Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Night with her Best Friend (One Night Novellas #1) by Noelle Adams


One Night with her Best Friend

Synopsis:

It just took fourteen years...and one hot night.

After growing up with an unstable father, Kate has always prided herself on her organized and well-planned life. She's secure now with a good job and an impressive boyfriend. And with Aaron, her best friend since high school.

Aaron might be smart, funny, and sexy, but he has never been anything more than a friend. Kate will never risk her stable world and her closest relationship by turning the friendship into romance. It doesn't matter how irresistible she's starting to find him, she still intends to resist.

But then everything changes in only one night...

Review:

One Night with her Best Friend was a fun, cute novella. The story moves fairly quickly, but you get to know the characters and it was just a cute read.

Kate and Aaron have been friends forever. Kate moved around a lot when she was younger. Her dad was not the most stable person and now she needs structure and stability and likes having everything planned out in detail. She knows where she wants her life to go and the type of person she wants to go there with. She is dating this guy, has been for a month, and he checks all her boxes so she thinks it is going great. Sure she doesn't seem to be really in love or anything, but he is what she thinks she needs. Safe, stable, no risk.

Aaron is more laid back. He is kind of the opposite of Kate, but they have always been there for each other. Aaron obviously likes Kate as more than a friend, but she doesn't realize it. Then one night everything changes and it was hot and just fun. I really liked the two of them together and figuring out how to change from just friends to more was a bit tricky for Kate. It moves quickly, but it makes sense at the same time. I liked them both, think they are perfect for each other, and it was just a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Special Announcement from Cora Carmack!

Alright super special announcement from Cora Carmack for fans of her Rusk University series!


All Closed Off, book 4 in the series, is coming in 2016!!! I love this series so I am very excited about this!! Even more so once I read what the story is going to be about. It should be amazing as I know the author will do a great job with this hard topic. After reading the below message I am really looking forward to this story. This is something that is very close to my heart and I have my own story. Not many authors take on something like this as it is difficult to read let alone write about, but it is important. Anyway keep reading to find out all the details!


Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

Hello beloved readers! 

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?" 

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again). 

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports. 

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before. 

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light. 

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book… 


ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine. 

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same. 

But none of that matters because she’s just fine

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.  

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again. 

Vulnerable. 

***** 

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links. 

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do. 

All my best, 

Cora Carmack 

*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)



And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her.  Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW



ABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too. 

Links:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Loved So Long (The Callahan's #1) by Shauna Leigh Williams


Loved So Long: The Callahan's Book 1

Synopsis:

Amy Callahan has loved her older brother's best friend and cowboy, Beau Weston, forever. When Beau rides into town after a mysterious three year absence, Amy discovers the love she harbors may not be as unrequited as she thought. Can Amy overcome her insecurities and win Beau's heart for her own?

Review:

Loved So Long was a quick, fun read. Some of the conversations and way things were worded were just a little cheesy, but I liked that. It just made it a really fun read.

Amy has always had a crush on her brothers friend Beau. He is a few years older than her, and when he starts to feel like he cannot control his feelings for Amy he leaves. He leaves with the plan to come back once she is a few years older and be with her. Of course he never tells her this, he just leaves one night without a word.

Three years later Beau is back in town, but Amy doesn't know why he came back.  She still hasn't really gotten over him, but is it foolish of her to still pine after him? Or does he actually like her too? Will she finally get what she has always wanted?

Beau has some things to take care of, some family business, so he doesn't get to talk to Amy right away. He hints that there might be something there, that he might like her, but she is left not knowing where things stand. This was just a fun, lighthearted read. Watching Amy and Beau get together was just so much fun. It is a short, quick read but really entertaining.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Monday, April 27, 2015

Matched by Angela Graham & S.E. Hall


Matched

Synopsis:

Date, Mate, Fate. The reality show like no other. 
Celebrity edition. 

Eight men and eight women thrown together in paradise, their every move filmed. 

Thorough compatibility testing says everyone’s soul mate is here, in the house with them…but would you know “the one” if you saw them? 
One thing a computer can’t do is manufacture love. But in this house, anything’s possible. 

Rated NC-17 for foul language, heavy drinking, and graphic sex . 

