Monday, June 29, 2015

Hitched

ISBN13: 9781511627252
Pages: 229
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Appearance:
25018985

Life hasn’t been easy for twenty-three year old Ellie Jacobs since her boyfriend, Fletch, walked out of her life two years earlier. She’s stuck in a consulting job she hates, buried under crushing student loans, and still longing for Fletch despite her best efforts to leave the past behind.
Letting go is hard when everywhere she turns, there’s a reminder of Fletch - from his face on gossip magazines to everyone being obsessed with his company, GroundFloor.
So when Ellie finds herself at a mutual friend’s wedding with Fletch, she decides to grin and bear it for the sake of the bride and groom. But years of anger have piled up, and Ellie doesn’t know if she can last the weekend without going crazy or lashing out.
However, as the wedding weekend progresses, Ellie realizes anger can only take you so far, but love can take you farther.
 

Hello everyone! I'm back with part two of my Crushed duology review with Hitched! This book is written from Ellie's point of view and follows her as she navigates her life after Fletch leaves and how they become reunited.

Okay so I'm skipping with the summary that I usually start off my reviews with because I want to talk about the overall plot of the story. Where are all my cutesy moments with Ellie and Fletch? Fine, I got some of it from Book 1 but the time gap between Crushed and Hitched leaves out those moments of their growing relationship and Fletch's leaving. While everything does get explained, I can't help but feel like I've been cheated out of those moments. Anyway, moving on from that little rant, I was excited to find out that Hitched was written from Ellie's point of view because she was such a snarky character in Crushed I couldn't wait to read things from her perspective. Sadly, I didn't exactly get that.

Hitched reunites us with all the characters we fell in love with in book one with Brady's wedding to Sophie. I can't believe how much I missed Brady's humor even though I picked up the two books pretty much back to back with a week in between them. The characters were still golden and still managed to make me laugh. However, the problem lies with the plot. Ellie's pretty angry at Fletch for leaving without a word and then seeing his faces all over magazines as the hottest CEO with his company GroundFloor. Then she sees him again at the wedding and after a couple of interactions, all that anger just melts away. To be honest, I wanted more of a fight on her part, I mean Fletch literally just left. 

Of course there's more the story than that, but this book was rushed beyond words. From Brody's wedding to Fletch and Ellie's engagement and happily ever after, I think the whole book took place over an extended weekend. I had enjoyed the slow pace and gradual development of the plot and characters from Crushed so when I read Hitched I felt myself rolling my eyes a bit too often.

Now, that's not to say I didn't enjoy the book because these characters have still made a big impact on me in terms of how much I adored them. But, this book definitely pales in comparison to the first book and if I had to narrow it down, I'd say to only read the first book. You might be left with an aching need to know more, but the second book didn't do that for me.


3 out of 5 stars
 

Foreverly Obsessed,

Crushed

ASIN: B00AM247D2
Pages: 268
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Appearance:
16158868

Having it all has never been so hard.
For eighteen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn’t be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged life, and try not to mess up too much. 
However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who turns his world inside out - Fletch discovers his perfect life isn’t so wonderful. 
As family secrets begin tumbling out, what once seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right, and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.
CRUSHED is a New Adult book. It has profanity and sexual situations, and is intended for ages 16+.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my review of Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller! I received a copy for review but I promise that everything is completely written in my own opinion! Alright, let's get into the review:

Fletch Colson is the resident playboy and senior year means it's time to take things to the next level. Then his friends pose the ultimate challenge - he must be friends with a girl and not hook up with her. Sounds simple enough, until he finds out who he has to "just be friends" with. Ellie Jacobs is everything his family is not. She doesn't come from a wealthy family and instead works hard to maintain her place in the school. But she has something that Fletch doesn't have and it can't be bought with money. As the two spend more time together, Fletch finds himself questioning the values that brought him up and falling a bit harder each day for Ellie.

