Rating: 3.5 stars
Liza Sutherland isn’t looking for love. Not from a charity-auction date she didn’t even bid on and especially not with Nationals first baseman Cole Collins, the guy she obsessed over as an awkward teenager. She won’t get involved with a notorious player, no matter how attractive Cole is.
Cole Collins is up for contract renegotiation, but after too many late-night parties, he’ll need some positive publicity before he can make the roster. His agent, Frank, pitches Liza as the perfect prop…only Cole didn’t account for Liza no longer being just a teenager with a crush. She’s gorgeous and smart and he’s instantly hooked.
When Frank makes Liza a deal she can’t refuse—a bet she will fall in love with Cole or a cool half mil goes to charity—the game is on. But neither bet on the real feelings that surface. Could a fake fling turn into an official forever?
I don’t know what it is about these sports player romances, but I am just loving them. The Practice Proposal is a super cute read with great characters and a fairly predictable plot line.
I loved both Liza and Cole – while they both are very different from one another, they are very much cut from the same cloth and just belong together. Their story was very endearing.
While the plot was predictable, it was still fun to see how things would play out. It was especially wonderful when there was one thing that caught me by complete surprise.
The Practice Proposal did not have me as in love as some other sports player romances I’ve read lately, but it was still pretty good. A perfect read for someone who wants a way to spend an afternoon out in the wonderful weather.
Rating: 5 stars
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
Gosh, I just love Ally Carter‘s books. When I first heard about Heist Society back before it came out, I was excited but nervous. I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, since I just love Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series. After all this time, I hadn’t read it for this same reason. What a silly fear since Heist Society surpassed my love for the Gallagher Girls and was just an all around epic read.
Oh Hale, you are my new YA crush. What a fantastic character he was. And I love Kat – she is such a spiffy, strong heroine. I love the cast of secondary characters as well – they are all very dynamic, which made Heist Society a blast to read.
The plot is so fun – the story of a girl raised in a band of thieves? How awesome! I love Kat’s attempt to leave the family business, yet she can’t quite seem to get away. It’s a part of her and she is just very good at what she does.
I cannot wait to see more of their story in book 2, Uncommon Criminals. Ally Carter remains a favorite author of mine and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next :)
Rating: 4 stars
Reality TV scout Vivvy Marsh loves her job, but she’ll lose it if she doesn’t find a hit. When she’s sent to Kansas to scout a show, it looks like a bust…until she meets sexy pilot, Nate Harrington. His family would make the perfect show to save her career.
Nate can’t deny his attraction to Vivvy, but no way can he let this show take off. The Harrington family is riddled with secrets, and she wants it all out in the open. For the next seven days, he’s going to stop at nothing to keep her out of his family’s business, even if it means keeping her distracted in his bedroom.
Seven-Night Stand is a super cute romance between two dedicated and spunky characters.
I love the role of family in Seven-Night Stand – it is really nice to see a book where family is still the center and very much important. Seven-Night Stand also has a bit of a different setting than most romances, which was refreshing.
Both Vivvy and Nate were great together – the sparks just fly off the page and they both are so dedicated to what they do.
Definitely a great read from Nicole Helm – I didn’t want to put it down once I started.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Baltasar Infante can weasel out of any problem with a good story.
But when he encounters a monster straight out of stories one night, Baltasar faces trouble even he can’t talk his way out of. Captured by the Malleus Maleficarum, a mysterious witch-hunting arm of the Spanish Inquisition, Baltasar is put to the question. The Inquisitor demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within them to life.
Now Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the world.
As Baltasar’s journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus’s voyage westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be—and much more dangerous.
Shana Mlawski’s magical debut novel takes a fresh look at one of the pivotal moments in human history.
With Hammer of Witches, Shana Mlawski has spun a gorgeous historical fantasy that will be sure to captivate readers. By the end of the first chapter, I was completely hooked and continued on to read straight through the book.
Hammer of Witches takes my two favorite genres – historical fiction and fantasy – and blends them together, which is even more awesome in my book. It was the perfect vehicle for the story Shana Mlawski had to tell!
The idea of magic in Shana Mlawski‘s book is so neat – magic is not just magic, and she has given such power to what is generally just a regular old storyteller. I love the idea of there being magic in stories, since as a child, I was always so fascinated by them. The very real personification of that in Hammer of Witches was excellent. Witches or sorcerers are called Storytellers in Shana Mlawski‘s world.
The setting is refreshing and new – Spain during the Inquisition, followed by taking Christopher Columbus’s path West is not a well traveled path in the world of fantasy, so it was exciting to see a new place through the eyes of a talented story teller.
Balthazar is a delightful main character – he was so inquisitive and worked together well with Jinnijah, the story’s other main character. And together they encounter such a wide cast of characters and a slew of different creatures.
Hammer of Witches is a coming of age journey and a stunning debut. Books like this one just confirm why I love middle grade so much – it was delightful, fun, and tells a really great story!