The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne (Victorian Rebels #5)

Available: Oct 3, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

This is the kind of historical romance that I love to read. Kerrigan Byrne has created a unique story with an unusual heroine that sucked me in and made me want to finish it in one sitting. An American on the run and a man at war with his past make for a feisty and intriguing couple. There was adventure and danger, romance and emotion. Samantha and Gavin are thrown together due to circumstances beyond either of their control and their romance develops at their own quirky pace.

I’m not usually a fan of prickly leading ladies who want nothing to do with a man, but Samantha grew on me quickly. In trouble with the law in America, she travels to Scotland to stake a claim on some land and find sanctuary in her new homeland. What she doesn’t count on is the big sexy Scot who has had his eye set on that land his entire life. Fighting his advances – both on her and her land – quickly becomes a losing battle.

Gavin St. James has earned a peaceful life. Having grown up in a household with a cruel, abusive father and a withdrawn mother, he knows all too well how evil people can be. All he wants is to emancipate himself from his clan and forge a new life for himself on the land adjacent to his. The only roadblock is one tall, skinny, foul-mouthed American who intrigues him as much as she annoys him.

When the ideal solution to Samantha’s past troubles and Gavin’s desire to own her property comes in the form of a marriage of convenience, they both enter it reluctantly. There is an undeniable chemistry between them, but neither is looking for love. Samantha has already had her share of man troubles, she doesn’t want any more.

Gavin has suffered his own heartbreak and vows he has nothing to give except his name and his protection.

This book was interesting and funny and sexy and entertaining. The verbal sparring between Gavin and Samantha was the best sort of non-physical foreplay. They made me laugh and kept me turning the pages just to see whether they’d be lovers or fighters. The author did a wonderful job of creating characters who turned out to be exactly what the other needed.

I give The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne 4 stars!

 

 

An Earl By Any Other Name by Lauren Smith (Sins and Scandals #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

Leopold Graham, Lord Hampton, was never a man to let propriety stand in the way of his pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism is his only desire in life—until his father’s death saddles him with debts that threaten to bankrupt the entire family. Now the only thing that stands between him and utter ruin is marriage to a proper, and preferably wealthy, young lady.

Ivy Leighton is no sweet English rose. Perhaps it’s her gypsy roots, but she would rather make a spectacle of her independent spirit than sit quietly on the sidelines. If that means that the only place she’ll ever have in society is firmly on the shelf, then so be it. But when Ivy runs into the handsome, rakish Leo who’s looking for a respectable, well-bred wife, she can’t stop thinking about the troubles they can get into. Now she just has to convince him that a life with her is really what he needs.

I’ll admit I’m kind of a sucker for romances between two people who should be off-limits to each other. I haven’t read a historical in a while so I thought I’d give this one a try. I didn’t realize it was a novella length story, so that was a slight disappointment. I’ve never read anything by this author, and while she didn’t wow me with anything new, it was a solid, if short, read.

Leo and Ivy couldn’t be more wrong for each other. Leopold Graham is an earl desperate to repair his family name. With the scandal his deceased father created (dying in bed with your mistress) hanging over his head, Lord Hampton is in need of money and respectability sooner rather than later. Ivy Leighton is a suffragette determined to spend her life fighting for women’s rights. She is no meek wallflower willing to let a man run her life, and being half-gypsy makes her a less than ideal match for a man looking to avoid scandal.

The down on his luck nobleman looking for a wealthy, respectable wife is nothing new in the world of historical romance. Leo has definitely sown his wild oats, having never had a moment’s regret over his past dalliances. The weight of responsibility on his shoulders now that his family is in crisis has made him a changed man. No longer in pursuit of the next adventurous liaison, Leo has made up his mind to propose to a perfectly normal (a.k.a. boring) young lady with a large dowry. Unfortunately, all it takes is one look at the beautiful, vibrant Ivy to know that settling for the woman he had chosen for himself would be unselfish but so wrong.

Ivy is independent in her thinking, hell bent on living her own life and paving the way for women after her. She can’t afford a distraction like Lord Hampton. Her attraction to him is as unwanted as it is undeniable. In him she sees everything she could possibly want in a man, but she knows that settling down with a traditional English lord would be setting herself up for a life of tradition and dependence on a man. Her independent streak was no match for Leo’s seductive charm, and when you add in a meddling friend and mother, Ivy had no chance of refusing him.

I loved Leo and Ivy. They were both well drawn out characters and I could easily believe the attraction between them. The only annoyance was how often I was reminded of how wrong they were for each other. I knew from the description of the book that Ivy wasn’t the type to settle for a traditional marriage, and that Leo couldn’t risk a love affair with a wild gypsy woman. The author constantly mentioned those facts, even when it was quite obvious that neither Leo nor Ivy were listening. This was an easy read with enjoyable characters.

I give An Earl by Any Other Name by Lauren Smith 3.5 stars

Fractures In Ink by Helena Hunting (Clipped Wings #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: EverAfter

My Copy: Bought

Reviewer: Nikki

Sometimes the things we shouldn’t want become exactly what we need . . .
Waitressing at a seedy strip club isn’t ideal, but it pays Sarah Adamson’s tuition. Her goal is to finish her master’s program and get a job that doesn’t involve tight skirts and groping hands. She doesn’t need distractions. Especially not the one that comes in the form of a hot-as-sin tattoo artist who works across the street from her apartment.
Kicked out at sixteen, and a high school dropout, Chris Zelter is familiar with wanting things he can’t have. His fractured life has never been easy. As the product of someone else’s bad decisions, he knows exactly what happens when the wrong person controls your marionette strings. Now an accomplished tattoo artist in a renowned studio in Chicago, Chris has it together.
Mostly.
Apart from his infatuation with Sarah. She’s way out of his league, and Chris knows it.
But he’s willing to be her bad decision. At least for now.

I can’t believe I’ve never read this author before now! Helena Hunting has an amazing author voice that drew me straight into the story and held my attention throughout.

Having not read the prior two books in this series (which I will definitely go back and do) I can tell you that while I think I missed some stuff involving a trial centering around the deaths of one of the other characters parents, otherwise I had no trouble jumping right into Chris and Sarah’s story. I think I might have understood Chris a bit better if I had read the prior books, but Hunting does a great job of focusing on the here and now and only mentioning the prior happenings briefly.

Chris is a successful tattoo artist (le sigh) that has huge issues opening up to people. As a product of an abusive upbringing, he finds it easier to keep everyone at a safe distance instead of letting them see his weaknesses. Only those very select people close to him have ever breached his walls. Women are kept at an even further distance. He’s not a long term type of guy and they know it from the get go. Until he meets Sarah. He knows she’s too good for him, with her college education and graceful, sweet nature. Keeping her in the same box as all the past women was a plan that has slowly unraveled into much, much more.

Being a waitress at a strip joint pays the bills. For now. But Sarah has dreams that reach the sky. Chris was only supposed to last a few nights. But she likes how safe he makes her feel and working for a sleaze at the strip joint, she craves that sense of safeness. Especially now that she owes her boss a “favor” and she knows the price will be steep. Her ever-growing feelings for Chris put her in a rough place because she’s sure he’ll walk as soon as he finds out her boss will be collecting eventually.

Sarah spends a great deal of time stressing out about something that could have been handled with a simple chat with Chris. She was scared of him leaving and so she carried around this baggage the entire book of the situation she’s gotten into at work. I could see where she was coming from to a degree because talking hadn’t been something they’d done a whole lot of in the past, but I felt that if she couldn’t talk to him about something this important, well they didn’t have much of a future to begin with.

Chris is one of those guys who feels the need to take the blame for everything. Probably because his mother always threw him right in the path of her abusive husband instead of protecting her child first and foremost. He grew up always being told it was his fault and now as an adult he still shoulders that blame. He also didn’t think himself worthy of even looking at Sarah and went out of his way to try and sabotage their budding relationship every chance he got. It took everything coming to a head with his mother and getting his half sister out of the line of fire he grew up in to see himself in a different light.

I adored all the secondary characters and I can’t wait to go back and read how they had gotten to the point in their lives that this book followed. I am also really hoping, Ivy, Chris’ sister, gets a book because she certainly needs one after her back breaking, exhausting lifestyle of trying to support a mother who riddled her with guilt and an abusive father who cared more about himself than his family.

While there are some light triggers in this book for people sensitive to those situations, I found Fractures In Ink to be well written and the characters fresh and real. Not overly dark, but definitely a bit on the angsty side, it was what I had been craving when I cracked it open. There are drug issues as well as non-consensual, close door, mentionings. Just a heads up.

Fractures In Ink is a wonderful contemporary romance that reminded me that no matter where or how you grew up, you should always reach for your dreams.

I give Fractures In Ink by Helena Hunting 4 stars! 

The Wild by K. Webster

Available: EDITED: No longer available as of 8-10-17

Type: Contemporary

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Bought

Reviewer: Nikki

I brought them to the wilderness because we couldn’t cope with our reality.
The plan was to make a new life that didn’t include heartache.

No people. No technology. No interference.
Just us.
A chance to piece together what was broken.

But the wilderness is untamed and harsh.
Brutal and unforgiving.
It doesn’t give a damn about your feelings.

Tragedy lives there too.
No escaping the truths that won’t let you go.

All you can do is survive where love, no matter how beastly, is the only thing you can truly count on.

Confusing. Wrong. Twisted. Beautiful. Sick.

Love is wild.
And we’re going to set it free.

Warning:
The Wild is an extremely taboo story. Most will find that the themes in this book will make you incredibly uncomfortable. This book is only for the brave, the open-minded, and the ones who crave love in even the most dismal of situations. Extreme sexual themes and violence in certain scenes, which could trigger emotional distress, are found in this story. If you are sensitive to heavy taboo themes, then this story is not for you.

 

****This review may be disturbing for some readers. If you have trigger issues, please stop here. Also, this review will contain spoilers.****

Woah. That was my reaction upon finishing this book, which I should mention I read in one sitting. I heard about this book while I was scrolling through Facebook. Someone on some other review site was talking about it. I liked the cover so I clicked to see what they were saying. I have never read this author before and I like to find out a bit more before I jump the gun and buy something. The first thing I read was how Amazon had pulled the book due to the themes and graphic nature and you couldn’t get it there. By the time this review goes up, that may have changed, but something tells me Webster will have a hard time convincing Amazon to put it back up. But, you never know. **Note** You can still get the paperback on Amazon, but not the e-book.  I read the blurb I posted above along with the vague warning, but who is Amazon to tell me what I can and cannot read. So, I searched, found it on Smashwords and downloaded it.

The Wild is about a family, torn apart by tragedy after the death of a  a child. The mother, a highly depressed, vacant woman, uses the death of one of her children to withdraw into herself completely. Although to be honest, she’s been vacant for much longer, having started going through bouts of depression years before. She spends most of the time in bed and leaves her husband Reed and surviving daughter Devon on their own.

Reed has this idea that to repair the family they need to get off the grid. So he buys a ton of acreage in Alaska, planning on building them a house, by hand, all by himself while they live in a tent and a RV. By this time Devon is 16 and while I found it a bit unbelievable that Devon would willingly give up all the modern world conveniences, I decided to just accept it to see where this book was going. Because I had an inkling from the beginning due to some graphic passages before all the shit hits the fan…

The mother dies pretty quickly, in a freak accident leaving Reed and Devon on their own with no shelter but their wrecked RV, a tent and a cave they had found. The book alternates between both of their POV’s and you guys…it gets weird pretty fast. Remember, Devon is only 16, although she does celebrate her 17th birthday not far into the book for whatever difference it makes (none, absolutely none). But the way she starts looking at her father (manual labor does a body good I guess) and the way he fantasizes about her new womanly body made me squirm with unease. Reed and Devon’s relationship has always seemed a bit too connected, a bit too affectionate. There are flashbacks that say this was happening BEFORE the move to middle of nowhere Alaska. Maybe it’s because they were both starving for attention from the one woman who never gave them any. Maybe it’s because they are fucked up in the head. I dunno, but it was never a normal father/daughter relationship. Especially after the death of Devon’s twin brother.

Everything after this point in the book made me so uncomfortable I nearly stopped reading. And I read some dark, dark shit. But these two, the graphic nature of the sex scenes that happen between them. I almost couldn’t continue. It’s wrong on oh so many levels. Not to say that the writing is bad, in fact, it was seamless and I found myself flying through the book, hating it but needing to finish it at the same time. Even if Devon was at the age of consent, her father is in his forties, and well incest ya’ll.

Being by themselves up in the Alaskan wilderness, Reed evolves over the course of the book. At the beginning of the book he’s a successful real estate mogul but by the end, he’s a mountain man, fueled by obsession and a need to claim Devon on a daily basis. They are constantly fucking so it should be no surprise that she turns up pregnant, several times. There is also a very graphic rape scene (other than by Reed, b/c that was consensual?) featured that was very hard to read. It was stark and brutal as was the rest of the book.

It was compelling but it was wrong. She’s 17. He’s in his 40’s. Trying to read a sex scene that uses the word “Dad” on the regular and not in that weird way some people use it, but like, actually in the “dad” way was almost too much, even for me. I was glad when Reed insisted Devon call him his name, because it let me suspend the ickiness for a bit. There is some suspense and a few surprises (thank GOD for the one surprise), but if I have to say anything about this book it would be to heed the warning. This one is difficult to get through. I may get flack for it, but if I’m honest with myself, I liked the book because it was so brutally done, it’ll stay with me for while. It was engrossing if only for the fact that I was uncomfortable but unable to quit reading.

Wicked S.O.B. by Zara Cox (Dark Desires #2.5)

Available: August 8, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

For so long, I lived for revenge. Now I live for her. 
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Quinn Blackwood is not someone you mess with. I see. I want. I take. And you better not get in my way. That’s how I built my billion-dollar empire. That’s how I made my enemies pay. That’s how I won the one good, pure thing in my life, Elyse “Lucky” Gilbert. But after what I’ve done, my luck may have run out.

There is a fine line between love and obsession.
I’m not a fool. I didn’t think coming back to Quinn would be easy. That we would fall into a happy future and the darkness inside him would just disappear. Still, after everything we’ve been through, I couldn’t leave him to fight his demons alone. I’ve tried to convince myself nothing else matters as long as we’re together. But if I give him what he needs, will there be anything left of me?

Yet another stunning book by Zara Cox! Wicked S.O.B. is a return to the characters of Quinn and Elyse from book one. I love when authors afford readers another look into some of our favorite couples and this one was incredibly well done. Dealing mostly with the aftermath of the book one conclusion, Quinn is grappling with how to live a normal life now that he’s free from his self imposed shackles. He clearly is very dependent on Elyse as she is the one who keeps him grounded on a day to day basis. That creates a lot of pressure on her and the weight of that comes to a head when she leaves for a few days to visit her sister.

Add to that, Elyse has someone who has been stalking her but being afraid of Quinn’s violent reaction, she keeps it a secret. As incidents escalate she finds help with the local police, but even they are having trouble locating the perpetrator. Her need to shield Quinn was admiral but he needed to learn how to function without fear of Elyse up and leaving him for his own good. Of course, in turn Elyse needed to trust in him more. I also liked how the author incorporated the much needed therapy these two desperately needed. It gave them a more real quality in this overly dramatic world.

The sex scenes were phenomenal and just as hot as the original book. Zara Cox knows how to pique my interest, hold it steady and ramp up the book in subtle notches. Wicked S.O.B. is a winner through and through!

I give Wicked S.O.B. by Zara Cox 5 stars!  

Stone Cold Fox by Evangeline Anderson (Cougarville #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Swerve

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Cougarville’s mechanic, and resident Alpha fox, shelters a mysterious woman who ignites his protective animal instincts when evil forces try to tear them apart.

Jo Ferrell has been cast out of her home for reasons she doesn’t understand. The grey streak in her hair is gone, her body is younger, and there’s an ominous shadow chasing her. With nowhere else to go, Jo finds shelter in a shed whose owner she wants nothing to do with—but he’s too much to resist.

Reese Cooper has never felt a pull towards a woman like he does towards Jo and his Fox is desperate to claim her as their mate. After offering her a place to stay, Reese finds it difficult to resist his beautiful new roommate. But when dark magic threatens their happiness, Reese will use all of his strength to protect the woman he loves…if he’s not too late.

Another wonderful addition to this very unique and engaging paranormal/shifter romance series! If you’re looking for a shifter romance, but don’t want it overly dark, Anderson is definitely the way to go. Having said that, this particular book deals with some touchy subject matter, so just know that going in…

Thrown out of the coven she’s been a part of for years, Jo is desperate to find sanctuary. Unless that hospitality comes from a man. Skittish and leary because of a past assault, Jo wants nothing to do with the male race. Even the gorgeous man who just found her hiding in the barn behind his house. His offer to let her stay must come with some sort of catch, and she’s definitely not eager to find out what.

Convincing Jo to trust him might just be the hardest thing Reese has ever done. Obviously hurt in the past, he does everything possible to seem less threatening. Even going so far as to show her his fox after just meeting her, which he’s never done. There’s just something about the female that calls to both his human and animal side.

While Reese isn’t a prehistoric shifter like the past two books featured, his fox is definitely unlike anything I’ve read. He has the ability to become as small as a mouse or as big as an elephant while in his animal form. Who wouldn’t like a cuddly little fox when they need comforted like Jo needed when they first met. Or a giant fox that can tear out your throat if you’re in danger? I also liked Reese because he was so laid back and gentle with Jo, cognizant of her issues with men immediately. He didn’t rush her and even when it became apparent she was his mate, he let her take the lead and kept himself tightly leashed in his control. He was a true gentleman.

Jo was quite an enigma, and somewhat naive, through no fault of her own really. Living a secluded life with the coven had made it so she never had to interact with men and therefore never had the opportunity to heal from her past. She was strong though and persevered even under dire circumstances. I loved how Anderson gave her both the shifter and wiccan attributes, ramping up the possibilities of what she had the potential to become. If anyone deserved the best of both worlds, it was her.

The series is building towards bringing down a shadowy figure in a pharmaceutical company who seems intent to harm those females who have yet to enter their rejuvenation stage. Whether that be by killing them off, as we get a hint of in this book, or forcing them into the change to harvest their hormones, the end game is not yet clear. Anderson does a fantastic job of moving the overall story arc along at a believable pace, while still giving readers some pulse pounding thrills and titillating sexual encounters.

