Sunday, December 21, 2014

Inspire (Muse, #1) by Cora Carmack ~ Review

Source:  Received an eBook copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.


I adore Cora Carmack books.  I love the New Adult genre.  I've been in such a mood for paranormal too.  That makes Inspire perfect for me to read.

Lots of things make this one unique.  The NA paranormal piece is pretty new.  Add to that a muse.  I'm not sure I've ever read a story about a muse before.  Then the POV has a different flare.  Divided into three parts, the first part is from Kalli POV, the second part is from Wilders POV and the third part flips back and forth between the two.  I found that interesting and different.

In the first part, I learned a lot about Kalli and how being a muse isn't really as fun as one might think.  Her motivations, her desires and her surety that she can't have anything more become very clear.  In the second part, I learned how Wild's life has changed.  Why he's hiding his real passion and why he's wearing the business attire for a day job that's not him at all - all become clear.  But I was worried about him and for him.  Kalli isn't good for him.  She tells him this but he can't understand just how not good for him she is.  Had me stressing over him a lot.  So many feels with this boy.  I loved when he was happy and around her and worried too.  And I hurt when he was away and miserable.  So many feels.

And I so adore Wilder.  Starting with that name.  Love that.  Then there's this whole helping his mom and his sister thing.  Giving up his dreams to help others thing.  Then he holds back when he thinks Kalli is drunk thing.  Then the want to get to know you thing.  And his love of touching her thing.  Did I mention his sweet side?  His tats?  Lots and lots of tats.  How about the leather jacket?  Or his scruffy chin when he doesn't shave.  Or how he can't tell his little sister no?  Oh yes, he watches Frozen with his little sister.  Adorable.

Cora's writing is awesome.  She weaves the Greek mythology between the lines and I loved it.  I think that mythology lore is one of my favorite paranormal types.  And this one is an area that just isn't done a lot.  So it was interesting to see how a muse plays a role and their connection and dependance on humans.  And I'm trying to find a happy for these two.  It's not clear at all.  And I'm very worried about that.  And I'm not sure at all.  And that's unusual for me.  Very well done.

The story starts a little slow for me but then it picked up and I was loving it.  Yes, these two have a heavy emotional connection really fast but it fits the story.  The idea of a thread between them fit so well with the mythology that I was okay with how quickly their relationship develops.   Definitely had me reading late into the night because I just didn't want to put it down.

The ending is murderous.  It's a good thing I love Cora - otherwise, I'd have to hunt her down and demand to read book two NOW.  Not wait until sometime next year.

This book will appeal to any paranormal lover.  It will appeal to the NA lover.  It will appeal to the romance lover.  And it will appeal to the lover of good stories.  When you need that next great read, pick this one up and you won't be disappointed.



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About Cora Carmack...

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.


Cora Carmack’s INSPIRE Blog Tour Schedule:
December 15th
Smart & Savvy with Stephanie – Review & Character Interview

The Book Cellar – Guest Post

December 16th

Lost in Lit – Review & Character Interview-Kallie and Wilder

NC 2 DC – Review

The Cover Contessa – Review

December 17th

K-Books – Review

Romance Addict Book Blog – Dreamcast

December 18th
Author Groupies – Review

Booklovers For Life – Review

Bloggers[Heart]Books – Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

December 19th

Worn Down Glories – Excerpt

Jen in Bookland – Review

Vi3tbabe – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Guest Post

December 20th
Four Chicks Flipping Pages Review & Playlist

Watcha Reading – Character Interview-Lennox

December 21st

The Shadow Realm – Review

Nose Stuck in a Book – Author Interview

StuckInBooks – Review

December 22nd
Anna's Book Blog – Excerpt

Lovin' Los Libros – Review

shelf life – Review

Novel Grounds da - Review

December 23rd
Stuck In YA Books – Review & Guest Post

LuLo Fangirl – Review

Give Me Books – Review

Step Into Fiction – Review

December 24th
Grown Up Book Reviews / Mundie Moms – Review & Author Interview

Wendi Galbreath – Review

Cocktails and Books – Review

Stacking OUR Shelves ~ 12/21/14

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  Make sure to checkout her post with links to all the other participates.

Click covers for Goodreads links

For Review...



Package from Penguin Books...

Finished copies

Thanks go to...

Penguin Books
Jennifer Comeaux
Forever Books
Penguin, Signet, Berkley

Spent my Audible credit...

Picked up for FREE...

For Review...

