Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Do You Pick What Books You Want to Read? #Discussion #ReadingTastes #ReadingTips

I don't know about you all, but for the most part, I have a pretty good handle on knowing what I like to read. Because of that, the majority of the books I read end up being 4 or 5 star reads for me on Goodreads. Of course, every once in a while, I do get a book that I expect to love, and then when I go to read it, it falls flat or there's just something that rubs me the wrong way. For the most part though, I love almost every single book that I read! :)

I thought that today I would tell you all how I pick what I'm going to read, or what I use as the deciding factors on whether I want to add a book to my ginormous (and ever-growing) to-read pile! 

So, how do I pick what I want to read? 

Sometimes it's pretty easy. I look at the cover, read the blurb, and just KNOW that I'm going to either really enjoy or love a book. Other times, I have to look into a book a bit more, and then I'll decide if I want to take a chance on a new book. 

I do have a few main things that I look at to help me decide though.
 I'll list them below. :) 

THE COVER

The first thing that I use to pick out books is definitely the most judgmental one...and it's the one that breaks that rule that so many people have. I judge books based on their covers. Yes, I do, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Now, I don't use the cover to actually decide if I'll read a book, but often, the cover is what initially catches my eye. So, covers usually draw me to books, and I know I'm not alone in this. There's a reason covers are so important, and it's because they really do make a book stand out.

I find this is even more important to me now than it was than before I started blogging. I read more ebooks now, and when I'm looking for new ebooks to try, I find that the cover is extremely important. When ebooks come up as recommendations or in lists, there are just so many to choose from that the ones with the best covers always catch my eye first...ALWAYS! And even in book stores, with so many books all over the place, a shiny cover can definitely draw me in.

THE BOOK DESCRIPTION

Once a cover has captured my eye, or if I'm looking at publisher catalogs where sometimes there aren't any covers yet, I'll take a peek at the book description. The book description is usually my deciding factor.

There are certain elements that I know I'll love in a book, so if it has those, it usually goes on my list IMMEDIATELY! For example, I know I love romance, so I tend to gravitate towards books with at least a little romance. I also know I love fairy tale retellings, and I love Pride & Prejudice, so if a book has either fairy tale or P&P elements...I'm usually on board right away. Sometimes though, I do like to mix it up, so I'll go for a classic or I'll go for a humorous book, or I might go for something literary that is completely different from what I typically read.

The biggest thing I look for is a story that intrigues me though. If the book description doesn't catch my attention, then I usually pass on it. Sometimes I'll go back and revisit it if I see that some of my friends really enjoyed it, but for the most part, if I'm pretty sure I won't like something, I just move on.

EXCERPTS

If I'm checking out a new author for the first time, or if I read an author's previous book and didn't absolutely love it, sometimes I look for excerpts or check out the previews available on Amazon or the samples on Kobo to see if I'll like a book. If I'm drawn in right away, I usually end up buying the book that day, but if I've spent a little too much money on books lately, I'll add it to my wishlist and go back later.

I always find that excerpts or samples are the best way to check out a book and a new author if you're unsure! Personally, I can be a bit picky with how dialogue is written at times. If there's a popular book that has me intrigued with a unique way of presenting dialogue, I'll often check out excerpts to see if I'd enjoy it...or if the style would drive me crazy!

REVIEWS / RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the best parts about blogging is that you usually make a few friends or follow bloggers who have extremely similar reading tastes to your own. I have a few friends and bloggers whose recommendations I ALWAYS pay attention to. However, sometimes even with similar tastes, I might end up loving a book that one of my friends didn't like, but it's always nice to have someone whose opinions can help you decide if you want to read a book.

For me, I usually use this method when I've been hearing very mixed things about a book...that way I check to see if people with similar tastes to my own have been loving or hating it...and if they're hating it, and I've checked out a sample and didn't like it either, then I'll pass on a book. I also love to check out Goodreads reviews for this same reason. :)



So, those are a few of the different ways that I decide which books I should read.

Now, some tips for you!

I think the most important part is that you have to learn what kind of books you like

If you keep trying to read books in a very specific genre and you just hate them all, or if you've read five books by one author and couldn't stand any of them...well, I think it's time to decide that those books, that genre, or that author just aren't for you. And that's okay! Not every person will like every single book. We're all different, and we all have very different reading tastes.

