Tuesday, March 21, 2017

ARC Review & Spotlight: After I Fall by Jessica Scott

Title: After I Fall (Falling, #3)
Author: Jessica Scott
Publisher/Publication Date: Jessica Scott; March 21, 2017
Format/Source: eARC, Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Readers who want an extended sample can download here:
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Purchase links:
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Book Summary

Her entire life has been a lie. Being with Eli is the most honest thing she’s ever done. 

Parker Hauser lives the perfect life and knows exactly where she's been and where she's going. Parker has to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life. 

Until she meets Eli Winter. 

Eli throws her entire life into chaos when he denies her the one thing she wants from him. 

One chance encounter stokes her desire for the man who refused to touch her and left her questioning everything. 

When Parker tries to help his new business, the spotlight turns on Eli's military record. And the war he's tried to forget may  destroy them both.


"What do you want?" A murmured question that feels like a demand. The single word I need is lodged in my throat. It’s thick and heavy, filled with potential and promise.
"You," I finally say.
"Why?" Such a complicated question. I search his face, looking for an answer, a lie, something simple to fill the space left by his question.
I lift my hand, afraid he'll see it tremble. It takes every ounce of willpower I've got to slide my fingers over his forearm. I'm surprised by the raw power beneath my touch. I expected the tattoos to be physical manifestations of the violence on his flesh. His skin is hot and smooth. My hand looks pale and small against it.
"You seem…" I lift my eyes to his, never removing my hand. "You seem like a straightforward kind of guy."
A man with rough hands and dark ink carved into his skin. A man so unlike the men I'm used to, it's not even funny. I lift my hand to his cheek, just above the edge of his beard. I've never touched a man with facial hair before. He is still beneath my touch.
A moment before I'm about to press my palm to his cheek, he grips my wrist. Not hard enough to hurt, but he definitely gets my attention.
"Not here." I swallow. My mouth is suddenly dry. "Where?"
He jerks his chin toward the dark hallway behind us. I follow him silently, wishing he was already touching me, making me feel, letting me pretend I matter, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
He leads me through the maze of small tables and patrons at various stages of intoxication. Away from the noise and the smell of fries and smoke and cologne and all the good things that bars have.We step out of the noise and into shadows and silence. He doesn't pounce, doesn't push me against the wall and run those rough hands over my skin.
Instead, he leans against it—a casual, arrogant male.
Waiting. I know for what. For me to make the first move.
For me to step into the space between us. For me to touch him first. I want to. But I am paralyzed. Rooted to the damp concrete beneath my feet. The cool night air might as well be chains, holding me, restraining any thought or movement.
He doesn't move. His arms are folded over his broad, heavy chest, his T-shirt straining against his body. The silence hangs on, stretching and thick and tight.
"Scared?" he finally whispers. A dare. A terrible, wicked promise in that single word.
"Should I be?" My throat is tight and dry.
His answer is nothing I expect.
And everything I want. 

My Thoughts

At first it was difficult to get into After I Fall by Jessica Scott—I just couldn't see where the plot was going. As it progressed and more information was revealed about Eli’s and Parker's histories, the story quickly began to turn around. While this book was super steamy, it was the characters that made the story. I like the fact that Scott chooses characters outside of the norm to be the heroine and hero. And I love how the secondary characters are incorporated into the story. The multilayered relationships added a touch of realism.  Scott put Parker in a situation in which she was a prisoner of her circumstances. Her history involved being in both controlling and abusive relationships. I appreciate the fact that the author brought other forms of abuse to light—especially when dealing with people in a position of power. I can't say much more about the story, because I don't want to include spoilers. However, I do recommend picking up a copy, because it's worth the read!

Rating 4/5

I received a copy of After I Fall from the Publisher for this review.

About The Author

Jessica Scott is an Iraq war veteran, an active duty army officer and the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO.

She is the bestselling author of the Homefront series and the Falling series, both about soldiers and veterans adjusting to life after returning from the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Her bestselling Falling series features soldiers integrating into life on college campuses.

