Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn (Larson Brothers #1)

Available: January 24, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Swerve

My copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz

Savannah’s brother was killed in a cage fight with Mike “Red Reaper” Larson after a savage punch to the head.

When Mike shows up at the funeral, he’s nothing like Savannah expected. Gone is the fierce, brutal beast she’s seen in the cage. In his place is a beautiful man torn with guilt, seeking forgiveness, and willing to do anything to ease her pain.

Her family doesn’t approve, but her heart doesn’t stand a chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither of them can deny the intoxicating desire unleashed between them, turning their pain into the most exquisite pleasure.

But every time Mike steps into the cage, Savannah knows she could lose him too. She can’t go through that again, but how can she let go of the one man who sets her body and soul on fire?

Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn was such an emotional read. I love MMA heroes, but this was more than just a MMA fighter to love. What do you do if the man occupying time in your head and heart is the same man that was in the cage fight that caused your brother’s death?

Savanah Dugas’ brother is dead. Her family is devastated. Her sister-in-law is barely surviving. And Savannah misses her brother something fierce. Everyone in her family blames Mike “Red Reaper” Larson for his death, though he was officially cleared of any wrong doing. The last thing she expected was seeing him at her brother’s funeral.

Mike is beside himself. Every time he enters the cage, it is with the intention to winning, but never intends to do life-altering damage. When a man he is fighting dies, he wants to do something for the family, but does not know what he can do. Apologizing and offering whatever he can to the sister and wife leaves him no better off than he was, until the sister reaches out.

Savannah loved her brother, but also understood the risks every time he entered a cage. She sees the broken man who is devastated with guilt over what happened. So, they begin to heal each other through a forbidden journey where the cost may be too high.

I loved Mike. He was a strong and passionate man that learned early on he could only count on himself to take care of his brothers. For him that meant using his fists to succeed. It allowed him success and to care for those that mattered most to him. But underneath the hardened exterior is a man that is caring, gentle and loyal.

After Tommy’s death, Savannah finds herself holding her family together, but especially her sister-in-law. But while her family sees a killer when they see Mike, she sees a man that is also grieving and looking for redemption. I loved her determination to give him a chance and see him for who he is, not wat he is portrayed. She was kindhearted and strong in her way as well.

As they talk to each other a few times, Mike offers to do something for her sister-in-law to help in her grief. Mike and Savannah spend time together and get to know each other. Their connection and attraction is strong. Can they fight it? Should they fight it? What about her family? Could she do this to her family? Would they ever accept Mike in her life? And above all, could she be with Mike when she could lose him as well?

This was such an emotional ride. A forbidden love story of two people who could not be more right for each other, but who had so many obstacles in their way. I found this story to be sweet and touching, heartbreaking at times and so hot and steamy. Which at the end leads to an amazing, hard to put down book. This was my first book from this author and I loved it. I cannot wait to read more in this series!

I give Raw Deal by Cherrie Lynn 4.5 stars!

Raw Deal Blog Tour: Author Q&A

How would you describe Raw Deal using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter)?

Undeniable passion ignites between a fighter and the heartbroken sister of the man he accidentally killed in the MMA cage.

Which scene would you say was the hardest for you to write?

Definitely the final fight. Any time I write something action-heavy, which isn’t very often (unless it’s sex, haha), I find it terribly difficult and tedious. “This happened and that happened and so on.” And then to take it and make sure it doesn’t look like I found it difficult and tedious presents its own set of challenges. I can only hope I pulled it off, because I’m a terrible judge of my own work.

Where do you get inspiration for the names of your characters?

Michael’s and Savannah’s names simply came into my head and felt right. A lot of times, however, I torture myself trying to find the perfect character name, poring through baby name websites for inspiration. Some characters are named by accident. For instance, when I first introduced Brian Ross in Unleashed, I never planned for him to have his own book. So I just sort of stuck a name on him. But he turned out to be one of my most popular heroes (Rock Me), and same goes for his best friend Ghost (Leave Me Breathless). So, some come easily, some are like pulling teeth, and some are happy accidents. 🙂

You’re known for creating characters with a lot of depth and a full range of truly human emotions. What experiences do you draw on to make your characters feel so alive? 

Oh, so many. But I don’t think my experiences are so different from most other people’s. We’ve all been heartbroken. We’ve all felt loss. We’ve all felt joy. I just take those feelings and channel them as best as I can. I also listen when other people talk about their own feelings and experiences that might be different from mine, and I listen to a lot of highly emotional music. But there are things in my books that are drawn from personal experiences. The eagle in Raw Deal, for example, was taken from something similar that happened at my grandfather’s funeral a couple of years ago. I like to think whenever I see an eagle now, it’s my grandpa saying hello.

What do you love most about Mike and Savannah?

I love Mike’s fierce loyalty. I love Savannah’s mostly level-headed approach, the way she’s able to give him a chance despite her emotions and her heartbreak. I love the comfort they find in each other. They were very easy characters to write. I’m not sure if that’s because I was coming off my Ross Siblings series and invigorated by starting something brand new, or if they simply resonated deeply with me (a little of both, I suspect), but I *loved* writing their story. They still give me butterflies!

How much research did you have to do on MMA for the book? Are you a fan of the sport?

I am! But my husband is an even bigger fan. He was a great source of information, and I probably pestered him to death. I looked up so much equipment on Amazon that I kept getting ads for weeks—they obviously thought I was a fighter. I watched fights on YouTube and I read articles. And although they’re about boxing and not MMA, I’m a HUGE fan of the Rocky movies. I figured the passion, motivation, hunger and discipline would be the same for a fighter of either sport, so I drew a lot of inspiration from that. And yes, a couple of Rocky references pop up in the book! I couldn’t resist.

Did you always want to be a writer?