You need to trust your judgment and choose books that interest you. If you don't like the biggest best seller at the time, that's okay! If you don't like classics, that's okay, too! Don't let anyone else's opinions make you feel bad about what you do like to read. It's okay if you don't like the same books as other people, so if you find a series, a genre, or an author that you love, but someone said something judgmental about it...ignore them! Read what you love! :)

Look for books that catch your attention, and don't be afraid to try something new! There are just so many books out there, and more are published every single day, so there really isn't any sense in reading what you don't enjoy when I'm sure there are TONNES of books that you WILL enjoy! So, go find them! :D Try new genres, read excerpts, and check out reviews! Do what you need to do to find books that you love to read, and soon enough, you'll get to know your reading tastes better, and you'll find that you're actually enjoying every single thing that you read!



How do you pick what you want to read?

Do you have methods that help you choose?
Or, do you tend to just pick up whatever catches your eye?

And what do you think of my methods?
Do you do them already, or are you going to try them out?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Overtime (Assassins #7) by Toni Aleo



Overtime (Assassins #7) by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins Series #7
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a eARC to participate in the blog tour!
Release Date: Already Released!
Number of Pages: 543


Description from Goodreads:
Down and out with an injury keeping him away from the game, Assassins’ defenseman Jordie Thomas lives for the blades of his skates on the ice and the feeling of oblivion off it. With no choice but to heal, he’s forced away from the sport that runs through his veins. With everything at stake and darkness setting in, he quickly finds himself spiraling even further out of control. As his life begins to come crashing down around him and his contract with the Nashville Assassins on the line, he’s given an ultimatum. Ready or not, Jordie is forced to face his past, the fears that consume him, and the one woman he let walk away.

Kacey King had her professional dreams come true, yet her heart was battered and broken. With an Olympic gold medal around her neck, she’s ready to look forward to the future but without the one man she wanted in it. She’s missing the key pieces of her heart she left months ago with the only person who was capable of destroying it, causing her to falter in all her plans to move on.

In the game of life, there are winners and losers, and neither Jordie nor Kacey want to be on the losing bench. If only Jordie could convince Kacey he’s a changed man and that he wants her right by his side as his MVP for the biggest and best parts of a life they build together. With emotions running high and the game on the line, can two proud people find happiness with each other, or will their hearts and souls be left in the cold? Will they see that sometimes having someone by your side who knows the good, bad, and broken is better than going it alone and losing everything through the back of the net? They are out of time on the game clock and fighting for the win of their lives.

But overtime was made for an Assassin like Jordie.
PURCHASE ON AMAZON
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Toni Aleo is the author of the Nasvhille Assassins series: Taking Shots, Trying to Score, Empty Net, Falling for the Backup, and Blue Lines.

When not rooting for her beloved Nashville Predators, she’s probably going to her husband’s and son’s hockey games and her daughter’s dance competitions, taking pictures, scrapbooking, or reading the latest romance novel.

She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, two children, and a bulldog. Read more about Toni here.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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MY REVIEW

Oh, Jordie, Jordie, Jordie! *dreamy sigh!* Sorry, Jordie's pretty irresistible so I just had to take a moment to swoon over him for a bit. ;)

I've been smitten with Toni Aleo's Assassins series since book 1, and with Overtime being the 7th full-length book in the series, my love hasn't diminished at all...instead it's grown, and grown..and grown!!! I especially love getting to see my favourite characters in each book as new characters have their stories told!! I really just love seeing them all get their happy stories!!! I won't say endings though because I'm always happy to see more of them in future books! ;D

If you can't already tell, I absolutely LOVED Overtime! I loved that Jordie and Kacey have a history, and that their relationship is so complex, but most of all, I loved how passionate they were about each other. I loved how when it really mattered, their love for each other made them stronger and helped them push themselves to be better people! :D I also loved how passionate they were on their own. None of the other Assassin leading ladies have been big hockey players themselves, but it was pretty neat to see Kacey being just as extreme into hockey as Jordie was. :)

Jordie is probably the darkest main character out of all of the Assassins players yet. He has a troubled past, and he faces a lot of challenges in Overtime. I was frustrated with him for pushing Kacey away, just like she was, but I was also so proud of him for getting better. I loved seeing him face his past, his problems, and his issues head on. He really shaped up in and made changes in his life to be a better man, and it was wonderful to see. While Kacey didn't have to overcome nearly as many obstacles as Jordie did, she did have to overcome her insecurities and learn to communicate, especially when her pride got in the way. Once Jordie and Kacey finally started talking and working together it was so awesome to see their relationship bloom!

