• Reviews

    COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY ~ AFLAME BY PENELOPE DOUGLAS

    From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series.
    The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…
    Everyone wants to be me.
    Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.
    I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.
    They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?
    But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.
    Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

    Penelope Douglas is a writer in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to “just get the degree!” She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, The Originals, and she shops at Target almost daily.

  • Reviews

    BLOG TOUR ~ THE TRAVELING MAN BY JANE HARVEY-BERRICK

    I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.
    Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t.
    Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.
    Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough.

    He’d grown taller. Not as tall as his grandfather yet, but nearly as tall as my father. His shoulders were wider and I could see his biceps pushing through his ragged t-shirt, but he was still on the thin side, wiry, I guess. He looked stunning, like he should be in a boy band—you know, the bad one that makes all the parents fear for their daughters’ virginity.
    I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I turned to study the competition. I had to admit it wasn’t looking good. The girl was taller than me and wore a low cut tank top that showcased a lot of cleavage. Her boobs were no better than mine, I decided—there was just more of them on show. So whereas I looked safe, nice you might say, she looked dangerous. Her arms were covered in colorful tattoos, her ears pierced five or six times each, and she had silver rings through her lip and eyebrow. Her face was hard, but beautiful, even caked in makeup. I guessed she was maybe two or three years older than me, it was hard to tell.
    As if she felt my gaze on her, she swung toward me, her eyes blazing.
    “No rubes back here!” she yelled. “Get the fuck out!”
    I was shocked that a complete stranger would speak to me like that. I froze, my eyes darting to Kes. He turned to look at me, his frown of annoyance changing to a warm smile.
    “Chill, Sorcha,” he muttered. “The shrimp’s a friend.”
    I wanted to laugh. I wanted to cry. He was pleased to see me, but so dismissive. I stood there with my mouth hanging open. And then I was in Kes’s arms, breathing in the scent of sweat and soap and something like fresh hay that was so familiar.
    “Hey, kid! How you doing?” he said, as he led me away.
    His voice had deepened. No longer childlike, it was a light, pleasant tenor.
    “Don’t call me kid!” I snapped, punching his shoulder.
    He laughed and rubbed the spot where I’d hit him. His dimple popped out and I wished I’d hit him harder—then kissed him better.
    “Okay, not a kid,” he smiled, but then I watched his eyes darken as they drifted down my body, pausing at my chest, then doing a slow sweep along my legs and hips. “No, not a kid,” he said again, and this time his voice was gruffer.
    Sometimes there are those rare books I read that really can’t be swept under one rating and The Traveling Man falls under that case. I just want to say this part first before anything else: I loved and disliked this book in equal measures. The unique setting of the story, the friends-to-lovers romance, and the beautiful writing were all major positives. Yet on the flip side, there were several plot devices I flat-out didn’t like and put up a pretty big negative case against the positive. And with these kinds of books that make me feel so conflicted, I have tons to say, so I’ll be disregarding the rating this time and just let my thoughts all out before I start pulling my hair out.
    With each new book I read from this author, it never fails to surprise me that there’ll be some unique aspect incorporated that makes her stories stand out among her own work and others. This book was no exception, and what made this one different is the carnival setting. I think the closest I’ve come to this premise would be a circus romance I read a while back but even so, the author makes it clear there’s a difference and that there’s more to a carnival than just petting animals and magic tricks. It’s very well researched – from the detailed descriptions of carnival ‘carnie’ life to behind the scenes setup – and it’s among all this chaotic fun where the stormy romance between Aimee Anderson and Kestrel Donohue began.
    Their backgrounds are so different – Aimee’s your average girl living an ordinary life while Kes is a carnie, a wild card from the very start who has no roots and lives for thrills and excitement. And yet – even from the time they were children – there has always been a connection between them that no one could ever sever, a bond that just seemed right.
    “He was everything I wasn’t, but somehow, together, there was a synergy, an alignment, something just made sense no matter how crazy it seemed to anyone else.”
    The tricky part is that for every year for 6 years, Kes and Aimee would only see each other for two weeks as the carnival would tour around the country after that. As they were kids maturing into adolescence, the author perfectly captured the strife caused by their growing attraction to one another and the inevitable long distance. Thus, the two weeks they could see each other became their lifeline, from daily outings to bedroom readings to innocent kisses…they had to make the best memories to last them for a year before they could see each other again.
    The pivotal year that became the game changer was the year Aimee turned 16, when she and Kes both instinctively knew that all their years of playing around as kids were over. They were teens in love that left no room for anyone else.
    “You’re my girl, Aimee. No one else.”
    Just when they thought they could finally be together, a series of unfortunate events hit them hard – deception, loss, misunderstandings, etc…I can’t even begin to describe how frustrated and angry I was that such a wonderful couple had THIS many obstacles to face. This part was also my strike #1 as I thought some of the conflicts were put in for pure drama’s sake and the time gap right after all this put me in an even sour mood. If you didn’t already know, I hate time gaps.
    Anyways, years pass and in a very realistic and believable manner, Aimee and Kes meet again. Both have matured considerably, both have moved on, yet both can’t deny that their chemistry and bond from before hasn’t changed. Even after finishing the book, I still can’t get over this second chance romance part because there’s just SO. MUCH. tension and conflict and passion put together that I’ve questioned more than once if their love is toxic. Because of their failed past relationship and all the baggage they’re dragging, these two have put up high walls. Some of their actions are cruel. Some just made me go WTF. And this quote from Aimee captures their struggles perfectly:
    “…that was the truth: I’d never stopped loving him, but I was beginning to wish that I could.”
    One part of this book that has always bothered me was the lack of information about Kes’s background. He’s such a tortured guy. He’s harsh and rough, but can also be gentle and loving. Throughout the book, only little hints have been dropped about his past and what could’ve made him so closed off and cynical, even towards Aimee.
    I wished the author could’ve given me more on that – maybe even a few chapters in his POV – because it made some (okay, a LOT) of his actions seem unnecessarily cruel. And yet strangely enough, every time I thought he stepped out of line, I would remember. I would flash back to the time where he and Aimee were sweet, carefree children, flash back to young teenagers in love. Same with Aimee. Every time I got annoyed with her doormat-ish behavior, I would remember how strongly and deeply she loved Kes and how holding onto that love was #1 for her, that no matter what, she believed their love was worth fighting for.
    “Kes was moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful. He scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me.”
    You could say that the author has effectively messed with my mind because these warring emotions are the source of my inner conflict and why I can’t decide on any one rating. Other technical issues I had like the very abrupt ending and how when they were children, Aimee and Kes didn’t really talk like kids were factors to consider too. It wouldn’t have been fair of me to let my frustration take over and give a 3 star rating because I really was invested in this couple, in their romance. I loved them individually and I loved them together. On the flip side, I can’t hand out a 4.5 or 5 star rating because those plot devices truly frustrated and angered me.
    But what’s weighing heavily on my mind right now is that I simply can’t forget about the book. There’s just this intensity to the story and I’m so tempted to do a re-read now, even knowing that reading all the conflict again will probably kill me. So much happens so fast I’m feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Taking all of this into account, does it sound like an epic romance worth reading or just a bundle of never-ending drama and unanswered questions best to skip? I have no clue. And I still can’t get these characters out of my mind…
    The Traveling Man is book 1 in a 2-book series and isn’t a standalone. Aimee and Kes’s tumultuous journey will be concluded in book 2 The Traveling Woman. You can bet your bottom dollar the moment the second book releases I will be reading it. I NEED my closure!!
    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

    I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It’s only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow. I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas. Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.

  • Reviews

    BLOG TOUR ~ SECOND DEBT BY PEPPER WINTERS

    “I tried to play a game. I tried to wield deceit as perfectly as the Hawks. But when I thought I was winning, I wasn’t. Jethro isn’t what he seems—he’s the master of duplicity. However, I refuse to let him annihilate me further.”
    Nila Weaver has grown from naïve seamstress to full-blown fighter. Every humdrum object is her arsenal, and sex…sex is her greatest weapon of all.
    She’s paid the First Debt. She’ll probably pay more.
    But she has no intention of letting the Hawks win.
    Jethro Hawk has found more than a worthy adversary in Nila—he’s found the woman who could destroy him. There’s a fine line between hatred and love, and an even finer path between fear and respect.
    The fate of his house rests on his shoulders, but no matter how much ice lives inside his heart, Nila flames too bright to be extinguished.

    4-4.5 stars!
    Okay, this book was intense and explosive! As of now I’ve actually read it twice and even knowing what happens while I read the second time around, these characters and plot twists still manage to surprise me. That’s one thing I love about this book and series – the story is just so unpredictable. Books that keep me on my toes, has an edgy romance, and dynamic characters are my favorite, and this book had all three.
    This 3rd book continues directly from where the last one ended. In a nutshell, Nila has paid the first debt in full, is still a prisoner of sorts in the Hawk mansion, and has developed feelings for Jethro whether she likes it or not. And the same can be said of Jethro. The first part of this book is focused on the push/pull dynamic between the two, creating delicious angst that’s believable because of the circumstances that make any kind of romance impossible. But at the same time I was a little frustrated with Nila because Jethro was trying his best to reach out to her while fending off his family’s demands, and she brushes him off. Coming from a romance reader’s point of view, I didn’t like it but I understood her mentality and need to protect herself first, regardless of her growing love for him.
    The second half of the book picked up in terms of plot, and it’s what really got me hooked. Among other events, Nila has to pay the second debt now and from the moment she finds out what it is to the history that links back to it to the actual execution of her debt…I had to remind myself to breathe. It all played out like a trainwreck I couldn’t do anything to stop, yet I couldn’t look away from either. And for me, this was the turning point in Nila and Jethro’s relationship, where the slave/master terminology no longer applied to them, and where they truly acknowledged each other as equals.
    The ending of this book is a doozy. Simply put, I did not expect the story to go where it did. It was a complete shocker and a wickedly brilliant move from the author, but it worries me too because I really have no clue where Nila and Jethro’s story could go from this point on. I have quite a few theories in mind though and I can’t wait to see what the author has planned for them in the next book!
    Second Debt is the third installment in the Indebted serial (total of 6 books) and must be read after the first two books. The author has prefaced in all of these books that cliffhangers are to be expected and while it’ll leave you desperate for the next one, it’ll also be a satisfying reading experience as each of these books has a full beginning, middle, and end. Previous questions will be answered while presenting new ones at the same time.
    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
    Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex. She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.
  • Reviews

    BOOK REVIEW ~ HERO BY SAMANTHA YOUNG

    The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.
    Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.
    Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.
    Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

