RELEASE DAY REVIEW – The Roman by Sylvain Reynard

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Title – The Roman
Author – Sylvain Reynard
Publication Date – December 6, 2016
Series – The Florentine, #3

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Synopsis

Raven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.

Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.

In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects …

Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.

This stunning conclusion to the Florentine series will take readers across Italy and beyond as the lovers fight to remain together. Forever.

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Review

Finally, the long-awaited conclusion to the Florentine series is here and it has heart-racing action with plenty of swoonworthy, romantic moments. Sylvain Reynard’s The Roman bids a farewell to The Prince and Raven, but I have a feeling that they will live on in readers’ hearts for some time to come.

The romance between these two felt so classic and timeless. From the moment they were introduced in the first book to the final moment of the epilogue, it felt like these two lovers were meant to be together. I appreciated The Prince’s precarious balance of personal life and the ruling of his city. Though he was thousands of years old, it wasn’t until he met Raven that he learned of the important things. As for Raven, her independence and tenacity shown through each book in the series, but none more than in The Roman. She went on her own journey of self-discovery and the place where Reynard took her was nothing short of perfection.

While I was left very satisfied with the novel as a whole, I did feel like the pacing was slightly off. For it being the last book in the series, I somewhat expected it to have more of a full throttle type of feel. Instead, The Roman seemed to have a bit of an up and down characteristic to it. Reynard would write scenes that answered questions and brought resolution, only to then introduce new issues that needed solving. It wasn’t until about the last quarter of the book that things started to really pick up and left me unable to put the book down.

That being said, I truly appreciated this author’s foray into the paranormal genre. I have surprisingly always loved the inclusion of art and history that he pens, but it really worked to add in the vampire side as well. He combined these elements effortlessly so that the components he excels at shone brightly, yet pushed his readers’ boundaries to expand a bit further. Overall, I really liked this series and, as always, found Sylvain Reynard’s writing to be spectacularly brilliant. With this series under his belt, I really am excited to see what genre he will tackle next!

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The Prince (Florentine, #0.5)

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The Raven (Florentine, #1)

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The Shadow (Florentine, #2)

The Shadow

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Author Bio

I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Christmas Wishes by Karen Ferry

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Title: Christmas Wishes
Author: Karen Ferry
Series: Believe #2.5
Release Date: December 1, 2016

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Synopsis

Most lovers can’t wait to celebrate their first Christmas together –
but for Suzy and Garrett, the special season comes with a few surprises

SUZY

I got the happily-ever-after that I had always hoped for. My life in New York seems like a fairy-tale – though my knight is not a white one. He is all the colours of the rainbow, and I love him more and more with each passing day.

Despite my happiness, I miss my home. I miss my parents. I miss my friends.

I wish I knew of a way to combine my past life with my present.

Maybe I can wish for a little Christmas magic?

GARRETT

She’s my light – the only one who can see into the depths of my soul. I’ll do anything to keep her happy. I wish she would let me inside her mind so I can help erase the shadows from her eyes.

Our happiness is interrupted when my family find themselves in trouble. I have to help them get back on the right track before it’s too late.

All they want is a Merry Christmas, but how is that possible when the outside world won’t let them?

Author’s Note: This is a novella in the Believe Series and it is important that you read Fool for Love first.

Review

Christmas Wishes delivers a delightfully sweet and sexy dose of Karen Ferry’s Fool For Love duo, Suzy and Garrett. With all the addictive anticipation of the holiday season, Christmas Wishes not only follows the couple further into their happily ever after, but takes readers on another exciting ride as Suzy and Garrett navigate the ups and downs of moving forward and putting their pasts behind them. Packed with plenty of the adorable sentiments and sizzling chemistry I’ve come to adore from Suzy and Garrett, Christmas Wishes is the perfect reminder of why I fell in love with this couple and Karen Ferry’s writing to begin with.

“Never thought I’d find a woman who’d be able to pull me out of the darkness.”

Suzy and Garrett’s connection is as genuine as ever, perfectly balanced by their scorching interludes and grin-inducing banter to grab readers from the very first page and ensure their investment in this great couple. As always, Karen Ferry writes with tons of heart. I loved the powerful emotion infused throughout this story and the way in which it so effortlessly held me captive. Even in the short span of this novella, Suzy and Garrett managed to take me on one heck of a rollercoaster ride and I found myself just as enamored with their unconventional pairing as I was in Fool For Love… and then some.

“He sees me,” I place my hands over my heart, imploring her to understand, “and he loves me for who I am, flaws and all.”

I’m glad we got a glimpse of Suzy’s parents and spent some time with the other secondary characters in Christmas Wishes. Their presence in the story really helped to bring Suzy and Garrett’s journey full circle and delivered some much needed closure for this couple. I’m also impressed with the amount of action and intrigue that Karen Ferry managed to pack into this story. It was in no way more of the same and the storyline kept me wholly invested with all of the surprising turns it took. For readers looking for a sexy little holiday romp, this novella definitely delivers, but Karen Ferry unquestionably serves up so much more. Christmas Wishes is the perfect companion to Fool For Love and a great next chapter for Suzy and Garrett.

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Excerpt

GARRETT

“Dance with me.”

I know it doesn’t come out as a request – more like a demand – but when her smile softens, I know she doesn’t mind. She knows me too well. When she places her hand in mine, I squeeze her fingers before interlacing them with mine.

“Are you enjoying yourself?” I ask as I lead her away and to the other end of the house, where a small stage has been set up.

She beams at me. “Very. And I love that they managed to get all this—” she gestures to the tables where guests are chatting, “—set up in just a couple of weeks.”

I chuckle. “I get you. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it?”

I take in our surroundings as I pull Suzy closer to me. Colin and Daisy’s living room has been transformed for their wedding, and I like the soft light the candles make. All their usual furniture has been put in storage for the event, and there are small, round tables covered in tablecloths the colour of lavender placed here and there.

