REVIEW – A Love Like Ours by Micalea Smeltzer

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Title: A Love Like Ours
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Series: Us Series Novella
Release Date: October 15, 2016

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Synopsis

Ollie and Talia have always lived by two rules.

1.Live life to the fullest
2.Love each other with everything they have.

When the unthinkable happens Talia is left heartbroken and Ollie doesn’t know how to fix it. Suddenly this fun-loving couple finds themselves struggling to find the good in life that used to come so readily to the both of them.

A gift from a friend presents them with the chance to travel the world. Something they were both once eager to do.

Hopping on a plane.

Unknown destinations.

Anything can happen…but can they find their way back to themselves?

(It’s recommended that you read The Lies That Define Us before reading this book)

Review

Micalea Smeltzer delivers a sweet, heartfelt and fun addition to the Us Series with A Love Like Ours. From the moment we first met Talia and Ollie, I was intrigued. Their tried and true love had begun when they were just kids and together they’d already weathered so many storms. By the time I’d finished reading The Lies that Define Us, I knew I needed more of this hilariously adorable couple. Micalea Smeltzer did not disappoint, giving readers the glimpse into Talia and Ollie’s story that we so desperately craved and taking us further into their happily ever after with A Love Like Ours. Talia and Ollie were every bit the playful and exuberant couple I’d come to love, but there was also an emotional depth to their connection that caught me by surprise and took my breath away.

“What happened that night left a scar inside me, but the thing about scars is the spot becomes stronger than it was before.”

I absolutely adored Talia. She was everything I’d hoped she’d be and so much more. Her kindness, compassion and utter sweetness came through as she narrated this story. I enjoyed seeing Ollie through her eyes. She gave him a depth I hadn’t expected, making him so much more than the laidback goofball we’d come to know. There were in fact many moments where I absolutely swooned for the seemingly carefree surfer. Talia herself carried a heavy emotional burden going into this story, but Micalea Smeltzer was careful not to let it weigh her down. She still came across as likable and fun but her issues also gave her an authenticity that made her easily relatable. She owned her insecurities and fears, relaying them to the reader and painting a vibrant picture of a woman who was raw, vulnerable and incredibly brave. Together, Talia and Ollie brought out the best in one another. They were true partners in life, ready for adventure and impossible not to root for.

“I never believed in love at first sight. But in that moment, I believed him, and I knew without a doubt that boy was my everything.”

This story was definitely an emotional rollercoaster, but more than anything it was a beautiful, life-affirming journey of healing and love. Micalea Smeltzer’s writing was utterly enchanting, taking me along for the ride and ensuring my complete investment in Talia and Ollie’s happily ever after. Filled with humor, heartbreak and an overall sense of wanderlust, A Love Like Ours is the kind of story that captivates and charms and I was thrilled to have fallen under its spell. I devoured this book in one sitting, lost to the laughter and love that poured so effortlessly from the pages. Breathtaking imagery, lyrical prose and a delightful sense of humor brought this story to life and filled my heart with a sense of undeniable satisfaction and warmth. Micalea Smeltzer truly captured the spirit of this couple with A Love Like Ours and I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next for the Us Series!

Rating
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Don’t miss the rest of the Us series:

The Road that Leads to Us (Us #1)

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The Lies That Define Us (Us #2)

The Lies That Define Us

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The Game that Breaks Us (Us #3)

The Game That Breaks Us

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin

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Title: Home Run
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: Boys of Summer #2
Release Date: January 17, 2017

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Synopsis

Cooper Bailey finally has a shot at being a major league ballplayer, but it will take all his focus and energy during spring training to make it happen. Complicating things is his instantaneous connection with Ainsley Burke. He can’t get enough of her, and before he knows it, they’re spending every night together. But as happy as he is off the field, his focus on it is suffering, and he isn’t willing to risk his lifelong dream over a girl.

But without Ainsley, Cooper’s miserable, and his game is still off. No matter what he tries, he can’t get her out of his head, and he’s starting to realize that maybe he doesn’t want to. Baseball is just a game, but Ainsley might be the real thing. Now he just has to convince her of that.

Review

Heidi McLaughlin returns readers to the world of the Boston Renegades with Cooper and Ainsley’s story in Home Run. With the Renegades in Florida for Spring Training when they meet, Cooper and Ainsley’s journey begins with a feeling of impermanence that heightened everything. Their chemistry sizzled louder and their emotions ran hotter making Home Run one heck of a scorching read. I loved the push and pull between the main characters and the resultant flirtatious banter that kept me grinning. Despite their hesitance to start something, Cooper and Ainsley shared an obvious deeper connection that got me hooked and I adored watching these two unravel one another so completely over the course of the story.

