atria books

Review and Blog Tour: One True Loves

onetrueloves Happy June, everyone!  I’m so thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for One True Loves, the latest book from Taylor Jenkins Reid. Last year I read (and adored!) Maybe in Another Life, and I reviewed that here.  So thank you, Atria, for giving me the chance to read One True Loves!

Stick around after my review: there’s a link to a giveaway at the end of this post!

Emma Blair lives a cozy life in Massachusetts. She works at her family’s bookstore and she has a wonderful fiance named Sam. One night when she is sitting down to dinner with Sam and her parents she gets a phone call she could not have expected to get in a million years. On the other end of the line, she hears the voice of her first love and her husband, Jesse Lerner. He tells her he is coming home.

Three years prior, on the eve of their first wedding anniversary, Emma said goodbye to Jesse before he boarded a helicopter on an assignment. The helicopter went down, leaving no survivors, as the authorities and family were lead to believe.

But somehow, Jesse survived all of this time. Jesse, who Emma grieved for, is coming back home, and he wants to pick up their marriage where they left off.

Emma, who mourned and suffered and drastically altered the circumstances of her life, is a new person, promised to another man.

“Do you ever get over loss? Or do you just find a box within yourself, big enough to hold it? Do you just stuff it in there, push it down, and snap the lid on it? Do you just work, every day, to keep the box shut?”

What follows is a intricate story about relationships, choices, and personal identity. Emma is not only caught between two men; she’s caught between the life she had built for herself before Jesse’s accident, and the life she is building for herself now.

When Emma was married to Jesse, the two lived in California and traveled the world extensively – together as well as separately – and they were always up for a new experience.

Emma’s life with Sam is rooted in their Massachusetts hometown. It is a calm and cozy life, full of domesticity, and owning cats, and having dinners at home. Both of Emma’s lives are appealing for their own reasons.

The supporting cast of characters – Emma’s parents and sister, Marie – are complicated in their own way, but fiercely dedicated to the rest of the family. Scenes between Emma and her sister are especially poignant.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a master of tugging on the heartstrings. If you’re looking for a book to make you swoon and/or cry this summer, I highly recommend picking up One True Loves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted, After I Do and Maybe In Another Life. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

ONE TRUE LOVES by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Atria/Washington Square Press Paperback | ISBN: 9781476776903 | On sale: June 7, 2016 | 352 pages | $16.00

eBook: Atria/Washington Square Press | ISBN: 9781476776910 | On sale: June 7, 2016 | 352 pages | $11.99

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

2 COMPLETE SETS OF SIGNED TJR BOOKS

5 SIGNED COPIES OF ONE TRUE LOVES

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway HERE.

Thanks to Atria Books for supplying me with an advanced e-copy for review purposes!

Danielle Villano is the editor of BiblioSmiles, and she is really glad you’re here. Learn more on the About page.  Tweet @daniellevillano.

Review: The Two of Us by Andy Jones

thetwoofus Before a snowstorm hit New York City in January, I was contacted by Atria Books with an a review request for The Two of Us by Andy Jones, which was later released on February 9th. Atria promised me “the perfect book to cuddle up to as snow and ice pelt the windows,” so I eagerly downloaded it.

In reality, The Two of Us lasted me a few chilly, soggy subway rides post-snowstorm, and while it wasn’t necessarily a book I would think of cuddling up to, it was a captivating read that was vastly different from any love story I’ve ever read.

Fisher and Ivy have been dating for a blissed-out, totally sexy nineteen days when they’re faced with a major wake-up call: one that’s set to completely change their lives in nine months time. While Fisher is certain that the gorgeous, spontaneous Ivy is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, the couple is forced to learn about each other, overcome hurdles together, and reach milestones together on an incredibly sped-up timeline.

While on their own I didn’t entirely enjoy Fisher or Ivy as characters, they made an interesting couple. Separately, I found both of them to be impatient, self-involved people. Together, however, they become a different entity entirely. Their dynamics, their moods, and their conversations kept me on my toes and turning the pages. The secondary characters – especially Fisher’s friend, El, who is suffering from Huntington’s disease – made this story a rich, compelling read.

