BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – A Broken Soul by Jessica Prince


Title: A Broken Soul
Author: Jessica Prince
Series: Pembrooke #3
Release Date: February 20, 2017



He’s terrified of loving her.

Quinn Mallick already had his happily-ever-after, and in the blink of an eye it was ripped away from him. Now he’s content to walk through the rest of his life carrying the weight of that guilt on his shoulders. He’s convinced he doesn’t deserve a second chance. But when the town’s beautiful dance teacher turns her sights on him he finds himself questioning everything.

She’s terrified of losing him.

Lilly Mathewson’s once quiet, predictable life has been turned on its head. Feeling alone and adrift, she finds her comfort in the most unexpected of places. Falling for the town widower was never part of the plan, but there is just something about the temperamental man she can’t seem to let go of.

What started as two grieving people leaning on each other has quickly turned into something neither of them expected. Lilly is ready to take the next step, but how do you move forward when the man you love refuses to let go of the past?

He has a broken soul. She has a broken heart. And the only way for them to heal is if they do it together.


Jessica Prince delivers what is undoubtedly one of my favorite books this year with Quinn and Lilly’s story in A Broken Soul. Powerful, gut wrenching, and devastatingly honest, A Broken Soul overflows with the kind of emotion that lingers long after the final page has been turned. Both struggling with loss and desperate to protect their hearts from further damage, Quinn and Lilly made for an inimitable pair. The pain and heartache they brought into the relationship made for plenty of angst, but it also leant itself to some exquisite moments of healing. A Broken Soul was one of those novels that tore at me, leaving me raw to every bit of Lilly and Quinn’s story and ensuring that I felt their journey all the way through. As always, Jessica Prince perfectly captures the feeling of family that I’ve come to love from the Pembrooke series with the inclusion of some familiar faces. I adored being able to see Eliza and Ethan settled into their happily ever after, along with more of Chloe and Derrick. With the help of their friends and family, Quinn and Lilly developed their undeniable connection into something deeply significant, making my heart flutter and falter and, when paired with their unavoidable chemistry, setting the pages of A Broken Soul on fire.

“But what’s the point if he’s content to just hold on to that struggle for the rest of his life?”

As far as heroes go, Quinn is one of the most heartbreaking I’ve read in a while. From the very first page Jessica Prince had me in tatters, my heart shredded by the loss Quinn had faced and the reality of what he would be forced to tackle in the future as a single father. Plagued by overwhelming guilt and haunted by the love he had lost so unexpectedly, Quinn had a hard time opening himself up. Jessica Prince did an incredible job balancing this character’s crippling grief with the moments of reprieve he found with Lilly. All of Quinn’s darkness made each shining moment of hope absolutely sparkle and I found myself falling hard for this character in those instances between the shadows. Admittedly, there were times when I wanted to scream at Quinn to appreciate what was right in front of him – to hold onto Lilly and never let go – but his inability to move forward without first forgiving himself was so raw, genuine and absolutely necessary to the kind of man Quinn was that in the end it made his personal journey that much sweeter.

“Come escape with me for a little while.”

Lilly was a heroine after my own heart. While I adored her sunny disposition and kind spirit, it was her ability to use music and dance as a way to escape her pain that made her someone I could easily relate to. The relationship she had with her father just about ripped me apart while her navigation of Quinn’s grief and the ease with which her life fit into his had me riding a serious emotional rollercoaster. I loved getting to know both the sweet, easy going woman who loved her friends fiercely and opened her heart to Sophia and Quinn with grace and understanding and the broken girl who wasn’t ready to deal with losing a piece of her family. Lilly was smart, strong and easy to love. Jessica Prince did a phenomenal job unraveling this complicated woman. I fell hard for Lilly as she fought for the people she cared about and the love she so richly deserved. The author exposed Lilly’s insecurities and fears in a way that made her feel incredibly genuine while also repeatedly demonstrating the true strength of her character and her immense capacity for love.

“I wanted nothing more than to lower my walls and allow her to heal my broken soul. But I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t deserve her.”

Feelings. So many freaking feelings. Jessica Prince doesn’t pull any punches with Quinn and Lilly’s story, hitting readers with a tsunami of emotions that ensures that A Broken Soul is one heck of an unforgettable journey. Unable to stop reading until I’d devoured the entire novel, I laughed, cried, hoped and fell in love right alongside Quinn and Lilly. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good ugly cry but this book did me in. Caught up in Quinn’s grief and Lilly’s impending loss, I sobbed as my heart ached and broke for all that this couple had to endure. Not only did Jessica Prince tug on my heartstrings with expert precision, but she also perfectly balanced all of the angst with plenty of steam and some delightfully sweet moments that left me absolutely swooning. With each new novel from this author I find myself even more blown away by her incredible talent. A Broken Soul is vibrant, honest and incredibly touching – the kind of story that’s easy to connect with and impossible to put down. Jessica Prince undeniably has another winner on her hands with Quinn and Lilly’s must read journey!



“So what about you? Have you always wanted to dance?”

Her voice went soft, her expression wistful. “Yeah. I’ve been dancing since I was about eight. I started a little later than most, but once my mom put me in classes, I was hooked.”

“You’re amazing,” I found myself admitting. “Why didn’t you go to New York or something like that?”

Her face flushed, and something told me it wasn’t from the wine this time. “You’ve seen me dance?”

“Yeah. Last week. I was getting in my truck after grabbing a coffee. The blinds to the studio were open and you were in there by yourself.” I stopped, thinking back to the sadness on her face that morning. “You were…”

“Crying,” she whispered, and although she still wore a smile, I could see the sadness had returned. “Yeah. You kind of caught me on a bad day.”

Suddenly I was aware of what I must have been putting my loved ones through, because even though I knew it wasn’t fair, I wanted to push her to talk about whatever was bothering her. Instead, I ignored that curious niggling in my gut and said, “You know, I might not be as good a listener as you are, but if you ever need to talk…”

“Thanks,” she smiled. “It’s okay. I’m okay. I just got some bad news the day before.” She stopped long enough to inhale deeply before she continued. “My dad’s sick. Cancer. I found out about it the day before.”

“Christ,” I hissed. “Lilly, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s all right. I was struggling with how to cope, you know? I couldn’t imagine…” Her voice cracked and her throat moved as she swallowed. “I still can’t imagine not having him, and knowing he’s going to die… it really fucking sucks.” When she let out a self-deprecating laugh, it took everything I had not to jump across the table and wrap my arms around her. I’d never felt more out of my element with a person before, yet, at the same time, I could relate to her better than most.

“I went down to the studio before it opened and put on the music and just… escaped for a little while. I’ve always used dancing as a way to escape. When I was little, I had trouble in school. I’m dyslexic and it took a while for the doctors to be able to diagnose it. I know it’s not really a big deal, but when you’re in elementary school and have trouble reading, well, let’s just say the kids can be real assholes.

“My mom enrolled me in dance classes and I discovered that when I was moving, when the music was playing, all the mean things those kids said about me just… disappeared. It was my escape, to this day it still is. So, to answer your question, that’s why I never wanted to pursue something like New York. It might sound weird, but what I do now, when I dance, even when I teach my kids, it’s all for me. If I tried to join a company, everything I did would be for them. Doing what I do now, I don’t have to answer to anybody. I don’t have to worry about the routines becoming monotonous. I get to leave my head for a while and not worry about the outcome. Does that make any sense?”

I hardly recognized my voice, the sound rougher, almost jagged as I said, “It makes perfect sense.” I had no clue what was coming over me, why I was reacting the way I was, but I couldn’t stand to see that heartache in her eyes any longer. Standing from my place on the floor, I held my hand out to her. “Come on. I want to watch you dance.”

“What? Now?” she asked incredulously. “You want to watch me dance right now?”

I gave a casual shrug and let my lips curl up in a grin. “Why not? You got other plans at the moment?”

“Well… no, but—”

“Perfect, so nothing’s stopping you.” She didn’t seem convinced, and for reasons beyond my comprehension, I wanted nothing more than to see this gorgeous woman dance. So, I pushed.

“Come escape with me for a little while.”

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Sweet Sunshine (Pembrooke #1)

Sweet Sunshine

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Coming Full Circle (Pembrooke #2)


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Author Bio

Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.

In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.

Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.

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RELEASE BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Ruin by Clarissa Wild


Title: Ruin
Author: Clarissa Wild
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance



Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.

Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.

She was full of curiosity and independence, the extent of which I could only be jealous of. Even though she had all odds stacked against her, she knew what she wanted from life and pursued it, no matter the cost.

She was completely my opposite in every way.

Perfect, even though she couldn’t see it.

Perfect … until me.

Because this is the story of how I ruined her.

Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger. 


