Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Available on

Synopsis:

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Review:

The Girl on the Train was a good read. I liked how it was split up between the girl on the train, Rachel, and the other ladies. I loved how it ended up, what was happening, but I don't want to give everything away so I can't talk about it much. It was interesting and I don't think I have read a book quite like it before.

Now leading up to the ending I thought this is an alright book. Good, but not amazing. A solid good read. I enjoyed the characters and reading their story. I enjoyed watching Rachel try and figure out what happened that fateful night and how everyone else was/wasn't involved. She is kind of a mess when the story opens, and it is a constant what really happened? Did she do something? Did someone else? What is really going on? kind of story. It was fun. I read it while relaxing on the beach and it was perfect for that.

I don't really know what else to say without giving anything away. You should really go into it without knowing too much so you can try and figure it out for yourself. I felt bad for Rachel at times, but she is also a mess so....it was interesting.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Until the Beginning (After the End #2) by Amy Plum

Available on

Synopsis:

When Juneau's clan disappeared, she lost so much more than her friends and family. She soon discovered everything she thought she knew about her life was a lie. Her people's gifts were actually secret abilities that others wanted, desperately enough to kidnap an entire village.

Juneau and her new companion Miles's cross-country journey to find her clan has led them to a game preserve in New Mexico. Now Juneau's people are finally within reach, and she will stop at nothing to save them. But she has a target on her back too, because unbeknownst to her she is the key to unlocking everything. To rescue her people - and herself - Juneau must discover what she, and her abilities, are truly capable of.

Review:

Until the Beginning was a really great read. I love Juneau and Miles and watching them try and save her clan. The story was so much fun to read and when I got to the end I was very sad that was it. That there wasn't another book with more of their adventures.

At the end of the last book Miles wasn't in such good shape and Juneau was hopeful that she had saved him. When this one starts she is trying to figure out if she has been successful. Trying to stay positive and not think anything bad would happen. I really enjoyed her. I like the whole idea of how she can communicate with nature and use the forces to do things. How she struggled with being lied to her whole life and trying to figure out what she actually believed. She did that a bit in the first book, but she really had to solidify some of her beliefs in this one. It was great because most people I know went through the same kind of thing when they left home and were out on their own. Taking what you learned growing up and shaping it to fit you.

Miles was really great in this one. I didn't connect with him as much as I would have liked in the first book, but by the end of this one I loved him. I loved how he took to everything. How it was crazy and scary, but he worked through it. How he cared for Juneau and was always there when she needed him. How he wouldn't give up, how he was always ready to help her if need be.

Juneau was off to save her clan. She finds them and then has to figure out a way to safely get everyone out of where they are. The people who took them and how everything fit together was kind of awesome. I loved the ending and how everything went down. It was a lot of fun. And I want more! Like what happens next? I know they talk about it a bit, but I wasn't ready to let these characters go. I wanted to see them go out into the world and figure everything out. A really fun read.

Rating: ★★★★

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Love Letter by Brenna Aubrey

Available on 

Synopsis:

Young doctor Mark Hinton is on the brink of a new beginning in his life, yet he’s still haunted by the past. Thanks to a caring older sister, a canny librarian, a cantankerous patient and Jane Austen, he finds the strength to search his own heart and discover the truth of a love that has never died. Influenced by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, this short story is about finding love again after heartbreak.

This story was the Grand Prize Winner of the Jane Austen Made Me Do It Short Story Contest and was included in the critically-acclaimed anthology of the same name.

Review:

The Love Letter is a short story, 20 pages long, and not that good. I didn't understand the characters and it was a suddenly everything works out and I don't know why. I know it has the Austen in it, but...I read it and thought that is it? That is all we get? It is that easy to fix everything and live happily ever after? Not my favorite short story as it felt like it needed more, needed to be longer to really tell the story.

Rating: 

Friday, June 23, 2017

After the End (After the End #1) by Amy Plum

Available on

Synopsis:

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

Review: 

After the End was a fun read. I liked Juneau a lot and the way she could connect with nature. It was fun to see where it would all go. 

Juneau grew up believing the world was destroyed many years ago and their little outpost in Alaska is one of the only remaining groups of people left. They have great respect for nature and have lived pretty much cut off from everything. It is all Juneau has ever known. Until she comes back from a hunting trip one day to find everyone gone. Taken by some men to who knows where. And she is the only one left to find them and save them. 

When Juneau realizes how she has been lied to over the years it is not that good. She still has to find her clan, but how can she trust people anymore? And how can she connect with nature like she used to if everything is a lie? She was great. I really enjoyed watching her discover the world and talk to the plants and animals surrounding her. How she was happiest out in the middle of nowhere instead of in a big city. How she was trying to figure out what was going on, who was after her and why. 

