I Am Pilgrim →

iampilgrimcoerRating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Can you commit the perfect crime?

Pilgrim is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation.

But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone. It is a textbook murder – and Pilgrim wrote the book.

What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruins on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

Natasha’s Experience:
If I had to choose five words to  describe this book, they would be: riveting, gruesome, thrilling, suspenseful, raw.
I AM PILGRIM is one of the greatest books I have read to date. It is completely out of my normal reading genre and I was so captivated by it. In addition to being a suspenseful read, I found the story to be really educational when it came to other cultures and religions.

Terry Hayes created these characters who are extremely loyal and courageous; it was hard to remember that they were fictional beings.  I found myself completely in awe of Pilgrim; he was braver than any character I have ever read about.

There were many secondary characters, making it hard to keep up sometimes, but each of them added depth to the story and contributed more than just a body with dialogue.

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This book was meticulously detailed, filled with so many amazing anecdotes told within the story. It was brilliantly written; Hayes did not sugar coat anything. Some parts were hard to stomach because it felt so real.

This was amazing work from Terry Hayes, I don’t doubt his talent. The story was so intricate; it’s hard to think it was a debut.

Honestly, I can’t say this enough: I AM PILGRIM is one of the best books I’ve ever read that had stories that bled into other stories, each of them coming together to form the bigger picture. Being a psych major, I kept thinking back on the Gestalt theory. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of psychology, Wikipedia states that “Gestalt psychology tries to understand the laws of our ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an apparently chaotic world.” This really rounds up what reading I AM PILGRIM felt like to me: bringing together multiple stories and ideas to form this incredible plot line that is flawlessly executed.

If you think you know what’s going on, you have no idea. Pick up this book.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Kobo

Giveaway: Two winners will receive (1) paperback of I AM PILGRIM

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SURPRISE: Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover →

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MAYBE NOT, surprise novella from Colleen Hoover, is on sale today!

You like surprises, right? Well, surprise! As you know, Colleen Hoover is the ultimate trickster, always scheming up new ways to bring exciting experiences to her fans where her books are concerned. With that in mind, we bring you MAYBE NOT, an entirely original novella, based off of the obvious connection between Warren and Bridgette from her New York Times bestseller, MAYBE SOMEDAY.

MAYBE NOT is now available in eBook format as a Thanksgiving gift to all of Colleen’s fans. Help us spread the word about this amazing surprise, and don’t forget to tell a friend that there’s a new “fun, sexy, light-hearted spin-off,” (Aestas Book Blog) ready for devouring in Colleen’s cannon of tantalizing reads.

Book Description:
When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

About Colleen Hoover:image005

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Maybe SomedayFinding Cinderella, and Ugly Love. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com

Connect with Colleen: Facebook | Twitter | Website

#MaybeNot

#ColleenHoover

Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

Atria Books | 112 pages | ISBN 9781476799841 | November 24, 2014 | $2.99

Learn more at Simon & Schuster

Order Links: Amazon’s Kindle Store | Apple iBookstore | Barnes & Noble | Blio | Books-a-Million | Google ebookstore

The Duet →

theduettRating: 4 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
When 27-year-old pop sensation Brooklyn Heart steps in front of a microphone, her love songs enchant audiences worldwide. But when it comes to her own love life, the only spell she’s under is a dry one.

So when her label slots her for a Grammy performance with the sexy and soulful Jason Monroe, she can’t help but entertain certain fantasies… those in which her G-string gets more play than her guitars’.

Only one problem. Jason is a lyrical lone wolf that isn’t happy about sharing the stage—nor his ranch — with the sassy singer. But while it may seem like a song entitled ‘Jason Monroe Is an Arrogant Ho’ basically writes itself, their label and their millions of fans are expecting recording gold…

They’re expecting The Duet.

Natasha’s Experience:
I am all about swoon-worthy musicians and down-to-earth pop stars who are actually talented.

THE DUET came through and delivered this feel-good, sexy, romantic comedy that had me giggling and sighing over Jason Monroe. Feel free to leave me in a ranch for a month with Jason Monroe, I will not object to it.

Brooklyn Heart is sassy as heck. I loved her. She is a talented pop star who prides herself on writing her own lyrics. She’s also hopeless when it comes to Jason Monroe (don’t worry, Brooklyn, I am on the same boat as you.)

