Book Baristas Turns ONE! →

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Happy 1st birthday to Book Baristas!

To celebrate the one-year blog birthday, the BB team has relaunched and redesigned the blog! We will no longer be posting on this WordPress blog, although it will still be up. If you are subscribed to this site, feel free to unsubscribe and subscribe to our new site: bookbaristas.org. Let me know what you think of the new site!! Tweet/comment/email me your thoughts, I’d love to hear (read?) them!

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It’s insane to think that just 365 days ago, this blog was only starting out. Since then, I can actually say that blogging has changed my life. I’ve met so many amazing people –authors, bloggers & readers. I’ve gained two phenomenal contributing writers who have fab taste in reading. I’ve read tons of incredible stories and have had the pleasure and privilege of reviewing them, sharing them with my readers and friends.

If you follow me, I’d like to say the most massive thank you because I wholeheartedly appreciate your support. This blog would be just a website without its readers. So thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to read what I write.

xoxoxoxoxox,

Natasha, your main barista 😉

If you haven’t already, feel free to join the 2 giveaways I have going on right now to celebrate the blog’s birthday.

Twitter Giveaway (ends 6/5) | FB Giveaway (ends 6/6)

RELEASE DAY: Hearts in Danger Boxed Set →

Hearts in Danger RDL

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Synopsis:
Hearts in Danger, FOURTEEN stories of thrilling romance to benefit the American Heart Association. These full length, Romantic Suspense stories come from NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, AND NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS, including Sharon Hamilton, Roxanne St. Claire, Paige Tyler, Lynn Raye Harris, Elle James, Carolyn Crane, Cheyenne McCray, Nina Bruhns, Misty Evans, Susan Stoker, Parker Kincade, Mandy Harbin, Megan Mitcham, and Barb Han.

Info:
This box set was created to raise awareness for heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. It features New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors and will only be available for a limited time. It is priced at only $0.99 to make is easier to spread the word. Early Purchase Bonuses and a Grand Prize Contest are both available. Information can be found at www.heartsindanger.com

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> Hearts In Danger Grand Prize Giveaway <

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |iBooks | Kobo | Google Play
Links: Blog

#5ReasonsFriday: Fair Game →

fair gameRating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Bad enough Jade Frost’s boyfriend drags her to a boring poker game. Even worse that he actually threw her into the betting pot during an intense round…and lost. Talk about the perfect excuse for Jade to make him her ex-boyfriend.

Now she supposedly belongs to the ultra rich, extremely gorgeous Shep Prescott. He could have anything he wants yet he seems to be in hot pursuit of her. No matter how rude, how snarky, how impossible she acts, it doesn’t stop him. More like her horrible behavior seems to make him want her more.

When she finds herself starting to fall for him, Jade’s confused. There’s more to Shep than the carefree rich charmer he portrays. No way could he want a serious relationship with her…or could he?

Natasha’s Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Read This Book:

  1. I stayed up past 5 a.m. reading this, even when my eyelids were begging to close and my body was dying to shut down for the night. Shep & Jade would not let me go, so I couldn’t just put the book down. I had to keep going until I couldn’t hold up my kindle any longer.
  2. SHEP. He is reason enough to read this story. He is cocky, so entirely arrogant and is 1000% responsible for my kindle almost lighting on fire. He is that damn hot. (I’m also irrevocably in love with him so my opinions are utterly biased.)
  3. I liked Jade a whole lot more than I thought I would. At times she wasn’t my favorite character, but I could get passed that when she owned up to her mistakes. She’s young, sassy, and becomes just as infatuated with Shep as I did. Because she knows Shep is a notorious player, her insecurities over why he shows an interest in her come out, but not for long. She holds her own and I loved seeing her grow more and more confident with Shep.
  4. The banter, the completely witty and clever lines, that these two share is incredibly entertaining and will keep you laughing, sighing, and gasping for air when it gets to an all-time high on the steamy scale.
  5. Finally, definitely consider reading FAIR GAME if you want an NA read that doesn’t throw too much drama on you, makes you laugh out loud and has you fanning your face because it is seriously too hot. Monica Murphy’s writing will transform you and take you on such a ride. I already can’t wait to read this again!