Along the way she picks up Miles as a guide and helper in her quest. Now my one small negative about the book is that I never really felt like I got to know Miles. Not like Juneau. I know I was told the things he did and how he was, but I never really felt it. So sometimes I didn't understand why he was doing the things he was doing. It was fine, I just wish there would have been a bit more to him so I could have known him as well as her. 

Overall this was a really fun read. Now I have to move on to the next book and see what happens!

Rating: ★★★★

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reaper (Boston Underworld #2) by A. Zavarelli

Available on 

Synopsis:

Sasha.

He’s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there’s also something off about him.
He doesn’t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn’t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind…
He won’t have a problem killing me too.

Ronan.

I’ve slain for her. I’ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn’t a line I won’t cross.
I watch her. She doesn’t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I’m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I’ll keep her safe. I’ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can’t do… is protect her from myself.

Review:

Reaper was amazing! I loved this story so so much! I have been on a roll recently reading amazing books and this was another one to add to the list. Oh, I loved Ronan! He was the best!

Ronan and Sasha have a secret. Something happened two years ago and if anyone found out if could be bad for both of them. Plus now Sasha thinks Ronan hates her since he won't talk to her. Not that he talks a lot, but he will occasionally say something to everyone but her. She has a lot on her plate and dealing with Mister silent sexy guy is just another thing to add to the list. Her mom is sick and dying, her sister hates her, she has been through more than someone should have to go through to keep her family safe, but they will never know. She was wonderful and gave up so much for those she loved. As soon as her mom passes she wants out. She wants to get far away from the Irish Mob as she can. She can't stay here...can she?

Ronan had an absolutely horrific childhood. He doesn't really know things most other people do. He is not at all experienced with women, he doesn't do well with emotions, he is great when someone tells him what to do, but if he has to figure it out himself he won't. I loved him so so much. He was...I loved how he wanted to understand things, but he just didn't. Like he gets a dog at one point and he has to take care of it. Only he doesn't know how. Someone tells him the dog is hungry at one point so now whenever he sees the dog do the same thing he thinks it is hungry. So he feeds the dog. Only she also wants love and attention. She liked Ronan and oh it was adorable! Him learning to be more human, the normal things we all take for granted, made me swoon.

Because of his dark past Ronan doesn't speak much. He also doesn't trust easily and he doesn't like people touching him. He is the guy the mob turns to to kill people and get information from. He doesn't mind doing it, but once he meets Sasha he thinks he can never be with her since she would hate what he does and who he is. These two don't talk much, but they both like the other. There is something there between them and if they could figure out how to communicate they might be able to figure this all out.

I loved this story. I cannot say enough good things about it. Ronan and Sasha were wonderful together. She doesn't judge him for the things he does/who he is and he always is there to try and protect her. Oh, Ronan, you stole my heart. Through the ups and the downs these two try and fight their way through. It was wonderful. Go. Read this story. it is amazing.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hook Me (Men of Inked #2) by Chelle Bliss

Available on

Synopsis:

Michael Gallo found his calling in life – he wants to kick ass. He works at Inked as a piercer, but spends his mornings training and dreaming of winning an UFC championship. Michael is the road to achieving his goal when a chance encounter alters his world forever. The title is no longer enough – he must capture the woman of his dreams.

Dr. Mia Greco is dedicated to saving lives and helping those less fortunate. She doesn’t have time to meet Mr. Right with her busy schedule. She buries herself in her work and helping humanity. Fate steps in and sweeps the carpet out from under her. She tries to deny the pull to him, a man that uses his fists for gain, but the universe won’t let her walk away so easy and Michael isn’t one to take no for an answer.

He has a secret that may rip them apart. There are forces bigger than them at work; drawing them in and making their worlds collide – not letting either one of them walk away.

Review:

Did I read a different book from everyone else? This story was a hot mess for me. It needed an editor to make it more coherent. I felt like the conversations often didn't make sense and the same conversations were repeated again and again and again. I don't know how many times Mia was told Michael is part owner of a tattoo shop and a fighter, each time like it is new information. Or how Mia gets stressed out working in the ER and would love to work at the clinic full time, but they can't afford to offer her full time employment. Every time it comes up Michael asks again why she doesn't just work at the clinic full time like they had never had a conversation about it before. It was confusing to say the least. Oh, about the clinic one more thing. Michael's family is wealthy so he mentions having his family donate to the clinic so she can work there full time. Her first thought? What she immediately thinks? What did your parents do to make this money because if it was from illegal means she can't accept it. What? Really? Why oh why do you think they got rich in illegal ways?? Yes, they are Italian so that means they are in the Mob? Really? Ugh. I hated stuff like that in this story. It made no sense. Maybe if Michael had hinted at it or if she knew his family name in association with bad things then I could see it. But no, she just assumes because they are Italian that they are part of the Mob. They couldn't have made their money in normal ways...