“I bet Daisy was happy she called you and asked for your advice, though.”

A soft blush creeps up on her cheeks as she puts her hand on my shoulder.

“It was nothing,” she mumbles.

“Hey.” I dip my head down, catching her gaze. “It meant a lot to Daisy, so don’t belittle your abilities. I know you’re not a wedding planner, but you’re an interior designer at heart, Suzy – a fucking good one – with an eye for details. Daisy’s wedding proves how skilled you truly are – plus, how big a heart you have.”

I kiss the tip of her nose as I pull her tighter.

“Now, something else,” I change the subject. “Have you and your Dad finally settled things between you?”

She lets out a breath, nodding slowly. “We have. It was weird, but we’re okay. Or, we’ll get there eventually.” As she rests her cheek just above my heart, an overwhelming sense of peace settles over me. I don’t hear the song anymore. I don’t pay attention to the other guests. I don’t think about the hurdles we still have to face in the morning.

All I think about is holding her in my arms like this for the rest of my life.

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Make Me Believe (Believe #1)

Make Me Believe

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Fool for Love (Believe #2)

Fool For Love

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Author Bio

Karen Ferry is a thirty-something writer, wife to a quiet, laidback man, and mother to a gorgeous, stubborn, redheaded girl who keeps her parents on their toes.

Even though Karen is Danish, she has always felt more at ease writing stories in English, and she is a complete Anglophile and bookaholic. She loves Italian food and wine, travelling, and spending time with her family. When she is not writing, she reads – her favourite genres are New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense. She can never get enough of romance.

Or of too many book boyfriends, either.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – When The Clock Strikes Twelve by Elisabeth Grace

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Title: When The Clock Strikes Twelve
Author: Elisabeth Grace
Series: Maine Attraction #2.5
Release Date: November 30, 2016

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Synopsis

Max and Chloe had prepared themselves for a short trip to Aspen after celebrating Christmas in his Manhattan penthouse. It was the perfect opportunity to finalize their wedding details and get in a few runs on the snow-covered slopes. Being born and raised in Maine means Chloe’s no stranger to snow, but when a blizzard hits all their plans go awry. The result is something that will change both of their lives forever.

Review

Elisabeth Grace had me grinning from start to finish with When the Clock Strikes Twelve, a delightful continuation of the Maine Attraction series! Max and Chloe from Indiscretion return for a little holiday romp and this story definitely had me falling in love with this couple all over again. Aside from the perfect sweetness that is all Max and Chloe, Elisabeth Grace also managed to pack a bit of steam in this quick read. Perfectly capturing their explosive chemistry and incredibly emotional connection, Elisabeth Grace left me a swooning mess with this heartfelt look into Max and Chloe’s happily ever after.

“I’m not sure what words to use to express how much you mean to me and how lost I’d be without you. I’m not sure those words even exist. And you know me and my words.”

Seeing this couple enjoying their life together was exceedingly satisfying, especially after everything Max and Chloe had already endured. To make the moment even sweeter, several of my favorite characters from Elisabeth Grace’s Limelight series made cameos in When the Clock Strikes Twelve! I absolutely adored having so many familiar faces together in one place and reveled in the fantastic reminder of all the reasons I adore this author’s writing. Together, this collection of beloved characters made this story feel like coming home and they engendered a sense of family that definitely helped evoke the overall warm tone and holiday spirit of this novella.

“No matter what the future holds, I will be your lighthouse calling you home, bringing you comfort on the darkest, foggiest nights while you sail on rough, murky water.”

When the Clock Strikes Twelve had me feeling nostalgic as Elisabeth Grace brought Max and Chloe full-circle. This small piece of their incredible story left me wanting to venture back to the beginning and re-experience their unforgettable journey. In true Elisabeth Grace fashion, I laughed, blushed, and dreamy sighed. Even shedding a few tears at the simple sweetness of Max and Chloe’s relationship. The genuine emotion so expertly delivered with this novella perfectly embodied the series as a whole and left my heart feeling full. When the Clock Strikes Twelve is fun, sexy, and utterly breathtaking, an absolute must-read for fans of Max, Chloe and the Maine Attraction series!

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Indecision (Maine Attraction #1)

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Indiscretion (Maine Attraction #2)

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REVIEW – Mrs. Dumont by Alessandra Torre

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Title: Mrs. Dumont
Author: Alessandra Torre
Release Date: September 4, 2013

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Synopsis

I wanted the fairytale: a gorgeous man who screwed as well as he provided. I met Nathan Dumont – then scampered off to his mansion without hesitation. He proposed with a contract, I signed with a smile.

Goodbye, stripper pole. Hello, life of luxury.

Too bad my new husband had secrets.
Too bad he had plans for me that I had no idea about.
Too bad my heart didn’t understand contracts and red flags in its plummet toward love.

Bs Review

Mrs. Dumont is a sizzling hot story with just enough sass and sweetness to make it the total package. A quick and engaging read, Alessandra Torre keeps readers guessing with Nathan and Candy’s story. Despite being initially written as a serial of novellas, the storyline flowed fairly smoothly, each chapter eagerly sweeping me into the next until I found myself having devoured the entire book. My favorite thing about Mrs. Dumont was the incredible chemistry that Alessandra Torre has crafted between the hero and heroine. From their first scene together, this couple shared an electric connection that begged to be explored. I loved the passion and inexplicable pull that obviously fueled Nathan and Candy’s story, their scorching encounters, feisty exchanges, and easy connection setting the pages of this novel on fire. There was also a surprising amount of raw emotion that accompanied the couple’s unexpected journey and it only served to make the book that much more enticing.

“BlueEyes is too young to be my love story, too handsome, too perfect to have any part in the rest of my life.”