    I had a blast reading this book! It’s got the perfect mix of steam, angst and humor, and the writing was extremely addicting I couldn’t put the book down. I honestly believe it’s one of those books where it doesn’t matter what mood you’re in – you could pick it up anytime and be easily swept away by the captivating story and charming characters. But at the same time, I want to warn you to not go in with any expectations that this’ll be like the On Dublin Street books, because it’s not, and that’s a good thing. This one’s a fun, sexy, yet at-times emotional enemies-to-lovers office romance that just about had a little bit of everything sprinkled in the story, and is a winner for me!
    So a little bit about the story…the heroine Alexa Holland is an assistant to a famous photographer and in one of those shoots, meets the hero Caine Carraway, an aloof CEO who shares a twisted and messed up past with her. A tiny altercation happens, and before you know it, Alexa is fired from her job and becomes Caine’s personal assistant. Frankly, I struggled a little with this first part of the story as I didn’t quite understand the motivations behind their actions – especially Alexa’s – but the more I read, the more I started to get it.
    Because she’s the only one who knows what it’s like to have her father destroy not only her family, but Caine’s as well…that kind of similarity between them gives them a bond, and as much as he dislikes her and is reluctant to admit it, Caine knows that fact well too. From this moment on, everything I read was 5 star book material. I love that even though Caine was a mega jerk to her, Alexa took it all in stride and wasn’t easily intimidated by him, and had counterattacks of her own. There’s an underlying attraction there, but it’s not acted upon immediately (love that!!). Instead, I got to read how a genuine camaraderie developed between the two first, and it was so fun to see them banter. Seriously, I lost count the number of times I laughed! The romance and the steam gradually built up from all that and when it did blow up, it was explosive! One thing I can always count on this author to do is write scorching HOT sex scenes and she delivered again here.
    Then the story took a turn down angst road, and for those that know my book tastes, you know that angst scares the crap out of me. I like to hurt when I read, but not too much you know? And I have to say, I adored the push/pull dynamic Alexa and Caine had here. Any and all drama wasn’t over the top, yet it was completely believable because of their intertwined pasts and loads of baggage they were each carrying. They both settled into a friends-with-benefits relationship and it both warmed and stabbed at my heart to see them struggle with their growing feelings for each other. Caine pushed, Alexa pulled, and the cycle repeated.
    There was a lot of tension between the two, but not to the point where it was frustrating, and the main reason is Alexa. She’s persistent, know what she wants, and will make the effort to get it (in this case, it’s Caine). I’m a huge sucker for strong-minded heroines, and she embodied that sentiment perfectly. There’s actually a duality to her character – she’s a people-pleaser, yet she won’t let their demands get the best of her either. It’s not to say Caine was a total layover because he wasn’t – he was dominant and aggressive when need be, but also had a layer of vulnerability he showed Alexa. And together, they burned up the sheets! But they’d also have the sweetest and most meaningful conversations too. I could really tell that they were two characters that complemented each other perfectly.
    By the time I got to the final quarter of the book, I was a little surprised with a certain plot twist. It wasn’t bad at all and it actually added a suspenseful quality to the story, but it just felt out of the blue. I had a disconnect with the plot there, simply because it was unexpected.
    One thing I have to mention is that this author writes such realistic stories. Her characters may be rich and famous, but they have the same problems just like the average person does. If anything, her stories reminds me that birds poop, people fart, and not every sex position works on the first try LOL! Things I usually nit-pick about, I don’t have the urge to in this book. The small issues I did have were minor and in no way derailed me from enjoying the story. The sizzling chemistry, the witty banter, the laugh out loud hilarious scenes, and of course the romance were all well done. I only wish there was more!
    Hero is an adult contemporary romance standalone unrelated to this author’s other books.
    ARC provided by Penguin Intermix via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Reviews

    NEW RELEASES, SALES, & REVIEWS 1/27/15

    Happy Tuesday book junkies!! New week, new book sales and releases, and boy, some of these sound right up my alley! Like…Mendacious by Beth Ashworth (twisted second chance romance – she left him, their paths cross once again, and he wants revenge against her!!) Sever by J.M. Miller (childhood best friends reconnect again, except with the heroine breaking into the house the hero just bought!), Landslide by Jenn Cooksey (friends-to-lovers romance, plus I love the end quote: “…love is friendship caught on fire.”), Past Heaven by Laura Ward (heroine’s husband is murdered, hero is an actor who plays her husband in a movie, and they fall in love), Word Play by Amalie Silver (romance between a book blogger and author!!), The Vixen & the Vet by Katy Regnery (romance between a journalist and the two hermit who’s a disfigured war veteran), and Throb by Vi Keeland (this sounds like a crazy erotica read! “…I realized the deal I’d made was with the devil…and I was in love with his dirty-talking brother.”<– what??).

    As for my reading last week, I have a couple of book recommendations for you! My last read was an uber fun & sexy read called Hero by Samantha Young! I really enjoyed it and highly recommend you preorder it so when it releases in a week, you’ll have it on your device ready to read (here’s my review). More new favorites – Second Debt by Pepper Winters (here’s my review) and Trade Me by Courtney Milan (here’s my review).

    Upcoming Releases: Did you know I now have a section that’ll list upcoming releases for the year? Be sure to bookmark the page below as I update it daily with preorders/Goodreads links.

    Cool tip: Tired of seeing all the $.99, $1.99, $2.99, etc… on your bills? Send yourself an Amazon gift card and plan a budget accordingly

    P.S. Don’t have a Kindle/Kindle account? No worries! Get a free Kindle Reading App, regardless if you have a Kindle! I have an iPad and I mostly read on the app

    Note: All prices are good at the time of posting so be sure to double check ’em before final purchase!!

    NEW RELEASES

    • Beautiful Redemption by Jamie McGuire <— second book in the Maddox Brothers series –> “If A Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever. But what if he didn’t love you, first?”
    • The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick ($.99) <-– This book totally wrecked me! It was one emotional rollercoaster I couldn’t get off of (not sure if I even wanted to). I was so conflicted I didn’t know how to rate it…so I didn’t. (here’s my review) As of now it’s still priced at $.99 but it’ll be changing soon so if you want to read this one, grab it now while it’s still on sale!
    • Sever by J.M. Miller <– on my top TBR!! The hero and heroine were childhood best friends (actually, she saved him from bullies and their friendship grew from there) but eventually the heroine had to move out of town. A few years later when they do reconnect, it’s when she’s given a job to break into the house he just bought. grin emoticon Oh AND!!! –> “[The heroine] discovers that their startling encounter is the least of the night’s problems. There’s someone else in the house, and the only thing on his mind is revenge.”
    • Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost <– PNR romance & the third in her Night Prince series!
    • Mendacious by Beth Ashworth <– this one sounds good! It’s a twisted second chance romance. The hero and heroine were once married but the heroine buckled under pressure and left the hero. Fast forward 7 years and their paths cross again, except… –> “an opportunity for revenge presents itself, Alex jumps at the offer. His mind is determined to make Libby feel the pain he has suffered over the last seven years… but his heart and conscience are fiercely battling against him. The love of his life is back once again, but who can win in this mendacious game of revenge?”
    • Cartel by Lili St. Germain <– the first book in her prequel series to the wickedly intense and twisted Gypsy Brothers series! I really enjoyed this one and if you’re in the mood for one wild, fast-paced biker read, this one’s a good choice! (here’s my review)
    • Falling for Jillian by Kristen Proby <— the 3rd book in her Love Under the Big Sky series but can be read as a standalone. It’s a romance featuring “a veteran struggling with PTSD and the one woman who can help him recover—and learn to love again.”
    • The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson <– this one sounds emotional! The heroine lost her husband and is going through the five stages of grief all while slowly falling for the hero, her next door neighbor!
    • Going the Distance by Julianna Keyes <— This one sounds different – it’s a romance between a teacher and army interrogator turned carpenter in a small town in China!
    • Take Me With You by K.A. Linde <— book 2 in her Take Me series is now live! This is a NA rockstar romance and continues the story told from book 1, so be sure to read that one first!
    • Landslide by Jenn Cooksey <– this one sounds really good – “For Erica and Cole, the bond of friendship was forged in childhood. Now, torn and broken by grief, that bond will become paramount as two friends look to one another for comfort, strength, and hope in the aftermath of loss…Because, for some people…love is friendship caught on fire.” <– LOVE THAT!!
    • Risking It All by Tessa Bailey <– steamy romantic suspense!!
    • Kyland by Mia Sheridan
    • Kick by Carmen Jenner <— first book in her Savage Saints MC series and a biker romance – “When I was ten, my father indoctrinated me into the family. A brotherhood who would fight, protect, and give their lives for one another…When I was twenty-seven, I betrayed that brotherhood. I’ve spent every day since running, avoiding paying back that debt. My name is Daniel Johnson. I have betrayed everyone I ever loved. And I’ll betray her too.”
    • Nepenthe by Lindsay Paige <— sports romance and a standalone in her Bracing for Love series! The hero was once a star football player hoping to make it to the NFL, but those dreams were shattered when he got injured and his brief career ended. He battles depression and has hit his rock bottom – that is, until the feisty and pushy heroine (also his next door neighbor) helps him out of his funk!
    • Throb by Vi Keeland <— sounds really good – “The rules: No dating. No sex outside of the game. No disclosing the terms of the contract. Rules were made to be broken, right?…it wouldn’t be hard to live up to my end of the bargain…so I thought. Until I realized the deal I’d made was with the devil…and I was in love with his dirty-talking brother.” <– say WHAT?gasp emoticon
    • If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries <– historical romance!
    • I Was Here by Gayle Forman <– YA mystery/thriller!
    • The Legend of Arturo King by L.B. Dunbar <– rockstar romance!
    • Contractual by Alice Montalvo-Tribue <— sounds good!! “They told me I’d be an escort; they made it sound so easy. Really I’m just a high priced call girl. Desperation brought me to this and it led me to him, my one and only client. Hating him is easy, he reminds me of my shame. Wanting him is wrong it fills me with guilt. Loving him is a losing battle yet it’s become everything. A gift and a curse, he consumes my every thought and I’d rather play my part in his bed than to spend one day without him.”
    • Craving Resurrection by Nicole Jacquelyn <– biker romance!
    • Past Heaven by Laura Ward <– on my top TBR!! The heroine’s entire world falls apart when her renowned husband is murdered and she’s left raising their kids alone. The hero is an actor who plays her husband to memorialize his past accomplishments so naturally they both meet. “They never expected their professional relationship to evolve into friendship, or love, but that’s exactly what happens. [They’re] left to decide whether two people from such different worlds can find happiness together… Not every love story is just a happy ending. Some completely change your life.”
    • A Father’s Fight by J.B. Salsbury <– MMA fighter novella!
    • Second Debt by Pepper Winters <— 3rd installment in her dark & twisted Indebted series and continues Jethro & Nila’s story! I love this series, and this book especially – not to be missed! (here’s my review)
    • Standard Romance Story by Lily White <— this book concept sounds fresh – “Have you ever read a romance novel and wondered what it would be like to date one of the heroes in the stories? We’ve all been lost to the beautiful and touching stories, the funny and quirky antics of the characters, and the, sometimes, unbelievable love stories that fill the pages of those books…Follow Jane as she dates the standard romance guys in an attempt to find true love: The rocker, the biker, the billionaire, the tattooed bad boy, the firefighter, the lawyer, the vampire, the cowboy, the alpha, the teacher, the movie star, the professional athlete, the fighter and the captor.”
    • The Procedure by Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea <— this has my interest!! The heroine plans to undergo plastic surgery in hopes of making herself more beautiful and winning back her husband. The hero is the professional she’s hired to do the job. As unlikely as it is, a romance develops between the two –> “She came into my office wanting me to change her, but instead she changed me.”
    • Enchant by Rachel Van Dyken ($.99) <– standalone prequel to her Eagle Elite series & a NA mafia romance – “Go back to the first part of the story. Where true love tried to conquer all. Where true love…failed.”
    • Foolproof by Jennifer Blackwood ($.99)
    • The Consequences of Sin by K.A. Robinson <— The heroine is an assassin who gets the chance to get a new identity and finally escape from her controlling father. She’s also torn between two loves – her new stripper roommate or her best friend who’s always been there for her. And then her past catches up with her –> “…secrets that she’s fought to keep hidden are revealed, and she’s forced to choose between Reid and the life she could have with him, or Wes, the one man who has always loved her unconditionally. Regardless of her choice, she must learn the consequences of sin.”
    • Wings Over Poppies by J.A. DeRouen <-– NA second chance romance – “…one amazing night, he lets down his walls, only to leave me the next day. Years have passed, and I’ve tried to move on with my life. But I still dream of him. I still miss him everyday. The memories haunt me. How can I look to the future when my past remains a mystery? The time has come to find the boy who stole my heart and ran away without a word…My name is Alexandra Fontaine, and this is my story of unfinished love.” 
    • Serial 3 by Jaden Wilkes & Lily White <– 3rd installment in their dark and erotic thriller series!
    • Hell’s Ink by Nicole Reed <– biker romance companion to Beautiful Ink ($.99).
    • Blurred Lines by Jen McLaughlin <— This one’s a romance between 2 people who’ve been burned by love in the past – him when his fiancé cheats, her when she loses him forever. Just when things might work out, a hidden secret threatens their new relationship –> “…I finally begin to believe in the power of true love again. That is, until I find out who he really is…and by then, it’s far too late to correct the mistakes we’ve already made. By the time we both know the truth, the lines have already been blurred beyond recognition.”
    • Saving You by Kelly Elliot <— This is book 2 in Kelly Elliot’s Love Wanted in Texas series and a second chance romance standalone – “What happens when your head and heart contradict each other regarding the one person you’ve always wanted?”
    SALES

    • Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas ($2.99) <— This one’s a psychological thriller, “a tale of erotic surrender that explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.” Good one to try if you’re in the mood for something dark!
    • Unafraid by Melody Grace ($.99) <– I really enjoyed this NA romance standalone! The heroine is an infamous bad girl who everyone judges before they really get to know her. The hero is from a wealthy, respected family and the pressure to be perfect is killing him. “A reckless passion. An undeniable bond. Scarred by their pasts, Brit and Hunter fight to heal old wounds…but when love is the biggest risk of all, can they find the courage to face the future unafraid?”
    • Bait by M. Mabie ($.99) <– angst alert!! “I’ll never love anyone like I love him. [She doesn’t love me enough to choose us.] It was the wrong place. [It was the wrong time.] It should have been him. [It will always be her.]”
    • Keatyn Chronicles by Jillian Dodd ($.99) <— All 7 books here!! These are YA romances following the daughter of a famous actress and her self-discovery journey –> “…the girl who seems to have everything isn’t happy with the direction of her life, so she makes a wish on the moon. Follow Keatyn on her journey of discovering what’s really important in life and love in this modern-day epic fairytale. Because, sometimes, wishes do come true.”
    • Nocte by Courtney Cole ($.99) <– first time sale!!! I read and enjoyed this thrilling YA romance last year – my mind was spinning trying to figure out what was going on (here’s my review)
    • Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley ($.99) <– This one’s a biker romance where the newly divorced heroine works at a biker bar and falls for her boss!
    • The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn ($.99) <– loved this YA romance!! Both the hero and heroine are from different social standings, have totally different life goals, but fall in love with each other nonetheless (here’s my review)
    • Tainted by K.A. Robinson ($.99) <– concludes her Torn series!! Be sure to read the first 2 books as it’s one continuous story
    • Carter Reed by Tijan ($.99) <-– one of my favorites from 2013!! If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced and steamy mafia romance, try this one!
    • Empathy by Ker Dukey ($.99) <– NA dark romance alert! This one’s also a Kindle Countdown deal.
    • Intern serial by Brooke Cumberland ($.99) <— All installments are bundled together and on sale for $.99! This one’s a steamy office romance: “He’s the boss. She’s the intern. Nothing can happen. It’s against the company rules. Then again, rules were made to be broken.”
    • Word Play by Amalie Silver ($.99) <– oooh a romance between a blogger and author!
    • Every Which Way (#1) and Breaking the Wrong (#2) by Calia Read are both $1.99 each!
    • Craving Constellations by Nicole Jacquelyn ($.99) <– first book in the Aces series and a biker romance!
    • The Vixen & the Vet by Katy Regnery ($.99) <— This one’s a modern ‘Beauty & the Beast’ retelling from Katy Regnery. The heroine’s once-promising journalism career is in ruins and as a last resort, decides to do a human interest piece on the hero, a wounded veteran and the town hermit!
    • Becoming His by Mariah Dietz ($.99) <— This one’s a NA second chance romance: “…sometimes a little crazy is exactly what life needs while learning that some chances are worth taking, regardless of the risks. But how do you know when you’ve met the right person? And will they be prepared to experience one of life’s biggest obstacles?”
    • November Blue series by Andrea Randall ($2.99) <— All 5 books bundled together: “Years ago, when November Harris took the stage to sing with musician Bo Cavanaugh, she couldn’t have dreamed that night would be the beginning of forever. Love, loss, family, friends, death, and life tear Bo and Ember apart and struggle to bring them together as they walk their path through the November Blue series…”
    • Thompson Sisters series and Rachel’s Peril trilogy by Charles Sheehan Miles are both $2.99 each! Both bundles have 3 books and they’re emotional, intelligently-written, interconnected NA romance standalones revolving around a group of sisters!
    • Third Degree by Julie Cross ($.99) <– NA romance between a geeky nerd girl and her RA!
    • Whatever Life Throws At You by Julie Cross ($2.99) <– forbidden(ish) sports romance!
    • Golden Hour by Steph Campbell & Liz Reinhardt ($.99) <— sounds right up my alley!! The heroine is an ER nurse who’s engaged to a police officer, but the unthinkable happens when he’s fatally wounded, brought in, and isn’t able to save him. The hero is an ex-vagabond who chooses to clean up his act and enlists in the military forces, but he and others get in a car accident and all his training doesn’t help save his commander. A romance develops between these two people who’ve both experienced loss…
    • Beautiful Ink by Nicole Reed ($.99) <– biker romance!
    • All Lined Up (#1) and All Broke Down (#2) by Cora Carmack are both $.99 each and are must-reads!! These are 2 of the BEST NA romances I’ve ever read and were on my Best Books of 2014 list – witty banter, sweet but steamy romance, and just all around FUN!! If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted, easy read, definitely pick these two up! Here’s my review for book 1 and Here’s my review for book 2. Both are standalones, though I’d recommend reading them in order!
    • Inspire by Cora Carmack ($.99) <– PNR romance and first time sale!
    • Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard ($1.99) <– WOAH super sale alert!! This erotic student/teacher romance is normally over $10, so if you’ve been waiting for a price drop, grab it now!
    • Take Me For Granted by KA Linde ($.99) <– first time sale! This is a NA romance between a lead singer in a popular band and a college student.
    • Rule (#1), Rome (#3), and Rowdy (#5) by Jay Crownover are all $1.99 each!! These are NA romance standalones with bad boy heroes!
    • Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern ($1.99) <– friends-to-lovers romance!! Also, this one’s a movie starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin
    • Sometimes Moments by Len Webster ($.99) <– sounds like an emotional second chance NA romance! The hero and heroine grew up together since they were kids and they both instinctively knew they were meant to be together. But something happened, and the hero had to move away. 4 years later, they meet again but they’re 2 totally different people –> “He’s not the same boy she once fell in love with. He’s guarded and keeps secrets close to him. Peyton knows her life will begin to unravel.Untold truths will finally come to light. Whether or not Peyton wants to hear it, the truth will undoubtedly break her heart all over again.”
    • Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher ($.99) <– psychological thriller + romance! “When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.”
    • Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen ($1.99) <– this one’s a super heavy and emotional NA romance read. Both of the characters were just so broken my heart couldn’t help but crack a little. I read it and 4 star liked it (here’s my review)
    • The Redemption by S.L. Scott ($.99) <– I read this one actually and if you’re in the mood for an ANGSTY love after loss romance with a single mom and a swoony hero, check this one out! It’s a standalone (here’s my review)
    • Fall by Rachel Van Dyken ($.99) <– oooh this sounds really good! The hero is an A-list celebrity forced to lay low in Seaside, Oregon but doesn’t expect the heroine – a pastor’s daughter – knocking on his door, a girl he’s humiliated in the past and is off limits to him!
    • Turning Home by Stephanie Nelson ($.99) <– a reader recommended this one to me! It’s a semi-forbidden NA romance between a sheltered, well-off heroine and the blue-collar bad boy hero.
    • Upon a Midnight Dream (#1), Whispered Music (#2), The Wolf’s Pursuit (#3), and When Ash Falls (#4) by Rachel Van Dyken are all $.99 each! These are interconnected historical romance standalones.
    • Chasing Serenity (#1), Behind the Pitch (#1.5), and Finding Serenity (#2) by Eden Butler are all $.99 each! These are NA sports romances!
    • Fading trilogy by E.K. Blair ($.99) <– all 3 books in one + 2 bonus stories! These are emotional NA romances and each can be read as a standalone. The 2nd one is a M/M romance too
    • Alex by Sawyer Bennett ($.99) <– sports romance standalone! The hero is a cold-hearted hockey player and he falls for the sweet heroine who’s a social worker.
    • Undescribable series by Shantel Tessier ($.99) <– 3 NA romances in one!
    REVIEWS/RECOMMENDATIONS
    • Hero by Samantha Young <– my last read & new favorite!! This enemies-to-lovers office romance was fun, sexy, and at-times emotional! I really enjoyed it and highly recommend you preorder it so when it releases in a week, you’ll have it on your device ready to read (here’s my review)
    • Second Debt by Pepper Winters <– new release & favorite! You don’t want to miss out on Nila & Jethro’s dark and twisted story (here’s my review)
    • Kyland by Mia Sheridan <– new release! Hmmm…I am clearly in the minority, but this one didn’t work for me. It just had some personal plot devices I wasn’t fond of (here’s my review)
    • Thorns of Rosewood by G.M. Barlean ($.99) <– I took a quick detour from romance and went with a mystery read! Overall a quick, fast and entertaining read (here’s my review)
    • Trade Me by Courtney Milan <– recent release & new favorite! I really loved this NA romance. It was unique (couple pairing), had such whip-smart writing, and both characters were so likeable. I’d recommend it! (here’s my review)
    • Three Brothers by Nicole Williams <– I liked this one, though I still had some issues with it. The best thing about this book is the hero who I’d give 5++++ stars to any day! (here’s my review)
    • The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester <– one of my highly anticipated reads that I unfortunately didn’t love. It seems to be a hit with most readers though, so give it a try if you’re interested (here’s my review)
    • Cartel by Lili St. Germain <– new release and the first book in her prequel series to the wickedly intense and twisted Gypsy Brothers series! I really enjoyed this one and if you’re in the mood for one wild, fast-paced biker read, this one’s a good choice! (here’s my review)
    • The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick ($.99) <– new release! This book totally wrecked me! It was one emotional rollercoaster I couldn’t get off of (not sure if I even wanted to). I was so conflicted I didn’t know how to rate it…so I didn’t. (here’s my review)
    • Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler <– TOP recommendation and first 5 star read of the year! Just thinking about this book is making my eyes water. I took a chance on this one and I strongly encourage you all to do the same (here’s my review)
    • Falling Away by Penelope Douglas <– the latest in her steamy NA romance series! While I didn’t love it, I did like it, and the heroine’s character growth really impressed me (here’s my review)
    • Dirty Ties by Pam Godwin <– probably one of the steamiest books I’ve ever read!! There’s some suspense and the story smacked me with twists after turn. I liked it, and if you’re in the mood for an erotic romance, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Holly Lane by J.B. Morgan <– my last few reads were all on the dark and emotional side so I picked up this sweet holiday romance! For the most part I enjoyed it and it was exactly what I was in the mood for. If you’re looking for a straightforward read that’s drama free try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Raze by Tillie Cole <– recommendation for all dark romance fans!! The one and only word to describe this book would be INTENSE. I could not put it down and there’s this hidden layer to the romance that made my heart race! If you’re looking for a book that’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping, try this one  (here’s my review)
    • Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole <– a TOP recommendation!! This NA romance is one of the darkest and emotionally heavy stories I’ve read in a long while, but it was exactly what I was in the mood for. It also made me ugly cry and I’m just blown away by the amount of emotion it evoked….if you’re looking for a standalone romance guaranteed to make you FEEL, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Dear Emily (#1) and Dear Tabitha (#2) by Trudy Stiles <– TOP recommendation! These books are a blend of realistic women’s fiction with romance and made my heart feel so full…I loved both and being able to read them back to back let me carry my emotions from the first book to the second without delay. BEST kind of reading experience!! Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2. Be sure to read these in order!
    • Extinguish (#1) and Reignite (#2) by JM Darhower <– TOP recommendation!! This 2-book paranormal forbidden romance was unputdownable from the get go and I didn’t want the story to end. I mean, the hero is Lucifer, the Devil! That alone made me pick these up  Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2
    • Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie <– I really enjoyed this NA romance! This was so unique (setting is in the circus) and the character development was stunning! It truly embodies every aspect of NA and as always, the authors’ writing style is great. Totally recommend (here’s my review)
    • Last Will & Testament by Dahlia Adler <– another favorite! This was such a refreshingly witty NA romance standalone (a little taboo since he’s the heroine’s TA). Totally recommend it (here’s my review)
    • The King by Tiffany Reisz <– TOP recommendation!! For fans of this heavy erotica series, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one! Kingsley is the best  If you’re new to this series, check out the series reading order at the bottom of my review –> (here’s my review).
    • Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn <– TOP recommendation!! This 5 star book rocked my world, 200% unputdownable (here’s my review)
    • Clockwork Angel (#1)Clockwork Prince (#2), and Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare are my ultimate TOP recommendations!! I seriously finished this sensational trilogy and had tears dripping down my face, a pile of tissues discarded on the floor, and food wrappers scattered around me. It was SO emotional, SO intense, SO passionate, and SO good. 6 star series for me!! (here’s my series review) These books must be read in order!
  • Reviews