Really Mia is very judgmental and stereotypes everyone. I hated it. Not only the Italian thing, but with everyone. Oh, if I didn't know them I would think they were super stupid meatheads who couldn't string two words together. Oh, this person looks like this negative thing, this person is like that even though I don't know them. I hated all the judgment based on nothing!!

*Spoiler alert*

So if all that wasn't bad enough we also have a big chunk of drama at the end. Michael's ex Tammy is crazy. Like seriously crazy. She works at the same hospital as Mia and one day she goes crazy on Mia how she is stealing her fiancé and shows her her ring and everything. Oh and Tammy is apparently pregnant with his baby. Michael knew Tammy was crazy and claiming to be pregnant, which he didn't really believe, but was trying to figure out what to do about it if she really was. Why didn't he tell Mia any of this sooner? Because then we wouldn't have this pointless drama! Okay so Michael tries to get Mia to listen to him, tell her how crazy Tammy is and how they are not engaged and everything, but Mia won't listen. She just keeps thinking how Michael was cheating on his fiancé even though he is adamant that she is not his fiancé. Then Tammy shows Mia their engagement photos...and yeah. It is just their heads on different bodies and totally crazy pants. So does Mia think oh, maybe I should call Michael? Maybe he wasn't lying because Tammy really is unhinged? Maybe they are not really engaged? No, she STILL thinks they are really engaged!!! It made NO SENSE!!! When you see how crazy Tammy is, just like Michael keeps claiming, why for the love of all things won't you listen to Michael?!?! Seriously. It was too much. It made no sense. None. The whole second half of the book was just me yelling at Mia and wanting to throw the book across the room. Not good. Not good at all.

Rating:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bad Penny by Staci Hart


 Now available & only $0.99! Grab your copy today from

Synopsis:

Nothing good comes after the third date.

See, date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he gets weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him- through-the- streets- begging-him- to-love- me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked and can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.


Review:

Bad Penny was a cute read. Now I'll be honest it did take me awhile to warm up to the story. Or really to warm up to Penny. She was...her topics of conversation were a bit much for me. Or too much the way she talked about it. No judgment, it is fine if you talk like that/enjoy the way she talks, but it was just eh for me. Not my favorite. Though slowly but surely she won me over. Plus Bodie was freaking amazing and I loved him right from the start! Another great read from this author. 

Penny has rules. No dating past the third date. That is when things get tricky, when strings get added, and she does not want strings. She tried the whole boyfriend thing before and someone always gets crazy. Either she gets crazy, which she doesn't want, or they get crazy, which she also doesn't want. Though when she meets Bodie things start to get tricky anyways. Can she really keep seeing him past the third date and not have strings? Can she really keep her heart out of it when she is so attracted to him and he is kind of perfect? Will she risk it to see what will happen? 

Bodie is so freaking adorable and sexy and smart and hot and amazing! Seriously he is like perfect. Perfect for Penny, perfect for...well just perfect. He is patient, he knows if he comes on too strong he will scare Penny away. He never thought he would actually have a shot with Penny, but to do so he has to play it right. He knows she will get scared away if he just professes his love or something, so he is happy seeing how far this can go. Ultimately he will be with Penny forever, but if not then he at least will have as much time as he can with her. I loved Bodie. He was the best! Seriously. He knew exactly what to do and how to give Penny when she needed even if she didn't know it. He didn't get all possessive or jealous or want to keep her down. In fact he wants her to fly, wants her to stay the same as she is now. Only with him in her life as well. He never wants to hold her back, but breaking down those walls can take time. Will he be able to? Will he get is happily ever after? 

These two were so sweet together. I know it started off so so with Penny for me, but I loved her with Bodie. They were so hot together! And so much more. This was a really fun read. 

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★


About the Author:

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.
Connect with Staci:

Escape from Olympus (The Falken Chronicles Book 2) by Piers Platt

Now available on

Synopsis:

After his escape from the prison colony Oz, Sirio Falken has found a new life as a safari guide on the planet Olympus. There, he helps tourists navigate the planet's exotic ecosystem, which is dominated by a single apex predator: a long-lived and sightless avian species called dragons. With exceptional hearing, the dragons are feared for hunting down anything that moves, including Falken and his guests, if they’re not careful. But unknown to Falken, criminal elements have plans to use him to plunder the planet's resources, whether he's willing to help them or not. He'll have to keep the lethal dragons at bay long enough to unravel a growing conspiracy … and escape from Olympus.

Review:

If you haven't read Piers Platt before you really need to. Seriously. His books are so. Much. Fun!! I love them and can't get enough.

Escape from Olympus is the second book in the Falken Chronicles but could be read as a standalone. You wouldn't have the backstory from the first book, but that is okay. You should read the first one anyways cause it is great, but I don't think you need to in order to enjoy this story.