P.S. I ♥ this cover to pieces!!!!

Links: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Keep Up With Monica Murphy: Website | Twitter | Facebook | InstagramGoodreads | Pinterest

 

Call Sign Karma →

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Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Love in the no-fly zone…

Distraught over the loss of her brother in a fighter jet accident, Tinklee Pinkerton decides to follow in his footsteps and prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. But when she’s chosen as the first woman to fly the Air Force’s F-35, her plan for a life that revolves around work is thrown off course by a handsome, mysterious stranger…

Thanks to Locke’s seductive British accent, sweet nature, and one too many beers, Tink is soon inspired to throw caution to the wind and herself into his arms. She thinks maybe love can heal after all—until she discovers Locke is her superior officer. Tink has no problem risking her life in the air, but with everything on the line, is she brave enough to risk her heart on the ground?

Natasha’s Experience:

“Karma is how you choose to deal with life, and the energy you put back into the world.”

I finished this book late at night with actual tears in my eyes (not counting the tears I shed throughout the story). My poor heart was racing a mile a minute in the last half of the story because this isn’t your regular NA read. This is an action-packed, heart-wrenching, and steamy read about a female fighter pilot named Tinklee Pinkerton who is a fighter, through and through. Tink loses her brother to the one thing that she lives for—flying a fighter jet. The anguish that she feels over her brother’s death is so profound, my heart couldn’t bear it. She’s got so much guilt over her brother’s death that she refuses to take the time to heal.

Meeting Locke, this gorgeous, British (bless) man stirs up her world. She begins to feel, even after she swore she could never–would never—feel again.

“Falling in love with Locke wasn’t an option. I couldn’t feel that way for him. I would never get close to anyone or set myself up to feel that pain ever again.”

I loved the idea of Tink losing her control when it came to Locke. Here you had the feistiest, most badass, female MC, who goes to work with the intention of clearing her brother’s name and finally getting the blame for his death put on the jet that destroyed Tink’s life. Enter Locke and Tink is a downright mess on the inside. The fact that he is her superior officer really puts a damper on her love life, but it also puts a “forbidden” romance feel to the story.

“It was like my heart had forgotten to beat without him and every part of me needed him.”

Reading this story on true heroes really opened my eyes to all of the fighters out there putting themselves in danger for us. It’s incredibly humbling to read a story that puts you right into the action. I can’t imagine the pain and suffering these men and women go through, but I am eternally grateful for their strength. That’s one of the reasons why I loved this story. It’s not just about a girl being stubborn and refusing to accept love. It’s about a fighter who has to let go of her demons that are slowly killing  her to see that she deserves more love, more friendship, more family support and more time to understand herself.

“The will to live comes from having something to live for.”

I’m in love with Jamie’s writing style. She puts you right into the heart of the story and makes you believe you are actually flying a fighter jet (which was terrifying for me, oh god) and has you feel every single emotion that Tink goes through. The pain and suffering, the feeling of real-life heartbreak, I went through it all. Thank you, Jamie Rae, for getting me through this emotional, as well as uplifting, read. I’m so grateful for Tink’s story and can’t wait to read anything you write next!

Links: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Keep Up With Jamie Rae:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Carry Me Home →

carrymehomeRating: 4 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Love doesn’t have to be perfect to be true…

Years ago, Tanner Green loved Sunny Letman. She was meant to be his first kiss, first love, first everything. Then their world spun upside-down and out of control.

Free-spirited Sunny doesn’t do commitment. Sure, guys are great for a night or a week, but she always leaves first. That is, until professional skateboarder and town golden boy, Tanner Green, unexpectedly walks back into her life.

