nice to meet you in person,” I answered.
“I know this is kind of informal, but it’s such a beautiful day. Do you mind staying out here in the sunshine?”
“I think that’s a great idea.”
“Good.” She resumed her seat on the bench and I sat beside her. She was thinking that she wasn’t sure how to start. What she needed might not even be possible, but she’d read about me in the paper and figured if anyone could help her, it was me. She’d been saving up for years to hire a private investigator and wanted the best. After a little digging, she’d heard rumors that I had premonitions. It didn’t faze her in the least. In fact, after all this time, she thought it might be the only thing that would solve the case. She just had to make sure her dad didn’t find out, since he was the over-protective sort. He’d tell her she was throwing away her money, and probably accuse me of taking advantage of her.
That certainly put a lot of pressure on me, and my stomach tightened with dread that her father would disapprove. But since she was thinking about not telling him, maybe he’d never need to find out. Considering her age and circumstances, I had hoped she’d hired me for something easy, like finding out if her roommate was after her boyfriend. But no, she was thinking about her mother, and that she was probably dead, and I knew nothing was ever as easy as I wished.
“I’d like to hire you to find my mother.” Her lips tightened and pain flashed through her eyes. “You see…I’m getting married in a few weeks and I really want her to be there.” She didn’t add ‘if she’s still alive’ like she was thinking.
She’d always imagined her mother would be at her wedding, and now that it was actually happening, she couldn’t stop wondering where her mom was and what had happened to her. The day her mother had gone missing was the worst day of her life, and thinking about it brought all the horror back, but she knew she would never move on unless she had some answers.
“Tell me what happened,” I said gently.
She took a deep breath. “It’s been nearly six years, and I know that’s a long time, but just hear me out before you decide if you can take the job or not.”
“Okay.” I encouraged her with a smile. “Go on.”
“Like I said…it will be six years on the twenty-eighth of October since she went missing. That night, she drove to the office where she worked to drop something off and never came back. They found her car parked in the parking structure with the keys in the ignition. Her purse was on the passenger seat. Nothing was taken, and there was no sign of a struggle. It was like she just disappeared off the face of the earth.”
“What did the police tell you?”
“Well…they dusted for prints, checked her office, put out a missing person’s report, questioned her colleagues at work, and brought my father in for questioning.” She hated that they had suspected him. He was innocent. He had nothing to do with it. He loved her mom. It still made her angry. It was part of what had made the day so bad. She not only lost her mother, but her father was never the same after that.
“What happened to your father? Did they charge him with anything?”
Tiffany shook her head. “No. They had no evidence that he was involved, but the police always suspect the husband first. So it was bad enough that my mom disappeared, but the fact that they thought my dad had something to do with it made it ten times worse.”
She sighed, wondering for the thousandth time what kind of person she would be right now if she still had her mom. She’d probably be a lot happier, that was for sure. “My dad’s doing better now. He even got married a couple of months ago.”
“That’s good,” I said.
“Yeah.” She was glad he had finally moved on, and wished it was something she could do. But the ache just wouldn’t go away, especially with her upcoming wedding. This was the most important day of her life, and her mother should be there. So where was she? What had happened? Who had taken her? Why hadn’t she come home?
In her heart, she knew her mother never would have left unless she was forced into it. Speculation from the police and others of affairs, with her mom running off with another man, only deepened the wound, and she wouldn’t believe any of it. That’s why a small part of her had to believe her mom was dead, but what if she wasn’t? What if someone was holding her captive? It could happen, and she just couldn’t give up until she knew for sure.
“What did the police decide about the case?” I asked.
“Officially, she’s missing and presumed dead. At least that’s what they declared so my dad could re-marry. I don’t know what happened to the case files. But I’m hoping you can dig them up and maybe find something that got passed over. I know it’s a long shot, but I’ve never had the resources to hire a private investigator until now. Do you think you could look into it for me?”
I bit my bottom lip. The chances of finding out what happened at this point were pretty slim. My mind-reading ability wouldn’t be of much use, although I could still question her dad. Even though she didn’t think it was him, I’d learned that some people were really good at keeping secrets, and I wasn’t about to rule him out. I could probably get my hands on the police file and talk to the detectives who handled the case, but beyond that, I didn’t have much hope.





About The Author - Colleen Helme


As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.








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Jul 20, 2014

Book Review: Brush Strokes by Janelle Stalder



Janelle's first contemporary novel didn't disappoint me at all. I have a bbad past with the genre. I can never really get into contemporary novels so I mostly stay away from them, but once in a while one book will show up in my radar that I know I have to give it a try. Brush Strokes was it. I really enjoyed this little piece of heaven that Janelle created.

Brush Strokes is the story of Olivia and Colt. They are next door neighbors that always had a thing for each other but never even talked. So, when Olivia leaves to go to art school and then comes back, Colt decides it's time for a change. They start hanging out and getting to know each other and fall even harder in love. Their love story was really sweet, warm and fuzzy. But besides the two MCs Janelle did a great job with the secondary characters, especially the two best friends. They were a breath of fresh air, giving the story a more fun side.