I really enjoyed getting to know the two very different main characters that Alessandra Torre has written with Nathan and Candy. Nathan was an enigma; his motives for seeking out Candy very much a mystery. It was this intrigue that kept me reading, anxious to unravel the deliciously brooding hero. Alessandra did a fantastic job at slowly revealing the truth about Nathan, his personality and surprising sweetness slowly coming to light over the course of the story. However, I definitely would have liked a more in depth exploration of this character and his history in order to really understand the eventual outcome of the book. Initially, Candy didn’t seem like the kind of heroine I would be able to connect with, but as her story progressed, I found myself feeling for her in significant ways. Her strength, independence, and willingness to do whatever it takes to care for her father won my heart over. I also loved seeing her confidence build the more time she spent with Nathan. Her realization of her self-worth was inspiring and by the time the last page had been turned I was definitely a fan of this feisty, fearless woman.

“I am a boat out on a deep blue ocean. And there is no one for miles, no one to rescue me.”

There were a few holes in the storyline that kept me from completely losing myself to Nathan and Candy’s story – pieces of their individual histories that kept me from fully appreciating the decisions they made and the paths they chose. For example, Nathan’s relationship with Cecile seemed so superficial that I couldn’t understand his supposed deep connection to her, especially after what she did to him. The series of events that led to Nathan’s employment of Drew was also a little confusing and in general Drew’s overall role in the story seemed a bit unnecessary and the lack of resolution concerning him left me frustrated. That being said, I did enjoy this storyline as a whole. Alessandra Torre’s writing was polished and filled with emotion, relaying the story in a captivating manner that demanded my complete attention. Vibrant imagery, fascinating characters, and plenty of twists and turns ensured my investment in Nathan and Candy’s unconventional journey. Mrs. Dumont is a quick, sexy read that will keep you on your toes and leave you wanting more from the fabulous Alessandra Torre.

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Cs Review

Turning that last page of Mrs. Dumont left me with such a bittersweet feeling; it was the last novel from Alessandra Torre on my list before I’d be done with her backlist, and now I must wait for more just like everyone else. Mrs. Dumont impressed me with its romance and lust, unending suspense, and the all-around steam factor. Once again, this author hasn’t disappointed in the delivery of a fantastic read.

“My heart, like the rest of my body, doesn’t like to follow rules.”

Nathan and Candy were such an oddity when it came to their pairing. They were opposites in every sense of the word, yet their chemistry was out of this world. At times, I wanted to feel more of that attraction without the lust factor, especially because Torre would briefly touch upon those instances but never in detail. However, I did love how strong-headed and steadfast both of their personalities were. They each had a likeability to them that I couldn’t easily discount, even in the moments of wishing for further development. There were also a couple plot lines left a bit too open for my taste and some questions that went unanswered. Given that this was one of Torre’s earlier novels, and I know what she is capable of, I think I expected a deeper connection. However, that is not to say that I didn’t completely enjoy this novel.

“His looks are my weakness, his mind my undoing.”

Whenever I jump into a Torre book, I never know what I’m going to get. Whether it’s the first she’s written or it’s the last, there is always something that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Mrs. Dumont was certainly no exception and left me guessing what she’d pull out of her sleeve. Whenever I thought I had everything figured out, she would throw a curveball and surprise me time and time again. I have to say that I’m super glad I picked this up and finally read it. Mrs. Dumont was the perfect read to get me out of my rut and forget the real-world for a couple of hours. I wish that I could read all of Alessandra Torre’s books for the first time because they are just that good, but instead I shall be waiting for the next hit with everyone else!

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REVIEW – Running Back by Allison Parr

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Title: Running Back
Author: Allison Parr
Series: New York Leopards #2
Release Date: October 21, 2013

Running Back

Synopsis

Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O’Connor, popular NFL running back.

On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she’s not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…

Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.

Review

Allison Parr delivers another smart, sassy and sweet addition to the New York Leopards series with Running Back. Mike and Natalie’s story is an adventure from start to finish and I found myself instantly lost to this fun, sexy couple. From the beginning, Allison Parr pulled me in with Mike and Natalie’s unconventional first meeting and the fascinating premise for this novel. I was incredibly intrigued by both the unexpected connection between this couple and their mutual reluctance for romance. Allison Parr crafted a palpable chemistry with Mike and Natalie that was only made more complex by their frustrating and addictive push and pull. I absolutely loved the undeniable electricity this couple carried throughout the story and the gradual development of their deeper connection. Witty banter, heady tension, and adorable flirtations peppered this story, making for one seriously entertaining and utterly enchanting read.

“Not all of us dig just for dirt.”
I raised a brow. “No, some of us dig for the reality buried beneath it.”

Running Back was very much a departure from the first book in the series. Not only was it set away from the world of the New York Leopards, but the author also kept the sports aspect of the novel fairly small. While I was initially concerned about the lack of crossover between the players/other couples with Mike and Natalie’s story, Allison Parr didn’t disappoint in that regard. Although not a major component of Running Back, we do see enough of the rest of the Leopards to feel as if this novel is connected to the series as a whole. Plus, we also get to meet a bunch of new, vibrant secondary characters that helped bring this story to life with their colorful personalities and heartfelt contributions to Mike and Natalie’s journey. I especially enjoyed meeting Mike’s family and experiencing their unique and endearing dynamic. Natalie’s family also played a part in the development of the story and in Natalie’s character growth.

“No matter what had happened, he had always believed in me. We were both lost and confused and broken, but we believed in our passions. He believed in me. I believed in Kilkarten.”

While I was curious about Mike from what we saw of him in Rush Me, I really didn’t know what to expect from this character. I was pleasantly surprised by not only how sexy and sweet he could be, but by the incredible depth and emotional diversity this character embodied. Allison Parr did a fantastic job exploring Mike’s family history, utilizing his relationships with his mom and sisters to grow the character in unexpected ways. He was so much more than a famous football player and I thoroughly enjoyed unraveling Mike’s many layers alongside Natalie as their relationship developed. Natalie also had complicated family ties that made for interesting points of character growth. While she initially seemed so sure and steady in her determination to unearth the secrets of Kilkarten, it was her exploration of Mike’s family secrets as well as her own that revealed Natalie to be a vulnerable, flawed, and incredibly genuine heroine. I loved seeing the insecure side of this character, her need for someone to lean on – for love, allowing me to connect to the character and ensuring my total investment in her story.

