Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mia’s Heart Blog Tour: review & giveaway

Mia’s Heart (The Paradise Diaries #2) by Courtney Cole

YA contemporary romance*Published November 13th 2012 by Lakehouse Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

My name is Mia Giannis.
I am seventeen years old.
I live in Valese, Caberra.
This has become my mantra and my lifeline, having recently lost my memory due to a scary natural disaster.
Yeah. I have amnesia. Messed up, right?

You don't know the half of it.

Not remembering anything has turned my world upside down. My parents try their hardest to “remind” me of who I was, but it doesn't feel right. Or, if what they're saying is true and that really was me, I'm not sure I like that person very much.

And then there’s my love life. Apparently, Gavin Ariastasis is my oldest and best friend in the world. Also, apparently, we’ve never dated. But now, noticing him for what feels like the first time, he’s making my heart do somersaults. He knows me inside and out—the real me. Plus, he’s sexy and charming as hell. Sounds perfect, right?

But then... there’s the new guy. Quinn McKeyen – tall, gorgeous and deliciously American. His mischievous grin and slow Midwestern drawl turn my insides to mush in two seconds flat making me question who I really am and what I really want.

Seriously. What am I supposed to do with all that?! I feel torn between them, but I barely even know who I am, let alone what I want.

I just hope my indecisive heart will clue me in. And sooner rather than later…before I lose what little of my mind that I have left.

About Courtney Cole 

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.
She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.

Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Learn more about Courtney and her books at www.courtneycolewrites.com

Check out Dante's Girl - the first book in the Paradise Diaries Series 

My thoughts:
Mia's Heart is the second book in Courtney Cole's The Paradise Diaries series, following Dante's Girl, the love story of American country girl Reece and Dante, the son of a Caberra politician. Reece's best friend, Mia, has her own story now and it is certainly charming. The Mia we first meet is strong-willed, impulsive, and doesn't take crud from anyone. After an earthquake hits, she suffers from amnesia and wants to get back her memories and find her true self along with the way. Her journey involves having feelings for both her other best friend, Gavin, and the new guy in town, American cowboy Quinn. 

Not a fan of triangles, I didn't mind this time. Mia has such a convincing voice and comes across as genuine that I found myself believing she could like two guys at one time. Cole does a wonderful job creating a realistic heroine with a strong yet humorous voice that captivates the reader's attention from the very first page. The setting of Caberra is magical in its own way with its picturesque settings, splendid architecture and ocean scenery. The town itself plays such an important role, it becomes a character of sorts. 

Getting inside Mia's head as she tries to figure out who she really is has many moments of laughter, emotional turmoil, fun and confusion. I really got a sense of who she once was and who she becomes from the author's vivid rendering of a teen girl in a personality crisis. There were lovely, tender, romantic scenes between Mia and her two love interests I found it hard to decide which guy was better suited for her. By the end, I agreed with her choice and find myself anxiously awaiting the third book in this series. I also liked watching Mia handle her feelings for her strict mother and enjoyed the family dynamics.

I did feel Quinn could have been developed more. The story did slow down when Reece and Dante arrived (though I was happy to see them) and Mia became wrapped up in her triangle. With the inclusion of the conniving Elena to the mix, the story picked up and kept me engrossed to the very end.

With The Paradise Diaries, Courtney Cole has developed an intensely romantic new series fans of contemporary YA will want to read. Engaging characters, sexy leading men and gorgeous girls, all set alongside a beautiful ocean town makes for swoon-worthy moments and pure escapist fun.

Rating: 3.5

Favorite excerpt:
“I don’t know what to do,” I admit. “I really don’t.”
Reece turns to me.
“I think you should just wait it out,” she tells me wisely. “Go on with life and deal with things as they come. Maybe you should just hang out with both of them and see what happens. I think that’s what I would do.”
My shoulders slump. I can’t help it. I’m not good at waiting. Hence my hatred for the words soon and eventually. Reece wraps an arm around them, bolstering me up.
“It’s going to be fine,” she announces. “Seriously. You’re an amazing, funny, sweet person. Everything will work out for you.”
I raise an eyebrow.
“Sweet? You’re the first person who has described me in that way.”
She giggles. “You are sweet. It’s deep down because you try to hide it. But you are a sweet person, Mia. And those of us who know you, know that.”
“Then you’re the only ones who matter,” I tell her stoically. “The ones who know me, I mean.”
“Exactly,” she nods. “We’re the only ones who matter. Family doesn’t have to mean blood, Mi. We’re your family. And even though your parents give you a hard time, they love you, too. They just don’t understand you.”
I nod. And there is a hard lump that has swelled in my throat and I don’t even know why. Reece hugs me again.

Cover comment: Captures the essence of the book. I would have liked pink streaks in the model's hair.

Book source: I received an e-ARC from the touring company in return for my honest review during their tour.

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