This book is one those stories that just takes you by surprise. I didn't expect to enjoy it or feel the emotions that I did since when I first started reading, Fletch annoyed me to no end. His character starts off so cocky and arrogant with such an infuriating attitude I was certain he was never going to win Ellie's heart - and if he did, then she was making the worse decision of her life. Then the layers started peeling back and revealed more of his true character. While I ended up feeling so many feels towards Fletch, there is something extremely stereotypical about his build up as a character. Let me explain, he comes from a rich family and they have secrets that he finds out and when he does his entire life is changed forever. Plus there's plotted marriage and all that fun stuff that comes with building and sustaining a modern day mega million empire. 

Ellie on the other hand was amazing from the start. She's quirky, speaks her own mind, and isn't afraid to let a snobby rich girl boss her around (I'm looking at you Cassandra). She represented the down-to-earth attitude that Fletch longed for and I loved how their relationship actually started off as friendship. Even when Fletch knew he loved Ellie, she refused to move beyond friends because she knew he had some things about his own life that he had to work out first.

Okay so overall thoughts. This book is full of emotional punches that make you suck in your breath and hold in those tears. While I didn't cry, I enjoyed how real this relationship was and how for once despite all the profanity and sexual situations, the romance relationship wasn't affected. 
4 out of 5 stars
 

Foreverly Obsessed,




Friday, June 26, 2015

HAUL: Pop-arazzi Nail Polish

Hello everyone! So a quick little update, I'm working on several reviews right now so I apologize for how slow the blog has been lately. The good news is that summer is officially here which means I'm reading more and hopefully reviewing more as well. There's also something special coming soon to The Little Black Bookmark Podcast so be sure to follow that blog for the announcement! 

Anyway, I recently picked up some new polishes from CVS and I thought I'd do something different and show you guys what I picked up. CVS used to carry Spoiled which was a line produced by Wet n Wild, but they recently changed it and began to carry Pop-arazzi which is a new brand. This was both sad and exciting since I loved the Spoiled polishes, but I pretty much own most of the colors I liked. I ended up picking up 8 different colors from two different trips. 


Color:
The color payoff for each of these polishes were pretty good. In the swatches below, each color became opaque within two swatches. The only one that needed a third coat was Going for Gold since the formula was more watery than the other ones. In terms of how true the colors are to what they appear in the bottle, I'd say that it matches pretty well. 

Left to Right: Short but Sweet, Shell Me More, The Hue is Blue, In Your Dreams

Left to Right: Icing on the Cake, Mauvie Night, Going for Gold, Glam Factor


Packaging:
The polishes come in the standard glass bottle with a plastic cap that is decorated with little polka dots. The Pop-arazzi logo is stamped on the front and underneath there is the name of each polish. Each bottle is said to contain 0.15 Fl oz.

Left to Right: Short but Sweet, Shell Me More, The Hue is Blue, In Your Dreams

Left to Right: Icing on the Cake, Mauvie Night, Going for Gold, Glam Factor


Smell:
This is the worst part of the polish. The smell is absolutely horrible. I can't open the bottle without getting a whiff of it and it makes painting really painful. I can't describe the smell exactly, but I think of burning plastic. I painted Claudia's nails with Short but Sweet and she said the small E.L.F. polishes smell similar.

Application:
For the most part the polishes aren't super streaky or thick. The only one where I have some problem is Short but Sweet as the formula looks a lot thicker. The other ones glide on like a charm and don't makes your nails look as if there is a lot of polish on them. The brush itself is a standard rectangle and isn't super wide or thin. The cap also is easy to grip and doesn't slip out of my grasp.



Lasting Power:
This is the hardest category for me to rate since I don't wear my polishes for a super long period of time. I've wore In Your Dreams and Shell Me More on separate occasions and each lasted me a good two to three days without chipping. I'm going to go ahead and say it's got decent lasting power as long as you make sure to apply base and top coat.

SWATCHES

(Natural Lighting)

(With Flash)

Color: 2/2
Packaging: 2/2
Smell: 0/2
Application: 1.5/2
Lasting Power: 2/2

Total Points: 7.5/10

GRADE: C

That's my review for the Pop-arazzi Polishes! Let me know if you guys have tried them out and what your thoughts are. Also, let me know if you likes these nail polish reviews as I'm a bit of a polish hoarder and own quite a few bottles of nail polish. I'm going to try to remove the nail polishes from the acryllics that I used and see if I can reuse them. If I can't, I'll figure out another way for swatches. 