I give Stone Cold Fox by Evangeline Anderson 4 stars!  

Cougar Bait by Evangeline Anderson (Cougarville #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Swerve

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Samantha Becker is a busy and talented trauma surgeon with no time for nonsense. Her sister may have a special Shifter Gene, but Sammie is fairly certain she doesn’t have it, and she’s happy with her life the way it is. She doesn’t need the complicated Shifter lifestyle, and she certainly doesn’t need Liam Keller: Alpha cougar, Mayor of Cougarville and undercover billionaire. She hates him, but Liam is unable to get the curvy surgeon out of his head.

But the Shifter world isn’t ready to let Sammie go. She’s being stalked by someone who’s desperate for Shifter hormones, and Liam takes it upon himself to protect Sammie from harm. Things begin heating up between Sammie and Liam, but will they have to succumb to their inner animals in order to save Sammie’s life?

By the end of book one, Buck Naked, readers knew who the stars of book two would be. After Mathis’ elk trampled Liam’s prehistoric sized cougar (rightfully so for endangering his mate Sadie), and left him beaten on the floor, Samantha had no choice but to help him. As a talented trauma surgeon she just couldn’t leave him regardless of the state of shock she was in due to just having found out about shifters herself.

Now that her twin is happily mated and pregnant and Samantha has Liam recuperating in the nearest hospital, she’s determined to get to her medical conference as scheduled in Sin City. Even with the possibility of carrying the shifter gene herself, with no possible rejuvenation signs showing up, she feels content to get on with her life.

Hearing Sammie say she’s heading to Vegas, a hyena nest, rouses the protective streak in Liam. He does, after all, owe her his life. Sammie doesn’t want protection though being the fiercely independent female that she is. Focused solely on her career, settling down and having babies scares the crap outta her and not showing any signs of rejuvenation means she has nothing to worry about right?

Liam doesn’t want a mate. He wants an heir. At least that’s what he keeps telling himself. Yet Sammie is awakening a part of himself he thought he’d locked away completely after being betrayed by the woman he loved years ago. Trailing Sammie is for her own good. Regardless of if she wants him there or not.

These two start out the book like oil and water. They just don’t mix well. After meeting Liam in book one I found him to be a pompous ass who just took what he wanted when he wanted it. Yet, in Cougar Bait, I found that I really grew to like him. Sure, he was a bit of a jerk, but as the book progressed I realized that most of his issues stemmed from the hurt he has suffered in the past. Sammie didn’t really help much seeing as how letting go and allowing a man to mean something to her came very difficult. She valued her control over her life and she thought letting go of that iron grip would change who she was. She resisted her feeling for much of the book as a result.

The story line in Cougar Bait was a bit darker then book one. The story arc of the series is focusing on a pharmaceutical company intent of forcing the latent female shifter genes to surface through force. Sammie has some trauma that I found was a bit glossed over but I was willing to look past it since her character is so strong anyway. When she did finally surrender to Liam it is short lived and the last quarter of the book is basically just her fighting her own instincts and her need for Liam. He fights himself too, and of course that leads to misunderstandings on both sides. I found there to be much more suspense in this one due to the progression of the series arc as well.

I can’t wait to see where this series is heading! Book three is already cued up in my kindle app and I’ll be diving in as quickly as possible. With a fox as the hero in that one, I’ll be curious to see how big based on the prehistoric size and nature of both Liam and Mathis.

I give Cougar Bait by Evangeline Anderson 4 stars! 

 

 

Buck Naked by Evangeline Anderson (Cougarville #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Swerve

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Sadie Becker is not herself. A 40-year-old, divorced mother of two, Sadie wakes up one morning and realizes that she looks and feels like she did in her twenties. Suddenly she’s unable to walk around in her new town of Cougarville without men falling at her feet. Confused and alone, Sadie isn’t sure who to turn to…except answers to her problems might reside with her broodingly handsome reclusive neighbor, Mathis.

An alpha shifter, Mathis lost the love of his life, and he knows he’ll never find another mate. But his innocent new neighbor clearly doesn’t know the danger she’s in, and he’s the only one who can save her.

But when the attraction pulls too strong, will Mathis’ animal nature be unleashed and claim Sadie for his own? 

Evangeline Anderson has just rocked the paranormal romance/sifter genre with her first book in the new Cougarville series! She may have written plenty of other genre rocking books, but being the first of hers I have read, I declare it will not be my last! This shifter romance was completely original to everything I have read in the past, introducing new shifter types and giving a storyline that gripped me from beginning to end.

Unlike all my previous shifter loves, Anderson gave me a whole new take on the genre. As a woman enters what humans would classify as menopause (between 35 and 50 years old), those with latent shifter genes can go into a state of rejuvenation. The clock starts going backward and their body becomes that of a 20 year old again. Who the hell wouldn’t love that?! When this happens the female needs a male alpha shifter to satisfy their, *cough cough*, needs and perhaps knock them up to continue the shifter lines. Except going through the process makes her irresistible to all males within smelling distance, drawing them to the female like bees to honey.

Sadie is one such female, except she has no idea of what she is becoming. Freshly arriving in Cougarville to move into the house that was willed to her and her twin sister after their mothers death, she doesn’t understand the rudeness of all the females in town or the fights she evokes between males everywhere she goes. Not to mention the sudden return of a much younger body on her 40 year old, mother of college kids, frame. Add to that a extremely hostile neighbor who just accidentally saw her naked, not a good start to her new life.

Having lost one mate, Mathis knows he can’t ever try again. His kind mates for life. One shot. The death of his mate has left him a bitter, lonely male who lives life in a solitary existence. Now a female in the throws of rejuvenation has moved in next door and her delectable scent is arousing him in ways not even his mate did. Knowing falling for her would be a mistake that could have deadly consequences he tries to keep his distance but Sadie is causing trouble all over town and his protective instincts are causing him to say and do stupid things.

Oh boy, these two were magic together. Add in Mathis’ shifter, a giant prehistoric elk, and I was hooked. I love finding new types of shifters and the idea of prehistoric ones was just too good to pass up. The whole town was brought to life so well, and the secondary characters are intriguing and well fleshed out. Mathis was giant and wholly alpha without being a huge asshole, so that was a plus for this as well since I wasn’t in the mood for an alpha-hole. I also loved the fact that Sadie was a mature adult and was cautious to begin with because of it.

I can’t wait to get to the next book, Cougar Bait!

I give Buck Naked by Evangeline Anderson 4 stars! 

Black Sheep by Zara Cox (Dark Desires #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Bought

Reviewer: Nikki

In a family of cold-hearted black sheep,
I, Axel Rutherford, am the blackest.
My father has hated me since the day I was born. The feeling was mutual. In the shady underworld that was my legacy, Cleo McCarthy became my light. She was beautiful, passionate, and my whole world. So naturally my father had to destroy us. First he sent me away. Next he claimed Cleo as his own. But now I’ve returned, and nothing will stop me from taking back everything that is rightfully mine.

He was the love of my life – when my life was still my own.
We were young enough to believe we would last forever, Axel and I. But neither of us realized how cruel life – and our families – could be. Now I’m trapped in a gilded cage: desired by Axel, who must never know the full truth, and controlled by his father, who would sooner see me dead than free. And I wouldn’t even care, except that it’s no longer only my life at stake. 

I am absolutely, hands down, loving this series! Zara Cox has hooked me with her spellbinding story telling and erotic scenes. After reading book one (then called I, Porn Star and now renamed Beautiful Liar) I wasn’t sure she could top Quinn and Lucky, but low and behold she managed it with Black Sheep by giving us two characters, hell bent on revenge but with a level 10 combustible lust between them.

Axel is a man no one dares to mess with. Brought up in a house with a family full of mobsters, isn’t for the weak. Not bowing to their expectations made him even stronger. The only bright spot in his young bleak existence was Cleo, the daughter of his crooked fathers business partner. When her seeming betrayal cuts him to the bone, and his father ships him off to the military, he thinks only of revenge. Never knowing the full story, but only that which was hand fed to him be a sadistic father determined to make him bow to his will.

Seeing Axel again after so many years does nothing to quell the rage Cleo feels for him, or the desire. Believing he is responsible for killing her father and leaving her mother permanently comatose she knows she shouldn’t still have feelings for him, yet she can’t seem to shake them. Living a hell of an existence under Axel’s fathers roof, held by extortion and threats, she lives in a gold cage, scared of what each day will bring.

Black Sheep was hot, hot, hot..and I loved every minute of it! Dark and twisted, I only wish I had more. It would be great of Cox revisited this family because I’d love to learn more about Axel’s brothers too. Axel himself a master of dirty talking, brooding and sex personified. His darkness was rightfully earned and I counted down the chapters until he learned the whole truth about his past and the role he unwittingly played in his fathers illegal activities. The hatred that burned within him was somewhat misplaced and when everything came to light, his emotional reaction was heartfelt and raw.

As a heroine, Cleo is definitely to be admired. Having been fed lies and threats of her own for years, how she survived is admirable to say the least. These two broken souls together, healed each other in some of the best reading I’ve picked up this year. The sex was erotic, imaginative and well wrote overall. Their relationship rekindled and grew at a believable pace leaving me turning pages furiously as I tried to finish in record time. I can’t wait for more of this series!

Quinn and Lucky make brief appearances and along with Axel’s brothers, the enigma that is his business partner, known only as “B” plays a integral part. Perhaps a book is in our future for the kick ass woman who seems scared of something catching up to her? One can only hope….

I give Black Sheep by Zara Cox 5 stars! 

 

 

Built by Jay Crownover (Saints of Denver #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: William Morrow

My Copy: Bought

Reviewer: Michelle

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

What rock have I been living under? Why have I never read a book by Jay Crownover? I loved everything about this book. The characters are real and flawed and have super cool names. The chemistry is so believable and off the charts hot. I honestly don’t know how to write a review for this because I was caught completely off guard by how fantastic this book was!

I love stories with an alpha hero who sees a woman and just KNOWS that she’s it for him. Zeb Fuller is a man’s man, badass to the core, but with a heart of gold. He’s big, built, passionate and sexy…. the epitome of masculinity. There’s just something to be said about a man who works with his hands to create something beautiful. Zeb has a past: he served time in prison for assault after he beat the crap out of his sister’s abuser. When he got out, he was determined to make his family, and himself proud. He works hard, keeps his head down and his temper under control. His home restoration business is taking off and he is making a name for himself in the business.

Enter Sayer. She is the sister of one of Zeb’s friends, and from the minute he sees her, he can’t take his eyes off of her. She is pristine…. the buttoned up lawyer with the perfect hair and unflappable calm demeanor. Icy cold and perfect, but not bitchy. Zeb immediately acknowledges his insane attraction to her, and he can’t wait to get his hands on her. He wants to mess her up a little and see what’s under the cool outer shell she presents to the world.

Sayer Cole is broken. Raised by her cold, calculating and verbally abusive father after her mother’s suicide, Sayer could do nothing right. After years of showing no emotion and always saying and doing the right thing, she has closed herself off to everyone. That is until she finds out she has a brother. Discovering she has someone who shares her blood, someone she can be family to, completely shatters her world. She picks up and moves from Seattle to Denver to be close to her brother Rowdy. It’s through Rowdy that she meets Zeb, and Sayer is totally unprepared for her feelings for him. Zeb is a force of nature in her calm world, and even though she is desperately clinging to the walls around her heart, she knows that if anyone has the power to break them down, it’s him.

Sayer and Zeb were terrific characters. The author made them seem so real… everything from the descriptions of what they wore to their dialogue to the love scenes. The fact that Zeb needed Sayer’s professional help as a family lawyer only added another element to the story that made it even better. I loved how Zeb recognized that something inside Sayer needed to be restored, and he knew that was what he did best. Jay Crownover is an author I will definitely be adding to my must read list. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

I give Built by Jay Crownover 5 stars!

Henry & Me by Sasha Clinton

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

When we were in college, Henry Stone asked me out and I shot him down in the most humiliating way possible. He was a nerd and I was the golden girl of the theatre society, destined to make it big in Hollywood, so how could there be anything between us? Now six years later, as an out-of-work actress who has to take on a housekeeping job to stay afloat, I run into him again—and boy, has he made it big. As I begin to clean his house and take care of his precocious nephew, I realize how wrong I was about him. He’s sexy, smart, kind, everything I never though he would be. But I have demons that he can’t fight. Demons that keep me away from love. One thing’s for sure: This housekeeper-gig is going to be the hardest role of my life.

I knew from the description of this book that the heroine was going to be a jerk. And wow, was she ever. I honestly don’t know what made me keep reading this book. I’m a sucker for a geeky hero and I guess I wanted to see how she redeemed herself. The storyline was a good one, and would have worked if I didn’t dislike Maxima Anderson so much. Henry was what made this book worth my time.

The book begins with a flashback to ten years ago when they are in college. Maxima “Max” Anderson is an aspiring actress and Henry is the theater helper who admires her from afar. The one time he gathers the courage to approach her, she not only shoots him down, but she finds it amusing as hell. If you looked up shallow, egotistical, bitchy and tactless on Wikipedia, you would see a picture of Max. I hated her in that moment, and my opinion didn’t change much throughout the book.

Fast forward to present day when Max is homeless and unemployed, having left Hollywood because of a relationship gone really bad. She has no job, no direction, and no real motivation to do anything other than provide part-time help to her sister-in-law’s catering business so she can earn room and board at her brother’s apartment. Even though New York City is a far cry from Hollywood, acting opportunities are a dime a dozen, but Max has lost her muse. Her self esteem and self confidence are in the toilet and she has no idea which direction to take her life.

A chance encounter with a help wanted ad for a housekeeper reunites her with Henry Stone. This time around, Henry is the one with everything going for him. He is wealthy, has a beautiful apartment, is close to his family – especially his nephew – and is now an absolute hunk. To say that Max has to eat crow when she sees him again is an understatement. To his credit, Henry never treats her badly. He’s a nice guy, and seems to have forgiven how awful she was to him. He needs a housekeeper and babysitter for his nephew, and Max gets the job.

What follows is a quirky, entertaining story of Max finding herself way out of her element but figuring it out as she goes. Henry is somewhat of a beta hero, which I’m not always a fan of, but in this case it worked. He was strong enough to be a leading man, but nice and down to earth and endearing. I don’t know how the romance between these two worked, but it did. I never warmed up to Max at all, and would have given this book a much higher review if she had been even the tiniest bit likable.

I give Henry and Me by Sasha Clinton 2.5 stars

Every Little Kiss by Marina Adair (Sequoia Lake #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

There’s nothing that single mom Liv Preston won’t do if it means making her six-year-old son smile again. After a heartbreaking two years, her little family is due for some fun in the sun. She just didn’t expect to find it in the big, rugged, Search and Rescue hero next door—who shows her just how exciting, and sexy, life’s adventures can be.

As head of Reno’s K-9 search division, Ford Jamison knows what it takes to make life-and-death decisions on the fly. He doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t do regrets, and has never doubted his instincts—until he makes a promise that turns his world upside down. Desperate for redemption, he returns to Sequoia Lake, only to find himself face-to-face with his past…and the one woman he can’t have. Not when his secret would destroy her—and everything she holds dear.

For Liv, finding love once was a gift. Finding it twice seems impossible, until the moment Ford’s lips meet hers. Love doesn’t always come easy, but when it’s right, it’s worth fighting for…

If you are looking for a small town romance full of humor, flirtation and fun, you can’t go wrong with a Marina Adair book. She has found her niche, and every book I’ve encountered by her has been a solid four star read. Every Little Kiss, the second in her Sequoia Lake series, is no exception. Even though it’s part of a series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Olivia Preston’s world fell apart two years ago when her husband and son were in a car accident. Her son survived; her husband did not. Picking up the pieces and forging ahead with life as a single mom hasn’t been easy, but Liv has done it. Her little boy is at the top of her priority list, and making sure he is happy, healthy and loved is what she lives for. Her newfound peace is disturbed – in a good way – when Ford Jamison moves in just down the lake from her.

Ford is a K-9 search and rescue leader from Reno. Originally from Sequoia Lake, he returns to his former home to get his head on straight and pass his final certification so he can be reinstated at his job. The close proximity to the pretty widow is not coincidence. Ford chose to return to Sequoia Lake, and moved in next to Liv, to fulfill a promise he made to a dying man two years prior. He has watched over Liv and her son from afar, anonymously providing gifts and other things to help make their lives a little bit happier. He has no intention of coming clean with her, he just wants to make sure Liv is finally doing ok so he can put the past to rest.

What Ford doesn’t count on is the sparks that fly between himself and Liv. She is everything that he admires in a woman, and her devotion to her son is something a man with small town roots like himself can appreciate. Even as they explore their mutual attraction, they both hold back. Liv knows that Ford’s stay in Sequoia Lake is temporary, and she can already see that she’s in danger of giving her heart to someone who won’t stick around. Ford’s secret of how his life has been intertwined with Liv’s is something he had every intention of revealing…. At the right time. Unfortunately things move too far and too fast between them, and before he knows it, opening up to Liv will cause more hurt than anything.

I really loved Ford as a hero. He was strong and caring, sexy and adventurous, but also very vulnerable. This wasn’t a man who closed himself off. He lived life like every other adrenaline junkie – full steam ahead. He followed his passion for Liv because he couldn’t help it, and soon loving her and her son overshadowed the fear he had about coming clean with her. Liv was a tougher nut to crack. She was a little one dimensional and I didn’t love her like I have some other of Marina Adair’s heroines, but the romance between her and Ford was sweet, emotional and believable.

I give Every Little Kiss by Marina Adair 4 stars!

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Available: August 8 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-that instant chemistry that renders you weak in the knees. That is, until a night out brings her face to face with the dangerously sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her must be dangerous. She has no idea that he belongs to another. That he’s forbidden.

Ugh. You guys, I don’t know what to say about this book. Did I like it? Yeah, yeah I did. Did I want to like it? Nope. Why? Because the entire thing is about infidelity and I don’t want to get behind something that effectively promotes that type of HEA. There is a HEA but not for everyone and that sucks. I guess it’s realistic in a way, but that’s not what I’m looking for in a romance. If I want real life I just need to look around me..