“I have a feeling Ainsley Burke is going to be my doom. That is if I don’t destroy myself first.”

Ainsley was the kind of heroine who is impossible not to love. She was loyal, hardworking and incredibly self-sacrificing. Her relationship with her mother and the devotion she showed towards her care made my heart ache. In fact, it was this secondary storyline that probably stole the show for me as I found myself completely wrapped up in the emotional impact of her mother’s illness and the moments they were able to steal with one another. Even when Ainsley was being annoyingly indecisive about her feelings towards Cooper, I couldn’t help but feel for her and understand the struggle she faced. Heidi McLaughlin did a great job cultivating Ainsley’s insecurities and fears, allowing the reader to connect with her internal battle and fully appreciate the emotional position Ainsley’s mother put her in.

“Cooper chose me, and it feels really nice to be chased.”

Cooper, on the other hand, was harder to connect with for me. I never got a real read on his character and, between his diligent pursuit of Ainsley and his sometimes selfish attitude towards his role with the Renegades, I found myself at a loss as to how I was supposed to feel about him. While I most certainly liked Cooper by the end of the novel, his personality wasn’t terribly distinctive and I never felt like I knew what kind of man he really was. I think Cooper’s character would have benefited from further exploration of his past, his time in the minor leagues and his relationship with his father in order to give him the kind of depth I needed to really understand where he was coming from and allow myself to completely fall for him. To be fair, Cooper definitely had his swoon-worthy moments and I enjoyed exploring this character, especially at the end of the novel when he really started to come into his own.

“You’re a goner. He showed you the goods, and now you’re a cleat-chaser.”

This book had a few issues that kept me from losing myself completely in the story. There were a lot of huge moments that were quickly glossed over and I couldn’t help but feel a little bit cheated – the jumps in time and focus on less substantial events keeping me somewhat emotionally disconnected from the overall storyline. I also wanted more resolution in regards to the situation with Cooper’s father instead of the looming threat and slightly uncertain feeling we were left with. That’s not to say that this book was entirely enjoyable. Home Run had a decidedly different vibe than the first book in the series; however, Heidi McLaughlin manages to recreate that same feeling of camaraderie that made Third Base so special. I loved seeing more of Ethan and Daisy, as well as getting to know Ainsley’s best friend Stella and Cooper’s teammate Travis. The secondary characters brought tons of humor and heart to the story, giving Ainsley and Cooper’s journey some much needed laughter and levity. Home Run is a fun, sweet read and sports romance fans will enjoy getting to know Heidi McLaughlin’s newest Baseball player BBF!

Rating
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Third Base (Boys of Summer #1)

Third Base

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Grand Slam (Boys of Summer #3)

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*RELEASING MAY 23, 2017*

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Dirty Secret by Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert

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Title: Dirty Secret
Author: Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert
Release Date: January 17, 2017

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Synopsis

Agent: Kennedy Barnes
Target: Phoenix ‘Nix’ Ash
Crimes: Hacker and Heartbreaker
Mission: Get Close and Survive

After living her life in the shadows as the daughter of a congressman’s secret affair, Kennedy Barnes joins ‘Project Greenlight’ – a clandestine intelligence organization. She’s out to prove she’s more than her father’s dirty secret.

One of her first assignments is simple. Get close to Phoenix Ash, collect enough evidence to put him away for life, and get out unscathed.

Phoenix Ash is a world renowned hacker. He’s pulled off some of the biggest heists in modern history, but never leaves a trace. He knows people are after him and that every day may be his last, but when he meets Kennedy Barnes everything changes.

Lines are blurred and secrets are exposed as Phoenix and Kennedy both discover they do have a weakness – for each other.

Review

Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert deliver a sexy, captivating read with Dirty Secret, a Dirty Work companion novel and their newest collaboration. Dirty Secret is Nix and Kennedy’s story and a spicy, secretive journey of lust, lies and love that will keep you flipping the pages. From the very beginning, Kennedy and Nix shared a palpable chemistry that alluded to something utterly combustible between them. Bliss and Rothert do not disappoint, serving up plenty of scorching encounters, innuendo-laden exchanges, and downright dirty flirtations over the course of the story. As Kennedy and Nix’s journey progressed, we got to see something deeper develop between these two memorable characters and it was this inexplicable pull that kept me so invested in the future of this great couple.