    JANUARY FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY

    How do I decide what goes on the list? Well, it is a compilation of all the books I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged about each month – it doesn’t matter if I loved the book or disliked the book. Every book (except for books I started and did not finish) I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged that month will be on the list.

    **Note: Some book titles do not have paperback options available. In the event you choose that book, I will gift you an ebook copy instead. If a book hasn’t been released yet, paperback or ebook copy will be delivered on release date.**

    BOOK REVIEW ~ THE VIXEN & THE VET BY KATY REGNERY

    In this modern-retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” Savannah Carmichael, betrayed by an unreliable source, returns to her hometown of Danvers, Virginia with her once-promising journalism career in ruins. Given the opportunity to get back in the game by writing a patriotic human interest piece, Savannah turns her attention to the town hermit, Asher Lee, a wounded veteran who returned to Danvers eight years ago, and hasn’t been seen since.
    After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher’s hand and disfigured half of his face, he’s lived a quiet life on the outskirts of Danvers where the locals respect his privacy…that is, until Savannah Carmichael comes calling in a borrowed sundress with a plate of homemade brownies. When Asher agrees to be interviewed by Savannah, he starts feeling things for the beautiful reporter that he hasn’t felt in years.
    Misfits in small-town Danvers, Savannah and Asher create a bond right away, touching each other’s hearts in ways neither thought possible. When a terrible mistake threatens to drive them apart, they’ll have to decide if the love they found in one another’s arms is strong enough to fight for their hard-won happily ever after.

    This was such a sweet book! Maybe a little too sweet for me, but overall I did enjoy it. I liked the premise – a desperate journalist interviewing the town hermit, a reclusive and disfigured war veteran, as a last resort to save her career…and they fall in love with each other in the process. The few flashback scenes where the hero recounts his experiences in war brought tears to my eyes, and the romance itself was truly beautiful. I had originally planned on giving this book at least a 4 star rating, but I couldn’t forgive some of the heroine’s actions in the last part of the book so I took off half a star for that. Other than that, I’d recommend this modern ‘Beauty and the Beast’ fairytale if you’re in the mood for a sweet, heartmelting romance guaranteed to bring out stomach butterflies while you read, along with a wonderful, 5-star worthy hero.
    Just getting out of a nasty breakup, Savannah Carmichael has returned to her southern hometown to regroup and consider her career choices as a journalist. When she gets a lucky break and is told to do a human interest piece, she sets her sights on Asher Lee, the town hermit and war veteran no one’s really seen in years.
    The past few years have not been kind to Asher. After suffering severe injuries obtained in Afghanistan, his return home is cold and unwelcoming. On top of that, his disfigured face repulses others and so he’s resigned himself to living in his lonely mansion with only his maternal housekeeper as company.
    When Savannah comes knocking on his door with a bright smile and plate of brownies, Asher gives into his desire for more human interaction and agrees to be interviewed over the course of a few weeks. What starts out as a tentative friendship starts to develop into something much deeper as the weeks go by. In a town where most are content living simple lives, Asher and Savannah recognize they are the odd ones out, both wanting a life that’s more than what their small town offers. An unlikely bond is forged between them, and for the first time in a long time, both of them are happy despite the circumstances that brought them together.
    For the most part I enjoyed this story. It’s a slow burn kind of read with sugary sweet sprinkled in, and at times I couldn’t help but be moved like in this flashback scene from Asher…
    “You only have one hand, and your whole body’s a world of pain. And you look in the mirror and you know –” His voice hitched and halted, and he cleared his throat. “You know you’re going to be alone…and that no one is ever going to…no one…”
    Scenes like those hit me right in the chest. I liked that even though there was this somber tone underlying the story because of Asher’s experiences, the book wasn’t centered on just that and focused more on the positive. The main issues I had (besides thinking the story was overly sappy) were with Savannah’s actions in the last quarter of the book. Simply put, I couldn’t forgive her even though she was able to redeem herself in Asher’s eyes. There was also some side character drama that I felt was totally unnecessary, and it actually made me dislike Savannah’s sister for being so simple-minded and spoiled. However, I did like the writing, the story flowed nicely – especially with the use of the special head titles in each chapter – and I loved the thoughtful, endearing hero. It’s a book that will charm any romantic!
    The Vixen & the Vet is the first book in the Modern Fairytale series and is a standalone.
    Rating: 3.5 stars!

     

     

  • Reviews

    BOOK REVIEW ~ THE HOOKER & THE HERMIT BY L.H. COSWAY & PENNY REID

    THE HERMIT
    Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.
    THE HOOKER
    Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…
    THE PLAN
    When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together. What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

