Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blog Tour: Brooks (Benson Brothers #1) by Chelsea M Cameron



Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Brooks Benson is bored, stuck and miserable. When both his parents were unable to continue running the variety store, he dropped out of college and came back home to help. It’s been almost two years and he’s tired of making pizzas and selling scratch tickets to the locals of Hope Harbor, Maine. But as the second oldest Benson brother, he’s the one that stepped up. Now all he can see is a gray future in front of him.

Remington “Remi” Tate is disappointed, frustrated and out of options. After dropping out of college and trying to make a go of it in New York, she’s forced to come back home to live with her parents in Hope Harbor. Totally humiliating. Things are looking pretty grim until she starts baking again and runs into Brooks when she visits Benson Variety to ask if they’ll sell her whoopie pies, cakes, and cookies.

What was once a high school crush is now something much more mature that hits both of them like a ton of bricks. Brooks is game, as long as they keep things physical. which is just fine with Remi. She’s not planning on sticking around Hope Harbor forever and Brooks is definitely a lifer. They’re just two different to ever build something that could last.

Life rarely goes according to plan and what starts as just sex soon turns into something that splashes color into their once-drab lives. For the first time, they find peace and security in one another. But will it last? Or will everything crumble into pieces, leaving them with nothing?

Review:

Brooks was a cute, quick read. A story of two people stuck in a small town for various reasons. Two people who had previously gotten out, but were now back. It was sweet. 

Brooks was working on a masters degree when some family issues caused him to give it all up and come home to run the family store. Not that he was happy with what he was doing, but now his life is just he same thing day after day. He lives with his parents, he sees the same people buying the same things, he is not very happy, but he doesn't know what he really wants either. Plus he wouldn't go back and do anything different. He has a very strong sense of family and will always do whatever he can to help if they need it. 

Remington never fit in in Hope Harbor. She let as soon as she could to go to school and get a job in New York City. Only one thing after another happens and she has to move back home. To her mom who is always telling her what she should do and how she should be different. To a town where she doesn't feel comfortable and she is just counting down the days until she can leave again. She has to get out or she will suffocate. At first I thought Remington and I could be twins. We both grew up in a small town, both disliked it and didn't fit in, both like dying our hair fun colors, both don't seem to care what others think. Only Remi does. She puts up a good act, but people hurt her so she tries to keep everyone at a distance. She is only back home temporarily and doesn't want any attachments. 

Remington and Brooks went to high school together and neither was ready for the other to walk back into their lives. Remi does not like Brooks, does not like who he was in high school, so she especially is not happy to be seeing him all over town. When they start working together, Remi selling her baked goods in Brook's store, it was fun. She is definitely prickly, but Brooks is so sweet and kind and wants the best for her. They fall into a quick camaraderie and I loved reading it. Sure Remi has a bit of tunnel vision and is a bit frustrating at times, but I get it. I understood why she tried to keep Brooks at arms length and not let him make her want to stay. 

They both push each other to do what makes them happy and really support each other which I loved. Brooks love art, but never wanted to try and make money from it, until Remington starts talking about how he could and not ruin it. And Remi realizes that she loves baking and making treats for people and Brooks supports her 100%. It was a fun, quick read and I really enjoyed it. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Excerpt:

Of course, because this was a small damn town and everyone couldn’t keep their traps shut, my mom found out that I’d talked to Brooks and wouldn’t shut up about how good-looking he was and how he’d come back from college to help his family and how wonderful he was and how great he would be to sire offspring. I had to listen, because she always talked to me when I was doing something else and couldn’t escape.

So he was good-looking. All those Benson kids were, for some reason. Good genes, probably. That didn’t mean anything. He was a total asshole. I couldn’t stand him and I was going to do whatever I could to avoid him as much as possible. I’d have to see him at least a few times a week when I dropped off new treats and settled up with him, but that was it. My mom had gotten it into her head that she wanted Brooks Benson as a son-in- law and wouldn’t stop telling me I should “make an effort” with him.

———

“Well, it’s not every day a cute girl hugs me out of the blue, so I’ll count today in the win column,” I said. She looked down at her shoes and laughed just a little.

“Yeah, well, it’s not every day that I throw myself at people.” She cleared her throat and I offered to carry the boxes in for her again. She agreed, then she went through the ritual of setting everything up. I got the numbers together for her and counted out what she’d earned.