“I’ve never known someone like you. And I don’t think you would be happy bound to one place. I don’t want to bind you. I just want to go with you.”

The thing I love most about Allison Parr’s writing is the incredible intellect with which she crafts her stories and Running Back was certainly no exception. Natalie was driven and smart, her passion and knowledge as an archaeologist bleeding from the pages of this novel. I found myself mesmerized by Allison Parr’s bold and beautiful imagery and the brilliant picture of Ireland and Kilkarten that she so effortlessly painted. I was fascinated by the rich history Natalie sought to uncover and was unquestionably invested in not only her romantic happily ever after, but her success on the dig as well. Admittedly, there were a few instances where the story was too descriptive, too intellectual and in those moments, it felt a little inaccessible to the average reader and briefly took me out of the story. However, the overall tone wasn’t significantly affected and I continued to be captivated by Natalie and Mike’s unique journey. Running Back was every bit the charming and emotional story I hoped it would be and then some. I can’t wait to see what Allison Parr has up her sleeve next for the New York Leopards.

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Rush Me

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Imaginary Lines (New York Leopards #3)

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Bad Romeo Christmas Anthology by Leisa Rayven

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Title – Bad Romeo Christmas
Author – Leisa Rayven
Publication Date – November 21, 2016
Series – Starcrossed, #4

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Synopsis

From the internationally best selling author of BAD ROMEO, BROKEN JULIET, and WICKED HEART comes an anthology of sweet and sexy novellas featuring beloved Starcrossed characters such as Ethan and Cassie, Liam and Elissa, and Josh and Angel; as well as the gang from The Grove.

Have Yourself A Sexy Little Christmas: An Ethan and Cassie Novella

Ethan and Cassie’s first Christmas with the Holt family should be nothing but jolly. Sure, Cassie’s a mess trying to impress her future in-laws with the perfect casserole, but when an unexpected blast from Ethan’s past shows up beneath the tree, the season gets a whole lot more serious–and sexy.

The Naughty List: A Liam and Elissa Novella

After being apart for months, Liam and Elissa are making up for lost time on a secluded island, where they think they’re free to explore each other’s bodies in peace. But when it turns out their Christmas sanctuary isn’t as deserted as it first seemed, their Christmas dreams turn into a nightmare.

Happy, Horny New Year: A Josh and Angel Novella

When the gang from the Grove gets together at a lavish New Year’s Eve party, it’s like no time has passed. Except Elissa and Josh are dating Hollywood royalty, Jack and Zoe have been hooking up in secret, Connor’s new girlfriend wants to murder Cassie, and Erika’s mystery man has everyone talking. Before midnight, shocking revelations are made, industry tongues are wagging, and the poor mistletoe is ready to pass out from overuse.

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Review

Oh my goodness, I could not be more ecstatic to have the opportunity to dive back into the Starcrossed world. Leisa Rayven’s characters are as saucy and mischievous as ever in this holiday Anthology. Getting a glimpse into where they are and how they spent their winter seasons certainly brought some Christmas cheer to this fan’s face.

Part I is all about Ethan and Cassie and getting a glimpse into their relationship dynamic. Even though I knew how their story ultimately ended, it made me giddy to see how much Ethan endured just to make Cassie happy. I must say that Have Yourself a Sexy Little Christmas brought the characters further to life for me, especially with their playful banter. Getting that inside look of the Christmas before they got married reminded me why they are two of my favorite literary characters.

I really loved that Christmas took on a whole new look for the second novella in the anthology, The Naughty List. Elissa and Holt’s short story was ridiculously hot and fun in an entirely different way from Ethan and Cassie’s. Rayven did an amazing job at staying true to her characters and making them shine in their own way. Furthermore, I liked that it was relatively drama free, but not without something driving their storyline forward. Not to mention that ending…gah! Such perfection!

Finally, Happy, Horny New Year centered around Josh and Angel, and given how vastly different Josh is from the rest of the crew, it really took on a life of its own. I appreciated seeing Josh’s insecurities, yet seeing what Angel saw before he could. This New Year’s Eve novella was sexy, adorable, and certainly had me laughing out loud at times. My only complaint is that now I want more from this couple!

Overall, Bad Romeo Christmas was the perfect read to get me in the mood for some holiday spirit. There was everything I could want from these characters that I have come to love. The Anthology had steam and humor; it contained a little bit of angst and drama, but with the perfect ending to each couple’s novella. Leisa Rayven has granted the wishes of so many of her readers with this release, and I promise you that she most certainly delivers.

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Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1)

Bad Romeo

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Broken Juliet (Starcrossed, #2)

Broken Juliet

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Wicked Heart (Starcrossed, #3)

Wicked Heart

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – The Presence of Grace by Anie Michaels

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Title: The Presence of Grace
Author: Anie Michaels
Series: Love and Loss #2
Release Date: November 18, 2016

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Synopsis

Devon Roberts was familiar with loss.  He’d lost his wife and, in a way, he’d lost himself.  Moving through life with two kids, doing everything he could to make life good again for his son and daughter, meant romance was the last thing on his mind.

Until he saw her.

Again.

She was the first person to make him feel as though loving someone else wouldn’t be wrong.

Even though he thought his loss was unbearable, he never could have fathomed she might have had more slip through her fingers.

He’d fought before; fought for his family, for his love, and for his life.  But her fight, although buried deep and festering within, was a fight he wasn’t sure he had the strength to overcome.

All he knew for sure was that his life was better in the presence of Grace.