Jason Monroe is this secretive, cheeky, guy made of pure talent. He needs to write a song for me. All would be well in my world.

I loved how music was engraved in this story. It wasn’t just a part of the main characters’ career. It was almost like another main character in the story. Music brought out the best in Jason and Brooklyn and the music they created was enchanting.

“A good song never felt like it’d been struck into creation by my own hands. It felt like fate had willed the song to be and I’d merely chiseled away at the clutter around it, breathing clarity into the infinite combination of sounds.”

I’m a huge fan of THE DUET. Don’t miss out on this lovely story!

Links: Amazon

Keep Up with R.S. Grey: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Website

P.S. In case you haven’t read SCORING WILDER by R.S. Grey, check out our review and get yourself a copy, ASAP!

 

Eyes Turned Skyward →

neweyesturnedskywardRating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Since her sister’s death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan, who shares her sister’s heart condition, is treated like delicate glass by her parents. But nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List—even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire.

Jagger is enrolled in the country’s toughest flight school. He’s wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general’s daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger’s biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard.

They’re flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn…

Natasha’s Experience:
Be still my beating heart.

First and foremost, Rebecca Yarros is incredible. She is a magical human being with the ability to completely captivate me with her words. I first fell in love with her writing after reading her debut, FULL MEASURES. Damn, that book still gives me chills.

Now this? Yarros did not disappoint. She’s now a part of my favorite one-click authors.
Okay, now that I’ve professed my love for Rebecca Yarros, let’s get on with this book.

EYES TURNED SKYWARD was everything I look for in a New Adult read.

Seriously, Jagger Bateman? Not cool. My standards are unreachable after meeting and falling in love with Jagger Bateman. How can I describe my love for him? He was hilarious, loyal, a great friend, and just everything I wanted him to be. He’s training to be a pilot, he’s an athlete, has a uniform, tattoos…what else do you need? And the things he says…Oh god, he owns me.

Exhibit A:
“I loved her like the tide loved the moon, vital to sustain the life within.”

I’m a mess. My heart is yours, Jagger.

Exhibit B:
“She’d become my gravity, holding me to the earth by her sheer existence.”

Okay, enough of this. I’m swooning too hard over here.

PAISLEY. Little Bird. One of my favorite heroines, EVER.
She’s got so much spunk and life and all she wants to do is complete her bucket list without hurting anyone in the process. I loved her selflessness and her character. She’s quirky and fun and such a southern belle.  She surprised me a couple of times with her honesty and I loved that. She was so well-rounded and inspiring. I’m gushing over her, oops.

Paisley and Jagger…together? They were on fire and burned together beautifully.

Okay, I really loved this book and this story and you should definitely take the time to fall in love with these characters. This book is worth it, I promise.

Links: Amazon | Kobo

While you’re at it, look into getting FULL MEASURES because it’s one of my favorite reads this year.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Keep up with Rebecca Yarros: Facebook | Twitter | Website

Bright Side →

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Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Secrets.

Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Natasha’s Experience:
This probably isn’t the smartest idea: writing a review the minute I’ve finished this book, partly because my eyes are still swollen and partly because I like to let books sink in a bit before I get down and write about what I went through. For some reason, my review is demanding to be written now so I won’t go against it.

Some books tear you apart; other books breathe life into you. Somehow BRIGHT SIDE managed to do both simultaneously.

Any book that can make me feel something is usually a favorite for me, but when books manage to leave me in a puddle of tears and empathizing with fictional characters, I know I’ve been changed by an author’s words. Kim Holden, this is where I thank you for this incredible story. I kind of want to hate you for it, but I’ll channel my inner-Kate and say that you wrote epically. This story was astounding and I feel privileged to have experienced it.

I now realize my review says close to nothing about the story itself. This is intentional. If you enjoy feeling every emotion humanly possible, then read this book. If you don’t feel like that’s what you’re into, then don’t read this book. Either way, the choice is up to you. I’m exceptionally happy with mine.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

P.S. I have this theory that your most honest review of a book can be found in your texts to your closest friends. Here you can witness my unraveling and Gabrielle’s unequivocal support. Spoilers have been marked out!