Her eyes got big as I handed the cash over.

“Are you sure this is the right amount?’ I counted it again and she scanned the numbers.

“To the cent,” I said, pointing to the change in her hand that I’d passed over.

“Wow,” she said before she folded up the money and shoved it in her back pocket.

“Sooo, I’ll see you on Tuesday?” she said.

“Better make it Monday. I sold out on Friday and didn’t have any left, so you might want to either make more so I can restock for you, or come more often. It’s up to you.” She thought about that for a minute, chewing on her lip.

“I guess I can come on Monday. And I’ll bring more. My mom is going to LOVE me monopolizing the kitchen for the entire weekend.” I opened my mouth to tell her she was welcome at the Benson house, but I didn’t know how she would take that, so I kept my mouth shut. Then I had another idea.

“You could come here. I have a regular oven in addition to the pizza oven in the back,” I said, pointing with my thumb. “You could bring your ingredients and store them. Baking it here would make the store smell amazing, plus you could sell them yourself. I’m not sure I did a very good job.” Her eyes narrowed as if she was looking for how this could be a trap.


About the Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Release Day: Brooks (Benson Brothers #1) by Chelsea M. Cameron



Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Brooks Benson is bored, stuck and miserable. When both his parents were unable to continue running the variety store, he dropped out of college and came back home to help. It’s been almost two years and he’s tired of making pizzas and selling scratch tickets to the locals of Hope Harbor, Maine. But as the second oldest Benson brother, he’s the one that stepped up. Now all he can see is a gray future in front of him.

Remington “Remi” Tate is disappointed, frustrated and out of options. After dropping out of college and trying to make a go of it in New York, she’s forced to come back home to live with her parents in Hope Harbor. Totally humiliating. Things are looking pretty grim until she starts baking again and runs into Brooks when she visits Benson Variety to ask if they’ll sell her whoopie pies, cakes, and cookies.

What was once a high school crush is now something much more mature that hits both of them like a ton of bricks. Brooks is game, as long as they keep things physical. which is just fine with Remi. She’s not planning on sticking around Hope Harbor forever and Brooks is definitely a lifer. They’re just two different to ever build something that could last.

Life rarely goes according to plan and what starts as just sex soon turns into something that splashes color into their once-drab lives. For the first time, they find peace and security in one another. But will it last? Or will everything crumble into pieces, leaving them with nothing?

Excerpt:

The screen inner door banged open and I looked up, hoping no one was staring at the girl with the purple hair and the Tupperware container she had balanced in her hands.

Fortunately, the place was empty.

Except for one person.

Brooks Goddamn Benson. Goddamn wasn’t his middle name, but it might as well have been. We’d graduated the same year, but we’d never been friends. Not even close. What was he doing here, anyway? Last I heard he was off earning a master’s degree, in a land far, far away from Hope Harbor.

He looked up and I locked eyes with him. Mine narrowed and he just sort of… kept staring.

Brooks was one of those guys who looked at you like he might be picturing you naked.

He cleared his throat. Not my type. Not at all

He scratched his ear. “What can I do for you?” I thought about just turning around and walking out, but I’d already come this far and if he was back in town too, I was probably going to keep running into him.

“I was just wondering if you’d be willing to sell some of my baked goods here on commission. But I haven’t had any luck, so I’ll just leave,” I said, but he was looking down at the container.

“Did you bring some samples?” he asked. I set the container down, crossed my arms and nodded. I didn’t want this dude eating anything I’d put effort into, but if it would help me get away from my parents’ house, fuck it. I’d do it.

“Yeah. So you can judge their quality.” I didn’t mean to sound so sarcastic. I was really blowing this. I needed better people skills.

“Do you mind?” Hey, at least he asked. I nodded again and he opened the container. I stood there as he tried each item.

“Wow,” he said when he got to the cupcake. “That’s amazing. Where did you learn how to bake?” I was not making small talk with him.

“My mom,” I said. He finished the whole thing in three bites. There was some frosting on his nose. I wanted to wipe it off for some reason. Thankfully I caught myself and forced myself to stop looking at his face.


