We are in the final days of May, and that means that school is almost out and summer days are just around the corner. I have always loved summer. There is something wonderful about long, sunny, warm days perfect for reading in the backyard. Now that the summer season is almost here, I think many of you are hunting for romantic reads because isn't summer the perfect time to fall in love? I have a NA romance, Full Steam Ahead by Valerie Chase, for you all today that has a bit of drama and a nice happy ending. For those of you who are like me and don't enjoy a romance with a lot of angst and drama, this is a good pick. Yes, the two main characters have big issues they are fighting to overcome, but who doesn't have difficulties to tackle in life? Anyway, this was a nice romance, and I am delighted to welcome author Valerie Chase here today to share some of her picks for summer reads. Here is a bit about Valerie:
Valerie Chase writes New Adult romance in the suburbs of Washington, DC. When she isn't typing away on her laptop or dreaming up swoon-worthy kiss scenes, she loves sipping hot tea, taking long walks by her house, and getting lost in indie bookstores. (You'll probably find her in one right now.) Full Steam Ahead is the first book in the Sea Swept series; With Every Breath is the second and is available now. Find Valerie on her blog, Facebook, Twitter Goodreads or her Newsletter.
Here is Valerie with her summer reading list:
First off, I wanted to thank Heidi for this awesome opportunity to hang out on her blog today! Heidi graciously told me that I could post about anything I'd like so I thought it'd be fun to talk about microeconomics in southern Asia! Who's with me? Anyone, anyone? Haha, I'm totally kidding. :) As fun as microeconomics might be (or maybe not), I'd much rather talk about...steamy summer reads!
So who's ready for summer? *Raises hand* I live in the DC area and we've had a loooong winter so I'm more than ready for sunshine and swimsuits! I'm also super ready for a vacation. I write NA romances set aboard cruise ships, and I wouldn't mind spending a few weeks aboard a luxury liner with plenty of margaritas, cute lifeguards, and an e-reader full of books. Here's what I'll be loading onto my Kindle whenever I head to the beach this summer:
1. Gossip magazines!
I'll admit it. Sometimes I'll wait in the longest line at the grocery store checkout just so I can get my fix of celebrity gossip magazines! They're fun and completely mindless, and I could spend hours poring over them. My faves? People and Us Weekly!
2. Tried-and-true favorites!
I don't know about you, but I always love a good re-read on a lazy summer day. Last June and July I re-read the Harry Potter books, and this summer I'd love to tackle Lisa Kleypas' Wallflowers series. There are four books in this page-turning series, and they all feature what I love most about historical romances: alpha males, interesting heroines, and sexy scenes that get your pulse racing. My favorite of the bunch is A Devil in Winter---St. Vincent is so swoonworthy!
3. Steamy NA reads!
Lastly I can't forget about all of the New Adult books that I want to read! I've heard great things about Brenna Aubrey's At Any Price---a geek-girl heroine? sign me up!---and I can't wait to devour Elisabeth Grace's Picture Perfect, a follow-up to her debut Rumor Has It that I really enjoyed.
My Kindle is all loaded up, and now all I need is a white beach, a mojito or two, and long hours of free time to read! Sigh. Is it time to go on vacation yet? :)
I agree, Harry Potter is a great suggestion to reread. I am looking forward to being able to share that series with my kids when they are older. I have been meaning to try Lisa Kleypas for a long time! For NA reads, I still need to read such tried and true favorites like Easy. I did just get a copy of Easy the other day so I plan on tackling it soon!
To enter please read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter! A big thanks to Valerie for stopping by and providing you all with the giveaway opportunity. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Full Steam Ahead(Sea Swept #1) by Valerie Chase
The perfect getaway from it all.
At least, that’s what Georgia Cantwell is hoping for...
With her inbox filling with menacing emails, Georgia just wants to run away from her shattered life on her sorority's winter break cruise. What she doesn’t need is green-eyed Jace McLaren seeing through her tacked-on smile and stealing her breath away with each tantalizing kiss.
Growing up with a father in jail, Jace knows from experience that if you’re going through hell, there’s no way out but through. He has always steered away from girls like Georgia with her ice-queen attitude, but she’s in real trouble, and despite himself he pushes past her walls.
As much as Georgia tries to ignore it, Jace won’t let her pretend with him. But she can’t tell him the truth. Her past would ruin his trust, her family, her future—everything.
