Review: Defining Destiny by Deanna Chase

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Defining Destiny
Deanna Chase
Published in February, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
When destiny fails…
Singer-songwriter Lucy Moore thought her life was perfect. At just twenty-one, she’s already met her soul mate and together they’ve landed a recording contract. But when her father dies and the love of her life betrays her in more ways than one, she returns home to pick up the pieces. On the shores of Mendocino, California, Lucy has some decisions to make. Should she start a solo career? Or should she leave it all behind for some semblance of normalcy in the quiet town she grew up in? And what about Seth, the tortured artist who always seems to be there when she needs him?

Seth Keenan has demons of his own. Eighteen months ago, he was involved in a horrific accident that he never talks about. His career as an accomplished oil-paint artist has been abandoned, replaced by the buzz of his tattoo gun. And women—well, he never sticks around for longer than a few hours of pleasure… until he meets Lucy. After one evening of listening to her seductive voice, he’s pulled under. But what about the vow he made to never get close to anyone again?

In a world where everyone has one true soul mate, can these two find love in the arms of each other?

Cover Comments:
The cover isn’t bad at all, just very cliché. I didn’t even have to read the summary to know it would be a new age novel. They all look like this these days. Also, call me shallow, but I do not like the female model at all. She doesn’t look soft enough to be how I pictured Lucy, and that neck vein sticking out really bugs me. Told you it’s shallow of me.

My Review:
I received this book for free from netgalley in exchange for my open and honest review.

What would you do if your one two soul mate was no longer an option for you? That is what our hero and heroine are faced with in this really enjoyable novel.  Lucy has the bad luck of having a self-absorbed jerk as her soul mate. He becomes so bad that she has no choice but to leave him, or risk her sanity. Seth had a wonderful soul mate, but he lost her in an accident that has left him with a gaping hole in his heart.

I really liked the whole magical soul mate power that this book has in it. It made for a unique read. Not really paranormal, after all nothing else is different. Not contemporary either. I’ll go with magic realism I guess. In the book, everyone has one soul mate. Once you meet yours, you are powerless to the magical pull that bonds you together. On top of this, you and your soul mate are given a gift. Lucy and her soul mate Caden were given the gift of music. While both could sing on their own, together they can create music so powerful it drives people to changing themselves. Honestly’ it was really interesting to read about.

Lucy and Seth were great together. They might not be soul mates, but they had chemistry out the wazoo! I could really feel their struggle… wanting to be together, but knowing it may never happen. I also loved how they built each other up, we saw both make improvements in their personal lives and not just a growing romance.

I would have loved to see more of the side characters. We meet a couple of people, learn just enough about them to catch our interest, and then poof they’re gone the rest of the book. There is also a scene between Jax and Mike, friends of Seth’s, that goes completely unresolved. Maybe they have their own book coming up?

In case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. The story was good, the characters were great, and I’m really hoping I will see a sequel someday. Nothing announced so far, but I would LOVE to see Jax’s story! If you are a fan of contemporary romance, or new age novels… you will enjoy this book. The author did a great job of keeping it to a very contemporary feel.

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases!
Lynne Matson
Releases: March 4, 2014

Synopsis: (taken from
On the mysterious island of Nil, the rules are set. You have one year. Exactly 365 days--to escape, or you die.

Seventeen-year-old Charley doesn’t know the rules. She doesn’t even know where she is. The last thing she remembers is blacking out, and when she wakes up, she’s lying naked in an empty rock field.

Lost and alone, Charley finds no sign of other people until she meets Thad, the gorgeous leader of a clan of teenage refugees. Soon Charley learns that leaving the island is harder than she thought . . . and so is falling in love. With Thad’s time running out, Charley realizes that to save their future, Charley must first save him. And on an island rife with dangers, their greatest threat is time.

I have this thing for being on a deserted island. I also love reading dystopians. When I read the synopsis I honestly thought of Hunger Games. What I have read from the reviews it doesn't appear to be that was though, but it does have a lot of adventure. This one will be out next week and I am excited to get my hands on it!

What was your WOW pick this week? I'd love to hear from you!