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This is us in a nutshell. Book Baristas’ raw reviews = text conversations between the book baristas. 😉

COVER REVEAL: Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker →

It’s no secret that we adore everything and anything by K.A. Tucker. She’s one of our top “we’ll-read-whatever-you-publish-because-we-love-your-words” authors and we can’t wait to show you her cover for BECOMING RAIN, the second installment in her latest series, BURYING WATER.

Becoming Rain
We are ALL about this cover.
Want to know more? Read on!

Book Description:
Luke Boone doesn’t know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he’s finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it’s not exactly legal, Luke’s never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she’s one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she’s just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast’s most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she’ll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she’ll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she’ll even want to.

US Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million |IndieBound | Apple | Blio | Books-a-Million | Google

UK Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Google | Waterstones | Foyles

And don’t forget BURYING WATER, the first book in this thrilling series…

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About BURYING WATER:
The top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface…

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound

Check out our 5-Cups-of-Coffee review for BURYING WATER here →

About K.A. Tucker:

Author Photo

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Links: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Novel Goodreads | Author Goodreads | YouTube | Pinterest | Instagram

Forgive Me →

forgivemeRating: 4 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
When two lost souls find each other, are they still lost?

Charlotte O’Brien is lost in the devastation of her parents’ death. With her foundation in ruins, she buries herself in an unlikely lover, Jason Leer.
When they’re together it’s everything, but when they’re apart it’s utterly frustrating. Can love survive when distance is measured in more than just miles?

Forgive Me is the first book in The Lost Souls Series.

Gabrielle’s Experience:
Forgive me, I am lost with words to describe how beautifully written this book is.

If you can’t handle a roller coaster of emotions and a consuming love of the soul then FORGIVE ME isn’t for you.
Those who can handle the emotions,  PLEASE READ WITH CAUTION.

Charlotte loses everything.
Jason has nothing.

Together, their souls unite as one, bringing laughter, love and tears to the reader. Jason and Charlotte’s relationship is the reason why I read. Books like FORGIVE ME give me hope that love is just waiting to present itself when the time is right. Jason saves Charlotte and Charlotte does exactly the same to him.

They share a love that everyone wants, but only some are lucky to find. Their chemistry is explosive to say the least and hard to put into words.

FORGIVE ME will break your heart and then pick up the pieces. From the first page, Eliza Freed will steal your heart and capture your soul.  I promise you won’t be able to put this book down.

I am currently trying to come up with a master plan to live in Eliza Freed’s head. I’m ready for the Lost Souls Series. Until I have another book in my hand, my soul will continue to wander.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Giveaway: Rafflecopter

About the Author:

elizaEliza Freed graduated from Rutgers University and returned to her hometown in rural South Jersey. Her mother encouraged her to take some time and find herself. After three months of searching, she began to bounce checks and her neighbors began to talk; her mother told her to find a job.

She settled into Corporate America, learning systems and practices and the bureaucracy that slows them. Eliza quickly discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It’s during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate.

She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

 

Nocte →

nocteRating: 4.5 Cups of Coffee

Goodreads’ Book Description:
Save me and I’ll save you…

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.
I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.
I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.
He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.
He has the power to destroy me.
Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.
Why? Because of a secret.
A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.
You won’t either.

Natasha’s Experience:
I love a good plot twist that keeps you up at night turning the pages of a book just because you know you’re this much closer to figuring it all out.

NOCTE delivered such an intriguing plot twist (that I’m so excited to have figured out just before it was out in the open).

Starting this book at 11 p.m. was definitely not a smart move because I didn’t end up putting it down until 3 a.m. What is sleep anyway but time that could be spent reading?

Calla Price is such a down-to-earth character who is struggling to keep her head above the water. She is 100% selfless when it comes to her twin, her other half, Finn, and will do anything she can to make sure he is okay. The bond that these two characters share is so inexplicably beautiful and I loved that I was able to experience it through both of their POVs.

Dare DuBray…Where have you been all my life???? Dare is so mysterious and dark and all I wanted to do was unravel everything that he was.

Courtney Cole did an amazing job at completely reeling me in and taking me on this insane ride. I definitely recommend spending an afternoon with NOCTE and discovering for yourself what really goes on when everything is not what it seems.

**Note: There is a slight cliffhanger, but it’s not something that really threw me off. I absolutely loathe cliffhangers and I didn’t mind this one at all.**

P.S. That cover is so on point.

Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo