VBB Weekly – 04.27.2015

VBB WEEKLY BANNER

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Must Reads of the Week

I’m not even done with these two books and I’m already saying they are both epic must reads!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – YA Fantasy

Public Radio International says  “An Ember in the Ashes could launch Sabaa Tahir into JK Rowling territory…It has the addictive quality of The Hunger Games combined with the fantasy of Harry Potter and the brutality of Game of Thrones.” I couldn’t agree more. There is something special and utterly addictive about this book, which is penned beautifully by Tahir. The writing is rock solid and polished, the storytelling wholly captivating and imaginative.

An Ember in the Ashes introduces us to Laia, a slave girl who has lost her family save for her brother, who is held in brutal captivity. To save him, she must walk into the Empire’s notorious, deadliest military academy, where she must work for the Commandant—one of the most cunning and merciless leaders in the Martial Empire. There, she meets Elias, who strives to break free from what he’s known, but is destined for something he does not yet understand. I’m almost done with this book and I absolutely love it!

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – Historical Fiction

This book is set to become one of my most favorite and treasured reads of the year. It’s the story of two sisters who share their heart-rending experiences during World War II. Hunger, sadness, brutality, sacrifices, love, courage and so many other themes are explored. The writing is beautiful, the storytelling is deeply moving. It’s both heartbreaking and hopeful as we see the lengths these two women (and many others) go to in order to protect whom they love, to do what is right. I love that it tells another side of the war… the stories of so many women who are mothers, who are left behind, who find a brave and perilous role to play in the years during which the world seemed to fall apart. I’m listening to this book on Audible, and it’s fantastic.

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Currently Reading

Apr-28

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The Nightingale cover

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May-05

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Release Recap

(Click cover to order)

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Releasing This Week

Sweet (#3, Contours of the Heart) by Tammara Webber (Available Now)

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.
He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient; now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:
Sweet.

This is a spinoff novel which can be read as standalone.

Reading Order:  Easy | Breakable | Sweet

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Binge by Jennifer Foor (Available Now) 

binge coverFlynn & Aria Roberts have had plenty of ups and downs during their seven year marriage. Everyone warned them not to wed so young – that they’d be missing out on the key years when people grow from young adults to mature individuals.

The only thing holding them together now is their love for each other, and even that is becoming questionable. To save the marriage, and the family they’ve already started, Flynn and Aria come up with an unconventional solution to help them find what’s missing in their relationship.

The only problem is doing so involves rediscovering themselves completely, even if it requires them to be unfaithful. Can a marriage survive when vows are broken, or will chance encounters prove they’ve been missing out all-along?

Fulfill your deepest desires
Give in to temptation.

First book in a series.

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Carter Reed 2 by Tijan (Available Now) 

carter reed 2Carter bought his way out of the mafia to protect Emma, but when an old ghost returns to the Mauricio Family, a chain of events starts that can harm everyone. While Carter must decide to return to the Mauricio Family or not, a face that is oddly familiar to Emma comes into her life. She’s given the chance to discover more about her family while tension between the rivaling Mauricio and Bertal Family comes to a head in an explosive way. The truce is officially off, and when the two worlds collide, Carter’s decision is made.
He didn’t start this war, but he will end it.
He will do anything to protect Emma.

Second book in a series which should be read in order.

Reading OrderCarter Reed (Review99¢ | Carter Reed 2

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Overruled (#1, Legal Briefs) by Emma Chase (Apr 28) 

overruled coverEmma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with the first installment of the Legal Briefs series!

A Washington, DC, defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing—with his southern drawl, disarming smile, and captivating green eyes, he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him, and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.

Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.

Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart, the mother of his beloved ten-year-old daughter. Jenny is getting married—to someone who isn’t him.

That’s definitely not part of the plan.

***

Sofia Santos is a city-raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.

But when Stanton, her “friend with mind-blowing benefits,” begs her for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi, to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she’s crazy…and her heart says something else entirely.

What happens when you mix a one-stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage, and a gun-toting Nana?

The Bourbon flows, passions rise, and even the best-laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.

First book in a series.

Reading Order: Overruled | Sustained | Appealed

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The Mistake by Elle Kennedy (Apr 28)

the mistake coverHe’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Reading Order: The DealThe Mistake

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Rogue (#2, Talon) by Julie Kagawa (Apr 28)

rogue coverEmber Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?

Second book in Fantasy series.

Reading OrderTalonRogue

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Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (Apr 28)

magonia coverMaria Dahvana Headley’s soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

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Black Iris by Leah Raeder (Apr 28)
★ VBB Recommendation ★

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Unteachable, which was praised for its “lush, haunting prose, deft storytelling, and scorching sensuality” (M. Pierce, bestselling author of the Night Owl trilogy), and called “one of the best forbidden romances” (Lauren Blakely, New York Times bestselling author).

“Love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”

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.

Standalone novel.

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Hunted (#2, Branded) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki (Apr 28)

HUNTED is the electrifying sequel to the bestselling debut BRANDED, A Sinners Series, by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.