Top Ten Tuesday

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Every week you create your top ten list with the weekly theme. This week's theme is a rewind or freebie.. so, since I'm new to blogging, I thought why not start at the beginning. I will be talking about my top ten childhood favorites!
  1. Baby Island: I did a book report on this in 2nd grade and I adored the book. It's about two girls that rescue some babies they had been babysitting on a ship when it sinks. The whole lot of them end up on an abandoned island where they learn to survive and care for a bunch of small tots! I wanted to babysit so badly at 8, so it's no wonder I loved this book.
  2. Little House Series: My mom signed me up for the club on the back of the book order for this series when I was in first grade. (I was an advanced reader). I wanted to live Laura Ingalls Wilder's life! In 5th grade I went crazy when I discovered there were books written about her mom as well. I can't wait to introduce these to my own children someday.
  3. Mandie Series: I stumbled upon these books in the school library in 5th grade. They were great mysteries about a young girl in the early 20th century named Mandie. I'm pretty sure I was the only student in school to ever check them out, but I really did eat these books up. Fun fact, the author wrote the first book when she was only 11 years old!
  4. A Wrinkle in Time: One of my all time favorite books! Just a great fantasy. Pretty sure this is required reading for most middle schoolers... and it should be! I want to say I heard they were making a movie soon, but don't quote me on that.
  5. The Giver: Another all time favorite book. I read this in 4th grade then went to see the play. At the time I was going to be a famous actress one day, so I was more excited about the play. I have reread this book so many times... it's my absolute favorite dystopian. I read the rest of the series too, but this was by far the best.
  6. The Devil's Arithmetic: I developed a weird obsession with the holocaust after reading Anne Frank in 4th grade. My mom suggested this one too me. It's probably one of the most powerful books I read in my life. I remember staying up all night finishing it, then waking my parents up at 3 in the morning sobbing about it. Wonderful heart-wrenching story.
  7. Standing in the Light: In 3rd grade we did a huge study on Native Americans. I loved it. So I started reading tons of books about them.. This was one of my favorites. I owned the book, and the little 30 minute scholastic movie. I was so bummed when I discovered it wasn't a true story after all.
  8. The Sleeping Lady: This is actually a retelling of an old Native American myth about how this mountain near Anchorage, Alaska got it's shape. (the shape of a sleeping woman). I lived in Alaska at the time and saw this mountain everyday on my way to school, so this story really felt special to me. Plus the pictures are gorgeous.
  9. Baby-Sitter's Club series: Remember earlier I mentioned how much I wanted to be a babysitter? That was thanks to this series. I read them all. I owned most of them. I wanted to make my own club. These books were the best things ever. A couple of years ago my best friend bought a box of these books for $10 at a garage sale to use in her classroom. I tried to buy them off of her, but she refused. I will own the entire series again someday... if just to have them.
  10. Harry Potter Series: Can this list be complete without Harry Potter? I am a potterhead, and proud. Seriously, I stole the first book from my brother when I was in 3rd grade and I was hooked. I'm still hooked 15 years later. I reread the series about once a year.. own all the movies ultimate editions on blu-ray, and was one of the lucky 100,000 previewers of pottermore a couple years ago. I'm a dork and I don't care. These books just draw you into a whole different world.
Writing this list had me going down memory lane. I had a hard time picking just 10. Now I can't wait until L is a little older and can actually understand what I'm reading to him.. I really hope he gets my passion for reading. Books really let me explore new worlds growing up and I want him to experience that as well.

What category did you write about for your top ten Tuesday? Let me know so I can check them out!

Review: Summer Nights by Susan Mallery

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Summer Nights
Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #8
Published by Harlequin in 2012
Rating: ★ 

Synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)
Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.
Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too. Some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

Goodreads Amazon Barnes and Noble

Cover Comments:
The cover is beautiful as always! Susan Mallery books always have covers that just scream sweet romance story! I really like these new designs on the more recent books. The focus is more on the couple and not the surrounding land. My only complaint. Despite the cover drawing me in, I don't ever remember the main couple snuggling on a beach... did they even go to a beach? It would have been great to see them riding horses or something.

 My Review:
If you haven’t read the rest of Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, you should just stop right now and go pick up Chasing Perfect. While each book in this series is its own free standing story, Mallery likes to revisit the characters from her past books and it can get confusing or annoying to those that have not read the rest of the series.