Man this book was so much fun. I loved it. I couldn't put it down once I started, which my husband didn't appreciate since I started it on a short train ride when we were on vacation and all I wanted to do was read the rest of the day then until I finished! At least he knows me well enough to know I get like this sometimes...and doesn't mind too much.

In Escape from Olympus Falken is working on the planet Olympus. Or rather on a ship above the planet Olympus. The planet it inhabited by dragons that can very easily kill you in really terrible ways. You don't want to be stuck on the planet and try to survive them. He works for a tourism company where you can take a virtual reality tour around the planet and walk among the dragons. The goal is to see how long you can survive before they kill you. And you see and feel everything like you are really there. I can't imagine. That sound awesome! How crazy would it be to feel like you are really on this planet being hunted by these dragons? To feel like you are dying in terrible ways? Of course you can always come out of it whenever you want, but man. I so want to do that! I Want to see how long I would survive. In all honesty it probably wouldn't be long, but I would love every minute of it.

Now this is all fine and dandy, Falken loves his job, but of course there is more to the story. One of the things I love about this author's work is how he layers the characters. How you get the story from a few different points of view and it is not always obvious how each plays a role in what happens. How you sometimes have to wait until the end to see how it all ties together. All of the characters are so much fun, even the bad guys. I don't really know what the bad guys were thinking in this one cause it is intense, but so much fun to read. This second book is definitely more action packed than the first one. Everyone gets into some dicey situations and I couldn't put it down. I so enjoyed this story and the world this author created. I wanted to be a patron of Falken's business. Even if it meant I had to fly into outer space, which is probably my biggest fear, I wanted to be in this world. I wanted to experience this! Well maybe not everything that happens in this story, but Olympus Safari? Sign me up!

Overall this is a great read. Lots of action and adventure, lots of cool ideas, and dragons! Who doesn't love dragons? Go read this book. You won't be sorry you did.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Hearts on Air (Hearts #6) by L.H. Cosway


Now available on

Synopsis:

3 weeks. 5 cities. 15 impossible stunts. One reality show.

Trevor Cross came into Reya Cabrera’s world with a bang and faded out with a whimper. They vowed to make it work, but life had other plans. After chasing his TV dreams for years, Trev finally became the UK’s next big reality star, but he alienated his family and friends in the process. Now he finally has everything he ever wanted. Women. Money. Fame. But none of it means anything when he doesn’t have the one thing that matters most: love.

Money leaves a gaping hole. Fame surrounds him with loneliness. And no woman makes him feel like Reya used to before the whirlwind of success pulled them apart.

He has a plan to get her back. However, with a hectic filming schedule looming, the only way to do that is to convince her to come on the road with him. Reya has been stuck in a rut for a while, and the opportunity to travel across Europe and play her music for new audiences seems like heaven. The only catch? She has to do it with the one boy who ever got close enough to break her heart. But he’s not a boy anymore, and as she gets to know him again she can’t deny her respect for the man he’s become.

Every time she’s around him her heart feels full of air, like a balloon about to pop. Little does she know, Trev’s feelings are just as tumultuous as hers. One thing’s for sure, these three weeks on the road together will either make them whole again or break them irrevocably.

**Hearts on Air is a contemporary romance and book #6 in the Hearts series, however it can also be read as a complete standalone.**


Review:

You know what? I love this Hearts series! Seriously they are all so good! I have favorites of course, but man they always take me on a fun ride and I love ever minute of it.

Hearts on Air is the story of Trevor and Reya. Trevor who is larger than life. Who can't sit still. Who is always around and since the first moment she saw him Reya had a huge crush on. Though he obviously didn't think of her as more than a friend and she worked hard to make sure she was okay with that. Side note - there is a novella about early Trevor and Reya which luckily was included at the beginning of this story as I hadn't read it yet. So you will get your background then see what happens next.

Trevor has always had a hard time focusing on one thing. He never really had a girlfriend, always talked about having his own TV show with his parkour stunts and it has finally happened! With the way he grew up, with nothing, he wanted a way to support himself and help his family. The Cross brothers are very close, but then again they had to be if they were going to make it as kids. Only all this fame and fortune is not making Trevor happy. Nothing is making him as happy as Reya once did, but after the way they parted can he win her back?

Reya wants nothing to do with being in the spotlight. She doesn't want people to know who she is, she doesn't want her past dragged out into the open. She just wants to write/play her music and do her thing. She had the biggest crush on Trevor for so long and just when things felt like they were starting to happen they kind of crumbled.

Reya doesn't plan on ever spending that much time with Trevor again, but when she loses her steady gig and he offers her a way to play her music across Europe how can she say no? Even if it means revisiting some past hurts and trying not to fall for the one guy who could break her heart again.