    I’m seriously at a loss for words to describe just how much I adored this book. From the catchy cover to the whip-smart writing to the endearing characters…everything about this story was absolute perfection! I’ve already read it twice now, and highlighted nearly 75% of the book filled with unforgettable quotes that made me laugh or swoon. I wholeheartedly loved this story, and I’m confident that everyone who reads it will love it too, whether it’s the charming dirty-talking hero, the feisty sharp-witted heroine, the humor, or their romance that appeals to you.
    There is so much about this book that worked for me personally, especially the heroine Annie Catrel. This chick is a social media genius and works for a top-notch media company. But her secret? She runs ‘Socialmedialite,’ a well-received & popular blog where she dazzles readers about celebrity news in anonymity.
    She’s good at what she does, and the online world adores her for it. In real life though? Her track record isn’t too perfect. She’s introverted and a hermit, willingly choosing a simple, lonely life because she always plays it safe, never letting anyone get close to her. From a romance reader point of view, her personality is my worst nightmare. I don’t want to spend most of the book reading about a heroine who pushes away the hero, you know? BUT! And this is a big one…I ended up loving Annie. Her character was well-developed and her backstory convincingly explained why she bottles up her feelings. I didn’t find her to be weak at all. She was strong in mind and just needed a special someone to push her boundaries a little is all. Someone like the hero Ronan Fitzpatrick…
    Ronan, Ronan, Ronan. I could wax poetic about this hero all day because he’s just that amazing. At the start of the story, Ronan is a rugby player who has to clean up his image for the sake of his career and team, and luckily for him, he gets paired up with Annie. I loved this guy. I loved how much he loved his family, his dedication to his sport, and he complemented Annie perfectly. While she was shy, he was outspoken and reading about him wooing her made me swoon big time!
    Even though Annie has high walls around her, Ronan’s charm is irresistible. While she teaches him about the workings of social media, he teachers her how to truly live. There is a good amount of conflict in here that stems from Annie’s insecurity issues but I found it all to be ‘healthy angst’ so to speak. I loved Ronan’s patience and acceptance of Annie’s quirks, and in turn, I loved that Annie pushed his buttons like no other. The authors did a splendid job of showcasing their individual traits and how well they complemented each other together. It made me root for them even more.
    I have to take a minute here and talk about how stunningly good the writing is. I’m especially impressed because this is a collaborative work, and the few I’ve read in the past I’ve been disappointed by since I felt the authors lost their individual voice. It’s definitely not the case here. With Ronan’s character, L.H. Cosway really brings out the charismatic side of him along with giving him this passionate voice. It’s a heartfelt feeling that only makes me adore this hero more. And with Annie’s character, Penny Reid has done the impossible – endear me to a heroine whose quirks would normally frustrate me but didn’t. And I can’t forget the wit and humor that leapt off the pages! Both of their writing styles flowed so well I even forgot that this book was written by two authors. As such, this is a book that engaged both my mind and heart, and those kinds of books are my absolute favorite.
    I already know that this is a book that will be on my best books list for this year. It’s highly entertaining yet has emotional scenes sprinkled in that tugged at my heartstrings. The writing was beyond sensational and both characters were wonderful and brought big smiles to my face. It’s a fun, fresh book that’s both intellectually stimulating and a beautiful love story. I can’t recommend it enough!
  • Reviews

    RELEASE DAY BLITZ ~ DIRTY TIES BY PAM GODWIN

    Revenge.
    I race to finance it.
    I evade to protect it.
    I kill to attain it.
    I planned everything.
    Except her.
    The alluring, curvaceous blonde at the finish line.
    With sapphire eyes that cheat and lie.
    Whose powerful family murdered mine.
    I hate her.
    I want her.
    I know she’s hiding something.
    But so am I.

    3.5-4 stars!
    This book was one helluva ride! It kept me on my toes, had numerous twists and reveals I didn’t see coming and most of all, was so steamy I was sure my iPad was going to combust. But at the same time I also felt a wee bit underwhelmed by it all and part of the reason is because of this misconception I had, so I do want to emphasize that this book is a contemporary erotic romance with suspense elements. I don’t know why I thought it was dark – probably because everything else I’ve read from this author is dark romance. Even with the minor issues I had, overall the story had an engaging plot that kept my attention and made me flip the pages fast so I did end up liking it.
    Right off the bat, I was immediately immersed in the world the author built up, one that exclusively focused on the wealthy and the corrupt dealings revolving around these individuals and Trenchant Media, the corporation that houses these villains. But at the same time, it was also home to the heroine and her equally naïve husband who were both coerced into marrying each other by their parents in order to ensure a picture perfect social image.
    The heroine Kaci Baskel is well and truly trapped. To others it seems she has everything anyone could ask for but anything she does is monitored by her parents and father-in-law. Her marriage is a sham as her husband is more like her best friend and is secretly gay, her social life is practically nonexistent and the only thing she can afford is to entertain these erotic fantasies she has of ‘Evader,’ a notorious underground racer she’s intrigued by.
    And this underground racer? None other than the hero Logan ‘Evader’ Flynt and also the guy who’s planned revenge against Kaci’s family and Trenchant Media for years. Nothing is more important to him than exacting retribution against the people who’ve harmed him personally and others they’ve hurt in their path of greed.
    Through a series of coincidences, Kaci and Logan bump heads and it’s obvious they have this explosive chemistry together. And while they eventually find out exactly who each other are and their respective agendas, it doesn’t stop them from wanting to be together.
    I have to applaud the author for taking a rather familiar enemies-to-lovers premise and spinning it into her own unique version that definitely stands out from the norm. While not dark, the plot is nevertheless twisted with several hidden layers of secrets that unfold chapter after chapter. However, I did have a few issues while I read, none of them prominent but I really don’t believe in a story with too many coincidences and clichés, and this book had tons. Most notably, I wasn’t a fan of the ending no matter how beautifully romantic it was written because I felt like it undermined the revenge and suspense part that was the driving factor behind the story.
    Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that despite the huge emphasis on revenge and the delicious promise of an enemies to lovers premise, at the heart of this book is a romance story. And the romance will always take precedent over anything twisted or remotely dark that’s presented. The chemistry and depth of feeling Kaci and Logan feel for each other is tangible and believable and in the end, it’s what won me over.
    Dirty Ties is a contemporary erotic romance with suspense elements. It’s a standalone and isn’t related to any of the author’s other books.
    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
     
    Rating: 3.5-4 stars!

    New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band. Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

  • Reviews

    BOOK REVIEW ~ THE TRAVELING MAN BY JANE HARVEY BERRICK

    I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.
    Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t.
    Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.
    Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough.

    No rating
    Sometimes there are those rare books I read that really can’t be swept under one rating and The Traveling Man falls under that case. I just want to say this part first before anything else: I loved and disliked this book in equal measures. The unique setting of the story, the friends-to-lovers romance, and the beautiful writing were all major positives. Yet on the flip side, there were several plot devices I flat-out didn’t like and put up a pretty big negative case against the positive. And with these kinds of books that make me feel so conflicted, I have tons to say, so I’ll be disregarding the rating this time and just let my thoughts all out before I start pulling my hair out.
    With each new book I read from this author, it never fails to surprise me that there’ll be some unique aspect incorporated that makes her stories stand out among her own work and others. This book was no exception, and what made this one different is the carnival setting. I think the closest I’ve come to this premise would be a circus romance I read a while back but even so, the author makes it clear there’s a difference and that there’s more to a carnival than just petting animals and magic tricks. It’s very well researched – from the detailed descriptions of carnival ‘carnie’ life to behind the scenes setup – and it’s among all this chaotic fun where the stormy romance between Aimee Anderson and Kestrel Donohue began.
    Their backgrounds are so different – Aimee’s your average girl living an ordinary life while Kes is a carnie, a wild card from the very start who has no roots and lives for thrills and excitement. And yet – even from the time they were children – there has always been a connection between them that no one could ever sever, a bond that just seemed right.
    “He was everything I wasn’t, but somehow, together, there was a synergy, an alignment, something just made sense no matter how crazy it seemed to anyone else.”
    The tricky part is that for every year for 6 years, Kes and Aimee would only see each other for two weeks as the carnival would tour around the country after that. As they were kids maturing into adolescence, the author perfectly captured the strife caused by their growing attraction to one another and the inevitable long distance. Thus, the two weeks they could see each other became their lifeline, from daily outings to bedroom readings to innocent kisses…they had to make the best memories to last them for a year before they could see each other again.
    The pivotal year that became the game changer was the year Aimee turned 16, when she and Kes both instinctively knew that all their years of playing around as kids were over. They were teens in love that left no room for anyone else.
    “You’re my girl, Aimee. No one else.”
    Just when they thought they could finally be together, a series of unfortunate events hit them hard – deception, loss, misunderstandings, etc…I can’t even begin to describe how frustrated and angry I was that such a wonderful couple had THIS many obstacles to face. This part was also my strike #1 as I thought some of the conflicts were put in for pure drama’s sake and the time gap right after all this put me in an even sour mood. If you didn’t already know, I hate time gaps.
    Anyways, years pass and in a very realistic and believable manner, Aimee and Kes meet again. Both have matured considerably, both have moved on, yet both can’t deny that their chemistry and bond from before hasn’t changed. Even after finishing the book, I still can’t get over this second chance romance part because there’s just SO. MUCH. tension and conflict and passion put together that I’ve questioned more than once if their love is toxic. Because of their failed past relationship and all the baggage they’re dragging, these two have put up high walls. Some of their actions are cruel. Some just made me go WTF. And this quote from Aimee captures their struggles perfectly:
    “…that was the truth: I’d never stopped loving him, but I was beginning to wish that I could.”
    One part of this book that has always bothered me was the lack of information about Kes’s background. He’s such a tortured guy. He’s harsh and rough, but can also be gentle and loving. Throughout the book, only little hints have been dropped about his past and what could’ve made him so closed off and cynical, even towards Aimee.
    I wished the author could’ve given me more on that – maybe even a few chapters in his POV – because it made some (okay, a LOT) of his actions seem unnecessarily cruel. And yet strangely enough, every time I thought he stepped out of line, I would remember. I would flash back to the time where he and Aimee were sweet, carefree children, flash back to young teenagers in love. Same with Aimee. Every time I got annoyed with her doormat-ish behavior, I would remember how strongly and deeply she loved Kes and how holding onto that love was #1 for her, that no matter what, she believed their love was worth fighting for.
    “Kes was moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful. He scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me.”
    You could say that the author has effectively messed with my mind because these warring emotions are the source of my inner conflict and why I can’t decide on any one rating. Other technical issues I had like the very abrupt ending and how when they were children, Aimee and Kes didn’t really talk like kids were factors to consider too. It wouldn’t have been fair of me to let my frustration take over and slap a 3 star rating because I really was invested in this couple, in their romance. I loved them individually and I loved them together. On the flip side, I can’t hand out a 4.5 or 5 star rating because those plot devices truly frustrated and angered me.
    But what’s weighing heavily on my mind right now is that I simply can’t forget about the book. There’s just this intensity to the story and I’m so tempted to do a re-read now, even knowing that reading all the conflict again will probably kill me. So much happens so fast I’m feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. Taking all of this into account, does it sound like an epic romance worth reading or just a bundle of never-ending drama and unanswered questions best to skip? I have no fucking clue. And I stillcan’t get these characters out of my mind…
    The Traveling Man is book 1 in a 2-book series and isn’t a standalone. Aimee and Kes’s tumultuous journey will be concluded in book 2 The Traveling Woman. You can bet your bottom dollar the moment the second book releases I will be reading it. I NEED my closure!!
    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • Reviews