Overall, I loved Overtime! It was sexy, full of wonderful banter and teasing, and it was an absolute pleasure to read. When Kacey and Jordie reunite, they do it right, and you don't want to stop reading for a minute! I'd recommend Overtime, and the Assassins series to sports romance fans, but also to fans of romances that are complex, real, and take a little bit of work. Jordie and Kacey definitely aren't perfect, but they make they work together to keep their relationship strong, and they themselves become stronger because of it. If you haven't started this series yet, you really should, it's definitely one of my favourites! :D

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GIVEAWAY

TO ENTER FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW: 


YOU CAN FOLLOW THE REST OF THE OVERTIME BLOG TOUR, HERE: http://gcrpromotions.blogspot.ca/2015/07/overtime-by-toni-aleo-adult.html
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What do you think?
Does Overtime sound like your kind of book?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Inside Game by Collette West

Source: Received an ebook from the author as a beta reader, and a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Already Released.
Number of Pages: 277 (Kindle edition)
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Description from Goodreads:
Third baseman Drake Schultz is the undisputed bad boy of the New York Kings. So it's no surprise when Major League Baseball suspends him for taking performance-enhancing drugs. Furious with their superstar, the front office issues an ultimatum: either work with their sober companion or kiss the rest of his quarter-billion-dollar contract goodbye. Cocky and arrogant, Drake resists being saddled with a live-in babysitter—even one he's insanely attracted to.

Drake is Eva Sloane's first celebrity client as a substance abuse counselor, and she knows she's in trouble when he starts tempting her at every turn. The way he looks at her is as hot as sin, but she refuses to become his new drug of choice. Slowly, she helps him realize he has to face the demons from his past and heal his tortured spirit before he can even think about satisfying any craving he has for her.

MY REVIEW

I was lucky enough to be asked to beta read Inside Game and I am so thrilled to have gotten the chance to read it! Inside Game was an amazing story, and I'm thrilled that Collette West chose it to be the next New York Kings book! :)

Drake has always been the New York Kings player that I've been unsure of. He's definitely sexy, but he hasn't been the nicest guy in the previous Kings books. I wasn't really sure how I would feel about his story and I didn't know if he would win me over, but boy did he ever!!! I loved finally getting to see behind the front that Drake showed everyone. I knew that his story had to be complicated and dark, and it really was. Collette West has written a wonderful story for him and she's made my feelings for him do a complete 180! I went from greatly disliking him to loving him, and I'm so proud of him now!!! I loved Eva, too! She was such a wonderful character and I loved her strength! I also absolutely loved Eva and Drake together! They really brought out the best in each other, and I loved how they communicated with each other. Their honesty was wonderful to see! :D

I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite of Collette West's books because I've loved them all, but Inside Game was amazing!!!! I loved Drake, Eva, and I especially loved seeing Drake recover and finally allow himself to be loved and be happy!!!


I am a HUGE fan of Collette West's New York Kings book, and I would absolutely recommend them to any contemporary romance fan, especially if you love sports romances...which I totally do! ;) Her stories are full of amazing characters, and I love how she writes relationships. They have so many dimensions, and I love that she always makes sure that her couples either communicate well, or learn to communicate well together! Her books are definitely some of my favourites and I can't recommend them enough. You don't necessarily have to read them in order, but if you want to read them in order of release, it goes Night Games, Game Changer, Game On, Perfect Game, Inside Game...and next in line will be Game Winner! ;D If you're thinking about reading them, I definitely think you should try them out! :D

What do you think?
Do Inside Game and Collette West's other New York Kings books sound good to you?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review: Perfect Game by Collette West

Source: Received an ebook from the author as a beta reader, and a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Already Released.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Description from Goodreads:
For New York Kings' first baseman Scott Harper, scoring women is easy. He's ready to get naked anytime, anywhere. But when a hacker leaks his nude selfies, he's unprepared for the scrutiny his full-frontals receive.

Carrie McKenzie has a love-hate relationship with her body. No longer the fat chick guys can ignore, she wins the job as the Kings' clubhouse reporter. With her svelte new figure, she nabs an exclusive interview with Scott to get his take on the scandal.

However, the two are already on a first-name basis after Scott came on to her in the hotel bar, and she woke up in his arms. The problem is that Scott doesn't do relationships and Carrie doesn't date jocks, yet the way they burn up the sheets is deserving of more than just a one-night stand.