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Wild Hearts (If Only . . . #4)


The Perks of Being a Wallflower


I received a lovely package from Mary this week with three books and the sweetest card. Here's what books were inside!

 Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)

Thanks go to...

Christine from I *Heart* Big Books
Mary from Mary Had a Little Book Blog

That's the stack this week.  What do you think?  What's on your stack?  Leave us a comment.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

For this Hop, I'm giving away two of my review copies of Harlequin Cowboy books!  I've reviewed both of these.  Check out my review for

The Cowboy Seal and Most Eligible Sheriff.

Loved them both.  Now you can read them too.  Enter to win below.

The Cowboy Seal by Laura Marie Altom

The Road To Redemption

Navy SEAL Cooper Hansen hasn't been home in more than a decade. He has never forgiven himself for the accident that killed his mother, and as far as he knows, neither has his family. But when his brother's widow, Millie, needs his help to save the Hansen ranch, Cooper can't stay away any longer.

Millie has always loved Cooper in some way—as a childhood friend, a high-school crush and then as a brother-in-law. Now that he's back in Brewer's Falls, she's discovering new, unexpected feelings for him. But if Cooper keeps holding on to the pain of the past, will he ever give their future together a fighting chance?

Las Vegas casino manager Ruby McPhee needs to lay low while the police deal with a stalker at work. So she's trading in her high heels for cowboy boots and assuming her twin sister's identity at the Gold Nugget Ranch. Ruby only plans on staying in Sweetheart, Nevada, until the threat back home has passed. But then she discovers a detail her sister forgot to mention—the handsome sheriff she's dating.

It only takes a single kiss for Cliff Dempsey to realize the woman in his arms is someone entirely different…and completely irresistible. To protect Ruby's secret, Cliff maintains her ruse, but soon the lines between duty and desire begin to blur. Ruby and Cliff know they have a once-in-a-lifetime connection, but will they have a chance to let their love grow?,%201

US only

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Now hop along to the next blog...

Book Boyfriend ~ 12/20/14

Join the Book Boyfriend meme
  • Pick your book boyfriend for the week
  • Current read or not
  • Tease us with something about your boy
  • Don't spoil the book
  • Link up with us
  • Visit the other book boyfriend posts

So my book boyfriend for the week is...

Greyson King

Rogue (Real, #4)

The fourth story in the new adult series that began with the New York Times bestseller Real, featuring Brooke's best friend, Melanie, and the ROGUE she can't resist.

Greyson King...
My boyfriend. My friend. My protector. He's the reason I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, and the reason I fall asleep limp, worn out, and aching for his warm arms around me. When we make love, he says my name like it means something. Like I mean something.
His name is Greyson King, but his alias is Zero.
There's zero trace of him, he has zero past, and now I know that with him, I will have zero future.
He may leave no trace of him anywhere, but his imprint is in me, in my very soul--and I hate that a mere look at him commands the beat of my heart. The temperature of my body.
I've looked for love my entire life. I've waited for the butterflies, the rainbows...
Instead I'm in a free fall of emotions and there's no one to catch me but the one man I should be running away from. The one man I thought was my prince charming.
Except this prince charming went rogue.
Greyson will stop at nothing to make me be with him. He'll let no one stand in our way, will allow no one to threaten me, and maybe this is what scares me most of all...
What will my rogue do to keep me?

Now for the big question: WHY is Greyson my book boyfriend?

And to that question, I have many, many answers. He's strong, he's fierce, he's attractive. He's tough, and quite rough around the edges.

But he can also be the kindest, most gentle person. He's loyal. And he's sweet. He's not perfect, but who needs perfection when you have this rogue?

I can list very many things with very many examples on why I heart Grey. On why I prefer this rogue over any other.

He's so intense...

It feels like, for several minutes, we stay as we are, him with the merest curve of his lips while I'm smiling completely, both of us looking into each other's eyes. I have no idea what he sees in my eyes that holds him so intently engrossed, but I can't look away from his gaze either. It's closed and mysterious while, at the same time, I can see a fiery rawness in his gaze, as if he desperately wants something from me. 
Not something; all of me.

I swear, the LOOKS he gives--they get me every time...

"Do you see my dress?" I whisper to him. 
His voice is gruff with tiredness, his eyes hooded as he pulls open the bedsheet for me.
"Yeah. I set it aside to avoid the clutter. Come here and get some sleep." 
Oh god, I really didn't want to leave, but I don't want him to know how much I want to sleep here tonight either. 
So I stand there, naked and unsure for a moment. 
"I don't have to stay," I say, but there's this way he has of looking at you--as if he's commanding you. It's very odd. I've never encountered anyone who could have such control with a single look.