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Review

Anie Michaels triumphantly delivers a breathtakingly poignant novel of living with loss and learning to love again with Devon and Grace’s story in The Presence of Grace. Filled with the kind of overwhelming emotion and unquestionable chemistry I’ve come to adore from this author, this is one journey you won’t soon forget. From the start, Devon and Grace captivated me with their familiar heartache and inexplicable connection and I found myself instantly invested in their happily ever after. Both having been through the emotional wringer, this couple exemplified the beauty of new beginnings and had me hanging on tight to their rollercoaster ride relationship. With Ruby and Jax growing up with each turn of the page and the return of some familiar faces from The Absence of Olivia, Anie Michaels expertly cultivated a beautiful feeling of family with this book that had my heart bursting at the seams and ensured that The Presence of Grace was every bit the second shot at love I desperately hoped Devon would find… and then some.

“But the thing about grieving is everything feels wrong, until it doesn’t. The only way to get past it is to keep moving forward.”

Everything about Devon and Grace set my heart aflutter. From their unusual first meeting to finding one another again, this couple felt fated in a way that made it impossible for me to put this book down. Anie Michaels did a phenomenal job developing both characters over the course of the story, utilizing their changing relationship to expose the pain they carried and allowing them to let go and move forward. As individuals, I loved getting to know Devon and Grace. My knowledge of Devon felt limited in The Absence of Olivia, but with this book his personality, values, and incredible capacity for love really took shape and Anie Michaels had me swooning for the sweet single father in no time at all. Grace was the kind of heroine that was easy to connect with and impossible not to love. Her unfailing kindness and stunning spirit really blew me away, especially in light of all she’d endured prior to meeting Devon. Together this couple shared something truly special. Their deep understanding of one another’s vulnerabilities, insecurities, and fears leant itself to the kind of relationship that stands the test of time.

“I’m not thinking about how she’s gone, I’m thinking about how you’re here.”

One of the things I’ve come to absolutely adore about this author is her ability to capture the extraordinary power of every day love and The Presence of Grace is the epitome of this practice. This story not only harnesses the raw emotions of loss and living on, but it celebrates the small victories of surviving in the wake of grief. Devon and Grace both experienced losses that made me ache for them, but it was their steadfast support of one another’s healing and their unwavering loyalty to the people left in their lives that had me falling head over heels for this couple. Their love and the learning curve they bravely traversed to nurture it, while far from flawless, was inspiring in both its quiet courage and steady hope. Anie Michaels’ writing is utterly brilliant, capturing each emotional nuance of Devon and Grace’s journey and delivering the kind of love story that lingers well beyond the pages.

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Don’t miss the companion novel:

The Absence of Olivia (Love and Loss #1)

Absence of Olivia

Read our Review HERE
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Author Bio

anie-michaels

Anie Michaels is the author of the Never series, the Privates serial, and stand-alone novels The Space Between Us, Instead of You, and The Absence of Olivia. She started writing her first novel in June 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. Working at home as a full-time writer of books, when she is not pounding on the keyboard she can be found reading, playing with her kids, spending time with her family, and connecting with her close friends.  She’s spent her entire life in the Pacific Northwest, lives in Portland, Oregon, and can’t imagine ever being anywhere else… except maybe somewhere tropical.

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Giveaway

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RELEASE BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Split by J.B. Salsbury

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Title: Split
Author: J.B. Salsbury
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Standalone Novel

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Synopsis

What do you do when you wake up with no memory of what you did last night?

Lucas spent the first half of his life protecting himself from others, but now his own mind is his biggest enemy. He doesn’t know what happens when the blackouts overtake him, but he can recall the feelings—the rage, the confusion, the fear. Thankfully the quiet life he’s found in Payson, Arizona has kept the darkness at bay. Until his boss’s estranged daughter shows up in town, asking questions she shouldn’t and sparking a desire Lucas can’t control. Getting close to Shyann is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but when his blackouts return, unleashing the truth he’s battled so long to hide, he may just lose her forever . . .

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Bs Review

Every once in a while a book comes along that completely blows you away with its unique storyline, intriguing plot twists, captivating characters, and emotions so gritty and raw that you feel them in the darkest recesses of your soul. Split is that book. J.B. Salsbury delivers something fiercely original, unapologetically real, and achingly insightful with Lucas and Shyann’s story. This couple was unlike any I’ve encountered before. Their shared pain broke my heart in ways I couldn’t have imagined and yet J.B. Salsbury maintained a flicker of hope between them that had me holding out for the full-blown flame they were so obviously destined for. Seemingly opposite in their personalities, Shyann and Lucas proved to be the perfect pair. Where Lucas grounded Shyann, she opened him up to the world around him. Their adorable banter, sweet flirtations, and heartfelt honesty had me rooting for this couple and kept me hooked on their story until the very last page.

“The man barely speaks, seems close to terrified in benign situations, and he creates masterpieces with his hands. It’s official. I’m intrigued.”

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure how much I would like Shyann in the beginning. She was single-minded in her pursuit of a successful career and selfish to the point of being somewhat unfeeling towards others. However J.B. Salsbury quickly changed my mind, unraveling this character to reveal a softer, more vulnerable side that quickly won me over. With Lucas, Shyann became someone else. She was patient, understanding, sympathetic, and unfailingly kind – while still maintaining that fiercely independent and delightfully feisty attitude that made me grin. Over the course of this novel, J.B. Salsbury grew this heroine into a protective, loyal, and loving woman that was surprisingly easy to connect with and invest in. Shyann not only proved to be a study in public perception and self-acceptance, but by the end of the story she had become a shining example of the lengths to which we go to defend love.

“I don’t deserve you, but I’m going to keep you.”

