Tracie Puckett is an award-winning stage actress, an international bestselling author, and a frequent patron of her local library branches. Tracie spends most of her daytime hours writing, reading, and daydreaming... and romance is always the name of the game! In the rare occasions when she's not playing matchmaker to fictional characters, you can likely find Tracie zooming down the hills of Ohio's greatest roller coasters!
Webster Grove, Book 5
Upon her arrival in the familiar town of Webster Grove, Steph takes on a directing position for the high school drama production – putting her in very close quarters with a man who hasn’t quite forgiven her for her long absence.
Sade on the Wall
on Nov. 21, 2012
My (in a super little nutshell) synopsis:
Sade and Jackie are best friends; they’ve grown up in the same town, lived on the same street, and have been best friends for most of their lives. But when Sade feels her friend slowly slipping away, she desperately reaches out with hope to decipher Jackie’s incredibly cryptic behavior. Suddenly, Jackie isn’t coming to school. She’s ‘hung over’ day after day. She’s ditching their regularly scheduled girls’ nights… and that’s just scraping the surface of her odd behavior. And Sade isn’t the only one who’s noticing. The kids at school are talking, but Sade doesn’t want to believe it’s true. But the more she sees, the more she learns, and the more people talk, Sade can’t help but wonder if she’s lost her friend to those little, colorful pills and nighttime raves.
Now, my review:
I love reading across many genres, and it rarely happens that I run across a novel that stands out among the rest. But this one is an exception. “Sade on the Wall” is especially unique (for several reasons).
1. Drama. The drama in this book is unlike anything you’ll find in most young adult novels. Sade and Jackie are dealing with serious (and unfortunately realistic) struggles that threaten their friendship, their safety, and their lives. While the challenges they face are overwhelmingly emotional, there are small glimpses of hope in every page you turn. There’s a wonderful balance to this story—not too much drama, not too little… just enough.
2. Relationships. The relationships in this book are unique—and I’ll refrain from saying much about the dynamic of Sade’s family. It’s something you’ll need to explore (and enjoy) on your own. In the end, it was just refreshing to read a realistic take on the modern family.
3. Support. With every good drama, the protagonist needs incredible support. Sade found the comfort and strength she needed in many characters, but mostly in her brother Corey (my favorite character). It was unclear at the beginning what kind of part Corey would play in this story, but it became increasingly clear (with every page) that he would be the ultimate confidant and friend.
4. Romance. Okay, okay. That’s a bit of a stretch. But there is a little bit of a romantic interest sparking between Sade and a boy in her biology class. Being a dramatic story, I didn’t expect to find this kind of relationship. But, I did. And I’m glad I did. I loved how he brought out the best in Sade with his quirks, charm, and goofy one-liners. There was nothing incredibly special about him, but Sade thought so—and that was enough to make me root for them. In the end, he really steps up and carries Sade through her pain.
5. Friendship. We’ve all been there. We’ve also had those relationships that threaten to emotionally destroy us at any given second. We love our friends, want the best for our friends, but sometimes their decisions weigh too heavily on our conscience. That’s what Jackie was to Sade; a best friend, but a burden. If you had a childhood best friend, you’ll find something about Jackie and Sade’s relationship that reminds you of yourself (and relationships with others).
6. Sade. She’s a character that comes to life right before your eyes. From the first page to the last, Sade is developing. She’s growing. Her loyalty is probably the most admirable thing about her, but it’s also her Achilles heel. What did I love most about Sade? She’s the perfect protagonist. She’s perfect because she’s not perfect. She comes with her own set of faults and problems, and it’s impossible not to root for her.
In the end, I smiled. I laughed. I cried (my poor Kindle was soaked!). This is definitely a book for the young (or the young at heart). It will grab you and touch you on so many levels.