Clarissa Wild steps outside her normal realm of romance with Ruin, an unconventional and sincere story of love, strength, and forgiveness that will leave your heart feeling full. Maybell and Alex were an intriguing pair, brought together by what seems to be several cruel acts of fate. Since their relationship really gets its start through a tragic chain of life-altering events, this story is prime for angst and frustration. Ruin is fast paced and purposeful with emotions escalating quickly and the couple’s relationship moving forward in seemingly little time. Clarissa Wild doesn’t hesitate to deliver all of the feelings that come along with Maybell and Alex’s journey, the deeply personal nature of the story coming through loud and clear with each passing page.

“But now I know that being damaged is okay. The scars we carry shape us into humans that better understand the world and those living around us.”

I loved how unapologetically unique both Maybell and Alex were. These characters were far from society’s ideal but they were genuine and interesting and absolutely one-of-a-kind. I enjoyed seeing how their connection unraveled over the course of the story as the truth about their shared history came to light. I definitely would have liked for both characters to undergo a bit more emotional development. I felt as if we barely scratched the surface when it came to May’s warring feelings about dance, her absent best friend, and the impact of Asperger’s on her every day life. Alex’s own issues felt very sudden and I think the end of the novel would have made a more powerful statement had we explored his mental health more in depth throughout the story.

“Our hues were different in the beginning, but now, we’ve grown to complement each other.”

Clarissa Wild isn’t afraid of embracing the strange quirks that make us all undeniably human and Ruin is proof of her devotion to individuality. Maybell and Alex are a celebration of differences, embodying the physical, behavioral, and emotional idiosyncrasies that make us all so wonderfully weird. Their unusual nuances, habits, and particular preferences only made this book that much more poignant, ensuring that these two definitely left their mark. I have to applaud the courage and heart with which Clarissa Wild wrote these two characters and their beautiful story. Her dedication to capturing Maybell and Alex in all of their unpolished and imperfect glory is a testament to the belief that love rules without prejudice.

“It sounds like we’re saying goodbye. Maybe we are. Maybe we aren’t. There’s no guarantee. There never is. Not in real life.”

Ruin is not your typical romance. In fact, that’s probably what I enjoyed the most about this novel. Putting aside her usual penchant for action-packed stories that live in the emotional extremes, Clarissa Wild delivers something quieter, more hesitant, and a lot more real with Ruin. Maybell and Alex’s story is simple, relatable, and full of feels – an honest look at life and the unexpected moments that change us forever. The story is low intensity and the writing uncomplicated, allowing readers to lose themselves in the small triumphs and utter sweetness of Maybell and Alex’s journey. A breath of fresh air from this talented author, Clarissa Wild delivers life and love in its purest forms with Ruin.




“I needed that …” she murmurs, closing her eyes again.

“I know you did.” I smile cheekily.

She lets out a long, drawn-out sigh. “Alex Wright … you seem to know everything.”

“No, I just know you,” I reply boldly.

“Really now?” She opens one eye.

“I know you better than you think,” I say.

Now, both her eyes are open but hidden underneath thick lashes and a curious frown. “Really? Then what am I thinking right now?” She smirks as her feet dangle below the bench, one swaying, the other unmoving, and there is only one thing I can think of.

A tiny leaf that’s fallen on top of her head makes my hand move closer to swipe it away, but I linger. My fingers gently trail along her soft dark blond hair, past her ears and down her cheeks, until they reach her chin. There, I subtly grasp her between my thumb and index finger and lean in, cocking my head. My eyes slowly close, the sound of her short breaths pulling me in.

Before I know it, my lips have locked with hers.

I don’t know why I’m kissing her.

Well, other than the fact that I’ve been madly in love with her all this time.

She was just perfect.

Perfect, just the way she is.

Her scrunched-up face and rosy lips … just had to be kissed.

So I did it.

I’m actually kissing Maybell Fairweather.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve only ever kissed one other girl, and that was in kindergarten. I have no fucking clue, but I hope I’m doing it right. She isn’t stopping me or pushing me away, so that’s a good thing. Right?

But damn, she tastes so sweet, and her lips are so soft.

No wonder everyone likes to do this so much.

It feels like it lasts forever.

After a while, she needs to take a breath, and our lips unlock. Her eyes wide and her lips parted, still swollen, heavy, much like mine, and all I can think of is kissing her again.

Is it so wrong to want the thing I shouldn’t have?

She tucks a strand of her wild hair behind her ear, her cheeks turning red as a strawberry, but I like the color. I can’t stop looking at her, but it’s growing awfully silent too. She’s still so close to me; I can feel her warm breath tingle on my skin.

“This?” I murmur, as an answer to her question.

She bites her lip to stop herself from smiling. “I …”

Her smile only makes me feel more bold, so I place my hand on her cheek and pull her even closer. “I just want to make you happy.”

I lean in again and press another soft kiss on her lips, the touch exhilarating me. Goose bumps scatter across my skin as I taste her on my lips. My blood rushes through my body to the only spot it can go to, the sudden burst of greed filling me. My pants tighten as my dick flinches from her lips alone.

God, I need to stop. This isn’t right.

With all the willpower I can muster, I unlatch my lips from hers, her taste still lingering on my tongue. I can smell her perfume too, the scent rubbed off on my cheeks and neck, and it’s making me giddy. Horny.


I clear my throat as we both turn red as a beet.

“Well …” I get up from the bench and turn away for a second to cool down my manly parts. I even think of the delusional grandpa she has for a neighbor just so I can rid myself of this hard-on. Anything to make it go away quicker.

When I’ve cooled down, I turn to her and smile. She’s still looking at me. Her lips still parted, her face still in shock mode. I can only hope my guess was right, but I won’t ask. I’ll let her decide.

So I hold out my hand and say, “Let’s go back inside.”

For a second, she just stares at me, then my hand, and then me again.

Her hand slowly reaches for mine.

Our fingers entangle.

The tip of her lips points upward.

That’s when I know.

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Ruin is also available with a limited edition cover. This edition is only available in paperback and can be purchased directly from Clarissa Wild.

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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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BLOG TOUR – The Color of Us by Laura Ward & Christine Manzari

Color of Us BT

Title – The Color of Us
Authors – Laura Ward & Christina Manzari
Publication Date – June 18, 2016
Series – College Bound, #2

The Color of Us cover


Eighteen year old Alexis Sinclair is lost in the darkness of grief. Since the death of her sister in a car accident, she can’t find the will to get out and enjoy life again. When she’s forced to face her biggest fear and take a summer Driver’s Ed course, she’s surprised to find hope in the most unlikely person.

Liam O’Connell is trouble. He isn’t proud of his dark past, and he knows Alexis is the one girl he has no business pursuing. Doing the right thing has never been easy for him, but this time, it just might be impossible.

The perfect girl and troubled boy are all wrong for each other, but as Liam helps Alexis cope with her grief, they realize nothing has ever felt more right.

That is, until Alexis uncovers a secret about Liam that breaks her heart.

Liam knows he can’t allow the one good thing in his life to walk away without a fight, and he’s determined to convince Alexis they can find their way out of the darkness together.

Can he prove he’s worthy of her, or is some love too tainted to be saved?

The Color of Us 1


So I realized that I tend to go into anything Laura Ward writes with a total blind eye. I have from the debut novel I read by her, and it’s an instinct that has never steered me wrong. Further, when coupled with her writing partner, Christine Manzari, I know without a doubt that I’m in good hands. The Color of Us was heartbreaking at times, but if there’s anything this novel has taught me, it’s that sometimes you have to get through the rain to see the beauty of the rainbow.

“I wanted to show her how to demolish her box, to smash the rules of black and white. I wanted her to break free, even if just for a little while.”

There was something about Alexis’ story and the devastating loss that she went through that I was able to relate to. I recognized her emotions, and the resulting actions, which led me to a deep investment early on. Whether directly or indirectly, her entire adult life had been shaped by this one earth-shattering moment in time. It lead me to think that every reader will really connect with Alexis on that level as we’ve all had something that changed us in some significant way. Furthermore, I appreciated how much Alexis loved her family. Despite what her heart may have been telling her at times, she was so loyal and dedicated to them. Due to the lack of family I had growing up, I have a soft spot so these scenarios so it was just another way I found myself connecting to our heroine. Liam was the quintessential bad boy that every teenage girl fantasizes about changing. I loved his boldness and his strength. He was daring and confident, yet knew his full potential, at least when push came to shove. The way that this character is written induces lip-biting, swooning, and some definite heart palpitating!

“We might never catch a rainbow, but this summer with Liam was everything. I’d found the color in my life again, thanks to him.”

