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Monday, September 1, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #17: Kiss of Deception by Mary E.Pearson

Title: Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: July 8 2014
Publishing House:  Henry Holt
ISBN: 9780805099232
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan. 

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in traditon and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive - and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets - secrets that may unravel her world - even as she feels herself falling in love.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Lia flees on her wedding day with a bundle of stolen documents and her maid. She doesn't want to have any part in the arranged marriage she's forced into and throws duty aside in favor of her freedom. But Lia never really thought of the consequences that would surely follow her shunning of an arranged marriage with a possible political ally and she's going to have to man up and figure out how to fix the mess she's created. Runaway princesses, assassins, princes and a war that's just waiting to happen.

When I first started the book I was like well, okay. I can't begin to understand the pressure that comes along with an arranged marriage so let's give Lia the benefit of the doubt. It's not hard to imagine yearning for a life elsewhere when you're forced into marrying someone you've never met. It was kind of annoying that she'd shirk duty over the chance of finding love but hey, I'm not going to judge. Much. 

Things started to get annoying when the love triangle was introduced. Enter Rafe and Kaden. One's a prince and the other assassin. Lia doesn't know who they are and assumes that one is a merchant and the other a fisherman (if I'm not mistaken). She spends an inordinate amount of time brooding over which boy she wanted and this goes on for around half of the book. Dances, boys, working at the inn, boys, getting attacked by a bounty hunter, more problems with boys. Ugh. She spends a lot of time complaining about being loved and wanting to love and finding love. Please. Stop. 

Also might I add that Lia is kind of an idiot? When she manages to meet up with her brother and he tells her of the trouble brewing between Morrighan and Dalbreck and the marauders who want to conquer the two kingdoms she responds with surprise. SURPRISE. I mean did she not stop and think that maybe there was a reason for the political marriage? That maybe it was a way to get two kingdoms who were at odds with each other to form an alliance against the invaders? I mean Lia! Come on! And all for what? An imagined love? 

Thankfully, somewhere along the latter half of the book Lia grows a spine, realizes that she's a princess and she has duties to her people and her kingdom and finally -FINALLY- gets with the program. Better late than never. This is where things also started to get exciting and it got back to being FANTASY. Because really mooning over boys and watching them wrestle on logs over mud was kind of boring (and stuff like that doesn't only happen in fantasy books). I wanted action and angst and epic battles and magic! Maybe there wasn't exactly much of an epic battle but at least the latter part of the book rekindled my faith in the story with the twists and turns it took and that ending! Mmmmm.

I'd have given this book a higher rating if the first half was as exciting as the second but I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. Hopefully it gets better and Lia puts away boys for a moment and focuses on saving her kingdom first. What's the use of boys if you're all dead.



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Okay so I might not have been that into Kiss of Deception when it started but I'm definitely into it now. I'm not a huge fan of the green tine to the book but hey, it's still a pretty cover. So here's a nail set inspired by the book. Which wasn't the easiest set to paint and involved a lot of blood, sweat and tears. (not really) Enjoy!

If you want to check out more book inspired nail art not featured on the blog, head on over to my TUMBLR or my INSTAGRAM

Nail polish used:
OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

The book.

I tried painting Lia on my middle finger. Not sure if I succeeded but at least my nail polish matches the book.

All five nails. I'm attached to the florals, I love how they turned out.

Sorry, I was trying out different hand positions.

I match with the book. Yes or no?

Anyway, that's all for today. Hope you enjoyed this mani! I need to brush up on my painting skills.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Authors for CCHS

A Literary Fundraiser to Benefit Rare Respiratory Disorder

Lydia Kang's Control
(Image courtesy of
Authors around the country have come together to raise money for Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS), a rare, life-threatening disorder that affects breathing. The initiative is spearheaded by author and physician, Lydia Kang, whose debut novel, CONTROL, features a protagonist with CCHS.

"When I wrote CONTROL, I wanted to create a heroine who faced struggles that readers don't always get to see,” says Kang. “After the book released, I wanted to bring a focus back to the non-fictional heroes--the children with CCHS and the people who champion them."

The funds raised will go to the Center of Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics, or CAMP, a program run through Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. There, With sophisticated diagnostic testing and pioneering research, CAMP provides individualized services for these patients referred from 50 different countries and conducts research aimed to maximize their quality of life.

Since this disease primarily affects children, it’s fitting that most of the authors participating in the fundraiser write for children, tweens and teens. Donors will receive thank you gifts ranging from bookmarks and stickers, to three and five book bundles, to a character name in an upcoming book from one of the participating authors. Everyone who donates $50 or more will be invited to participate in a virtual VIP party with the participating authors.

The group hopes to raise $5000 or more and the fundraiser runs through September 20, 2014.

"I've been so grateful for the authors who have donated so selflessly,” says Kang. “The CCHS community needs research dollars, so every effort to raise funds and awareness is a huge help."

Related links:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Mean Girl Apologies by Stephanie Monahan

Title: The Mean Girl Apologies
Author: Stephanie Monahan
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: June 2, 2014
Publishing House: Entangled
ISBN: 9781633750210
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via NetGalley


You know that catchy song you keep hearing on the radio? It's about you.

Natalie Jamison has spent five years trying to forget the girl she was in high school: popular, pretty... and, okay, mean. Now in her twenties and living once again in her small town, she's right back where she was: following Queen Bee Amber and keeping secrets from her best friend, Sarah. 

Secrets like Jack Moreland. 

Everyone knows Jack Moreland - his new album, "Good Enough", is everywhere. He's famous. Impossibly handsome. Completely untouchable. But what none of Natalie's old clique knows is that in high school, Natalie and Jack fell in love. And their secret relationship was incredible, painful - and earth-shattering enough to inspire an entire album. Facing friends and enemies isn't easy, but Natalie will go to great lengths to prove she is good enough - to her friends, to herself, and most of all, to the small-town boy turned worldwide heartthrob she never forgot.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Never in Natalie Jamison's wildest dreams did she ever imagine she'd be going back to the tiny town she grew up in. And just when she thought she left high school behind, it seems that her old clique is still in town, and one of them in particular, is just as awful as she was back in the day. Jack Moreland, however, is on his way to the stars. But his heart? Just as shattered as Natalie left it. When a chance meeting reunites the two old flames, Natalie must decide whether she'll let other people's opinions trump her own feelings.

While Natalie never always approved of Amber's mean girl antics, she nevertheless was part of the popular girl clique. And Natalie knows that if you want to stay in, you have to act in. Jack Moreland? Definitely not in the clique, but definitely in her heart. But Natalie's insecurities always end up pushing Jack further and further away, until all that's left is their relationship in tatters.

While I did like the concept of two old sweethearts reuniting and realizing that the spark was very much still alive, I didn't feel as giddy as I expect I would when Natalie and Jack were together. Sometimes, there are chance novels that make you just want to smoosh the romantic characters together because all they need is a proper snogging to make them realize their true feelings because they obviously are very adorable and go together as soundly as bread and butter. But Jack and Natalie didn't have the kind of electrifying chemistry that I liked in my romance, which was kind of a bummer.

I did like how Jack was a bit wary about where this new, older version of their relationship would go, seeming as he was always the one fighting for the both of them back when they were younger. It then left things up to Natalie to face on her insecurities and slaying her own dragons (read: Amber, that evil, nasty little two-faced troll). 

The Mean Girl Apologies is okay, but not as magnetic as I made it out to be in my head. Truthfully, I have read about five or six books in between reading this one, just to shake things up a bit.