Friday, November 30, 2012

The Very First Bite by Cynthia Langston



Title: The Very First Bite
 
Author: Cynthia Langston

Publisher: Cynthia Langston

Published Date: August 8, 2012 

Buy on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle 

Author Website: http://www.cynthialangston.net





Synopsis:

The Very First Bite chronicles the toils and triumphs of Lanie Albers, who has just ten weeks to mentally and physically prepare for the ultimate day of reckoning: her high school class reunion. 
With twenty pounds of extra weight, a dead-end job and a boyfriend who won’t commit, the prospect of revisiting old classmates has Lanie reeling with panic. Not to mention the loose ends she’ll finally have to face, like Chad, her first love, for whom she suspects she might still have feelings. And Candace, her lifelong best friend, who abruptly ended their friendship seven years ago with no explanation. 
By examining the ghosts of her past, Lanie begins to prepare for the revelations and confrontations of the big night. She also launches a desperate campaign to lose weight: an uproarious battle with fad diets and disastrous workouts, most of which lead her right back to the cookie jar.


My Thoughts:

Cynthia Langston's The Very First Bite is a fun and entertaining novel that many women will easily relate to.  Every year across the United States, women receive their High School Class Reunion invitations.  When Lanie received hers in The Very First Bite, she immediately felt a mixture of excitement, dread, curiosity, and depression.  Excitement and curiosity to see where her old friends (and enemies) were in life, yet dread and depression knowing that she is still somewhat single with no engagement in site and 20 pounds overweight.  With ten weeks to go, Lanie decides that she is NOT going to be that loser that everyone gossips about to make themselves feel better.  She is going to lose that pesky 20 pounds that snuck up on her and dress to impress everyone.  Lanie's life may not be perfect on the inside, but she wants it to seem like everything's great to those she reunites with.

My hunch is that many reading The Very First Bite will see something of themselves reflected in Lanie.  Cynthia Langston really does a terrific job in making Lanie the poster child for every lady that has self esteem and body image issues.  Lanie is desperate to lose her belly jiggle and fat rolls, and will do just about anything to get rid of them.  She quickly flies through diet after diet that all ends badly.  How many reading this has tried fad diets?  I have to raise my hand!  Atkins- check.  Weight Watchers- check.  Hydroxycut- check.  Slim Fast- check.  When nothing else works, hitting the gym for exuberant amounts of time and pain- check.  All the while congratulating yourself with a bowl of ice cream for doing well that day.  Crash diets are all the rage these days.  Nobody wants to make a permanent lifestyle choice that will lead to weight loss and healthy living, they instead want a quick plan that will leave them looking like Jennifer Lopez in two weeks.  You can admit it, I know that you've been there!  And because you know what I'm talking about, you are going to LOVE Lanie and her various dieting catastrophes.

At the Very First Bite is not just about Lanie's war with food.  Cynthia Langston creates wonderful friendships for Lanie. Throughout the book, Lanie flashes back to her high school days with her bff Candace and boyfriend Chad.  College and miles broke up her courtship with Chad.  Years later, Lanie still views him as 'the one that got away.'  Lanie hopes to see him at the reunion (rumor has it he is divorcing) and knock his socks off.  

Candace is another story altogether.  Lanie and Candace quickly became inseparable as teenagers.  Throughout grad school they shared an apartment together.  However, one day Lanie arrived home to a cleaned out house with all of Candace's belongings gone.  No bye, see ya later, nice to know you, or explanation was left.  For seven years Lanie has wondered what went wrong and why Candace lost interest in their friendship.  The Class Reunion is a way for Lanie to show Candace that she is doing just fine without her...even though the wound remains fresh.   

Cynthia Langston's The Very First Bite is a witty and funny story about one women's struggle with life in general.  I definitely recommend it and dare you not to laugh and cringe at Lanie's crazy antics!  



Cynthia Langston


Cynthia Langston has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, The Very First Bite, for the purpose of review.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren



Title: How I Came to Sparkle Again
 
Author: Kaya McLaren

Publisher: St. Martin's Press


Published Date: October 2, 2012 

Buy on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle 

Author Website: http://www.kayamclaren.com/index.htm





Synopsis:

Set in a Colorado ski town, Kaya McLaren's How I Came To Sparkle Again is a remarkable breakout novel that chronicles three people and their journey from loss to love; heartbreak to hope.

Three people at the crossroads of heartbreak and healing.  Three lives that will be changed one winter in Sparkle.  One tender, funny, tear-jerking novel you won’t soon forget. 