The Two of Us, told entirely through Fisher’s point of view (intriguing for a romantic plot), is a funny, complicated, and heartbreaking story. While it may be easy to fall in love, it’s not always easy to stay there. I thought Fisher’s narration was incredibly interesting for this storyline; I may have read this story a dozen times from the woman’s perspective, but I’ve never read it from the man’s perspective. The frank language and candid opinions of Fisher really made this story stand out for me.

Danielle Villano is the editor of BiblioSmiles, and she is really glad you’re here. Learn more on the About page.  Tweet @daniellevillano.

Review and Blog Tour: Racing the Sun

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Karina Halle’s new novel, Racing the Sun, set to release on July 28th from Atria Books!

racingthesun RACING THE SUN

Karina Halle

From the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

When I’m traveling, I feel like the secret to my life, to myself, to really becoming, is one step ahead. It’s in the next destination, the next town I get lost in, the next stranger I talk to. It’s always next but never here . . . 

After six months of backpacking and soul-searching across the world, Amber MacLean is flat broke. There are worse places for a twentysomething to be stuck than the Amalfi Coast, but the only way she can earn enough money for a plane ticket home to California is to teach English to two of the brattiest children she has ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, the young master of the crumbling villa tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

When her position turns into a full-time nanny gig, Amber grows dangerously closer to the enigmatic recluse. But can she give up the certainty of home for someone whose closely guarded heart feels a world apart from her own?

My Review:

Karina Halle’s Racing the Sun is a lush and atmospheric romance, not just between two people but between those people and the place they live. The island of Capri is a character in and of itself; it shifts and changes and reflects the moods of the characters as the story progresses. Halle has done her research well – I could see each detail of the island clearly, from its crowded docks to its winding streets. I could smell the hot citrus and the salty sea air, and the scent of garlic wafting out of a restaurant window. I could feel the sun, sometimes oppressive and sometimes sweet. Having traveled to Capri myself last October, Halle’s writing made me ache for the island. She got everything right.

Amber MacLean is an intriguing narrator, and I found her voice to be breezy and oftentimes very funny. Her sarcasm – and her internal monologue about Derio’s hotness – had me laughing on the subway during my morning commute. Amber, like so many twentysomethings, wants to “find herself.” Her wanderings have taken her to Capri, where she accepts a job as a tutor for Desiderio’s twin siblings, Annabella and Alfonso. The task proves harder than it sounds. Annabella and Alfonso clearly affected by their parents’ tragic deaths, are moody and quick to upset. Desiderio (Derio) is short with Amber and prone to dark moods and drinking binges. And Felisa, the no-nonsense nanny, has up and quit.

But Amber can get through anything in two months, right? She just needs to get through two months of working for the Larosas in their villa so she can save up enough money for a plane ticket home, and then she’ll figure out what to do next. But as Amber spends more time with the reclusive Larosa family, she finds herself questioning what the next step in her life should be.

The relationship that blossoms between Amber and Derio is electric and exciting. Halle does an excellent job of drawing these two individuals together and giving us reason as readers to root for them. Derio is tragic and complex, and his physical description does not disappoint. Amber’s giddiness over Derio’s good looks is infectious.

Racing the Sun is not just a sweet summery romance, however. This is a story about broken people, yearning to connect with one another. This is a story about new beginnings, and acceptance, and beauty in all of its forms.

This is my first read by Karina Halle, and I already have plans to read some more of this author’s work. But first, I’ll probably give Racing the Sun another read, because I can’t leave these characters just yet.

(I received an e-galley from Atria Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

RTS blog tour banner

Pre-Order:

Amazon’s Kindle Store | Apple iBookstore | Barnes & Noble| Blio | Books-a-Million | Google ebookstore | Kobo

ENTER TO WIN!

