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Monthly Archives: November 2014

Book Review: Unexpectedly Yours by Melody Grace

Sophie Young has been dreaming about the perfect Christmas in New York ever since she was a kid. But when her boyfriend bails on their romantic trip for two, she finds herself stranded in the city on Christmas Eve, with only a holiday-hating smooth-talking, utterly sexy stranger for company…

Rock-star Austin Kelly is fed up with Christmas – he’s more interested in who’s going to be cozying up under the mistletoe. But when his little black book comes up empty, he finds himself on a whirlwind tour of the city with the most unlikely partner in festive fun…

The snow is falling, but things are definitely heating up inside. And by the time the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve, there will be plenty to celebrate with old friends and familiar faces back in Beachwood Bay.

A heart-warming, sexy new stand-alone holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Melody Grace!

My Review

Let me just say, I have I missed the Beachwood Bay Series. It was so, so good to be back there again. Unexpectedly Yours was the perfect novella to get me into the Christmas spirit. Unexpectedly Yours was a quick and easy read that gave me everything that I have come to expect and love from Melody Grace.

I fell in love with the story and the characters from the first page. I couldn’t read fast enough. If you’re a Beachwood Bay fan like I am, then you understand why I was so greedy to keep reading. This series always gives me the perfect blend of romance and angst. And Melody Grace never disappoints. My only complaint was that I didn’t want the story to end. I know this review is short, but this book speaks for itself. I loved it! Bottom Line: Christmas + Beachwood Bay = Super Happy Reader 🙂


*An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review – Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

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WOW! wow wow wow. Bad Romeo put me through the emotional wringer from start to finish and I absolutely LOVED it. It was a true romance in every sense of the word, both heartbreaking and swoon-worthy in equal parts. But beware – it is pretty angsty. I am an angst lover so this suited me down to the ground. 

“My body is against his, and my hands are in his hair, and every single reason I should stay away melts as our mouths open to each other. It’s rough and desperate and full of passion I don’t want to feel. But this…this is where all the best memories of him live.”

The story switches back and forth between the past and the present day. The past tells us the story of how Cassie and Ethan met and came to be, and the present day revolves around their reconciliation after a period of around three years. I LOVED following their journey from the beginning and getting to experience those first precious moments of when they met, as well as all of their trials and tribulations along the way. 

Cassie and Ethan first meet in acting school, where they are cast as the star-crossed lovers in Romeo and Juliet. Sparks fly and tensions rise between them until they finally beak through the barriers they have set in place and fall into a passionate relationship. Cassie is a sweet girl with a positive outlook on life, and Ethan is a typical bad boy with a huge chip on his shoulder. Bit by bit they fall madly and deeply in love, until Ethans issues come to the surface and tear them apart leaving Cassie a devastated and heart-broken shell of herself.

Three years later they are once again on-stage playing young lovers, however, this time it is Cassie with the issues and Ethan is the one determined to make up for his past mistakes and win back Cassies love. It may be too little too late for Cassie though who struggles daily to cope with the gaping hole Ethan left in her heart.

“I want things to be different. If you want me to apologize, I’ll do it until I lose my fucking voice. I just want things to be right between us. Talk to me. Help me fix this.

“You can’t.”

I absolutely LOVED how well the author has captured the tension, heartbreak and passion between Casssie and Ethan. I could feel every moment and was completely absorbed in their story. Angsty? Yes, but it is also such a beautiful and believable story of young love and loss, and how to cope when the person who crushed you beyond repair suddenly reappears in your life. 

Bad Romeo is Part One of a two part book series and it DOES end on a cliffhanger (I know, I know), but trust me; you want to read this story. Lovers of romance everywhere will be a puddle of emotion on the ground by the end of it. Book two, Broken Juliet, is out in April 2015, so not long to wait. And I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of Cassie and Ethan’s story. 

*ARC received via Netgalley


Blog Tour: True Blue by Jules Barnard

True Blue by Jules Barnard
The Blue Series, #3
Publication Date: November 17, 2014
Genres: New AdultRomance


Mira Frasier has worked hard to pull herself out of the darkness of her Tahoe reservation childhood, but rough beginnings shape a person in all the wrong ways. Mira gets mixed up with shady people while trying to bail out her destitute mother—and now Mira’s life is in danger.

Tyler Morgan grew up a star athlete and scholar, but a tragedy he hasn’t dealt with has him regrouping in his home town of South Lake Tahoe. The last person he expects to see is Mira, the girl he lost his virginity to in high school, and the only woman who ever took a piece of his heart. He’d rather live in a tent than do what his sister asks and stay with Mira while they figure out how to keep her safe from the men who attacked her.

To ensure Mira remains in his past where she belongs, Tyler agrees to look out for her temporarily until she’s safe enough to move out on her own. And if he has to push that process along by snooping around and figuring out what she’s hiding, he’ll do that too. Only, Mira is still beautiful, and she’s feisty as hell, and she has all his attention—just like she did six years before.

Mira is driving Tyler crazy, the tension between them off the charts while they’re trapped under the same roof. Something is going to crack. Will it be Mira’s last hold on a haunted life, or Tyler’s self-control around the one girl he’s never been able to get over?