Four Stars: A NA romance without heavy drama and angst and a nice ending.
Georgia quickly tugs her suitcase toward the cruise ship. She and her best friend, Yasmin, are running late. Georgia fights back the feelings of anxiety, she is here to enjoy herself for seven days, and hopefully escape the nightmare that has become her life. Her hopes are dashed when she comes face to face with her ex boyfriend, Hunter, in the elevator. It has only been a few short weeks since they broke up, and Georgia's heart hurts to remember that this was the cruise where they were to share a large, luxurious stateroom and even possibly get engaged. Everything came crashing down when Georgia shared with Hunter the awful truth about her past. Now she is rooming with Jace one of Hunter's fraternity brothers in a small cramped cabin. Jace has a reputation for being a playboy, and Georgia has no intention of spending much time with him, but that all changes once Jace starts to see through her facade. Can Georgia and Jace help each other overcome their demons?
What I Liked:
- I have become a bit disillusioned with the NA genre as I think too many authors are following the same worn out story lines. Thankfully, Full Steam Ahead steers away from the heavy drama and angst and provides a pleasant romance and a bit of suspense. I appreciated that this one didn't linger too long on the negative and it was all about learning to overcome difficulties and open yourself to another. If you are a fan of NA this is a great book to add to your collection.
- The romance was well done. I liked that it started with attraction, you have to have chemistry, right? However, it was much more than lust. Georgia and Jace both have some burdens in their past, nothing that is gut wrenching or extreme, but they definitely have some difficulties. Jace begins to pay close attention to Georgia, and he starts to see through her phony public veneer. He sees a girl who has lost a lot of weight and appears to be hiding something. He begins to dig, and eventually gains her trust. Once the two open up and start to share, (Georgia even reveals that she secretly reads zombie books) they form a friendship and help each other heal... oh and there is an intense attraction that heads into some steamy territory. I liked that this romance was about trust and learning to be open.
- Speaking of steamy, I liked that the sex scenes were tantalizing and hot, but they didn't go on and on and delve into explicit detail. There was just enough to get the picture. I have read plenty of NA where the sex scenes border into the erotica and some that should be erotica, so I always appreciate a NA that doesn't go over the top.
- I was drawn in by the mystery and the suspense. In the beginning, Georgia is trying to escape something bad. She is being blackmailed and it is draining her dry. I was most eager to learn more about the blackmail and to understand the big secret that she didn't want anyone to know. I liked the mystery thread, it kept me engaged.
- The book takes place between Christmas and New Year, but don't think it is about snow and cold. This book takes place aboard a Caribbean cruise ship, so prepare for sunny days, and poolside drinks and lots of relaxing in the sun. I loved the sun soaked setting, it is perfect for summer or even winter when you are longing for a bit of sun.
- I appreciated that the book ends on a high note, and that it concludes on a positive note. No cliffhangers or open endings, however there are some story lines that I am eager to follow up on in the next book.
- At the time of this review, this book is priced for $.99! Can't go wrong with that price!
And The Not So Much:
- The book is fast paced and at times I felt like it moved too quickly and I wanted more details. I would have loved to know a bit more about Georgia's background, especially when it came to her parents. They certainly sounded like selfish, greedy people and I was curious about Georgia's relationship with them. I also would have liked to know more about Jace's family. Yasmin, Georgia's best friend, was trying to overcome her sister's death. I wasn't clear what happened with her sister. There was some type of illness.. cancer? I am guessing I will learn more about Yasmin in the sequel, which is about her.
- While I liked that the ending was on a high note and that it tied off the loose ends, I felt it was a bit rushed. I was expecting a bit more as far as the whole blackmail storyline went, and I thought that the way it ended was a bit of a fizzle. I wanted Georgia to really stand up and fight and show him that he shouldn't take advantage of people like that. I wasn't convinced that it was over.
- Elise, one of the girls who worked on the ship, was another character that I liked, and I was wanting to see more of her, but she just disappears. I am hoping that she will resurface in the next book.
Full Steam Ahead was a quick romantic NA with a bit of mystery. I loved that it was all about letting go of false facades and opening up to trust and friendship. It is a book about healing, overcoming and moving on that comes about with the beginning of a new romance. This is a NA read that isn't heavy on drama and angst. It is a nice easy read.
I won a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.