“We don’t walk through life like most people; we skate the law, living on the fringe and embracing the freedom that comes with it. Each of us knows that it can all end in an instant.”

I absolutely adored Kennedy. She was not only a total badass in all of her super spy glory, but she also came across as incredibly genuine. I loved exploring the dichotomy of this heroine – her insecurities and need to prove herself the perfect balance to the no-nonsense woman who could take down a man twice her size. Nix proved to be just as intriguing. While his unsavory business dealings were incredibly suspect, they seemed in direct contradiction to his overall character and that left me wondering who exactly the real Nix was. I definitely would have liked to explore his history a bit more. I didn’t feel like we got to know him as well as we did Kennedy and that made some of his choices a bit hard to swallow for me. Although the depth Nix’s relationship with Coco gave his overall character was certainly something I could appreciate. Together, Kennedy and Nix came completely unraveled, exposing the secret pieces of their lives to each other and the readers. Their push and pull was absolutely addictive and the growth they exhibited together was thrilling.

“I remind her that I know who she really is and not to fuck with me so easily. I’m soft, but at some point, I’ll fight fire with fire. We all have secrets. Even I do.”

Dirty Secret is the first book I’ve read from this writing duo and it won’t be the last. Bliss and Rothert have fantastic chemistry and they work together seamlessly. Kennedy and Nix’s journey was told with distinctive voices and fun personalities, flowing easily and bringing to life all of the emotions of this creative premise. I love storylines that keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for everything to fall apart and Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert definitely delivered that kind of suspense with this novel. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen when the truth about Nix’s business was revealed and Kennedy’s lies came to light. When everything finally hit the fan, I wasn’t disappointed by the explosive emotions that poured from the pages. Spicy, enthralling and surprisingly sweet, Dirty Secret is a great read from two incredibly talented authors and every bit worth the one-click!

Rating
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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Love in Lingerie by Alessandra Torre

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Title – Love in Lingerie
Author – Alessandra Torre
Publication Date – January 16, 2017

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Synopsis

I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn’t expect her to become my friend. I didn’t expect to fall in love with her.

The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend—a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.

Now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m tossing out the rules.

Damn the company.
Damn our friendship.
Damn my fears.

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Review

Alessandra Torre has proven to be that sweet tooth item you crave, but didn’t think you needed. However, after it’s consumed, you realize that it hits the spot in the perfect way and maybe your body did require it. Once again, Torre has hit it out of the park and was just what I wanted to get lost in. Love in Lingerie was the perfect combination of sweet and sultry blended with sexy anticipation. Kate and Trey have such a unique relationship and it was so much fun to watch that come across the pages.

“It’s as simple as that. But nothing is ever simple, not when it involves the two of us.”

These two became fast friends and I honestly loved drowning in it. They were flirtatious, yet cautious given the business side of their relationship. However, it warmed my heart whenever they referred to each other as best friends. Though the sexual tension could be felt sizzling from the pages, there was such a sweet build of that angst that I couldn’t help but be on the edge of my seat, waiting for the explosion. Their banter always seemed to be on point – whether it was about relationships or the lingerie – and their voices took me on a ride that I never wanted to get off of.

“When a kiss waits for a thousand days, it erupts like a cyclone—a slow unfurling of lips, of tongues, hands ripping, clothes flying, hot swirls of breath met with a clash of frantic desire.”

Love in Lingerie is written in dual points of view from both of the main characters and I was SO beyond grateful. Those inner thoughts and feelings were so instrumental to my overall connection to the story. Given how much they were denying their feelings and not allowing themselves to give in, it was those moments that I found to be pivotal to see how Kate and Trey got from point A to point B.

“If our love was lingerie, it’d be a corset, one laced so tightly that it takes your breath.”

If there is one thing I have come to depend on, it’s the fact that Alessandra Torre doesn’t ever disappoint. Whether she is writing a book with insane twists or a sweet love story, she forces you to fall in love with her characters in the best way possible. Love in Lingerie may not surprise you around every corner, but the angst and relationship will keep you turning page after page. Torre excels in whatever she chooses to write, but the addictive romances like this one are most certainly not to miss!

Rating
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Author Bio

Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle, Elle UK, Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.

You can learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or Facebook.

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REVIEW – Collide by Gail McHugh

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Title – Collide
Author – Gail McHugh
Publication Date – September 17, 2013
Series – Collide #1

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Synopsis

Her mind tried to fight a bloody battle against what her body already knew. She wanted him, and she wanted him bad.