I’m not even sure where to begin with Lucas. Without giving anything away, Lucas redefines the term “complex character.” I was smitten with the quiet, polite and artistic man we first got to know, but as the story progressed this character become something so much more. With each layer J.B. Salsbury exposed, I found myself more and more intrigued by this character. He was an enigma with an inexplicable pull, begging me to keep reading. For every piece of Lucas that was sweet and soft, there was a dark and dangerous facet that captivated me. This character quickly proved to be an unbelievable contradiction and each side of him held me hostage in its own way. I absolutely loved watching Lucas’ dichotomous nature play out and the internal war being waged was equal parts fascinating and terrifying. J.B. Salsbury has seriously outdone herself with Lucas, ensnaring readers with a male lead that was both light and dark, lover and fighter, hero and villain.

“I’m yours. From here on out, nothing will touch you. I’ll never let anyone hurt you.”

I’ll admit I was nervous to read something new from this author. As a huge fan of her Fighting series, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was quickly set at ease. While Split is a far cry from her previous novels, J.B. Salsbury’s storytelling, world building and character development are better than ever. Split moves a bit more slowly, driven not by heart-pounding action but by the individual evolutions of the main characters. However, J.B.’s vibrant imagery and gripping emotions brought this story to life and kept me wholly enthralled by Lucas and Shyann’s journey. While absolutely unconventional, Split managed to capture not only the extent to which man can be broken but also the unparalleled human capacity for love in a way that was equal parts gut wrenching and utterly breathtaking. Destined to stay with you long after the final page has been turned, J.B. Salsbury delivers something undeniably special with Split.

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Cs Review

First, let me just say, WHOA! I’ve gotten so used to J.B. Salsbury’s Fighting boys that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she announced that she’d be writing a standalone that had nothing to do with getting in the ring. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit apprehensive to dive into Split, and now that I’ve finished it, I can honestly say that this woman can produce anything. Her writing proved to be fierce and bold no matter what the subject matter. Split blew me away in so many ways that I’m not even sure I have the words to appropriately express my adoration.

“I just…I can’t face the man with the scarred neck and the broken soul.”

What took me by complete and utter surprise was the incredible dimensionality of the characters in this book. Shyann was a girl who always thought she knew what she wanted, yet ended up needing something completely different. The connection with her mom hit me in some really sensitive places and there were so many times that I just wanted to wrap her in a hug. Yet, in true Salsbury fashion, Shyann was also strong and determined to follow her ever-changing heart. Then you have the beyond complex hero, a man I never expected to shine with the complications he harbored. The way that the author wrote this man who was soft, yet hard; who was meek, but protective; who was gentle, but rough, was beyond fascinating. He was an onion that needed the layers peeled back one by one and I could not get enough. These two characters felt like two broken puzzle pieces that fit together, and I couldn’t imagine it going any other way.

“There are hearts big enough to love those who are different than them, who are hard to understand. And I, by some freak accident, found her.”

I’ve read just about everything that this author has released, yet with each new book, I’ve had the privilege of watching her grow and finesse her style. With the publication of Split, I’ve seen a side of her that I never would have imagined existed – the complete opposite of everything bubbly and vivacious that I’ve come to know from her. Split contained a darkness and harsh reality that took me by complete surprise in the best way possible. J.B. Salsbury clearly has a deep well of talent that we’ve barely even touched the surface of, and I can’t wait to see where she will go next. Split will take readers on a surprising journey of love and loss, life and forgiveness. This book was a phenomenally breathtaking ride from beginning to end, and I loved every single thrilling  second of it!

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Excerpt

“You can’t jump.”

She narrows her eyes on me. “Of course I can.”

“Is it safe?”

My grip on her grows tighter and she steps close enough that I can feel the heat of her breasts brush against my ribs. “Lucas, do you trust me?”

“No.” The word comes out on a shaky whisper.

A gentle grin softens her face and with both her hands she works to relax my hold enough for her to slip free. Seconds later she turns, takes four long strides, and disappears off the rock cliff.

A holler that can only be described as guttural exhilaration echoes off the canyon walls and slices through the trees.

I race to the edge and there’s nothing but a circle of white bubbles marring the once shimmering pond.

I wait for her to surface, and just when I’m about to jump in and rescue her, her head pops up out of the water with a feral howl.

“That was amazing!” She waves at me. “The water is perfect!”

With adrenaline coursing through my veins, I allow myself a moment to wonder what it would be like to be as free as Shyann. Everything I do is weighed against the danger of doing it. The threat of blacking out always pulling me back to walk the safer, less risky side of any situation. But something about her makes me want to try harder, makes me want to take a risk like other twenty-five-year-old guys. The sound of her squealing lights a fire in my chest that has me wanting to jump.

Risking a blackout might be worth the few seconds of euphoria I haven’t felt since…I can’t remember.

I think of backing away and yelling for her to meet me at the truck, but something pulls me toward her. Part of me wonders if it’s nothing more than wanting to be close, to keep her safe, because she belongs to Mr. Jennings and I owe him. But even as the thought enters my mind, so does another.

I want her to like me.

I want her to see me as brave.

I want to know what it’s like to be normal.

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Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury spends her days lost in a world of budding romance and impossible obstacles. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award. JB Salsbury lives with her husband and two kids in Phoenix, Arizona.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg

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Title: Sweet Cheeks
Author: K. Bromberg
Release Date: November 14, 2016
Standalone Novel

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Synopsis

It all started with the invitation. To my ex-fiance’s new wedding.

I should have ignored it. Thrown it away. Set it afire. But I didn’t. I replied.

With a plus one.  

And then my assistant accidentally mailed it.

Enter Hayes Whitley. Mega-movie star. The man who has captured the hearts of millions. But I gave him mine years ago. He was my first love. He was my everything. Right until he up and left to chase his dreams without so much as a simple goodbye.

When he showed up out of the blue ten years later, I should have known to steer clear of him. I should have rejected his offer to take me to my ex’s wedding. I should have never let him kiss me.

But I didn’t.