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed and I'll see you later with another post!

Foreverly Obsessed,







Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Law of Moses

ISBN: 1502830825
Pages: 332
Source: Own
Publication Date: November 18, 2014
Appearance:
23638813

Summary:
If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.
Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.
It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.
And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.
And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all...a love story.

Hello everyone! In honor of the Song of David releasing ten days ago I thought it was time I finally review the Law of Moses which I read back in April. Alright, let's get started~

The Law of Moses follows a boy who was abandoned as a child and grew up to be the center of town gossip. He was known as the bad boy in town and everyone was warned to stay away from him because he was broken. However that only made Georgia want to approach him even more. A girl with a fiery heart and snarky attitude to match, Georgia views Moses as a challenge and she's determined to win. Little does she know that his soulful eyes will soon become her undoing as they fall into the beginning of a long and crazy love story.

So I believe this is my third Amy Harmon book and she does NOT disappointment with her writing. Literally I cannot stop staying enough praises about how beautiful her writing style is and how inspired her stories make me feel. This book has a surprising paranormal aspect thrown in which I wasn't expecting but it turned out to be quite a nice surprise. Moses has this ability to bring the past to life through his art and he becomes this gateway for others to see their past loved ones when they see his paintings. It's not only a change from the usual ghost-whisperer stereotype but it incorporates something so beautiful into the whole story. 

The story line encompasses a good couple of years worth of their main characters' lives from their teen years to I'm assuming mid to late 30s. This allows us as readers to see how each character grows through time and how life affects each person differently. In addition to the paranormal element of the story, there's also this surprise mystery aspect of the story which completely took me by surprise. I can't begin to say how much more the story grew in terms of fullness with all these surprise elements and how everything together made it an absolutely magical read.

My one "complaint" comes in the form of Georgia. I found it really difficult to connect with her compared to other female protagonists. She's very reckless and rash in her decisions, but I still enjoyed seeing her grow as a character and being able to see two sides of her: with and without Moses. As a character, she was very well developed but in terms of connecting with her, it didn't work as well. Moses on other hand completely stole my heart. His somewhat erratic behavior comes through in his attitude towards everything resulting in his title as a "crack baby." He goes through so much self discovery it almost astounding when you compare Moses at page 1 to the end and the whole experience was so uplifting.

I just want to share one quick little detail of the story but there might be subtle spoilers. The child! Not going to say who's child, but those of you who have read the book will know who I'm implying. That was just plain cruel to write that part for both the reader and the individual characters. I think my heart stopped beating when I found out what happened. I literally died inside for a good chunk of the book...

Overall I did enjoy the story. While I'm a bit bugged that I didn't love all the characters as much as I loved Amy Harmon's other characters, this book is still super fantastic and amazing! Definitely recommend and I can't wait to start Tag's story. It's going to be crazy I can already feel it :)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TOUR STOP: Age of Alandria Trilogy

Click on the banner to see the other tour stops! 
Quick little intro, since I signed on to do all three books I'm going to give you guys a couple thoughts on each book in terms of plot and character development and then wrap everything up with some final thoughts!

Buy Links:

17340090A dying realm.
The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.  The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long? Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered. Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

As the first book in the series, Silent Orchids did a nice job in introducing a new world of Faeries and Elves. However at some parts I felt as if there was so much info dumping that I couldn't get all the facts straight, but it did help to understand how lost Kaeleigh felt as she entered Alandria. There's a subtle possibility of romance as well as a love triangle, but nothing is set in stone yet. As far as characters go each one has their unique personality and it's kind of endearing to see Kaeleigh be able to have her two best friends every step of the way. The major thing that bugged me was the ending but I'll talk more about that in the final thoughts.