All in all, this was a great story. I loved how each chapters started with a quote about art and how Colt and Olivia's story progressed and bloomed. Highly recommended for lovers of contemporary novels.

Jul 18, 2014

Cove Reveal: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant & GIVEAWAY

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
by Steve Bryant

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Lucas MacKenzie eBook Final
Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show's enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.
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Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
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Book Blitz: The Haunt of Thirteen Curves by Jeanne Arnold & GIVEAWAY



The Haunt of Thirteen Curves by Jeanne Arnold
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release date: July 7th 2014

"In the armory, things can be convincing and impossible. Just like Elias."

Seventeen-year-old Marcella Jackoby’s bleak reality is altered when she encounters the apparition of a grieving bride wandering the deadly thirteen curves outside of Pennywright. Intent on capturing Marcella, the bride seeks to populate a mythical castle disguised as an abandoned armory, where young guests tirelessly battle an alliance of recluses in order to live with the promise of eternal youth and love.

Unaware of Elias Hawk’s efforts to safeguard her from untimely death, and in spite of the fact that he and the kids residing at the armory are not what they appear to be, Marcella falls for this enigmatic young man. As she uncovers Elias’s century-old secret, Marcella’s home life crumbles and an encounter with a roughneck adversary threatens her budding relationship and the existence of the armory’s residents, unintentionally leading Marcella to ignite war between the worlds, endangering the couple’s future in a shocking twist of fate.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeanne Arnold is an author of young adult romance. At a young age she found her creative outlet in art, and for years her fictional characters came to life in drawings and paintings, until they demanded a voice. Now they grace the pages of her stories. Jeanne shares her time with her fictional teenage counterparts and her human family in Central New York. STUBBORN is available in ebook, print and audiobook at all major online retailers. Look for THE HAUNT OF THIRTEEN CURVES in July 2014 and JUST AS STUBBORN, the second installment in the STUBBORN series, in January 2015.
jeannearnoldbooks.com | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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Jul 16, 2014

Book Blitz: Tortured Souls (Orion Circle #1) by Kimber Leigh Wheaton & GIVEAWAY


Tortured Souls (Orion Circle #1)
Release Date: July 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option.

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.


Available from:

Praise
“Tortured Souls was a wonderful YA read. It was light and enjoyable all the way through. From the romance, to the thrills, this book was fantastic. YA lovers, this is definitely a book you'll want to check out.” ~ Farrah at Imagine a World

“Tortured souls by Kimber Wheaton........ omg!! Great book!!!! This is one you don't want to miss out on.~ Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock

“The plot is wonderfully spooky with just the right amount of suspense and mystery to keep the pages turning.” ~ James Luby– Amazon Reviewer


Excerpt
Excerpt from Chapter One ~ Something Wicked

Deafening music shakes the walls, vibrates the floor, and pounds a rhythmic beat in my skull. Gyrating bodies turn every bit of space into a dance floor. Sweat breaks out on my forehead, and my heart races. Strobe lights flash, teens dance with wild abandon. Shrieking laughter bubbles around me.
“Gotta take a leak!” my dance partner shouts over the music.
He races off, weaving through the thick wall of bodies. Mike or Mick or something—I didn’t catch the name he yelled when he asked me to dance. Doesn’t matter, he wasn’t my type at all. I mean, the guy guzzled beer while dancing. After grabbing a diet soda from a nearby cooler, I’m about to search for my friends when a dark feeling washes over me. My feet refuse to move, and I stand rooted in place.
The once loud music is now hollow in my ears. I gasp for breath, choking on the lack of air around me. Tiny hairs on the nape of my neck rise to attention. Something wicked is behind me. I know I’m the only one here who feels a difference in air pressure. An oppressive weight presses against my skin, making me feel as though I’m underwater. I blink a few times, watching the people around me continue their manic dancing—oblivious to the bogeyman that just entered the room.
Afraid to turn around, I stand my ground, sipping my soda. I pretend I’m unaware of the shuffling noises behind me, sounds I shouldn’t be able to hear over the blaring music. Swaying my hips, I hum along with the music, trying to ignore the ominous presence crushing me.
Whatever it is, I can’t let it know I sense it. Evil pours off it in waves, blanketing the entire room. I close my eyes, willing the creature to go away, return to whatever mausoleum or grave it calls home. Malevolent spirits feed on fear. I must control mine at all costs.
When I open my eyes, I’m gazing into the face of an angel. Not literally, but he may as well be in my book. Logan glances behind me, and I know he sees the spirit. He doesn’t gasp or scream or faint dead away. His golden eyes narrow as though he’s in a staring contest with the specter.
“You’re not welcome here,” Logan says to the presence behind me. He meets my gaze again. “You know it’s there.”
It’s not a question but a statement. I nod, a weak bob of my head, unsure whether this intimate moment with my dream guy is a good thing or not. Meeting over a nasty phantom is not my idea of romantic. And yet I can’t stop staring at the way his blue t-shirt hugs his broad shoulders and chest—how his light brown hair curls around his earlobes. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. For six weeks I’ve wanted out of the friendship box with Logan, but I was hoping for girlfriend, not crazy girl.
“Kassandra,” a voice rasps behind me.