Scott shows Carrie that he has a sweet, caring side beneath all the swagger. But can she really trust her heart to the biggest player in the game?

MY REVIEW

I meant to have this review up MONTHS ago, but I got distracted with my online classes, and didn't end up posting it, so finally, here is my review for Perfect Game! :D

I've been a big fan of Collette West's sports romances ever since I read Night Games and Game Changer, and with each book, I fall more and more in love with the New York Kings! Just please, don't ask me to choose a favourite because I don't think I can! :P

I was soooooo excited to read Perfect Game, so when Collette West asked me to beta read it, I jumped at the chance!!!! I absolutely loved every single moment of it during the beta read, and when I reread it after its release, I loved it even more! ;D

One of the things that I love most about the New York Kings, apart from the sexy athletes, is how realistic the relationships are. They're not perfect, but they aren't all dramatic like a soap opera either. They're real, they take work, and the characters learn to communicate and be together. Scott and Carrie were an amazing couple! Scott is pretty much the biggest player...and by player, I mean off the field, out of all of the New York Kings, so it was fantastic to see him settle down! ;)

I loved seeing Scott and Carrie both grow and challenge themselves, but I really, really loved them together! They have AMAZING chemistry, and their banter was always hilarious! They were also on fire...and couldn't keep away from each other, which I loved! :D I also just loved seeing both Scott and Carrie let themselves take a chance on the amazing relationship that they could have...especially Scott! It was great to see a sexy player like him meet his match. ;D

I also really loved how in Perfect Game, we saw a bit of the behind-the-scenes stuff for the New York Kings's office. It was interesting seeing the owner, manager, and team dynamics, and I loved seeing Scott and Carrie figure out how to make their relationship work. I also loved both Carrie's sister, Alex, and Scott's brother, Bob, too. And as always, it was great seeing the friendships between the team members and their significant others. I'm always a fan of seeing the couples from the other books pop up!

Overall, I absolutely loved Perfect Game! It was sexy, funny, and a wonderful story! If you like sports romances or even just regular contemporary romances, I think you'll love this one!! :D

What do you think?
Does Perfect Game sound like a book you'd enjoy?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: A is for Abstinence (V is for Virgin #2) by Kelly Oram

Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Already Released!
Number of Pages: 204


Description from Goodreads:
Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under his skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.
**** I don't mention any spoilers in my review, but if you want to check out my review for V is for Virgin, which A is for Abstinence is the sequel of, you can find it, here: http://burningximpossiblyxbright.blogspot.ca/2013/03/review-v-is-for-virgin-by-kelly-oram.html. ****

MY REVIEW

I've been meaning to read A is for Abstinence for forever, but something always seemed to get in my way...classes, work, but I was looking through my kindle, saw it listed, and couldn't resist Kyle and Val any longer! Once I started reading, I absolutely couldn't put it down, and I definitely wish that I'd picked it up sooner!!! :D

I was a HUGE fan of Kyle and Val after reading V is for Virgin, and after reading excerpts before the release of A is for Abstinence, I was desperate for more! I'm so glad that Kelly continued Kyle and Val's story! A is for Abstinence was absolutely PERFECT, and I loved it! :D

At the start of A is for Abstinence, it's been four years since Val and Kyle have parted, and we get to see them have one heck of a reunion! I loved seeing Kyle and Val grow, and seeing them get to know each other was fantastic. They always had the best banter, and teased each other in such an entertaining way, but I really loved getting to see them connect in a more meaningful way. Their chemistry was intense, and I loved that they weren't just challenging each other in this one. They were communicating and working together to make a relationship work, and that was wonderful! I also loved getting to see Kyle's point of view!!! He definitely has a lot of layers! I'm also a big sucker for the musical aspect of his character; he's just so dreamy! :D

Overall, I absolutely loved A is for Abstinence! I think you could definitely read it as a standalone, but I think you'd enjoy it wayyyyy more if you read V is for Virgin first because Kyle and Val have some EPIC history. I'd recommend V is for Virgin and A is for Abstinence to readers who love contemporary romances that have wonderful characters with great banter and chemistry, and to those who love books that cover some topics that aren't always mentioned in young adult, like abstinence, virginity until marriage, and adoption. :)



Have you read V is for Virgin or A is for Abstinence yet?
Any Kyle Hamilton fans out there?
And if you haven't read it, or any of Kelly Oram's other books, does it sound like something you'd like?