One of the things I love most about this duo’s writing style is that the main focus isn’t just about the couple. They don’t run a predictable linear course of meeting, falling in love, and living happily ever after. Manzari and Ward put their characters through trials and hardships that result in tremendous independent growth. Given the age frame they are in, it always feels genuine and quite appropriate to reality. The Color of Us was no exception, and it’s what made me really believe in and adore the story being told. Both Alexis and Liam had to figure out who they were apart before we could really see them together.

“We wanted to see where the rainbow began. We always figured the beginning was the best part because that’s where the rain turned into beauty.”

Although this is the second book in the series, you definitely don’t have to read the first before embarking on this one. I loved all the symbolism and cute happenings in The Color of Us (and of course all my Terp references)! Once again, this fabulous writing team has hit the nail on the head and delivered a heartbreaking, beautiful tale of life and loss; a journey about finding the little things in life, like chasing rainbows, to make us fall in love with it all.


The Color of Us 2

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Don’t miss the rest of the College Bound series:

The Pledge (College Bound #1)


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The Sound of Your Heart – Releasing July 13, 2018!

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The Color of Us


Over The Rainbow by Chase Holfelder
Beam Me Up by P!nk
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons
I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
Nothing Without Love by Nate Reuess
Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith
Kiss The Girl from Little Mermaid by Chase Holfelder
True Colors (cover) by Anna Winblad
Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift
Start Again by Conrad Sewell
Angel by Massive Attack

The Color of Us 3

Author Bio

Laura Ward

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

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Author Bio

Christine Manzari

The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmakers Playbook Banner

Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Wingmen Inc. #1
Release Date: April 5, 2016

The Matchmakers Playbook


Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

The Matchmakers Playbook_1

Bs Review

Rachel Van Dyken returns to her RomCom roots with The Matchmaker’s Playbook and it is spellbinding! The Matchmaker’s Playbook is fresh, feisty, hilarious and witty – reminiscent of her earlier romantic comedies and just as addictive. An unforgettable cast of characters carries this story, lead by the swoon-worthy Ian and perfectly lovable Blake. I fell in love with this couple instantly, enchanted by their obvious chemistry, natural banter, and surprising emotional connection. Their push and pull was utterly fantastic, creating a palpable tension that practically sparked off the pages. Their shared stubbornness and unexpected feelings for one another led to an endless number of awkward and entertaining moments that had me laughing out loud. The Matchmaker’s Playbook delivered all of the highs and lows that made Ian and Blake’s journey so captivating, but it was the simplicity of the plot that made completely losing myself in this story so easy. This is Rachel Van Dyken’s writing at its best – intelligent, socially relevant, and down-to-earth.

“For the first time in my life, I wanted a girl that wasn’t mine to have. And it sucked.”

Ian is a classic Rachel Van Dyken RomCom hero – almost a mix of Max from The Consequence Series and Travis from The Bet. Ian is smart, cocky, sarcastic, and hilarious but maintains a cool, emotionally closed off façade after losing the life he had always planned for. I absolutely loved watching him unravel with Blake. There is just something about seeing a guy with so much swagger stumble in the presence of the right woman that makes me absolutely giddy. Rachel Van Dyken delivered Ian’s emotional epiphany with humor and plenty of heart, ensuring that he left me indelibly marked. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Ian and Lex. Their easy relationship laid a solid foundation for the rest of the story and revealed a lot about Ian’s true character. I enjoyed discovering the intricacies of their business partnership and the various roles they played within Wingmen Inc. but more importantly, they had a friendship that felt authentic all the way through. It was brutally honest, hilarious, and unwaveringly supportive – they made this story absolutely shine.

“Funny how words that are supposed to make people happy kind of make you want to punch a tree like Chuck Norris.”

Blake is a girl after my own heart and I absolutely adored her! She’s familiar and easy to relate to – someone we’ve all known or been at some point in life. Insecure, shy, and deep in unrequited love, Blake is an adorable and totally oblivious mess. Despite her intelligence, athletic prowess, and kind heart, Blake was vulnerable in a way that felt entirely genuine. It took no time at all for me to connect with her and it would have been impossible not to become invested in her happily ever after. I had so much fun rediscovering some of the forgotten gems of the 1990s through Blake’s outdated style. They were small details but their comfortable familiarity totally brought this character to life for me. Rachel Van Dyken orchestrated some great growth for this character through her relationship with Ian. He challenged her, argued with her, and pushed her out of her comfort zone, bringing out a strength and confidence that made my heart soar. By the end of the book Blake felt like a friend I had known forever and I was left in awe of the sassy, sure, vibrant woman she had grown into.

“For hating someone so much, he really does spend a lot of time… annoying her.”

The concept behind The Matchmaker’s Playbook instantly intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to see where Rachel Van Dyken planned on taking this book. I am thrilled to say she definitely didn’t disappoint. The story flowed effortlessly and the pacing was spot-on, easily allowing me to devour this novel in one sitting. Stepping away from the slapstick comedy that often feels forced and overly ridiculous, The Matchmaker’s Playbook overflows with easy humor and witty dialogue that will have you grinning from start to finish. Carefully placed heartfelt moments exposed Ian and Blake’s true feelings, giving their journey the necessary emotional credibility to balance the comedy, while colorful secondary characters rounded out this fictional world. Lex and Gabi, were definite scene-stealers, proving to be just as enthralling as our main couple. I’m so excited to hear their story in the next book. Rachel Van Dyken serves up a must read novel with The Matchmaker’s Playbook, a refreshing and addictive romantic comedy gem!


The Matchmakers Playbook_2

Cs Review

Where, oh where, has this book been all my life!? Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken is the perfect fun afternoon read. I was so torn between wanting to savor the giggles and butterflies, and absolutely devouring each and every moment. It’s the first book in the new Wingmen, Inc. series and with characters that were feisty and bold, and a storyline that was unique and refreshing, it pretty much moved itself to the top of my favorite novels by this particular author.

“Do you ever think that what you thought you wanted isn’t actually what you want anymore?”

Van Dyken sent it flying out of the park with her characters in this novel. There was tremendous growth within them and witty banter between them that kept the story moving forward. Furthermore, they were just plain fun to read. When we were first introduced to Ian, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was feeling about him. He was conceited and cocky, and he knew it. Though it certainly aided him in what he chose to do with Wingmen, Inc., it left me wanting to slap him at times. However, as the story unfolded and that arrogance worked against him, it made me giddy. Blake challenged him emotionally and physically, and boy was that amusing to watch. She was supposed to be the one taking lessons from him, and without realizing it, she was teaching him a thing or two. Together, Blake and Ian embodied everything I’d want in a relationship; they had clear chemistry that sizzled, with a foundation of friendship, and a romance that blossomed from there. From the moment they met, until the very last page of the Epilogue, their dialogue kept me laughing, swooning, and falling in love.

“It wasn’t that it had been too long without a girl. It was that it’d been a lifetime without the right one.”

If you’re a fan of the movie Failure to Launch, this is the perfect read for you! With a similar type of theme, unforgettable characters, and dialogue to keep you laughing, you’ll never want to leave The Matchmaker’s Playbook behind. I do have to say that I appreciated the scaled back humor from some of the previous novels Van Dyken has produced. It was low on angst, low on drama, and high on the feel good romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and definitely am craving more. I can’t wait to see what I’m sure will be the explosive moments coming in book two of the series!




Blake let out another pitiful groan. “I don’t think it fits.”

“They measured you. It fits. Just, tell me if it looks okay so we can go.” I checked my watch. “Gabi said dinner was at six, and it’s already a quarter till.”

“This is too much pressure.” Her voice was frantic. “I can’t do this. I mean, how do I know if it looks good? They’re boobs.”

I groaned. “Boobs always look good. Believe me.”

“Boobs are gross!”

Said no man ever. Even the gay ones.

One of the salesladies eyed me up and down. “Are you two okay?”

“Great,” I chirped. “Just having a very heated discussion about the beauty of breasts.” I dipped my chin to Blake’s chest. “What are you? A double D?”

Scowling, she marched off.

Thank God.

“Blake,” I hissed.

No answer.

I’d never had such a difficult client. If anything, they jumped when I told them to, asked how high, and then kept jumping until I was satisfied. Blake fought me at every turn.

“Open the door before I crawl underneath it. I’ll pick the bras, you can close your eyes if you want so you don’t have to watch me look at you, alright? My stomach literally just ate my liver. I need protein. Open. The. Door.”

The door slowly creaked open. Taking advantage of the small crack of air, I pushed it farther, then clicked it shut behind me and turned around.

Blake was facing me, hands on hips, face beet-red, body . . . freaking perfect. My tongue almost lolled out, like a dog.

Most girls starve themselves to have abs like that, which was disgusting. But her abs? They had muscle, actual muscle, but still appeared feminine.

She also had a nice tan, just enough to show that she spent time outside or maybe just had naturally darker skin.