About the Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Something Wild (Reckless & Real #0.5) by Lexi Ryan

Something Wild
Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

**Author’s Note: This is the prequel to the full-length romance novel SOMETHING RECKLESS, available now!**

“You need a good guy. A long-term guy. One who does dates and romance and emotional strings…I’m just an asshole who wants to tie you up, make you come, and walk away.” 

Samuel Bradshaw is a man with a reputation—the kind of reputation that should have me running the other way. Instead, it has me searching for the shortest distance to his bed. I won’t be the starry-eyed girl who thinks she can change a man like Sam, and despite what he thinks, forever is not what I need. I need the things he makes me feel, the way he turns me on, and the promise of pleasure in his eyes. I need SOMETHING WILD.

Review:

Something Wild is a prequel to the Reckless & Real series. This is my first introduction to this author and phew - it was hot! 

Liz and Sam are friends who both like the other as more. Only Liz has been denying it forever since she was underage when she first threw herself at Sam, and he being the good guy that he is, turned her down. Now she offers him one night of pleasure to try and help him with whatever is bothering him. She can see that something is wrong, but she doesn't know what. 

Sam has his world rocked and is trying to figure out what to do now. Only Liz is offering herself up to him and he wants her. He has always wanted her, but could never have her. Plus now he can only offer her one night. One amazing night and that is all they have. Ah, these two were fun to read even if they both keep their feelings to themselves. There is so much unsaid between them and for how short this is there is still some drama, but I can't wait to read more. I need to see what happens between that night and a few years later! These two are obviously great together so I can't wait to see them work everything out. It will be fun. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Intertwine (House of Oak #1) by Nichole Van

Intertwine
Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Time is not a river. It is a vast cosmic sea. Where each life exists as rippling circles on its surface, past and future being eternally present. And occasionally, one expanding ring intertwines with that of another, weaving the lives of two people together...

In 2012, Emme Wilde can’t find the right guy. She wants to feel that swept-off-your-feet dizziness of true love. But so far, her dating life has come up short. Star Trek geek? Nice but too serious. Hippy artist? Cute but too vulnerable. Instead, Emme obsesses over the portrait of an unknown man in an old locket. Granted, a seriously dreamy guy with delicious, wind-swept hair she just itches to run her fingers through. But still. Dead men may be great listeners, but they are not exactly boyfriend material. Emme travels to England, determined to uncover his history and conquer the strong connection she feels.

In 1812, James Knight has given up finding the right woman. All he wants is someone to share his love of adventure. Instead, his life has become a Shakespearean drama. His brother languishes in a tragic star-crossed romance. His beloved sister clings to life, slowly dying of consumption. But then he finds a beautiful mystery woman, dripping wet and half-dead, beneath a tree on his estate. Now if he can uncover her history, perhaps adventure—and romance—will find him at last. 

Review:

Intertwine was a great read. I loved the writing style even if I didn't necessarily love what was written if that makes any sense. I was drawn in with the language and structure of the story, but the beginning did drag on a bit. It was definitely a slow start to a great story. 

Emme finds a locket at an estate sale and is drawn to the guy who's photo is in it. There is an inscription on the locket, but no actual names. The only things she has to go on is "F". She is kind of obsessed with the locket, it has ruined some relationships in the past, and that was kind of odd. She spend years thinking about who the guy could be and finally decides she needs to try and move on. To put this behind her. In order to do so she is going to find out everything she can about the owner, the guy in the locket, and hopefully that will help her move on. She goes to England to stay near where she thinks the man lived and see what she finds. I should also note that she has a very adventurous travel life, even if she doesn't necessarily want it to be so. Things just happen when she is traveling, like getting attacked by pirates and luggages mishaps and everything that could happen does. It was fun. 

James longs for adventure. He is in 1812 and must stay on his estate and help his sister who is ill. He wants to go travel the world, but he can't. He wants to be there for his sister as well and unfortunately she needs him. 

"Perhaps not all of him wished for change. His head and most of his left hand did seem generally free of wanderlust. Perhaps his elbow too. But both his feet and his heart - yes, most definitely his heart - itched for adventure."
He thinks nothing exciting will ever happen to him, even though he desperately wants it to, until he find a lady half dead in a horrible storm on his estate. Of course this lady is Emme, and James cares for her while she is unconscious. He is drawn to her, but when they find her locket with a picture of a guy who looks remarkably like him, though with the name that starts with F, he knows she might be spoken for already. 