Summer Nights is the 8th book in the Fool’s Gold series, and the 2nd in the Stryker brothers mini trilogy (Summer Days, Summer Nights, All Summer Long). I will say that I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I enjoyed Summer Days, but I really feel like the series hasn’t been as captivating as it was in the beginning. I’m not sure what it is, but I feel like a bit of the magic that was in this series has disappeared in the last couple of books.

I loved Shane and Annabelle. Is there anything quite as great as a heroine that is a librarian? I love how Mallery DIDN’T make her a quiet socially awkward type of woman… something that I see a lot in contemporary romances. Shane is much more likable than Rafe was. He really is just a sweet guy, and someone I would totally have a crush on in real life. (Think sexy cowboy that enjoys teaching kids to ride horses!) Together, they had pretty good passion. I did feel like they fell together a bit awkwardly. One minute they are both still considering themselves just friends and two pages later he comes to her house for a booty call. I would have liked to see the romance build a bit more, but it was a bit more realistic I suppose.

As for the story, it was your typical small-town contemporary romance story. Shane is instantly attracted to Annabelle and vice versa, but they spend most of the book shuffling their feet refusing to give their love a try. I loved the little spin with the upcoming parade and the whole Khatar the impossible horse bit. I loved anytime that Khatar was around in the story. He’s probably my favorite character in the book, despite the fact that he is a horse. I also enjoyed catching back up with the past characters, something Mallery is known for. I love feeling like their stories and lives didn’t just stop because the book ended. Instead you see their lives continuing to evolve and their families growing.

Mallery’s set up for the next book (Charlie and Clay’s story) has me very intrigued, and excited to get into it! I hated Charlie at first… she was so hard, but Mallery has done so much with her in the bit that we see of the over the last two books. I’m not going to say anything, but she’s shaping up to be a favorite heroine, and a favorite book in the series, if Mallery does it right. I’ll be hoping to read that one here very soon!

Ultimately, I would definitely suggest this book to any contemporary-romance fan… especially if you have read Mallery before. Her books are always just super sweet and light. I love reading the happy sweet books when I’m miserable of this gross cold weather outside. Hope you enjoyed my review! Please let me know what you thought of the book if you have read it!

Stacking the Shelves

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted @ Tynga's Reviews, to showcase the books you received.

 All Summer Long
Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #9

I'm trying to catch up on the Fool's Gold series by Susan Mallery. I picked the ebook up from my library and plan to start reading it as soon as I finish the 8th book in the series, hopefully today or tomorrow. I love this series, they are such great feel good contemporary romances!

Mine Till Midnight
Lisa Kleypas
Series: The Hathaways #1

I finished Lisa Kleypa's Wallflower series except for the Christmas book, which i'll read next holiday season. So, I decided to pick up the first book in her Hathaway series on audio book while at the library. I'll be listening to this during my late night nursing sessions. I've learned that I don't wake up enough to actually concentrate on reading, but I can listen like the best of them!  

Thanks for checking out my Stacking the Shelves. I'll be posting my first review very soon. But, since I'm new to blogging please feel free to give me tips or feedback on my blog thus far! Thanks!!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

About the Girl

My name is Alexis. I am a twentysomething year old girl who loves nothing more than to read a great book, spend time with my family, and go out to eat. At the very end of 2013, I became a mommy for the first time. I have a beautiful little boy that I live for now and I wouldn't change a thing. I graduated college with a degree in elementary education. I do plan to teach eventually, but for now I let my husband bring home the money and I stay home with our sweet son and rambunctious dog... the two keep me pretty busy, but I have wanted to try blogging for awhile, so here I am. 

About the Books

This blog will be about a lot of books. I like to read a wide variety of things, basically anything that catches my eye. Most of the time my interests stay between romance and young adult novels. I do sometimes venture into biography (especially if related to children or animals), mysteries, and general fiction. So please don't be shy, if you think you know a book I will enjoy let me know!

About the Blog

Obviously this blog will mainly be about books. I plan to review books I read, and talk about upcoming books by my favorite authors. However, I will also throw in posts about my adventures as a first time mom, my life in general, and probably even some food recipes ( I love to bake!) So basically, even though this blog is mainly for books, there will be otherbposts that all come together to give you a picture of who I am.