*Full length stand alone novel with no cliffhanger.*

Review:

I was looking through books the other day and realized I hadn't read Matched yet. I love Angela Graham's Harmony series, but I haven't read anything by S.E. Hall so I was curious to see how this book would be.

So Matched is not a typical book I would read. It is about a reality show and the people who are on it. It is told from the point of view of Harlow, Oakley, a famous football players, girlfriend. I must say I did not like Oakley right from the start. It is obvious Harlow doesn't want to be on this show and she thought they were going to have an actual vacation, not this. He just...he is not good to her. He doesn't seem to take her feelings into consideration, though he is not as terrible as I thought he would be in the end.

Right from the beginning Harlow makes friends with some of the nice girls on the show. There is Jasmine, the retired adult film star who doesn't think she deserves someone to treat her nicely, Emma who is here with her overbearing brother Cruz, and Callie, a gold medal gymnast. There is also something going on with Cruz right from the start, even though Harlow doesn't want to acknowledge it. I liked Cruz, he was one of my favorites from the start. Him and the girls who Harlow befriends all seem like they would be fun to hang out with.

The whole point of the reality show is that there is everyones soul mate and everyone has to figure out who the others soul mates are. There are games with rewards and then the winners get to say who they think are matches, and if they really are according to some computer program then they get to jet away on a vacation before returning home. The last one on the show wins. It was interesting to read, and I loved how everything ends up. I love who won and what they were all about. I loved who ended up with whom, and it was just a fun read.

There are of course some catty awful girls, and some pretty terrible guys, but it was fun reading a behind the scenes of a reality tv show. I must say I do enjoy watching things like this as it is kind of a train wreck sometimes, so this was a fun read. There is a lot going on behind the scenes which made it a really fun book. Now maybe I will have to check out some of S.E. Hall's books.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beckman: Lord of Sins (Lonely Lords #4) by Grace Burrowes


Beckman: Lord of Sins (The Lonely Lords Book 4)

Synopsis:

Beckman Haddonfield is ready to live again...

After years of wandering, Beckman emerges from the shadow of the old sorrows by agreeing to restore a family estate...and embarking on a dalliance with the quiet, pretty housekeeper who resides there. But the lady is not who she seems...


Sara Hunt enjoys the attention bestowed upon her by the estate's handsome visitor, though she knows Beckman's growing affection will die should he learn her startling secret. She's prepared to let him go, but this time, Beck's determined to stand and fight for the one he loves..

Review:

Alright, Beckman: Lord of Sins is the third Lonely Lords book I have read in as many days. While I did enjoy this story, I did like all the characters, I can't help but notice that the same basic outline is followed in all three stories. As I was reading I just thought okay, now this will happen, now this next, oh this is about when this will show up, and so on. The situations are different, but the basic plot line is the same. Read by themselves farther apart I might not have noticed it, but read back to back I cannot help but feel like I have read this before, which just made it not as good as it could have been.

Beckman has always been sent off here and there to try and keep him out of the gossip. This book starts either about the same time or just before Nicholas, so it was interesting to see what Beckman was up to at that time. His dying father sends Beckman to Three Springs to restore the place to what it should be. When he arrives things are not in good shape. Sara and Polly are trying to keep everything going on what little they have, with North managing the estate and farming. It is an uphill battle to get everything fixed and taken care of, but Beckman is ready for it. He is used to working hard for things, though he has to get Polly and Sara to agree to let him spend money on the items they need. They shouldn't have to scrimp and use their income to supplement what money his aunt sends them for the estate.

Sara is pretty terrified of change. She doesn't trust men, she doesn't want to leave their little place they have in the world, she doesn't want anyone to hurt her daughter or her sister. She is always worried about something, and her attraction to Beckman doesn't help. She wants to be with him, but it is not a good idea. After all she has secrets from her past, secrets that will make him not want to or be able to be with her.