For as long as I can remember. As far back as third grade, you could find me writing stories that my teachers would have me read to my class. Everyone thought I was a little weird, I think. As I grew up, I wrote stories for fun and for my friends. Almost all of those involved a romance, and this trend continued as I would sneak into my mom’s stash of steamy romance novels for inspiration. 🙂 I sought publication as far back as 2000, but that didn’t work out. It wasn’t until 2008 that I tried again with what would become my first published book. It’s been an amazing, lifelong journey!

Who are some of your favorite writers/writers that inspire you?

I read all over the place. Right now, I’m loving Alessandra Torre. She’s amazing. I’m also so obsessed with the A Song of Ice and Fire series that I’ve been reading them on repeat for two years now. I finish, I start over. Such incredibly rich and effortless world-building. (Hurry up with Winds of Winter, George!) I’m also loving Sarah J. Maas. For my horror needs, I read Stephen King and Joe Hill. I must admit, the idea of a straight-up horror romance intrigues me…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee (Most Likely To #2)

Staying for Good by Catherine BybeeAvailable: January 24, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke.

She didn’t just leave, she escaped—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.

While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return.

But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good. Life is good when I get to read a Catherine Bybee story, she writes characters that are intriguing and genuine.

This is a second chance story that brings us back to River Bend, a small town with drama and secrets but good friends and special people that bring a wayward gal back home.

Zoe could not wait to get out of River Bend after high school, when she was voted the most likely to never leave, she was bound and determined to not be “that” girl. She grew up in a rundown trailer with an abusive father, who is now in prison and a mother whose self esteem is nonexistent. When she left, she not only said goodbye to her two best friends but also a special someone who stood by her through all the heartache. She visited at times, her siblings are still there along with her mother and her friends Mel and Jo and even saw Luke at times, but still left to the life she built for herself in Texas as a very famous chef.

Luke never left River Bend and although he has a successful business in town with his father, has never really felt he has done much for himself since Zoe left. He still thinks of her and wonders what might have been and when the opportunity to visit her comes along, he jumps on a plane (with some prodding from his friends) to see if things are still the same between them.

Neither Luke or Zoe moved on from where they were in high school, sure, if you looked at their careers it seems like they are doing well however emotionally, they were stagnant. When they get another chance they both realize their feelings have not changed and they will do anything to make it work, even dealing with her drama filled family.

This is a sweet romance, Ms. Bybee always draws me into her stories and this was no exception, as I rooted for this second chance romance through laughter and drama, until the end.

This romance had a different feel for me, it was as much about Luke and Zoe finding their way back to each other as it was a story about family and friends. You could tell fairly quickly that the two still had feelings for each other, so for me the story took on a different tone. As she comes back for Mel’s rehearsal dinner, it is more about the crisis her family was facing, then about their romance. They had already decided it was their turn at happiness, they just had to make decisions on how to make it work.

I love the relationships in this series, Mel, Jo and Zoe have a great friendship that has lasted for decades, you can feel the love between the three and I loved their trip to Las Vegas which is full of fun and mischief. I also enjoyed the many characters living in this small town, quirky and fun people who bring so much to the story. Zoe’s family is hard to take, but Ms. Bybee shows a realistic view of abuse and how some are dragged down by circumstances and emotional issues. Zoe rises above her childhood trauma and she has high hopes for her family as they rebuild their lives. This can easily be read as a standalone, and as usual it is a great romance from an author who is on my auto buy list.

I give Staying for Good by Catherine Bybee 4 Stars!

Taking Turns by J.A. Huss (Turning #1)

 

Taking Turns by J.A. HussAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Self Pub

My copy: Sent 

Reviewer: Liz

I’ve never been afraid of the dark…but that doesn’t mean I wanted to live in it. And maybe everyone wants what they can’t have, but I should’ve thought it over before I accepted the key and unlocked the door to their forbidden world.

Number One is mostly silent. He watches me with them very carefully. His gaze never wanders. His interest never wanes.

Number Two is mostly gentle. But it’s the other side of him I like best. The wild side.

Number Three is mostly reserved. He refuses to cross the line. Even when I beg. It was carnal, it was sensual, and it was erotic.

That’s it. That’s all it was supposed to be. A trip into the dark. A peek into the forbidden. I just didn’t expect to like them.

This author continues to amaze me! I continue to believe her mind is a very wicked, scary place indeed and we love every minute of it! Once again, we are thrown into a very twisted new world in J.A. Huss’ new series, Turning, in book 1, Taking Turns. You will be left wondering what did I just read and when can I get my hands on the next book!

Though I loved the blurb and was immediately intrigued, I have come to always expect the unexpected with J.A. Huss! She gave us a story of four different people who play a game of exploring their wants and needs. Three very gorgeous, alpha males who share a woman. But when that woman leaves, there are rules to follow. But before running away, she left something behind.

And so we meet Cella, Quin, Smith and Bric. And we get all their point of views! Every single, hot, tingling one! It was a very interesting approach to tell the story and allowed us to connect with each character individually. Each harboring their own secrets and desires, but who somehow fit together.

Bric, Quin and Smith have been playing a game with Rochelle for the last three years at the Turning Point Club. It’s a place where you can come and live out your fantasies. But when Rochelle leaves, they are left wondering why and why did she leave a replacement behind.

What a wonderful, taboo story that pushes all the boundaries and limits. And though we get some very hot, steamy scenes, we also get a story about secrets, desires, hope and so much more. There is so much I want to share, but it is also a story you must experience for yourself. Every twist and every turn. Another great read from J.A. Huss.

Taking Turns by J.A. Huss was an amazing, steamy and erotic 5-star read for me!

Next To Never by Penelope Douglas (Fall Away #4.5)

Next To Never by Penelope DouglasAvailable: January 17, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Intermix

My copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz

Quinn Caruthers has several problems.

Her father, Jason, and her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon.

Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without them jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood captures her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man—experienced, sophisticated, and important. And knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.

But Lucas left town years ago and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.