My throat went completely dry as I continued to stare.

“Well?” Her voice was weak. “How awful do I look? On a scale of one to ten?”

I’d convinced her to buy some new workout clothes to replace her old ones. I knew I’d never get her to actually completely change her style. She liked workout clothes? Fine, at least buy the kind that fit and actually point to the correct gender. I tried to steer her away from the boyfriend sweats and sweatshirts, but she eventually wore me down, so I told her if she bought at least five new Pink outfits that had spandex in them, I’d let her get one pair of ugly slouchy sweats. You’d think I’d just given her a million dollars, from her reaction.

Currently, she was sporting a short pair of bright-blue yoga shorts.

And a black push-up sports bra that did wonders for her boobs.

And the world just in general.

Holy shit.

I gulped as I became more and more irritated with the fact that my body was reacting as if it had never seen a girl without her shirt on before. “Blake, it’s great.”

“You sound bored!”

I had to, damn it! What did she want me to do? Sound interested? Turned-on? Intrigued? Curious? I was all those things. I just tried to ignorethe insanity bouncing around in my head and blurted, “Your boobs look really good. Perky, happy, just . . . awesome.”

Did I just call her boobs “happy”?

“You think?” She stared down at her breasts, then grabbed them.

Holy shit, was she seriously feeling herself up? I braced my hand against the door and sucked in a breath.

“They still feel comfortable,” she said.

“Do they?” I managed to choke out while she continued bouncing them a bit in her hands. Dear Lord, did she know what she was doing? Waving a flag in front of a bull. My jeans suddenly tight in all the wrong areas, I tried to envision Lex naked, anything to get my dick to clue in to the word “client,” meaning I was in a no-play zone.

Another first.

It was because I was hungry.

And Marissa? Melissa? Hadn’t satisfied me. I’d gotten off, and made sure she did too, but the entire experience left me feeling empty, bored, and—if I was being completely honest? A bit depressed. Besides, her tits paled in comparison. I had to wonder what the hell I’d been doing all my life if this was the first time I was having such a strong reaction to boobs.

Something about Blake had me wondering if I’d been satisfied at all up until this point. And I had no idea what the hell was so confusing about her, and about the situation. I was unable to put my finger on it, and the more I thought about it the more my head hurt.

Hunger does weird things to guys.

“Yeah.” More bouncing, then turning and staring in the mirror. I wasn’t sure what was worse. Her staring at her own boobs or touching them. “I’m just no good at this stuff. I didn’t grow up with a mom, and I hit puberty really early. The girls made fun of me, and the boys pointed.” Her shoulders slumped inward again.

Could we please go back to the bouncing? I was a fan of that Blake. The one that rolled up like an awkward armadillo? Not so much.

The Matchmakers Playbook_4

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Don’t miss the next Wingmen Inc. novel:

The Matchmaker’s Replacement (Wingmen Inc. #2)

Matchmakers Replacement

Read our Review HERE
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Author Bio


Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – Anti-Romance by Cassia Leo

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Title: Anti-Romance
Author: Cassia Leo
Series: Anti-Romance #1
Release Date: March 8, 2016

Anti Romance Cover


Laney Hill is screwed. On the bed. On the treadmill. On the hood of a BMW. And on her boss’s desk. Then she’s screwed again when she steps into the free clinic and finds out she has gonorrhea. That dirty prick gave her gonorrhea! She’s totally going to break up with him…until he breaks up with her…because he’s married!

A spur of the moment date with her hot musician neighbor, Kade Masters, goes from smoking hot to red-hot disaster in two seconds flat. Then, a night out drinking with friends leads to a fateful—yet awkwardly-sloppy—kiss between her and her best friend George Bratton.

Laney is ready to go into hibernation-mode, when George receives an invitation to his ex-girlfriend’s destination wedding in London. Self-destructive George and gonorrhea survivor Laney make a deal to go as each other’s dates. It will make great material for Laney’s “Anti-Romance” blog and maybe it will help George finally get over his ex.

Pushing aside thoughts of Kade, and his “big engine that could”, Laney jumps at the chance to escape to the magical land of the royal family. But her magical vacation soon turns into a royal, steaming pile of lies.

This is book one of a two-book series, with book two scheduled for release in May 2016.


Cassia Leo has once again managed to blow me away with her talent and creativity. Anti-Romance is fresh, fun, and incredibly fierce, delivering humor, heat, and heart in one totally addictive package. Laney is undoubtedly one-of-a-kind, hooking me with her amusing cynicism and reeling me in with her intelligence, wit, and surprising emotional depth. Cassia Leo made losing myself in Laney’s ridiculous and oftentimes awkward world absolutely effortless. Anti-Romance is a snarky and unpolished look at love and the ways in which it finds us even when we’re running screaming in the opposite direction. This story overflows with shameless innuendos and crude humor that had me smirking but it was the heart and soul that Cassia Leo so expertly infused throughout this novel that made it absolutely sparkle. Laney’s world is filled with vibrant characters that stole my heart in unexpected ways. I loved George and Kade and found myself totally torn between these two incredibly different men in Laney’s life. I’m dying to get my hands on the rest of Laney’s story to find out if romance will knock this non-believer off her feet.

“No one could feed my self-delusions the way George could, and no one could dismantle my self-delusions just as swiftly.”

To say that Laney is a hot mess would be an understatement. This character is blunt, unapologetic, and sometimes a total asshat. Surrounded by a great group of people, she’s not exactly the best friend in the world and she definitely seems to view men as disposable objects with limited entertainment value. While it is these characteristics that made me laugh and roll my eyes, it was Laney’s surprising emotional depth that made it impossible not to connect with her. As the story progresses, Cassia Leo exposes pieces of this character that had my heart aching for Laney. Through her relationships with George and Kade, Laney slowly begins to unravel, revealing a personal history and series of events that explained the underlying hurt responsible for her view of romance. As Cassia Leo brought this book to a close, I could practically feel a shift in Laney’s world happening as she’s forced to face some harsh truths about herself and the men who care about her. I’m anxious to see where Cassia takes this character in the final piece of her journey.

“It’s one thing to possess a free and independent spirit. It’s quite another thing to push away the people who genuinely care about you in a vain display of sovereignty.”

Going into this story with no real clue as to what lay ahead made Laney’s journey that much more entertaining. From the first word to the last I was riveted, laughing, cringing, and grinning my way through this hilariously uncomfortable and surprisingly heartfelt story. Cassia Leo’s writing cast its spell, bringing to life the colorful personalities and crazy adventures of the characters. There was plenty of heat burning across the pages along with a rollercoaster of emotions I never saw coming. Only Cassia could write something so simultaneously scorching and amusingly un-sexy. Laney’s candor, biting wit, and cynical inner monologue made this character a train wreck I just couldn’t look away from while George and Kade brought out the thoughtful and feeling soul of both Laney and the overall novel. Anti-Romance was perfectly paced and full of surprise twists I didn’t anticipate. My mind is still reeling from all of the revelations contained within the final pages of this book. I can’t wait to see how Laney’s story ends. Anti-Romance is sarcastic and sassy – a one-of-a-kind romantic comedy with heart.


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Copyright © 2016 by Cassia Leo.

I closed my eyes and balled my hands into fists to hide the fact that I was now trembling. No one knew about the real purpose of my blog other than my friends, and I had just spilled my secret to a man I’d basically known for a total of four hours. The one alcoholic beverage I’d consumed tonight had been digested hours ago, but suddenly my stomach went sour.

Oh, God. What had I done?

“So that’s why you’re always bringing home all kinds of guys?” he asked, his voice unexpectedly calm and inquisitive. “Holy shit. Are you gonna write about me?”

I turned to him and shook my head furiously. “No! I have no intention of writing about you.” He didn’t seem convinced. “You’re the one who asked me out,” I reminded him. “I had no intention of dating you, much less sleeping with you.”

“You’re not making this any easier to swallow,” he said as he pulled the truck into the apartment complex.

“That’s what she said. Oh, God. I’m sorry.”

He laughed. “That’s okay. I walked right into that one.”

I sighed again as I tried to think of how to explain this without bearing my soul to him, but I couldn’t think of anything. “I don’t know what it is about you, but you make me want to do things I’ve never done.”

He cocked an eyebrow as he parked the truck. “Such as?”

“Like, tell you about what I do for a living.”

“So I should be honored?” he said as he pulled the key out of the ignition.

I looked into his eyes for a moment and thought of when he asked me to be his pick girl earlier tonight. “Absolutely,” I replied. “You see, I have a rule. I don’t write about any of my dates until the relationship is over. But…” I pressed my lips together as I gazed into his eyes and gathered the courage I needed to continue. “I’ve always told myself that when the right guy comes along, I won’t ever have to write about him because…we’ll never be over.”