On the heels of college graduation and the unexpected death of her mother, Emily Cooper moves to New York City to join her boyfriend for a fresh start. Dillon Parker has been sweet, thoughtful, and generous through Emily’s loss, and she can’t imagine her life without him—even as her inner voice tells her to go slow.

Then she meets Gavin Blake. A rich and notorious playboy, Gavin is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Their first encounter is brief, but it’s enough to inflame Emily’s senses. When their paths cross again through an unexpected mutual acquaintance, she tries to deny the connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome won’t let go so easily.

As she discovers Gavin’s pain-filled past and Dillon’s true nature begins to surface, Emily knows she must take action or risk destroying everyone—including herself. But how can she choose when she can’t trust her own heart?

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Review

Collide came at a time in my life when I wasn’t new to reading, but I had forgotten the worlds I could get lost in from my very own bedroom. I recall feeling like these characters were people I could be friends with and felt compassion and sympathy for. Heck, Gavin Blake was one of my first real book boyfriends to connect with. Gail McHugh has done a tremendous job of writing angst with romance in a book that left me altered not only the first time I read it, but through the reread as well.

“His eyes seemed to sink into her, making her want to bare every emotion and every secret. What a dangerous talent for a man’s eyes to possess, she thought.”

Every single one of McHugh’s characters struck me in some way or another. I appreciated that they were all searching for something, trying to figure out what came next in their lives. When I initially read this, I was straight out of college and could really relate to each of them. Now that I’ve reread it, years later with a family of my own, I discovered how timeless these personalities truly are. Not only did I find new ways to connect to them, but I saw them through a new light as well, reflective of the life circumstances I have been through. It’s a true gift and speaks to this authors level of talent that she is able to relate to her audience and evoke that level of sympathy and emotion, whether it’s the first or fiftieth time reading. McHugh’s writing is irresistible and addicting, casting a spell over readers and I could never get enough.

“Even as fleeting as it was, his touch felt insanely good in an insanely bad way.”

What will always impress me about Gail McHugh is the way she tends to make you love the unlovable. You shouldn’t root for Emily and Gavin, and yet how could you not? You want to have the heroine do the right thing, but who’s to say what’s right? She was so strong in her own ways, yet blinded by love in others. Collide is truly not just a love story; it’s about a heroine who is blind to the truth because of devious manipulation. Any reader who picks this story up is going to root for her to end up with Gavin, but I believe the author does a beautiful job of showing this struggle and path she takes to find her voice and have the rose-colored glasses come off.

“The feeling of want, the feeling of need, and the feeling that they belonged together was something she couldn’t ignore anymore. She didn’t want to ignore it anymore.”

There are days when you just need to feel a bit of home, and it’s in those moments I seek a reread of Collide. This couple and all the emotional turmoil they put me through is so remarkable and special and it’s something I never take for granted. If you haven’t played bottle caps with Mr. Blake yet, I assure you that it’s a must do. I promise that you won’t regret this click!

Rating
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(5++ Gavin Schmexy Blake Stars)

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RELEASE DAY REVIEW – My Peace by Courtney Cole

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Title: My Peace
Author:
Courtney Cole
Series:
Beautifully Broken #5
Release Date:
January 13, 2017

Synopsis

Happy endings must be worked for.

Pax Tate used to be an effed up asshole, but you’d never know it now.
He’s got a sexy wife, their own little family, a cozy home, and a successful career.

Everything is perfect.

Until his past rears its ugly head.

Pax will do anything to protect his family,
even if he destroys himself in the process.

Review

Courtney Cole reunites readers with Pax and Mila in My Peace, the brilliant follow up to her new adult novel, If You Stay. It’s been years since I first fell in love with this inimitable pair and yet Courtney Cole had me lost inside their world in no time at all. Filled with powerful emotions and gripping heartache, My Peace is a breathtaking look at addiction and the lifelong battle to hold onto happily ever after. This book takes places years after the original novel, but marriage and a child hasn’t dulled Pax and Mila’s electric connection or obvious chemistry any. Their easy friendship, insatiable desire and undeniable reverence for one another poured off the pages, reminding me why I fell so hard for this couple to begin with. Courtney Cole rounded out this story with the reappearance of several series favorites. Their vibrant personalities brought plenty of heart and a familiar sense of comfort to the novel.

“I’ll never doubt my ability to fall. I’ve fallen hard. And I’m not sure if I’m getting back up.”