But then a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn Quinn’s world upside down. She’s never asked about the tumultuous path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.

As she begins to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Next To Never by Penelope Douglas is what I would call a transition novella to continue a series loved by so many. And what a great continuation it is. We get to see what our favorite couples are up to. How life has been for them and meet the next generation of characters to love. We also finally learn about Katherine and Jason’s past. Really, what is there not to love about this! Especially if you have been a fan of the Fall Away series.

In true Penelope Douglas style, we get a beautify crafted story that we love to read and find hard to put down. We see Quinn as she comes of age and begins to plan for her future. We learn what she dreams of, wants and how much she has to deal with in regards to her older brothers. Though we cannot really be surprised considering how we know Jared, Madoc and Jaxon.

We also get to learn about Jason (Madoc’s dad) and Katherine (Tate’s) and their history together. Their love story really. Though I loved learning their past, it was also at times so sad and emotional to read. What they went through, what they lost and so much wasted time. And though it was a hard road for them, we see how they found each other again. Not a spoiler, as you should read the all the books before this to really understand this story and the impact it has.

At the end, this was a great closure to the one story we did not have, a great way to catch up with beloved characters and a smart way to set-up the next generation. I cannot wait to get Quinn’s story. After what older generation went through and the trouble they got into, this new generation is going to be a lot of trouble. And I, for one, cannot wait!

I give Next To Never by Penelope Douglas 5-stars!

Everything in Between by Melissa Toppen (Everything After #2)

 

Title: Everything in Between

Author: Melissa Toppen

Genre: Contemporary/New Adult/Rocker Romance

Release Date: January 13, 2017

Blurb

Gabe Preston.

The man who wrecked me; who tore through my life leaving no stone unturned and then simply walked away.

It took me two years to piece my life back together in the aftermath of his storm. Two years and still even the mention of his name causes my chest to constrict.

I hate him. I hate everything about him. I hate how he thinks that he can walk back into my life after all this time and I’m just going to melt at his feet. If he thinks his newly found ROCKSTAR status holds any power over me at all, he couldn’t be more wrong. If anything, it makes me hate him more.

Only I don’t hate him. Not even a little. One smile and the last two years all but vanish.

But I know what loving a man like Gabe Preston will do to a girl. I’ve lived it firsthand. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Not knowing what I know.

He may be used to having all the power, but I’m the one with the secret that will change everything.

*REVIEW FROM LIZ*

A Rockstar and a second chance love story…seriously what is not to love about that? This is what Melissa Toppen gives her readers in Everything In Between.

Gabe Preston is part of the very up and coming band Everything After. After touring the country for nearly two years and hitting it big, they are going home to Georgia to prepare for their next album. However, Gabe bandmates are worried about him. Constant partying and women are affecting his performance. Ready for a break, they head home.

Raelyn Abbott has spent the last two years trying to get over Gabe. Two years ago, they spent a little over a month together in what she thought was blissful happiness. Then he walked away without a word or backward glance. She was left heartbroken and devastated. And with a secret she would guard over everything.

Rae is determined not to make the same mistake twice. She reads the tabloid and magazines and knows Gabe’s reputation with the ladies and parties. But one look at him and her heart says otherwise. Gabe never thought of Rae after he left, until he sees her again. He begins to wonder why he left her behind.

I really enjoyed how the story played out. Rae was so heartbroken after Gabe left, but she worked so hard to build a good steady life. Gabe did not realize how much he was missing out on until he saw Rae again. He wanted to be a good man, the kind of man Rae deserved. But is it too late for them?

This was a story about second chances and learning to trust again. It is not always easy to forgive someone who hurt you. And though it is not an original story, it was well done and kept me interested.

I give Everything In Between by Melissa Toppen 4-stars!

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Also Available

 Everything After by Melissa Toppen

Everything in Between is a spin off from Everything After

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Author Bio

Melissa Toppen is a Reader’s Choice Award Winning and Bestselling Romance Author of New Adult, Contemporary, Erotic and Romantic Suspense. She is a lover of books and enjoys nothing more than losing herself in a good novel. She has a soft spot for Romance and focuses her writing in that direction; writing what she loves to read.

Melissa was born and raised in a small town in Ohio and now resides in Cincinnati with her husband and two children, where she writes full time.

In addition to spending time with family and friends, Melissa loves going to concerts and is obsessed with the T.V. shows Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time and Outlander.

Author Links

Giveaway

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders (Blank Canvas #1)

under-her-skin-by-adriana-andersAvailable: February 7, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Michelle

A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.

Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.

When I downloaded this book I had no idea it was a debut effort by Adriana Anders. Now that I’ve finished it, I still can’t believe it was a debut effort. This book grabbed me from the first page and I was sucked into the story the entire time. Anders’ writing is excellent and she delivers a gritty, emotional, heart-warming romance between two people who deserve a happy ending more than any characters I’ve read this year.

The book opens with Uma, broke and broken, answering an ad for a live-in helper. On the run from her abusive ex with nowhere to go, she hopes a job that provides a roof over her head while being able to stay under the radar is the answer to her prayers. Uma carries so many scars, both physical and emotional, and she is determined to keep her secrets to herself. A panic attack almost sends her running before she even gets hired, and her rescuer arrives in the form of big, burly, gruff next door neighbor Ivan and his dog.

Ive doesn’t know what to make of the pretty woman cowering beside his neighbor’s house. Her demeanor and the stark fear in her eyes call to the protector in him and he instantly tries to put her at ease. He knows she is hiding something, but with his own troubled past, he has no issues with Uma keeping her secrets. She needs a friend more than anyone he’s ever known, and his quiet and steady patience wear her down enough that she eventually opens herself up to the possibility of him becoming more.

Ivan is everything that is strong, steady and safe, and Uma wants nothing more than to burrow into his arms and let the world melt away. Unfortunately her past is still hanging over her, and trusting Ivan means revealing her deepest, darkest secret. The last thing she wants is to send him running, but the desperate need to open up to Ivan forces her to lay her burden at his feet and show him the proof of the abuse she suffered.

Although Ivan is an ex-con with a history of violence, he is nothing but a gentle giant with Uma. He cares for her almost immediately, and wishes he could be her knight in shining armor. When he finally discovers what Uma has been hiding, the rage constantly simmering beneath the surface explodes into a white hot fury that almost takes him away from her. The proof that someone damaged this beautiful woman so badly eats away at him until he’s forced to make a decision that could ruin their future.

The emotional pull between Ive and Uma was portrayed so beautifully, and the romantic scenes were so sexy they were borderline erotic. Anders has a way of building intensity and passion without being extremely explicit or crude. Even though Ive and Uma’s romance happened quickly, the pacing of the book was perfect. Ive is a protector by nature and Uma showing up in his life gives him someone to focus on and care for. Uma needs a calm port in her storm, and she finds that with Ivan. While the subject of abuse is dark and scary, this book was full of sweet emotion and gave them a perfect happy ending.

I give Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders 5 stars!

Hollywood Prince by Kim Karr

hollywood-prince-by-kim-karrAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

Brooklyn James should know better.
Born into Hollywood royalty, the brooding prince has a reputation as being a player. A manwhore. A womanizer.
Adoring fans are his thing.
His best friend’s little sister is not.
Even thinking about her the way he is isn’t cool.
Not cool at all.
And yet every time she pouts those sexy lips at him, she turns him inside out. Makes him harder than he’s ever been. Drives him to the brink of insanity.

Amelia Waters has always idolized her big brother, and the last thing she wants to do is disappoint him.
Falling for her brother’s ex-roommate is off-limits.
She knows this, but she can’t help herself.
The way Brooklyn looks at her with those smoldering blue eyes makes her wet in an instant. Turns her into a shivering, shaking mess of sexual frustration. And soon the idea of spreading her legs for him is the only thing she can think about.

She wants him.
He wants her.

When they finally decide to give in to their insane attraction, they agree it will remain between them. That their illicit affair will be short-term. No strings. No baggage. No messy ending.

But when the first night of mind-blowing sex leads to another, and another still, how long can the endless hookups go on before Amelia’s brother finds out? Or worse yet, before feelings develop?

Brooklyn and Amelia know they need to walk away from each other before either of those things happens.

The problem is doing it.

Talk about a mess.

 

Amelia Waters is looking for her own personal fairy tale right along with Prince Charming or her Mr. Right. Amelia is constantly doing what she needs to please her family and most importantly, her father. Working in the family business in New York is what she has to do but yet dreams of being a photographer. Amelia is considered the princess by her family, the girl who always does what is right. Well now Miss Little Right wants to be oh so bad.

Out on a blind date set up by Amelia’s best friend, Carter, she meets Landon Reese who quite possibly can be her Mr. Right. Yet, on that blind date, she finds out the most horrific news about her father and runs off to Laguna Beach to talk with her older brother Cam.

Brooklyn James is a manwhore or better known as the pantydropper. He is an ex-reality T.V. hunk and currently a lifeguard/screen writer who just so happens to be the son of Hollywood Royalty. Brooklyn doesn’t do relationships or love.

But when Cam’s neighbor and best friend finds Amelia on her brother’s doorstep, drunk out of her mind, just what is Brooklyn to do? He’s known Amelia for years, hell, he even pretend married her when they were kids.

There is an instant spark between Amelia and Brooklyn but they both know what a bad idea it is. Amelia wants to get down and dirty with the bad boy who has cleaned up his act. Brooklyn tries to keep her at arm’s length until they both can’t resist temptation. An uncomplicated, sex only relationship is the plan for both of them. But I’m sure you know just how well that will turn out….especially when Landon isn’t really out of the picture.

“Am I willing to give up someone who could be my Mr. Right for Mr. Oh So Wrong?”

The chemistry between Amelia and Brooklyn is out of this world! They mesh so well together and quickly you see the relationship starting and how they become completely addicted to each other. The sex scenes…oh my, can Kim Karr write sex scenes!! Get it girl!! The name pantydropper describes Brooklyn perfectly 😉

In the end, Amelia finally got what she wanted. Freedom from being the “princess” of her family, the choice to make her career what she wants it to be and lastly, her prince. In fact, she got two. Now she just has to decide between Mr. Right and who she feels is Mr. Oh So Wrong. But is Mr. Oh So Wrong really that wrong for her? Is Mr. Right safer? When life throws Amelia a curve-ball, who will she choose? Or does she get to choose at all?

I just started reading Kim Karr’s books last year when I read Bedwrecker (another HOT book, check it out). I love Keen…I REALLY love Keen. I’ve got to tell you though, Brooklyn has totally outdone Keen in my opinion.

I absolutely loved Hollywood Prince! This story of friends to lovers was amazing and so much more than what I expected. I don’t want to give anything away but the scenes in the strip club??? OH MY LORD! I used to go with my husband when we were younger…we may just be taking a trip again sometime soon 😉 And can we just talk about that cover?!?! Holy Hotness!!

Hollywood Prince can be read as a stand alone although I highly recommend reading the stories of Cam and Makayla (No Pants Required), and Keen and Maggie (Bedwrecker).

Friends to lovers stories have now become a favorite of mine. Hollywood Prince is a great way to start off 2017! I look forward to all Ms. Karr has in store for us this year!

I give Hollywood Prince by Kim Karr 5 stars!!

It’s In His Arms by Shelly Alexander (Red River Valley #4)

its-in-his-arms-by-shelly-alexanderAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

 

Publisher: Montlake 

My copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz

After a life full of cruelty, Bree is left with no one to turn to—except him.

Lorenda Lawson has built a safe, sheltered life for her two young sons since their father was KIA several years ago. She has a beautiful cottage and a support network of family and friends. No one in Red River suspects that her marriage to Cam was ever less than perfect. Nobody, that is, except the gorgeous ex-SEAL who’s shown up after a long absence: Cam’s notorious twin brother, Mitchell.

Mitchell Lawson was a teenage rebel who fled Red River after the local watering hole burned down, choosing the military over jail. Now he has a new mission: making amends with the town and his sheriff father for his hell-raising days, while resisting the woman he’s always wanted. Between Lorenda’s warmth and sensuality and her boys’ mischievous matchmaking ploys, it won’t be easy.

When a string of fires breaks out, suspicious eyes turn toward Mitchell. Lorenda risks her reputation for his sake—but she’ll need to risk her heart, too, to bring this onetime bad boy home for good.

Sometimes all you need is a sweet romance. Add in some light angst and suspense and you will not be able to put the book down. That is what It’s In His Arms by Shelly Alexander was for me.

Lorenda Lawson is okay being alone if it means a safe and happy home for her children. They mean everything to her and she would sacrifice anything for them, even being lonely. She has her friends and family, a good solid community behind her and a decent job.

Then Mitchell Lawson comes home. Mitchell the town hell-raiser who joined the military rather than going to juvie after a local business burns down. And the twin brother of the husband who was killed while serving his country. Her husband, the town hero, who wanted nothing to do with her or their two children.

Mitchell Lawson is back home, the last place he wants to be, but knows it’s finally time to make amends with his family and community. But no one, including his father, wants him home. No one, but the one woman he should not want, his brother’s widow, and two nephews.

Mitchell harbors secrets that could easily mend his ties within the community, but revealing those secrets may beak the people he cares about. He does not want to take that risk. So instead he takes baby steps, but is it too late?

Lorenda suffered rejection at the hand of one Lawson twin, the last thing she needed was to fall for the other. But when it seems she is in danger, Mitchell steps up to protect her. But will it cost her too much to stand by him?

This really was a sweet story about love and redemption. About coming home and finding where you belong. I loved how the kids played matchmakers and how their bond grew and as the community lashed out at them. Sometimes all you need is that one person to believe in you.

There was also a bit of angst, as Mitchell was the town bad boy and twin brother of the town hero, but that was handled really well. Sometimes it’s just about the here and now. The added suspense of who was behind Lorenda’s attacks and the recent strings of arson added to the angst as well and though you quickly figure out who is behind it, it kept me interested in the story.

I really loved the way the author told this story and kept us drawn in and invested. I plan on reading the other books in the series. (Side note, these are interconnected standalones, so you do not have to read the other books first. I did not and never felt lost.)

I give It’s In His Arms by Shelly Alexander 4-stars!

It Started With a Kiss by Marina Adair (Sequoia Lake #1)

it-started-with-a-kiss-by-marina-adairAvailable: January 31 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.

As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.

Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.

I had to put this book down, pick it back up a few times and get about a third of the way through before Marina Adair caught me, but she did… hook, line and sinker. A slow start and seemingly familiar characters kept me from becoming engrossed in this book right away, but as always, Adair’s writing drew me in and won me over with another emotional, heartwarming romance.

Avery Adams has spent most of her life dealing with kidney issues: first her mother’s and then her own. Having lost her mother as a girl and enduring years of treatment and eventually a transplant surgery, Avery is finally healthy and hopeful, and determined to finally live her life. The first step in doing that is taking a job as a guide at the local lodge in hopes of bringing some adventure into her life. And boy does it ever.

Adventure comes in the form of rugged water rescue alpha guy Ty Donovan… a.k.a. son of the lodge owners. Ty is sexy, strong and so confident that Avery takes one look and falls head over heels. It doesn’t matter that he’s only in town temporarily, or that he has a rule about romance with the employees. The chemistry between them is off the charts and they can’t seem to fight it. At all. In fact, that was one of the things I loved about this book. Even though there were warning signs and roadblocks along the way advertising the heartache you just knew was coming, Ty and Avery both dove in and gave up their hearts because they couldn’t do anything else.

There were some wonderful secondary characters (I can’t WAIT for Liv’s story, and Harris) that helped deliver the hometown feel that I’ve come to expect from Marina Adair. Ty’s relationship with his family was so complicated but written so realistically, I wanted to hug him and make everything ok the way Avery did. Ty wasn’t looking for a reason to stay, but he found that and more in Avery. The courage that each of them showed in working through their feelings for each other was so incredibly touching.

It Started with a Kiss is the first in a new series and I can’t wait for the next one. Marina Adair’s books are chock full of heart, heat and happiness and this one was no exception.

I give It Started with a Kiss by Marina Adair 4.5 stars!

Best Books of 2016, Ramblings Style!

2016

**CLICK THE BOOK COVER TO READ EACH REVIEW WHEN APPLICABLE**

***Nikki’s Picks***

Well, 2016 has come and gone. Like most of America, I’m kind of glad it’s over. It was a long year full of trying times. 2016 did find me adding two additional reviewers (Liz and Kim) into the mix who have really been a blessing. Seriously, without them, and my original two reviewers (Pam and Michelle) I never could have kept going this long. On the book front, I didn’t get to read nearly as many as I would have liked, but the ones I did finish were mostly fantastic. Thank you to my reviewers, the readers, all the authors and all the publishing houses!

Rough and Tumble by Rhenna Morgan – What a fantastic book one in a new series! Viv and Jace dominate the pages and light them on fire! Sexy and action packed this one had me begging for more by the last page. I cannot wait to get more from this series! This is a cheat for me..well, for you readers, since it’s not out until Feb, but PREORDER THIS ONE!

Porn Star by Zara Cox – Porn Star was a fluke, surprise romance that I could not get enough of. I stumbled upon it and was quickly sucked into this world Cox had created. Her character building and supreme story telling ensured I will be back for more in 2017. Her hero, Quinn seems nearly nonredeemable, yet Cox managed to make me not only care about him, but end up loving him too. Definitely one for my keeper shelf!

Stoned by Mandi Beck – If you love unconventional romances, this one is for you. It skirts the line of acceptable in the genre and that’s definitely a draw for me personally. While it was at times hard to read, dealing with topics that are hard to get past, Beck weaves a tale of true love conquering all.

Beautifully Decedent by L.A. Fiore – Fellow readers have been telling me forever to try Fiore’s books. I picked this one up on a whim and instantly fell in love. While it’s 3rd in the series, I had no problems reading this one and I can’t wait to get my hands on some more. Dessert chef heroine and a hero who works with his hands? YES PLEASE.

Flight From Mayhem by Yasmine Galenorn – All the yesses to this urban fantasy that is #2 in a series about a paranormal investigative group. You do need to read these in order, but trust me, you’ll thank me. Superb world building and engageable characters, mixed with action packed pages? Perfection!

Appealed by Emma Chase – Male POV at it’s best. I loved everything about this book and then some. It was as hilarious as it was sickeningly sweet. I adore Emma Chase and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in 2017!

The Deepest Well by Juliette Cross – Historical paranormal romance get you going? Then you need to read this one! I generally love everything Cross writes, but this was definitely the high point so far! You do need to read the prior series in order to fully understand the dynamics at work in this one, but you’ll love those too. An urban fantasy/paranormal romance hybrid with enough heat to have you fanning yourself….

Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti – Zanetti is an auto buy for me. Always has been and probably always will be. Ever since I found myself riveted by her first book. Now she’s writing post apocalyptic romance and it’s a certified winner with me. Believable and heartfelt with edge, Mercury Striking sets the precedent for other authors trying to compete.

Ladies Man by Katy Evans – Another male POV book that had me cracking up and sighing with contentment. Tahoe (yes, that’s his name lol) was cocky and alpha and everything awesome. I’ve never seen a hero fight himself as much as he does. This is a book I could read again and again and still never be tired with!

The Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas – God, I lived and breathed this book while reading it! It was everything I want in a romance. Hot interludes, action and intrigue all balled up into an amazing storyline. I had to re-read this one almost immediately upon finishing it the first time. I still find myself thumbing through the pages to get to my favorite parts from time to time. Can’t recc this book enough!

Flash Of Fury by Lea Griffith – Yeah, I’m adding a number 11 because I couldn’t just pick 10. And it’s my blog, sooooooooo. You need to preorder this book RIGHT NOW! It debuts next year. It’s amazeballs to the millionth percent! Lea Griffith has struck gold with this new black op, military series. Action, smexyiness from page one and just downright gripping, this will break records next year, mark my words.

rough-tumble-by-rhenna-morganporn-star-by-zara-coxStoned by Mandi BeckBeautifully Decadent by L.A. FioreFlight From Mayhem by Yasmine GalenornAppealed by Emma ChaseThe Deepest Well by Juliette CrossMercury Striking by Rebecca ZanettiLadies Man by Katy EvansTheProtector12_RGB300flash-of-fury-by-lea-griffith

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***Liz’s Picks***

Sweet Talk (Previously Models On Top) by S.L. Scott – After meeting Danny Weston in other books by S.L. Scott, not to worry, you do not read any other book to read this one, he finally gets his own book. I loved every minute of this second chance at love story. Danny was sweet, caring, loving and downright gorgeous. You can’t help but fall in love with and root for Danny and Reese.

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn – This was probably my favorite book I read in 2016. I have already read this book five times, both the book and in audio. This book broke my heart. Shane treated Kate horribly. The guilt he felt for sleeping with his wife’s best friend nearly broke him, even if his wife died a year ago. Their journey was long and hard, but love always finds a way. Nicole gave us a story that truly captivated us and made us feel so much.

Say You’ll Stay by Corinne Michael – To me, this is Corinne’s best work to date. I loved this book. This second chance at love story stayed with me for a long time. The story, the characters and emotions gripped me from the start. Presley and Zach were each other’s first love. Choices separated them apart and years later they are both dealing with regret and loss. Is there any chance left for them?

El Diablo by M. Robinson – So I binged-read M. Robinson in 2016. I had heard of her and her books for some time, but just had not had a chance to read her books. Let me tell you I was missing out! She is an amazing writer. El Diablo gutted me. Consumed me. Devastated me. This story spanned decades. So much regret, loss, death surrounds the man known as El Diablo, Martinez. Can he ever find love and happiness?

Loving Amber by Roya Carmen – This is a second chance love story with a bit of a forbidden twist. Amber lost her husband and brother two years ago, and she blames one man, Aiden Rogers, for their deaths. Aiden has always loved Amber, but one of his best friends won her heart first. Now she is within his reach, but he is everything she does not want. Can he show her how good they can be together?

Dirty by Belle Aurora – This book was a long time coming. We wanted more Twitch and what we got was a whole lot more! The twists and turns had me reeling. While some answers were provided, we end up with so many more. We get Julius story, with a little of Ling, and a whole lot of Twitch. I was at the edge of my seat throughout the story. I loved every word and cannot wait for the final book in the series.

Collecting the Pieces L.A. Fiore – I love the emotions depicted in this story. Some people are lucky enough to find love once in their life. But when you lose all you ever dreamed off, can you find happiness again? In this story, Sidney had a hard-young life. Never finding a place for her, she finds love and family when she meets Jake. He brings so much to her life. Tragedy left her shattered and starting over, even if she knows she will never love again. What she finds Abel Madden. And he makes her question everything. Can she find a second chance at love?

Mr. Match by J.A. Huss – I am cheating a bit with this one, as you have to read all four books before the final book in this series, but they are so worth it. In this book, we finally get all the answers to what has driven all the mysteries in the previous books. We find all the Misters and Mrs. working together, as we finally get Oliver Shrike’s and his Mrs. story. The twists and turns will keep you drawn in from the first word to the very last. Worth reading every book!