He broke eye contact as he stared at the steering wheel for a moment. “You’re telling me that you plan on quitting your job when you find the right guy?”

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Don’t miss the conclusion to Anti-Romance:

Pro-Love (Anti-Romance #2)


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Author Bio

Cassia Leo

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually walking in the rain or reading.

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BLOG TOUR – He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not by Renee Dyer

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Title: He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not
Author: Renee Dyer
Release Date: August 30, 2016

He Loves Me Healthy He Loves Me Not



It’s a strange little word about to change Nick and Brenna St. James’ world forever. 

Brenna was raised to believe love conquers all. Losing piece after piece of herself causes her to waver in her beliefs. Insecurities abound and she can’t stop wondering if Nick can love the person she is now. Is it fair to ask him to?

Nick wants a do over. To go back to a time before Brenna was sick, before everything changed. But genies don’t exist, life doesn’t grant wishes, and time machines haven’t been invented. All he can do is follow his heart…and his heart wants Brenna.

Together, they have to face a battle they never imagined.

When fighting is all you have left…

When love can’t heal everything…

When life rests in the balance of the unknown…

When their vows, “…in sickness and in health”, are put to the test…

Will Nick and Brenna be able to fight through the odds stacked against them, or will everything come crumbling down?

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Bs Review

He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not is completely outside the realm of your typical romance. There is nothing about this story that has been romanticized or airbrushed to fit the fairytale. This journey has not been written to make the reader swoon, but it has been written to make the reader feel deeply and irrevocably. This book is real and raw and heartbreakingly honest. As the title suggests, Renee Dyer explores the true strength of Brenna and Nick’s marriage vows as her sudden diagnosis turns their world upside down, forcing them to face the best and worst parts of themselves and their relationship. This book was heartfelt in an undeniable way. Renee Dyer clearly found the words for this book in the depths of her soul, pouring her life and love into Brenna and Nick’s unexpected journey. The resultant novel was simply breathtaking.

“If I could make myself feel today I would walk across the room and hold her hand, but I need the numbness to survive. I need to block out the reality of what’s going to happen to me or I may never make it through.”

Renee Dyer’s characters really stole a piece of my heart. Their fears and pain so palpable and genuine that I found myself connecting to them instantly and wishing I could shelter them from their heartache. Nick surprised me completely, his emotional honesty pouring off the pages. His guilt over feeling helpless broke my heart several times over, while his fierce love for Brenna and devastating thoughts of being forced to live without her stole my breath in that way only a beautiful and unconditional love can. Renee Dyer certainly put Nick through the wringer and by the time I reached the end of the book, she had broken and remolded the boy Brenna fell in love with into an unquestionably worthy man who was swoon-worthy in his own right.

“How can she not know that she’s the strong one?”

Brenna simply captivated me. Renee Dyer did a phenomenal job chronicling the mental, physical, and emotional changes this character experienced. From the complete bliss of falling in love to the absolute horror of suffering under the care of negligent and inexperienced doctors, Brenna constantly evolved during her journey. With her endless flux of emotions and unpredictable physical condition, she wasn’t a character you could define or label. Brenna was whatever she needed to be in each moment, fighting for her life or simply enjoying it. This fluidity of character made me feel as if I experienced an entire lifetime inside the pages of Renee’s book, branding me with an appreciation and respect for the bravery, strength, and unparalleled grace of this character.

“Never apologize for loving me, Nick.”

He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not is a visceral journey that must be experienced to truly be understood. Renee Dyer had me laughing at the adorable story of how Brenna and Nick met and got me fuming at failures in the healthcare system. I happy sighed at the obvious love that relentlessly fought through the darkness and uncertainty of illness only to cry over the heart wrenching fear that threatened to consume Brenna and Nick’s happily ever after. I felt this story deep down, losing myself to the sobering realization that this is more than just a story to a lot of people. It’s their story. Renee Dyer brings Brenna and Nick’s journey to a close in a way that felt right, if not conventional. She embraced the gritty and imperfect truth of living with a chronic health condition, demonstrating an enlightened acceptance of the human reality. Renee Dyer has created something beautiful and inimitable with He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not.


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Cs Review

I’ve had to sit on my thoughts for He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not for a few days now. There’s something so indescribable that I felt as I turned that last page. Renee Dyer has created a heartbreakingly real, gut-wrenching, emotional story about a couple whose vows are tested in the hardest of ways. I can guarantee that this story is not your everyday contemporary romance, but if you’re willing to take a chance on a novel that so vividly has the author’s emotions bleeding onto the pages, you will not be disappointed.

“This is how life is supposed to be. It’s how I wanted it to stay. But, Nick and I learned a long time ago that life isn’t fair. It throws curveballs when you least expect it.”

No matter what you may have been through in life, the character of Brenna creates such deep emotions in readers, at least this one. As someone related to a person with a chronic disease, my heart completely sympathized for Brenna. As a human being, it utterly broke for her. To witness the myriad of emotions and get a firsthand account of the issues that arise with a medical issue, like Chiari, allows the character into readers’ hearts in a way that I haven’t previously experienced. I found myself rejoicing in the triumphs of Brenna, while also crying in the moments of heartbreak, but on a soul-deep level. Her husband, Nick, came across as a very multi-dimensional character to me. He seemed so confident in some aspects of his life, yet so unsure when it came to Brenna’s medical stuff. He loved fiercely, but then questioned whether that love could really be enough. These two already had a foundation in their relationship, so it was refreshing to experience what happens after the honeymoon phase has been completed in a relationship, even more so when the sickness or health vow comes into question.

“The doctors took a piece of my skull and I’ll forever have a scar.”

I tend to be a fan of dual points of view in novels, but I felt it was especially important in He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not. Without it, the characters could have come across abrasive and aloof, but hearing both sides of the story and their inner thoughts, really made their situation real. It helped readers to see the importance of communication in a relationship, especially when there are mitigating circumstances at play. I’ll be honest and say that there were times that the book was extremely difficult to keep turning the pages. The emotional and devastating circumstances that these characters were put through, especially one scene in particular, made my heart hurt.

“Sometimes you need to be reminded of who you were to get back to who you are. We’re on our way to being us again.”

He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not is definitely not your everyday romance. Renee Dyer has poured her heart and soul into the pages of the novel, and could be felt more with each word read. I know this story is incredibly personal to the author, and there is so much evidence of that. The writing was great, although the medical jargon did go over my head a couple of times. Most of all, those characters…I just wanted to take them into my arms and squeeze away all of their problems. While He Loves Me Healthy, He Loves Me Not deviates from her normal repertoire, it’s a breathtaking, poignant story of love and one woman’s journey to finding herself again.



Justin Timberlake – What Goes Around… Comes Around
Ed Sheeran – Photograph
Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
Maroon 5 – Wipe Your Eyes
Rachel Platten – Fight Song
3 Doors Down – Here Without You
Bruno Mars – Today My Life Begins
Rachel Lampa – If you Believe
Skid Row – I Remember You
Halestorm – Here’s To Us
Halestorm – Hate It When You See Me Cry
Daughtry – I’ll Fight
Daughtry – Wild Heart
Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael Jackson – I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

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Author Bio

From a young age Renee Dyer had a love of writing, starting with a doodle pad at age four that soon turned into journals and later computer documents.  Poetry became short stories and short stories became a novel.  Although she’s surrounded by males all day having three sons, a husband and a hyperactive chocolate lab, she still finds time to be all woman when she escapes into the fantasy of reading and writing romance.  That is, until she needs male perspective and garners eye rolling from her husband.  She’s a true New Englander.  You’ll find her screaming profanity at her TV while the Pats play and cuddling under blankets during the cold seasons (which is most of them) reading a good book.  To her snow is not a reason to shut things down, only a reason to slow down and admire the beauty.  Ask her questions and she’ll answer them.  She’s an open book, pun fully intended.

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BLOG TOUR – The Weight of Rain by Mariah Dietz

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Title: The Weight Of Rain
Author: Mariah Dietz
Series: The Weight of Rain, #1
Release Date: October 27, 2015

The Weight of Rain cover


One night changed my life—one that I barely remember.

When I close my eyes, my mind paints a picture of his smile and shades the contours of his hands, the deep scar around his bicep.

I’m an artist, yet my hands are unsteady. With his presence, he has unknowingly broken that something inside of me that makes me who I am.

Being around him is like standing in a rainstorm. First the drops tickle my skin, and then they coat me, refusing to be ignored. Finally, they soak into me, reaching parts of me I don’t think anyone has ever touched.

When dreams turn into reality, will the picture in my mind transfer to paper?