Pax stole my heart all over again in My Peace. There is something so raw and honest about this character that just grabs hold of you and refuses to let go. He is beautifully broken, devastatingly real and his struggle makes him that much more captivating. I absolutely loved how Courtney Cole further unraveled Pax in this novel, diving into his long held feelings about addiction as well as his lingering misconceptions and personal denial. At times the writing was so powerful that I could feel Pax’s conflict, experiencing both his emotional and physical turmoil for myself. Courtney Cole has put so much of her heart and soul into this character that his thoughts and feelings practically bleed from the pages, ensuring that Pax is not only entirely unforgettable but guaranteeing that readers will invest themselves in his happily ever after.

“This is where I belong. Not in the oblivion I once craved. I close my eyes, and the blackness is there, behind my eyelids, and once upon a time, I would have disappeared in it gladly. Tonight, though, I think about my wife. I think about my daughter.”

Mila made my heart happy in all the ways she did the first time around and then some. I’d forgotten how much I adored her kind heart and understanding soul. She is the perfect match for Pax in so many ways and I loved being able to once again experience the light she brought to his life. Just like Pax, Mila was put through the wringer in this novel. Courtney Cole certainly didn’t pull any punches, testing her devotion and trust with each gut wrenching turn of events and potential betrayal. Mila’s strength made itself known as she repeatedly demonstrated her unwavering loyalty and unconditional love for Pax and the life they had fought so hard to create. My heart broke for Mila as she dealt with her own insecurities, proving once again that this woman was simply, beautifully human and the kind of heroine you can’t help but root for.

“Love hasn’t failed, babe. I did.”

With My Peace, Courtney Cole demonstrated her phenomenal growth as a writer. Heartfelt, gritty and painfully unrestrained, the author’s understanding of the human condition is utterly astounding and the formidable emotions of Pax and Mila’s story seemed to flow effortlessly from Courtney Cole’s pen with an authenticity that is unparalleled. My one issue with the novel was the pacing. There were moments where too much was happening at once – too many issues being brought to light or being resolved at any one time – that the storyline lost some of its clarity. For instance, I never quite understood if Pax’s initial accident was in any way tied to the events later on in the book. However, despite the confluence of events that seemed to drown Pax and Mila’s carefully constructed world, the overall statement of their story was not lost. I loved the gripping honesty with which their journey occurred and I respected the way in which Courtney Cole so perfectly captured the unpredictable and devastating nature of addiction. An absolute must-read, My Peace is a profound and fearlessly reflective story of life, love and the wars we wage to secure them.

Rating
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Authors Note

Dear Readers,

I announced recently that I based the character of Pax Tate on my twenty-two year old son, Gunner.

Gunner is a drug addict. He’s currently in rehab, and he’s doing well, but it’s been a long roller-coaster of a journey to get here.

Pax’s personality traits are Gunner’s. Even though Gunner’s moods have been mercurial because of drugs, deep down he is strong and funny, charming and sweet. I wanted that to come through in Pax.

(Of course, when I’m writing the “sexy time” scenes, I’m definitely picturing Jensen Ackles or Alex Pettyfer in my head. 🙂

Pax’s heart is as deep as the ocean, even though sometimes, he can be an asshole. I think readers realized that in IF YOU STAY, and that book sat on the New York Times for twelve weeks back in 2013.

Readers have asked for more Pax over the years, and it is only now, that I wanted to add more to the story. It is only now that I have come to terms with the fact, based on my son’s own life, that happy endings must be worked for.

I hope you love Pax’s story.

I wrote it with the ending I want for my own son, one of hope, of happiness and of good health.

I will give anything to make that true.

From my pen to God’s ear.

I hope you enjoy the story. Thank you for reading!

XO,
Courtney

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If You Stay (Beautifully Broken #1)

If You Stay

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If You Leave (Beautifully Broken #2)

If You Leave

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Until We Burn (Beautifully Broken #2.5)

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Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken #3)

Before We Fall

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Until We Fly (Beautifully Broken #4)

Until We Fly

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REVIEW – Raven by Stacey Rourke

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Title – Raven
Author – Stacey Rourke
Publication Date – September 22, 2014
Series – Legends Saga, #2

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Synopsis

An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

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Review

I love the notion of bringing classic literature to light with a modern twist so I was super excited when I stumbled on Stacey Rourke’s Legends Saga. The first book had me utterly captivated so when I learned that the series would continue on, I couldn’t wait to dive in and see how Rourke would put her own personal spin on Edgar Allen Poe. Though I am less familiar with his background than I am with the Headless Horseman, there was something that pulled me in and made my heart beat faster.