My Thoughts:
Kaya McLaren's How I Came to Sparkle Again is a heartwarming novel full of love, laughter, tears, friendships, and new beginnings.  In the throes of heartache and grief, three people that are in desperate need of healing are brought together in Sparkle, Colorado.  After all that they held dear is torn away, Jill, Lisa, and Cassie find themselves emerging stronger with their hope in humanity restored after a fateful winter in Sparkle.  Amidst all of the turmoil, McLaren does a fantastic job in mixing in hilarious dialogue and fun, memorable characters.  Before I felt things getting too heavy, I found myself laughing at the funny conversations the characters had with each other.  Kaya McLaren has quickly found a spot among my favorite authors.  By weaving together the stories of Jill, Lisa, and Cassie, McLaren should win literary gold!

Lisa is a permanent resident in Sparkle.  She knows everyone and has sadly slept with most of the single men in town.  After a particularly awkward hookup, Lisa struggles with her feelings of inadequacy and regret.  Feeling unfulfilled and dirty, Lisa decides that she no longer will participate in casual sex.  She wants to be respected, introduced to parents, and looked upon with pride.  Lisa finds herself pledging that she will turn over a new leaf.  As a sign that she is doing the right thing, Lisa wakes up the next morning with her long lost best friend, Jill, on her doorstep.

Jill is a thirty-something year old nurse who hasn't been back to her home in Sparkle for over a decade.  Focused on her life with her husband, Jill's world is turned upside down when she suffers a late term miscarriage and as a result is no longer able to have children.  To top things off, Jill then walks in on her husband cheating.  Not knowing what to do, Jill finds herself running back to Sparkle to seek solace from her uncle and best friend, Lisa.  McLaren writes about Jill, "Two months ago, she had a normal life, and now she had an unfaithful husband and a rental room in a trailer with men who peed all over everything and dogs that dragged their butts all over everything else, and she had a job working on ski patrol in the ski patrol first-aid room and another job taking care of Kate's daughter- Kate, whom she'd never really like that much but couldn't quite believe was gone." (pg 76) 

Ten year old Cassie lost her mother to Cancer four months before How I Came to Sparkle Again began.  Cassie's story really pulled at my heartstrings and made me embrace my own daughter through the story.  Cassie is an intelligent little girl who has no hope and has lost herself in grief.  Caught in a real life nightmare, the only time Cassie feels at peace is when she is sleeping...until her nightmares wake her up, which occurs nightly.  Cassie yearns for sleep because she feels that by sleeping she can escape.  McLaren described Cassie by saying she, "Surrendered again to the feeling that life would be more manageable if she was not awake." (pg 52)  Jill's path crosses with Cassie's as she begins to babysit her.  In each other they are able to find solace and strength and realize that life does go on.

I very much enjoyed Kaya McLaren's How I Came to Sparkle Again.  It is a witty, warm, and touching read that had me tearing up one minute and laughing out loud the next.  Once I started it I was NOT able to put it down!  McLaren's novel is a wonderful read for this winter.  McLaren does a great job in reeling in her readers from the start and not letting go.  If you are looking for a holiday gift to give to your best friend, sister, or mother, How I Came to Sparkle Again is the book you must give.  Not only will if fill your loved one's night with laughter, and it will also leave her loving the characters in Sparkle.  I without a doubt give How I Came to Sparkle Again five stars and I recommend it to ALL chick lit lovers!!!  Job well done McLaren!!!!     



Kaya McLaren
St Martin's Press has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, How I Came to Sparkle Again, for the purpose of review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bittersweet Seraphim & Crushed Seraphim- Released from HELL Blog Tour & Giveaway




 Bittersweet Seraphim has been released from Hell.

Satan Jack invites you to come…and indulge yourself in his journey to save the angel he loves. After running Hell for over a thousand years one foul-mouthed Seraph has changed his end game.

Even if it means destroying the universe, Jack refuses to give up on Emma. He didn’t know what love was until Emma’s skin pressed against his, the addiction to any of his other vices paling in comparison. Jack has never been a fearful man, but he gets it now. Fear comes when you have something to lose. Or someone.



Title: Bittersweet Seraphim (Sequel to Crushed Seraphim)
 
Author: Debra Anastasia


Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Published Date: November 20, 2012 





Synopsis from Back Cover of Bittersweet Seraphim:

Suffering is worst when you’re doing it alone. But Emma’s taking Hell like an angel—even though her languishing began with having her seraph wings torn from her back. Now her worst enemy lords his body and his evil desires over her while she tries desperately to remember the words to her favorite prayer. 