**THERE WILL BE SPOILERS**

Jack and Annie meet in a bar. Jack isn’t wearing a wedding ring and apparently doesn’t have the telltale sun tan ring singles know to instinctively look for.  Annie is instantly enthralled by him and they end up in a hotel room having some incredibly steamy sex. Annie freaks and ducks out in the morning only to have to face him at her housewarming party with HIS WIFE on his arm. Not only is the guy married but he is now her coworker on her most prestigious project she’s been able to land as a young architect.

So, I can get behind the one night stand aspect, at least from Annie’s side of things. She had no idea he was married and feels guilty upon realizing her part in this. Not so much from Jack’s side because HE IS MARRIED and didn’t bother addressing that from the get go. Ok, so he wants out of his marriage. So? Get a divorce guy! Even if he was separated and on his way to a divorce I’d be okay with this plot line. But noooooo…his wife is manipulative and might harm herself if he tries to leave her again. Says every guy claiming to want to leave his wife…

Jack’s wife is cray cray, I get it. She’s abusive and scratches him to pieces, she screams and causes scenes, she drinks a lot..I could go on and on but no matter how I try to spin it, I can’t condone the infidelity. I thought maybe once Annie found out he was married she’s back off but that’s not what happened either. The sex was just too good ya’ll. She had to get some more. They looooooooove each other and damn what everyone else thinks.

The plot gets crazier as the book progresses and while it was entertaining, the entire time I was just mad at Jack. Mad at Annie. Mad at their situation and wondering why he couldn’t just keep it in his pants until he wasn’t dragging around a batshit crazy wife. In the end Jack and Annie get their HEA at the expense of his crazy wife. Would she have gone to the lengths she did and do the things she did had the situation been handled correctly? Well, I guess we’ll never know.

Forbidden is incredibly well written, engaging and definitely in that gray area of romances that seems to be becoming the norm. It was good reading. But I hated liking it because it goes against what I believe is the correct, adult way to handle something so sensitive. No matter how crazy the wife, or how attracted to someone you are, or how much you think true love/soulmates trumps all, just keep it in your pants until you’re legally separated. No matter how much I typically love Malpas, I just can’t give it more than 3 stars. I’m sure she is fully prepared for the wide range of opinions she’s unleashing with this book.

I give Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas 3 stars

Reborn by Addison Cain ( Alpha’s Claim #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: I can’t even…

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

There is a greater threat than the virus.

Locked safely away in Shepherd’s nest, Claire is unaware of what stirs above ground. Her time is occupied fighting a war of another kind. Due to her mate’s relentless exploitation of their pair-bond, the nature of their link has grown consuming to the point that Claire has difficulty differentiating where her feelings begin and his end.

Under its influence, she’s forced to sense the man behind the monster. She can feel the truth of his terrible history. Claire can see the source of madness that drives Shepherd to do such terrible things: Svana.

His mate is desperate to open his eyes, but no matter Claire’s progress, Svana is not yet done with him.

Thólos is coming apart at the seams, and Shepherd’s men can do nothing to stop it. Real war is coming, and unless the Alpha tyrant is willing to pay the ultimate price, everything he has sacrificed will have been for nothing.

Conflicted. That is the only word I can think to type as I sit down and write this review. If you’ve followed my reviews on this three part series you’ll know that I’ve been conflicted from the start. Unable to find a happy moment in this dark and twisted reality that the author has created. The stark brutality of the world and events in this book, I found particularly disturbing. Enough so that I physically had to put the book down in the last 25% which I almost never have to do. I found myself unable to continue and the wetness on my cheeks was a strange sensation, given how I felt about the “hero” of the story for the majority of this journey.

Shepherd finds himself desperate in this last book. More desperate than before as the timeline for their departure seems to be moving up at a rapid pace. Claire has become somewhat amicable to their mate-bond which calms Shepherd to a degree. Even if the reason she is behaving that way is because he has agreed to spare her friends. What he doesn’t explain to her is that even if he and his followers don’t harm them, they are sure to perish in the upcoming termination of their Dome.

What I found in this last book I wouldn’t quite call redemption. Perhaps resignation is a better word. I found that even if I despised what Shepard was doing and the way in which he was doing it, I was resigned to it. I could understand it. Growing up as he did, his fundamental years having forged a bitter man intent on destroying the city he held responsible, this being the only way he knew how. Claire is his one shot of something beautiful and light. While the things he subjected her to were not in any way right, I can understand his need to see her to safety and therefore I can resign myself to his method in doing so.

I am not sure if the ending of this book is designed to make the reader feel a bit better about the fates of these two main characters or if it’s to once again give false hope where there is none. As an optimist I want to believe in the former, as a realist I’m inclined to believe the author simply wanted to twist the knife in my chest one last time and not give me any concrete closure whatsoever. Do not go into this book wanting a romance. You will not find it here. The Alpha’s Claim series is a dark, twisted, bitter account of humanity at its worst. It’s graphic, it’s brutality startling and unforgiving. I was not prepared to feel the emotions it twisted out of me.

I know I am being vague, I am purposefully doing it, because not doing so will send me on a tangent I don’t have it in me to write this soon after finishing the book… While I found Reborn incredibly hard to read and process, I can’t deny Addison Cain’s ability to write a book that was both engrossing and demanding of my complete attention. That is the reason for my rating.

I give Reborn by Addison Cain 5 stars

Tycoon by Katy Evans

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Bought

Reviewer: Nikki

He wasn’t always this rich. This hot. This difficult.
Aaric Christos was a guy who protected me. Wanted me. Maybe even loved me.
That man is gone.
In his place is the most powerful real estate tycoon in the city.
He’s a cold, ruthless, aggressive businessman.
The only one who can save me and my startup from ruin.
It takes every ounce of courage to put my pride aside and ask for his help.
I didn’t expect him to offer it easily.
And he doesn’t.
Instead, he vets me harder than he’s vetted anyone.
Don’t invest in what you don’t know, he says.
He’s assessing every piece of me, to the point I’ve never felt so bare.
I yearn for the boy I once knew, whose touch once craved me.
Putting it all on the line will be worth it, I tell myself.
Until I realize—too late—that some risks are not worth taking.

Brynn has lost to much in her life. Her parents, her aunt, the one boy she was afraid to love. Now she’s in her 30’s and trying to not lose her dream of designing clothing and opening her own store too. Her very last chance hinges on the boy she let walk away. Except he’s no longer a boy. He’s a man. A ruthless business tycoon. And still the man of her dreams.

Walking away from Brynn was the hardest thing Christos has ever done. But he wasn’t good enough for her then. He definitely is now. Now she’s come to him needing help to jumpstart her dream. Her very last chance. He’s not about to let her walk away again. No girlfriend, no business deal, nothing is going to stand in his way this time.

I read Tycoon in a single sitting although it is a standard length book at 250-ish pages. Katy Evans definitely has a knack for weaving a tale a reader doesn’t want to put down. Tycoon is a well written contemporary romance that satisfied this readers need for a light-hearted read.

Christos was both enduring and hard to read. At the beginning he was all stoic looks and hard businessman. As the book progressed and alternated between present and past, I began to see him differently. He left to become a better man and though he’d made his way, he still yearned for Brynn in a way no other woman could hold a candle to. He’s a very rich, attractive man who only wants to settle down, get married and have babies? My ovaries just exploded people.

I admired Brynn for her tenacity because having been told no as many times as she had would get any other person down. Instead, she continued on, never wavering from her drive to succeed. Having that success in business AND a relationship seemed forbidden and a big risk that it took her a while to accept.

My only fault with Tycoon was that I wanted something more to happen. Maybe it’s the sadistic part of me, but I want more drama, more action, more suffering. This one was a bit light in that area. Especially given the set up with Brynn’s parents death and the subsequent quirks she developed in the aftermath. Sure, there was a bit of drama towards the end, but I dunno, I didn’t think it was enough. However, having said that, this was definitely a strong contemporary romance as is usual for Katy Evans. Her characters always bring the wit and charm along with some humor. Secondary character set up was spot on and I’ll be looking for Sara and Ian’s story as soon as Evans gets it finished.

I give Tycoon by Katy Evans 3.5 stars!

Going Dark by Monica McCarty (The Lost Platoon #1)

Available: September 5, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .

I’ve been a fan of Monica McCarty’s writing for many years, but I was a little apprehensive about reading this book. Switching from historicals to contemporary romantic suspense is a jump, one I wasn’t sure she could make. I shouldn’t have worried. Even though this book wasn’t perfect, it was good, and even better, it sets the scene for what I hope will be a long series!

Going Dark is appropriately titled as the story of the disappearance of SEAL Team Nine. When a mission in Russia is compromised and more than half of the team is killed, the remaining soldiers go off the grid to stay alive. One of the men’s new identities is Dan Warren, a boat captain working in Scotland. He chose that job and that particular location because a) being on or in the water is what he knows, and b) it gives him an opportunity to follow some leads to help figure out what the clusterf*** in Russia was all about. His anonymous lifestyle of flying under the radar is compromised when Annie Henderson shows up.

Annie is on a trip to Scotland to meet up with her French boyfriend to join a protest of offshore drilling in the Western Isles. Even though their romance is relatively new, Annie trusts Julien and loves that they share the same beliefs and passion for change. Her optimism about making a difference quickly wanes when she starts to sense that something is a little off. She soon discovers that there is more to their operation than a peaceful seaside protest, and when mayhem and murder appear out of nowhere, Annie is forced to rely on the mysterious boat captain for help.

The last thing Dan wants is to bring attention to himself, and getting involved in an international incident and being suspected of murder have done just that. There is something about Annie that draws him in, though, and he can’t leave her to fend for herself. What she’s involved in is bigger than either of them know, and Dan is determined to get to the bottom of it and keep her safe.

I liked the concept of this book/series, and I adored Dan. He was a typical surly, bossy, sexy SEAL hero, and his vulnerability where Annie is concerned was obvious. I wasn’t as taken by Annie as I wanted to be. A liberal feminist who is way too intelligent to be as naïve as she was, I couldn’t really relate to her. I did like how she gave as good as she got with Dan, in bed and out of it. I just wish I could have felt more emotion from her/them so I could believe their romance was more than just hot sex in a dangerous situation.

Going Dark is a good start to a military suspense series, and the author introduces us to many secondary characters who I think will play larger roles in upcoming books. I’m very curious to meet some of the other surviving SEALs and figure out what happened on that mission in Russia. Unfortunately, with seven survivors, I think it’s going to be a long wait! While I didn’t adore this book as much as I wanted to, it was a solid read and I will definitely be looking for the next one.

I give Going Dark by Monica McCarty 4 stars!

Born To Be Broken by Addison Cain (Alpha’s Claim #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Still have no effing clue

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Claire has a score to settle.

Unwilling mate to the brute who viciously conquered her city, she has once again escaped from her Alpha. Hardened by betrayal, cold as the ice outside the Dome, Claire becomes the mission. The Omegas must be freed, no matter the cost.

The price on her head will not deter her; after all, mated and subjugated her life no longer retains value. She can’t eat, she can’t sleep, and she’s running out of time before the inevitable end.

For once, Shepherd finds himself facing an adversary he cannot simply crush, the situation far out of his depth. Desperate to draw his mate back, racked and restless, he is forced to acknowledge that his pregnant Omega is willing to sacrifice her life for her false notion of a greater good.

He holds the key to her compliance and his dying mate’s survival—all he must do is give her exactly what she wants.

Yup, still not a romance people. If you want a romance look elsewhere. Having said that, there is something about this series that keeps me coming back….

Book one ended with a cliffhanger, like a big one. If you make it through book one, you better have book two on deck or else you’ll be extremely ticked. Just sayin. Claire has run from Shepherd and made a break for freedom. However, it’s not quite that easy since she is now a mated female, whether she likes it or not. She languishes without him, even though she hates herself for it. She had good reason to run, a lot of good reasons, some of which was hard to read and I don’t even have any triggers…so just keep that in mind if you’re thinking of picking this one up. Now she’s out in her city, alone, hunted and sick. Without her mate, the life she carries in her womb, one she doesn’t even want, gets weaker by the day, as does she. Determination to help her city, to fight back, is the only thing that is keeping her going. Even as her own people hunt her for the bounty on her head, she still believes in the good of the citizens. Claire is very set in her ideals, unwilling to see any other point of view. She needs to locate the other Omega’s and keep them safe. Safe from the life she is now doomed to live.

Shepherd has his reasons for taking over the city, however ruthless his actions are. His reasoning for taking a mate, not so clear, at least to him. He’s damaged, probably more than any hero I’ve read to date. Born and raised in a pseudo underground jail, where the worst of the worst are sent to live, Shepherd grew into a fierce male that was feared as much as looked up to. He became a leader of the criminals, the unfairly judged and the innocent who simply pissed off the wrong official. Having little knowledge of the outside world and the relationships normal people have, he struggles to connect to Claire. Instead, he kidnaps her, forces a mate claim, drugs her and impregnates her against her will. All the while he tells her he’s “saving” her, that everything he does he’s doing for her own good. Which may be true, but DAMN, that’s rough reading.

I’m so conflicted with this series. Shepherd is an asshole, he runs hot and cold with Claire, manipulates her at every opportunity, forces himself on her constantly, demands her submission….I could go on and on….yet underneath, every once in a while, I understand his position and his need to cleanse the city who damned him to a life of hell underground. Claire refuses to see her city and her people for what they are. Selfish, uncaring and sadistic. She can’t comprehend what Shepherd has done and doesn’t understand his endgame. Not that he’s very open with his thoughts.

The world building is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I love the idea of a dome city, cut off from everything. Blissfully unaware there are other domes in the world. The citizens blindly following their leaders, uncaring if they are ignorant as long as the elusion of security is draped protectively over their shoulders. When that elusion is shattered, they automatically go feral, killing and raping with a seeming ease. As if, the leaders and the laws mean nothing now that there has been an uprising.

The anatomy of the people is also a fresh take on paranormal romance. They look like humans, but are separated into classes normally reserved for shifter romances. They even have animal-like qualities but they don’t shift. They mate and nest like an animal, yet have relationships like normal humans. The background of these people isn’t explained fully, the reader just expected to follow along, much like the citizens in the story.

Born To Be Broken is a harsh story, full of trying reading and misdirected guilt. It’s a look into a society that has gone mad, and the price it’s people are having to pay for their deceit and selfishness. It’s a scary look into what we could be turning into ourselves in our own world. Is it a romance? Ummmm, no. Is it good reading? Yes, yes it is. *IF* you can handle it.

I give Born To Be Broken by Addison Cain 4 stars!

Luca by Sarah Castille (Ruin & Revenge #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: St. Martin’s

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in the city of sin, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart–until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wants, but his mysterious temptress has slipped away.

For two years police detective Gabrielle Fawkes has lived for revenge. But a night of indulgence with a sexy stranger changes everything. Powerful, charming, and deliciously dangerous Luca, has his own private reasons for offering to help her pursue the drug lord who killed her husband. There’s a lot Luca isn’t telling her and the more she finds out the less she wants to know.

When Gabrielle becomes the target of the drug lord she has vowed to hunt down, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in a mobster’s hands. To save her, Luca must break his Mafia ties–or risk losing Gabrielle forever.

Luca is the second book in the Ruin & Revenge series, and I wasn’t sure Sarah Castille could make me love this one as much as the first. I worried for nothing. She has created such an intriguing, dark, seductive world surrounding the Las Vegas Italian mafia that she sucked me in from the very first page. I spent almost the entire book wondering how a romance between a police officer and a mafia criminal could work, and the happy ending didn’t disappoint.

Gabrielle Fawkes has been pursuing a dangerous drug lord since the day he killed her husband. Not only did she love David, but he was everything good and stable in her life, something she’d been missing since the death of her mother years ago. Focusing on finding and apprehending his killer gave her something to live for as she worked through her grief. Injured during a police raid, Gabrielle finds herself sharing a hospital room with the mysterious Luca Rizzoli.

Luca never expected to wind up in the hospital with a gunshot wound, and he never expected to find an intriguing woman in his room recovering from her own gunshot wound. A powerful crime boss in sin city, Luca is no stranger to beautiful women. What he’s not used to is having to convince a woman to spend time with him. To Luca, Gabrielle is a gorgeous, frustrating, elusive challenge, and one he refuses to ignore.

The attraction between Luca and Gabrielle was instantaneous and HOT! Their chemistry sizzled, and I loved how neither one of them could resist the other, despite the obstacles. Luca was the ultimate alpha male…. protective, possessive, seductive and powerful. He believes in the old school ways of treating women, and everything in him wants to love and protect Gabrielle. It throws him for a loop when she pushes back and insists on taking care of herself.

Becoming involved with a man with ties to the criminal underworld is career suicide for Gabrielle. Being tied to a cop could send Luca into exile from his family business, or worse, could result in his death. Both Luca and Gabrielle are torn…. knowing that being together is as natural as breathing, and yet so very dangerous. The fact that both of them were willing to sacrifice everything for the other was amazingly beautiful. This book was emotional and sexy and exciting. The writing was excellent, and once again Sarah Castille made me fall in love with a dangerous man on the wrong side of the law.

I give Luca by Sarah Castille 5 stars!

The Red by Tiffany Reisz

Available: July 11, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotica

Publisher: 8th Circle Press

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

After finishing The Red, I immediately had to take a minute to process what I just read. If you’re looking for a straight erotica book, keep looking because this one took several off the beaten path turns and deviated into territory the back cover blurb gives no mention of.

The story starts out normal enough with Mona Lisa St James (who works in the art business and is named after the famous painting) facing a sure closure of her gallery due to limited funds. Having promised her dying mother to do anything to keep it open, she’s struggling to find a way to make good on that promise. A mysterious man turns up in the gallery one night before closing and makes her an offer to become his submissive for one year, and one year only. No feelings, no entanglements, just down and dirty sex in any way he pleases. With her agreement he’ll save her gallery and ensure she never has to worry about it again.