Beckman doesn't care about Sara's past. He just wants to be there for her and her daughter. He just wants to be with her. He has his own dark past, but he is still ready to try and move forward into a better future with Sara. He is really great with her, pushing her when she needs it, comforting her when possible, just being there for her. Sara, while she loves that, is still stubborn and refuses to accept that Beckman can or will want to be with her once he learns everything. She is one of the more difficult girls from these books. She is just so certain that things with Beckman won't last she doesn't give it a real chance. She keeps pulling away after every step forward he tries to take. It was just...she has some things that happened that were not good, things that she is ashamed of, and people who know of them are threatening to intrude on her present and ruin everything she has built for herself. Someone is threatening to ruin her little safe hiding place she has made. I do love how everything worked out. I really enjoyed Beckman and Sara together. I did enjoy this book, but I think I am going to have to hold off on reading more. I am just a bit worn out of the same general plot line.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ethan: Lord of Scandals by Grace Burrowes


Ethan: Lord of Scandals (The Lonely Lords Book 3)

Synopsis:

Ethan Grey's life was shattered...

Estranged from his family, widowed, and weary from fighting his troubled past, Ethan Grey now has a chance to replace loneliness with love. His sons' beautiful and stubborn governess might help him battle his ghosts, but it's been a long time since he let himself get close to anyone.

Alice Portman has more in common with Ethan than she can comfortably admit. For now, she's satisfied with helping him rebuild his life and family, but the dangerous past is about to catch up with them both.

An unforgettable Regency tale of two wounded people who get another chance at love. Award-winning New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author Grace Burrowes's extraordinary writing will immerse you in a Regency world unlike any you've experienced.

Review:

After reading Nicholas I was interested in getting to know Ethan, the estranged brother, more. Ethan: Lord of Scandals was another great read. Ethan and Alice both have their secrets, both have dark times in their past, and both are so kind and caring with each other that they are great.

Ethan was sent off to school when his father found him in bed with his brother during one of their late night chats. The boys were not doing anything wrong, but Ethan's father thought he was corrupting Nicholas so he sent Ethan away. Only he gets sent to a not very nice place, where boys can do what they want and no one really stops them. Ethan doesn't have an easy go of it, some things happened there that still haunt him, and he won't talk about it with anyone. He is embarrassed by what happened and doesn't want anyone to know. Even though it was a long time ago, it is still affecting him. That and his marriage to his late wife which I was really curious to see what that was all about.

Alice is so sweet and kind with the children. When Ethan hires her to be his sons governess he is not very active in their lives. Alice quickly changes that and gets Ethan to see how he should spend more time with his boys. She gets him to see how they are really good boys, how much he loves them and how much he loves spending time with them. He hasn't been very active in their lives until this point, didn't know how other people have hurt them, and he really just grows into this great father in this story. He would do anything for his boys, and their governess, by the end.

Alice has her own secrets she is keeping. Ethan knows something happened to her, something that makes her hip hurt and causes her trouble at times. Something involving her sister and the reason why she is hiding out as a governess instead of being with her own family. Really when you find out what happened to the both of them, and the situations that arise at the end, you just feel for them. They are both still trying to deal with their past, but together they can be even better. Together they can be a happy family. Really a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Friday, April 24, 2015

All For You (Paris Hearts #1) by Laura Florand


All for You (Paris Hearts Book 1)

Synopsis:

Some crushes aren’t meant to be

When her older brother’s best friend left to join the Foreign Legion, eighteen-year-old Célie moved on to make a life for herself as a Paris chocolatier. Now, five years later, the last thing she needs is another man to mess up her happiness.

Let alone the same man.

But five years in the Foreign Legion is a long time for a man to grow up, and a long time to be away from the woman he loves.

Especially when he did it all for her.


Half strangers, more than friends, and maybe, if Joss Castel has his way, a second chance…

Review:

*Note: I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Laura Florand just writes the best books. I love her style of writing and I have never encountered someone who writes quite like her. No one makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside like she does. I just cannot get enough. All For You is the start of a new series about women making their way in Paris and it is just as amazing as her other books. Such a great read and if you are a Florand fan you definitely don't want to miss it.

Célie is a chocolatier in Paris in Dom's shop. She has worked hard to get where she is in life. She grew up in a not so great place, was in love with her brothers best friend, Joss, and dreamed of running off with that friend to some small village and making a better life for themselves. Only that friend runs off in the middle of the night by himself to join the Foreign Legion without a word to Célie.