As Devil, Jack used to have Hell and its women humming like well-oiled machines. Too bad he’s nowhere near the place now. Stuck on Earth as a human, he must work with a ragtag team of exiled minions and half-breeds to save the angel who’s become all that matters. 

Rescuing a seraph is the plan, but breaking into Hell means letting evil things out. Once they collide, minions and angels converge in the battle of the ages: good versus evil. But which side is which? Will Jack destroy the world as he fights to save Emma, his true and timeless love, from a damnation he designed?

An action-packed sequel to Crushed Seraphim, this tale reveals—time and again—what happens when the heart’s deepest desires break free. With a story both sizzling and sensual, emotional and enigmatic, Debra Anastasia invites readers to join a battle with nothing less than love on the line.


Some Jack Links:






Title: Crushed Seraphim
 
Author: Debra Anastasia



Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Published: 2011






Synopsis from Back Cover of Crushed Seraphim:
 
How does a foul-mouthed angel end up as the last hope for all of Heaven and Earth? 

When Seraph Emma is maimed and tossed from Heaven by a rogue angel who's taken charge, she fears she'll never be allowed to return. Tasked with the impossible job of showing the self-loathing (and not even human!) Jason his worth, Emma is sure she's doomed to fail. 

Meanwhile, having wormed his way into Heaven, the corrupt Everett has trapped God in Hell and has designs on unleashing evil everywhere. Fortunately, if there's one thing Emma can't do (in addition to minding her language), it's give up. Determined to save Jason and get back to Heaven-even if it means going to Hell-Emma's plan is simple yet impossible: trick the Devil to save God. 

What she doesn't count on is the devotion and, well, humanity she finds in Jason; the spirit, hidden compassion, and raw sex appeal within the Devil; and the vulnerability of her own heart. With the help of two unlikely allies, she'll wage the battle for Heaven. But will Emma be sidetracked by a new sort of heaven along the way?

What's truly more dangerous? Falling from Heaven, or falling in love? 

Debra Anastasia has twisted a fast-paced tale of intimate relationships with literally universal impact. Rich with humor and electrified by attraction, this novel offers a playfully off-beat take on the good and evil that make up the world.



Check out Debra Anastasia's BLOG for a list of tour stops, more chances to win, and a buddy prize with crystal bracelets!

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Memories by Deanna Lynn Sletten




Title: Memories
 
Author: Deanna Lynn Sletten

Publisher: CreateSpace


Published Date: April 23, 2012 

Buy on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle 

Author Website: http://www.deannalynnsletten.com/






 **MEMORIES is a semifinalist in the Romance Category of The Kindle Book Review's Best Indie Books of 2012!**


Synopsis from Back Cover:

Michael DeCara came home from the Vietnam War a wounded man, both physically and emotionally. He tried putting his life back together, but found civilian life difficult after all he'd experienced in Nam. Raising his young daughter, Vanessa, by himself after his wife left, he found it difficult to commit to one job or one woman for any length of time. Then he met a young woman who made him feel good about himself again and who fell in love with Vanessa as well. But then a life-changing event occurred and he had to choose between his past and the present. He chose to leave without a word to the young woman, believing he was doing what was best for her. Now, years later, she has walked back into his life and he believes they may have a second chance at love-except she hates him and he doesn't understand why.

Danielle Westerly fell in love when she was only eighteen and her heart was broken when he left her without a word. Her heartache was increased when she made a fateful decision that would alter her future, and she blamed him for her loss. Years later, she is single and has built up a successful career when she accidentally runs into the man who was responsible for her past pain. Yet, their chemistry is undeniable. Can Dani give up her anger and let go of the pain of the past and fall in love again with the man she has hated all these years?

My Thoughts:
 
Deanna Lynn Sletten's Memories is a novel full of love, sadness, friendship, regret, laughter, second chances, and real life issues.  Memories begins in the present day but quickly flashes back to tell Dani and Michael's love story that took place nineteen years earlier.  Dani fell in love with an older man when she was eighteen.  Expecting happily ever after, she was devastated when Michael suddenly fled without a goodbye.  What happened next changed Dani's life forever.  