Going into it you know Mona is going to say yes, and say yes fast because as an erotica book, not much of a back story is generally given. This holds true for The Red but after the first sexual encounter things go off the rails rather quickly with each subsequent coupling ratcheting up the “WTF” meter. Before I knew it this became a very convoluted paranormal erotica with no warning. Some weird shit goes down people…very weird shit.

Towards the end it comes back to normalcy with an ending that suited the story line. I was satisfied with the conclusion yet still perplexed at how I got there. The Red is definitely well wrote with the signature Tiffany Reisz style yet I was left feeling bereft for the book I was expecting and didn’t get. I just wish I had known what I was getting into before I was faced with some playful wood nymph orgies and borderline bestiality…

I give The Red by Tiffany Reisz 3 stars

Born To Be Bound by Addison Cain (Alpha’s Claim #1)

Available: Now Amazon

Type: I Have No Effing Clue

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Surrender is not survival.

Claire is desperate. Her once thriving city lies in ruins. The strongest of the three human dynamics, Alphas, have grown feral. Common Betas circle like vultures. The lowest in the hierarchy, rare and weak Omegas like Claire, are being destroyed. Sheltering amidst a dwindling enclave of frightened Omega women, Claire cannot provide enough to feed them all; her friends are starving.

All due to one escaped convict’s violent rise to power.

Shepherd is every bit as ruthless as his reputation suggests. Despite taking every possible precaution, Claire is captured and her worst nightmare realized. Shepherd, discovering a rare Omega in his midst, claims her like a prize, forcing a pair-bond that ties her to him forever.

She fights her instincts and his will, because no matter how manipulative the bond might be, she despises what he’s done to her people. If she cannot find a way to help her friends, if she cannot escape, everyone she loves will die.

This is NOT a romance. I repeat, this is NOT a romance. At least not yet and I highly doubt you’ll ever be able to convince me that it is. Although I’ve seen some books make me do a complete 180, so I guess we’ll see. Born To Be Bound is set in a world of Alphas, Omegas and Betas. A world were animalistic natures are the norm and a fierce hierarchy exists. Omegas are rare, few and far in-between and quickly dwindling due to an over turning of power and people reverting to a more feral approach in society. In a single word, anarchy.

Knowing her people are dying out, Claire goes to the one she sees as responsible for the burning of her world to seek food and safety for those she loves. Shepherd is ruthless, cold and immediately stakes his claim on the Omega who has suddenly come into her heat cycle at the most inopportune time. He sequesters her away underground, treats her as a possession and routinely takes her body and forces a mate bonding on her when she’s at her most desperate time in her cycle. While technically he does nourish her body, it’s for his own gain since the stronger she is, the better the coupling can be. He has fleeting moments of gentleness but offers no insight into who he is or why he has become the cold man he is today. When I say cold….I mean like glacially cold…

“With a stroke down her hip and back up again, the monster explained in a low, soft rumble. “If I ever smell another man’s scent saturating you again, I will hunt down the male and rip off his limbs while you watch… then I will fuck you in a pool of his blood”

Claire continually fights her instincts to submit to the Alpha, even managing to get away at one point. I felt for her, I really did. She was stuck between a bone deep craving for the man she was mate bound to and she hated it with every fiber of her being. But when your anatomy at the very core of your soul is changing, what choice do you have but to give in?  Her acquiescence was slow and I was equally parts upset and relieved when it started to occur. Mostly because I hoped that her giving in would reveal Shepherd in a different light and give Claire at least a little bit of peace. I was very, very wrong.

The sex in this book is not consensual in the least, even if Claire was literally begging for it in spades. She was coerced at every turn, blinded by the chemical reaction in her treacherous body both naturally and pharmaceutical induced. She was segregated and kept in the dark. Through it all she remains steady and strong even at times when she feels at her breaking point.

Born To Be Bound is an incredibly dark book that deals with the manipulation of the mind. This is not to be read lightly and if you even have a hint of a trigger issue, you should stay far away. I do think that triggers aside, the world building was very well done. It has strong dystopian themes coupled with straight erotica elements.  If you do decide to read it, be prepared to feel as conflicted as the heroine. Both distressed and intrigued, wanting to put it down and yet soldiering on. It also ends in a massive cliffhanger which came without warning enticing you into getting book two immediately. This is definitely a book that is not for the average reader and something that will leave its mark on me for a while.

I give Born To Be Bound by Addison Cain 4 stars

 

 

Promo: Gone To Dust by Liliana Hart

About the book:

GONE TO DUST

Liliana Hart

Book 2 in The Gravediggers Series

Pocket Books

June 20, 2017

9781501150050

$7.99

Praise for Gone to Dust, Book 2:

“Lucky fans of the super-talented Hart don’t have to wait long for the second installment of her new romantic suspense series Gravediggers, as the installments are being released back to back. In the first book, Hart set up her world where five men, declared dead to the world at large, work for a super-secret anti-terrorism force. Hart’s new heroine is a very talented romance writer who takes no crap from anyone — even secret commandos. Miller and Elias are both funny and sexy together, which helps make this book nonstop entertainment, with plenty of witty bantering and thrilling adventure!”

—RT 4 ½ star TOP PICK Review

 

“Modern Cliterature…Enjoy [this] lusty [passage] adapted from summer’s raciest reads…”

Cosmopolitan, July 2017

 

Praise for The Darkest Corner, Book 1:

“Gritty, deadly, and peppered with unexpected humor, this supersexy, adrenaline-charged story will keep readers on edge and breathless until the last page.”

—Library Journal

 

“Liliana Hart sets up a fascinating and intriguing premise of individual men forced into taking extreme steps. Her heroine’s reluctant immersion into this world allows readers to discover the treachery and danger looming all around…a thrilling series!”

—RT

“A cool blend of entertaining antics and suspenseful moments, with a slightly morbid sense of humor thrown in for good measure. (Our heroine was a mortician, after all!) I had a blast getting to know this cast of characters and can’t wait to see what exciting things Liliana Hart has in store for us next.”

—Harlequin Junkie

 

About the book:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s second book in her sexy, suspenseful Gravediggers series, GONE TO DUST, features an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families. Sometimes the dead do rise…

Miller Darling is one of the most popular romance novelists of her time. Not bad for a woman who doesn’t believe in romance. She’s as logical as they come, and she doesn’t believe in happily-ever-afters. What she does believe in is family, so when her brother disappears, she doesn’t think twice about packing her bag and her laptop and heading out to find him.

Elias Cole lived and breathed the live of a Navy SEAL. Now he’s “dead” and his hero’s honor tarnished. The only thing keeping him sane are the men who are like him—The Gravediggers—and the woman who makes his head spin. He’s never met anyone like Miller Darling. Her smart mouth and quick wit keep him on his toes, and damned if he doesn’t find that appealing.

When Miller receives a package from the brother who abandoned her asking for help, it’s clear she’s in over her head with the mess he’s gotten himself into. She needs a professional, and Elias is just the man for the job. Only her brother is a former SEAL—the man who left his team to die—and Elias is more interested in vengeance than saving his life.

Gravedigger Giveaway:

For the Gravedigger Giveaway, we are giving away one review copy of Book 1, The Darkest Corner! Be sure to check out all participating sites on the blog tour for more Gravedigger Giveaways. And note that RT will giveaway three bundles of Book 1 and Book 2, with the drawing to be held Monday, July 10th. Please note, you can only win one giveaway and must have a U.S. address.

Gone to Dust blog tour:

June 20

Moohnshine’s Corner

RT Book Reviews – Gravedigger Giveaway Bundle (Book 1 and 2) drawing opens

For the Love of Books and Alcohol

Dirty and Thirty

The Reading Cafe

Red Carpet Crash

Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Booktalk with Eileen

June 21

Book Sniffers Anonymous

Abigail Books Addiction

Crossroads

Fandemonium Network

Little Black Book Review

Blonde Bookworm

Eye on Romance

June 22

Read Your Writes

Three Boys and an Old Lady

Rock Stars of Romance

A Midlife Wife

Tigris Eden

Under the Covers

Positively Book Crazy

June 23

Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

Once Upon An Alpha

Reading Diaries

WTF Are You Reading

Thoughts in Progress

The Lovely Books

June 24

Romance Junkies

June 26

Reviews by Crystal

June 27

Pick of the Literate

The Reader’s Den

June 28

Dew on the Kudzu

Read for Your Future

June 29

Bea’s Book Nook

JoJo the Bookaholic

June 30

Readaholic

The Book Avenue

July 5

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

July 7

Romance Reviews Today

July 9

RT Book Reviews – Gravedigger Giveaway Bundle (Book 1 and 2) drawing date

September 25

Authors on the Air Global Radio Network – Gravediggers Series interview

About the author:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from CA to NYC to London. Visit LilianaHart.com, facebook.com/lilianahartauthor,twitter.com/Liliana_Hart.

In His Hands by Adriana Anders (Blank Canvas #3)

Available: August 1, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

He is Her Salvation

Abby Merkley has been a member of the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith since she was a child, and there’s no way out―except death. She will fight the odds to survive, but there’s no one in the world she can trust, nowhere she can run that the cult can’t find her…until her handsome, brooding neighbor takes her into the safety of his arms.

Luc Stanek craves a quiet life. But he doesn’t hesitate when a desperate woman lands, bloodied and branded on his doorstep. Soon he finds himself drawn into her chaotic world, caught in the center of an apocalyptic war…and determined to save the fierce beauty no matter the cost.

I don’t even know how to begin writing a review for this book. It was amazing and unusual and emotional and surprising and downright beautiful. This is the third book I’ve read (and reviewed) by Adriana Anders and she can’t write fast enough for me. In His Hands is book three in the Blank Canvas series, and while some of the characters from the other books make appearances, this can definitely be read as a standalone. In fact, for the first third of the book I was wondering if it was even part of that same series.

In His Hands is the story of Abby Merkley. Yes, it is a romance, and yes there is a lovely hero (Luc)…. but this is really Abby’s story. Down on her luck with nowhere to go, Abby’s mother eventually found a home with the Church of the Apocalyptic Faith. The simple life, religious routines and members they call family are all Abby has known since she was seven years old. As she has grown older and matured, Abby begins to wonder if their way of life isn’t the only way. The pieces of the outside world she has experienced – working at the market, or watching her grape-growing neighbor – have fueled a curiosity she can no longer ignore. When Sammy, a teenage Church member she is close to, is denied medical assistance (modern medicine is against their beliefs) and Abby is punished for pushing the issue, she knows the only answer for both of them is to get away.

Luc Stanek lives a quiet live. Estranged from his wealthy vintner family in France, all he wants to do is grow his grapes and tinker with making his own wine. He keeps to himself on his mountain, venturing into town only when necessary. His day to day routine is disturbed when a woman from the neighboring church shows up asking for work. He doesn’t want help, or company, and he doesn’t want anything to do with the freaky cult church people next door. There is something about the young woman that draws him in, though, and Luc is unable to turn her away.

Over time, Luc learns that there is more to Abby than the innocent, naïve girl he expected her to be. She is strong and resilient, inexperienced but mature, and soon he forgets that he wanted to be left alone.

The night Abby shows up, beaten and bloody at the hands of her church “family”, Luc knows his peaceful existence has been shattered forever. This woman has worked her way into his heart and he will do whatever he can to help her. Abby has watched Luc from her side of the fence for years. For her, he represents freedom and a new life. In her mind, he has been her savior – the strong, capable, silent man who will offer her an opportunity for a new life. She has pinned all of her hopes on him as a way out, but she never counted on losing her heart in the process.

I don’t know how Adriana Anders did it, but she captured the essence of these two characters so perfectly. I could almost believe that she herself had grown up in a cult-like church and then broke free, her depiction of Abby was that amazing. She was remarkable in her innocence, with a thirst for knowledge and experience, and she was not afraid to stand up for what was right. Luc was an amazing hero. Not perfect, but none of this author’s heroes are. He was lonely and alone, brooding and scarred, but to Abby he was everything she could ever want. This romance was unlike anything I’d ever read before and I did not want it to end.

I give In His Hands by Adriana Anders 5 stars!

Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #17)

Available: July 11, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Ballantine Books

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

To say I was happy to be back in the world of the Troubleshooters is an understatement. Even though I don’t remember being introduced to Peter Greene in previous books, it doesn’t matter. He was memorable enough in this one, and there are enough visits from previous heroes and heroines that I felt right at home. Suzanne Brockmann is a master of romantic suspense, and when you throw in a military hero, she’s that much better. Some Kind of Hero would be fine as a stand-alone, but you will get more out of it having read the previous books in the series.

There aren’t too many men who would adapt perfectly to sudden single parenthood. When you’re talking about a never-been-married navy SEAL, perfectly is not even remotely the word to use! Lieutenant Peter Greene knows how to handle just about any situation…except fatherhood. He has had a long-distance, practically nonexistent relationship with his daughter Maddie since he and her mom split up years ago. When his ex dies and Maddie comes to live with him, he is immediately in over his head. He has no clue how to relate to a fifteen year old girl, especially one who openly resents him and is drowning in grief over losing her mother.

Shayla Whitman has seen her hunky neighbor plenty of times since he and his daughter moved in, but she hasn’t had the chance to introduce herself. She gets to do that and a whole lot more when Peter flags her down one day, desperately needing a ride. Peter has never met Shayla and has no idea she is his neighbor, but she doesn’t escape his notice for long. Even in the midst of a parental crisis, everything male in him wakes up and pays attention to the beautiful woman willing to drop everything to help him.

The fact that Shayla is a romance novelist is ironic: she does not have a good track record with her own love life. After a failed marriage, she is content to raise her two teenage sons and focus on the love stories in her head. When sparks fly between her and Peter, she is game to explore the attraction but doesn’t expect anything to come of it. Peter is… well…. Peter. A sexy, strong, gorgeous navy SEAL who could have any woman he wanted. She is just average, and older than him to boot.

This book was a little different from most romances in that when trouble came calling, it wasn’t because of either of the two main characters. Peter and Shayla were thrown together in the middle of his trying to locate his runaway daughter. The more leads they explored, the more they learned how deep Maddie’s problems ran. With Peter’s connections and Shayla’s brilliant writer’s mind, they slowly began to piece together the complicated, dangerous situation that Maddie found herself in.

Some Kind of Hero is typical Suzanne Brockmann in that nothing about it is typical. Peter was the type of alpha hero that many authors don’t write about. He’s strong and powerful and protective, but he’s not a jerk. He’s smart and polite and thoughtful, and he appreciates Shayla’s mind as much as her sexy body. Shayla was so normal she was easy to relate to. She was fearful of giving her heart to Peter, but willing to indulge in some sexy time with him. The timing of their romance was extremely quick, but believable. Even though his life was turned upside down and Peter and Shay spent most of the book searching for Maddie, I thought their romance was thrown into the mix perfectly.

I give Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann 5 stars!

Second Chance Season by Liora Blake (Grand Valley #2)

Available: June 20, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance 

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Garrett Strickland is unapologetically country, fiercely loyal, and all about living in the present and not dwelling in the past—even if he was once on his way to a lofty agricultural sciences degree that would guarantee the brightest of futures, only to end up back home when his old man died, leaving behind a debt-ridden family farm that was impossible to keep afloat. After that, it was easy to see why dreaming big wasn’t worth the heartache of losing everything. And until he crosses paths with a city girl who’s hell-bent on kick-starting her own future, he’s sure that good enough is just that.

Cara Cavanaugh is ready for more from life, even if that means changing everything; including dumping her longtime boyfriend, turning down a lucrative job at a major newspaper, and leaving behind the upscale suburbs of Chicago where she grew up. Now, she just has to pray that temporarily relocating to the middle of nowhere in Colorado will be the first step in building a career as a freelance writer—all she has to do is prove she’s got what it takes to make a name for herself. Unfortunately, her tony country day school is as close to country as she’s ever been. But when a goodhearted guy who looks like he just stumbled out of a country music video offers to help, she ends up falling hard…and discovering that the perfect story, as it turns out, is a love story. And it’s theirs.

Second Chance Season is a heartfelt, small town, country romance sprinkled with big city dreams and characters who’ll stay with you long after The End. Liora Blake is a semi new-to-me author, with book one of this series also being the first book I’d read by her. I adored that book and I am happy to say I enjoyed Second Chance Season just as much!

Garrett has resigned himself to his life and tells himself he’s okay with that all the time. Once a promising student, the passing of his father led him back home to a life he swore he wanted more out of. Now he’s working double hours at a dead end job and passing the time as any good county boy should, hanging with friends and hunting. Crossing paths with the city bred woman who is staying in his childhood home temporarily should have been a one time event. Offering to help her by introducing her to other area farmers to help her write a freelance piece should have been clue number one he was in over his head. Yet the more time he spends with his city girl, the more he yearns for something more. Something he hasn’t thought possible since he came home to a failing farm with no way out.

Being a freelance writer is something Cara has always wanted to pursue and just never had the nerve to. Coming from a wealthy family, she’s used to just towing the company line and doing what is expected of her. With her recent breakup still burning, she finds herself in a small town, on a writing deadline, with one chance to get her life right. A relationship is not in the cards, but Garrett is slowly stacking the deck with his country boy charm. They both know Cara is only around for a short time, but dreams don’t often come when you’re expecting them and they are both about to find out what happens when love pops up unexpectedly.

PERFECT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE! Hands down, Liora Blake has just got that “thing” that I crave. I read Second Chance Season in record time, ignoring real life while rooting for these characters to make that connection. This was a well flushed out story with characters you want to cheer on.

Poor Garrett just didn’t see he was living half a life, or more to the point, he didn’t WANT to see it. Ignoring possibilities for a future bigger than where you are now is safe and that’s how he lived his life after the passing of his father. Safe. Cara opens his eyes to those possibilities. Both for love and a future where his career dreams are seen to fulfillment. Their love is a sweet one that smolders from the get go and turns into something beautiful. Something that can stand the test of time. Something real and true.

Having ambition isn’t new to Cara. However, defying her family is. Coming from money means coming with a certain set of expectations on how you live your life. Having been sheltered, living on her own, on the other side of the country is scary but refreshing. She never imagined falling in love with not only her cowboy, but the terrain as well. I loved her tenacity, her drive and her ability to soothe Garrett’s soul.

Second Chance Season is definitely one for that keeper shelf!