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Bs Review

Mariah Dietz has once again blown me away with her incredible storytelling. The Weight of Rain was nothing short of addictive. Within seconds of diving into this book I was hooked, pulled into a world so full of raw emotion and genuine characters that I felt as if I belonged there. Mariah’s words took me back to my own college days, filling my head with memories of inimitable friendships, infuriating roommates, big dreams, and fears of an uncertain future. Lauren’s journey made me feel deeply and laugh loudly as I found myself easily enchanted by the colorful cast of characters who were so beautifully flawed and undeniably human. Mariah Dietz writes with a lyrical quality that made the story feel as if it was simply pouring off the pages, seeping into my skin until I was irrevocably part of the journey. Mariah’s exquisite writing continues to leave me in awe, demonstrating a maturity and mastery of language that seems to just keep getting better and better with each new novel.

“You have no idea how much I wanted you to find me.”

One of the strongest parts of this story was the characters. Lauren was written with a voice that was definitive and unique, coming across so clearly in my head as I read her story. Her passion and personality were palpable entities throughout The Weight of Rain and that made this book such an incredible experience. Mariah Dietz created Lauren with a sense of honesty and genuine vulnerability that made her growth over the course of the novel seem monumental. Her evolution as a character is what the new adult genre is all about and my connection to her felt effortless. So as not to spoil Lauren’s discovery of her mystery man’s identity, I won’t use his name, but Mariah Dietz definitely knew what she was doing with him. He was charming and kind with an alpha edge that made him simply irresistible. He has definitely been added to the top of my list of swoon-worthy book boyfriends. Their immediate connection and undeniable chemistry made for some serious heat that had me grinning and furiously flipping pages for more of this unforgettable couple.

“You couldn’t ask me to give up my art any easier than you could ask me to stop breathing. The end result would be the same.”

Once she was reunited with her mystery man, Lauren’s relationship with him was complicated and at times incredibly frustrating. Their determination to deny what they shared proved to be entirely necessary for their story. That intense build-up created a tension that I felt on a very basic level, making their moment of surrender feel so much sweeter. Mariah Dietz made the right choice in choosing to fan the flames between them for a while, resulting in easy banter and electric exchanges that ultimately defined this couple. In addition to the phenomenal love story, Mariah Dietz also managed to tackle some of the harsh realities of young society. She handled these tough topics with a grace and sensitivity that I couldn’t help but admire. Mercedes was the perfect vehicle for her heartfelt message of understanding and acceptance, reminding readers that “Being different doesn’t make you a freak, it makes you brave.” The Weight of Rain is a stunning story of love, acceptance, and self-discovery that moved me and left its imprint upon my heart. This stunning new adult novel is an absolute must read!


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Cs Review

With the release of The Weight of Rain, Mariah Dietz is easily becoming one of my top go-to authors. Her writing reels me in and her characters burrow their way into my heart every single time I read a new novel from her. She has this special quality that I can’t put my finger on; it always draws out my emotions, makes me giddy, and causes me to fall in love. As this is Dietz’s first standalone novel, completely separate from her previous characters, I was a little apprehensive about how it would go. However, I clearly had nothing to fret over, because The Weight of Rain was a bundle of perfection wrapped in a bow of heartwarming feels.

“You love the rain. You can’t hate it just because it doesn’t always do what you want or expect. We all have ugly sides.”

From the moment we’re introduced to Lo, I found a kindred spirit in her. There were things she did, things she said, and especially things she felt that immediately resonated within me. She was a woman who lacked self-confidence, due to an unfortunate upbringing, and really just coasted through on her default defense mechanisms and her art. If you could relate to her at all, I’m not sure how you couldn’t fall in love with her. When we’re introduced to the mysterious King, my heart skipped a beat. There were times that he annoyed me so much, but it ended up being one of my favorite parts about him as time went on. I absolutely loved the way that he adored and cared for his family and those closest to him, but especially the two leading ladies in his life – Lo and Mercedes. The highlight for me was found in the banter between the hero and heroine. They loved to hate each other, but it allowed each of them to build defenses to have the other then break through. I just wanted to squeeze them together, bop them over the heads, and then enjoy every minute of the result.

“We don’t get to choose our families, but we do get to decide who we make our families. Sometimes they’re blood, and sometimes it’s something much deeper.”

The story line is one that captivated me and urged me to continue reading. The beginning was a tad slower than I’m used to, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. There was something about the artist and the stunt bike rider that I just loved. It’s certainly not a combination I’m used to. Furthermore, the writing was just superb. There is no doubt in my mind that Mariah Dietz continues to grow and get better and better. What struck a chord in me the most was in regards to the description of Lo’s art and the frame of mind that she would fall into. The way Dietz is able to use imagery and just the way she strings words together is an experience. Readers are able to easily fall into the story and see it, not just read it.

“You just need to worry about letting your guard down, because whether by permission or defeat, I’m getting through.”

It comes to no surprise that I really, truly loved The Weight of Rain. It was different and descriptive and a beautiful romance. However, it wasn’t just about a man and a woman falling in love. There were so many different forms of love that were described and taught between the varying characters. It’s a novel that I finished, but then I wanted to flip back to the first back and start all over again. Mariah Dietz has earned a fan in me with her words. I know that she will be going places, and I will most definitely be here for the ride!




“Why are you fidgeting again?” Allie’s scolding is in the form of a whisper but still reaches my ears as a yell because I know by the sharp look in her eye that she’s ready to stab me with a pin if I don’t stop.

“Sorry,” I whisper. I work to ignore an itch on the back of my neck and another on my shoulder. As I think about how much I hate standing still and why I didn’t see King at all today though he always works in the home office on Fridays, I feel several more tickles across my skin that arise because I know I can’t move.

My eyes scan over the large space that we’re filling. There are at least two hundred other students in here, each with a model who, like me, is standing atop a crate, making a select few of us even more uncomfortably tall. Several people look perfectly relaxed as they stand completely still, their shoulders back and chins raised as though they’re already on stage. My eyes trace over each of them, noticing their poise, boldness, and beauty.

“She’s really pretty.”

Allie’s looks up at me with minimal interest. “Who?”

“The girl over there with the dark blond hair.” I nod in the direction of where she’s standing.

“You’re an artist, Lo. She’s definitely pretty, but her confidence is what makes her stand out so much.”

Allie’s comment makes me stare longer at the girl, noticing her eyes are a little too close together, and her forehead too short to be what is believed to be the definition of attractive. It brings me to hate those ignorant facts even more because she is beautiful, and I’m grateful she seems to believe so without meeting the dictated standards.

“Lo,” Allie hisses in warning, making my hand drop from where it’s rubbing across my mostly bare thigh.

“You should really consider asking Kenzie.”

“I would have if I had known you have ADHD. What’s with you?”

“I don’t know.”

“It’s because you can’t draw, huh?” My attention drops to Allie as she places another pin along the hemline.

“That’s definitely not helping.”

“When do you think you’ll be able to hold a pencil again? Are your professors freaking out?”

“I don’t know. I’m hoping by the end of this week so I can draw while I’m home for Christmas.”

“Are you excited?”

Her gaze remains fixed on the dress as I raise my eyebrows, her question sinking into my thoughts. “I guess. I don’t know.”

“You don’t talk about your family much.” Allie’s eyes dart to mine for just a fraction of a second, but I’m sure it’s long enough to notice mine working to evade contact.

“There’s not a whole lot to say.”

“What happened to your mom this week?” I feel her briefly glance up again before moving her hands to a new spot where she begins measuring the fabric for the next pin.

“Something came up. I’m sure I’ll see her after the holidays. You know how this time of year is.”

She places a white chalk pencil between her teeth and nods slowly as if debating that it’s the correct response. She frees it again, intently focusing on the fabric, and places a careful mark. “You aren’t mad?”

I shrug, earning a glare from her that I return with a frown. Her lips fall open into a laugh. “You just need to focus on someone and mentally draw them; otherwise, you’re never going to make it out of here tonight, at least not without a thousand pinholes.”

My neck twists as I look around the room again. There are so many people in here. So much beauty, anticipation, desire, and passion: things I seek for my own inspiration, yet when I close my eyes and start sketching lines across my imagination, they don’t make up anyone that’s in here. I think I’d be surprised at this point if they ever do again.

There are times like yesterday when I genuinely wish I hated him. Hell, he’s been a jackass to me enough that I could justifiably say I do, and anyone would be able to understand where I’m coming from. Then again, that would also require having someone to discuss my feelings for and interactions with him.

I wish I hadn’t been exposed to the kinder sides of him.

I wish I didn’t see how he acts around Mercedes to witness his unconditional love for her.

I wish my memories of that night were fading rather than becoming clearer.

I wish I wasn’t falling for this asshole.

I wish he’d fall for me.