These two were really sweet together. I loved Trevor so so much. He is trying and wants to be good, wants to be better for Reya. But she likes him just the way he is. They were amazing. I loved following them as they traveled around and reading about all the places Trevor and the gang did their running parkour thing. I can't imagine, but what a rush that would be to do what they do. This was another great installment of the Hearts series. Plus we get to see some of my past favorites in this one!!! It was great.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

About the Author:

L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Excerpt Reveal: Bad Penny by Staci Hart



 Bad Penny, an all-new romantic comedy standalone from Staci Hart is coming June 15th!
Add to your to-read list on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Nothing good comes after the third date.

See, date three is the crucial point when things get real, which is exactly why I bounce out the door, twiddling my fingers at whatever poor boy I’ve left behind. Because if I stick around, one of three things will happen: he’ll profess his undying love, he gets weird and stalky, or I’ll go crazy. Like, Sid and Nancy crazy. Like, chase-him- through-the- streets- begging-him- to-love- me crazy.

Seriously, it’s better for everyone this way.

So when I meet Bodie, I figure it’ll be the same as it ever was. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t put a single string on me. Doesn’t matter that he’s funny and smart and jacked and can play my body like a grand piano. Because even though I’m built for love, love has only carved me up like a Christmas ham.

Resistance is something I can only hang on to for so long, and he has persistence in spades. But my heart isn’t as safe as I want to believe, and neither is his. And the second I ignore my cardinal rule is the second I stand to lose him forever.


Excerpt:

BODIE

She glanced behind me, twiddling her fingers, presumably at Jude and Phil. “So, you’re a twin, huh?” 

I nodded and took a sip of my Maker’s as “Rock the Casbah” kicked off, and everyone around us started bouncing and dancing. “Since birth.” 

She laughed. “What a win for the universe that there would be two of you.” 

“Double your pleasure, double your fun.” 

That caught her off guard, and her bottom lip slipped between her teeth as a flush rose on her cheeks. 

Just like that, I had one objective, and it began and ended with her lips. 

“Although I should tell you now,” I stepped closer, slipping into her space, and her eyes widened, pupils dilating as she leaned into me, “I don’t like to share.” 

The tip of her pink tongue darted out to wet her lips, and her eyes were locked onto my mouth. 

“Are you thinking about kissing me?” I asked. 

She shook her head, though her eyes didn’t stray. 

“No, I’m thinking about what your dick looks like.” 

I laughed from way down deep in my belly, shocked in the best way and turned on in the worst. And as the ocean of people waved around us, she rose up on her tiptoes, grabbed a handful of my T-shirt, and pulled. 

I caught the smallest breath — a surprised, satisfied gasp — just before our lips met, and fireworks exploded in my brain. The kiss wasn’t soft or sweet; it was strong and determined, those red, red lips pressing against mine, opening to let me into her hot mouth, her tongue finding mine like she’d been looking for it her whole life. The surprise left me as quickly as it had hit, and I leaned into her, my free arm winding around her back to press her body against mine. There wasn’t an inch of space between us, and all the while, our mouths worked each other’s in a long dance that left my heart chugging like a freight train in my chest. 

She pulled away, her lips swollen and eyes lust-drunk as they met mine and held them while she kicked back her drink and grabbed my hand. 

“Let’s get the fuck out of here,” she said. 

And I smirked, breathless. “Your place or mine?”


About the Author:

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.
Connect with Staci:

My Bluegrass Baby (Bluegrass #1) by Molly Harper

Available on

Synopsis:

A brand-new novel in an original eBook series from popular romance author Molly Harper! When Sadie & Josh compete for the same Kentucky Tourism Commission job, sparks fly—turns out Kentucky really is for lovers.

Sadie Hutchins loves her job at the Kentucky Tourism Commission. Not only could her co-workers double as the cast of Parks & Recreation, but she loves finding the unusual sites, hidden gems, and just-plain-odd tourist attractions of her home state. She’s a shoo-in for the director’s job when her boss retires at the end of the year…until hotshot Josh Vaughn shows up to challenge her for the position.

Josh is all sophisticated polish while Sadie’s country comfort, and the two have very different ideas of what makes a good campaign. So when their boss pits them against each other in a winner-takes-all contest, they’re both willing to fight dirty if it means getting what they want. But it turns out, what Josh and Sadie want could be each other—and Josh’s kisses are the best Kentucky attraction Sadie’s found yet!

Review:

My Bluegrass Baby was a fun read. Yes, at times Sadie was a bit...too much in how she handled things, a bit too ridiculous, but I still enjoyed it.