    Monthly REVIEWS/RECOMMENDATIONS

    • The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick ($.99) <– my last read that totally wrecked me! It was one emotional rollercoaster I couldn’t get off (not sure if I even wanted to). Anyways, if it sounds like something you might love, preorder a copy for $.99 and it’ll arrive on your e-reader on Jan. 27! (here’s my review)
    • Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler <– my latest TOP recommendation and first 5 star read of the year! Just thinking about this book is making my eyes water. I took a chance on this one and I strongly encourage you all to do the same (here’s my review)
    • Falling Away by Penelope Douglas <– recent release and the latest in her steamy NA romance series! While I didn’t love it, I did like it, and the heroine’s character growth really impressed me (here’s my review)
    • Dirty Ties by Pam Godwin <– new release and probably one of the steamiest books I’ve ever read!! There’s some suspense and the story smacked me with twists after turn. I liked it, and if you’re in the mood for an erotic romance, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Holly Lane by J.B. Morgan <– my last few reads were all on the dark and emotional side so I picked up this sweet holiday romance! For the most part I enjoyed it and it was exactly what I was in the mood for. If you’re looking for a straightforward read that’s drama free try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Raze by Tillie Cole <– new favorite and recommendation for all dark romance fans!! The one and only word to describe this book would be INTENSE. I could not put it down and there’s this hidden layer to the romance that made my heart race! If you’re looking for a book that’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping, try this one  (here’s my review)
    • Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole <– a new favorite and TOP recommendation!! This NA romance is one of the darkest and emotionally heavy stories I’ve read in a long while, but it was exactly what I was in the mood for. It also made me ugly cry and I’m just blown away by the amount of emotion it evoked….if you’re looking for a standalone romance guaranteed to make you FEEL, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Dear Emily (#1) and Dear Tabitha (#2) by Trudy Stiles <– new favorites and TOP recommendation! These books are a blend of realistic women’s fiction with romance and made my heart feel so full…I loved both and being able to read them back to back let me carry my emotions from the first book to the second without delay. BEST kind of reading experience!! Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2. Be sure to read these in order!
    • Within These Walls by J.L. Berg <– I liked this one! It was such a sweet and heartwarming romance read. Both characters were likable and the message the book sends out is uplifting. If you’re looking for a standalone romance to fall in love with, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven <– Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one much. Both main characters were frustrating and the plot kept moving in circles…(here’s my review)
    • Extinguish (#1) and Reignite (#2) by JM Darhower <– TOP recommendation!! This 2-book paranormal forbidden romance was unputdownable from the get go and I didn’t want the story to end. I mean, the hero is Lucifer, the Devil! That alone made me pick these up  Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2
    • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost <– this paranormal romance was so witty and refreshing!! I really enjoyed it and I fell hard for the vampire hero (here’s my review)
    • Sparrow 59 by Devon Ashley <– unfortunately this didn’t work for me. I had major issues with the execution of the plot so overall, I didn’t like it (here’s my review)
    • Chasing the Tide by A. Meredith Walters <– This is the optional companion novel to the emotional Reclaiming the Sand and concludes Flynn & Ellie’s story. I liked this one (here’s my review)
    • Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie <– I really enjoyed this NA romance! This was so unique (setting is in the circus) and the character development was stunning! It truly embodies every aspect of NA and as always, the authors’ writing style is great. Totally recommend (here’s my review)
    • Last Will & Testament by Dahlia Adler <– another favorite! This was such a refreshingly witty NA romance standalone (a little taboo since he’s the heroine’s TA). Totally recommend it (here’s my review)
    • The King by Tiffany Reisz <– TOP recommendation!! For fans of this heavy erotica series, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one! Kingsley is the best  If you’re new to this series, check out the series reading order at the bottom of my review –> (here’s my review).
    • Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn <– TOP recommendation!! This 5 star book rocked my world, 200% unputdownable (here’s my review)
    • Clockwork Angel (#1)Clockwork Prince (#2), and Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare are my ultimate TOP recommendations!! I seriously finished this sensational trilogy and had tears dripping down my face, a pile of tissues discarded on the floor, and food wrappers scattered around me. It was SO emotional, SO intense, SO passionate, and SO good. 6 star series for me!! (here’s my series review) These books must be read in order!
  • Reviews

    NEW RELEASES, SALES, & REVIEWS 1/13/15

    Happy Tuesday everyone! This week’s list of new releases and sales are really giving my 1-click finger a workout. So many I wish I could read at the same time! Like…Thicker than Blood by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley (unique and emotional apocalyptic read!!), Blindsided by Emma Hart (fashionista heroine + quarterback hero), Feel Again by Faith Andrews (student/teacher romance!!!), and Held Against You by Season Vining (really pricey but it sounds SO good – a bounty hunter + wanted woman!!)

    As for my reading this past week, OMG! I have a few book recommendations for y’all! First one up is a 5 star read (first one of the year too!) and a book that I completely took a chance on called Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler (here’s my review). Another is my last read The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick ($.99). I’m just wrecked right now. It’s a book that gave me ALL the feels so if you love emotional rollercoaster romances, you’ll definitely want to check this one out. It’ll be released in 2 weeks and you can preorder a copy for just $.99! (here’s my review)

    Upcoming Releases: Did you know I now have a section that’ll list upcoming releases for the year? Be sure to bookmark the page below as I update it daily with preorders/Goodreads links.

    Cool tip: Tired of seeing all the $.99, $1.99, $2.99, etc… on your bills? Send yourself an Amazon gift card and plan a budget accordingly

    P.S. Don’t have a Kindle/Kindle account? No worries! Get a free Kindle Reading App, regardless if you have a Kindle! I have an iPad and I mostly read on the app

    Note: All prices are good at the time of posting so be sure to double check ’em before final purchase!!

    NEW RELEASES

    • Beautiful Burn by Adriane Leigh ($.99) <– hot new release, and a student/teacher romance at that! I’ve been told the $.99 price was a mistake, so grab it at this low price while you can!
    • Winter by Frankie Rose (Callie Hart) <– this one sounds good! The heroine hopes to start with a clean slate at her new college. After all, she’s the daughter of a serial killer gasp emoticon The hero is a cop by day, singer by night who falls for her, even though it may be a problem –> “…falling for a girl whose father was accused of deeply sinister acts—a man whom Luke shared a devastating history with himself—only serves to complicated things.”
    • Thicker than Blood by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley <– the long wait is finally over! This is a standalone romance set in apocalyptic times!
    • Wrecked & Ruined series by Aly Martinez <– all 4 books (including the spinoff standalone) are bundled here and on sale for $2.99!
    • The Vigilante’s Lover by Annie Winters ($.99) 
    • Corps Security series by Harper Sloan ($.99) <– all 6 books in her alpha male series bundled together for $.99!
    • Raveling You by Jessica Sorensen <– book 2 in her mature YA/NA series!
    • Dirty Ties by Pam Godwin <– probably one of the steamiest books I’ve ever read!! There’s some suspense and the story smacked me with twists after turn. I liked it, and if you’re in the mood for an erotic romance, try this one! (here’s my review)
    • Temperance by Ella Frank <– book 1 in a new fantasy romance series! “What if your life as you knew it ceased to exist? That is the question Naeve Brannigan and her three sisters are faced with on the eve of their 25th birthday. Continuing a tradition they’ve hidden from their mother for years, the four women arrive at a tarot shop to have their futures told. Only this time their futures aren’t predicted—they’re forever changed. They’ve awoken in a strange time and place with no knowledge of how they got there.” 
    • Reckless Nights by Karen Erickson
    • Uncover Me by Chelle Bliss <– 4th book in her erotic Men of Ink series!
    • Held Against You by Season Vining <– really pricey but sounds SO good! “A gorgeous bounty hunter. A wanted woman. A passion they can’t deny.”
    • Filthy Beautiful Forever by Kendall Ryan <– 4th book in her erotic Filthy Beautiful Lies series! This one’s a friends-to-lovers romance.
    • Saved by Kelli Maine
    • From this Moment by Lexi Buchanan 
    • #Hater by Cambria Hebert
    • More than a Memory by Amber Nation <– looks to be an emotional second chance romance. The heroine fled her hometown without a word, leaving behind the hero. 15 years passed and they meet again back at their high school reunion –> “Locking eyes after fifteen long years raises deep emotions and unanswered questions: What happened to make Eden run? Could their love for each other still exist? Or will their past time together be nothing more than a memory?” 
    • Blindsided by Emma Hart <– This is the first book in Emma Hart’s brand new steamy series and it looks like it’s a battle of wills between a fashionista heroine and the quarterback hero –> “Two people. Two agendas. Two games. What happens when the out-there It-Boy of football meets the secret It-Girl of fashion?”
    • Feel Again by Faith Andrews <– oooh this one sounds right up my alley! The heroine is a widow and the hero is a reckless guy who’s changing his ways. “A chance meeting has these two instantly attracted to one another, but when their paths cross again—this time as professor and student—the roles reverse on Professor Edwards as Caleb teaches her how to feel again.” <– I’m a sucker for student/teacher romances!
    • Branded by Tara Sivec <– Book 2 in her Ignite trilogy and can be read as a standalone –> “Eighteen days filled with passion and promises. Nineteen letters filled with threats and foreboding. It only takes twenty minutes for the numbers to all add up. One thousand, two hundred seconds until everything changes and there’s no going back. This is my story, and it’s going to leave a scar.”
    • Promise to Marry by Jessica Wood <– This is the one that I was talking about a week ago that goes like this –> “We were best friends since as early as I could remember. We grew up together. We were next door neighbors. We shared each other’s deepest secrets. When I was thirteen, we made a pact: if we were still single by the time we were 30, we’d marry each other. Today was my thirtieth birthday. I was single. I knew he was single too. But we were no longer best friends, and a part of me knew that he hated me.”
    • Total Submission by Roxy Sloane
    • ‘Til Death 2 by Bella Jewel <— This book concludes her dark romance series: “When you fall in love with the devil, you expect to get burned…Somewhere inside, I knew he was no good. I just prayed having me in his life would be enough.”
    • Something Amazing by M. Clarke
    • The Mason List by SD Hendrickson <– This is a mature YA/NA romance standalone that spans 20 years and sounds quite emotional. “An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime.”
    • Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher <— “Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget.”
    • Call Sign Karma by Jamie Rae <– This one sounds exhilarating. The heroine lost her brother in a fighter jet accident, so she plans on following in his footsteps to prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. Then she meets her new superior officer and starts to fall for him…
    SALES