This story was fun. When Emme wakes up she can't remember who she is or anything about herself. She just has to continue living and trying to figure out what is going on. Who is F? Does she have a love somewhere who is searching for her? Or can she give into her growing feelings for James? It was really a lot of fun to read. Some of the scenes were just hilarious. Like when she makes up her backstory with Princess Pepsi of Toyota Camry and so on. What a hoot! She is always doing things that are not quite correct, like offering to shake someones hand, but can't seem to remember the correct way to curtsy and such. It is all a big mystery and fun times. I loved watching her and James grow closer and try and figure out who she really is.

Now overall I did really enjoy the story. As I said the beginning dragged a bit, but I loved the writing so much I didn't mind too much. There was one thing that really bugged me though and that was when Emme awoke and didn't know who she was they had to come up with a name to call her. They went through a few E names (since the locket was addressed to E and they all assume that is her), and settle on Emma since she feels that is close to her real name. Fine, no problem there. The issue? Well when the story was focused on her, when it was her thoughts and feelings, she is referred to as Emme. When someone else is the focus it is Emma. I kept thinking that she got her memory back as it doesn't make any sense for her to be Emme when she doesn't remember she is Emme! Honestly when she woke up I thought she was kidding about the loss of memory because of this. It was confusing and I don't understand. If she is Emma she should be Emma. A little thing, but it kept bothering me throughout the story. Still a really great read and I can't wait to read more!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Before That Night: Cain and Addison Book 1 (Unfinished Love #1) by Violet Duke


Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads
Synopsis:

Before that night, Addison Millan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund—the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them the year prior.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met a month ago when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee...which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for—her only friend in her new shadow of a life—would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

BEFORE THAT NIGHT (Book 1) chronicles the destiny-altering events that take place seven years prior to EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU (Book 2), Caine & Addison’s emotional story of love, sacrifice, and the lengths one will run—and chase—when their past threatens their future.

Review:

Before That Night is part one of the story of Addison and Cain. I knew going in that this was the before story, what happened seven years before the events of the next book. As such I knew it would end without a happily ever after, but gah! I want to read more right now! I can't wait to see what happens next. 

This story was an interesting read in that it read as though someone was telling you a story and not that you are in the story. Like you are told what people are thinking and feeling like they are telling you what happened in the past. It was interesting and not always my favorite way to tell a story, but in this instance it worked. 

Addison has not had an easy life. Her mom is not there and so she has  been in charge of raising her two siblings all by herself. She is young, but determined to keep them all together. When her mom runs off she has to give up going to school so she can get a job and try and make a home for her brother and sister. She would do anything for them and she works really hard to try and save up enough money to get an actual place to live. Plus she is biding her time until she can try to get full custody of her siblings. 

Cain is a police officer who comes into the diner where Addison works every night for dinner. At first she is pretty skittish, but slowly the two start to get closer. Addison is not very experienced with guys as she has never had time,  but Cain is so sweet with her. He knows she is hesitant and tries not to scare her away. He also cares about her siblings as much as she does. Oh he was wonderful. He was great with all of them and wants to become a real family. Oh so sweet! So I kept reading thinking what in the world will happen to change all this awesomeness?? 

Now overall I did really enjoy this story, but it did have a few moments where it felt a bit off for me. Mainly having to do with how much time has passed. I could never tell and sometimes there was an event that would be referred to that hadn't happened yet, but then the next thing you know something else is going on and it was a bit confusing. Like Cain made plans to take Addison's siblings for the day, getting breakfast and going to the movies. It was a big deal when they were talking about it, but then next thing Cain is working to try and find a missing kid and the sibling date was never mentioned again. Did they go to the movies together? Did Addison get a day alone? It felt like an important event, and yet it wasn't followed up with. And I couldn't tell if when Cain was working to catch the kid if it was the next day, the next week, the next month. Honestly I have no idea over how long a timeframe this story takes place. That was the one thing that kept me from giving this story a higher rating. 

Overall I did really enjoy this story. It was an entertaining read and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Aftermath (Hurricane #2) by R. J. Prescott

Aftermath
Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble & Goodreads

Synopsis:

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. But what happens when you have everything you ever wanted? You fight to keep it.

Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell’s star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O’Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife. In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work.

Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them and O’Connell realizes that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after. 

He couldn’t protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again. 

Review:

The Aftermath was a fun read. I really enjoyed the first book so it was nice to get to spend a little more time with these characters. Please note you should have read The Hurricane prior to reading this book. It is a continuation of the same story. 

In this book we are told the story solely from Con's point of view. He is married to Em and things are going great, though her step-dad's trial is coming up and adding more pressure on her. Con is definitely the kind of guy who wants to fix Em's problems for her so she doesn't have to face them, but that is not really possible here. She starts getting letters with photos of Frank's abuse and it just starts freaking her out. What will happen if he gets off? What will they do then? And if that happens will Con snap and go away instead? It was a rough time. 

Em is strong and even though Con knows this he still wants to fix everything for her. When he gets the chance to fight for the heavy-weight title he doesn't want to. He wants to put his life on hold so he can be there for her every step of the way with Frank's trial, though she won't let him. This fight is huge for him and she knows he can win it, knows he can do amazing things, and won't let him throw all that away just for her. She has a whole family now to look after her, all the boys from the gym, so she can survive this. 

Now the real issue is Con has a bit of an anger problem. He can't get what Frank did out of his head and he doesn't really know how to deal with it. He is afraid that he will get off and something will happen to Em again. That he won't be there to protect her like he should. He has a lot rolling around in his head and if he doesn't figure out how to deal with it, how to train without his anger and really focus, he might not be able to do everything he should. It was nice getting to see his point of view, get to know Con a bit better since it is all his thoughts. I did miss Em's point of view though, but it was still a good read. I enjoyed seeing these characters work through all of this stuff. All of these rough times where you really are kind of helpless. Where you have to just let things happen and hope for the best. Con and Em are still amazing together and I love how she pushes him to be his best self. How she doesn't let him just hide out and use her protection as a reason to not do things. It was a fun read. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Against the Tide by Nikki Groom

Against the Tide
Available on
Amazon.com * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

I was happy until I met him. 
I was content until I met her. 
That's a lie. I was lonely. 
That's a lie. I was incomplete. 
He was nothing but a handsome distraction. 
She was nothing but a pretty pastime. 
That's untrue. He changed my life. 
That's untrue. She altered my world. 
I blame him. 
I blame her. 
I blame myself. He wasn't to know. 
I blame myself. It wasn't her fault. 
I don't want to need him.
I hate that I want her. 
There's no easy solution.
There's no going back. 

Review:

Against the Tide was just an okay read. I thought this would be the story of two people who have to overcome so much to be together, but while reading this I thought is this it? A bit disappointed in what the situation actually was and I never really felt like I knew the characters. I usually didn't understand their thoughts and actions and it was just an eh read for me.

Meg is in a relationship with a drug dealer. She thought she used to love him, but there hasn't really been anything between them in a long time. He still thinks she is his, but she is apathetic at best. He is gone for long periods of time and she doesn't really care. In fact she is happier when he is not there, and yet she won't do anything to change the situation. I am not entirely sure why she won't break it off with him, I know she had some weak excuse, but it never felt real.

Finn has a terminally ill mother and does everything he can to take care of her and his little sister. He goes to a club sometimes to blow off some steam and it is there where he first meets Meg. Only they don't really do much but lock eyes across the crowded room. They both want the other, but never do anything to act on it until one fateful night. They hook up in the back alley without really know anything about each other. They just...they just hook up. It was not so good. I don't mind random hook ups, but these two were just strange for me to read. I couldn't figure them out.

After their hookup some things happen that make Finn angry and he take his anger out on Meg. She has to have known what was going on, she has to be a bad person, whatever. Whenever he sees her at her work (a tattoo parlor) or anything he is kind of mean. And yet she still wants him for some reason. Then suddenly he does a 180 and realizes that he is being unfair to her and they should date and live happily ever after. There are some other circumstances that I didn't care for much and it was all a bit much. Of course the drug dealer is not happy that Meg wants to move on with someone else and he added a lot of lame drama for drama's sake. I was hoping for a gripping story, but instead I got characters that didn't feel real and a story that was a bit too much for me to believe.

Rating: ★1/2