Sadie loves working for the Kentucky Tourism Commission. She loves everything about it. All the events she helps plans, the campaigns she comes up with, all of it. When her boss is getting ready to retire she thinks she will get the job. She deserves it after all. Only the powers that be brought in an outside guy, Josh, and she didn't see that coming. Sure she was attracted to him before she knew who he was. Sure she might have liked him, but he is stealing her job! So that cannot stand. The way she was with him in her workplace made me think yeah, I don't know that you are ready for the director's job. You need to grow up some and gain some professionalism...but it was fun.

Josh used to work in the big city at a big firm. He had some not so good things happen in the not so distant past and this job with the Kentucky Tourism Commission is a great stepping stone for him. He can regroup and get everything together again. Only he didn't know he would be stealing someones job. That Sadie was counting on getting that position.

The two of them were fun together. As I said above Sadie was completely ridiculous and terrible to Josh for no good reason except her feelings were hurt. She hates him because...the powers that be brought him in without telling her? Because...she just does? At times it was a bit much. Everything she did and how she treated Josh went a bit far at times, but overall it was fun. The two of them obviously like each other so it was great watching them try and figure everything out. I really liked Josh. He was a sweetheart, but he wouldn't get pushed around either. He was great and the two of them worked. A fun read.

Rating: ★★★1/2

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Blog Tour: Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid


Now available on

Synopsis:

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris:
1) She’s fed up with online dating,
2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and
3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of human kind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

Review:

Dating-ish was such a fun read! A great addition to this series and I loved it!  If you know Penny's previous books, if you have read the prior books in this series (not a requirement, but you should read them at some point as they are awesome!) then you know how amazing she is. How she writes these awesome characters and stories that are not like everyone else. This story was just as fun and awesome! Plus it has robots!! Or talk of robots at least. And who doesn't love robots? People I don't want to know! just kidding...kind of.

This is the story of Matt and Marie. Matt who is freaking adorable and also freaking hot! How is that possible? I don't know. He is a bit awkward, he is working on making a robot to replace humans for those who need it, and he was so cute. I loved him. Until he changed and turned up the heat and then phew! Nerdy robot guy has the moves! I love love loved Matt. I get where he is coming from and why he is how he is and wanted nothing but the best for him. He was so sweet and oh, he killed me! 

And then there is Marie. Marie the forgettable one. In prior books I know she was there, but thinking back about the group of ladies I don't really remember her. And this may sound bad (but it isn't), but she is still kind of forgettable to me. In a good way. If that makes any sense. In the group of friends that the author created she is normal. She doesn't have some crazy thing about her, nothing outstanding really, which I enjoyed. When she is in with the likes of Janie, who is super quirky and I love it, and Fiona, who is a ninja (!), Marie does fall to the wayside a bit, but I enjoyed that. I don't know that I am getting this across the way I want, but I liked that she was normal. She was looking for love but getting fed up with the process. Especially after her last meeting with someone from the online dating website. What a disaster and she is ready to give up for real. She already was, but man that last guy was a real doozy. Who needs men when you can get everything you need from strangers? 

Now these two don't start off on the right foot which was fun. Marie thinks she knows Matt and how terrible he is, but when they start working together, when they start hanging out, it was so much fun! Marie sees who Matt really is and ack! These two. They were so much fun. I loved this story. I loved reading about the professional cuddlers and guided orgasm therapy and everything in between. The story is funny but also gets you in the feels. I love the sweet, cute, adorable that turns into really hot and sexy. Go read Dating-ish. It is not your normal romance which makes it even better.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2



Excerpt:

He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.

Nope.

Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”

“Matt.”

“What if I needed it for research reasons?”

“Matt.”

“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

About the Author:



Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

Available on

Synopsis:

From the USA Today and Internationally bestselling author of The Club Series, Lauren Rowe, comes a sexy standalone romantic comedy: Ball Peen Hammer.

Keane Morgan wouldn’t return any of my calls or texts, and I was pissed as hell about it. I didn’t want to drive from Seattle to L.A. with the guy any more than he wanted to drive with me, but I had no frickin’ choice in the matter--at least, not if I wanted to use his brother Dax’s coveted parking spot at UCLA.

Okay, so it turned out Keane was objectively gorgeous, and, fine, pretty funny, too. But did he have to be so damned in love with himself? I mean, jeez, the cocky way he flashed those dimples was just so orchestrated. And, honestly, what kind of guy uses the phrase “baby doll” with a straight face? Oh, that’s right: the kind of guy who’s a male stripper.

Yup, the cocky jerk turned out to be Seattle’s answer to Magic Mike, a stripper known as “Ball Peen Hammer”--which meant Keane Morgan was emphatically not the kind of guy I’d ever fall for.

Not. At. All.

No freakin’ way.

Well, until Keane convinced me to fall for him, that is.

Which I did.

Hard.

NOTE:

Ball Peen Hammer is a full-length, standalone sexy romantic comedy about Keane Morgan (one of four Morgan brothers introduced in The Club Series) and Maddy Milliken (the little sister of Hannah Banana Montana Milliken).

