Romance

The Muses Read: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Reading, Romance, Young Adult | 0 comments

The Muses Read: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

  We all are entirely aware of how I feel about dystopias, right? I’m pretty sure we should by now. Therefore, we all know that when I get the opportunity to get my grabby hands on an interesting dystopia, I’m all in.   Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch Blurb:  Perfection comes at a price. As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury. Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating. But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death. For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow. Find at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble Muse Kristen’s Thoughts PERFECTED is a light, well paced read – which is a refreshing take on YA dystopia when you think about it. Ella has one purpose – to be a perfect pet. Once the congressman purchases her, she realizes that perfect is subjective. Even little details of what she was taught, like calling her owners “Master”, aren’t accepted here – so how can she know what is right, and what is wrong? How can she continue to be perfect? The last pet was returned due to a flaw – and Ella fears that any small mistake could cause the same for her. We were to understand that our new owners would think of us as an investment, and we needed to spend our lives making sure the investment was worth it. You’ll find yourself asking some of the same questions as Ella – occasionally before her. What are pets really made for? What should be accepted and what shouldn’t be? I found the characters to all be pretty unique. Ruby – the youngest child that Ella belongs to – is my particular favorite of the family, but they each have their own depths. Several even surprised me – possibly even more than they surprised Ella. The romance is light, yet realistic. In a way, this is part of what helps Ella to grow – which I guess, makes sense. It’s often someone else who is a catalyst for our growth. One thing that I thought really unique about PERFECTED is that it wasn’t the typical case where the heroine knew from nearly the beginning what was wrong with the society. Ella was created for one purpose, so how could she know any different? We literally get to watch her learn every little thing about the present day society, which is pretty fascinating. This does weaken the knowledge of the society a little, as we only knows what Ella knows – which isn’t necessarily a lot. I’d have loved to know more about the law that makes pets...

Read More

WILD AT HEART by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 in Jen Meyers, Reading, Romance | 0 comments

WILD AT HEART by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

Well, well, well. If it isn’t my absolute favorite new novel series with a new release! I know. I feel like I’ve been shouting about the Untamed series from rooftops, but let me tell you. It is fantastic! In case you need a reminder of how much I love it, I did a post on it here, and here, and here. Oh, and there may or may not have been a million tweets too. Today at Pen & Muse, Kristen and I are slipping on our cowboy boots and doing a happy dance because we are SO excited that WILD AT HEART (Untamed #4) is out! About Wild at Heart *Warning… contains spoilers since this is #4 in the series* With his dad hell-bent on destroying him, Dare’s life hangs in the balance. Fearing the worst, Reagan rushes from Paris to New York, hoping to get to him in time, only to find their entire world collapsing around them. The threat is too real, risk too high, death too possible. Unfair doesn’t even begin to cover it. Two wild hearts that belong together, trapped in a world trying to break them apart. But a love this strong has to survive…doesn’t it? Get your copy now! Wild at Heart on Amazon Wild at Heart on Barnes and Noble Wild at Heart on Kobo Learn more about The Brothers Wilde series The Untamed Series blog Untamed series on Goodreads Follow the Awesome Authors Victoria on Facebook Victoria on Twitter Jinsey on Facebook Jinsey on Twitter And if that isn’t the bees knees, did you know that the first book in the series, Untamed, is completely FREE right now? Yep. You can get it here. I’ll be counting down the days until my birthday in August now, because book #5, REBEL ROUSED, comes out shortly before it on August 12th! Happy friggen birthday to me! Happy Book Birthday Jinsey and Victoria! Congratulations on a most fantastic book series!...

Read More

Review: Out of Control by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014 in New Adult, Reading, Romance | 0 comments

