Review: The Truly Devious Trilogy

truly deviousthe vanishing stairthe hand on the wall

Book Titles:

  1. Truly Devious
  2. The Vanishing Stair
  3. The Hand on the Wall

Author: Maureen Johnson

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult

Series Complete: Yes

To buy the boxset: Indigo

Summary (from first book): Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth-century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

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Review: The Distance from A to Z

the distance from a to zTitle: The Distance from A to Z

Author: Natalie Blitt

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Summary: 

Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

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Review: If We Were Us by K.L. Walther

IF WE WERE USTitle: If We Were Us

Author: K.L. Walther

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

To Buy: Indigo (Affiliate Link)

Summary: 

Everyone at the prestigious Bexley School believes that Sage Morgan and Charlie Carmichael are meant to be….that it’s just a matter of time until they realize that they are actually in love.

When Luke Morrissey shows up on the Bexley campus his presence immediately shakes things up. Charlie and Luke are drawn to each other the moment they meet, giving Sage the opportunity to steal away to spend time with Charlie’s twin brother, Nick.

But Charlie is afraid of what others will think if he accepts that he has much more than a friendship with Luke. And Sage fears that things with Nick are getting too serious too quickly. The duo will need to rely on each other and their lifelong friendship to figure things out with the boys they love.

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Review: All the Better Part of Me by Molly Ringle

42281050Title: All the Better Part of Me

Author: Molly Ringle

Genre: Romance, Self-Discovery, Contemporary

Summary: It’s an inconvenient time for Sinter Blackwell to realize he’s bisexual. He’s a 25-year-old American actor working in London, living far away from his disapproving parents in the Pacific Northwest, and enjoying a flirtation with his director Fiona. But he can’t deny that his favorite parts of each day are the messages from his gay best friend Andy in Seattle, whom Sinter once kissed when they were 15.

Finally he decides to return to America to visit Andy and discover what’s between them, if anything. He isn’t seeking love, and definitely doesn’t want drama. But both love and drama seem determined to find him. Family complications soon force him into the most consequential decisions of his life, threatening all his most important relationships: with Andy, Fiona, his parents, and everyone else who’s counting on him. Choosing the right role to play has never been harder.

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Review: Play It Again by Aidan Wayne

43263026._SY475_Title: Play it Again

Author: Aidan Wayne

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary: The videos are fun.

But it’s the host who has him coming back for more…

When Seattle-based blind YouTuber Dovid Rosenstein finds Sam Doyle’s Let’s Play channel, playitagainsam, he’s instantly captivated by the Irish gamer. Everything about Sam is adorable, from his accent to his personality, and Dovid can’t get enough of his content.

Dovid’s glowing shout-out on Don’t Look Now, his own successful channel, sends Sam’s subscriber numbers skyrocketing overnight. He has more comments than he can read. And while the sudden surge in popularity is anxiety inducing, Sam decides it’s only right to dedicate his next episode to Dovid…which soon leads to a heart-pounding exchange of DMs.

They may have never met in person, but Dovid’s never felt this close to anyone before. What they have feels worth exploring—no matter the distance. But is it possible to already be in love with someone who’s half a world away?

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Review: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

25740412._SY475_Title: The Black Witch

Author: Laurie Forest

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Summary: 

Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

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Review: F-Stop by Eliza Gordon

45714561._SY475_Title: F-Stop

Author: Eliza Gordon

Series: Revelation Cove

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary: Francesca “Frankie” Hawes has felt one click short of a full roll her entire life. Her dad and brother—both world-class photographers—can’t be expected to file paperwork, manage clients, or book their own dental cleanings. So Frankie does it for them. But when they ask her to step in and shoot the Meyer-Nelson wedding in secluded Revelation Cove, BC, they go one bridezilla too far.

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Release Day: Hard Chrome by Vanessa North

Hard-Chrome-Cover-647x1024

Hard Chrome by Vanessa North    

Series (name + # in series): American Heavy Metal, Book 1

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Ebook Oct. 21, Print Oct. 29

Length (Print & Ebook): 49k words

 Subgenre: Contemporary Romance

 Warnings:

Hard Chrome deals with subjects some readers may find difficult, including domestic violence, animal cruelty, drug use, and teen pregnancy.

Book synopsis:

He’s tough. But she’s tougher.

Tanner Ellis left American Heavy Metal in her rearview mirror. She didn’t see the beauty HC Quote 1.pngbehind the grease stains and the polished chrome until it was too late. Now she’s back, determined to save her father’s legacy—and bring the South’s premier classic-car shop into the new century. Nothing is going to stop her—especially not the sexy tech who refuses to follow her lead.

American Heavy Metal is the only home Duke Wilson’s ever known, and no high-heeled, sharp-tongued princess is going to take it away. He tolerates Tanner’s advice, and it’s fun to push her buttons, but she doesn’t belong in the shop—never has, never will. The sooner she realizes that the sooner he can find his new normal.
When Tanner falters, revealing the pain beneath her bravado, Duke comforts her the only way he knows how. And when violence from his past threatens their future, she’ll be there for him, offering him the one thing he’s always wanted—a shot at a real family. He just has to convince himself to take it.

About Vanessa North:

Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and two large dogs.

 Connect with Vanessa:

All buy links or pre-order links:

Giveaway: Vanessa North is celebrating the release of HARD CHROME with a big giveaway! Three prizes are up for grabs: (2) $10 Amazon Gift Cards and (1) Signed Paperback of Hard Chrome + some serious auto-shop inspired swag!

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Review: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, RomanceMaybe This Time Kasie West

Summary:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . Fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all…

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Reading and Depression

Hello to my few remaining followers.

This might be one of the most honest, and strange posts I’ll ever make.

I haven’t read a book since March. Or at least not consistently.

The reason for that is I’m no longer depressed.

Books were easier when I was depressed,when I had no energy, and no drive to do anything but hide from the world around me.

I lost the…I don’t want to say joy…of reading. But I lost the ability to sit down and bury myself in it the same way I once did.

I miss it though. I miss picking up a good book and devouring what’s inside. So this is my promise to you that my reviews, and hopefully some other content will appear here soon.

After all, I’ve got a list about a mile high.

~Ashley