Although Keane and Maddy’s love story is set in the universe of The Club Series, it is a standalone novel with no cliffhanger and no prior reading required. Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Review:

I'll let you in on a little secret. I really thought I was going to hate this book before I started it. I thought no way would I like a conceited jerk male stripper who calls people baby doll. It won't be for me. I thought I would read a chapter or two and then DNF it. Cause yeah not my thing. At all. So why did I start reading it? Because the author is going to be at a signing I am attending soon and I am trying to read something from every author. Though I have too many authors to go so I am DNF-ing anything that doesn't catch me right away. So nothing sounded interesting, I needed a book to read, so I thought this would be a good way to check another author off the list.

Only I loved this story so so so much! I stayed up way too late reading it because I couldn't put it down. Oh my goodness this book is amazing! Seriously I never thought I would like someone like Keane. A cocky stripper, but oh he is so much more.

Ball Peen Hammer is the story of a male stripper and the super sweet girl next door who go on an epic road trip and fall for each other. And I loved every minute of it. The first chapter from Keane's point of view I admit I did think I don't know about this. He is doing his stripper thing and super cocky talking to the reader and I thought eh. But the first chapter from Maddy's point of view was fun and so I read on. And it got better and better and better. Keane was so...he is hard to describe. Really. One of a kind. He is that cocky stripper, ladies man, hook up with whoever, women fall at his feet, but he is also funny and kind and sweet and silly. As Maddy says

"He is the sweetest asshole-pig-narcissist I've ever met. Adorable. Gentle. Silly. Easy to talk to.

I never thought I would like someone who calls people baby doll and sugar lips and things like that. But Keane was different. He does that, but he is so much more. I can't even with this guy. I don't know how to explain him. You should just read the book and get wrapped up in the world of Keane and Ball Peen Hammer. Seriously it was one of my favorite stories I have read thus far this year. So unexpected and it blew me away.

Besides Keane you also have Maddy. Sweet adorable fun Maddy. She is normally a bit quiet and awkward, usually doesn't warm up to people quickly, but with Keane she is instantly at ease. She is his biggest cheerleader and they grow close. She was so much fun, so smart and motivated and going to do great things. Now if only these two can figure out how to be more than friends. Or really, if Keane can figure his stuff out. Because these two belong together. They were great and I didn't want this story to end. So so good. Cannot say enough good things about this story. Just go read it even if it doesn't seem like your thing. It might surprise you by how awesome it is. Who knows, maybe you will fall for Keane just as hard as I did.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★★

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Sky Full of Stars (The Shaughnessy Brothers #5) by Samantha Chase

Now available on

Synopsis:

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He's great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn't factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.

LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together―and she's going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

Review:

A Sky Full of Stars was...a wonderful read. I love all the Shaughnessy books, but Owen? Oh, Owen. He is one of my favorites. I loved this story. So fun and cute and hot and everything wrapped into one.

Owen and Brooke are perfect for each other even if they might not seem that way on the surface. They both have insecurities, both have some issues to overcome, but oh they were so amazing! I loved them!

Owen has never fit in. He had a hard time when his mother died as she always told him it was okay to be different. It was okay to be in his head and be super smart and not be the best with human interactions. Especially interactions with non-family members. He is super close with his twin Riley, he always stood up for Owen and is always there for him when he needs him. Owen can be a bit closed off and he doesn't always seem himself the way others do. He is just a nerd that is too smart and boring for other people. He has dated before, but it has never worked out. There just wasn't any spark or anything. When Owen first sees Brooke he is amazed. She is beautiful and fun and sweet and everything. There is no way someone like her would ever like someone like him.

Brooke has her own issues. She doesn't think she is very smart since her family always told her that. She was beautiful and that was it. Her mom put her in pageants and such, but never encouraged anything else but beauty. She used to be a mean girl, used to be terrible to her smart, nerdy brother and people like him. She has grown up and changed, but she still hasn't forgiven herself for who she used to be. When she meets Owen she is intrigued. She likes him, especially after getting to know him, but there is no way someone like him would ever like someone like her.

Brooke originally meets Owen when her uncle sets her up as a potential assistant on a field study trip and oh these two. I loved them so much. I loved watching them both struggle with their crush thinking the other would never like them. They were so sweet and I loved them both so much. Owen...I loved him! I love that social awkward super smart guy. He was awesome. I read this book with the biggest smile on my face. It was awesome.