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The Effects of Falling (Weight of Rain #2)

The Effects of Falling

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Author Bio

Mariah Dietz

Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.

Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon, where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ & GIVEAWAY – Twenty-One by Clarissa Wild

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Title: Twenty-One
Author: Clarissa Wild
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: October 7, 2015

Twenty One


21 years

On her 21st birthday she’s taken. Collected by a rich family as an unpaid debt. Her body sold. Her mind his.

21 weeks

For 21 weeks she carried a burden no girl should ever have to carry. Now she loses her freedom to a man born to destroy her.

21 days

His name: Angel DeLuca. His mission: to break her in 21 days before she sees through his lies. But she won’t give up without a fight.

21 minutes

It takes only 21 minutes for their lives to be forever entwined.

21 seconds

21 seconds to spill. Time is running out.

Secrets ruin them … but not all truths are worth the price.

This is a STANDALONE Dark Romance novel. WARNING: contains explicit situations, dubious consent, graphic violence, drug abuse, and other disturbing content.

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Twenty-One was a thrilling adventure from start to finish, definitely earning its spot as my favorite Clarissa Wild book to date. This story was a fantastic mixture of all of my favorite things about this author and it really captured her wide range of writing abilities and allowed them shine. Twenty-One was dark, cruel, and filled with intrigue and suspense. However it also had that spark, the magical connection between the main characters that made it impossible not to become invested in them. Twenty-One is very much a dark romance and there are plenty of unsavory things about the story that had me cringing, but I knew what I was getting into so I easily found myself enjoying every maddening second of this book and was pleasantly surprised to see how the story evolved to become something so much more. I fell hard for Sky and Angel, enthralled by their absolute disaster of a “love story” and addicted to the angst that Twenty-One provided.

“My name might be Angel, but I’m far from a saint. In fact, I’m a fucking killing machine. I was born and bred for one purpose; murdering those who stand in the way of Cosa Nostra.”

Clarissa Wild always manages to write characters whose heartbreak and anguish just rips right through you and Angel and Sky were certainly no exception. Sky’s entire ordeal, even before her time as a captive, was devastating. As the pieces of her past began to fall into place I wanted to yell and throw things on her behalf. In the face of her nightmares she stood strong, refusing to give into the torment befalling her, proving herself to be incredibly fierce. Angel, on the other hand, maintained a sense of invincibility only to find himself caught off guard by Sky. She seemed to shed a light on his darkness, forcing him to see his world in an entirely different way. Clarissa Wild did an amazing job at relaying his inner conflict. Even when I wanted to hate him, Clarissa made sure my heart was still breaking for him and that his turmoil remained palpable. His growth as a character was crucial to the development of the plot and Clarissa executed it masterfully.

“Our eyes are locked in what seems an endless storm of silent screams. It would be worse if she could see behind the mask.”

Twenty-One definitely took me by surprise. I went in totally intrigued by the synopsis but at a total loss as to what I was really in for. As always, Clarissa Wild kept me on my toes as my mind scurried to keep up with all of the twists and turns of her plot and my heart fought to make sense of the constant hurricane of emotions. Parts of this book were unquestionably dark and twisted, written with an intensity that hit me like a train wreck you just can’t look away from. I was tied up in knots, unsure how I was going to get through this crazy journey, only to be doused with a totally unexpected sweetness that made me giddy despite everything. Twenty-One had a great balance of suspense and romance that appealed to me beyond the depravity of most dark romance novels. Clarissa Wild has written another winner with Twenty-One, delivering Sky and Angel’s story with a deeply scarred heart, but a heart nonetheless.


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I push past my father, still furious as hell. I walk straight to her cell, do the retinal scan and press the numbers to open the door, not even caring to put on my mask.

What I find is a broken girl.


Her body lying on the floor like a wet rag.

Buckets of water thrown on the floor near her.

A chair in the middle painted red from blood. Her blood.

Red welts and puncture wounds mark her body. Welts and wounds that aren’t mine.

How fucking dare they.

She’s mine.

As I step into her cell, I take a second to wipe my bloody hands on my shirt. No matter how hard I try, it won’t disappear completely, and for some reason that makes me feel bad. I look at her small, frail body and wonder how the hell I’m going to fix this. She’s been beaten to the point of losing her will to live. I never thought he would go this far … that he would ruin her to a point of no return. This shouldn’t have happened … and it’s all my fucking fault.

Going on one knee, I gently pick her up and hold her in my arms as I get back up. She’s cold, and she isn’t even shivering to make up for it. Holding her close to my body in the hopes that it’ll make her a bit warmer, I walk out of the cell and into the light. Right now, the only thing on my mind is her safety, and nothing’s gonna stand in my way of securing it.

My father stands in the middle of the big hall, watching me, along with the three women who’ve been working in the kitchen all day. Their silent looks tell me enough, but nothing will stop me. Rage has taken me beyond what I thought I was willing to sacrifice. I feel invincible, capable of destroying the world, if that’s what it takes to keep her with me.

“Don’t,” my father says. “You’re making a mistake.”

“No, you did, the moment you took me away from her! Don’t fucking dare to interfere again.”

“Angel …”

“You might be my father, but I’m the best you have, and you know damn well no one in this company can win from me, so don’t even try to take her away from me. You’d better not get in my way.”

“I can’t let you take her out of this place,” he says.

“Watch me,” I growl, walking toward him.

“Angel, you know this place is specifically designed to contain our prisoners. If you take her out, who knows what will happen. She might escape, and this time for real. You don’t want that to happen. You know what the consequences are.”

“She won’t,” I spit.

“You don’t know that.”

“I’ll make sure of it.”

He blocks my way, standing in front of me, so I stop next to him. He doesn’t attempt to grab my arm, even though I suspected he would. He’s smarter than I thought.

“So you’re just gonna leave? You do realize this will never end well?” he says.

I glance at him. “I will give you your information. But I will do it my way. Where I want. How I want. My terms.”

“You know it will fail.”

“We’ll see about that,” I growl, gripping her body tight. “Now leave me the hell alone.”

I walk past him, blowing out a deep breath as he lets me pass. He doesn’t attempt to stop me like before. Probably because he’s seen my determination and realizes it has its strength. Or maybe because he fears it.

With Sky’s life hanging by a thread, I wrap my hands around her body and let her head rest on my shoulder. For a second, as I walk through the hallway, I glance over my shoulder. An unfamiliar feeling rushes through me the moment I see my father’s stupefied face. Amusement, maybe. But it feels more like pride.

“Where are you going?” he yells after me.

With a confident sneer, I answer, “Home.”


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Author Bio

Clarissa Wild

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, and Stalker. 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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RELEASE DAY BLITZ – The Way We Rise by Cassia Leo

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Title – The Way We Rise
Author – Cassia Leo
Publication Date – August 21, 2015
Series – The Story of Us, #3

The Way We Rise


The highly anticipated conclusion to the USA Today bestselling Story of Us series.

With Liam’s fate no longer in the balance, Rory and Houston are poised on the precipice of a life-altering decision. When Rory’s father arrives in California to comfort Rory and make amends, Houston finds the decision becomes much easier to make.

When Houston suggests they take a break Rory thinks he must be joking. But he’s not. And his timing couldn’t be worse.

With Houston and Rory vowing to keep their new friendship strictly outside of the bedroom, their friends and family seize the opportunity to draw out the torture and surprises. Ensuring that Houston and Rory’s story has an ending they’ll never forget.

The Way We Rise is the final book in The Story of Us Series, which follows the tumultuous love story of Rory and Houston.

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Cassia Leo could not have written a more perfect conclusion to The Story of Us Series. The Way We Rise was everything I’d come to love about Rory and Houston’s story and then some. This book embodies devastating heartbreak and unimaginable pain, ferocious love and unwavering hope. Cassia Leo has captured the delicate beauty that is falling in love and the even more fragile triumph that is nurturing it. The final book in Houston and Rory’s journey was raw, honest, and emotionally gripping. I often found myself lost in thought, contemplating the poignancy of this story and devouring Cassia Leo’s thoughtful prose. I adored the phenomenal storytelling and the clever integration of plot structure. This book explored the challenge of making the rewrites necessary to adapt to life’s unmatched ability to stray from the planed storyline while maintaining my hope for a happily ever after. The Way We Rise is touching, smart, and utterly breathtaking; every bit the ending Houston and Rory deserved.

“I learned that, whether it’s the love between father and daughter or the love between a man and a woman, you can’t erase love. Not with a delete button or six years or six hundred miles.” I reach up, brushing the tips of my fingers over the sandpaper scruff on his jaw. “That book isn’t us. This is us. Just you and me, getting through every day. That’s our story.”

