Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Star Review & Giveaway: Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros

ETS cover image
Rebecca Yarros New Adult Entangled: 

Embrace Publishing Release December 8, 2014


Life's too short to play it safe... 

Since her sister's death, twenty-year-old Paisley Donovan, who shares her sister’s heart condition, is treated like delicate glass by her parents. But nothing will stop her from completing her Bucket List—even if it kills her. And it almost does, until Jagger Bateman pulls her from the ocean and breathes more than air into her lungs—he sets her soul on fire. 

Jagger is enrolled in the country's toughest flight school. He's wickedly hot, reckless, and perfect for a girl looking to live life to the fullest. Except that Paisley is the commanding general's daughter, and her boyfriend is Jagger's biggest rival. Now Paisley must decide just how much to risk for a guy who makes her heart pound a little too hard. 

They're flying through dangerous territory—and one wrong move could make them crash and burn...


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Before it could get any heavier or more awkward, I kicked off my flip-flops into the heavy grass. “Are you ready?”

She peeked behind me at the lake. “Wait, you want to swim here?”

I shrugged. “One of the guys told me about it. It’s secluded, clean, and we have it to ourselves.”

She shook her head and waggled her finger at me. “Oh, no, not here. This is not a good idea.”

I pulled my shirt over my head and tossed it on the hood of my truck. “This is the idea, Paisley. Get your clothes off and get in the water.” Her eyes widened, and I didn’t miss the way she raked her eyes down my chest. Was she a tattoo kind of girl? Or was her boyfriend the clean-cut guy she could take home to her mom? “Does the ink bother you?”

She blinked a few times, then jerked her eyes to my face as her cheeks flushed. “No, not at all.”

I knew what would come next, the inevitable what does it all mean every girl asked. I hadn’t told anyone the real translation of the words that stretched across my chest, arm, back, and abs. Those truths were mine and mine alone. “Let’s swim.”

“No, you don’t understand—”

My patience slipped another notch. She was not getting out of this. “If it makes you feel better, I’ll get in first, but you’d better be right behind me, or I’m throwing your cute little ass in.” I ran at the water, jumping in where it looked deep enough. The cool water slid over my head. I stood, the water coming to my chest. “Get in here.”

“No way.” She shook her head, her eyes wide with fear. “I’ve lived here long enough to know you don’t swim here. Not with George.”

“Who?” I looked left and right. Nothing to be seen but the smooth, barely rippled surface of the water, and the tall reeds that banked it. The mud slid between my toes as I flexed them deeper.

“George. He’s—”

“Stop making excuses and get in the water. I can’t teach you to swim if you’re on land— What the fuck is that?” Two rounded eyes appeared thirty feet away, lingering above the surface of the water...coming this way. Fast.

“Get out!” she shrieked.

I didn’t need to be told twice. I kicked forward, swimming for the shore as fast as I could, wishing I hadn’t come so far out to start with. I made it to the bank and didn’t pause in my headlong flight to the car. I scooped up Paisley, tossed her over my shoulder, and barreled for the door.

I swung the door open and shoved her inside. She scrambled over to her seat as I jumped in mine, slamming the door home. “Seriously! What the fuck?”

We both swiveled our heads toward the shore where a very large, very green alligator ambled out of the water and onto the bank. He opened his mouth wide, like he needed to show me those massive freaking teeth, and snapped his jaw shut.

“That is George,” Paisley said, and she had the audacity to laugh breathlessly. 
“George is why you don’t swim here.”


She reached over the space that separated us, patting my leg like she was soothing a puppy. “It’s okay, tough guy, he doesn’t eat people.”

“He’s an alligator!”

She smirked, the corner of her mouth raising just high enough to start my blood flowing to the area of my body I didn’t need it to. “American alligators don’t eat people. Well, they’re a last resort, really.”

“You screamed at me to get out!"

“Well, I certainly didn’t want you to be his first.” Her green eyes sparkled in laughter.

“And to think you trusted me not to poke fun at you?” She had the nerve to flat-out laugh, and damn it if it wasn’t contagious. My hands flexed on the steering wheel. “You’re a handful of trouble, Paisley.”

“So I’ve been told.” Her smile killed me.

What I thought about Eyes Turned Skyward

The story opens with Paisley at the beach, checking off one of the items on her bucket list, even though she's too modest to even drop her wrap and show off her bikini. It doesn't stop her from noticing Mr. California, the blond hottie playing frisbee on the sand. It's a good thing too, because minutes later a bit of teasing goes bad, and Paisley is saved from drowning by Mr. California, Jagger Bateman.  If you've read Rebecca Yarros debut novel, Full Measures, you might remember him as Josh's roommate. 

As fate would have it, Jagger and Paisley meet again.  Her father is the commanding general at the base, and Jagger gets himself into a bit of trouble which happens to put him right back together with Paisley.  There's no denying the attraction, but Paisley already has a boyfriend, one of Jagger's classmates, Will Carter.

But the attraction between them is too strong, and the reasons Will and Paisley are together too weak, and soon Will is history and Jagger and Paisley are engaged in a very sweet relationship. Jagger, the bad boy falls really hard for Paisley, and I loved how they didn't rush because it made his devotion to her all that more realistic and swoon-worthy.

Both are keeping important secrets from each other that are revealed with critical consequences. And it's not just Paisley and Jagger that have to deal with what's going on around them. There are some interesting supporting characters in Eyes Turned Skyward, like Paisley's father, her ex-boyfriend Will and Jagger's roommate Grayson.  They had some nice contributions to this story and it's not often that I read a book where the secondary characters have little arcs of their own.  

I continue to be impressed with this author, and her capacity for storytelling  and creating really interesting characters.  My head has been stuck in this book for two days now, since there are lots of favorite parts to reread.  Jagger is pretty hot, devoted and driven. I liked Paisley too. I understood her dilemma and why she didn't tell Jagger (although my heart was racing a little when they did that bungee jump!) Oh, and can I say that I loved Jagger's tattoos?

So another really enjoyable book in this series.  It was great to see Josh and Ember have a part in the story too. Very well done.  Recommended. 

ARC provided for review. 


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Author Bio

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores. 

When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado. Rebecca is represented by Jamie Bodnar Drowley of Inklings Literary.

Connect with Rebecca





Rebecca Yarros said...

Thank you for having me, and that gorgeous review!!!!

Trader Mare said...

You're welcome! You really have some storytelling skill. You give us a view of a world that not everyone gets to see. I loved the way this story was presented to me, and now I'm impatiently waiting for more! I want stories for Grayson and Will now!