Dani was never able to get over the tragedy that occurred after Michael left and blamed him for how her life turned out.  Years later, Dani unexpectedly runs into her former lover.  While he is delighted to see her, his excitement is quickly diminished because of her icy behavior.  Determined to get to the bottom of it, Michael makes it his mission to figure out just what went wrong and why Dani holds a grudge.  Slowly, years worth of secrets, regrets, and love is brought to the forefront.  Dani must decide if she can forgive the man she has hated her entire adult life and begin a second time.

Memories deals with several sensitive subject matters.  One of which is emotional and mental affects from being a soldier in war times.  Michael was a Vietnam Veteran who never quite moved beyond that chaotic part of his life.  Decades later, Michael was still awakened with nightmares of his time in Vietnam.  Like many Veterans, Michael felt guilty for being alive when his friends perished.  He dealt with many tough emotions, including that of feeling responsible for his friends deaths and not doing enough to save them.  Luckily, Michael met a fellow vet who encouraged him to attend a Veteran's Support Group which helped him cope with pent up memories and emotions.

Memories also deals with women's reproductive issues including abortion and being unable to conceive a child.  I believe that Memories will touch a chord with many women, be it from the regret of an abortion or the pain of not being able to conceive.  Sletten does a terrific job in giving these controversial issues that women face a voice.
 
In Memories, Deanna Lynn Sletten skillfully wrote about a strong, professional woman.  Dani had a successful career and was an independent woman who provided for herself.  I love that Dani didn't need Michael.  She was successful without him, but felt complete with him by her side.  Too many novels make the heroine weak without her knight and shining armor there to support her.  In Memories, Dani was capable of taking care of herself.

Deanna Lynn Sletten's Memories is a wonderfully realistic and poignant story.  I recommend Memories to all romance lovers or fans of fiction.  Slatten does a great job in not only writing a love story but also of weaving a story full of decades full of secrets, old and new friendships, PTSD, tragedy, and forgiveness.  Memories is a touching story that will leave you fulfilled.


Deanna Lynn Sletten
Deanna Lynn Sletten has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, Memories, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stranger by Morning by Adrienne Davenport




Title: Stranger by Morning
 
Author: Adrienne Davenport

Publisher: Eternal Press

Published Date: August 1, 2012 

Buy on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle

Author Website:

www.adriennedavenportbooks.com





Synopsis from Back Cover:


An alluring combination of danger and temptation…

Since she was a young girl, impoverished Chicago resident Reese Donavon has known High born teen, Christian St. Lorraine. A friend of her cousin's, Christian has always harbored a tendency for getting himself into trouble. Still, Reese can't resist idolizing the handsome teenager. As she grows, so does her attraction for Christian.

Now a teenager herself, Reese's attraction for Christian has blossomed into far more than petty infatuation. For a time the relationship shared between the pair is nothing short of fairytale material. Until one day, having just graduated from high school, Chris goes off to college leaving Reese alone and confused.

Years go by without any sign of him. Now a reporter for the Chicago Times, Reese has spent much of her career tracking a world renowned thief known only by the sinister title “The Dark Angel”.

Unaware of the criminal’s true identity, she soon finds herself on her way to India, once more tracking the felon's activity.

A rich businessman by day, Chris has spent the past few years moonlighting as a bandit, working with the secret service in hopes of discovering the identity of the person who murdered his mother and sister. When he catches wind that the young reporter is on his trail he surprises her by sneaking into her hotel room late one night and demanding she help him in his endeavor. Now his partner in crime, she finds herself traveling from country to country by his side. She falls in love with the man who she had once sworn never to trust again.

What started out as an awkward business partnership has turned to a dangerous romance between two people who are only just learning to trust. When they come face to face with the people responsible for the murder of Chris's relatives their already shaky trust is pushed to the limit.

My Thoughts:

Adrienne Davenport's Stranger by Morning is a fast paced, suspenseful romance that will keep your heart racing.  Reese, a beautiful and intelligent reporter, fell in love with her cousin's friend, Christian, as a young girl.  To Reese, Christian was her knight in shining armor; to Christian, Reese was like a little sister.  As they grew older, Christian went away for college and left Reese behind.  In an attempt to recapture his interest, Reese asked Christian to take her to her Senior prom.  Still thinking of her as the little girl he once adored, Christian accepts, only to be shocked when he arrives to pick up a gorgeous young lady.  What follows is a teenage love story that ends in heartbreak as circumstances arise to keep them apart. 

Years pass and neither Reese nor Christian have forgotten about the other.  When tragedy strikes and fate bring the two lovers back together halfway around the world, Reese must decide if she can forgive Christian for leaving her and learn to trust in him once again.  What follows is a fast paced story that leaves you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out who the bad guy is in Stranger by Morning.  With each new adventure, Reese grows closer to Christian, yet she still keeps a protective barrier around her heart.  Once she learns the truth about Christian's past, will Reese view him in another light?  Can she learn to accept Christian for who he is?

Adrienne Davenport's Stranger by Morning is an action packed romance filled with murder and intrigue.  I enjoyed reading about Reese and Christian's shared history and what transpired when they met later in life.  Stranger by Morning also had me rooting for the two lovers to reconnect.  Davenport did a great job in keeping me on my toes by unfolding a mystery that had me guessing until the very end. 

Adrienne Davenport

Adrienne Davenport has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Stranger by Morning, for the purpose of review.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happily Ever Madder by Stephanie McAfee


 
Title: Happily Ever Madder: Misadventures of a Mad Fat Girl
 
Author: Stephanie McAfee


Publisher: NAL Publishing


Published Date: November 6, 2012 

Buy on Amazon:
Paperback / Kindle 

Author Website:
http://stephanie-mcafee.com/





Synopsis from Back Cover:

Ace has left the tiny Mississippi town of Bugtussle for the palm fronds and mojitos of Pelican Cove, Florida. She’s finally opening her long-dreamed-of art gallery, is kick-starting a life with her fiancĂ©, Mason, and has vowed to leave her straight-talking, sassy ways behind her. From now on, she’s going to be as sweet as sugar. Unfortunately, something comes along to sour her plans.

That something is Mrs. Lenore Kennashaw and her coterie of crones. They’re a bunch of snippy, snarky, and just plain mean ’ol ladies who aren’t quite as smart or rich as they’d like to think they are. But that doesn’t stop them from treating everyone else like second-class citizens. And when Ace inadvertently takes some of the steam from Mrs. Kennashaw’s stride, she becomes their number one enemy. But with the support of a new group of fabulous friends, as well as her friends from Bugtussle—and her always-faithful chiweenie Buster Loo—Ace will find a way to make it, even if she has to throw some weight around…



My Thoughts:

Stephanie McAfee's, Happily Ever Madder: Misadventures of a Mad Fat Girl is one of the funniest stories that I can remember reading.  At one point my three year old daughter asked me what was so funny and all I could do was smile because I wasn't about to explain it to her.  I recommend McAfee's book to the women out there who like to read about realistic ladies, true friendships, and the crazy dating scene.  Happily Ever Madder is an awesome chick lit novel that has it all:  laughter (TON's of it), romance, flings, true love, friendship, crazy women, and a witty storyline that will stay with you long after you put the book up on your shelf.  

Happily Ever Madder is the sequel to McAfee's equally hilarious first book, Diary of a Mad Fat Girl.  I do recommend reading Diary of a Mad Fat Girl before reading Happily Ever Madder.  This is not because you would be lost if you didn't read the first book, because you wouldn't be.  It is for the mere fact that you won't want to miss the shenanigans in Diary of a Mad Fat Girl.  I just can't sing the praises of McAfee's books enough!  Stephanie McAfee has a writing style that I adore.  In fact, her style reminds me a bit of Jennifer Weiner's.  I read both books in 2 days.  TWO DAYS!  While I am sad that I am done with McAfee's novels, I believe my husband is happy to have me back!
 
Graciela 'Ace' Jones, the main character in Stephanie McAfee's two HILARIOUS books, Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and the sequel Happily Ever Madder, is my current favorite literary character.  Have you ever 'met' a character that you wished were real?  Ace is this character for me!  She is funny, sarcastic, witty, wonderfully Southern, and an awesome and extremely loyal friend.  Need someone to lay out your abusive husband flat on his back?  Ace can do that!  Need a friend to help you stake out and spy on your boyfriend?  Call Ace!  Ace is the kind of woman that I would love to have as my best friend.  As I found myself reading about Ace and her 'Girls Nights In' I wished that I was there participating!  

Ace is a high school Art Teacher from Mississippi that left her home, friends, and job to move to Florida with her fiancĂ©, Mason (for a second time.)  After her tumultuous relationship with Mason seems to be improving, Ace sees her dream of opening up an Art Studio become a reality when Mason purchases a building for her.  However, nothing involving Ace can ever be easy, and soon her perfect life starts unraveling.  Will Ace be able to keep her short fuse under check and ride out the storm, or will her true nature win out and destroy everything in her path?

Stephanie McAfee struck gold when writing about Ace and her friends in Diary of a Mad Fat Girl and Happily Ever Madder.  If you are looking for a laugh out loud funny read, PLEASE do yourself a favor and read these two books!  I am crossing my eyes, fingers, and toes that there will be a third book in this fantastic chick lit series.  I am not done reading about Ace just yet! 




Stephanie McAfee

NAL Publishing has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, Happily Ever Madder, for the purpose of review.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

First Light by Samantha Summers







Title: First Light (Project Five Fifteen Book #1)
 
Author: Samantha Summers

Publisher: Samantha Summers

Published Date: May 18, 2012 

Buy on Amazon: Paperback / Kindle 


Buy on Barnes & Noble:  Paperback

Author Website: http://www.projectfivefifteen.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/projectfivefifteen 



GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14623488-first-light

First Light Tour Page: http://wp.me/p20ttU-ET



Synopsis from Back Cover:


What do you do when you’ve always dreamed of a hero; your knight in shining armour, only to find when he arrives he isn’t a hero at all?

... He’s a killer.

Ronnie Rose is trying to cope with the loss of her father; now it looks like she might lose everything else that’s dear to her too. Huge debts threaten to destroy her family, her childhood home and her future. Only one person cuts through her pain.

Kalen Smith has just moved to town. He’s trouble and everyone knows it. He and his mysterious friends keep to themselves and the town likes it that way.

But when Kalen mourns at her dad’s funeral, Ronnie wants to know why and her investigation plunges her into a dangerous world of murky government secrets, with deadly consequences. Ronnie knows she should walk away from Kalen before it’s too late. Problem is, she’s falling for him…

Can we choose who we fall in love with?



My Thoughts:

Samantha Summers hit a home run when writing her novel, First Light, the first book in her new Project Five Fifteen series.  It has everything a great Young Adult Literature novel needs: romance, action, mystery, heartache, and unforgettable characters that you will quickly fall in love with.  I started reading First Light with the expectation that it was just another YA novel, a good read but nothing extraordinary.  I could not have been more wrong, I truly think that the Project Five Fifteen books could be the next *it* series.  For this reason I have already begun telling my friends about this book and their need to read it!  If Hollywood is smart, they will quickly be snatching up Project Five Fifteen to make it into the next big movie franchise.

Samantha Summers' First Light takes place in Clanots Ocean, an hour train ride from London.  Ronnie, short for Veronica, lost her father after a long illness.  In the midst of her grief at the funeral, Ronnie notices a strange teenager paying his respects to her father from a distance.  Glad to have something to distract her from her crumbling life, Ronnie wonders who the boy is and how he knew her father.  After running into each other more than once, Ronnie befriends the troubled Kalen and his group of dangerous friends.  Ronnie quickly realizes that there is more to Kalen and his friends than meets the eye, but this doesn't stop her from falling in love with Kalen (all the while being discouraged by her sister Rachel and best friend Mae.)

Kalen shares with Ronnie that he and his friends Denver, Laith, Nash, and Ace were all plucked from US orphanages at a young age.  But instead of living happily ever after with a new family, it was a secret branch of the US government that adopted them.  The government raised them to be nameless assassins, sending the boys all over the world to do their dirty work.  However, once Kalen found out the agency's plan to have the boys killed before they turned sixteen, he and his fellow assassins fled.  Once Ronnie learns the truth about just who Kalen is, she will have to decide if their love is strong enough to hold them together through the storm that is quickly building.      

I absolutely loved the relationship between Kalen and Ronnie.  They definitely hold their own against other famous YA couples such as Edward and Bella (Twilight) or Rose and Dimitri (Vampire Academy.)  The difference is there is no paranormal happenings in First Light.  Other than Kalen and Ronnie, the other character that captured my heart was young Ace.  At just fifteen years old, Ace is the most innocent and optimistic of the group.  Never having experienced a true family life, Ace loves the feelings of normalcy he has when around Ronnie.  Through Ronnie, Ace (and the others) are able to have home cooked meals and decorate for Christmas, things they never thought they would have.

I most definitely, without a doubt, recommend Samantha Summers' First Light to all YAL fans.  You will truly fall in love with Ronnie, Kalen, and the other boys in his unit.  I am now anxiously awaiting the news of when the next book in the Project Five Fifteen series is coming out.  Trust me, I will be first in line to purchase As You Were.  Watch out world, Project Five Fifteen is about to take over!




Samantha Summer
Samantha Summers has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, First Light, for the purpose of review.