18158716Shadows linger where light is obstructed, and truth is veiled. Evil is an untreated disease in the once beautiful realm of Alandria. Kaeleigh is faced with a revelation that she must reconcile. She will decide if discovering the truth is worth the unknown consequences to both herself and her friends. Daegan, the Ferrishyn warrior, is conflicted by more than his loyalties, and is confronted with emotions he doesn’t know how to deal with. A choice must be made. A choice… that may cost him more than he ever wanted to give. The Droch-Shúil—enforcers and servants of the ancient darkness—continue to cast their shadow over Alandria seeking those who can be turned to their side.  The magic of The Orchids is growing, but not everyone will survive what is to come. Veiled Shadows is the second installment in The Age of Alandria series: the story of the Sol-lumieth’s quest for freedom of self and the power to battle the evil of the Droch-Shúil.

All right, book two. The story continues with the Droch-Shuil drawing closer to Kaeleigh and her having to escape. In the first book there is a small reference to the evil powers, but it's here that everything becomes more fleshed out. She is still kept relatively under wraps which I am assuming is for suspense purposes. This book was definitely more emotional in terms of the events that happened and to be honest I was surprised when I felt my heart tug at certain points. The connection I felt with characters definitely snuck up on me and was unexpected, but in a good way. The romance grows a tiny bit but is still not the main focus which I definitely appreciated. Again, the ending bugged me.

18591055The darkness in Elnye is growing. There is screaming in Exhile. The mysterious woman, known only as “She”, is in a rage. Her pawn, Maleina has made a dangerous move and severed her communications with the dark mistress. Now as dueling dark forces, master and willing initiate, they begin to jockey for power as the stage is set for the coming war.  Kaeleigh and her small band of loyal companions have escaped the dungeons of Elnye and found their way to the secret home of the Ehsmia. After breaking the vicious bond that enslaved Daegan to Maleina’s will, the walls between Kaeleigh and her Ferrishyn warrior begin to fall, as their feelings for each other begin to give way to passion. The darkness is fractured, but its relentless quest for power goes unabated. A war is coming. However, the power of the Sol-lumieth has finally come together and found its light. A blinding light of freedom, that may be the salvation for all of Alandria.

The final book in the trilogy wrapped things up quite nicely. It was really amazing to see how the characters have grown from the first book and Kaeleigh has definitely grown into her fate as the Sol-lumieth. While I don't want to give too much away, the summary (provided by Goodreads) does a good job in explaining what happens in the book. The romance begins to take a stand in the plotline but doesn't overpower the main plotline of defeating She instead it accompanies it and adds more depth. Overall a great conclusion.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The characters are well developed and without even know, you build a connection with that to the point where you're interacting with them as the story continues. Kaeleigh is a strong female lead and while everything is getting thrown in her face she struggles to come out without breaking down. I have to admit that my favorite is Chel because she's so lighthearted and fun and always manages to make me laugh. Finn is a gentle but protective character and he's got all the great qualities of an amazing friend. Daegan is Mr. Moody in the book and while I sympathize with him a lot, in the first two books he could afford to be a tad bit nicer, in my opinion.

Okay my last point is my problem with the ending. I've mentioned this multiple times before regarding my feelings about abrupt endings which I felt occurred in the first two books. It gives this sense that this entire trilogy could possibly be one book and it definitely can! Each book is pretty short by itself and combined with the abrupt ending gives a feeling that this trilogy could have been published as a standalone and I think it would have worked fine. So to be clear I didn't hate the endings but I didn't like how they were executed.

All right, to summarize things up, the Age of Alandria definitely surprised me and turned out to be more enjoyable than I thought. Individually, I'd give each book a 3.5 out of 5 but as a whole it's a 4/5 for me. Definitely recommend you pick this up if you want a quick series read with an interesting twist of mythology, faeries, and elves.

4 out of 5 stars

GIVEAWAY

About the Author
Morgan Wylie, originally from the Pacific Northwest, now resides near Nashville, TN with her husband and daughter. She and her husband work everyday at their individual and combined creative pursuits while she learns to balance being “Mama”, wife, and mediator to the many voices and muses constantly chattering in her head.

Author Links:
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Foreverly Obsessed,

Cute Brown Spinning Flower