    • Upon a Midnight Dream (#1), Whispered Music (#2), The Wolf’s Pursuit (#3), and When Ash Falls (#4) by Rachel Van Dyken are all $.99 each! These are interconnected historical romance standalones.
    • That Girl by HJ Bellus ($.99) <– emotional sports romance!
    • Hard As It Gets (#1) and Hard to Come By (#3) by Laura Kaye got price drops (currently in the $1-3 range). These are romantic suspense reads focusing on a group of renegade ex-soldiers who plan to bust a crime ring from the back of their tattoo shop, and how they find love along the way.
    • Chasing Serenity (#1), Behind the Pitch (#1.5), and Finding Serenity (#2) by Eden Butler are all $.99 each! These are NA sports romances!
    • Fading trilogy by E.K. Blair ($.99) <– all 3 books in one + 2 bonus stories! These are emotional NA romances and each can be read as a standalone. The 2nd one is a M/M romance too
    • Alex by Sawyer Bennett ($.99) <– sports romance standalone! The hero is a cold-hearted hockey player and he falls for the sweet heroine who’s a social worker.
    • Reasonable Doubt series by Whitney Gracia Williams ($.99) <– all 3 installments in this scorching hot serial bundled into 1!
    • Undescribable series by Shantel Tessier ($.99) <– 3 NA romances in one!
    • Revealed by Aleatha Romig ($.99) <– 4th book in her Consequences series and continues Claire & Tony’s story. This book is part psychological thriller, part romance.
    • Retrace by Sigal Ehrlich ($.99) <– friends to lovers romance standalone!
    • Charlotte’s Bed by S.J. Stava ($.99) <– Kindle Countdown deal! Sounds like a witty & humorous read!
    • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ($1.99) <– this is the lowest I’ve seen this book drop!! For fans of historical romances that haven’t picked this one up yet, DO IT!
    • The Good Life by Jodie Beau ($.99) <– another Kindle Countdown deal and it’s a romantic comedy that starts off with the heroine getting cruelly divorced from her husband and with the help of her friends, a checklist, and a mysterious guy from her past, “she’ll forget about being the good wife and start living the good life…” 
    • I Stand Before You by S.R. Grey ($.99) <– NA romance where the hero’s a tattooed bad boy who landed himself in prison. Four years later he’s back in town ready to rebuild his life when he meets the heroine who has a tragic past of her own. Their romance is described as a “journey of hope and forgiveness, coming to terms with the past and moving forward. But mostly it’s a story of two damaged people who take a chance, open their hearts, and find true love.”
    • Nordic Lords MC series by Stacey Lynn ($.99) <– 3 interconnected biker romance standalones bundled together!
    • Melody of the Heart by Katie Ashley ($.99) <– 4th book in her rockstar romance series!
    • Hope Over Fear by J.A. DeRouen ($.99) <– ohhhh this one’s HIGH on my TBR list! Just check this part out: “Today is the day that the man I love marries someone else. I don’t deserve pity or sympathy. I left him and ripped his heart to pieces as I ran away. The guilt and sorrow consume me everyday… But today is a new beginning. Today is the day I will wake up with a renewed determination to be better. This is my story about what happens after.”
    • Dirty Angels by Karina Halle ($.99) <– spinoff standalone of the Artists trilogy!
    • Silas by Sabrina Paige ($.99) <– this one sounds good! “I’m a grifter. A con artist. I don’t just steal from the rich. I take from the worst of the worst, the people who deserve to be hustled. I have two rules – keep moving and never fall in love. I only ever thought about breaking them for one boy. And that boy just walked right back into my life, a ghost from the past.”
    • The Duke & I by Julia Quinn ($1.99) <— I read this one a few years back and really liked it – to avoid being shackled to marriage, the hero (who’s a duke) pretends to be engaged to the heroine, only the pretend engagement becomes real. It’s one of the swooniest and charming historical romances I’ve read and though it’s the first book in a series, it’s a complete standalone!
    • Education series by Jane Harvey Berrick ($3.03) <– Regular $5+! I’ve read them and these two books are gorgeously written, the first being a forbidden older woman/younger man romance and book 2 a steamy second chance romance. They follow the same couple so be sure to read these in order!
    • Flat Out Love by Jessica Park ($1.99) <– I flat out loved this quirky and mature YA/NA romance!! It’s the kind of book that builds up the emotion slowly and has tons of depth. Highly recommend!
    • Left Drowning by Jessica Park ($1.99) <– Another JP book I loved! This one was definitely emotional and really surprised me by the time I finished. It will tug at your heartstrings for sure…
    • The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan ($2) <– I loved this mythology/fantasy read!! The hero is a demigod (half God, half human). If you’re looking for an entertaining book that’ll provide total escapism, try this one!
    • The Maze Runner by James Dashner ($1.99) <– I’m planning to see the movie and from my experience watching the movie first will always motivate me to read the book, so *click*
    • Nowhere but Here by Renee Carlino ($3.99) <– sounds like a refreshing read! “A jaded Chicago reporter in her twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius…”
    • The Siren (#1), The Angel (#2), The Prince (#3), The Mistress (#4), The Saint (#5), and The King (#6) by Tiffany Reisz all got $2 price drops!!! *squeeeee* Tiffany Reisz is my #1 all-time favorite author and The Original Sinners series the only books I’ve given 10 stars to. These are thought-provoking, boundary-pushing, highly erotic BDSM-themed stories with an unconventional romance and must be read in order! I can’t recommend them enough!!
    • Playing for Keeps (#1), Perfection (#2), Checkmate (#3), and Truce (#4) by RL Mathewson are all $.99 each! If you’re in the mood for some laugh out loud, steamy romantic comedies, these are great!
    • Red Rising by Pierce Brown ($1.99) <– huge price drop!! (regular $10+) If you ever want to branch out of contemporary for a bit and want a dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy + action and adventure read, I’ve heard amazing things about this one. “I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”
    • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost ($1.99) <– This is the first book in the Night Huntress series and it’s a paranormal/urban fantasy romance between a half-vampire heroine and the vampire bounty hunter hero. I really enjoyed this one!! (here’s my review)
    • Hers series by Dawn Robertson ($.99) <– grab the entire kinky Hers series + a bonus Christmas novella!
    • Sweet Thing (#1) and Sweet Little Thing (#1.5) by Renee Carlino got price drops! The first is $2.99 and the novella is $.99! These books follow two quirky, musical characters and like the title suggests, is a sweet, heartwarming romance. The heroine’s kinda stubborn but she’ll get better
  • Reviews

    BLOG TOUR ~ BEAUTIFUL BURN BY ADRIANE LEIGH

    I’ve broken him, bent him, and burned him, and each fevered moment was worth every ounce of pain. 
    Auburn Lawrence has loved her English teacher, Reed West, since she was fourteen. Through brainstorming stories, reading classic literature, and plenty of fiery banter, they’ve forged a bond that neither of them expected.
    Propelled by a chance encounter after her graduation, they discover just how deep their connection runs, but love requires more than chemistry to flourish. They spend three electrifying summer months discovering each other under a veil of forbidden passion and desperate lust before they learn that the unattainable is often destined to remain exactly that.
    By the time temperatures dip and snowflakes fly, their relationship will face a deep freeze that threatens to snap the bond they thought they shared, shattering their lives one secret at a time.

    ‘The Inspiration for Beautiful Burn’
    Beautiful Burn is actually a very personal story, one that’s been in my head for a while but I was very hesitant to write. I’m glad I was finally able to write it—I learned so much about myself, love, life, marriage.
    Without revealing too much, the book deals with forbidden romance…the student/teacher taboo, and the repercussions of that forbidden love.
    I love student/teacher stories and coupled with my tendency to crush on my English professors, it was a natural progression! Much of Beautiful Burn is taken directly from my life in some form or another, I just won’t say which parts
    TOP 5 books your HEROINE loves best and why
    You’re terrible for asking a book nerd to choose favorites!
    Auburn’s Top 5: 
    1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov…Humbert is a total perv, but the emotional dissolution is fascinating.
    2. Bang by EK Blair…because Nina is bad ass and on some level I want to be just like her. Minus the crazy part.
    3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald…*sigh* Unrequited love. Classic.
    4. Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard…taboo romance, history, travel, what’s not to
    love?!
    5. Anything Tiffany Reisz has ever written. Intellectual erotica? I can’t get enough.
    TOP Ten Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing
    Believe in your story.
    Write every day, no matter how long, no matter how bad the words.
    Hire an editor.
    Hire a professional cover designer.
    Emotion is what connects the writer and the reader.
    Too much sex can be a bad thing! In books, in books
    Accomplishment happens one step at a time.
    Step away from the story for a while.
    Avoid cliches, adverbs, repetition, and excessive inner monologue.
    Drinking helps.
    TOP Five Things You Wouldn’t Know About Me 
    I hate peas.
    I watch Dateline obsessively.
    I’ve got some chickens. Real ones. That lay eggs
    I share ancestors with Sean Connery and Clint Eastwood.
    I really hate peas.

    Adriane Leigh was born and raised in a snowbank in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now lives amongst the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan lakeshore.
She graduated with a Literature degree but never particularly enjoyed reading Shakespeare or Chaucer. Adriane is married to a tall, dark and handsome guy, plays mama to two sweet baby girls, and is a voracious reader and knitter.

  • Reviews

    CURRENTLY READING ~ CARTEL BY LILI ST. GERMAIN

    How much is a life worth?
    I grew up in Colombia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord. I lived a life of extravagance, until one day a drug run went horribly wrong and everything came crashing down around us.
    I was given away. A payment for a debt. The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club became my new owners, and I did everything I could to survive.
    But falling in love with the man who owned me wasn’t part of the plan…

    This one doesn’t come out until the 27th (just 2 more weeks to go!!) but I highly recommend you preorder it now so you’ll have it ready to read when the day comes. Why? Because I am LOVING IT! It’s so hard – at least for me it is – to find a book these days that’ll really grab me by the collar and keep me hooked so I’m really happy to say this one is doing the trick.
    What’s this one about? Well, it’s a part dark romance, part suspense/thriller biker book and is the first in a prequel series to the Gypsy Brothers MC series but the best thing about all this is it doesn’t matter if you’ve read those books or not. You’re perfectly safe to start with Cartel and I actually encourage new readers to this author to begin with it. Here are my reasons:
    1. Chronologically, the events in Cartel happen first, so if you’re a reader who likes to read things as they happen in order, beginning with Cartel is your best bet.
    2. The hero(?)/male lead/er…let’s just call him Dornan is present in both series and to get the full reading experience on his character, it’s good to start with this one first. You see his gradual transformation from the guy he was in the past to the man he’s become in the Gypsy Brothers MC series.

    P.S. If you’ve read the Gypsy Brothers MC series and plan on reading Cartel, I would like to give you an internet pat and hug and say what a brave soul you have LOL!

    But right, back to this book. Basically our heroine Mariana pays for the mistakes made by her father and is more or less, sold and taken to Dornan, the VP of the Gypsy Brothers MC. Even though I’m only 55% through right now, the overall book feel is INTENSE, and the author really digs deep into cartel dealings along with the club atmosphere. There’s sex, drugs, booze, and all that jazz, and there are moments of vulnerability shown by both main characters, but at this point I’m just waiting for the bomb to drop. I have a feeling it’ll be huge.
    More to come. I should be done with the book sometime this afternoon/early evening and will keep y’all updated. My next post will most likely be my review
  • Reviews

    BOOK REVIEW ~ CARTEL BY LILI ST. GERMAIN

    How much is a life worth?
    I grew up in Colombia, the daughter of a wealthy drug lord. I lived a life of extravagance, until one day a drug run went horribly wrong and everything came crashing down around us.
    I was given away. A payment for a debt. The Gypsy Brothers Motorcycle Club became my new owners, and I did everything I could to survive.
    But falling in love with the man who owned me wasn’t part of the plan…

    Finally, a book that grabbed and kept my attention from start to finish! Because nowadays, I feel like I’m hitting a mid-book crisis where not many stories are holding my attention, or the spark of interest at the beginning just fizzles out. In any case, I really enjoyed this book! It was fast-paced, and meshed the stifling cartel atmosphere with the MC setting well. If it weren’t for real life butting in, this is a book I would’ve finished in one sitting.
    Before I started this book, I was more than apprehensive because the male lead is Dornan Ross, the infamous antagonist in this author’s Gypsy Brothers MC series and honestly, I could never, ever see him as a ‘hero,’ even in his own books. One thing I’m thankful for is that the author didn’t use this opportunity to purposefully portray Dornan as a hero worth swooning over, because deep down he’s just not a good man. In the Gypsy Brothers MC books, Dornan has completely lost it and is one unhinged motherfucker. In this book, however, he has a much lighter personality – albeit still dark – and most importantly, he still does have a conscience. But at the same time, there’s lots of foreshadowing and it’s clear that he’s slowly inching towards a darkness that no one or nothing can save him from.
    Dornan is what makes this book so compelling for me. Having read about his sadistic, cruel ways in the Gypsy Brothers MC books I was quite fascinated by a more humane side of him here. He’s a very complex man, and I’m glad there were some scenes of his past that helped me understand why he is who he is now.
    As for Mariana’s character, I didn’t really like or dislike her. My overall thoughts of her are just OK. On the positive side, I admired that she shouldered her father’s mistakes and sacrificed herself to save her family.
    Even as a captive, she’s spirited and feisty. I liked that her character wasn’t flat. But on the negative side, there were multiple times I struggled with how wishy-washy she was when it came to Dornan and her ‘tough’ behavior would switch on and off it gave me whiplash. This is probably my main reason for dropping a star as this disconnect didn’t really make me love this heroine, though I’m sure the author has some wicked twists up her sleeve for Mariana in the next book.
    I wouldn’t really classify this as dark romance as I didn’t find this book to be dark or romantic but there is sex and some vulnerability shown by both main characters. I do think it’s Stockholm Syndrome talking when Mariana confesses she’s falling for Dornan, as he becomes the sole person she can rely on.
    I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly, but something about this book makes it more of an ‘introductory’ story – what you read from the blurb is what you’ll get. No surprises or extra twists. For those that have read one or more of this author’s books, you’ll know that’s so unlike Lili St. Germain. That bomb I thought would be dropping on these characters’ heads never did, so I expect things to start to heat up in book 2. The ending of this one wraps up in a way that will give hearts a reprieve but at the same time gears you up for what promises to be a rollercoaster ride in the next book.
    **READING ORDER EXPLANATION**
    Cartel marks the first book in a prequel series (all full length novels) to the Gypsy Brothers MC books. I want to say the events in this book take place roughly a decade before Juliette and Jase make their debut. As for the reading order, it does depend on where you’re at with this author’s books – have you read all of them so far, in the middle of them, or haven’t read a single one.
    For those that have finished the Gypsy Brothers MC series: There’s not much I can say to you LOL. It’s up to you if you want to read a book with Dornan as the male lead (not necessarily a hero). But if you’re someone who’s especially interested in seeing how he becomes the guy he is in the present, this is definitely one you’ll want to read. It’s not about the happily ever after here; it’s the journey.
    For those that are in the middle of the Gypsy Brothers MC series: Honestly, I think the readers in this category get the best of both worlds. You already know what happens to Mariana, Dornan, and other side characters so you’re prepared for it, but you haven’t seen the full extent of Dornan’s depravity yet so you have some room left to accept a ‘better’ him in this prequel series. I’m not suggesting that everyone just go read half of this series, then jump on Cartel, but for those already in this position I think it’ll enhance the rest of your reading experience for the Gypsy Brothers books and see there is more to him than just evil.
    For those new to this author: It’s totally up to you where you want to start! But for those that love to read in chronological order, I would recommend starting with Cartel and then head for the Gypsy Brothers MC series.
    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
     
    Rating: 4 stars!
  • Reviews

    BOOK REVIEW ~ THE LINE BETWEEN BY TAMSYN BESTER

    There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.Dane Winters.The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.
    ** ** ** ** ** **
    It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.She was off-limits.And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.Kennedy Monroe.The girl I’d picked on all our lives.And the woman I barely tolerated.Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…

    FOREWORD
    Before you read my review I MUST say this: I have never, ever posted a DNF (did-not-finish) review before on my blog. Quite frankly, I consider it to be unprofessional to do so as I didn’t finish the book, I have no right to blabber about it to you all, let alone rate it. I guess there’s a first for everything because this review is a DNF review. I stopped at the 91% mark – you’ll see my reasons – and honestly, after considering the amount of time I’ve put into reading this book and getting so close to the end, I rated and reviewed it. There is no bashing involved, just my blunt, honest thoughts that led me to DNF this book. I felt it was necessary to post this review on my blog after I squeeeed about it to you guys multiple times before it released and I feel like I owe you guys an explanation. If I didn’t post this review, I would torment myself and feel guilty for not being honest and forthcoming. But like they say, one man’s trash may be another’s treasure. You may very well love this book while I disliked it immensely.
    DNF (did-not-finish) at 91%
    I know what you’re thinking: 1) why am I rating a DNF but more importantly, 2) why did I not finish the book when I only have 9% left. Just hear me out okay?
    I have finally reached my limits with this book. Judging from the high ratings from most readers though, I’m in the minority who feels this way, so before I even say anything else, please don’t let my upcoming negative thoughts about this book discourage you from reading it if you were interested before.
    With that being said, this book didn’t work for me. Actually, that is really putting it mildly. I had so many problems with the characters, with the storyline, with the romance, with everything I don’t even know where to begin.
    Going into this book, I was pretty sure it’d be a winner for several reasons: I’ve read and enjoyed a book from this author in the past so I shouldn’t have difficulties with her writing style, the love/hate dynamic is something I was in the mood for and I was ready for the angst to hit me hard, and I was really in the mood for a NA read. But from the very beginning, I started to struggle with the story. I’ll just walk you through my thought process all the way up to the 91% mark where I just could NOT go on.
    My first issue was that this book is way too similar to Bully by Penelope Douglas. Having re-read Bully about 2 months ago, there were similarities that stood out so vividly I actually went back to Bully to re-read some parts to compare and the essence of some scenes were virtually identical. I’m not insinuating anything here though. Every book with a similar premise is going to have some overlap – it just can’t be helped. However, the following parallels I couldn’t get over and when I read them, I was instantly reminded of Bully and that just cut a lot of my connection to this particular book.
    1. Dane has a best friend named Reid who’s a Madoc 2.0. They both have lighter personalities and are a source of comic relief in tense situations.
    2. Kennedy leaves town only to return as a tough as nails girl. Tate leaves her town only to return as a tough as nails girl. Kennedy meets her bully Dane again at a party. Tate meets her bully Jared again at a party.
    There were other little things like how in both books, the heroine stomped over to the hero’s party because the music was too loud etc…Once again, it may just be me being too picky but because Bully’s story is fresh in my mind, I really did feel like I was reading another version of it, at least in the beginning.
    By then, another issue came up – forget the jerk hero, I didn’t even like the heroine. In the beginning, I truly sympathized for her because of the hero’s cruel antics that tortured her, but when the story is fast-forwarded to present day and she supposedly has grown a backbone, I was less than impressed with her character. It seemed like on every other page, she either giggled, stammered, or cried. Not to mention she was extremely clumsy and fell twice, both times effectively grabbing the hero’s attention that way. I mean…couldn’t there be something different? And then there was one scene (the one with the flowers) where she was going to get payback on the hero and it was so.very.dramatic. Like over the top dramatic and my eyes couldn’t stop rolling. It’s safe to say I wasn’t head over heels for this heroine.
    By this time, the hero and heroine are already sleeping with each other, leaving me to wonder what the heck happened to the love/hate dynamic. You know, the kind that’s ‘I–hate-you-but-I-can’t-keep-my-hands-off-of-you-either’ type of relationship. There was no build up: it went from rude remarks to instant banging. Dane got jealous from the very beginning and Kennedy couldn’t stop thinking about how hot Dane was from the start either. Thus, the whole enemies to lovers premise wasn’t really strong and the lack of buildup was disappointing.
    Another thing that bothered me was the focus on all the side character drama!!! It’s great to have a strong side character cast and in this book that was the case, but there was too much focus on Dane’s best friend, Kennedy’s two best friends, guys on the football team, both of their siblings, etc…and not enough focus on Dane and Kennedy.
    And then, there was a little issue I had with the timeline of the story. First, it was very choppy. I go from the beginning (3 years into the past), then the present, and then from there, every other chapter seemed to do a small time jump ranging from a few weeks to months. For example, the first time Kennedy and her best friend meet their new roommate before college starts, right after that chapter it’s already a month later and fast forward to when all three become best friends already and go out to celebrate Kennedy’s birthday. I want the details too – what happened in that time lapse? What happened in the other time lapses?
    And here we are, at the dreaded 91% mark. I honestly don’t know what else to say about this scene other than it seriously pissed me off, it made me throw my iPad at the wall, and it made me feel stabby for hours. But most importantly, it made me believe that there was NOTHING redeeming about the hero. At this far in the book, the hero and heroine aren’t even together. What does that even say about the romance and their relationship? Their messes are far from sorted out and then they get into this fight where the hero says:
    “You don’t get to cry. It should have been you in that car, not Jewel [hero’s sister]. Your brother should have taken your life with his, and not hers.”
    Seriously. WTF!
    For him to say this it would take a lot – A LOT – of groveling and such to make it up to the heroine (and me, the reader!!!) but if you noticed, this is at the 91% mark. I don’t even need to read the last 9% of the book to know that it’ll be rushed to tie up all the loose ends and give these characters a happy ending, especially since they weren’t even a couple at this point. So I thought to myself – why bother continuing? It’s obvious that the last 9% isn’t going to change my opinion for the rest of the book. My reading time is already limited and I can’t afford to waste any more. One thing this book did accomplish was make me so angry I can’t even think about reading another book, at least for a few hours or so. As I will never discourage anyone from reading a book, I’m going to end with read at your own risk.
    ARC provided by Patchwork Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.