“What does a monster do at night? They live.”

I was pleasantly surprised to see the return of characters that I had come to adore from the first book. Given that it was a different legend, I expected to have the originals disappear. However, I greatly respected how effortlessly the author wove the tales together. She seamlessly pulled Ireland (and her crew) into this book and I think it really helped to invest me in those initial moments. She also drew me in with the addition of Ridley and the connection he came to have with our fearless heroine.

“This angelic beauty was the elixir to his particular ailment. For that, he would be her slave … forevermore.”

Though I appreciated the writing and the ideas in Raven, I had a really hard time connecting to the story despite how much I loved certain aspects of it. I honestly found it to be a bit more scattered than the first book of the series. With scenes jumping quite often, it resulted in surface level dialogue and no real movement. Not only did I have a hard time with the current-day personalities, but the detail and scene building wasn’t up to par with her previous book and it left me wanting so much more.

“Yet, ye be warned, as the raven doth fly, for the rest to live … one must die.”

I wholeheartedly believe that readers will fall in love with Ireland, Noah, Rip, and even Ridley. There is something about the way Rourke writes them that creates these soft spots, leaving you feeling sympathy, empathy, sadness, and happiness right alongside them. They’re hard not to love and see where they will end up. Rourke also dropped a plethora of hints in Raven as to where she will be going in the next book, and I have to say that I am insanely curious to see where she takes it.

Rating
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Crane (Legends Saga, #1)

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Steam (Legends Sage, #3)

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Review – Wicked Impulse by Chelle Bliss

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Title: Wicked Impulse
Author: Chelle Bliss
Series: ALFA PI #3
Release Date: December 13, 2016

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Synopsis

There’s only one thing worse than dating a friend’s sister sleeping with his mother.

Fran DeLuca’s known for her bossy, overbearing personality almost as much as for her love of nylon tracksuits. But when someone runs off with fifty thousand dollars, she becomes involved in an ALFA investigation and catches the eye of silver fox biker, Bear.

Bear North, ALFA’s resident bad boy, has never thought of Fran as anything more than his buddy’s mom. When she trades in her elastic pants and orthopedic tennis shoes for a pair of skintight jeans and high heels, he takes notice of the fifty-something MILF.

When the money trail leads closer to Fran than expected, Bear takes charge of the investigation and will do anything to protect her. Can Bear track a thief, claim Fran, and keep Morgan DeLuca in the dark long enough to solve the case?

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Review

Chelle Bliss takes readers on a smart, sassy and delightfully sexy journey with Bear and Fran’s story in Wicked Impulse. Full of intrigue, humor and sweet emotion, this story will sweep you off your feet, reminding readers that you can fall in lust and love at any age. Right from the start, Chelle Bliss captivated me with the palpable electricity between Bear and Fran. I fell hard for their easy flirtations, witty banter and undeniable connection – absolutely loving the push and pull that felt so natural to them. Fran’s connection to an ALFA PI case brought out a fiercely protective side of Bear that was downright delicious while her attempts at seducing the enigmatic alpha made me grin. Chelle Bliss has come a long way since she first started writing, her vibrant imagery, amusing dialogue and enchanting prose making this story an effortless and enthralling read.

“I might be an asshole, but I had morals. Didn’t I?”

I absolutely adored getting to know Bear and Fran over the course of this story. As both characters were older, there was a lot to unravel between them. Their individual histories, personal relationships, and the complexity of their developing feelings made for plenty of intrigue while their life experience and secure sense of self lead to some truly scorching encounters. Chelle Bliss did an incredible job diving into Bear’s past and unearthing his mistakes and regrets. Getting to see him so raw and vulnerable really humanized the character and made him not only entirely tangible but relatable and lovable too. Fran, on the other hand, owned her history in a completely different way and I found myself eagerly rooting for the fiery woman who lived life unapologetically and stood toe to toe with all of the alphas in this novel. Together Bear and Fran packed a powerful punch and I couldn’t help but become wholly invested in their happily ever after.

“It was written all over his face. His attraction. His need. The want he felt for me was almost electric. Why hadn’t I seen it before?”