Review: Out of Control by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

Just in time for the summer heat and the 4th of July fireworks, we have an astonishingly sexy read for you that is sure to set your skin ablaze and send out sparks of their own. Muse tested and Muse approved. Frankly, I’m not entirely sure how I’ve lived my life this long without this series. Have you heard of it? It’s  OUT OF CONTROL by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green. Can someone please make this a movie or a tv show or something? K THX BYE.   About OUT OF CONTROL Three years have passed since Dare Wilde walked out of Reagan McKinley’s life. Three years of radio silence. Three years of regrets.But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now, at twenty-two, Reagan has big plans to change her life, and it all starts with a trip to Europe. Instead of heading into Harvard Law like her parents had planned, she’s crossed the ocean to follow her dreams in the art world. Her dreams. For once.A chance meeting in Paris brings Reagan and Dare face-to-face again, but is it serendipity…or penance? A chasm of unspoken hurt stands between them, but they can’t fight the passion they have for each other. And now that she’s found Dare again—the one person in this world who makes her feel whole—she doesn’t want to let go. Problem is, she may not have a choice.Two parts. One whole.Together…they’re out of control Thoughts on OUT OF CONTROL Yep, Jinsey and Victoria have done it again—ruined my life with this new installment of OUT OF CONTROL. How, you ask? Besides playing with my emotions and leaving me wanting more of Dare, I was so completely obsessed with this that I didn’t want to do anything but read. Dinner? It could wait. Work? What work? Shower? I could handle being smelly. I literally didn’t want to do ANYTHING but read this delectable installment #2 in the Untamed series. I swear to God, they are writing geniuses and a perfectly formed writing team. This story tears at heartstrings. When Dare smiled, I was smiling. When Ree cried, I found my lower lip trembling. When Dare stood up for Ree, I found myself cheering out loud and fist bumping the bewildered people around me. Damn you Jinsey and Victoria for giving me ALL the feels. At one point, the main character admires Dare’s artwork. She praises him for being able to create art that she can almost hear, taste, smell, and touch. So now it’s my turn to applaud Jinsey and Victoria. Thank you for creating such artistic mastery that the words swirl alive off of the page and dance along my senses and my heart. I have, once again, fallen completely in love with Dare and the bond that Dare and Ree have. I’m just a girl, standing here with a novel, asking the two main characters to fall in love. OUT OF CONTROL is the 2nd novel in the Untamed series and it might just be my favorite yet. Well, I don’t know, the original image of Dare sitting on his motorcycle is also pretty hard to shake but…either way, Jinsey and Victoria have outdone themselves again. OUT OF CONTROL is perfect for fans of Gossip Girl, Sex in the City, Nicholas Sparks, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and even Sons of Anarchy. It may seem like an odd combination, but there always seems to be the perfect mixture of emotions, love, romance, secrets, and general badassery that if my mind wasn’t already blown by the first installment, it would be blown right now. If you do not read this...

Read More

The Muses Read: ASPEN by Rebekah Crane

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Reading, Rebekah Crane, Romance, Writing, Young Adult | 0 comments

The Muses Read: ASPEN by Rebekah Crane

It’s time again – time to wish a happy book birthday to one of our own! Muse Rebekah Crane’s ASPEN releases today! That’s serious business, so you know what that means. … We’re breaking our the Taylor Swift gifs. *Note: If you have do not have the  unfortunate problem of having once given me your phone number, I explain all emotions via text in T-Swift or New Girl gifs. Because gifs sometimes are waaaaaaaaay easier to express all the feels quickly.   Bonus:   Aspen by Rebekah Crane Blurb:  One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake. In the next instant, her life changed forever. Aspen doesn’t want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels. Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to. A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.   Find it at: Amazon      Muse KJ’s Thoughts Aspen’s life is a series of accidents. But no, don’t freak. By the technical definition of accidents, so is everyone’s. Except one accident became THE accident – the car accident where she lived and Katelyn Ryan died. Suddenly she’s the girl everyone wants to get a look at, and all she’s trying to do is cope with life post accident with an capital A. What happens when your mom spends most of her time high, and all of a sudden friends of the dead girl either love you or hate you? Haunted by the visions of a dead girl, Aspen knows there’s something that she can’t remember about that night. The night Katelyn Ryan died. But there are more important things to think about. What to do after high school. How her best friends are probably going to be in different places, and nothing will be the same. What to do when the one person she’s falling for is exactly the last person she should be associated with. ASPEN is a complex read – bringing humor into dark and edgy topics. Death. How people cope differently. Family. Love. Friendship. Complicated relationships. All of the characters are quirky, believable, and utterly realistic. For such a complicated topic, this read is a breath of fresh air. Yet again, it’s another of Rebekah Crane’s books that I cried during. Other’s Thoughts ASPEN is equal parts laugh-out-loud funny and heart wrenching and will bring you full circle in the experience. – Muse Riki The story line is compelling- especially if you’ve had moments in your teens years where you felt like hiding the truth (and who hasn’t?).Crane’s dialog is beautiful and magnetic. It’s real and humorous. It hits hard at times, but there’s always that humor to bring you back- a key ingredient to those tough trials of life. – Indie Muse Cara Vescio Aspen is one of those books...