True Blue, The Blue Series #3 


Nook: Coming Soon



Deep Blue, The Blue Series #1 (FREE)






Blue Crush, The Blue Series #2





About The Author

Jules Barnard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Davis, whose college landscape often finds its way into her New Adult novels. She has a Master’s degree and spent many an hour running statistical analysis, until she realized her favorite part of the job was writing reports. She decided to cut out the math and add in some hot guys, and so began her career as a novelist.

Jules is a Northern California native living on the coast with her husband and two children. She has no impulse control around cupcakes and credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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Black Friday is known for it’s amazing sales and this year, 14 authors have joined together to bring you a .99 cent sale of SO MANY BOOKS! Check them out below then get to one clicking before the prices go back up!

Vicki Green:

Cheri Lasota:

Adrianne James:

K. Aybara:

Tessa Teevan:

Jill Cooper, Royale:

Jill Cooper, Apocalypse:

NL Greene, Begin:

NL Greene, Twisted:

Heather Allen:

Jen Rattie:

Carrigan Richards, Pieces:

Carrigan Richards, Under Blood:

Carrigan Richards, Under Burning:

Jessi Gibson, Harder I fall:

Jessi Gibson, The Deeper:

Heather Adkins, Motherofall:

Heather Adkins, HeavenBelow:

RL Griffin:

Dawn Pendleton:

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the states! A time when we reflect about the things that we are grateful for. I have so many things to be grateful for this year. I am grateful for my amazing husband of 11 years, my two daughters and my family. I’m grateful for all my friends near and far, who give me their support everyday. I’m grateful for my amazing partners here at Once Upon a Book Blog for taking a chance on me, supporting me and letting me do the things that I love. I’m thankful to the writing community: Their love, support and friendship has meant the world to me. Last but not least, I am thankful for all the amazing books that I’ve read and all those that have yet to be written……

What are you thankful for this year??

photo credit: Danube66 via photopin cc

New Release – The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon!

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The Law of Moses

By Amy Harmon

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon is out TODAY! I have been looking forward to this release for awhile so I’m ridiculously excited about this. Our friend, Kris, over at Pretty Words Book Blog was lucky enough to read an advance copy of The Law of Moses and she has been teasing me with amazing little tidbits of information. This book sounds EPIC.

One of the themes in this story is ‘Five Greats’, which is basically five things that are great about today & life in general. Such positivity! I love it so much that I’m going to share my Five Greats with you guys. Here goes –

1. My children. They are the greatest things in my life. 

2. Books. I can’t imagine not being a reader. Reading brightens up every day!

3. …which leads my to my ‘Book Buddies’. I have a few awesome book buddies that I can talk and talk to about books and it never gets old! Charm (BFF) and Amy (of course), but also Kris (Pretty Words Book Blog), Kay (we met on Twitter and now she’s stuck with me). Thank god for Whatsapp 😉

4. New Zealand. Decent public education system, decent health-care system, no giant-ass man-eating spiders, no snakes, and best of all….we have Richie McCaw. Reow!

5. Blank Space by Taylor Swift – that song is my JAM! 


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.

Add to Goodreads: 


Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.
Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Run-ning Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Best-seller, A Different Blue, Making Faces and most recently, Infinity + One.  
Her newest book, The Law of Moses releases November 27, 2014.

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Book Review – The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

ARC Received from Netgalley

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

This book was a very welcome surprise for me. I knew it was a historical YA type read. I knew that it focussed on America amidst the women’s suffrage movement and I hoped it was really going to grab my attention. And thanks to very clever writing it absolutely did!

Olivia is the daughter of a dentist father, is supposed to be the perfectly behaved young lady that society expects her to be… She is also book smart and is a progressive thinker. She strives to be a part of the movement that intends to earn women the same rights as men and is enamoured with the changing tide of what is expected of women. She is, in so many way, the epitome of a teenager… She is just the 1900 equivalent to our modern day teens. These days we strive for our children to question everything, we encourage independent thought and tell them that they can do anything. However this was not always the case and if there is one thing this book does very well it’s that it reminds us to remember just how far we’ve come and what’s at stake if we become complacent.

I am a history buff, I love a good historical read, so this book was always going to catch my interest. However this book has something more than that, a point of difference that really makes its presence known. The very mysterious hypnotist Henri Reverie manages to bestow on Olivia a very unwelcome gift. Resulting in not only her seeing things ‘the way they really are’ but seeing them with so much gruesome detail that suddenly there are fangs, yellow eyes and evilness personified at every turn. THIS detail. THIS part of the story is what pushes this book into the ‘something special pile’.

At the very basis of the story it is a fictional telling of a young females experience during the time where women were fighting for their right to vote. For their right to be heard. For their right to fight to be equals. What the author has done so cleverly is write it in a way that it’s an accessible history lesson, rich in descriptive supernatural elements. This story is a story that makes me proud to be female, proud of where we’ve come. Education and entertainment wrapped so perfectly together you don’t realize where one ends and the next begins, definitely a ‘must read’.

The Cure for Dreaming

By Cat Winters

photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin ccphoto credit: national museum of american history via photopin cc