While there were definitely some exciting moments, Wicked Impulse is less action-packed and more focused on Fran and Bear’s emotional journey. Driven by their evolving (and slightly off-limits) relationship and ample personal baggage, this book moved a little more slowly than some of Chelle Bliss’ others, but not necessarily in a negative way. Wicked Impulse was every bit the sexy, captivating read I’ve come to expect from this author and then some, delivering plenty of heat, humor and heart along the way. As always, Chelle Bliss rounds out the story with a cast of colorful secondary characters. I especially enjoyed seeing more of Maria Gallo – her blunt and oftentimes dirty words making me chuckle and reminding me of her equally charming children. I love how easily Chelle Bliss pulls me in with each new and unique storyline while expertly maintaining the overall sense of family that ties each book to the series as a whole. A fun, sexy and surprising story in its own right, Bear and Fran’s journey is a fantastic addition to the ALFA PI series!

Rating
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Sinful Intent (ALFA PI #1)

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Unlawful Desire (ALFA PI #2)

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Wicked Bride Games by Clarissa Wild

Title: Wicked Bride Games
Author: Clarissa Wild
Series: Indecent Games #1
Release Date: January 10, 2017

Synopsis

Fifty million dollars for three weeks of your life in the hands of a total stranger. Would you do it?

When Naomi Lee finds herself out of a job and out of the money she needs to pay her father’s medical bills, she receives an anonymous letter, containing an offer she can’t refuse.

Max Marino, a wealthy businessman, wants her and he’ll pay any price.
Three weeks of her time, no holds-barred, in exchange for fifty million dollars.
With no other means to pay her bills, Naomi has no choice but to accept.

However, Naomi isn’t the only one who signs the contract.
And Max isn’t alone in his deal.

Three brothers …
Nine girls …
All competing for the ultimate prize … marriage.

Let the games begin.

WARNING: contains explicit situations, graphic violence, and other disturbing content some readers may find offensive.

Review

Clarissa Wild delivers a fun, filthy and unexpected romance with Wicked Bride Games. From the first page to the last, this book will keep you riveted. Like a train wreck you can’t look away from, Max and Naomi’s story is a bloody, blush-inducing catastrophe that will leave you head spinning and your heart feeling battered and bruised. Just when you think you know where this journey is headed, Clarissa Wild tosses a wrench in the storyline and leaves readers in awe of her dark and twisted mind. Dirty, gritty and raw, Wicked Bride Games is the kind of story that disturbs in the most delightful way and leaves you questioning everything you’ve just read.

“When you stop asking questions … that’s when you’re no longer alive.”

What really struck me with this story was the undeniable chemistry and magnetic connection between Naomi and Max. While they certainly seemed like an unlikely couple, they proved over and over to be the perfect match. I adored their easy push and pull, driven by a shared stubbornness and some seriously fiery feelings for one another. The resultant banter, scorching hot encounters and devilish plotting that resulted made for some truly insane and absolutely memorable moments. I also enjoyed watching as Max and Naomi unraveled one another over the course of the story. As they fought to win the game, they repeatedly left one another totally exposed, allowing readers the opportunity to glimpse their surprising emotional depth. Together Max and Naomi made quite the pair and even when things got intense and graphic, I couldn’t help but root for their happily ever after.

“You and me together. A wickedly twisted couple no one will be able to stand up to.”

Overall there wasn’t anything necessarily negative about the story, characters, or writing. My rating is solely a matter of personal preference. Wicked Bride Games crosses lines, pushes boundaries and is designed to make readers uncomfortable. In this regard, Clarissa Wild certainly succeeded. While not everything about this book was to my taste, I absolutely appreciated the carefully plotted, well-paced and strangely emotional storyline that unfolded in Wicked Bride Games. Clarissa Wild doesn’t hold back, going all in with this colorful tale of twisted love and deviously deceptive games. Filled with unique personalities, vibrant imagery and enthralling prose, Wicked Bride Games is a depravedly dark tale of greed, lust and unexpected love.

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Trailer

Excerpt

“You will receive fifty million dollars.”

Her eyes flicker with a certain greed I recognize all too well.

“If?”

I slide the paper closer to her. “You sign this.”

“What is it?” she asks, still not moving one inch.

I thought the mere tease would be enough for her mind to want to crack this puzzle, but it seems she’s a lot more stubborn than I presumed.

“It’s a contract. You will receive fifty million dollars at the end of our agreement … if you become mine.”

She squints. “Yours? Explain.”

The right side of my lips tug into a smile. I can’t help it; I love her sassiness. Too bad it won’t last.

“Mine … to do with whatever I please.”

“Like a sex toy.”

“More than that.”

“Your girlfriend?” She makes a face, and it amuses me.

“Not just that.”

“Then what?” Judging by the tone of her voice, I can tell she’s agitated.

“Anything and everything.”

Her face only hardens more.