Atria Indie Authors and Karina Halle are giving away: (1) grand prize of a $50 AMEX Gift Card + 1 signed copy of RACING THE SUN and 1 copy of WHERE SEA MEETS SKY….PLUS: (6) Runner Up Prizes of 1 signed copy of RACING THE SUN. Enter to win here!

Danielle Villano is the editor of BiblioSmiles, and she is really glad you’re here. Learn more on the About page.  Tweet @daniellevillano.

Cover Reveal: Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

I’m pleased to announce that BiblioSmiles is taking part in the cover reveal for Leah Raeder’s third novel, Cam Girl! Raeder’s writing is very near and dear to my heart (did you read my piece on her book, Unteachable, being my book soul mate? How about my review of Black Iris?), and I’m happy to have the opportunity to spread the word on her newest novel!  Cam Girl is set to publish on November 3, 2015, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Read about it below and check out the gorgeous, colorful cover!

Raeder_Cam Girl cover final

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.

Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.

PRE-ORDER LINKS:

AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieBoundAppleBlioGoogleKobo

UK PRE-ORDER LINKS:

AmazonWaterstonesWHSmithAppleBarnes & NobleKobo

AUS PRE-ORDER LINKS:

BookworldBooktopiaAppleAmazon

Will you be picking up Leah Raeder’s Cam Girl? What do you think of that description? So compelling! And isn’t the cover just beautiful?

Many thanks to Atria Books for allowing me the opportunity to help spread the word!

It’s Cover Reveal Time: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

I’m so thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Leah Raeder’s new novel, Black Iris. If you couldn’t tell from my post entitled “My Book Soul Mate: Unteachable,” I am very fond of Raeder’s first novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Black Iris! Here’s a description of the book, which releases on April 28, 2015:

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for. If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate. She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own. But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help. Which was the plan all along. Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true. She’s going to show them all.

And now, the part you’ve all been waiting for: the cover reveal!

blackiris

BOOK DETAILS:

Atria Books | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781476786421 | On sale: April 28, 2015 | List price: $15.00 | eBook ISBN: 9781476786438 | eBook list price: $5.99

Isn’t it gorgeous? So bold! I know I’d pick it up off the shelf based on just the cover alone. What do you think of the cover reveal? And I have one more surprise for you! Leah Raeder and the folks at Atria Books have decided to share an excerpt from the first chapter. Between this cover reveal and a sneak peak – I’ll be dreaming of this book until April 28th!

BLACK IRIS by Leah Raeder

April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot said, and that’s because it kills. It’s the month with the highest suicide rate. You’d think December, or even January—the holidays and all that forced cheer and agonized smiling pushing fragile people to the edge—but actually it’s spring, when the world wakes from frostbound sleep and something cruel and final stirs inside those of us who are broken. Like Eliot said: mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. In the deepest throes of depression, when sunlight is anguish and the sky throbs like one big raw migraine and you just want to sleep until you or everything else dies, you’re less likely to commit suicide than someone coming out of a depressive episode. Drug companies know this. That’s why antidepressants have to be marked with the warning MAY CAUSE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS.

Because what brings you back to life also gives you the means to destroy yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Leah Raeder is a writer and unabashed nerd. Aside from reading her brains out, she enjoys graphic design, video games, fine whiskey, and the art of self-deprecation. She lives with her very own manic pixie dream boy in Chicago. Visit her at LeahRaeder.com.

(You can also follow Leah on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I do all of these things, because I am an unabashed fangirl.)

Has your curiosity been piqued? You can pre-order Black Iris at the following websites: AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionIndieBoundUK LINKS: AmazonBarnes & NobleWaterstonesFoylesKoboAppleGoogleAUS LINKS: AppleAmazonGoogle. (Don’t worry… we have all you readers covered!)

Are you looking forward to reading Black Iris? I think it sounds like an incredibly unique addition to the new adult genre. I’d love to hear your thoughts below. I also want to give a huge thanks to the people at Atria Books for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the cover reveal for one of my most anticipated books of 2015!