Push and Shove (Ghost Bird Series #6): World Cup Edition+GIVEAWAY!Push and Shove by C.L. Stone
Published by Arcato Publishing on June 2, 2014
Pages: 481
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Sang Sorenson struggles with her growing feelings when the Academy boys take her in and draw her closer into their world. They work together to uncover the true secrets happening at Ashley Waters High School, where Principal Hendricks will stop at nothing to take them all down. 

Adding to their complications, Nathan’s father shows up, and he’s just as ruthless and violent as ever, beating up on Nathan. Sang offers Nathan refuge in her home, but Marie is fed up with the boys. She wants them out--all of them—and wants them to take Sang with them. Where will Sang go? What will happen to Nathan? And what about Mr. Hendrick’s spies, watching all of them? 

Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North will have to focus to get out of this mess, but with Sang assisting them, they’re struggling to keep control. They all promised not to make a move on Sang unless she initiates, but the tension is driving them all to distraction. With the help of Dr. Green and Mr. Blackbourne, they will have to stay strong and engaged. But A first kiss is imminent, and will cost them all more than they could ever have imagined.

You can find my previous Academy posts and reviews here.

Sometimes you’re hot because you’ve been playing futbol in Brazil in tropical  temperatures.

And sometimes you’re hot because you’ve been reading a C.L. Stone book.

C.L. Stone is a dominatrix with her pen in Push and Shove, whipping out the hot and heavy in full force.

You can’t blame a girl for playing the field and that’s exactly what Sang does in this latest installment to The Ghost Bird series, but she’s just warming up and so are the boys. The pent up attraction Sang has been feeling for each Academy stud has finally come to a head and she’s ready to move to the next level with any one on the team. Who will she score with first?

C.L. Stone beautifully and methodically drives the Academy mystery forward while exploring high-school angst and creative chemistry between Sang and the crew. No one’s allowed to kiss Sang on the lips so the boys get imaginative when it comes to showing Sang how they feel about her. When word gets around that North has had more than just his hands on Sang, the rest of the guys call foul until Sang makes it clear that she liked it and wants more. Hormonal floodgates open and all the boys start playing for keeps.

This book was equal parts suspense and seduction as Sang and the Academy team have their hands full pushing romantic boundaries with each other and investigating a new mysterious drug making the rounds at school. One truly bizarre scene between Sang and a recurring female character, Jade, will have you wishing a ref were present to blow the whistle.

Push and Shove was one of my favorite Academy books yet and while my allegiance is with Team Green and Team Nate, I found myself rooting for ALL of the boys to score a goal. The slower pacing of Push and Shove let me thoroughly luxuriate in the push and pull of the hypnotic scenes of physical discovery between Sang and each Academy member.

“Why are we like this?” He breathed against my skin, then planted another kiss along my jaw. “Even when I’m pissed off at you, I want to kiss the shit out of you.”

“North,” I whispered, suddenly unable to think of anything to say. I clung to him, desperate.

“I shouldn’t be doing this, ” he said, his lips making a trail along my jaw, sparking up my skin with every touch. His mouth parted, until his teeth grazed against my earlobe. His hand held the side of my face, encouraging me to tilt my head to expose more of my neck to him.

“Baby, don’t let me.”

I didn’t want him to stop.



There’s something undeniably erotic about watching guys play soccer. They’re strong and swift and all legs and hips while guiding the ball in and out of a tangle of limbs to score a goal. So, naturally, watching this year’s World Cup made me think of The Academy boys trying to get their balls in Sang’s court. In honor of the World Cup, I picked some of the hottest men to grace a soccer/futbol field for this special edition Academy cast. Click on the photos to find out more about these competitive hunks. Scroll down to ENTER TO WIN a signed copy of Push and Shove sponsored by C.L. Stone!

Blackbourne World Cup Edition
World Cup Edition

World Cup Edition
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World Cup Edition
World Cup Edition

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The Academy: Thief (Scarab Beetle Series #1) C.L. StoneThief by C.L. Stone
Series: The Scarab Beetle Series #1
Published by Arcato Publishing on February 24, 2014
Pages: 348
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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You can check out my reviews for the other books in The Academy Series here and a spotlight on C.L. Stone here.

You might want to steal away for a day to read this book.