And now we’re left wondering if the pieces of the life we once shared still fit together somehow. First loves are hard to forget. The question is, do we want to forget? Or do we risk the chance and see what happens next?

Bs Review

With one part Hayes Whitley, one part Saylor Rodgers, a sprinkle of sass, a heap of sweet, a dash of heartache, just the right amount of heat and plenty of icing to go around, K. Bromberg has the recipe for an epic second chance romance. As a huge fan of the brother’s best friend storyline, I was more than a little excited to dive into this novel. I knew K. Bromberg would deliver something truly memorable like only she can, but I could not have envisioned a more magical adventure for Hayes and Saylor. I absolutely devoured Sweet Cheeks and it is hands down one of the best books I’ve read this year. From the first page to the last, I was drawn to this story and the decidedly delicious chemistry between Saylor and Hayes. Their utterly electric connection radiated from the pages until I had no choice but to wholly surrender myself to their journey. Effortlessly balancing the heat with humor and heart, this book was absolute second chance romance perfection.

“But we all know books are fiction. The romance in novels is a crock of shit. Sometimes the hero still leaves in the end. And the heroine is once again left to pick up the pieces.”

Saylor is the kind of heroine that captures your heart and proves with each passing page how much she deserves a happily ever after. From the start she was smart, passionate, and delightfully feisty – all things that made her easy to love and relate to. As K. Bromberg unraveled this character however, we got to see a vulnerability to Saylor that made me feel for her in unexpected ways. Hearing her story and seeing the lengths to which she went to rebuild her life and redefine herself in the wake of tragedy left me absolutely mesmerized and I found myself connecting to the strong, loyal, and sweet woman K. Bromberg had so skillfully developed throughout Hayes and Saylor’s journey.

“Welcome to Hollywood, son, where dreams come true, and the one you want more than any of them won’t fucking text you back because she’s scared of what those dreams entail.”

Hayes, on the other hand, started out the stereotypical casual, confident, and cocky Hollywood actor, whose sexual prowess and charm was impossible to ignore. As intrigued as I was by his overall swagger, it was Hayes’ eventual unmasking that turned me into a puddle of love-struck mush. K. Bromberg expertly unveiled our hero’s emotions over the course of this novel, exposing pieces of Hayes’ past along with the truth about his relationship with Saylor and the events that followed his moving to Hollywood, in order to paint a brilliant picture of the kind, caring, and desperately feeling man that Hayes really was. In the end, Hayes had left his indelible mark and I can confidently say he’s one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends.

“Didn’t you know? Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure.”

While the authentic emotion and sizzling heat of Sweet Cheeks definitely made my heart flutter and falter, it was the understated humor and easy banter of this story that made it so undeniably addictive. Sweet Cheeks was funny, heartfelt and so full of feels that I couldn’t find it in me to put it down. I loved every second of Saylor and Hayes’ journey and even fell in love with DeeDee and Ryder along the way. Throw in one of the most sincerely romantic and true to character epilogues I’ve ever read and K. Bromberg had me swooning hard. I cried such sweet, genuinely happy tears with this story and by the time the last page was turned, I wanted nothing more than to eat a cupcake and go back to the beginning to experience Hayes and Saylor’s magical love story all over again. K. Bromberg has certainly brought her A-Game with Sweet Cheeks. Her writing is flawless, vibrant, and entirely enchanting, delivering an inimitable romantic masterpiece that is both breathtaking and delectable.

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Cs Review

I read a lot, which in turn means that I find a lot of books I fall in love with. However, every once in a while, I find a novel that utterly consumes me; it makes me laugh and swoon and forget the real world in a way that the word love is just not a strong enough descriptor. In a week where I have been flooded with elections, protests, and an overload of emotions, Sweet Cheeks from K. Bromberg was the perfect standalone to lose myself in. It was fun and happy, and I can honestly say that this author brought her #AGame.

“I could tell myself I part my lips—grant him access—because I’m winded and need to breathe, but that would be a lie. Because the minute his tongue dances against mine, all I want to do is drown in his kiss. In the familiarity of it. In the difference of it. The unexpectedness of it. The comfort of it. In everything about him.”

Saylor and Hayes embodied everything that I adore seeing in a second chance romance. There were memories brought to life, which allowed me to see how they fell in love the first time. The clever way it was done also showed me how, in such a short time, these two characters could fall into their chemistry so easily after so long apart. I admired Saylor for her tenacity and knowing her own worth. She was this spitfire underneath everything and watching her find herself again was something special to witness. Hayes is that brother’s best friend that every girl can’t help but crush on. He was sweet and charming, quickly capturing readers’ hearts through his words and his actions. These two personalities had grown from the same roots and developed wings that took them in different directions, yet it was those roots that kept them connected through time. Their love and chemistry was youthful and exuberant, yet mature and heartfelt – the perfect combination.

“He lives in glamour and glitz, and I live in cupcakes and frosting.”

What stood out the most was how much Bromberg has grown in her writing. She’s always been a mastermind at her craft, but there was something about Sweet Cheeks that took it to the next level. Her characters were rich with history, complicated with their own present-day battles, and it resulted in multi-dimensional, unforgettable personalities. Furthermore, the storyline was refreshing and adorable with plenty of witty banter and dialogue. Bromberg mixed sexy and sweet so perfectly that it all came together in a flawless masterpiece.

“The way I see it, sometimes things happen in life and love’s put on hold. But if someone’s your soul mate, nothing is going to stop you from being together in the end.”

From the moment I picked up the book, I simply couldn’t put it down. If you’re needing a read to pull you out of a book slump, something to make your heart flutter and grin uncontrollably, then Sweet Cheeks is the perfect book for you! It’s easily one of my favorite reads of the year and one I foresee myself revisiting many times in the future.

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Author Bio

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.

On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced, Aced), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat, and Down Shift), and a novella (UnRaveled). She is currently finishing up Sweet Cheeks a standalone novel out November 14th.