Joss...oh he was heartbreaking to read. He has always cared about Célie, always wanted to be with her, but didn't think he was good enough for her so he stole away to make himself good enough. When he finally returns he thinks he will save Célie, they will run off and be together forever. He doesn't expect Célie to have saved herself. He doesn't really understand why Célie doesn't get that he went off to make himself better for her, why it makes her so angry when he says that. He doesn't understand when he still keeps messing up when he only has good intentions. You are reading and just feel so bad for Joss. You know he loves Célie, wants her to be happy, he just doesn't know the right way to show it and is not very good at listening to what she says. It is heartbreaking because he cares so much, because he wants this so much, and he doesn't understand what he is doing that is so wrong. You just feel for him and want to make everything better.

Célie doesn't make it easy on Joss when he returns. The two of them have that history and he broke her heart when he left. She has a lot of anger and unresolved feelings to work through, and it takes a while to work through everything. She is conflicted a lot, wanting to be with him, still loving him, but wanting to pummel him as well. She just is all contradictory with him and it is understandable. The two of them..they are so sweet together once they get everything worked out. Joss wants it to work, but it takes him a long time to really hear what Célie is saying. To really get what Célie needs. Really a beautiful story.

And one of my favorite parts? How much Dom and Jamie are in this story! They are my favorite couple of Florand's, I heart them so much, so I was so so happy that there is a lot of Dom in this story. He is so cute and sweet and oh I just love the big tough super sweet guy. I love how protective of Célie he is, how he doesn't want anything to hurt her. I just love him. I knew he might be in it a little bit since Célie works for him, but I didn't know he would be such a part of the story as a secondary character. They just made the story even better. Loved this story, loved these new characters, just amazing.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blog Tour! Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover - Review & Giveaway



Available now 


Synopsis:

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

Review:

Oh Asa I never wanted you to end. Not just because you are so good and I never want any of these books to end, but that also means that this amazing series, The Marked Men, is over. It make me sad, like losing a friend, but at least we have all of these amazing guys to read again and again. Plus the Saints of Denver series to look forward to (with possibly some glimpses of the Marked Men throughout since you know it is set in the same city/world as this series!). I didn't want you to end, but you didn't let me down. This was an amazing read, an amazing end to this series, and I heart Asa and Royal and all the characters we have met along the way!

When we first met Asa back in Jet he was not a good guy. He was using his sister, like he apparently always has. He almost died in that book and that near death experience changed him. He got his act together, started working for Rome at his bar, just has been trying to stay on the up and up. The problem? Even though everyone else has noticed he has changed he doesn't think he has. He still thinks of himself as that person who did all those terrible things. He still feels guilty for everything he has done and thinks it would be too easy to slip back into the Asa he used to be. He doesn't want to, but he doesn't trust himself not to.

Royal is kind of crashing and burning. Her guilt over her partner being shot on the job is eating her up inside. It doesn't matter how many times people tell her it wasn't her fault, her partner is fine, he doesn't even blame her, she blames herself. She is having a hard time dealing with this, dealing with her emotions in a positive way. She is drawn to Asa, drawn to how he makes her feel okay when nothing else does, but he keeps trying to keep her at arms length. He wants her, but doesn't want to be just another mistake she makes.

"Of course he likes you. Maybe he can just tell that you don't like you very much right now."

When they finally start to see each other, they finally get together, things are not easy. Royal is a really strong lady who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to work for it. She wants Asa. Just Asa. As he is, not some other incarnation of himself. If only he could see that and see how good he is. Asa is his own worst enemy.

"I think you love her but you're so caught up in the then and so worried about the when that you can't even see the now."

Royal is really great for Asa. She helps him get over his past, just like he helped her get over her issues. She was just this amazing lady who grew as the story progressed and you cannot help but love her.

There are some really heartbreaking moments in this book. Asa really is a great guy like I knew he would be. Sure he has a bad past, but he has been trying to change and make things better. He can be so incredibly selfless when he wants even if that hurts him. What he does for Royal, how he is with her, how much he cares, is beautiful. I loved both of them as they are such an amazing couple. The cop and the criminal. Shouldn't work, but it does.