These two really bring out the best in the other. They are there for each other and I loved watching them figure everything out. Sure there are a few bumps in the road, but nothing is every perfect all the time. I loved this story. I loved Owen and Brooke. I love all the Shaughnessy's, but Owen just might be my favorite.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cleat Chaser (The Cleat Chaser Duet #1) by Celia Aaron & Sloane Howell

Available on

Synopsis:

Kyrie Kent hates baseball. She hates players even more. When her best friend drags her to a Ravens game, she spends the innings reading a book… Until she gets a glimpse of the closer—a pitcher who draws her like a magnet. Fighting her attraction to Easton Holliday is easy. All she has to do is keep her distance, avoid the ballpark, and keep her head down. At least, all that would have worked, but Easton doesn’t intend to let Kyrie walk so easily. When another player vies for Kyrie’s attention, Easton will swing for the fences. But will Kyrie strike him out or let him steal home?

Full disclosure: This is an erotic, standalone romantic comedy full of hot guys in tight baseball pants, even more guys in tight baseball pants who know how to swing a big stick, and explicit sex.

Review:

Cleat Chaser was not for me. I know, I know. I don't know what I was thinking reading this story. I thought it wouldn't be for me, wouldn't be my sense of humor, and I was right. I could just finish this review right there. It is not my sense of humor. *Some spoilers ahead if you decide to read on*

So I started off this story a bit hesitant to read it as I didn't think I would enjoy it. Only I did like the first chapters. Kyrie and her bff at the ball game, Kyrie freaking out because she is attracted to Easton and she can't do anything about that (she dated a ball player before and doesn't want to go there again as it was not good), Easton liking her right away as well and the two of them start to get together. I enjoyed all of that, but then it got to be too much for me. It got to be way too violent which I did not like. I hated Easton's sister. I know it is supposed to be "funny", but no. I couldn't do it. Their relationship is abusive and I don't find that humorous. The first time we meet her she hits Easton as hard as she can because he left a dish in the sink or something. Not like a fun, playing around punch on the arm kind of hit. No like a whiffle ball bat to the privates because he left a dish in the sink. That and she is very crass in a way I don't like and yeah. I hated her and couldn't stand reading her. I didn't find her funny.

Easton gets violent as well. Not against Kyrie or anything, but he loses his temper and destroys things. Not cool man, not cool. When Kyrie's ex shows back up he beats him to a pulp. Which upsets Kyrie and when Easton asks her if she still has feelings for her ex what does she do? Says nothing!! Not one word!! She doesn't even look at Easton. Apparently she loves Easton so much she can't say anything about the loser who was trying to hook up with her that she doesn't like anymore. Nope, why say anything when you can be a blooming idiot and stay quiet and we can have some more drama llama! Yey! It was bad. Really bad.

Oh and Kyrie's job woes? Ugh. I just wanted her to grow the f up and put on her big girl pants and do something! Not everything will fall in your lap! Sometimes you have to work for what you want! Do something!!! Just because you messed up doesn't mean you can't fix it. Yeah, much better to just be all woe is me, my life is terrible then actually say or do anything to change it. Oh, it was annoying. Super annoying. I can't stand whiny people and Kyrie was one of the worst. Too much drama for drama's sake when it didn't need to be there, too whiny, too not my sense of humor. It was a mess for me. Not a fan.

Rating:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thicker Than Blood (Thicker Than Blood #1) by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley

Available on

Synopsis:

A true friendship never dies.

Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…

Even an apocalypse.

Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.

Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.

Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.

But in such a savage world, is there room for love?

In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.

There are friends…

And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.

Review:

I loved Thicker Than Blood. It was nothing like I expected in a really great way. You never knew what was going to happen next which was great! The story always kept you on your toes and it was hard to figure out where the story would end up. Plus no one is safe. It felt a bit more real. Like anyone could die at any moment because the world is a nightmare place to live in now. It is a bit like "The Walking Dead" in that it is about people trying to survive in the new world and they keep running into terrible situations.

This book was amazing. The ending? So incredibly beautiful. I might have teared up a bit. But the whole story was great. I found it especially interesting reading how everyone changed throughout the story. How their mental states got better or worse with everything that happens. Eve started off so strong, so sure of herself and her purpose. She is supposed to protect poor, sweet, weak Leisel, but once she is not needed as much what does she do? What does she have to hold onto in this terrible world?

And Liesel? I admit she got on my nerves at the beginning. She was so...I don't think weak is the right word. More like she is afraid of everything and I kept yelling at her in my head to get a move on and do something! She is the one who really kept her humanity when the world went down the drain and she tries to stay kind of sweet and innocent. Though it is not really possible. She ended up being my favorite character. I loved her and her story arch. She was amazing and if this were to ever happen I would want to be like her.

This story will definitely take you through the wringer. Man it was intense and I loved every minute of it. I don't want to say much more as I don't want to ruin anything. And if I talk more about what happens it would ruin it a bit. Better to go in and find out for yourself. I am really curious about the next book now to see what happened with some of the other characters we met in this one. I hope it is just as intense as this was! Oh, it was wonderful!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2