Despite their broken history, a fragile and undeniably electric connection still holds them together. Now Tanner has to convince Sunny that even though love isn’t always perfect, it’s worth sticking around for. . .

Natasha’s Experience:
This sweet novella was such a fun read. It had the perfect amount of steamy romance and back story for Sunny and Tanner. I was nervous about reading Tanner’s story, only because he isn’t really seen as a fantastic, stand-up guy in the Off the Map series. I’m so happy I got the chance to really get inside his head because he definitely changed my mind and had me head-over-heels in love with him!

“I’m not single, just in a committed relationship with personal freedom.”

Sunny is hilarious and quirky and kind of all over the place. She’s got this thing about her freedom and hates the idea of being tied down to someone or something. She’s an incredibly talented artist and an honest-to-god free spirit. Connecting with Tanner Green is obviously terrifying for her, but she’s not afraid to risk a little in order to get a lot.

“How can my heart be chained to this guy and still feel free?”

I loved reading into their history and seeing exactly how connected they really are. Seeing them tread lightly around each other to finally crash together was so beautiful. I loved reading about their love.

“Sunny is like her name. You can’t hope to hold sunshine. You can only bask in it for as long as it’s here.”

Lia Riley is a magician with her words. She seriously works magic every single time. If you loved the Off the Map series, don’t miss out on CARRY ME HOME.

Links: Amazon USAmazon CA | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Start from the beginning with
UPSIDE DOWN: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
SIDESWIPED: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
INSIDE OUT: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About Lia: 

liaLia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live in Northern California.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

RELEASE DAY: Flick by Abigail Tarttelin →

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Happy release day to the incredibly talented Abigail Tarttelin and FLICK!! I can’t wait to read this one!

More about the book:
FLICK (Atria Books; May 19, 2015) is funny, raw and sexy with a side of that Romeo & Juliet-like romance sure to remind readers of the excitement and angst of those gloriously messy years of young adulthood life.

After blowing critics away in 2013 with Golden Boy -an unconventional novel about the turbulent life of an intersex teen- 27-year old Abigail Tarttelin returns with her debut novel FLICK, written when she was just 19.

William Flicker or Flick is fifteen, smart, witty and trapped in a small, depressed town in Northern England. Him and his friends spend most of their days pondering the artistry behind being a stoner, or whether Pepsi is better than Coke. But the slaying monotony of a predictable future is catching up and Flick starts to wonder if there is something else out there waiting for him.

His answer comes in the form of the new girl in town, Rainbow. She doesn’t just offer a flick of hope. She hands him a full spectrum. Will she help him escape the whirlwind of drugs and violence surrounding them? Or will Flick’s loyalty to his old life make him turn his back on his shot at freedom.

Told with humor and raw honesty, in a voice “both authentic and compelling” (GQ, UK), FLICK captures an unforgettable moment in the life of a young man at the crossroads of greatness and oblivion.

Links: Amazon US | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | blio | Books-a-Million | Google Play | Kobo | Goodreads

Keep Up With Abigail Tarttelin: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

COVER REVEAL: The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey →

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GET READY! THIS BOOK IS COMING! Seriously, I’m in love with R.S. Grey, and I’m in love with her words. This cover is a killer; my heart eyes are all over it! Now I just need to get my hands on this story 😉

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Title: The Allure of Julian Lefray
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: June 29, 2015

Synopsis:

From: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com

Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all.

XO,
Jo

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About R.S. Grey:
I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday.

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m a comedy geek and love all things “funny”. Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

Facebook | Twitter | WebsiteGoodreads

Beautiful Secret →

22431039Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secretfor an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?

Lindsay’s Experience:
Christina Lauren’s BEAUTIFUL SECRET is by far the biggest breath of fresh air in a long time when it comes to mixing adorably awkward with pure, unadulterated lust. You might as well forget the regular storyline of a damsel in distress overcoming her emotional baggage with the help of a knight in shining armor. This book instead tells the tale of a knight battling his own past with the help of a young, quirky… intern? Oh, and did I mention this knight is British?