Road To Nowhere by M. Robinson – This story destroyed me. Creed was such a broken man in his short life. He has seen and lost so much. The only good thing in his life is Mia Ryder, the baby sister of one of his closest friends and nine years his junior. From their first meeting and through the years, she leaves quiet the impression on his life. In Road To Nowhere we get their journey through the coming years after they meet. It is not always an easy one, but you expect no less from this author! I cannot wait for book 2.

Trust by Jana Aston – I really enjoyed this story. Loved it! I laughed out loud so many times. This romantic comedy will make you laugh and just feel happy. Chloe and Boyd are amazing together. Chloe’s awkwardness is endearing. Boyd is hot, sweet, caring and just about everything we want in a man. I got lost in the story so many times. An amazing read and one of my very top favorite of the year.

Model On Top - Danny by S.L. ScottUnbreak My Heart by Nicole JacquelynSay You'll Stay by Corinne Michaelsel-diablo-by-m-robinsonloving-amber-by-roya-carmendirty-by-belle-auroracollecting-the-pieces-by-l-a-fioremr-match-by-ja-hussroad-to-nowhere-by-m-robinsontrust-by-jana-aston

 

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***Pam’s Picks***

Duke of My Heart by Kelly Bowen – I am such a fan of Ms. Bowen’s, her previous series blew me away and this new one has started out the same. I love the characters she has created, the heroine is a strong woman on her own and the hero compliments her perfectly, their road to love is hard to resist.

Blood Kiss by JR Ward – I have loved the Black Daggar Brotherhood series from the first time I picked up Wrath’s book, the alpha males and the amazing women who are their mates make this series fun, exciting and very sexy. I have missed a few here and there and know that someday I will eventually go back and read them, but when this book came up to read I was hesitant, not sure I wanted to hear about a younger generation, however I am so glad I did as it took me back to the Brothers and the entertaining and thrilling story telling of Ms. Ward.

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt – This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I love how well Ms. Hoyt writes this tale of an irredeemable man, yet she weaves her magic and I am in love.

Doing It Over by Catherine Bybee – I have loved many of Ms. Bybee’s books and was very excited to see she is starting a new series. Her character development and intriguing stories are always entertaining and this is no exception. Wyatt and Mel are perfect together, their relationship starts out slow but if he could have changed the pace he would have. The chemistry between them sizzles and the time they are able to steal away by themselves is amazing.

The Angels’ Share JR Ward – I enjoyed this second book in the Bourbon Kings series immensely! Filled with emotion, mysteries and secrets, we are treated to a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. With family drama on the forefront, Ms. Ward keeps the romance between characters light. This is filled with a Soap opera essence that has me waiting anxiously for more. It has the pull of a train wreck, you hate what is coming next but you can’t look away because you might miss something.

A Covert Affair By Katie Reus – This is another thrilling romantic suspense in the Deadly Ops series. I have enjoyed each book, filled with danger and romance as we meet these enterprising heroes and heroines working under extraordinary circumstances.

A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen – This author has become one of my favorites, she writes fun, witty historical romances where the hero and heroine are a joy to read about. This is the second in the series that features a business called Chegarre and Associates, a unique partnership that helps the London aristocracy with troubling problems that are not to be mentioned. I loved these two; their witty banter had me smiling throughout. Yes, there were some sorrowful times when they each remembered painful pasts and a future that at times is unreachable, but the author used compassion and humor to create a wonderful tale.

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh – I loved this one; we experience the conclusion of one story arc and the beginning of another. The change is smooth as the new story builds on the fall of Silence and what will be in the future. We were treated to visiting all previous characters that we have grown to love and then meeting some new ones that I hope will be part of new stories.

A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley – I have been looking forward to this book since I finished A Wicked Way to Win an Earl. This author is a joy and her book continued my love of her voice and character driven stories. The hero and heroine go through transformations that had me wanting to read even when real life interfered.

Not Quite Perfect by Catherine Bybee – I adore anything Ms. Bybee writes and this was no exception. The characters are engaging and the dialog witty and fun, and the slow build-up of romance between the hero and heroine is well worth the wait.

 

Duke of My Heart by Kelly BowenBlood Kiss by JR WardDuke Of Sin by Elizabeth HoytDoing It Over Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini SinghA Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley

not-quite-perfect-by-catherine-bybeeThe Angels Share by JR WardA Covert Affair by Katie Reus

A Duke To Remember by Kelly Bowen

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***Kim’s Picks***

2016 has brought a lot of changes for my family and myself. I am thankful for so many things but I am so very happy to see the end of 2016.  I was extremely excited when the opportunity came for me to review books with the Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind crew.  I managed to review over 40 books and surpass my Goodreads challenge by 14 books this year.  With a TBR of over 300 books, it looks like 2017 will bring lots of good reading.  Happy reading to you all!

Boss by Sierra Cartwright -We’ve all read some books with a BDSM story line and there is almost always a portrayal of a uniformed and virginal woman. This is totally not the case in Boss, the story of Kelsey and Nathan. It was nice to read a story about a women who knew what she liked and didn’t act timid and shy. A definite change of pace! *May be a bit graphic for some readers*

Can’t Touch This by Tess Hunter – A brand new release from a new author, Tess Hunter, also known as Pepper Winters hit it out of the park on her first try. Who knew the queen of darkness was so funny?? There is so much lighthearted fun, great banter between the two main characters and so much great sex to this story, I cannot even begin to tell you everything.

Bedwrecker by Kim Karr – Kim Karr is a new author to me but I will tell you that i now anxiously await all her upcoming releases! I loved Keen and Maggie and Bedwrecker is an all around SEXY read!

Four Letter Word by J. Daniels – J. Daniels is my go to author. Ever since I picked up her first book, i stalk her on every platform to see what is coming next. All her books are divine by Four Letter Word has become THE book to put her right on top. Or so I thought….