I was sad to have this story end, sad to have to say goodbye to these amazing characters, but it won't be the last I read them. You get to see pieces of everyone else's lives in here, everyone from the prior books, and it was just a really great way to wrap up this series. I cannot wait for more from Jay Crownover. I love her books, love her characters, just love her. Thank you for writing these amazing people. It is always a bit sad when you close a chapter, but there is more to come. I know whatever Jay writes in the future will be amazing, just like these have been. Plus the Marked Men are here for me to read again and again whenever I need. Like saying hello to an old friend you haven't seen in a while. Simply amazing.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2


Don't miss the prior books in the Marked Men series


Jet available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads



Nash available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads


Rowdy available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads


About the Author:
Jay Crownover
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saints of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Talk Sweetly To Me (Brothers Sinister #4.5) by Courtney Milan


Talk Sweetly to Me (The Brothers Sinister)

Synopsis:

Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.


All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

Review:

Talk Sweetly To Me is a quick read, but one I greatly enjoyed. I love how Milan writes intelligent, strong women in her books. They are all just amazing and refreshing to read. This novella was no different.

Rose is a brilliant mathematician astronomer. She does the calculations for a famous astronomer and she is happy to be in the background. Her sister is pregnant, her sisters husband off serving, and she is tasked with looking after her sister until he returns.

Stephen you meet briefly in the Suffragette Scandal as he writes the every man column for Free's paper. He is a known ladies man and never seems to take anything seriously. Until he meets Rose, but she never thinks he is serious in his pursuit. He has never really wanted someone like he wants to be closer to Rose. He doesn't care what she is doing he is happy to just be near her. He is happy to listen to her talk of her math problems and anything else. He just wants her to be happy. He is so sweet with her, tries to give her her hearts desires, but she doesn't quite trust him. Or she doesn't trust herself with him or how hard it would be to be with him.

It was a quick, fun read. Rose and Stephen are great together and everything works out in the end. I love that Milan writes some short nonconventional, at the time the story is set in especially, romances. She is definitely one of my favorite authors.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Release Day!!! Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover



Today is the day!! Asa is finally here!! This is one you definitely don't want to miss. I am so excited for this book, but also a bit sad as it is the last in the Marked Men series. It is sad that such an amazing series is coming to an end, but I can always re-read these books when I need my fix. Also Jay is working on a new series with some of the characters we have met in these great books. I cannot wait! For now go get your copy of Asa now! It is a amazing ending to an amazing series.

Available now 


Synopsis:

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

Excerpt:

I pulled the Nova to a stop in front of a duplex that had clearly seen better days. It wasn’t a rusted-out trailer in Kentucky, but it might as well have been. I turned off the ignition and sat back in the seat so I could turn to look at Ayden. She was watching me carefully and I could see how frustrated she was with the entire conversation in the way her shoulders were tensed up and the way her hands had curled into tight balls on her lap. It was the way she used to look whenever I got into trouble and she had to do something desperate and drastic to get me out of it. I reached out a hand and put it on top of her fists.

“I died in that hospital, Ayd. There were no angels playing harps. There was no redemption and repentance. I died and it was very clear that I was going to get exactly the kind of fate I had been courting with all the messed-up shit I had been doing to other people. All I could see was every wrong I had ever committed and every bad decision I had ever made exploding all around me. For once I could see how all of that affected you. I was dying, and I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, yet I couldn’t go knowing that was all you were going to have to remember me by. I had to come back and give you something else to hold on to, some kind of good memory to go with the endless miles of bad I laid at your feet. I wanted to have the chance to show you I could be the kind of brother you deserved all along, so no, I didn’t save myself—you saved me. Just like you’ve always done for my entire life.”

I saw her bottom lip tremble until she snapped her teeth around it to keep it still. Her fists unclenched below my palm and she curled her shaking fingers around my hand and her already husky voice rasped with even more emotion when she told me what I think I had needed to hear from her all along.

“I have always been proud that you’re my brother, Asa. Yes, there have been times in the past I would have gladly fed you to the wolves, and it’s no secret that I had to leave home because I didn’t know what to do to help you anymore, but we both made it out alive and are better people for it. I know you’re sorry for the way things went down when we were younger, but I need you to open your eyes and take some credit for the way you have turned it around to make things the way they are now. I’ve long since come to terms with the Asa from my childhood. What I want to do is love the Asa that’s here with me now. You need to let go of those boulders weighted with all the bad things from past that are dragging you down before you get crushed under them.”