I give Second Chance Season by Liora Blake 5 stars! 

Punched by Jacob Chance

 

Title: Punched

Author: Jacob Chance

Genre: Sports Romance

Release Date: June 15, 2017

 

Blurb

Reagan is the one who got away – or should I say the one I drove away? Now, four years later, she’s back to manage the gym where I train. Seeing her everyday is a distraction I can’t afford. I’m so close to achieving the big payoff I’ve been working for. Nothing’s going to keep me from winning this belt – not even her.  

ADD TO GOODREADS

***REVIEW FROM LIZ***

Punched by Jacob Chance was a nice surprise. I found this story to be more lighthearted and romantic then some of his other more angst-filled books. Don’t get more wrong, this is still Jacob Chance after all, so we do expect some angst. He did not disappoint, he just gave us a different side of his writing.

Noah Nolan has worked hard to become an MMA champion contender. He has sacrificed more than he ever wanted too to reach this goal and finally, it’s within his grasp. Then she comes back. The one that got away, or the one he pushed away.

Reagan Collins left four years ago to get as far away from Noah that she could. And for four years she did not come back. But she is back now and ready to follow her dreams and stay away from the one man that broke her heart. But doing so is harder than she ever imagined.

Noah was such a strong and determined man. His life has not been easy and he learned early on what struggling really meant. But when it came to the one woman he loved, he could be gentle, loving and very caring. He has worked so hard to be where he is and he is ready to take that step. But one look at her and he remembers what she meant to him.

Reagan was so determined to stay as far away from Noah as she could. He broke her heart once and there is no way he would ever get the chance to do it again. But the boy who broke her heart is now a man that makes her quiver. Can she really stay away from him and does she really want too?

Reagan and Noah found young love together and loved deeply. They had hopes and dreams of a future, but soon realized life is never easy and some choices change your life. As they begin to spend time together, even as they do not want too, they get to know each other again and find that attraction is still there. Can they have a second chance at love or is it too late?

I loved Punched by Jacob Chance. I loved the story, the flow and the characters. I found myself drawn into the story and loving every minute of it. Noah and Reagan had so much chemistry and were really just good together. Their family and friends were hilarious. I laughed, I hurt and I cheered for them. A great read.

I give Punched by Jacob Chance 5-stars!

 

Purchase Links

99c for a limited time

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

Author Bio

Jacob Chance grew up in New England. He’s a martial artist, a football fan, a practical joker and junk food lover.

An author of erotic thrillers, he plans to write many more sexy, suspenseful stories.

Author Links

Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond (Dirty #2)

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My copy: ARC 

Reviewer: Liz

He was all she ever wanted. Then she broke his heart…

As longtime manager of Dirty, the hottest rock band on the planet, gorgeous and brooding Brody Mason has had his share of beautiful women. Yet the only one he’s ever wanted is the one he never had—the one who tore his heart out.

Beautiful and elusive Jessa Mayes appears to have it all. Talent, money, and a glamorous life. But she also has a secret. Six years ago, she ran away—from her dream career as a songwriter with Dirty, and the only man she’s ever loved—without telling anyone why.

Now Jessa’s doing the one thing she swore she’d never do. She’s coming home—to be a bridesmaid in her brother’s rock star wedding… and face the mistakes of her past.

It won’t be easy.

Love this intense never is.

Dirty Like Brody is the second full length book in the Dirty series by Jaine Diamond. These are interconnected standalone books which can be read on its own, however the first book in the series is very good and worth the read.

Dirty Like Brody is Brody Mason and Jessa Mayes’ story. Brody manages the band Dirty and is very dedicated to his job. Brody grew up with some of the band members, which includes Jessa’s brother. When she walked away six years ago, she broke his heart. Never at a loss for beautiful women in his bed, the one that matters the most is unavailable to him.

Jessa Mayes walked away from everything and everyone and has not been back. But her brother is getting married and she needs to be at the wedding. The last thing she wants is to confront the past she walked away from. No one knows why she left or why she stayed away so long. But now she has no choice but to face that past head on.

Jessa was so sad and lost. She blocked out anyone that meant anything to her for so long, she does not know how to let them back in. Though she had real talent in music, she is now a successful model.

I loved Brody. We can feel what he is going through and how Jessa’s treatment of him affects him deeply. He does not know what drove her away, but he knows this time around he needs to protect his heart.

I loved not only getting both point of views, but also their history of how they ended up where they are today. They truly struggled to overcome all the secrets and tension between them. Could Brody ever give her a chance again? Why did she was walk away and stay away for so long?

This was a good rock star/band second chance at love story. They had so much chemistry, but also so many obstacles to overcome. I loved Brody and Jessa, the interactions between the band members and how the story flowed.

I give Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond 4-stars!

All I Am by Jodi Ellen Malpas (This Man #3.5)

Available: June 18, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

I thought I had control. I was so, so wrong . . .

I don’t need a relationship.
I have Hux, a decadent club where I quench whatever raw desire I choose. I take pleasure and I give it—no strings attached. So when Raya Rivers comes in asking for someone cold, emotionless, and filthy . . . well, no man ever takes his wicked pleasure quite the way I do.
Only Raya is different. Vulnerable. And carrying some deep sorrow that gets past all my carefully constructed walls and inexplicably makes me care. Now craving controls me. Ice has given way to red-hot need.
But Raya has no idea about my other life—my real life. That I’m a daddy to an adorable little girl.
My two worlds are about to collide with the force of a supernova. And once Raya knows the truth, will she be able to accept all I am?

What an amazing return to an awesome series! Jodi Ellen Malpas is one of my favorite authors and All I Am did not disappoint!

Readers may remember meeting Drew in earlier This Man books. He was the quietly controlled, seemingly emotionless friend of Jesse who has a proclivity for some kink. Though he stayed shrouded in mystery, he definitely piqued my interest early on and I was ecstatic to learn we would get the chance as readers to delve into his character more thoroughly.

When a newbie asks for a cold, emotionless Dominant, to help her forget her life for a few hours, everyone knows Drew is the man for the job. He shows no clinks in his armor, he doesn’t want any sort of emotional connection and his life is his own. When Raya and he meet there is an instantaneous attraction neither can fight. Drew struggles with his need to let her in to his tightly controlled life. He keeps a lot of secrets from her but he wants her to bare all hers to him.

Raya knows letting this thing with Drew become more is dangerous. Just out of a bad relationship and on the heels of a family tragedy she’s just not in the right place in her life to let anyone in. Each time she’s with Drew her confidence grows and soon she’s telling him everything even as he tells her nothing. I admired her resilience not only in her current problems aside from Drew, but with him too. She found a way to let him in way before he did and her acquiescence to give him time was very understanding, to a point. She was giving him space but still firm in needing him to trust her, which of course he faltered with.

The sex in this book was phenomenal, very hot and kinky enough without becoming erotica. There’s just something about a man who is able to dominate a woman but still giving her all the control that I find incredibly hot.

All I Am is a skillfully done addition to the This Man series that is able to take your breath away with its vivid romantic portrayal.

I give All I Am by Jodi Ellen Malpas 5 stars!

Twisted by Mandi Beck

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Three friends walk into a bar . . . One walks out the fake girlfriend of a hot, bearded Scotsman.

Fannin McGuire is up for promotion at Tate and Cane Enterprises, but first she has to make it through her stepsister’s wedding. To Fannin’s ex. Yep. Her ex-fiancé is about to be her new brother-in-law. One big happy family. And lucky her, she also gets to work with him.

While Fannin is putting all of her energy into her career, her ex is putting all of his energy into making her life hell. Just when Fannin is sure she’ll be attending the wedding without a plus one, in walks Jasper James to save the day. He’s the bartender at the Iron Flask, the account she’s trying to land, and everything she didn’t know she needed or wanted. Before Fannin knows what’s happening, Jasper is playing knight in shining armor and she likes it. And him. A lot. With his smooth Scottish accent, ridiculously good looks, and that beard? She doesn’t stand a chance.

Jasper isn’t in the habit of rescuing anyone. But when Fannin is confronted by her ex about her lack of a date for his upcoming nuptials, Jasper can’t help but step in. Her wild hair, violet eyes, and killer legs have him doing a few things he normally wouldn’t. Never mind that he shouldn’t be getting involved with the woman in charge of making the bar a global success.

Their fake relationship becomes more real than either thought it would. Now they’re at the mercy of their feelings when truths are twisted, and the lies don’t taste as smooth as the whisky.

What a refreshing voice Mandi Beck has in her writing! I absolutely adored Twisted with its simple formula, swoony Scottish hero and smart and sassy heroine!

When Fannin walks into The Iron Flask, leaving with a pretend boyfriend is not something she’s expecting. Yet that’s exactly what happens when bartender Jasper overhears Fannin’s ex-fiance and co-worker rubbing his upcoming wedding to her step sister in her face. Immediately drawn to her, Jasper is eager to pursue the unusual feelings she evokes from him with ease and so he steps in as her boyfriend and offers to take her to the upcoming wedding. The feeling is mutual and their attraction is instantaneous. They walk a fine line with Fannin’s firm being involved in the branding of The Iron Flask and her taking lead. Yet why try to deny something that feels so right?

While Twisted is a novella, it’s done so well that readers can expect a full story and not to be left feeling like it was missing anything. Jasper is hero material personified with his beard, Scottish accent and chivalrous demeanor. He was protective without being overbearing and he truly believed in Fannin’s abilities in her work to further the advance of The Iron Flask in the states. Her family is, simply put, a bunch of dicks, with the lone exceptions of her boss (also her cousin) and her father. How easily everyone else seemed to dismiss her feelings of humiliation and betrayal! Her over the top best friend brought some comedic relief with her brash and to the point personality and seemed to steal the scene each time she graced the page. Fannin herself is a strong heroine, determined to not only do the best job she can, but move on after catching her lecherous ex cheating. She’s headstrong and determined, courageous and proud.  A perfect match for Jasper in every way.

Beck really sets herself apart in the indie romance world with Twisted. She weaves Fannin and Jasper’s tale with smoldering heat and lighthearted encounters. It’s an easy read with real, heart-felt emotions that left this reader feeling lighter and better for it. Simply put, it made me happy.

I give Twisted by Mandi Beck 5 stars! 

Claim & Protect by Rhenna Morgan (Haven Brotherhood #3)

Available: June 12, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Carina Press

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society’s expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other’s backs.

Trevor Raines lives on the edge of legal. A good guy doing bad things to save lives, the only rules he follows are the Brotherhood’s, and there’s nothing in the world that will change that. Until Natalie Jordan walks into his life…

Natalie’s only interest is in making a fresh start. She’s a woman with a plan, and the plan doesn’t include a man with secrets, no matter how kind—or intoxicating—he is. But this cowboy is determined to break down her walls, keep her safe and make her his.

Trevor had no interest in settling down, but there’s something entirely too appealing about the woman he can’t stay away from. There’s only one thing to do—change his plans…and hers. When Natalie’s ex resurfaces to threaten her new life, Trevor will move heaven and earth to make sure the bastard can’t hurt her again. Except saving Natalie means outing his own secrets—and it could mean losing her forever…

Here we are, book three in the Haven Brotherhood series by Rhenna Morgan. This is normally where I hit a stale point in a series. I am so happy to say that Morgan once again wowed me with her work and left me wanting more more more from this world she has built!

Living in a world of their own making, Trevor and his brotherhood are used to doing things their own way. They may not always be the legal way, but they get shit done and they do it on their own terms. Trevor has noticed his new waitress Natalie is taking a lot of personal calls and being distracted from work which is unacceptable. Approaching her gives me no clue other than her desperate need to keep her job and her skittishness when asked about her personal life. Intrigued by her, Trevor makes it his business to find out her secrets and what he finds past those walls riles every protective instinct he has.

With an abusive ex to keep at bay and a young son depending on her, Natalie knows she needs to keep her head on straight. A dalliance with her boss might just give her ex the fuel he needs to take Levi from her out of pure spite. But the meddlesome overgrown cowboy has a different plan. One that involves a sense of security that Natalie isn’t accustomed to and that she doesn’t trust.

While I loved the relationship progression of this book, the real star was Natalie’s son Levi. He stole the scene every time he graced the pages. A precocious young boy in real need of a father figure, he instantly attached himself to Trevor. In return, Trevor took on the role with seeming ease, teaching him manners and how a real man should act right from the start. For a man who said time and again he wasn’t ready to settle down, his actions certainly spoke louder than his words. It was heartwarming each and every time Trevor showed the little man affection, something Levi hadn’t had from anyone other than his mother and grandmother.

While this relationship did take a bit longer to ignite, it was true to their characters and unique to their story. Natalie was understandably reluctant and it took a while to break down those walls. Faced with a man who lives by his own terms was eerily familiar to her and she had a hard time separating the upstanding man Trevor was to her slime of an ex.

Overall, this was a strong story focusing on moving on, understand differences and learning who you are in the face of secrets. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for more!

I give Claim & Protect by Rhenna Morgan 4 stars! 

Just One Touch by Maya Banks (Slow Burn #5)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Avon

My Copy: Edelweiss

Reviewer: Nikki

Raised in a strict religious cult since she was a young girl, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal—and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cult’s bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman…or so they think. In truth, she is merely biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape.

When a terrified young woman tries to steal the SUV of Devereaux Security’s toughest recruit, Isaac’s anger quickly turns into a strange sort of protectiveness for the beautiful, bruised stranger. But when they are caught in a firestorm of bullets and Isaac is hit, he’s sure the end is near, until Jenna touches him and closes his wounds. As he tries to bring Jenna to safety, she refuses to tell him what danger haunts her or how she healed him, but Isaac vows to do whatever it takes to gain her trust…and her heart. Because with just one touch, Isaac knows he wants Jenna to be his—forever.

This is one of those books that I dread writing the review for because even after pondering I still don’t quite know how I feel. To read this book you need to suspend your beliefs, which sounds weird seeing as how I have it labeled both Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance right? Just go with me here. Of course when you read anything with paranormal elements you have to suspend belief. It’s impossible, it cannot happen. That’s not exactly what I am talking about in the case of Just One Touch.

Jenna has the ability to heal someone with her hands. Gun shot wound? No problem, she just puts her hands upon you and God’s will heals from within. She’s like a televangelist, but real. She’s been raised by a religious cult since the time she was four years old. She’s had no contact with the outside world, she fears any kind of technology and she’s aghast at a normal man/woman relationship. Yet inexplicably she knows of things she should have no business knowing. This is where you need to just suspend your beliefs and just blindly follow the author and ask no questions. Like, how does she know what a Goodwill or Salvation Army store is? Or how does she know how a man proposes to a woman? If she was taken at four years old, and remembers virtually nothing of the outside world she shouldn’t. But throughout the book, little things like that continually jumped out at me.

Of course, Jenna is also a virgin, because that seems to be a trope Banks loves a lot. I understood with the story line how that would be possible in this case though so I won’t comment much on it. Other than to say the inst-love between Jenna and Issac was predictable yet enjoyable.  It was sweet, in ways and over the top in others. Issac is convinced he can keep Jenna safe from the cult and the drug cartel who wants to buy her, but time and again, he cannot. She’s a lose cannon and her naivete gets her into trouble a lot. Issac spends a lot of time either professing his undying devotion to her or crying in the second half of the book. He’s that emotional ya’ll. He cries. A lot.

The action sequences were well wrote and kept me focused on the journey these two characters were taking. I love the incorporation of all the past characters in the series and how they banded together for one of their own. This series definitely has similarities to another of Banks’ work, the KGI Series.

I am really hoping we get a Beau and Tori story next since that’s where this book seemed to be pointing. Tori is pretty damaged from her time at the hands of a killer and she’s been physically assaulted as well (another one of Banks’ tried and true formulas) but I liked the glimpse into Beau’s protectiveness that this book afforded readers.

Overall, if you can look past some of the glaring tropes and just follow the author down the rabbit hole without asking questions, then you’ll enjoy Just One Touch. This reader was “meh”.

I give Just One Touch by Maya Banks 3 stars

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann

Available: Now

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My copy: Sent

Reviewer: Liz

Parker Cruse despises cheaters. It might have something to do with her boyfriend sleeping with her twin sister.

After a wedding day prank involving a strong laxative, that ends the already severed relationship between the twins, Parker decides to grow up and act twenty-six.

Step One: Move out of her parents’ house.

Step Two: Find a job.

Opportunity strikes when she meets her new neighbor, Gus Westman. He’s an electrician with Iowa farm-boy values and a gift for saying her name like it’s a dirty word.

He also has a wife.

Sabrina Westman, head of a successful engineering firm, hires Parker as her personal assistant. Driven to be the best assistant ever, Parker vows to stay focused, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, and not kiss Gus—again.

Step Three: Don’t judge.

Step Four: Remember— when life happens, it does it in a heartbeat.

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann is a story about, well life. Life is never easy. Choices can irrevocably change the course of your life. Sometimes life happens and there is nothing you can do about it. And sometimes the path you take in life takes you where you needed to be after all, you just needed to learn a few things along the way. I absolutely loved this book. It was such a sweet, funny, at times, and heartbreaking story.

Parker Cruse’s life is not going exactly the way she thought it would. After catching her twin sister and her boyfriend having sex and severing her relationship with her sister after an evil prank at her weeding, to her ex, her life spiraled out of control for a while. At twenty-six she is ready to make a change. First, move out of her parent’s house. Second, find a job using her degree. Simple, right?

But what happens when life throws a curveball at you that you never saw coming? After moving out of her parent’s house, Parker meets her neighbor and his dog. Gus is an electrician and just what she needs to help her settle into her new place. But he also makes her feel things she should not, since he is very much married.

The last place Parker ever imagined herself in was falling for a man that is already taken. She knows what it feels like to be hurt in a situation like this. She is determined to stay away, but when his wife, Sabrina, offers her an opportunity to be her personal assistant, the offer is too good to pass up. But can she do her job and stay away from her husband?

When Life happened is such a beautiful story of love, loss and forgiveness. Parker is a bit lost at the beginning of the story. She had envisioned this life for herself, but her current situation is anything but what she dreamed off. She needed to find her way, but had to face some obstacles before getting there. When life took yet another twist, she was left heartbroken and devastated.