Dun, dun,  DAA DAA, dun, dun,  DAA DAA, dun DUN! The first chapter of Thief reminded me of the Mission Impossible theme song. It was clever, exciting, and perfect. I found myself imagining certain scenes of Thief set to this music on more than one occasion. Thief is the first in The Scarab Beetle series; an Academy book that takes us into New Adult territory.

Kayli Winchester is a thief- but not because she’s bad, she’s just been dealt a tough hand and is trying to survive. Her mom is deceased and Kayli’s been living out of hotel rooms with her drunk-ass dad and brother Will ever since. Kayli is a thief with a conscience and this quality paired with her undeniable skill to lift a wallet has caught The Academy’s attention.

Kayli is similar to Sang from the first Academy books in only the most basic ways: she comes from a shotty living situation and she has some ”talents” that she doesn’t realize are ”talents” yet. Other than that, Kayli is unique. She’s fearless and embraces her warring emotions about each guy in Thief much easier (and sooner) than Sang does (Thank, God). I really liked that she was much more willing (and maybe eager) to ”test the waters” with more than one guy than Sang was. Kayli is a tough chick and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

Marc is like a puppy dog. A sexy puppy dog with mismatched eyes that you want to take home with you…or go home with. Marc is the first Academy dude that Kayli formally meets and he also happens to be one of my favorite Academy guys introduced in this story. He has a warm and sincere personality and is eager to make Kayli feel safe and secure.

His hair was rich brown and soft-looking and his skin had a nice tan. And the dark brows complemented his two-toned eyes. He wore a deep blue collared shirt, unbuttoned to reveal the white ribbed tank shirt underneath. His fine sculpted chest was more defined as the tank shirt was snug…..I glanced away, not liking where my thoughts were going staring at his body.

I'm likin' Matt Lanter as the sexy and sweet Marc in Thief.
I’m likin’ Matt Lanter as the sexy and sweet Marc in Thief.
Marc- Theif- The Academy
Marc- Theif- The Academy


Raven. Ahhhhhhh, Raven. He’s my guilty pleasure in Thief. I guess you could say he’s the perfect balance to safe and thoughtful Marc. Raven is a d-bag but he is OH-SO-HOT. He comes on strong when he first meets Kayli and when she pushes back to deflect his intensity, Raven has no qualms about getting physical with her. It’s the shared time between him and Kayli that I enjoyed most about this book.

 He had thick brown hair, cropped short, but left a little long in the front near his face so he had a little bit sticking up. Brown eyes, a couple of days worth unshaven growth around his strong chin. His black tank top revealed heavily tattooed arms…..His deep voice had a gruff tone, like he talked a lot. He had an accent. It almost sounded Russian.

“Hey, Kayli. It’s you and me, girl.”
The yummy Diego Fragoso is not my perfect Rave, but he comes close.
The yummy Diego Fragoso is not my perfect Raven, but he comes close.


The Academy has a job for Kayli, if she’ll take it. The guys want Kayli to get into the pants of a certain Mr. Coaltar but it’s not what you think! They just want her to snatch his wallet.  Mr. Coaltar is the convoluted antagonist in Thief and I found myself drawn to him just as much as my two favorite Academy guys. There’s something fishy about this million-dollar playboy and the Academy has been keeping a close eye on him. Mr. Coaltar’s character is heavy on Southern charm and buttered me up just right. I love it when an author makes me fall for the ”bad guy” as hard as the ”good guy(s)”.

Mr.Coaltar turned.

The world shifted.

His whole appearance was surprising because part of me had expected him to be middle-aged, but he didn’t appear much older than twenty-two or so. A dirty blonde eyebrow arched up. His face was slightly unshaven, but it seemed intentional, making him even more photogenic….And, god forgive me, I paused for a millisecond to admire the view……His eyes dead locked on mine. They were a stunning hazel with flecks of gold around the center.

I could see this hottie pulling off Mr. Coaltar with some Southern charm.
I could see this hottie pulling off Mr. Coaltar with some Southern charm.
"Hey, Kayli. Wanna go for a dip?"
“Hey, Kayli. Wanna go for a dip?”


Thief is like an intense game of chess and cleverly ties into Drop of Doubt in a few scenes. Kayli’s feelings get in the way more than once in this novel and she’s troubled- trying to decide who’s the pawn (her?) and who’s the knight (Academy or Coaltar) in this game of espionage and double-agent she’s gotten herself into. While C.L. Stone uses the same formula to develop Thief as she does with the Ghost Bird series, it’s not redundant; it’s the point. The Academy adopts people who are in less than desirable situations and when you add a girl to the mix of a boys club, things get interesting….And sexy. I didn’t like Thief as much as any of the Ghost Bird series books but the Scarab Beetle series is just warming up. I’m excited for the next Scarab Beetle book, Liar, due out this Summer. I’m challenging C.L. Stone to make me fall for these older Academy fellas as much as I did for our high-school crew. God knows I’m excited as frig about Push and Shove: Ghost Bird Series #6 coming out this June!

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Drop of Doubt (The Academy #5) by C.L.StoneDrop of Doubt by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy #5
Published by Arcato Publishing on January 22, 2014
Pages: 568
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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Sang Sorenson and the Academy boys return to Ashley Waters High School but before they get a chance to even settle in, Sang’s life is threatened by an anonymous caller.

They retreat to the protective walls of the Morgan estate, a safe house for when the boys are under fire. But when new threats can break through those barriers that once kept them secure, it leaves Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North rushing to figure out who is hunting them.

But when you’re fighting a ghost who seems to know all your secrets, retreating is no longer an option.

The Academy, Deceptively Strategic

Hair washing; it’s the new sex.

There’s a shift in tone to Drop of Doubt. The first hundred pages had me nostalgic for the prior four books in this series, but nostalgia was quickly replaced with a strong desire to consume this installment down to the last drop. No doubt about it.

Sang really comes into herself in this novel and acknowledges that she is more than her mother’s daughter. Sang is becoming a pro at discovering her strengths and developing them every chance she gets. Dr. Green, Mr. Blackbourne and the rest of our sexy dog group are noticing this tide in Sang’s demeanor. While some of our studs are open to utilizing what Sang has to offer and letting her play a bigger part in the Academy, others vehemently object to it. But nobody puts Sang in a corner. Sang plays a starring role in the dangerous Academy business that takes place in DoD, and she stays one step ahead of the Academy boys throughout a diabolical game of cat and mouse.

C.L. introduces our most curious villain yet in DoD; Volto. This white masked vigilante adds an ingenious layer to The Academy series and gave me the impression that C.L. has just been warming up with the previous four books. She crafts chic-flick like moments interspersed with action-thriller scenes of the highest caliber that truly give this book a cinematic scope.


While this addition to the series is not as heavy on the one-on-one time with each guy that we have been spoiled with in the other books, the intimate moments Sang shares with a few of our Academy studs makes up for it. Silas made my belly button blush in this book, and Victor takes a turn at washing Sang’s hair. This act has become a viable replacement for sex. Seriously. This intimate transaction blazes with pent up passion.

Victor and Sang’s connection in this novel is deep. Some girls will be Team Victor all the way after reading DoD, but despite C.L.’s best attempts to make me fall for Victor (aka fire eyes), my heart still burns true for Nathan. Nathan fans might feel a little left out in Academy #5, but will hopefully be appeased with the moments Sang shares with Luke. Luke was the unlikely star for me in this book, and I found myself pining for him as much as I do for Nathan.

I let out a loud sigh and pushed my hand against his chest. “Luke, you’re…”

“Handsome? Devilishly clever?”

I couldn’t find the word I wanted, so I opted for poking at his chest and started walking off.


I stopped, turning to find Luke right behind me. […] His palm caught my face before I could pull away. His fingers threaded through my hair. Then he released one hand and picked up mine, dropping it on my mouth.

And he kissed my fingertips. […]

He backed his head away, his half-closed eyes met mine. “I need to take you home, and if I kiss you now, I’ll end up keeping you here.”

I’m working on a third possible cast for The Academy. Here’s a teaser:

Luke A#5.1Luke A#5.2


Drop of Doubt raised the bar for this series. C.L. Stone has mastered a delicate balance of action-mystery-thriller with titillating yet sentimental romance. Academy fans are in for a sexy and suspenseful turn of events in book five. It’s a pulse-pounding thrill ride that blends Pretty Little Liars style intrigue with intense action sequences paused with seductive encounters.  C.L. indirectly answers a question that I’ve had about someone in this series and I’m curious to know what you thought about it. Please share your thoughts and comments below. I promise not to bite… unless it’s a Full Moon.

You can find my reviews of the previous books in this series here. And hop over to Meredith and Jennifer’s Musings to check out their thoughts on Drop of Doubt. You can check out my short and sweet interview with C.L.Stone about her writing process here.


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12 Days of Reviews & Giveaways: Forgiveness and Permission (The Academy #4) by C.L. StoneForgiveness and Permission by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy Series #4
Published by Arcato Publishing on October 29, 2013
Pages: 534
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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Sang Sorenson’s abusive mother is secure in a hospital, and her father has vanished to a new family of his own, leaving Sang and her sister to fend for themselves. Sang is hanging by a thread, and her only hope is a group of boys she feels she barely knows. She’s never really alone. The Academy team has stepped in, promising to protect and care for Sang. Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North take over, showing Sang they can be depended on for anything. But just because the parents are away, doesn’t mean Sang’s life has become any easier. The newfound freedom will have a higher price than any of them had imagined. Principal Hendricks now wants to use Sang to exploit Academy secrets. Mr. McCoy has his own dark plans for her. Enemies are closing in. Sang will need to learn to believe in the boys, and the boys will need to learn to trust her if they want to survive their rivals. And each other. The Academy, Relentless Trust

You can check out my reviews of the first 3 books in this series here, here, and here. You can also check out a feature on C.L. Stone here, and ENTER TO WIN one of her E-books.

Forget the Fifty Shades trilogy. The Academy series will pleasantly torture you into submission.



“We’re all in together. Now you are, too.”

“Without being in the Academy?”

He half smiled. “You can be with us and not in the Academy. It’s where you are now. Will you please trust us, though? If something bugs me, I’ll tell you. Like I told Kota to not bite your fingers.” He let go of my neck, picking up my hand and letting it hover over his lips. ” This,” he said. “It’s okay to claim little things. We share everything, but we can ask the others to back off of little things if it isn’t a big deal.”

Shortly after finishing Forgiveness and Permission, I went into full toddler mode. I broke down with frustration over having to wait for the next book, and pounded my fists on the table, chanting: “Boys, boys! I need BOYS!”. I’m sure you will be expressing the same frustration after completing this fourth installment of The Academy series. C.L. Stone has me wrapped around her little finger with these books, and I’m not complaining. In my last review of The Academy series, I compared Sang to a kitten. In Forgiveness and Permission, Sang’s claws are out, and she’s turning into quite the Tigress. Being around the boys has slowly infused Sang with the confidence and security she has so desperately needed.  But that’s not all that develops in this book. Sang’s feelings for the boys get bigger and bolder.

As the plot and conspiracies thicken in Forgiveness and Permission, the boys decide Sang needs to learn some solid self-defense. Sparring bouts with Kota, Nathan, and Mr. Blackbourne will leave you breathless. Sang and her sister are on their own at home now, and the boys can safely come and go as they please. Sang has a different boy protecting her every night and these moments feel intimate to Sang, but she’s not sure if the boys feel the same way.

If Sang wasn’t sure of the boys intentions before, she is now. There’s hand holding, date-asking, and a couple of back seat moments in this book that will have you ready to fall out of your chair. North holds a special place in Sangs heart in Forgiveness and Permission, and Sang doesn’t know if she can choose between any of the boys. They all seem to be vying for her attention now, but she doesn’t want to go too far with one only to lose the others.

Rocky romantic feelings and sexy self-defense lessons are not the only things that make this one of my favorite Academy books yet. There are football game outings, nose nuzzling, finger sucking moments, and one hell of a high-school party. Not to mention a few awkward heart to hearts between Sang and the boys. Emotions run high between Sang and North, and things get a little heated. They have a blow-out, and Sang is worried she has lost North forever. But as C.L. states at the beginning of Forgiveness and Permission; arguing can be a sign of affection as much as a hug or kiss. Because arguing can show exactly how much you really do care.

Since Sang is technically already helping the boys out at school with Academy business, she has hope of becoming a trusted and permanent member. Little does Sang know, by the end of this book things might become more permanent than she ever imagined.

Sang’s personal growth and sense of self are evolving. If the boys are constantly protecting her she wants to be able to help out, too. In this book Sang proves her worth, and C.L. Stone ends Forgiveness and Permission on an “Oh, no she didn’t!”, “Thank God she did!” moment. C.L. Stone goes there. She really, really goes there. Of course, you will have to read Forgiveness and Permission  to interpret my last few sentences yourself. ENTER to WIN the first four books of The Academy in E-book format below. The fifth book is due out in January 2014. For now, here’s my second choice of casting for the Academy boys for you to drool over. You can check out my first cast here. Which one do you prefer?

The Academy Boys: Cast #2 

Mr. Blackbourne #2 DR. Green #2
Kota #2 Victor #2 Silas #2
North #2 Untitled Nathan #2
Gabriel #2

Academy_Introductions Academy_FirstDays Academy_FriendsvFamily

F&P Academy

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Friends vs Family (The Academy #3) by C.L. StoneFriends vs Family by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy
Published by Arcato Publishing on August 27, 2013
Format: eARC
Source: Author
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Sang Sorenson is forced to suffer through another of her mother’s extreme punishments. It almost kills her. The Academy boys vow it will be the last. They're determined to keep Sang safe, especially from her own family.

Their solution: complete invasion of her life.

Kota, Luke, Silas, Nathan, Victor, Gabriel and North do everything within their power to show Sang what true loyalty means. It takes more than blood to make a family and they want Sang in theirs.

In this third book of The Academy series Sang experiences a taste of freedom and what it’s like to truly be cared for...to be wanted. Sang learns a bit more about the boys’ broken families and the boys discover more than they could ever have bargained for about Sang’s. The Academy was the answer to their problems. Could it be hers?

Sang’s actions will force her mother to reveal a startling truth. A truth that will change Sang’s life and the boys’ lives in unpredictable ways. Forever.

The Academy, Allegiance

Okay, this review is way over due! I read Friends vs Family back in August, so forgive me if things are a little vague. You can check out my reviews for book one here, and book two here.

If Sang died and was reincarnated, I swear she would be a kitten. She’s been in every Academy boy’s lap, and they can’t stop petting her.

Friends vs Family is true to its name, and in this third Academy book Sang and the boys are determined to work around the BIG BAD WITCH (aka Sang’s mother). After a horrifying, and traumatic ”punishment” inflicted upon Sang , the boys are bringing out the big guns. If Sang has to walk on egg shells around her mother, than they will be there to do it with her, and make sure she is safe from the gauntlet that is her mom’s rath. It’s not just her mother Sang has to tip-toe around, though. Sang’s sister will thoroughly piss you the frigg off in this book, and you will need someone to yell at after reading a certain chapter. C.L. is master of playing with moods and emotions in this book.

With the help of Dr.Green and Mr. Blackbourne,  the boys have devised THE ULTIMATE PLAN for Sang’s safety. She will have one or more of the boys at her beck and call 24/7, whether they are in plain sight, the shadows, or….her attic. It wasn’t until this latest fiasco with her mother that Sang realized just how resourceful the boys and The Academy are. Our studly group of guardians create something special for Sang. It’s like a cocoon of safety, and once you read about it you’ll want to make one of your own. I swear, C.L. Stone took one of my childhood fantasies and made it a reality in this book.

As always, the boys are a solar system around Sang, but this time things are heating up. Forget being a Bird amongst the boy’s Academy dog group. Sang is more like a fire hydrant. The boys can’t stop ”marking” her. The back and forth between Sang and the gang has escalated to delicious new heights. Sleep overs and clothes shopping never made for such entertaining reading until now. C.L. managed to jump out and surprise me around every new corner Sang turns with the boys, and I have a feeling I’m going to need a pillow free room and a cold shower after the next book, Forgiveness and Permission.

Friends vs Family does not disappoint. Dark secrets about Sang’s family and her upbringing are brought to light, and we find out about FAVORS in this installment of The Academy. I also managed to pick up a great recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches in this book. It’s definitely worth your time and money. Besides ”lap” theories, and moments that are intimate without being intimate, this book was enjoyable and entertaining as a whole. It’s clever, and coy, and strange, and EROTIC. The last chapter of this book will make you want to bite more than your pillow, and C.L. clarifies something we’ve guessed all along about the boys and their feelings. I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been carrying a torch solely for Nathan the past two books, but Friends vs Family made me decide to double fist it, and carry a torch for Luke as well. Nathan and Luke don’t just rock my socks off in this book, they get them wet….Ahem…Moving on!

In my last Academy post, I promised to include one of my alternate casts with this review, but I lied. I’m going to include it with my review of book four, Forgiveness and Permission, so keep your eyes peeled!



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First Days (The Academy #2) by C.L. StoneFirst Days by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy #2
on April 26, 2013
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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Sang Sorenson used to be the invisible girl in class. As a new student to Ashley Waters High School, Sang hopes that her new friends will be the change she’s been craving and will make fitting in a breeze.

But Academy students aren’t there to take it easy. The high school is overcrowded and rife with violence. When fights begin, Sang will uncover the true reason the boys traded in their private school life for a public one.

This year, Sang will no longer be invisible. This year, Sang is a target.

The principal and vice principal are hot to take Sang down, and her own mother is determined to entrap Sang forever in her belief that the safest place to be is in the shadows. Despite this, Nathan, Luke, Kota, North, Silas, Victor, and Gabriel will discover Sang’s unyielding loyalty.

And they will sorely need it.

The Academy, supremely influential.

You can find my review of  Introductions (The Academy #1) here.

This book had me ready to rip my clothes off.

Sang and the boys are back with a bang, and these are the sexiest First Days of school that I’ve ever attended. In book one of this series we learn that the boys will be infiltrating Sang’s public school. Sang is still having to dodge bullets to hang out with the boys, but she feels safe and important now that she has a support group. For reasons all too obvious to the boys, Sang is garnering very special attention at school, and her posse of hotties helps to deflect the unwanted advances she has been receiving from misfit boys. It seems like Sang’s seven new friends have her whole schedule and every move covered. The guys are like her own special, secret-service. There’s always one of them to walk with her, and she’s always sitting between at least two of them in class.  There’s no lack of touchy-feels in this book either. Each held hand, brush of the cheek, hand on the neck, or pat on the hip made me feel like a green bumble-bee. I was buzzing from each boys interactions with Sang. If I thought I had it bad with book one, I was pleasantly mistaken. First Days had me by the….well you get my point.

During these first days at school we learn more about Kota, Nathan, Victor, North, Luke, Silas, and Gabriel. Certain situations play out that have forced the boys to divulge more information to Sang about what their purpose at her school is, and who is in charge of their covert operation. Sang has officially been taken under The Academy’s wing when Dr. Green sees how indispensable she is to the boys. He agrees to let the principle and the rest of the school think she is part of their operation. But when things start to get out of hand with the trouble-makers at school, Dr. Green throws a new plan into action. This new plan requires Sang to keep her distance from the boys during the day, and puts the studly gang into school uniforms. That’s right. Things just got a little hotter. The description of the boys in their uniforms will have you ready to run around in your skivvies.

Sang proves to be quite the loyal bad-ass in this book when trouble entails.  On two different occasions, Sang goes full-out ninja to defend her new friends, and this doesn’t sit well with Gabriel. Being grounded never sounded so hot. (You’ll have to read the book to make sense of that last sentence. ; ) These intense situations have brought Sang and the boys closer and feelings intensify between all of them. Dr. Green is the first to notice this and at the end of this book we find out that he hasn’t been left untouched by Sang’s powerful and strange presence.

So much happens in First Days! C.L. Stone brings butterflies, emotions, sweaty boys, mayhem, and LUST in this stellar follow-up to Introductions. Okay, maybe I’m the one that brought the lust, but sexy glances, tender touches, and shirtless boys in this novel left me weak at the knees. I swear, this book is so good and such a tease, that you’ll be rolling around on your bed while biting your pillow during some scenes. Each character feels important in this story, and I find myself unable to choose a favorite. The last few chapters of First Days played out with the cleverness and addictive-ness of a Breaking Bad episode. The anticipation for the release of book three in this series has been torturous, but I’m willing to stick it out for C.L. Stone, Sang, and her seven sexy studs. If you’re reading this review and haven’t read the first two Academy books, then I suggest binge reading them immediately. Book three in the series comes out next week. Here’s a little teaser to pique your interest:

I used the cream over the bruises along his back, rubbing it in. I worked silently, not knowing what to ask, knowing there was nothing I could probably say to him to get the truth from him. When I was done with his back, I patted his arm. ” Let me see the front.”

When he flipped over, there was another layer of bruises along his ribs and down his stomach. I squeezed at the bottom of the tube to get more of the cream out. Touching his back had been one thing. Now that I was looking at his muscular bare chest, my fingers trembled. I pressed my fingers to the bruises, trying to calm myself as much as to help his injuries.

I felt his eyes on my face, but I couldn’t look at him when I was touching him in such a way. I focused only on rubbing the cream in. My cheeks started to heat up when I realized what I thought had been shorts were only a pair of boxers. I’d been too preoccupied that he was hurt to notice. I was in a bedroom with a half-naked boy.

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Introductions (The Academy #1) by C.L.StoneIntroductions (The Academy #1) by C.L. Stone
Series: The Academy #1
Published by Arcato Publishing on December 23, 2012
Pages: 280
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
Add to your Goodreads TBR shelf.
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N
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With an agoraphobic mother and a barely-there father, Sang abhors the isolation keeping her in the shadows. The only thing Sang craves is a fresh start and to be accepted as ordinary by her peers, because for her being different meant being cast out alone.

When her family moves to a new school district, Sang infiltrates a group of boys nearly perfect in every way. Grateful for an influence outside of her parents’ negativity, she quickly bonds with the boys, hoping to blend in and learn from them what it means to have a natural relationship with friends.

Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. Bit by bit, Sang discovers that her friends are far from the normalcy she expected. Will her loyalty change when she's forced to remain in the dark, or will she accept that she's traded one house of secrets for another?

Meet Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North in a story about differences and loyalty, truth and mystery, friendships and heart-throbbing intimacy.

The Academy, ever vigilant.

This sexy book was recommended to me by the wonderful Meredith of Meredith’s Musings. Why did I call this book sexy, you ask? Is it because of the cover? NO. It’s because SEVEN good-looking, sensitive yet masculine males are bound between the covers of this novel. Oh, and there are two handsome male teachers to boot.
Please do not judge this book by the picture on the front! I know, I know. It looks like the cheesy cover of a naughty movie, but this book is as chaste as the sexual tension between Bella and Edward in Twilight.
Our narrator is a 16 year-old female named Sang Soreneson. She has just moved to a new neighborhood with her family, and is about to start a new school. To say Sang’s family is dysfunctional is the understatement of the year. Frustrated and broken by her mother’s crazy and fear filled tyranny, Sang decides to run away. Just for a night. She needs a taste of freedom, and decides she will sneak out, and sleep in a house that is under new construction. It’s at the beginning of this escapade that Sang meets our first of seven, hot  guys.
I’m not usually one to care about secondary character’s in a book. I almost never include details about them in my reviews.  As long as my MC’s are awesome, I’m good. In this book, I am in love with the secondary character’s. They have the presence of ONE, awesome MC.
This appropriately coined first installment in the Academy series is ALL introductions. We meet Sang, her family, and the warm and attractive boys that live near her home. Introductions chronicles Sang’s first experiences outside of her mother’s shadow, and her feelings as she meets and gets to know each boy. The only friction we find in this novel is a run in with some troublesome guys, and Sang’s effort to sneak out and keep her mother from discovering her new friends. Near the end of the novel, we finally get a nod towards an actual plot.
This was one of the most bizarre and addictive books I have ever read. C.L.Stone has mastered the seductiveness of an innocent touch. This story is bursting at the seams with sensations. A hand on the back there, a brush of an arm here, a finger on your hip there….It was intoxicating, and a tease. It was perfect.
Introductions had a few of the same elements that I found so attractive in Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series. Each of the guys in this book are more than just a pretty face. Sang’s character had depth, and I like that the author took her sweet time to develop each person in the novel. No one really feels secondary.
One of my favorite scenes in this book is when Sang gets her hair washed. It’s something so unimportant, yet memorable. Sang shares a defining and intimate moment with each male protagonist. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the books in this series develop. This story had me hooked the whole way through.
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star