“For fifty million dollars, you want me to be your sex doll?”

My brows draw together. “Sex doll? That sounds so crude.”

She sighs and closes her eyes, her hand dropping to her lap again.

“Fifty million dollars. After three weeks,” I add, and I place the pen on the piece of paper in front of her.

Suddenly, she gets up from the chair, her face completely void of any emotion. “You’ve got the wrong girl.”

She turns around and starts to walk away, not even granting me one more look. I know what she thinks. This is illegal. Who am I to even ask? What am I thinking? Have I lost my mind? She could sue me or call the cops for even suggesting the idea.

But she knows just as well as I do that no one will believe her.

Besides, we both know she needs this, so it’s just a matter of time before she comes knocking on my door.

With a grin on my face and the memory of her perfectly swaying ass as it leaves through my door, I say, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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Dirty Wife Games (Indecent Games #2)

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**RELEASING FEBRUARY 28, 2017**

Author Bio

Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, Stalker Duology, Twenty-One (21), Ultimate Sin, VIKTOR, and Bad Teacher. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

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Giveaway

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

REVIEW – A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn

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Title – A Gift of Time
Author – Beth Flynn
Publication Date – July 19, 2016
Series – Nine Minutes Trilogy, #3

A Gift of Time

Synopsis

Are some secrets meant to stay buried?

Three months have passed since Jason “Grizz” Talbot was put to death by lethal injection for crimes he committed. His former wife, Ginny, whom he had abducted from a convenience store when she was a teenager and became the love obsession of his life, has spent more than the last decade trying to carve out a life of normalcy in the bustling suburbs of Fort Lauderdale—including a thriving and happy marriage to Tommy “Grunt” Dillon, a former member of Grizz’s gang.

Tired of the secrets and the lies, Ginny and Tommy thought the final piece of their past could be left behind forever with Grizz’s execution. However, the past comes crashing around Ginny and Tommy when a newly discovered secret threatens to destroy their marriage.

When tragedy strikes, Ginny is forced to reach into her heart and decide, once and for all, what she really wants.

In this third book in the Nine Minutes trilogy, A Gift of Time takes readers from the busy tropical metropolis of South Florida into the serenity of the North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains as Ginny chases down the answers she needs.

Will she have the strength to confront the secrets of her past…and her heart?

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Review

Oh man, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the conclusion to Grizz, Ginny, and Grunt’s story. When it released, I had a packed schedule and kept having to push it off and now I’m shaking myself for waiting that long. A Gift of Time was everything that I had hoped for, expected, and dreamed of for their ending. As I read this final book in the trilogy, I often felt like Flynn was reaching into my heart and seeing every desire I had for these characters and wrote that to paper.

“Two rings. One of ink and one of gold. Not too many women would ever know the blessing of being loved so deeply by more than one man.”

If you’re a fan of the series, then you don’t need to read a review gushing about the characters and their personalities. Just know that everything that you’ve come to expect from them is present, quite boldly, and then some. All the personality traits that made me fall in love with each of them shone so brightly, which I appreciated given the timespan these books cover. However, there is also growth and I treasured those unexpected moments so much more than I thought I would. Furthermore, I found Mimi’s perspective sprinkled throughout to be refreshing and well thought out. Flynn used her voice in the most opportune moments and it created such an emotional connection to her and everything she was going through.

“A life you have to hide from is no life at all.”

Beth Flynn writes in such a complex puzzle that I couldn’t help but be enamored with it; I enjoyed figuring out how all the pieces would connect in the big picture. She honestly takes you on the journey of a lifetime in a love triangle that is one for the ages. The way that this author pens them forces readers to sympathize with each character, leaving you breathless and unsure who to root for. A Gift of Time brought closure to these characters and definitely left my heart feeling all sorts of happy. I’d love to see some spin-off books with secondary characters, but as for this triangle? The captivation I felt in the beginning of the series never waned or disappeared. I could feel a sense of right when I turned that last page and it made for one incredibly satisfied reader.

Rating
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Out of Time (Nine Minutes Trilogy, #2)

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Author Bio

Beth Flynn is a fiction writer who lives and works in Sapphire, North Carolina, deep within the  southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Raised in South Florida, Beth and her  husband,  Jim, have spent the last 17 years in Sapphire, where they own a construction  company. They  have been married 31 years and have two daughters and two dogs.

In her spare time, Beth enjoys writing, reading, gardening, church and motorcycles, especially taking rides on the back of her husband’s Harley. She is a five-year breast cancer survivor.

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