There is so much I want to share, but this is a story that really just needs to be read and experienced. It is unexpected. A roller coaster of ups and downs. A beautiful story about what happens when life happens. I know many will stay away because of the blurb, but if you are willing to give this story a chance, it is so worth it.

I absolutely loved When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann. I loved every single one of her characters. They were real and raw. The honesty, love and words in the second half of this book gutted me and filled me with so much emotion. I was consumed from the first page to the last. A must read I highly recommend.

I give When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann 5-stars

Break Me by Logan Chance (Sex Me #4)

BREAK-ME---FB-BANNER.jpg

Break Me

A Sex Me Novella

By Logan Chance

Cover by: Judi with Concierge Literary Designs

Release Date June 5th

Hosted by Chance Promotions

#99cents or FREEKU

Add to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32509878-break-me

You can’t help who you fall for.

Katy Vanderlin has a problem. A man who won’t leave her alone. Until he proposes to her in front of her company as a joke.
Wanting to make partner at her consulting firm, she sees an opportunity arise. Hire the man to be her fake fiance until after the holidays.
Extravagant parties, company get-together’s and it should be a shoo-in for her.

One problem, Pollux Clark.

Pollux is hired to be her fake fiance if he can not mess it up, she might possibly become partner.

If he can just keep his past hidden well, and his reasoning for being near her contained he may just make the pay out of his lifetime.

But for these two the fun is only beginning. Until one of them breaks. Who will be first?

***REVIEW FROM LIZ***

Break Me by Logan Chance is the fourth novella in his Sex Me Novella series. A series of standalone novellas that are sexy, steamy and tantalizing stories.

Can you help who you fall for? Especially if not everything is what it seems? What happens when it all falls apart? This is the story you get when you read Break Me. Prepare for a roller coaster of a ride that will be hot and steamy and heartbreaking.

Katy Vanderlin has one goal in mind. To make partner in her consulting firm. After her divorce, she wants to prove to everyone she can do this. I loved Katy. She is strong, independent and very determined. So focused to reach her goal, she sometimes forgot to enjoy life.

Pollux Clark is a man on a mission and nothing will get in the way. Not even the beautiful woman who intrigues him. But maybe she can help him achieve his goal, without even knowing it. Pollux was so charming and such an alpha. He knew what he wanted and went after it. But he was also so sweet and open when needed, you can’t help but love him.

Katy met Pollux just when she needed it. He gave her a distraction at the right time, but it was supposed to be a one-time thing. But when they run into each other again, an opportunity arises and before she knows it, she is hiring him to play her fake fiancé. Only until after the holidays and she makes partner. No problem, right?

But as Katy and Pollux spend time together, there is no denying their chemistry. As they begin to slowly open up with each other, feelings begin to emerge. But what happens when secrets from the past emerge that may tear them apart?

I loved the chemistry between Katy and Pollux. Together they were unbelievably hot and steamy. And Pollux allowed Katy to realize there is more to life than reaching goals you set for yourself.

Logan Chance gave us a story of finding what you needed, even if you did not know it, when you least expected. He also gave us an unexpected twist that blew me away. Break Me was a steamy read that will tug at your emotions.

I give Break Me by Logan chance 4.5-stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Logan Chance enjoys the simple things in life. Star Wars, music, and pretty girls. Always in trouble at school, he was made to copy the dictionary while the others played. This began his word fascination.

With a love of words, he then realized he loved stringing those same words together to create stories to inspire all.

From Boston, and relocated to Florida, he lives out his days writing, reading, and avoiding the beach.

Not afraid to tell it how it is, Logan is definitely a man of his own.

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Buns by Alice Clayton (Hudson Valley #3)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gallery

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

What a great book! I absolutely loved this one! Although Alice Clayton is normally a win for me anyway, I just knew I had to try this one when I saw that cover and that title. I will admit to chuckling as soon as I picked it up. What I found within this book was a thoughtful love story sprinkled with a sweet humor that is clearly Clayton’s signature.

Clara is a hotel re-branding consultant who has been hired to bring fresh ideas to a mountaintop resort in New York. She’s sought after, intelligent and always able to produce a positive result. When she arrives at the Bryant Mountain House she’s immediately met with hostility from the owners son and heir. They butt heads constantly throughout the progression of the book which I found both charming and honest.

Archie is still mourning the loss of his wife who was taken much to young by cancer. Unable to fully move past her death he has buried himself in work and secluded himself to the hotel with little to no social life. Meeting Clara both intrigues and pisses him off right from the start. He finds her loud, annoying and rude yet he also finds himself drawn to her in a way he hasn’t ever felt, even with his wife.

I found these characters to be refreshingly down to earth and real. They both fought demons of their own, but they were normal, everyday problems. Archie really struggled with the idea that he was moving on after his wife’s death even though it had been several years. He felt as if he was betraying her memory by finding qualities in Clara that aroused him in ways his wife never did. Clara really fought the fight or flight trait she had honed so perfectly in her past. She wanted to be the one to do the leaving since it always seemed to be reversed in her childhood. Never having roots meant never forming a connection with someone who could hurt her when they left.

As both worked through their hangups their love/hate relationship slowly evolved into something more. The humor and secondary characters moved the plot along nicely and by the last page I was swooning. Definitely a great read from Alice Clayton!

I give Buns by Alice Clayton 5 stars! 

Detour by Kacey Shea

Available: Now

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Liz

Trent Donavan is the golden boy of the rock world. As lead singer of Three Ugly Guys, he’s every fangirl’s dream, and with his newfound fame the women flow as readily as alcohol and drugs. There’s no doubt women are Trent’s preferred indulgence after a successful show.

That is, until the feisty little blonde joins the tour.

Lexi Marx loves music. It runs in her blood and flows through her soul. As the illegitimate daughter of a rock legend, she’s determined to make it in the music industry on talent alone. So when her agent scores her the opening act gig for the next 3UG tour it seems her hard work, hopes, and dreams have finally come to fruition.

Until she spends time with the band. More accurately, Trent Donovan. She’d feel better if that arrogant manwhore of a lead singer would stop hitting on her with his dreamy eyes, witty comebacks, and voice that melts the most jagged of hearts. But Trent is determined to prove to Lexi he’s not such a bad guy, and as music binds their friendship, Lexi’s left with the most confusing of emotions. Could this be love or an uninvited distraction? She can still have it all, if only her heart doesn’t lead her off track.

Detour by Kacey Shea was a fun, sexy read with a touch of angst. Who does not love rockers and the woman who goes toe to toe with them?

Trent Donovan and his band, Three Ugly Guys, have worked long and hard to make it in the music industry. All their dreams are finally coming true. He is living the life of a rock star! Women, fame and parties are his life now. He is content. What else could he ask for?

Lexi Marx is ready to hit the music industry by storm. She has been surrounded by music all her life, but is determined to make it on her own merit and talent. She does not need her absentee rock legend of a father to open any doors for her. When she finally gets the break she needs, she is determined to put her mark on the world and stay away from the members of the rock band she is opening for. No one knows better than her the consequences of falling for a rocker.

I loved Trent. Yes, he was cocky and confident, but he earned that right and never lied or made promises. The ladies knew who he was and what he wanted. He gave them what they desired and everyone was happy. That is until he meets Lexi. She rocked his world and seemed to bring out the softer side of him. A side that wanted to be a better man for her.

Lexi, on the other hand, was hard around the edges and protected herself fiercely. But as we learn her background, we understand why she is the way she is. She never lets her defenses down. But when Trent comes to her defense and they begin to spend time together, everything changes and she begins to see a different side of him.

I enjoyed reading a heroine that was not afraid to stand for what she wanted and believed in. She gave just as much as she took. I loved seeing a hero who knew what he had in a woman and did all he could to show her who he really was. Seeing the romance blossom between Trent and Lexi was frustrating at times, but also very sweet.

I enjoyed reading Detour by Kacey Shea and hope to see the other band members get their stories as well. I was intrigued with the slow burn of the romance, the friendships between the band members and with Lexi and I loved Trent’s mom. This was another great read from Kacey Shea.

I give Detour by Kacey Shea 4-stars

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

Available: Now 

Type: Romantic Comedy/New Adult

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.

Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he’s still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rules are set, dinners are made, conversations are had, and a shirtless, swoony roommate walks around in nothing but a pair of black briefs, ruining me for every other man.

Before I know it, I turn into a panting, lust-filled woman begging for Tucker to kiss me, touch me, and show me exactly what is hiding under those briefs.

But with great orgasms, comes great consequences.

Tucker might be my friend and roommate but he’s also my best friend’s ex-boyfriend, making him completely off-limits. At least that’s what my brain is telling me, my heart is speaking an entirely different language.

Meghan Quinn is someone I’ve never read before. I’ve got a few books on my kindle but haven’t had the chance to buckle down and read them. However, when My Best Friend’s Ex showed up on my kindle, I decided to dive right in.

To me this book just screamed “girl code” and I knew from the start it was going to be broken. But what a way to break it…

Emma and Tucker have known each other for a long time, since high school. Tucker dated Emma’s best friend, Sadie, and they were inseparable. They loved hard and fought hard as well. Sadie ended up pregnant and Tucker did what he thought was right…bought the house with the white picket fence in hopes of the perfect family. However, Sadie lost the baby and all of their dreams fell apart.

A few years later, Tucker has still not moved on. He is still in the same house, barely living, when he sees his friend Emma at a local bar. As luck would have it, Emma is looking for a place to stay after being evicted and Tucker offers her a room in his home. I mean, they are just friends, right??

From the moment Emma moves in, the banter between her and Tucker is friendly and yet flirty. He pushes her to work hard and play harder. He goes out of his way to make her comfortable in her home, cooking, spending time with her, buying furniture and making it a home, something he never did after Sadie left him.

Throughout the book, there is the sexual tension that is incredible. I was holding my breath just waiting to see if Tucker and Emma would surrender to their desires. The joking between the two, the things that just coming pouring out of Emma’s mouth and Tucker’s sometimes hot/cold attitude towards Emma leads to some mind-blowing scenes.

“He’s been preparing all his life to be the best at everything he does, and you, my beautiful friend, will be the one who benefits from the hard knocks he’s experienced. He will give you his soul, his heart, his love.”

Emma and Tucker’s story is fabulous. With the addition of some amazing friends and co-workers, this tale of friends to lovers is remarkable. My Best Friend’s Ex has plenty of fun, sexiness, drama and a whole lot of love. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more of Ms. Quinn.

I give My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn 4.5 stars!

Mami by J.C. Valentine (Papi #2)

MAMI, based on a true story

by J.C. Valentine

PAPI #2

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Genres: Adult, Erotic, Short Story, Novella, Contemporary, Romance

BUY:

SYNOPSIS:

Readers asked for it, and JC Valentine has delivered!

Life has thrown me a few curveballs…

But nothing as sexy or devastating as Alejandro.

I never thought I’d see him again, but fate has seen fit to give us another chance.

Maybe this time we’ll get it right. Maybe this time he’ll stay.

Or perhaps my heart is about to be irrevocably shattered.

One way or another, our lives are about to change.

Only time will tell if it’s for better or worse, but one thing is certain…

Alejandro is a force to be reckoned with…maybe even best to be avoided.

But when it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes there’s no reasoning.

Sometimes…it’s pure instinct.

Taking a chance on him is like playing Russian roulette—it’s dangerous…foolish…and likely to kill me.

But what’s life without a little risk?

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**REVIEW FROM LIZ**

The novella, Mami, from J.C. Valentine is a follow-up to her Papi novella. Where Papi was more steamy and sexy, Mami serves a bit more of reality and adulting. Don’t get me wrong, Alejandro and Julie are still so very steamy together, it’s just the reality of being together takes more precedence in this story.

The story picks up right where Papi left off. Julie has not heard from Alejandro and now he is at her front door asking for another chance. But this time around there may be a lot more at risk.

I loved Julie. She is coming out of a marriage that left her hurt and trying to rebuild her life and that of her children. She is looking for a man who wants to be with her and make her a priority. But at the same time, she feels an attraction to Alejandro she cannot deny. Walking away from him may not be as easy.

Alejandro is sexy, hot and so very alpha. He drips sexuality in every page, but he has commitments that keep him away. I really wish we had his point of view in this story, but get why we did not.

This was another great novella by J.C. Valentine. I enjoyed the story, the characters and getting more background on both Alejandro and Julie. We even got a bit of angst as Alejandro and Julie work out their relationship. I loved the epilogue, however, it made me sad when the author provided the difference between Papi and Mami.

I give Mami by J.C. Valentine 4-stars!

ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! http://bit.ly/1KxXWWB

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Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Swerve

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Helena Hunting can write some books ya’ll. I am an avid reader of hers and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pucked Series. I was a little scared going into this one because well, it’s not a Pucked book. However, I absolutely fell in love with Bane and Ruby!!

Pucked Boys be damned, there’s a new hottie in town and he’s got one hell of a dirty mouth!

Ruby has no idea what she is in for while attending her best friend’s engagement party. A run in with an incredibly hot guy in the hallway by the restroom leads to a heavy make out session which leads to all sorts of trouble for Ruby. See, the hot guy is sick with the flu, which he passes along to Ruby…disaster in the making.

Now looking for a job and an apartment, Ruby’s best friend sets her up with a job apartment/pet sitting for a friend, Bane, who just so happens to be the guy who kissed her and started this whole mess to begin with!

“You know, you can call me Bane.” “Like the bane of my existence?”

I thoroughly enjoyed Ruby! She is a woman who lives in the moment, a starving Broadway actress who is trying to make ends meet. Ruby has no qualms about saying what she means, like it or leave it. She is hilarious and I like how she knows what she wants. And that, my friends, is Bane.

Bancroft “Bane” was refreshing. He was so much more than the typical rich guy. He spent a good part of his life doing what he wanted to do, which was rugby, but now is following in the family business. Having to travel for work, he has Ruby stay at his apartment to watch his unusual house pets. And his attentional to detail and organizational skills had me drooling like a baby. I mean, come on! Who doesn’t like a hot, sexy rugby player turned business man who has his shit together??!

“Bancroft is stretched out on the couch watching sports with Francesca curled up in his lap. Right on top of his penis. What a whore. I wish I was her.”

Bane and Ruby’s friendship was fun and lighthearted until it turned into something so much more. These two had unbelievable chemistry and great banter, and were so very attracted to each other, you’d have thought they would have jumped each other immediately. But no, you really get the build up with this one…. more than halfway through the book before any sexy times happen. Get yourself a fan, lock yourself if your room, grab a change of panties, whatever you have to do because when it does go down? HOLY SHIT. If you’ve read any of Helena’s books, you know her men have some dirty mouths. Bane is no different and it is UNREAL. The mouth on that man, I’ve got some ideas on what I’d like it to do 😉

Shacking Up was an enjoyable story that had a little bit of everything in it. A whole lot of sexiness, lighthearted fun, sexual tension that is off the charts, cute animals, sexy men, one HELL of a douchebag guy who you will love to hate…. all of which you will absolutely fall in love with!

I give Shacking Up by Helena Hunting 5 stars!!!

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart (Gravediggers #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache. Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

Even though I have a to-be-read pile taller than me, I’m always looking for new authors, especially new authors with a new series I can delve into. If I love a book, I love it even more when it’s a part of a series that I can keep revisiting. I’m partial to alpha heroes and military/special ops romance, so I figured this book was right up my alley. The Darkest Corner didn’t wow me, but it didn’t disappoint either. Liliana Hart has created an interesting spin on the former military hero storyline and introduced characters that were likable and believable.

Tess Sherman runs the only funeral home in the small town of Last Stop. She returned to her hometown after college intending to buy the funeral home when the owner finally decided to sell. Not only is it her workplace, but it’s also her home since she lives on the third floor. When an unknown buyer comes in and takes over, the only consolation Tess has is the fact that the seller/former boss made her continued employment part of the contract. Oh, and the fact that she now has a group of seriously hunky guys working for her.

Deacon Tucker poses as a funeral home assistant, but there is way more to him than meets the eye. Tess knows that he and the other guys are there in Last Stop for reasons other than helping the sole mortician with one funeral a month. Since they take care of everything around the place so she doesn’t have to, and they mind their own business, Tess is happy to let them have their secrets. Until the attraction between her and Deacon that has been sizzling on the back burner for two years finally ignites.

Deacon knows he has no business pursuing the sexy mortician. Thanks to his dishonorable exit from the military/government world he used to live in, he now is a man with no past and no future. He lives one mission at a time, his only priority to keep the world safe. What does he have to offer Tess, a woman with roots deep in the Last Stop soil? None of that can stop the chemistry between them from boiling over, and once they acknowledge their mutual attraction, all bets are off.

Things for Deacon and Tess are complicated even further when Tess is drawn into Deacon’s Gravedigger world. The last thing he wants to do is bring danger to her doorstep, but when he discovers she can help him, he has to figure out a way to utilize her talent while keeping her safe at the same time.

I wasn’t overly thrilled with the terrorist plot of this book. It seemed like most of the book was spent building up to this sinister world-ending attack, and yet it was handled so easily by the Gravediggers. I think I was hoping for more intensity or something. I also really disliked Eve. I think that was the point, but still. But all that aside, I enjoyed the romance between Tess and Deacon. He was a strong, caring man who only had eyes for one woman. She was awkward and insecure and wanted Deacon more than anything. Regardless of their uncertain future, they both dove into their romance whole-heartedly, and it made for a sweet & sexy read.

I give The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart 3.5 stars

Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker

Available: May 30, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips – on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he’s an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.

Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.

Olivia Ramsey is a humanitarian who has spent every morning for months trying to get Coleman Grant III to save the bats. She’s a save the planet kind of gal and Coleman….well, he’s not.

Coleman Grant III is a powerful man living in Chicago who has come to enjoy the meetings with Olivia every morning. He thoroughly enjoys turning her efforts down every day.

Until a weekend in Vegas for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party has the two of them drinking too much and having a night of great sex. I was surprised it wasn’t the typical “Oops, we got married” story but something so much more fun!

Coleman’s father put a stipulation in his will that he has to be married by 30 to inherit the family business. Coleman’s grandmother will have control of everything and he can’t stand the woman. Finding all of this out the morning after their tryst, Coleman makes Olivia a proposition. Three months of marriage so he can get his company and he will save her beloved bats.