It was eerily similar to what Royal had been telling me the deeper and deeper I sank in with her. I don’t think I was ready to let any part of those stones go just yet, but a sexy redhead was slowly and surely eroding bits and pieces of the rock the more and more time I spent with her. By the time she was done, maybe she would be able to carve out something that was worthwhile, something that didn’t eviscerate me to look at.

I leaned over enough that I could kiss Ayden right on the center of her forehead between her midnighteyebrows and I felt her let out a shuddering sigh.

“I’m never going to let you down again, Ayd. That is the one and only thing in the entire world that I can promise and know it’s a promise I will keep.”

We stared at each other for a long and silent moment. The seriousness of the words I had said to her and the fact that I could see that she understood that I really, truly meant them finally worked to absolve me of some of the guilt that seemed to suffocate me whenever I thought about the things she had done to keep me safe.


Don't miss the prior books in the Marked Men series


Jet available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads



Nash available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads


Rowdy available on Amazon, Amazon.de, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads


About the Author:
Jay Crownover
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saints of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Nicholas: Lord of Secrets (Lonely Lords #2) by Grace Burrows


Nicholas: Lord of Secrets (The Lonely Lords Book 2)

Synopsis:

Nicholas Haddonfield has something to hide...

After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he'll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds.

Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough, and Leah can't understand why Nick remains so distant. What is he hiding, and will he ever allow her into his heart?

An extraordinary and passionate tale of courage tested and fears overcome. Once you enter the lush Regency world of award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes, you'll never want to leave.

Review:

Nicholas:Lord of Secrets was a great read. Nick is so kind and caring, even if he is a bit stubborn and won't share all his thoughts and feelings with others. He is a really great guy and I loved watching him and Leah find their way in this book.

Nick, who is known for being a big ladies man, has to find a wife. He promised his dying father he would marry before he passes so he is trying to do just that. The only issue? He doesn't want a conventional marriage. He is trying to find someone who will be okay with marrying him in name only.

Leah is not in a good home situation. Her father/guardian is a truly horrible person. He doesn't really care what happens to Leah he just wants her out of his house. He has always hated her and has never made her life easy, but there is talk of him marrying her off to a horrible guy who is much much older. Leah doesn't want that, but if she doesn't marry this guy things could be a lot worse for her.

Leah meets Nick one night when they are both trying to steal a minute alone. When Nick starts finding out what is going on in Leah's life, how those who are supposed to care for her don't seem to be, he has to step in and help. She doesn't want him to, but he cannot just sit by and watch something bad happen to her. He cares about her and wants her to be happy and safe.

When Nick proposes marriage to Leah to help both of them, her to get away from her father, him to have the wife he needs, she is unsure if she will. Really I didn't read the synopsis and was unsure if these two would get married. The first part of this book is Nick helping out Leah and trying to find a solution for her situation without marrying her. You can tell how much they both care for the other, which makes it hard on Leah. Can she be in a marriage where Nick refuses to let them be truly intimate? And why does he do that? He definitely has secrets, as does she, but he won't share them with her. The heartbreaking part is watching him struggle with what he feels he must do even when you can see he doesn't really want to. Once you find out his secrets, why he is trying to keep Leah at arms length, you do feel for him. Everything is resolved fairly quickly which is my one complaint for the book. It is just like instantly things are better and they live happily ever after. Not that it needed to be some long drawn out thing, but a little more from the ending would have been nice. Still a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Falling Into Forever (The Springs #2) by Elena Aitken


Falling Into Forever: Small Town Holiday Romance (The Springs Book 2)

Synopsis:

Welcome Back to The Springs!

The last thing Officer Rhys Anderson expected to encounter at the end of his quiet Sunday afternoon shift was a beautiful woman stranded by the side of the road in his hometown of Cedar Springs. After that one chance meeting, and despite the fact that Rhys knows there’s something Kari’s hiding, he can’t keep his mind off her. 

All Kari Fox wanted to do was run as far away from her life, and her controlling ex-husband, as possible. She never planned to end up stuck in a small mountain town, and she definitely never expected to fall for the handsome police officer who helped her.

With a good job at the Springs resort, good friends and a steamy new relationship, things are finally beginning to go right, and Kari might even be starting to believe that she has a future in Cedar Springs. 


But Kari has secrets. Secrets that threaten to destroy everything she’s trying to create, including her relationship with Rhys. As the truth comes to light, will their connection be strong enough to withstand the truth of her past?