Houston’s character really developed in The Way We Rise. In the first two books his sole focus has been on getting Rory back, but in this book we get to see a more mature and sympathetic man. Houston recognized the enormity of the events that had unfolded since he and Rory were reunited and he finally accepted the emotional significance of them. How he handles these challenges and the decisions he makes in their wake revealed so much about this character to the reader and gave Houston a polished feeling of completeness. Rory’s chance to grow as a character required her to face her family and eventually herself. Cassia Leo wrote Rory with a genuine vulnerability and understandable hesitancy that kept me feeling her struggle as she faced down the harsh realities of her world. One of the things I adore about this couple is the crackle of energy that seems to permeate their story. Rory and Houston have a palpable connection that never fades. No matter what these two face, their undeniable chemistry and stunning connection continues to shine through, giving this series a magical quality that kept me enchanted.

“The sun has almost completely gone down, painting dramatic swaths of billowy pink clouds across the western horizon. In the east, the stars are twinkling as they get ready to make a dazzling entrance. And here in the middle, on a rooftop in Portland, I feel high enough to touch the sky.”

Authentic to the tone of this series, The Way We Rise was not without several unexpected twists. Rory and Houston’s story unraveled in some ways I had desperately hoped for and in others I couldn’t have guessed. I loved that even after everything our characters had already been through, The Way We Rise still managed to surprise me. Emotionally, this book hit me hard. I found myself crying happy tears at even the smallest moments of joy, feeling deeply relieved to find glimpses of light amongst the darkness. I found this feeling to be the true measure of success in terms of this book, its demonstration of how deeply I had connected with the characters and events in the first two books. The Way We Rise was deeply satisfying, not only providing resolution to our couple’s journey but also delivering an exciting and comforting look into the future in the epilogue. Cassia Leo has truly outdone herself with this book and the entire series, leaving me with a book hangover it’ll be hard to relieve.


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I climb the fence quickly and wrap my arm around her shoulders to guide her back to the car. “What are you doing out here? I told you to stay in the car.”

“I was worried about you,” she says, her teeth chattering as I open the passenger door for her. “Is someone going to let us out?”

“No one was there.”

Her eyes widen. “We’re stuck in here?”

I shake my head as I try to come up with an answer better than the truth, then I remember I promised to never lie to Rory again. “There may be a groundskeeper who’ll come by tonight and let us out. But if not, then yes. We’re stuck here for the night.”

Her mouth drops open in utter horror. “I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”

“Bullshit. I could have carried you to the car and forced you to leave. It’s not your fault. And, hey, look on the bright side,” I reply, raising my voice to be heard over the sound of the rain battering the top of my car, and Rory looks at me as if I’m insane to even suggest there’s a bright side. “Spending the night in a cemetery will probably be the ultimate test of our friendship.”

She rolls her eyes as she climbs into the passenger seat. “You call that a bright side? I call that a nightmare.”

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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

The Way We Fall (The Story of Us, #1)

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The Way We Break (The Story of Us, #2)

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To Portland, With Love (The Story of Us, #3.5)

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Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading – sometimes both.

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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY – Back to the Drawing Board by L.L. Collins

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Title: Back To The Drawing Board
Author: L.L. Collins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 10, 2015

Back to the Drawing Board cover


Lies. Betrayal. Deceit. Carter knows them all too well. His whole life was based on them. He decided long ago that his life would be on his own terms. No one would dictate his future, since he’d had no control over his past.

Desire. Lust. Love.

Julia is the bosses’ daughter. She’s everything that Carter wants, and nothing that he thinks he needs. She’s got plans of her own, and Carter is one of them.

Both determined to control their own paths, can she show him what his future could be like if he just lets go, or will he send her BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD?

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Back to the Drawing Board is a fun, flirty, standalone novel that will have you experiencing all the feels. Carter and Julia have something truly special and I enjoyed all of the ups and downs of their journey. One of the great things about this novel was that while it is definitely not necessary to read the Twisted Series before jumping into Carter’s story, for anyone who has read them there is a sense of coming home with Back to the Drawing Board. I got a deep satisfaction out of seeing Carter with his family and experiencing how their story effected his own. Putting these two stories in parallel felt like an expression of the timelessness of love. Julia and Carter’s story was the total package, making me laugh, keeping me guessing, and connecting me with the characters in unexpected ways. Once again, L.L. Collins has blown me away with her fantastic storytelling and the amount of heart she managed to infuse throughout this book.

“That was us. No alcohol, no barriers between us. Just us, acting on what we’re both trying to deny.”

Carter was a great character and right from the start I found myself invested in his growth. His family situation has shaped him in more ways than one and as he ventures out on his own, Carter struggles to reconcile the life he had growing up with the life he wants. L.L. Collins did a great job at allowing Carter to develop slowly and naturally, peeling back the various layers of his complex personality to expose his conflicting emotions. Underneath the confident, intelligent, and professional mask lies a genuine vulnerability that had him stealing my heart in no time. He certainly met his match in Julia and I absolutely loved her. Her own struggle to define life on her own terms allowed for some significant character development. L.L. Collins challenged and pushed Julia, while allowing her inner strength to shine through. The more time she spent fighting for Carter, the bolder she became in the rest of her life, resulting in a newfound confidence that was utterly captivating.

“But now, the reality of loving you and wanting to be with you, is way beyond what I could’ve imagined. I didn’t know I wanted it, needed it. But I do. I need you, not just anyone.”

Back to the Drawing Board had a great storyline, balancing angst and emotion with humor and steam. Both Carter and Julia face personal journeys where they must decide what they want out of life and what kind of person they strive to be. L.L. Collins juxtaposes their individual stories, exposing the challenges they face as a couple. The differences in their journeys kept things interesting, while the similarities stirred up some intense emotional moments. The relationship that developed between these two felt genuine as they shared their worlds with each other, introducing one another to their friends, family, hobbies, etc. The chemistry between Carter and Julia was undeniable and from the moment they met there was an energy between them that made this story vibrate with lust and love. Back to the Drawing Board is an addictive standalone novel that will make you feel and wish for more.


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“Let’s play a game,” I said, breaking the silence. “A quick one. We’re only a few minutes away from the restaurant.”

“Never Have I Ever again?”

“Nope. Let’s do a short version of Twenty Questions. Like, two questions. We can resume later.”

“Tell me the rules.”

“We get to ask each other any two questions, and we have to answer them.”

Carter cleared his throat, looking over at me. “Sounds…interesting.”

“You start,” I said. I wanted him to get personal.

“You’re putting me on the spot,” he laughed.

“That’s the point.”

“Okay….have you had a serious boyfriend before?”

I furrowed my brow. That’s what he wanted to know? “Yes. In high school. We broke up after our first year of college and I haven’t talked to him since. His name was Scott.”

A look I didn’t understand passed over his face. “He was your only boyfriend? Like, ever?”

“That’s what you want for your second question? It’ll be my turn next.”

He nodded, so I continued. “He’s been the only…serious boyfriend. Since him, I frankly haven’t had the time or the desire to have a boyfriend. I’ve gone out with guys, but that’s it. Nothing serious.” I didn’t think I wanted to get into the details of all of that, so I was glad it was his last question.

“My turn. First, where did you get this hot car?”

He laughed. “My dad and I restored it. It’s a ’69 Camaro SS. It took us most of the last few years to perfect it. He’s a mechanic, and I didn’t grow up knowing anything at all about cars, so it was a great way for us to bond. I found out that I love restoring old cars, and driving them. And having hot girls in them.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me, and we both laughed. I loved that he was lightening up with me. Now it was time to get more serious.

“Okay, my next question is…if you could remember one thing about that night that we can’t remember, what would it be and why?”

Carter coughed. “Whoa,” he said. “You don’t mess around.” We hadn’t discussed ‘that night’ since right after we both realized we couldn’t remember. “I…Julia. Wow. I’m not sure how to answer that.”

“Truthfully,” I said. I loved making him uncomfortable.

“I wish I could remember touching you,” he said, the deepness of his voice tickling all through my body. “Everywhere.” It felt like he just had touched me, everywhere. I squirmed in my seat, almost wishing I hadn’t asked. Now I really wanted to attack him.

When I didn’t answer, he looked over at me. I smiled, reaching out and touching the scruff on his face, my favorite thing to do. “Wow is right,” I said quietly. “I wish I could remember that, too.” We looked at each other until the car behind us honked their horn.

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Author Bio

 LL Collins is a teacher who loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and boys, reading, and writing. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. The Living Again series: Living Again, Reaching Rachel, Guarding Hearts, Finding Forever, and Breaking Free: A Living Again Novella are available now in both eBook and paperback. The Twisted Series, consisting of both Twisted Souls and Twisted Paths, is available now exclusively on Amazon.

LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out to try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 15, and a mom to two boys, 13 and 11.

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