“Believe me, under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be my first choice. Hell, you wouldn’t even be my last choice, but I’m out of time.”

Black Tie Optional was a very funny, had loads of sexual tension and family members that go from one extreme to the next! I absolutely fell in love with Olivia’s family and despised

Coleman’s grandmother. And when the ex comes into play? You know that was no accident…and I loved every bit of it. It had me questioning how he came back into play and who Olivia would really choose!

Can Olivia and Coleman co-exist in a marriage of convenience without their hearts being involved? Will the grandmother truly believe their marriage is one of love? And most importantly, will the bats be saved? 😉

I give Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker 4 stars!!

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller (Soul Charmer #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Talos

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

WOW! What an amazing debut by newcomer Chelsea Mueller! Borrowed Souls was every single thing I love about urban fantasy and more! Mueller has created a world unlike anything I have read. It’s fresh, it’s new and it’s original. Sheer perfection.

Callie is used to taking care of her family. If she didn’t, no one else would. Her wayward brother has landed himself in yet another mess, this time with a drug lord and his very life hinges on Callie’s ability to steal some priceless information. In order to do that she needs to “borrow” a soul from the local Soul Charmer, a greasy man who barters every deal with desperate people. In order to get the soul she needs, she agrees to work for him for free. But his agreement comes with hidden strings and soon Callie finds herself shackled with a very hot partner and in search of the Soul Charmers competition, a woman who seems intent to steals the souls, literally right out of people’s bodies.

There is a religious undercurrent to Borrowed Souls that piqued my interest. The citizens of this world seem to follow one central religion that focuses mainly on the purity of ones soul. Allowing your soul to become tainted is frowned upon but as always, there seems to be a few loopholes. One can simply “borrow” a soul from the Soul Charmer in order to do all the dirty deeds they’ve fantasized about. Two souls in one body and the extra one taking all the heat for your sins. As with everything though, there is a price, like having bits of your soul and bits of the borrowed soul mingling in ways that don’t quite leave you the same after the experience. Like any drug, people chase that high, that release from their mundane lives and quickly become addicted.

From beginning to end I was enraptured with Borrowed Souls and the magic it presented. Callie and Derek were perfect together and I found their personalities to be unique. These characters got shit done and they didn’t screw around. Both are capable on their own, but together they created a formidable foe. Even though Callie was unwittingly drawn into this line of work in an effort to save her ungrateful lowlife of a brother, she stood tall and faced her issues head on. I loved Derek’s protectiveness from the get go and even though we don’t really find out his story in this one, the groundwork is laid for future books and hopefully more of why he’s so indebted to the Soul Charmer. Callie’s fierce loyalty to her family was awesome even if a little questionable. Those people do not deserve her at all and it hurt my heart every time their stupidity cut her a little more. Derek, however, proved his worth time and again and I just adore them together.

I am so excited for another book from this world! I have high hopes for this series and this author. PLEASE GIVE ME MORE!!!

I give Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller 5 stars! 

Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti (Blood Brothers #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

Rebecca Zanetti has done it yet again! I’m beginning to think she’s one of those very few authors who I just adore every single book they write. Lethal Lies is just another amazing book in a long line of amazing romantic suspense books.

The second book in the Blood Brothers series finds us with Heath Jones. Heath is the level headed brother who is not only a stealthy PI but also an accomplished lawyer too. Used to being on the run from the crazy scientist who created them and her militant followers, Heath and his brothers live in the gray area. Now they are joined by Ryker’s girlfriend from book one as well. Heath basically carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He feels personally responsible for every blow they take, whether he can prevent it or not. After the death of an FBI agent he was working with at the hands of the Copper Killer, he finds himself face to face with her beautiful sister, a profiler.

Anya is devastated by the sudden loss of her sister and determined to insert herself in the continuing investigation whether Heath or the FBI like it or not. Unwittingly she blows Heath’s cover in an attempt to draw the killer in closer and they find themselves in a race against time and several different fronts. Anya is smart but definitely not field ready. She rotates between wanting to bring the Copper Killer to justice and wondering if she’s crazy for trying to draw his attention. Heath, being the protector that he is, is determined to keep her safe and away from not only the killer but the scientist who would surely use her to draw him out.

What I absolutely loved about Lethal Lies was the way Zanetti tied both the continuing story arc and the Copper Killer together. I honestly, never saw it coming and I LOVE when an author can surprise me. Heath and Anya’s chemistry is explosive. They bicker and love with a ferocity that won’t soon leave your mind. The Blood Brothers series also ties in to the Sin Brothers series very well with those characters making appearances in these books too. I cannot wait for the last brothers book! Denver’s book promises to bring everything full circle. Not to mention watching this stoically silent brother lose his damn mind over his woman should be interesting reading.

I give Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti 5 stars! 

Nudes by Sarah Robinson (Exposed #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz 

Ben Lawson is making a comeback...

After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don’t know a damn thing. As CEO of a movie production company, I’ll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I’m unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I’d never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything.

Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her…love her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Aria Rose is baring it all….

I knew better. I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world. He even promised me his heart.

But he destroyed everything–my heart, my career, us. 

Are celebrities rights any different because they are famous and put themselves in the public eye? In a world of social media and instantaneous sharing, there is no chance of hiding. Nudes by Sarah Robinson is a story about fame, privacy and romance.

Aria Rose is making a name for herself. After working hard to get her name out there, she finally has the role that can make or break her. And she knows she’s got this! The last thing she needs is a man. Especially a man in the business, a man that is technically her boss.

Ben Lawson was burned once and it nearly destroyed him. Never again. After his now ex-wife nearly ruined him, he is determined to show everyone he is not easily deterred. He is determined to make a success of the studio he is now running. Nothing will get in his way.

I loved Aria and Ben. They were both such likeable characters. Though both were weary due to previous relationships, they were open with each other. And together they were hot and steamy. Their romance was a bit on the insta-love side but the author did a good job flowing it into the story.

Nudes has a touch of the forbidden, as Aria is working on a film under the studio Ben Lawson is now running. But they feel an instant attraction neither can deny. Though they try and fight it, they can’t stay away from each other. They decide to keep it quiet and stay under the radar. But when nude photos of Aria are leaked, all hell breaks loose.

I really enjoyed this story. Though Aria and Ben are famous, at the end of the day they are just two people. After the photos are leaked, they must find a way to move forward and wade through the lies and duplicity. The scandal rocks their world and Aria’s character is questioned.

Ben and Aria’s journey is full of heartache, lies and scandal. Sarah Robinson did an outstanding job showing her readers the world of the rich and famous and how vulnerable they can really be. I loved the strength Aria showed throughout the story and even during their toughest moments, you just cheered for Ben and Aria.

I give Nudes by Sarah Robinson 4-stars!

***Excerpt***

“Aria?” A deep voice cut through the crisp nighttime air.

She turned to see Ben approaching her, the shadows from the upper deck of the yacht moving across his face as he came closer. “Oh. Hi, Mr. Lawson.”

“Please, like I said, call me Ben,” he reiterated, leaning against the railing next to her.

“Right. Ben. Sorry, the last exec wasn’t quite so…”

His lips curved into a smile. “So, what?”

She wasn’t sure what to say, because her honest answer was sexy. That didn’t seem like the best thing to a man who now funded and controlled her film. “Approachable?”

Ben laughed—a deep chuckle that she felt vibrate through her bones. “I hope that’s a good thing.”

“It definitely is,” she assured him, placing a hand on his arm. The moment she touched him, she pulled back, immediately embarrassed.

He. Is. My. Boss. Get it together, Aria.

He didn’t chide her, or look uncomfortable, which she took as a good sign.

Aria returned to her original position beside him, and they stared out at the darkened water lapping the sides of all the boats docked around.

“Want to hear something funny?” Aria finally broke the silence, but kept her voice low. So low, he had to lean in to hear her.

“Tell me.”

“My parents met in this very marina. She was a caterer and he was a deckhand—still teenagers. Barely old enough to know who they were, let alone what they wanted out of life. Still, they knew what love was when they stumbled upon it, and they knew enough to never let go.” Aria’s heart beat a little faster, warming at the memories.

“Wow. Are they still together?”

Aria nodded. “Barely spent a day apart since. My mother is actually my manager, and she works insanely hard for me, but my father always comes first. He’s the love of her life.”

“Love like that is special. Rare.”

“Is it?” Aria tilted her head to the side. “I’m not sure it’s as rare as it is a choice, a commitment, and the strength to follow through each and every day. There were times they could have given up—maybe lived an easier life with someone else—but they made a decision that this was the love they wanted, this was the life they wanted, and in that choice comes a confidence, a happiness, that most people deny themselves.”

Ben was quiet for a minute. Finally, he inhaled loudly, then blew it out in one long breath. “That’s really beautiful, Aria. Hits a bit close to home, I have to admit.”

“I’m sorry.” Aria frowned, turning to face him and just leaving one elbow on the railing. “I didn’t mean—”

He shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I just finished going through a divorce about six months ago, though we’d separated the year before that. I think you’re right—love is a choice. Making love work is a choice. And yet…if it’s not with the right person, then it’s the wrong choice.”

“Soul mates.” Aria raised one brow. “You believe in that?”

Ben stared at her for a moment…a long moment. The kind of moment that made her shift her weight from one leg to the other, her skin heating under his gaze. “Yes. I believe in soul mates.”

She tilted her chin up ever so slightly, going for lightheartedness. “Well, we all have our flaws. You couldn’t be entirely perfect.”

Ben laughed again. “Believing in soul mates is a flaw?”

“Buying what you’re selling is definitely a flaw. You’re a movie producer, so you sell fantasy to the world.”

“I think we can have the fantasy.” His eyes danced, but his smile was gone. “Don’t you want the fantasy?”

Aria turned back to the ocean, looking out at the waves. This was too much, too real, too soon with a man she barely knew. A man who was pretty much her boss. “Who wouldn’t want the fantasy?” she said dismissively. “Some would say I’m already living it.”

“That’s certainly true. Everyone on this yacht, everyone in this city…Hollywood. It’s all a fantasy of some sort.” Something in his tone sounded so…sad? A small ache pulled at her heart, and she felt like they’d opened the door to something different. Something different than studio exec and actress. Something more than strangers who just met today.

Her humanity connected to his, and they were just two people standing on a boat wishing it could float them away from their picture-perfect lives.

“Do you know why I love Scarlet’s Letters?” she said softly, her voice barely above the whistle of the wind around them.

He stepped closer, his elbow pressed against hers on the railing now. “Why?”

“It’s something I can be proud of. A story I’m proud to tell. The strength of a woman in wartime, a French woman saving innocent people during the Holocaust…a woman picking her truth over a man, over love. Have you read the script?”

Ben nodded. “I have. Two years ago, when it was making the rounds. It’s powerful, and from what I’ve seen, you do an amazing job in it.”

“Thank you. When I first saw this script—or rather, read the book it’s based on—I knew I had to play this part. No matter what I had to give up. This was mine.”

She’d never connected to anything more than she had this script. It was empowering, and taught courage in the toughest of circumstances. It was a tiny snapshot of a much larger scale event, showing the decisions and atrocities suffered at such a human, personal level. It was a woman denying her own privilege and luxury to help fellow humans who didn’t have that reach.

“The way you talk about it…I’m jealous,” Ben admitted.

That got Aria’s attention, and she turned to face him. “Jealous? Of what?”

He pushed off the railing, looking up at the stars before settling on her gaze. “Passion. Excitement. Purpose. You know what you want. You know who you are and what your goals are.”

“And you don’t?” He had to be nearly thirty, if not over. Striking and fresh faced, but his features still said experience. Aria was only in her twenties, but at times she felt decades older.

Ben shook his head. “I thought I did. I built a life. Got married. Worked my way up in Maguire Industries. Everything was mapped out. Everything was…easy.”

The ache from earlier was back, the sadness in his voice. Aria placed her hand on his forearm, a comforting gesture. Partly for him, but mostly for her. She needed a physical connection when they were connecting on so much more.

“What happened?” she pried, squeezing his arm ever so slightly.

Ben looked down at her hand, his eyes lingering. He didn’t move or pull away, and when he lifted his head to face her again, there was a need in his eyes that made her insides heat. “The woman I trusted with all my secrets? She sold them to the highest bidder the moment I wasn’t able to be a stepping stone for her career.”

Aria didn’t reply, sensing there was more.

“She used every connection she had to get me blacklisted. Took everything. Now Maguire Industries acquired Shepherd Films, expecting me to fail. Pushing me out.”

“Not many would call being the CEO of a film studio a demotion,” Aria pointed out.

“When you’re used to being the landscaper, it’s hard to become the rose.”

Aria laughed, letting go of his arm. “First, soul mates. Now, roses. You’re a poetic man, Ben Lawson. A true romantic.”

Suddenly, his fingers intertwined with hers, pulling her to him. Pressing her body to his, chest to chest, heartbeat to heartbeat. His eyes never left hers, and she watched him wrestle with something…doubt, uncertainty. As if he didn’t know why he’d just hugged her to him, but then need. Pure need darkened his eyes as something deeper pushed the rest away.

Her breath was lost as she concentrated on standing, her knees already threatening to buckle. She’d taken every second of the journey with him, and now she wanted more. Something about the way he smelled ignited every nerve ending in her body. The way he held her, one arm wrapped around her back, was so secure, so comfortable, so protective, so intimately. No one had ever held her like that in her entire life.

She didn’t want him to let go.

He was fire. She wanted to leap into his flames.

“And what are you, Aria Rose?” Ben’s fingers tipped her chin upward, her eyes finding his. “Who are you?”

The words rumbled in his chest, vibrating against him as he spoke. There was a genuineness to it that terrified her, unnerved her, and completely overwhelmed her. Their souls were laid bare and he was asking for more.

A perfect stranger. A moment of truth. An absolute mistake.

She couldn’t do it. Her walls shot up and she let go of him, fear coursing through her. “I’m an actress, Mr. Lawson. Just an actress.”

And just so much more.

 

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Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

My best friend is married.
Everyone I know is married. It doesn’t bother me. I like my life the way it is.

Since I’m single though, when my best friend and her husband finally decide to go on their dream honeymoon, she asks me to watch their three-year-old son.

Of course I say yes.

What my best friend neglects to tell me is that I won’t be babysitting alone.

Feeling Max might be too much for me to handle, her husband asks his only single friend to help.

Nick Carrington and I have met a couple of dozen times. I’ve never really given him a second thought—other than to say he’s kind of a jerk. Out loud. So he can hear. Sure, he’s tall, dark, and handsome. And yes, he has the best ass I’ve ever seen, and I mean ever seen quite literally. You see he mooned me at last year’s Fourth of July barbecue because, like I said, he’s a jerk.

He always has to be the life of the party.
He’s also arrogant.
Imposing.
Rich.
And a playboy.
I’d even go as far as to say he’s a manwhore.

Yet somehow before I know it, this manwhore and I are co-parenting. Living under the same roof. Eating meals together and yes, talking.

Don’t look at me like that—it’s not like I had a choice. Even though I knew every minute would be hell, I had to say yes.

But after two weeks what I didn’t expect to discover is that I’d been wrong about him.
That under his smart-ass exterior, he’s quite charming.
That his arrogance is really confidence.
And that the sight of his naked body would do really bad things to me.

So yes, I’d misjudged him. And yes, I like him. Really like him. Although I might still think he’s a jerk…I now think he’s a sexy jerk.
And I want more of him.

The question is—does he want more of me?

 

Nick Carrington and Tess Winters don’t like each other. At all. They have known each other for years and have never gotten along. Tess thinks Nick is a playboy, Nick thinks Tess is to uptight. When their friends force them to babysit their son, together, it shows both Nick and Tess each of them are so much more than they thought.

Nick has been watching Tess for years unbeknownst to her. She was in a serious relationship and just out of his reach so he went about his life, without her. Tess has never liked Nick and his “manwhore” tendencies and was to blind to see that he really cared for her, even when she thought so little of him.

Tess and Nick are now in a bit of an uncomfortable position, spending two weeks together watching their friends’ son. Having to spend so much of their time together, both decide to make the best of the situation and start to realize neither is as bad as they had previously thought. Tess and Nick begin to enjoy each other’s company, the way they can laugh together, have fun and even get down and dirty.

The sexual tension in this book was off the charts hot. The sex between Nick and Tess? My god, I had to take a breather after those scenes! The things that come out of Nick’s mouth? It’s pure perfection and utterly dirty. 😉

I really enjoyed the drama that was thrown in, it was totally unexpected and I loved it. All relationships aren’t without some sort of drama and this was just icing on the cake! I like how Nick handled the situation from beginning to end. When everything goes down, Nick does what every man should. Protect his lady to the end.

“I want her with me, always. The thought should scare the shit out of me, but instead it tells me what I have to do.”

Sexy Jerk was nothing like what I expected and I was very pleasantly surprised. A enemies to friends to lovers story with a good amount of angst thrown in is just what the doctor ordered. The relationship between Tess and Nick was outstanding and I loved seeing it develop from people who despised each other to people in love.

I give Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr 5 stars!!

Grand Slam by Heidi McLaughlin (Boys of Summer #3)

Available: May 23, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Sports/Contemporary

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

Win the game. Lose your heart.

Everyone knows who I am and that I could have any female fan I want. That’s supposed to be the “perk” of playing left field for the Boston Renegades. But I don’t want just any woman; I want her.

She should be just another face in the crowd, but I can’t stop thinking about the one night we spent together-and her look of regret the morning after.

Because Saylor Blackwell is the kind of woman who haunts a man. Smart, sexy as hell, and one of the best managers in the business. She’s every ballplayer’s dream woman. And I’d do anything to make things right with her.

I’m done sitting on the bench when it comes to Saylor Blackwell. Time to swing for the fences.

I read the first two books in the Boys of Summer series and thought they were just OK. However, this book? LOVED IT. It was so much more than baseball, it was mostly romance,with a nasty ex thrown in, and lots of legal drama thrown into one great book.