About the Author
Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. She is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.


Author Links:
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Jul 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Enchanted Heart (Game of Hearts #1) by Mindy Ruiz & Review & GIVEAWAY



Enchanted Heart (Game of Hearts #1)
by Mindy Ruiz

Cassandra Vera never ever breaks the rules.

Ever!

She’s also had a nonexistent social life since her best friend moved to Vegas. Armed with a new set of resolutions, the promise of a hot date, and her adoptive parents out of town, Cassandra agrees an overnight road trip to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. After all, it's Vegas, the city where secrets are meant to stay hidden. Little does Cassandra know the secrets of her own pastare buried there, as well.

In the shadows of the glitz and gaudy lights of Vegas lies a power struggle centuries old. One wrong step and Cassandra could destroy the delicate web of secrets. Now an enemy she never knew existed is after her and the one boy who may be the missing piece to the puzzle —and her heart— is the one person she can’t afford to trust.


Review
Enchanted Heart was definitely something different. First of all, it takes place in Las Vegas! Now, that's something you don't see everyday. I am a huge fan of CSI Las Vegas, so it's only natural that I love Las Vegas too. I was really excited to read a book taking place there. Seeing all the casinos and gambling. So, maybe it was because of my very high exectations that this book didn't really make me fall in love with it.

This is the story of Cassie, who decides for the first time to break the rules and spend New Year's/Her 18th Birthday in Vegas with her friends. But once she steps foot inside Vegas her life is starting to change. She meets a hot guy that she has this crazy attraction for, people are being weird around her, even try to abduct her. But instead of getting kidnapped she is saved by the gorgeous guy and her parents are alerted. Cassie thinks this will be the end of it, and that she will end up grounded for life but instead the truth of her birth is reveales. Cassie finds a new home in Vegas between the four ruling families and she is to be one of their heirs, but not before she prooves her worth and of course manages to stay alive until her 21st birthday.

Let me begin by saying that I loved the whole concept. Four ruling families, the Hearts, Spades, Diamonds and Clubs. It was really amusing and I loved their world. Also there was a mythology element intertwined with the whole story that made everything even more interesting. But unfortunately, we are kind of dropped in the middle of everything, and it is totally confusing. I struggled to understand how everything worked, from the structure of the families and Midas to the Shadows, a.k.a. the bad guys. It was just a bit too much for me. Still it kept me going.

Thankfully Cassie was a pretty descent MC. Can't say I connected with her but at least she didn't bug me. And A.J. was a good love interest, even though it was insta-love. Also, besides the BFF, Malory, every secondary character was kind of good. Also, this book had a lot going on. There was never really a dull moment. There was a lot of running for your life, a lot of action, and family drama. It was very entertaining.

All in all, I liked it but didn't love it. It was a very fast paced read, with a unique setting and a great group of characters. It would probably appeal to lovers of mythology books. However, I want my paranormal powers more flushy, like flame throwing, which this book didn't really have.

Quiz:
Which Vegas House Suits you? 




About Mindy Ruiz:
Mindy Ruiz lives in a sleepy Beach Town in Southern California. When she’s not writing, she spends her time chasing after three boys, making flirty eyes at her hunky husband, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, and hanging out at the beach with her very large and loud Italian family.

Her career in publishing started in the 4th grade with a story about a magic, museum-hopping, chair. Now, Mindy writes young adult, new adult, and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include tormented heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of swoon-y moments that will put a smile on your face or make your heart race. Mindy is the lover of a good romance, the underdog and John Hugh’s 80′s teen movies.

When her toes aren’t in the sand or her mind isn’t in the clouds, Mindy loves hearing from readers.

Links:
Facebook www.Facebook.com/MindyRuizBooks
Twitter www.Twitter.com/MindyRuiz
Instagram Instagram.com/MindyRuiz
Author Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8282908.Mindy_Ruiz
Pinterest pinterest.com/MindyRuizBooks

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Jul 12, 2014

Book Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway



Slide
by Jill Hathaway

Slide was a bit disappointing for me. I started this expecting an amazing paranormal mystery, maybe a bit creepy too, but that is not what I got. In Slide, we get introduced to Vee, a girl that everytime she falls asleep she can slide inside someone else's mind and see through their eyes. And one day she slides inside a killer that just murdered her sister's best friend. Still, the police thinks it's a suicide and only Vee knows the truth.

Let me start by saying that I loved the idea behind this book. Vee has such an amazing power and she could have been such a kick-ass heroine but she choose not too and that was a bit disappointing. The story moved really slow and only after two thirds of the book Vee realised she could use her power to figure out who the killer is. So, there was no action at all. Still I expected at least a few heart pounding moments at the end but they never came.

Besides the slow pace and no action, that romance was just not working for me. Vee has this amazing best friend, who is totally cool and it's pretty obvious is in love with her, but when a new hot guy shows up at school she is falling for him in a matter of seconds. That's a big no for me. Also she acted like a bitch toward her friend, but since she wasn't the biggest bitch of the book I guess it wasn't that bad.

Anyway, this was not for me. I got bored halfway through it and just pushed myself to read it hoping that something amazing would happen at the end, which didn't...