Her plans for 2017 include a sports romance duet (2 books: The Player, The Catch) and the Everyday Heroes series (3 books: Cuffed, Combust, and Cockpit). She’s also writing a novella for the 1,001 Dark Night series that will be out in February 2017.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.

Author Links

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REVIEW – Save Me by Heidi McLaughlin

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Title: Save Me
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: Archer Brothers #3
Release Date: April 5, 2016

Save Me

Synopsis

Tucker McCoy thought the hardest mission of his life was over. After being deployed for six years, all he wanted to do was return home to his wife and daughter. But when he arrives home with roses in his hand, the last thing he expects is to be welcomed by a stranger. Being presumed dead for six years doesn’t help his cause as no one is giving him the answers he needs.

Now his mission is to find out where his family is and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to bring them home, even if that means bringing down the people involved.

Penelope McCoy has a secret and one she’s willing to keep until she can find someone to trust. In order to do that, she and her daughter must hide, change their identities and forget about their previous life.

For six years she’s been running and she soon realizes that time is catching up with her. Now she has to decide whether to run again or face the ghosts of her past head on.

Bs Review

Heidi McLaughlin brings the Archer Brothers series to a close with McCoy’s story in Save Me. Delivering more of Evan, Ryley, Nate, Cara, and the rest of this great cast, this novel expertly conveyed the deeply rooted sense of camaraderie and unconditional love that only these characters can deliver. McCoy’s quest to find his wife and daughter exuded the mystery and emotion I’ve come to adore from this series as we got to experience the vulnerability and fear and that made this warrior so undeniably human. Save Me not only wraps up the action and suspense of the military storyline, but Heidi McLaughlin unraveled McCoy’s heartbreaking love story in this novel. Through flashbacks of his relationship with Penny and McCoy’s desperate search to find her and Claire, we get to know the man beneath the SEAL and I found myself falling head over heels for McCoy’s deep devotion to his family and fellow SEALs.

“Loving you has been the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but not having you in my life is the hardest.”

Honestly, Save Me wasn’t the conclusion I’d hoped for when it came to this series. There were quite a few loose ends left open, questions that went unanswered, and a storyline that moved too quickly. When all was said and done, Save Me lacked that satisfying sense of completeness I look for as a reader and I couldn’t get my mind to stop wanting more. What happened with Rask? Did his family ever accept him? If Frannie was oblivious to the whereabouts of Penny and Claire, how did Lawson obtain all of Claire’s photos and report cards to send to McCoy? Did EJ ever call Evan “Dad”? How did the window at Penny’s home get broken from inside and what did it mean to the events that occurred that night? While the overall storyline came together in this final series installment, so many of the smaller pieces – the pieces that made me care about the characters and invest in their love stories – didn’t quite fall into place and in the end, I wanted more for the Archer Brothers, McCoy, Rask, and River.

“Because our lives are nothing but a conspiracy and if we don’t think outside the box, we’ll never figure it all out.”

Having anxiously awaited the conclusion to the Archer Brothers series, I was somewhat underwhelmed with Save Me. Overall, this novel felt rushed with a good number of grammatical and other editing issues along with an uneven sense of pacing that kept me from completely losing myself in the story. To be fair, Heidi McLaughlin’s writing is great and it was easy to enjoy her descriptive imagery, heartfelt dialogue, and the fascinating world she has created. I must applaud her creative construction of this story and the ease with which she pulled me along for the ride as each twist and turn encouraged me to keep me reading. The characters certainly embodied the feeling of family and unwavering loyalty that shared military service fosters and it was that special bond that had me so invested in this series. I hope Rask will get a novella some day as his story begs to be told and I am more than eager to listen. Despite what I felt were significant deficiencies, Heidi McLaughlin satisfactorily ties up the series and brings this heart-wrenching story to a close with Save Me.

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Cs Review

From the moment I met Tucker McCoy, I needed to know his background. I yearned to see how he would adjust to life after everything that happened and find out just how Heidi McLaughlin would give him his happily ever after. Needless to say, Save Me was action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat with these characters!

I really appreciated Penny’s character – especially as a mother. I could feel her fear and motivation to the very core of my bones. It brought her character to life in a very realistic way for me. Tucker’s dedication to his family also made me grin quite a few times. Your heart can’t help but be warmed at how much he wanted to be reunited and how sure he was in his convictions. I also truly loved getting to see the entire gang together again. Though they may not have been active members of the military, those protective, proud traits never went away. It reminded me why I adored the start of the series so much. However, what stole the show for me were the sweet, tender moments of flashbacks. Seeing the couple together and how they began was so special and certainly left its mark.

Though I enjoyed Tucker’s journey of attempting to find his family, there were quite a few things that I couldn’t look past which is what resulted in the lower rating. First of all, there were several things mentioned that seemed to be of significance, yet readers were left completely in the dark by the end. I wasn’t sure if they were inconsistencies that should have been removed, or pieces of the story that were forgotten. Furthermore, the pacing of the overall story felt a little off. The beginning was a tad drawn out, and then things started to pick up, to then be hit with a very quick resolution. For having the overall storyline be in the third book, it felt like the way to tie it all together was just too quick and easy for my taste. Finally, there were more than a handful of grammatical or spelling errors and unfortunately, it began to detract from the story for me.

That being said, Heidi McLaughlin has a knack for writing the suspenseful scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat. She continues to drop morsels and only when you pull back will all the pieces actually come together. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming and I appreciated those elements of surprise. Though I did have a handful of issues, I have no doubt that readers will fall in love with this Navy SEAL team, and become enamored by Tucker’s story in Save Me.

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Don’t miss the rest of the Archer Brothers series:

Here With Me (Archer Brothers #1)

Here With me

Read our review HERE
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Choose Me (Archer Brothers #2)

ChooseMe Amazon

Read our review HERE
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