Travis and Saylor have a past. A past that is better left unsaid according to Saylor. However, Travis still can’t get her out of his mind. Neither can Saylor but she must put her priorities first…her daughter, Lucy. Saylor cannot afford to make any mistakes and a relationship with Travis could be detrimental to her career and life.

After a letter from an ex sends Saylor spiraling, she winds up at a bar where Travis happens to be. An exchange of words and knowing she needs to get as far away as possible, Saylor tries to flee the bar without Travis noticing. Unfortunately for her, Travis does and follows. And so does the girl he’s been flirting with all evening who didn’t take very kindly to being ditched.

When that woman goes to the police, the only person that can clear Travis of any wrong doing is Saylor. But at what cost? Saylor could and would lose everything coming forward and defending Travis. With women coming out of the woodwork and an entire town demeaning Travis, thinks are bleak for him.

“That’s really easy for you to say. You can clear my name, and yet you keep telling me that you can’t. If there is something wrong, then let me help.”

Can Travis be cleared? Will Saylor lose everything if she defends Travis? Can their relationship pick up where it left off?

I was in awe of the chemistry between Travis and Saylor. Their frustrations were ones shared along with the reader. I enjoyed the banter between the two, from the battling against each to the realization that they are a stronger force fighting demons together then they ever were apart. Travis had me laughing with his one liners and Saylor’s daughter Lucy had me smiling from ear to ear!

This book gives all of the feels and I loved it!

I give Grand Slam (Boys of Summer #3) by Heidi McLaughlin 4 stars!

All That I Am by Rachel Brookes (Men of Monroe #1)

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

A kickass home décor boutique – tick
A sassy mouth and absolutely no filter – tick
A wall so strong no man could ever tear it down – tick, tick, tick!

Or so I thought.

Until I meet Detective Ben Hunt, the owner of exquisite blue eyes, a god-like physique and a seductive smirk that makes me weak at the knees. He charges into my life like a force of nature. No matter how hard I try to keep the walls up around my heart, he’s made it his mission to shatter them. I have no chance of resisting him, but I would make sure I won this tug of war.

Which was what I wanted.

Right? When did the idea of losing myself to him start to sound so good?

I wish Ben was the only battle I faced. There’s a reason this small town needs a good detective. One way or another I’m going to have to brace for impact, because no wall I build can stop the new threat thundering toward Monroe.

After all, secrets only stay a secret for so long around here.

 

I have been a fan of Rachel since I read Be My December. I then went and purchased every single one of her other books sight unseen. I absolutely adore the way she writes…plenty of fun, angst, love, sadness and some drama thrown in for good measure with some pretty outstanding happily ever afters. All That I Am was no different.

In review after review, I keep reading “we’ve been waiting so long for this book”. Well, that’s just fine by me because this story is nothing short of perfection. Rachel Brookes can take all the time she needs because she wrote the hell outta this one! Sasha, Ben and the people of Monroe are a force to be reckoned with!

Sasha Hamilton owns a home décor boutique called Sass and is as single as they come. She is also owner of Hamilton’s with her brother, Drew, who is all the family she has left. Being abandoned and then her father passing away has left a void in her life, but one that she has built walls up to protect.

Detective Ben Hunt is tall, dark, handsome and has been noticing Sasha for years. He finally decides to pursue Sasha with all he’s got but she is determined to look past his bossiness and sexy alphamale-ness and keep living the life she knows so well.

“You look like a woman who would be the best kind of forever.”

Until everything falls apart. Life isn’t what Sasha thinks it is at all. With so many secrets, lies and danger, can Sasha figure out what is really going on? Can Detective Ben Hunt put all of the pieces together before the woman he’s falling for gets hurt?

“Mess with my family, and you had me as an enemy. Mess with my woman, and you had a death sentence.”

I adore Sasha and her unfiltered, fun loving self. Her banter with Ben, hell, with just about everyone in town made me laugh out loud. And Ben? Swoon worthy, sexy, confident, gorgeous, and the list goes on. I love how he knows exactly what Sasha needs even when she’s pushing him away.

Gigi, Missy, Crazy John, Austin, Drew and so many more people from Monroe will just steal your heart. Every single one of them brings their own dynamic to this story and makes it all that much better. I look forward to book #2 in the series!

I give All That I Am by Rachel Brookes 5 stars!

Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken (Curious Liaisons #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: New Adult

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.

Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.

He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.

Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…

So, I started reading Cheater’s Regret without reading Cheaters first. I had no problem following along and went back and purchased Cheaters. This series is amazing!!!

Thatch and Austin are the best friends of Avery and Lucas. Towards the end of the first book, Thatch is caught kissing Avery’s older sister Brooke, ending the relationship between him and Austin. Austin decides that she can move past the kiss, however, Thatch doesn’t want to move on with Austin any longer.

In the midst of her pity party, Avery comes to the rescue to save Austin, coming up with a plan to get revenge on Thatch. Avery’s boyfriend Lucas, who is Thatch’s best friend and knows all his dirty secrets, spills the beans and it’s game on. However, Avery didn’t expect Thatch to play the game just as good as she does.

In the middle of all the craziness, Austin decides to create a blog about a woman scorned (herself) for her final project in her social media class in college. The blog goes way out of bounds and her professor tells her it’s a no go, come up with something else. Plan B is to follow around the city’s top plastic surgeon and document everything. That surgeon? Yeah, it just so happens to be Thatch.

Thatch decides to help Austin because as much as he hates her right now, deep down he still loves her. Thatch’s kissing someone else was done with the best intentions to protect Austin, even though she may never know the exact reason why. Not if he can help it. Even though it means losing possibly the love of his life.

“Why the hell did it bother me so much that I’d successfully pushed her into another fucker’s waiting arms? OH, right. Because I loved her. Life was cruel.”

This book was excellent. Just the right amount of angst, love and it was absolutely hysterical. They way Thatch and Austin went at each other? Priceless!! At first, I was a little PO’d about the cheating but then when all the dirty laundry was aired, it all came together perfectly. I love the relationship between Thatch and Austin and how no matter what they tried to do, their feelings for each other were always front and center even when their mouths were getting the best of them. I love the relationship both of them had with Avery and Lucas and how it all flowed together so seamlessly.

I give Cheater’s Regret by Rachel Van Dyken 5 stars!!

The Rebellion by S.L. Scott

 

Title: The Rebellion

Series: Hard to Resist #5

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: STANDALONE Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 18, 2017

I met my muse at fifteen. I’d just gotten busted for smoking behind the school gymnasium. She inspired me with her laugh and nonjudgmental attitude and, before I knew it, we were inseparable. Then I left to pursue my rock star dreams—dreams she encouraged.

I got over Jaymes Grenier no problem. I never think about that little bow at the top of her pink lips, or the way her green eyes admired mine. Nope, I barely recall the way she fit so perfectly in my arms when I held her at night. The sweet way she would whisper she loved me has long faded from memory.

These are the lies I regularly tell myself in hopes of believing them one day. Yeah, I was told I’d get over my first love.

I didn’t.

Derrick Masters marked me the moment we met back in ninth grade. He called me over—all bravado and bad boy mystery wrapped in a James Dean-esque package. Dark hair and blue eyes with a rebel without a cause charisma. He was everything I was warned about, but I couldn’t resist. I was his from that moment on.

His career took off almost as soon as he did. I knew it would. I just thought I would be beside him as his partner in crime, best friend, and lover. That’s what we had always been … before he left me behind to fend for myself.

Fend? Fight is more like it.

I’ve been fighting ever since.

Fighting for survival.

Fighting for a better life in a world determined to keep me down.

I don’t have the luxury of letting my head live in the lure of La La Land. His dreams may have come true, but mine were extinguished. These days I fight for something bigger than me, bigger than we were ever meant to be.

When his dreams come crashing back into my reality, is this a second chance at that fairy tale ending or another heartbreak in the making? 

***Review From Liz*** 

The men of The Resistance stole my heart from the first book. Rockers with heart. The Rebellion by S.L. Scott gives us Derrick Masters’ story. A story about second chances, hope and redemption.

Derrick is living out his dreams. He is a full member of The Resistance, the hottest band around, with the fame and fortune that come with it. But even though to others he has everything he could ever want, there is something missing. Or rather someone. The woman he walked away from years ago.

Jaymes Grenier let Derrick walk away because she loved him enough to let him follow his dreams. But the horrors that followed almost destroyed her. Instead she rose from the ashes determined to move forward.

I absolutely loved Derrick. He was going through the motions. The woman he has always loved haunted him, almost as much as the demons of his past did. He worked hard to get where he is, but something was missing. He was strong, determined, and loving. He was a bad-boy rocker, with a heart of gold.

Jaymes broke my heart. I think she saw herself as weak, but she was really strong, independent and fierce. She was a momma bear. She was determined to provide for her son and give him a better life. A chance for a future she thought she had lost. When she loved, she loved unconditionally.

I don’t even know where to start. This was such an emotional story. Derrick and Jaymes met when they were young and loved hard. Inseparable, they dreamed of stardom and getting out of the binds that held them. But in the end, only one got out and the cost to the other was very high.

Reunited by two meddling mothers (you can’t help but love) years later, Jaymes is determined to keep Derrick at a distance for his safety. She is so happy for him and will not bring him down. Her fears and monsters are her own. But Derrick is determined to have Jaymes in his life any way he can. Slowly he brings down her defenses. He gets to know her all over again and spends time with her son. It was so sweet to watch them spend time together.

We also get to see all the other couples from The Resistance and remember why we love them all so much. They stand behind Derrick and Jaymes from the start. I want them to be my friends. They are amazing friends that stick together through thick and thin.

I absolutely loved this book. It was emotional and heart-wrenching, but also sweet and romantic. A second chance at love and redemption for both Derrick and Jaymes. A story that will captivate you from beginning to end.

I give The Rebellion by S.L. Scott 5+ stars!

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Author Bio

Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.

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Frog Hog, Valen & Hutch by Rachel Robinson (A Frog Hog Novella #1)

Available: Now

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

/Frôg • hôg/ 1. A woman who only dates SEALs

The first time I did it, I labeled it novelty. The second, I was ovulating and extremely horny, the third time was because I’d had two martinis and he had fourteen abs. Fourteen. You don’t say no to that.

My name is Valen, and I’m addicted to SEALs. Bag them, tag them, on to the next. One ships out, the next ships in. It has become a hobby, a recreational sport, if you will. Their skills inside the bedroom are comparable to their notoriety on the battlefield. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with their trigger finger. I could be wrong, so don’t quote me on that.

From the moment I met the infamous SEAL they call, Hutch, my game begins faltering. He wants more than one night, and while I wouldn’t mind a double dip, falling for this lethally good-looking frog would be bad for my health. Counting abs turns into counting dates, and dates turn into something else entirely. Forever.

I’m new to Rachel Robinson’s books. I was intrigued by the thought of a series of novellas dedicated to Navy SEALS. I’ve read one book about a Navy SEAL and honestly, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Give me a guy in a suit any day of the week! But I thought, why not try one more time? I’m glad I did. I’ve never read Rachel and figured a novella was a good way to get in tune with what she writes.

Let’s play a little game of Honest War, shall we? (I fell in love with this game in the story!)

HONEST WAR….Hutch is one hell of a hot man!

HONEST WAR….Valen is just the kind of heroine I was looking for!

HONEST WAR…..And the sex you may ask? DIRTY. Downright dirty. Raunchy at times. There was just pointblank, honest to goodness hot freakin’ sex. Oh, and some anal thrown in for good measure.

(Seriously though, if you can’t handle blatant dirty sex, this read may be too much for you. I have no filter and am not embarrassed by anything and this had ME blushing at times😉)

Gabe Hutchinson is a Navy SEAL who is just sitting at a bar when he is approached by Valen.

He is one bad ass man who has a heart of gold. Little does Valen know that Gabe knows all about her and is about to test her like no other man ever has!

Valen is a sexy, sassy Frog Hog who is just interested in a hit it and quit it night. No strings, no attachments, just hot sex. Valen lets the men know exactly what she is looking for. Until she meets Gabe. He is in it for more than just one night.

Can Valen do a relationship that she claims to have always wanted, with a SEAL? Or will Gabe’s secrets tear them apart forever?

Valen and Hutch really was so much more than I expected. At one point in the story, I was team Valen all the way. One hell of a chick who knew exactly what she wanted out of life and went for it. And then there was Hutch. He’s a SEAL, need I say more!?! I love how Hutch became attached to Valen so quickly. All throughout the story, I was laughing, I was mad, I was crying. There is a point in the story which totally broke my heart. The feels!! Ugh! I really didn’t know how it would turn around but boy did it ever!

This is nothing like I expected but boy am I glad I took a chance on a new author! I look forward to more books by Rachel!

I give Frog Hog, Valen & Hutch by Rachel Robinson 4 stars!

Swear by Adriana Locke (Landry Family #4)

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self Pub 

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

Ellie Pagan has a list of reasons to stay away from Ford Landry.

It’s a mile long and was so much easier to stick to when he was a world away. Now that he’s standing in front of her—body hard and chiseled from a stint in the military, suit cut to perfection, and a smirk she could never resist—remembering all the reasons why just got a whole lot harder.

Ford gets Ellie isn’t his biggest fan. He just doesn’t care.

Standing in front of him, giving him hell, she’s even prettier than he remembered. All he can think about is how she felt in his arms, the taste of her kiss, the sound of her giggle in the middle of the night. He may not know how to win her back, but he does know this: he may have let her go once, but that’s one mistake he won’t make again.

I feel like we have been waiting forever to hear the story of Ford and it was damn well worth the wait. SWEAR is full of happiness, sadness, self-doubt, family, love and by God, ALL of Landry boys and a TON of surprises you never saw coming!!

All of Landry family books (Sway, Swing, Switch) have eluded to the mysterious man that is Ford, owner of Landry Security. You can tell he is utterly heartbroken and in each of the other books, you start to see pieces of what makes him tick and what an amazing man he is.

Ellie returns to Savannah to follow her dreams and runs into the love of her life, Ford. Ellie and Ford were in love ten years ago and due to unfortunate circumstances and a boy who was just too young to deal with life, Ford left Ellie never to be heard from again. Now, ten years later, he is standing in her small boutique, Halycon, not the boy who shattered her heart but a man (and a sexy, gorgeous one at that).

“It’s done. I loved him. I needed him. He left me. Done.”

Ford knows Ellie is the one. She always has been the one but Ford was just too immature when they were together to know exactly what he wanted from her or from their relationship. Seeing Ellie again, Ford vows not to let her get away again. He knows she is the one, 100% but Ellie knows they are both at different points in their lives and just doesn’t see a forever with Ford. Good thing Ford is a stubborn man!

“Now, I realize she’s my past. And my future. There’s no other way around it.”

If you’ve read the other three books in the series, you know these boys have some serious sexy times…downright dirty and usually with some sort of food. Hell, Ford doesn’t disappoint, and the things he does with candy? Well, the man melts in your mouth, not in your hand 😉

I love the relationship that Ellie has with everyone in this book. From Ford, to her friends to her father, she just seems like one of those people who turns into a lifelong friend. Ellie’s relationship with her dad made me smile and cry at the same time, if that’s even possible. I love how she was very upfront with Ford and blatantly told him what was going on in her mind. And that he totally did whatever he had to do to prove to her that he was not the boy who walked away all those years ago.

Will Ellie finally learn to trust Ford? Will Ford get his happily ever after?

Honestly, I still need to find a way to be a part of the Landry family. They are everything a family should be. Barrett, Allison, Huxley, Lincoln, Danielle, Graham, Mallory, Sienna and Cam are all a frequent part of this book and I enjoyed every single minute of it. I love that the author puts them all in each other’s books so you get a sneak peek into their lives and what they are up to. Every time Adriana publishes a new Landry book, I’m like “yep, THIS one is the best one of the brothers”. Well, Barrett, Lincoln, and Graham, you have now officially been replaced with Ford Landry.

I give Swear (Landry Family #4) by Adriana Locke 5 stars!!

Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley (Shifters Unbound #10)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Lupine Shifter Dimitri has always had to defend himself to other Shifters. As a red wolf, he’s not considered a “pure” wolf, and the battles have honed him into a tough fighter, a champion of the fight clubs. Jaycee Bordeaux, a leopard Shifter, is Dimitri’s staunchest defender and oldest friend. Dimitri is determined to turn that friendship into a mate bond.

Jaycee loves that idea, but she knows that a mate bond can’t be forced. And when Dimitri and Jaycee are called on to go undercover to protect collared Shifters, she knows the dangers ahead will make or break their future together.

I have been reading this series for a LONG time. In fact, I’ve been reading this series almost as long as I’ve had this blog. As time has gone on, the Shifters Unbound Series has continued to hold my interest, mostly anyway. Red Wolf is a contemporary romance with just a bit of suspense woven in for good measure. This wasn’t my favorite of the series but it certainly my least favorite either.

Dimitri is a rare red wolf with an even rarer quirk. He stutters due to a childhood trauma he can’t remember. Now a part of a clan who only pretends to wear the binding shifter collars humans have forced on them, he actually lives free. Often silent, because of ridicule and his annoyance at not being able to communicate,  his partner Jaycee does a lot of the talking for him. She’s been a part of his life for so long she often knows what he’s thinking anyway. When Dimitri mate claims her Jaycee is taken aback that he wants to change their relationship. She can refuse him, but she knows doing so will ruin the friendship she can’t live without.

On assignment undercover, things start to heat up between Dimitri and Jaycee. Along with a possessed house and new friends, they’ll get to the bottom of their case. Or die trying.

The thing about these books is that there isn’t much action. I like them because they are kinda fluffy reads in-between darker books that I gravitate to. If you love shifter romance but don;t necessarily want all the suspense, then you’d definitely enjoy these like I do.

Dimitri was a unique hero both because of his stutter and his heritage. I’d never read about a red wolf shifter before and I also enjoy finding a new type of shifter. He really didn’t let is hold him back. His love for Jaycee grew steadily throughout the book and by the end I really liked them as a couple. Jaycee was a very strong female and allowing herself to love him took time. She was independent to a fault and at times I just wanted her to give in to what her heart was trying to tell her. In the end, she got there though and that’s all that matters.

Another strong book in a series of strong books!

I give Red Wolf by Jennifer Ashley 3.5 stars!

 

, PHPlist