Review:

I wasn't sure how well I would like Falling Into Forever. I mean the first book in this series was just a light read and this one has a more serious subject matter so I wasn't sure if it would work. Somehow it did. It was still a light, fast read, but it did have a bit of a darker storyline as well. It was fun and things wrapped up quickly, but I enjoyed it.

Rhys grew up in Cedar Springs and moved away once he graduated high school. After living in the city for a number of years he has come back to be the cop in town. He used to date Beth, who if you read the first book she is a minor character in there as well. He thinks he is over her, and they are still good friends. He is happy enough with where he is in life and things are good. Then he answers a call and finds Kari and her broken down car.

Kari escaped the city after some not so good things happened to her. She doesn't trust easy and she is a bit skittish when she first arrives, but there is just something there between Rhys and her. She likes him, though she is not really sure what if anything to do about that.

They have a few small hiccups before things go well for them, but they were cute together. The ending was a bit too quick and easy, but so is the entire book so it worked. Do I think things are fine and Kari will never have to worry about something happening again? No, not really. You don't really know what happens after the incident so who knows. Maybe it comes up in passing in the next book, but Rhys and Kari are happy together so that is all that really matters. A fun, quick, light read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Summer of Change (The Springs #1) by Elena Aitken


Summer of Change: Small Town Holiday Romance (The Springs Book 1)

Synopsis:

With the Springs resort set to open in mere weeks, Trent Harrison needs to stay focused and see to every detail. The last thing he needs is a complication, even one that comes in the form of sexy bar owner, Samantha Burke. 

Samantha loves her quiet close-knit community of Cedar Springs, just the way it is. The addition of a fancy new resort as well as its arrogant owner, and the change they’re both sure to bring, is certainly not welcome. 

With Trent pushing his way into her town, and her life, Samantha’s resistance to him wavers in the face of the passion and heat they share. Change is inevitable, but can either of them drop their guard long enough to accept it when there’s so much on the line?

Review:

Summer of Change was a fun, light read. Trent and his brother have always wanted to own a healing resort. When they find Cedar Springs they build the Springs based around the natural hot springs in the area. They are just about ready to open, but they haven't really emerged themselves into the community yet.

Sam has lived in Cedar Springs forever and she loves it there. She owns the local bar and restaurant and she is scrambling to make her bills. She blames her loss of income on the new resort. She thinks this is going to be some snobby high class place where people will down upon people like her. She has never seen the resort or the people that own it, but she knows it is just going to be horrible for the town. She knows they will steal all of her customers and she will be worse off than she is now. Why she thinks this I am not sure. If they are such a high class place wouldn't they get a different set of cliental? She doesn't have a fancy upscale place so why would they steal all her business? I know I don't eat at the expensive restaurants except for special occasions. Oh well. She is just really irrational about the whole thing.

When Sam and Trent first run into each other there is an instant attraction. When Sam finds out who Trent is she wants nothing to do with him, though she can't help her attraction. They are thrown together when Trent helps with the festival that is coming up, the festival Sam's bar puts on every year. Things move quickly, this is a fast paced read, but it was cute. It was a fun summer read. Sure Sam is a bit ridiculous at times with her hatred for the Springs, but it was fine. Overall a cute read if you are looking for something light.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Suffragette Scandal (The Brothers Sinister #4) by Courtney Milan


The Suffragette Scandal (The Brothers Sinister Book 4)

Synopsis:

An idealistic suffragette...

Miss Frederica "Free" Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women's rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope...but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

...a jaded scoundrel...

Edward Clark's aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She's only a pawn to use in his revenge.

...and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it's too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past...and once the woman he loves realizes how much he's lied to her, he'll lose her forever.

Review:

Oh how I loved The Suffragette Scandal! This book is sooo much fun, just like the other books in the series. Going in I wasn't really sure if I would enjoy it as much as some of the pervious books, wasn't sure if I would like Free as much, but oh how I loved both her and Edward. They are amazing together! Their conversations are just so witty and fun! This was another book that I read with a huge smile on my face. There are parts that are so like me, so like something I would say, that I just loved it!