I sniffle and wipe my tears, then meet his gaze almost imploringly, my tummy aching when he returns my stare with one that tells me so much more than simply I'm going to do you. There's concern in his gaze, but there's fire, simmering in there, promising to burn me in the most delicious way. He's here because he wants me. He craves me and I crave him back. I crave the man I met that night in the rain, the one who wouldn't let me get wet and quietly asked about me as he kissed me all night. The one who came back to see me and asked for another chance. His magnetism just pulls at me, the pull irresistible. Unprecedented. 

And being inside his head and seeing how he thinks of Melanie? My heart...

"So you are mad. Princess, I didn't want to leave you, not like that." I drop my voice as a shit ton of regret tightens my chest, and I stare out the dingy motel window and think of my new Seattle apartment. I want it bad. I want my bed with the thousand-dollar sheets and the million-dollar girl cuddled right beside me. "Baby, talk," I hear myself plead. 
"What for?" 
"Just talk." Exhaling, I press the receiver closer and cling to her voice. All the sunshine in it. The way it squeezes my heart, my gut, and my balls, all in one fell swoop. The way I need it to remind myself that what I did today was just a job. A role. An act. Not all of me. She's the only one who gets to see all of me.

I LOVE GREYSON KING. For all the reasons I listed here and more. I finished the book about a week ago and I miss him already. Ahhhh, Grey. Grey Grey Grey.


I've put off reviewing this book since I finished it. Pretty much what happened was I closed the book, sat there, and was like "WHAT ARE WORDS?" I've loved Katy Evans' REAL series for a while now. Brooke and Remy pulled my heart all over the place and made me feel all kinds of happy. But Greyson and his princess... This on was above and beyond to me. One of my absolute favorite books, and definitely my favorite book in the series.

Melanie was the kind of character that believed in love. She believed in finding the right person and living happily ever after--like she'd seen her best friend do with Mr. Remington Tate. And she wants that for herself. I feel like I really understood Mel, and that led to me relating to her beyond how I did for Brooke or how I would for Pandora in Ripped (which I already read and reviewed--because I was stalling on this review, ha). I understood where she was coming from, and I loved how optimistic she was in the grand scheme of things. She tried and she tried hard to get what she wanted. Until finally, Greyson King popped into her life...

Greyson is not the commitment type of guy. He's quiet and lethal. He doesn't trust anyone, and he isn't emotional. He's just does what he has to do. Then he talks to Melanie. And spends time with her. And goodness, this guy. He claimed to be the worst thing for her, but he was so...just so freaking GOOD. In the ways that truly counted, Greyson King was the very best, and he still is and ohsweetgoodness I love him. He's this stoic guy, but then for her he can be sweet. He can interact with parents and friends. He can spend a whole night asking her about herself because he really wants to know. Page by page in this book, I fell for Greyson and I fell hard. 

So obviously I was head over heels for the romance. My favorite thing about this was the dynamic. I LOVE when there's a guy--like Greyson--who's quiet and strong and fierce and he ends up with a girl--like Melanie--who is perky and cheerful. Together, Greyson and Melanie were the closest thing to perfection. She's the light to his dark, he's the hard to her soft. The fit as a couple so well. Grey & Mel are definitely one of my top ten favorite couples. I love them together, and I miss them! 

The writing in this book was passionate, as Katy Evans always writes. It was addicting and pulled me in so quick. The writing pulled me in, and then the characters and their story held me there until I reached the end and started wishing for more. The story is written in dual POV, which I am a fan of, especially when it means getting to spend time in the mind of Greyson King. As a whole, I was completely satisfied with the events of this novel. There was only one thing that might have made me twitchy, but that didn't end up really being a problem, so my enjoyment wasn't hindered in the least. From beginning to end, this book made me feel all the feels and ended with my heart all aflutter.

Overall, Rogue is my favorite book in the REAL series. The story of Greyson and his princess was one that tugged at my heart and ended by making me all kinds of happy. Rogue is yet another beautifully written masterpiece by Katy Evans, and I can't wait to get my hands on another!

5 swoon-worthy stars - I LOVED THIS BOOK. My favorite book in one of my favorite series!

Have a book boyfriend this week?  Link up with us...