It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.

Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.

But can anyone really be trusted?

Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.

Lives will be lost.

Dreams will be crushed.

Fears will be realized.

Secrets will be exposed.

When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.

Forever.

Second book in YA dystopian series.

Reading Order: Branded (Review) | Hunted

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Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven (Apr 28)
★ VBB Recommendation ★

broken juliet coverSome loves never let you go…

Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again–the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?
Don’t miss this mesmerizing final chapter in the Bad Romeo duet, the unforgettable love story that captured the hearts of over two million fans online.

Second book in a continuing series.

Reading Order: Bad Romeo (Review$2.99 | Broken Juliet

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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Apr 28)
★ VBB Recommendation ★

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

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The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (Apr 28)

the secrets we keep cover“A girl takes over her twin sister’s identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.”

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy’s shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she’s chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy’s world.

When–after a heated argument–Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy’s death and everyone’s grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy’s life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options–confess her deception or live her sister’s life.

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The Reckoning by S.L. Scott (Apr 28)

the reckoning coverJack Dalton was charismatic.

Johnny Outlaw was irresistible.

Two sides
of the same man, passionate about two things–music and Holliday Hughes. With her intoxicating mix of strength
and vulnerability, confidence and sex appeal, he couldn’t get enough of her.

Together, love was a storm of chaos and calm. When fame became a
force to be reckoned with, could their love hold them together or would their
notoriety tear them apart?

“This isn’t how our melody goes. This
isn’t how we were supposed to play out.”

This is a follow-up to the Resistance.

Reading OrderThe Resistance 99¢ | The Redemption | The Reckoning 99¢

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Victorious by MS Force (April 28)

victoriousHe’s a sexual dominant. She’s sworn off sex. There’s no way they can make a relationship work—or can they?

After surviving a traumatic event at age fifteen and the ensuing estrangement from her family, Natalie Bryant has worked for years to reinvent herself into the woman she is today—a happy teacher fresh out of college and enjoying her first winter in New York City with her faithful dog, Fluff, by her side. Natalie isn’t expecting her life to change completely during a routine stroll through Greenwich Village on a blustery January day. But when Fluff breaks loose and charges into a park, Natalie gives chase and crashes into her destiny. Only after Fluff bites and draws blood from the man who accidentally knocked Natalie down does she realize Fluff has bitten the biggest movie star in the world.

He has no business being enthralled by the gorgeous, young, innocent teacher…
Natalie captivates Flynn Godfrey from the first moment their eyes meet while she is lying on the ground and he’s fighting off her ferocious little beast of a dog. The only thing Flynn knows for certain is if he lets Natalie get away, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. After only a short time in her presence, Flynn is prepared to change who he is to be what she needs. He knows he’s in big trouble when she says she won’t sleep with him and he doesn’t care if it means he gets to keep her in his life. But can he turn his back on the lifestyle that has defined him? Can he deny the desires that drive him to give Natalie the introduction to love and romance she so deserves? And most of all, can he keep his truth hidden from her long enough to have forever with her?

Join Flynn and Natalie as their story unfolds in three full-length books released three weeks in a row: VIRTUOUS, VALOROUS and VICTORIOUS. From New York to Los Angeles, from Hollywood to Las Vegas, Flynn and Natalie’s whirlwind love affair has it all—romance, passion, steamy hot sex, relentless paparazzi and a murder that could be their undoing.

If you hate dirty-talking heroes who put it all on the line for the women they love, who leave no desire unfulfilled, who will do anything it takes to protect what’s theirs…If elements of BDSM make you queasy, if smoking hot sex isn’t your thing, if cliffhangers make you rage, if you hate first-person points of view from the heroine AND the hero… this trilogy is NOT for you! You’ve been warned…

Erotic romance series which should be read in order.

Reading OrderVirtuous | Valorous | Victorious

Fall for Me by JC Emery (Apr 30)

fall for me emery“Just let yourself fall for me.”

Melanie Kincaid is a trust-fund baby with a knack for sassy comebacks and unnecessarily complicating her privileged life. So, of course, she would have to fall in love with a man she can’t have.
Jameson Hayes is a NYC firefighter for Manhattan’s oldest ladder company. He has big shoes to fill and a city to protect. He’s strong, sexy, and not looking for the complications Melanie brings. But he can’t stay away from her either. The attraction between them is immediate, and the pull is crazy powerful. But she’s only home for the summer and long-distance relationships never work.
Unfortunately, Melanie’s beauty and smart mouth are a lethal combination and Jameson isn’t the only Hayes who’s interested. As if his brother isn’t enough to compete with, now the city’s most famous arsonist wants to claim her as his next prize. Jameson can’t stand to watch Melanie get hurt and she can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble.

Fall for Me is the first Ladder Company novel, a stand-alone companion series about New York’s most elite firefighting family with hot alpha heroes, snarky heroines, and an arsonist hell-bent on destruction.

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ALEX AND ANI

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