Friday, January 10, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Stir Me Up
Release Date: 10/01/13
Harlequin Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

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Praise for Stir Me Up:

"Fun, steamy, and leaves you hungry for more. Sabrina Elkins nails the vulnerability of becoming an adult and the choices that come with growing up." —Katie McGarry, author of Dare You To

"Cami's slow burn for a wounded hero will rivet readers. I seriously loved this book." —Jennifer Echols, author of Dirty Little Secret

"This book is one of my favorite young adult contemporaries. Not only does it feature a hot romance, it's also very meaningful and well, you just have to read it and see." —#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

My Thoughts:

Judging from the title, I thought this was going to be a light fluff piece - the title did not do it justice at all. This was so much more than a fluffy, light-hearted book. In fact, there was very little about it that was fluffy. Not that it was depressing, because it wasn't. It was somewhere in between. It dealt with some serious issues, but in a way that was real without being morbid. So at first, I thought Julian was an ass, but as Cami learned to love him, so did I. He was complicated but basically a really decent guy who was dealt a really crappy hand - and was the only one left of his men to deal with it. His loss went beyond the emotional, though. He also lost one of his legs below the knee, so there was a lot he had to not only deal with, but learn to live with. The story of his journey through that lot was both heartbreaking and inspiring. As was the way Cami took him on, helping him despite his wish that she didn't, befriending him when he didn't want it (or at least thought he didn't), and just generally being there for him. She was like a little mother hen that kept going back to help her chick despite the numerous times he pecked her and tried to shoo her away.
Eventually, of course, their friendship develops into something more and it's really beautiful to see how it blooms into something truly special. Julian is absolutely amazing once he decides to let her in - the way he supports her, encourages her to pursue her dreams, is just fantastic and swoon-worthy. He doesn't try to push her into doing something she doesn't want to, whether it's to have sex or go to college, he just lets her make that decision for herself and supports her all the way. It is so sweet to see how their relationship blossoms from animosity into true love. I really hope to read more about these characters as the way this book ended, it would be very easy to continue in another book. Hint, hint.

About the Author:

I am a former journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Daily Newsand other newspapers in the greater Los Angeles area. Prior to this I worked in advertising, writing ad copy for corporate travel accounts and major motion pictures. My first job out of college was as an administrative assistant to an executive chef and a food & beverage director at a Four Seasons hotel. I also spent some time working as a prep cook for Spago in Beverly Hills.

I received my Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California. While in graduate school, I had the privilege of studying fiction writing under renowned author Hubert Selby, Jr., and comedy writing under famed comedian Shelley Berman. I am a past participant of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Summer Writing Workshop.

Raised in the woods of Vermont, I now live in the greater Los Angeles area with my husband and three children. STIR ME UP is my first novel.

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Cami’s Cookbook Pack 
Le Petit Paris: French Finger Food by Nathalie Benezet
500 Soups by Susannah Blake
Godiva chocolate bar
Stir Me Up magnet  

Julian’s Late-Night Pack 
George Noory’s Late-Night Snacks by George Noory
Dinner and a Movie by Katherine Bebo
Godiva chocolate bar
Stir Me Up magnet  

Sweet Desserts Pack 
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
Cutie Pies by Dani Cone
Godiva chocolate bar
Stir Me Up magnet


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