Free and Edward have risen to one of my favorite book couples ever. I cannot express adequately enough how amazing this book was. How fun and silly and smart and just amazing it is. From the first moment Edward saw Free he was drawn to her. He didn't know why, or what was to come, but he just was drawn in. He never thought anything would come of it, he doesn't think himself a good person, too much darkness in him, and he is only in town to seek some revenge against his family members who abandoned him. In order to do so he has to convince Free to work with him, something he at first is going to be easy to do. After all he has no problem with using whatever he needs to to convince her, including blackmail. Or should I say Huzzah! Blackmail! (Read the book - you will understand!).

Free is super smart. Smarter and stronger than Edward ever imagined. She has started a paper by women, for women, about women. She definitely doesn't need a man in her life, especially one that will try and keep her down. At first she thinks Edward is just a normal guy thinking like most men that women are weak and not deserving of the same rights. Only she quickly finds out he is not. He fully supports her causes, he just is so beaten down by his life thus far he doesn't think she will be able to do anything to enact change. When Free beats him at his own game, outwits him, she expects him to be angry. Only he is not. He loves that about Free. He loves that she can challenge him, she can stand up to him, she can beat him. Oh their conversations were so much fun! The conversations on exclamation marks alone were amazing, and popped up throughout. I loved it!

I loved that Free and Edward grew closer, but Free was strong enough and smart enough to know that Edward had some things to work out. They both have challenges they need to overcome to be together, ways of thinking and figuring out how to both be happy with their situations they find themselves in. Though it could have been a darker book, there are plenty of darker moments or things that happen, it was just fun! My favorite part was the bit about the puppy cannon. Seriously that is something I would have said! Read this book. Seriously, it is amazing. Beyond amazing. So much fun!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Worth: Lord of Reckoning (Lonely Lords #11) by Grace Burrowes


Worth Lord Of Reckoning (The Lonely Lords Book 11)

Synopsis:

Consummate man of business and rake at large, Worth Kettering, repairs to his country estate to sort out his familial situation, trusting the ever efficient (though as yet unmet) housekeeper, Jacaranda Wyeth, will provide his family a pleasant summer retreat. To his surprise, his household is manage by a quick-witted, violet-eyed beauty who’s his match in many regards.

As Jacaranda and Worth become enamored, the family she’s kept hidden from him, the financial clients Worth feels singularly protective of, and the ragged state of affairs between Worth and his estranged older brother Hessian all conspire to keep Worth and Jacaranda apart. Worth must choose between love and profit, and Jacaranda must decide between loyalty to her family, and the love of a man who values her above all others.

Review:

Worth: Lord of Reckoning was a really fun read. I was expecting Worth to be a bit more of a ladies man since the synopsis says he is a rake, but I never really saw him that way. He was kind to people in need, helping lots of people with their money and investing it for them and such, but he never came across as the playboy ladies man I was expecting.

At the beginning of the story Worth finds out he has a sister he never knew about. He must pick her up at school and take her home. Since he now has this sister to care for he sends her and his niece (whom he is guardian of) to stay in his country home. He doesn't frequent his country home often. In fact he has not been there in the past 5 years that Jacaranda has been working there. Oh that first meeting between the two of them was amazing! Both think the other is older than they are so they don't realize who the other is at first. So much fun!

Worth from the start seems to really care about Jacaranda. He is attracted to her for sure, but he also just enjoys her company. He loves how she verbally spars with him and he is just so sweet. He does fumble a bit, offending her at times, but his intentions are always good. He wants her to be happy. He wants whatever will accomplish that even if it is not exactly what he wants. He wants to marry her and live forever by her side, but she keeps refusing.

Jacaranda has some secrets that no one knows. She hasn't been completely honest with Worth about who she is and she knows she will be leaving at the end of the summer to go back home to her family. Her step-mom is a nightmare and for some reason needs Jacaranda to come home and take care of her brothers and sister. I didn't really understand why, even at the end, she felt like she had to do it. I know, so things don't fall into disrepair, but her siblings are grown men. They should be able to figure it out themselves. Anyways she keeps trying to not get too attached to Worth since she knows she must leave him, but she falls for him anyways. They two of them were great together. I just loved how amazing Worth was. He is one of the kindest guys I have read in a book. He truly cares about others, even those less fortunate than him. He was a wonderful person and he fits so well with Jacaranda. I loved this story. Now to find more by this author.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on