She's also written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View Regarding War, and IAVA. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/New Dawn and has had the honor of serving as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas twice.

She's holds phd in morality in Sociology with Duke University and she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.
Jessica is also an active member of the Military Writers Guild.

Her debut novel Because of You launched the return of Random House's Loveswept digital imprint and launched the start of the ever popular contemporary military romance genre. 

Check Out More Books from the Series!!!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of SeeingTitle: The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing
Author: Damion Searls
Publisher/Publication Date: Crown; February 21, 2017
Genre: Nonfiction; Phsychology; History; Biography 
Source/Format: Blogging for Books; Hardcover

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

The captivating, untold story of Hermann Rorschach and his famous inkblot test, which has shaped our view of human personality and become a fixture in popular culture...

In 1917, working alone in a remote Swiss asylum, psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach devised an experiment to probe the human mind. For years he had grappled with the theories of Freud and Jung while also absorbing the aesthetic of a new generation of modern artists. He had come to believe that who we are is less a matter of what we say, as Freud thought, than what we see. Rorschach himself was a visual artist, and his test, a set of ten carefully designed inkblots, quickly made its way to America, where it took on a life of its own. Co-opted by the military after Pearl Harbor, it was a fixture at the Nuremberg trials and in the jungles of Vietnam. It became an advertising staple, a cliché in Hollywood and journalism, and an inspiration to everyone from Andy Warhol to Jay-Z. The test was also given to millions of defendants, job applicants, parents in custody battles, workers applying for jobs, and people suffering from mental illness—or simply trying to understand themselves better. And it is still used today.

Damion Searls draws on unpublished letters and diaries, and a cache of previously unknown interviews with Rorschach’s family, friends, and colleagues, to tell the unlikely story of the test’s creation, its controversial reinvention, and its remarkable endurance—and what it all reveals about the power of perception. Elegant and original, The Inkblots shines a light on the twentieth century’s most visionary synthesis of art and science.

My Thoughts:

Whew. It seems like I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, and The Inkblots is the latest. The Inkblots by Damion Searls was a fascinating look at the life of Herman 
Rorschach and his contribution to psychology: the inkblots. I’ve heard of the inkblots before. But then, who hasn’t? As the book states, Rorschach inkblots are widely known, but I haven’t encountered much talk about the person who actually created them. So, I was really excited to get this book for review.

Whenever I tackled a nonfiction book, I always go into it with the understanding that it’ll probably take me a little longer to read. The Inkblots isn’t that long but it is still a hefty book. Despite how wordy this book was, it was still a thought-provoking read that was worth the time I spent on it. I enjoy reading about things, but I also like when I find a book that details the life of the person who created that said thing. In that way, The Inkblots excels.

There were a lot of details about Rorschach's life. It started from the time when he was a child, explained what his home life was like and followed him through the years as he went to school, gained experience, and started a family. This book partly focused on his character. There were a lot of pages spent explaining how he went about his approach to psychology. For me, one of the more interesting sections of this book was the part where 
Rorschach was actually developing his inkblots, and the early process of his method of administering the test to patients. Another interesting part took place after his death, when the inkblots were being developed into a usable test.

I think that was my favorite part of this book: getting to see how 
Rorschach's experiences led to the creation of his inkblots, and how they developed into what they are today after his death. There were a few minor details that I disliked, but other than that, the rest was good.

So yeah, the Inkblots will probably be my last nonfiction read for a while. I’m going to spend some time reading fiction for now, but nevertheless, The Inkblots was a great book.

Rating 4/5

This copy of the book was provided by Blogging for Books (Publisher) for this review, thank you!

About the author...

Damion Searls has written for Harper's, n+1, and The Paris Review, and had translated the work of authors including Rainer Maria Rilke, Marcel Proust, and five Nobel Prize winners. He has been the recipient of the Guggenheim NEA, and Cullman Center Fellowship...

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