Read More

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Reading, Romance, Young Adult | 0 comments

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Remember our big announcement a little while ago? Well KJ has been working with Jaimina from Kidnapped by Fiction – our Book Blogger Grasshopper -behind the scenes, and today we welcome  her to the site! So, please give a warm welcome to Jaimina with her first book review on Pen and Muse!   The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Blurb: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable Find it at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble Muse Jaimina’s Thoughts Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Last year, I hit a dead end in my life. I found myself overcome with disappointment and despair at my failure to accomplish the writing goals I’d set for myself years earlier as a fresh-faced university graduate. The lack of direction in my career weighed heavily on my mind. Inspired by my newfound state of melancholy, I read The Bell Jar, which left me feeling further desolate and suffocated, as though I were trapped under a bell jar of my own making. Upon reaching the book’s conclusion, I felt a desperate desire to immerse myself in a world of optimism and possibilities. Enter Jandy Nelson’s debut YA novel, The Sky is Everywhere. Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker is reeling from the tragic death of her charismatic older sister Bailey whom she adored. No longer able to bask in Bailey’s shadow, Lennie becomes the main player in her own life when she finds herself juggling the affections of two boys. Joe is the new guy in town, an exuberant musical maestro. Toby is her sister’s boyfriend who shares her grief. One helps her escape her heartbreak, whilst the other comforts her through it. As Lennie struggles to come to terms with her sister’s passing, she recklessly throws herself into an affair with Bailey’s boyfriend. Toby is her closest connection to Bailey and the only one who understands the full extent of her misery, so you can almost forgive her for her indiscretion. But for me, the novel was all about Joe Fontaine, with “a face so animated”, whose blinding smile and infectious enthusiasm for life shone through the page. Perhaps it was my own melancholic state that drew me to a story about loss, but this book turned out to be so much more than that. Jandy Nelson’s eloquent, heartrending words painted a picture so vivid of Lennie’s sorrow that they subsequently broke my heart – I wonder why bereaved people even bother with mourning clothes when grief itself provides such an unmistakable wardrobe. The talented author then slowly pieced my heart back together again with her beautiful...

Read More

Review: Untamed by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Reading, Romance | 0 comments

Review: Untamed by Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green

I was delighted when I caught wind of The Brothers  Wilde series from Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green. What is The Brothers Wilde series? It’s a collection of four different stories, told through episodic novellas, kind of similar to watching an episode of your favorite show on television. In fact, Jinsey did an excellent blog post about the series that explains more here. But the quick and dirty of it is that there are several Wilde children that we get to meet. In fact, here’s the list (pictures courtesy of Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green) of each book series in The Brothers Wilde collection. Today, I’ll be reviewing Untamed. I’ll admit, the Untamed series sounded fantastic. And sexy. And like something I’d really enjoy reading. But what I didn’t know was how much I’d really love it. Because I loved it… a lot. What I love about this series is that we don’t just get to fall in love with one Wilde family member. We get to meet all of them through the series of episodic novellas. It’s fun to meet the whole family. In fact, I wish more novels / novellas out there would do things this way. In the first novella titled Untamed, we meet Dare (insert swoony sigh here). Here is what it’s about. Untamed Rich, beautiful, and wild, Reagan McKinley has everything she needs…but nothing that she wants. That is, until she spends one hot night in the arms of sexy, unbridled Dare Wilde. She’s a girl trapped in a rigid world she desperately wants to escape, and he’s an untamed artist with an attitude, hell-bent on freeing her—body, mind, and soul. But Reagan’s life is not her own, and Dare is not welcome in it. She can’t include him in her carefully-controlled, extremely public lifestyle…and yet she cannot give him up. Will a shared passion for art—and, increasingly, each other—be enough to keep them together? Or will it be the thing that ultimately tears them apart? What I Thought About Untamed   Untamed is a sexy, smart read that will make you laugh, blush, and desperately want more. Hands down, Untamed is the best novella I have ever read. The pacing was excellent, the dialogue was smart and witty, and Dare Wilde melted my panties off within five seconds of meeting him. The characters are multi-dimensional and yes, though it is a romance, it’s so much more than that. It’s not like the normal romance novels I’ve read where I want to gouge my eyes out halfway through. There is no stupid dialogue. It is not unrealistic. It is quality all the way around. I love that the main character is rich, but not satisfied. I loved that Dare was in control but not creepy controlling (like SO many other romance novels out there). I loved their dynamic, especially contrasted with their families. In fact, the Wilde household reminded me a little of my family, with the teasing and bickering. It’s exceptionally well-written. I can’t express that enough. I love that Jinsey and Victoria put a lot of thought into the themes of this novella, as I loved the arty themes floating through this book and the foreshadowing pieces they expertly placed throughout the pages. I love that these characters don’t settle. I love that they are flawed. The authors, Jinsey Reese and Victoria Green have stated that this episodic series should be like an episode of a television show, giving you a snippet into the world of the Wildes, while leading you towards a bigger story line. Though it was book one, I felt like...

Read More