Final note: A quick look at my past reviews on Amazon will reveal that I am big Elizabeth Barone fan. I am hooked on her ‘Sandpaper Fidelity’ series, so when I read that she was releasing “Sade”, I was anxious to get my hands on it. Though I am a loyal fan, this was an honest, unsolicited, and unbiased review. This review is nothing but my honest, heart-felt opinion. Well done, Liz. “Sade” will stay with me forever.
Secrets of Lunar Falls
on Jan. 30, 2015
This is my favorite Lashell Collins title to date. This book was a risk for the author (although that’s not apparent in this novel for even a split second). Somehow Collins writes as though she’s been writing paranormal for her entire career. Funny enough, though, one look at her backlist will prove that paranormal is far outside the realm of anything she’s ever written. Yet here she is—pushing the limits, discovering new and hidden talents, and proving once again that there’s really no sub-genre of romance that she can’t conquer.
So this is book one in the Lunar Falls trilogy, and I’m in awe of this series already.
Let’s begin with the hero. Gabe. Ah, Gabe! *takes a moment to swoon* He’s a winner. Hands down. He’s truly the ultimate Alpha male, but he has this incredible sensitivity to our heroine that is simply breathtaking. I loved everything about him. The reader gets to spend a great deal of time inside Gabe’s head, and I admired how well Collins orchestrated his thoughts. While sometimes sexual and possessive, I never once felt offended or put-off by his intentions, thoughts, and/or actions. The author handled everything about this character flawlessly.
Carly, our heroine, is badass to the core. She knows who she is, what she wants, and she's not afraid to speak her mind. I love that she can hold her own; this sets her miles and miles apart from most of the female protagonists we encounter in romance nowadays. She’s independent, but not stubbornly so. She has her place in the world… and she owns it. Plus, she’s a pet owner (to one very lovable creature!), and her relationship with Lobo speaks volumes about who she truly is on the deepest level. She's motherly, kind, and big-hearted. She’s everything I love to see in a heroine, and she’s everything I wanted for Gabe (and vice versa).
In the end, I love that Collins leaves the reader with a serious element of mystery. This makes for an exciting wait for the second book. I’m already questioning characters and their motives, and I'm sensing that Carly's backstory is going to eventually blow us all away. I’m anxious. I am SO stuck in this world, and that’s a GREAT sign that the author is doing something right! This book is a perfect mix of paranormal and romance… but more to my liking, it’s a perfect mix of lighthearted and dramatic. To say that I’m eager for part two is a vast understatement. I’m dying. I need it … like, yesterday.
Final note: I have a serious crush on (supporting character) Joe.
[Purchase and Review Information]
1) Rating: 5/5 Stars
2) Did I pay for it?
Yes. Paperback ($12.34 USD) and Kindle pre-order ($0.99 USD).
3) Would I recommend it? Yes, a hundred times over.
4) Would I read it again? Absolutely.
5) Disclaimer: This was an honest, unsolicited, impartial review.
Lies of Lunar Falls
on Jan. 30, 2015
Wow. I’m still at a loss for words after reading this most recent novel by Lashell Collins.
Just like the first in the series, Lies of Lunar Falls is packed with mystery, secrets, and startling revelations that will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the bitter end! The romance between Gabe and Carly only intensifies as their relationship grows, and Collins does a masterful job of balancing Gabe’s love life with his many responsibilities around Lunar Falls. The characters grow. Relationships strengthen. Lunar Falls begins to see some much-needed change.
I’m eager to get my hands on the final novel in this series (and finally get the answers to my burning questions!).
I highly recommend this second book in the series. If you loved the first one, there’s no doubt you’ll devour this second installment in a heartbeat!
Again...wow. Just wow. What a powerful story of love, trust, and conflict. Truly moving. Five stars, hands down.
[Purchase and Review Information]
1) Rating: 5/5 Stars
2) Did I pay for it?
3) Would I recommend it? Absolutely!
4) Would I read it again? Yes.
5) Disclaimer: This was an honest and unsolicited review.
Final note: I’m still crushing (hard) on Joey Koontz. ☺