“There was something about Niall Stella that made you want to watch him. Not because he was boisterous or loud, but because he wasn’t. there was a quiet confidence about him, a way he carried himself that demanded attention and respect, and a feeling that while he wasn’t talking, he was watching everything, noticing everyone.”

Ruby Miller has spent the last six months lusting from afar over Niall Stella, a man with a high position in the office she is currently interning for, and her dreams of intimacy soon become realistic as the two travel to New York together for business matters. Over the course of just a few days, Niall finally starts to notice Ruby for the energetic, youthful spirit she is, and boy, will his cute internal monologues have you swooning!

“I wanted to trust this tumbling sensation I had near her not because the feeling was familiar, but because it wasn’t.”

Their constant subtle touches and giddiness with each other is enough to make your heart melt, but Niall comes with a past that includes divorce and no experience with passion whatsoever. This entire story is a rollercoaster of emotions as Ruby tries to help Niall open up both emotionally and sexually, but is he really ready? If you want to experience a romance full of what is possibly the most adorable shyness between two lovers that transforms into the steamiest of scenes, BEAUTIFUL SECRET is the way to go.

Links: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Keep Up With Christina Lauren:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

The Walls Around Us →

twauRating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.

On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.

Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…

What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?

In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

Alex’s Experience:
This novel was so much more than what I expected. I thought it was going to be a mysterious and suspenseful story of murder and betrayal and nothing more. I was so wrong. Along with the murder and betrayal, there’s a glimpse into the supernatural that’s written so fluidly I often had to go back a few pages to truly understand it. To be honest, I still don’t fully understand this novel, but I love that about it. It’s a story that is dark from start to finish with just the right amount of humanity woven in. The suspense teases you just enough so that you feel almost obligated to soak in every detail. Trust me, you’ll want to know all that you can before you find out what really happened between Violet Dumont and Orianna Speerling that night in the smokers’ tunnel behind the stage they once shared.

The word I would use to describe Violet and Orianna’s relationship is interesting. It’s obvious to the reader that these girls were once best friends – closer than sisters – but it’s also obvious that there is something awry. When Orianna is sent to the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center for murder, Violet turns her back on her. She testifies against her in court. She never visits or writes. She continues to pursue her dream of becoming a prima ballerina and scores a spot at Julliard. Yet it’s clear through her narration that she misses Orianna and that the memory of her conviction has haunted her ever since the guilty verdict was read three years ago. Their relationship keeps you guessing right up until their secret is revealed.

And then there’s Amber. Locked away in Aurora Hills long before the murder that sent Orianna there, she is the last remaining link between Violet and Orianna. The story alternates between her and Violet’s points of view, and hers is the one I enjoyed most. Amber gives the novel the supernatural element that sets it apart from other mystery novels. Her recollection of the events that transpired at Aurora Hills before and after Orianna’s arrival will make you go, “Wait, what?” in the best way possible. It’s confusing at times, and a lot is left up to interpretation, but that’s something I really enjoyed. I can see how some people may not, however. This novel will leave you with questions you wish you had definite answers to, and that can be frustrating.

When I wasn’t freaking out about the twists and turns of the murder story, I was appreciating and reflecting on Nova Ren Suma’s beautiful portrayal of the inmates at Aurora Hills and her commentary on the criminal justice system. These parts of the books gave me an “Orange is the New Black” kind of vibe, so if you love that show and its message, you’ll love this aspect of “The Walls Around Us.” I think it’s always good to be reminded that people who have been incarcerated are still human. Some acts are unforgivable, of course, but I think it’s useful to look at the world the way Orianna Speerling does – with your eyes focused on the good that others often can’t see.

If you love a good mystery, this novel is for you. Nova Ren Suma’s beautiful writing will grab you from the first page and won’t let you go until your mouth is hanging open, your eyes are wide, and you’re thinking, “What did I just read?”

Links: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Keep Up With Nova Ren Suma:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads