Bright Side

Review ~ Bright Side by Kim Holden

Bright Side is a love story about life.
Or maybe it’s a life story about love
Either way it’s not what you’re expecting.
(Kim Holden)

Bright SideTitle: Bright Side (Bright Side #1)

Author: Kim Holden

Genre: New Adult

Published: July 4, 2014

~ Synopsis ~

Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

~ Michelle’s 4.75 Star Review ~

I saw the book Bright Side mentioned on Facebook as a book that had gutted the reader, but it was the best book she had read all year (those were her words). So on a whim I decided to purchase the book without reading the synopsis first. It’s kind of crazy when I used to always read the last chapter of a book first because  I didn’t like surprises.  My how things have changed.

Bright Side is told from Kate’s POV, and each chapter is dated, almost like a diary. The book follows Kate while she leaves San Diego and moves to Minneapolis to attend college…leaving her best friend, Gus, behind.  We get to see how Kate interacts with the numerous people she comes in contact with, all while keeping a secret that will change the lives of her as well as her new friends.

Kate deals with her past, present, and her future like any true heroine would do. And without a doubt she is my absolute favorite character from the book because she is literally a breath of fresh air.  Kate always sees the good in every situation and makes the most of a bad situation. Kate is definitely my kind of friend; she has the best sense of humor. At times I could literally see Kate wearing a Superwoman costume and sporting a cape…always to the rescue and ready for anything.

“Don’t judge each other. We all have our own shit. Keep your eyes on yours and your nose out of everyone else’s unless you’re invited in. And when you get the invitation, help, don’t judge.”

This is the first book I’ve ever read by Kim Holden.  She does a fantastic job at writing likable and real characters, and I have to mention Gus and Keller. Honestly, every single character throughout the book is wonderfully written.

I pretty much had guessed what Kate’s secret was, but it didn’t change how I felt about the book.  My only comments/questions that I wish Holden would have addressed was whether Kate finished reading A Tale of Two Cities?  What became of Kate’s aunt?  And Kate gave Keller a book.  Did he ever read it?  They seemed to be important elements in the book but lacked closure.

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue dreams and goals. Just don’t forsake the present for the unknowns of the future. A lot of happiness is bypassed, overlooked, postponed to a time years from now that may never come. Don’t bide your time and miss out on this moment for a tomorrow with no guarantee.”

I’m not going to lie. Bright Side had me in tears, but they weren’t all sad tears.  I believe I was even smiling through the tears.

Upon finishing Bright Side, I wasn’t sure I loved the book. However, I could not stop thinking about it. I kept reminiscing different scenes throughout the book, which made me realize that I liked/loved it more than I thought I did and would highly recommend it. There were so many life lessons throughout Bright Side, and I would recommend this book to readers 16 and older.

Bright Side is a stand-alone novel, although the author has stated that she is writing a sequel about Gus, and I look forward to reading that book too.

** Bright Side Play List **

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Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble


~ About the Author ~


Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle (my husband built it for me), Facebook (I’m fairly certain it’s an addiction at this point), iced coffee (hazelnut), and music (LOVE the 1975, Dredg, the xx, Haim, Teenage Bottlerocket, and 30 Seconds to Mars). I also love dreaming, which brings me to my next point. I have one bit of advice for anyone reading this … follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! I wanted to write a book 20 years ago. Instead I waited. And waited. I should’ve been writing. But I didn’t. I don’t do regrets, because the past is just that, the past. But let me tell you there’s nothing in the world like achieving something you’ve dreamt about for years and years. So, get started. Make your dreams reality.

I love to hear from other readers. Send me a message or find me on Facebook  and tell what’s up in your reading world.


Chained by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire 2) by Larissa Ione


Book II of The MoonBound Clan Vampires series




 Title: Chained by Night

Author: Larissa Ione

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Pocket Books

Published: September 30, 2014






Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation.To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.


But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?



Order the Book  

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks


~ Karen Ponders ~

In Chained by Night (MoonBound Vampire Clan #2), Larissa Ione weaves dynamic Urban Fantasy world-building and Native American lore to create a story which pumps new life into the vampire genre. Only Ione could successfully blend an epic tale of vampire clans, demonic trials and a heart pounding love story into a story of sacrifice, betrayal and redemption.

The story in Chained by Night takes place shortly after the close of Bound by Night (MoonBound Vampire Clan #1) in which the author introduces us to her creation of the vampire culture and a world that mirrors our own but with a unique twist that sets it apart. (See below for a review of that book)

The world that Larissa Ione has created is one where vampires in general are treated as wild animals; they are not classified as human beings and have no civil rights under the law. Most vampires are kept as slave labor by rich humans who have abused and betrayed their own humanity by keeping any being as a slave. In her first book Bound by Night, the author sets up the world; in Chained by Night, she expands on the world she has built. The human race portrayed so far has sunk to its lowest common denominator… there are no human beings I would want to associate with portrayed in the world Ione has created in her books.  Free vampires do exist and live in the ‘wild’ in clan communities. They are hunted like animals and they have prices on their heads.   With the exception of the MoonBound Clan, the ‘free’ vampires live in a savaged hard world, one not of their own making, so I can’t judge even the bad vampires too harshly; they are being hunted to extinction and no matter how long lived they are, it is only a matter of time before they disappear from the earth. Larissa Ione’s books are not just about vampires but serve as a commentary on the same social issues we deal with daily in our country as evidenced by the number of  people who are disenfranchised due to race, social status or economics.  In Ione’s books the world is not black and white, and sometimes grey is the color you have to be in order to survive.

At the heart of the book is a tale of duty versus love.  The leader of the MoonBound Clan is Hunter who is devoted to his people and his devotion has led him to agree to mate the daughter of an enemy clan.  The daughter of the enemy clan is  spoiled and heartless, a woman who had been denied nothing because of her strength and position in her father’s clan.  Her deformed twin comes along to be her decoy during her wedding serving as a sacrificial lamb in the event the enemy human or enemy vampires should strike. The tale that Ione spins pitting Hunter’s obligation to seek peace against his own selfish desires is one that tore at my heart.  In the end Hunter has to make a choice.  Is he willing to make peace for the good of all the people in his clan. . . or is he willing to sacrifice all for the love of one woman?

As with all of Ione’s books the characters, even the minor ones are completely fleshed out so that I, as the reader, had a complete experience of being immersed in the world and culture she created.   Everyone from the youngest vampire to the oldest matters and contributes to the whole of the community.  It is the strong sense of community in this book which just makes me want to read more in this series.

Advanced Uncorrected Proof was provided by the publisher.


~ Read Karen’s Review ~

Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires Book 1) 


About the Author

About the Author

Larissa IoneAir Force veteran Larissa Ione traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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