Hit The Spot by J. Daniels – Well, she did it again. I really, REALLY loved Four Letter Word but my God, Jamie and Tori, characters from Four Letter Word, Book #1 in the Dirty Deed series are AMAZING. I really didn’t think she could top FLW but Hit The Spot is just spot on. I will continue my stalking to see if there are more books to be coming in the series. In the meantime, which are you….#TeamLoser or #TeamLegs???

Written in the Scars by Adriana Locke – Written in the Scars is not just a book, it is the story of life. The story of love, sadness, misunderstanding, every single emotion that you can think of rolled into one AMAZING story. I can honestly say, without a doubt, this is THE story of 2016. You will never, EVER forget this book. I truly believe this is Adriana’s best work to date.

Love Rehab by Louise Bay – Love Rehab is a really fun and sexy read. I enjoyed Mackenzie and Blake and their one night stand that turned into something so much more. Join them on the road to realizing just what they both need in their lives. You really find yourself rooting for these two characters to get it together and tell each other how they feel before it’s too late.

Mister O by Lauren Blakely – I have a girl crush on Lauren Blakely, plain and simple. I have yet to come across a story of hers that I didn’t like. Nick is trying to teach Harper how to date…although it is killing him to think of her with other men. The sex in this book….WHOA. From the role playing to the sexting to Nick’s fantasies about Harper, it was way beyond HOT. It will definitely give you some ideas 😉

The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely – Again…this woman just knows how to write. A sexy single dad Simon, who has nothing but love for his daughter’s nanny, Abby. What i really enjoyed was there was not too much angst, a light hearted read for a change of pace. I love how you can just feel the attraction Abby and Simon jumps off the pages!!

Uncontrollable by Shannon Richard – This book completely caught me off guard. I have never read Ms. Richard before but I absolutely adored this book. Beth and Tripp will steal your heart. Beth is now the legal guardian of her nieces and nephew after their parents die. Tripp is the neighbor Beth despises, until she sees him for who he really is. I adored the characters, the plot and the emotions in this book. This is not a book about sex (although it was very HOT) but a book about a relationship between a man, a woman, and all the “baggage” that comes with her.

bedwrecker-by-kim-karrfour-letter-word-by-j-danielshit-the-spot-by-j-danielswritten-in-the-scars-by-adriana-lockePageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]the-sexy-one-by-lauren-blakely

uncontrollable-by-shannon-richard cant-touch-this-by-tess-hunter

 

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***Michelle’s Picks***

Every December when this post rolls around, I expect to be mildly disappointed with my year of reading. Then I look back through the books I’ve read and I realize there were some damn good reads this year!

Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy – I loved everything about this book. The supporting cast of Jim Morgan’s men was a great mix of all kinds of badass alpha heroes. The hints at a future story between Liam and Sullivan were reminiscent of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series with Jules and Robin – one of my all-time favorites. This book was more than fine as a stand-alone, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had read the series from the beginning. Elle Kennedy knows how to create a larger than life hero. The romantic scenes between D and Sofia were HOT. Just when I thought D had crossed the line one too many times, he would redeem himself in an endearing way that softened my heart right along with Sofia’s. My chest actually hurt at the end.

The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter – If you can get past the ridiculous female names in this series, you’re in for a treat. I enjoyed the first two, but I almost dreaded reading this one because West was such a needy, moody ass in his friends’ stories. I had a hard time imagining him as hero material. Boy was I wrong. Talk about two people who want each other but are afraid to want each other. I loved his protectiveness and Jessie Kay’s (ugh} ability to talk him down from the ledge time and again. He was neurotic, OCD, overprotective…. basically full of psychological issues. Jessie Kay knew when to push and when to just deal, and it worked so well. Once they got past the “I want you so bad so I’m going to act like I hate you” phase, their romance was a pure delight.

The Obsession by Nora Roberts – Nora Roberts is a master storyteller, and this book is a prime example of why she has had dozens of bestsellers throughout her widely successful career. While some people complain about her often formulaic approach to writing, my theory is, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m more a fan of romance with a little suspense than mystery/suspense with a little romance, but I can make an exception for this book. This book was gritty and sometimes grisly, violent and emotional, with just the right amount of romance to make my heart happy.

Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis – It wouldn’t be my top 10 list without a book (or two) by Jill Shalvis. I loved everything about this book. Jacob was a wonderful hero. Tough, protective, smart and sexy – totally alpha without being a jerk. Sophie was funny and unpredictable and so perfect for him. I thought the way Jacob was integrated back into his family was done just perfectly, and when he and Hud finally mended their fences my heart melted. This book was warm and funny, emotional and steamy – just what I want out of a romance.

Chaos Bound by Sarah Castille – There is something about Sarah Castille and her tribe of Sinners that gets to me. Every.Single.Time. I’ve loved all of the books in this series, but something about this one really struck a chord in me. Chaos Bound is Holt’s story. We knew him as T-Rex in the previous books, but in this one we are introduced to a changed man. And WOW! He’s full of surprises and does not disappoint.

Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan – I could go on and on about this book, but nothing I could write would even come close to touching on how… larger than life Stefano and Francesca were. They started out with a kind of cat and mouse flirtation, which turned into a sexy seduction, and resulted in Stefano binding her to him so tightly she couldn’t leave if she wanted to. This book was the epitome of the damsel in distress being rescued by the white knight, or in this case the rich, powerful shadow rider who has money and power at his disposal. It was a slow journey for Francesca to find her way to trusting Stefano, but in the end they formed such an incredible partnership that he even learned to lean on her. I can’t wait for more books in this series!

Falling in Deeper by Shayla Black – Man oh man oh man. I was almost speechless after reading this book. Shayla Black has been one of my favorite authors for years, and the Wicked Lovers series has been satisfying to say the least. Sometimes, though, when I’ve been away from a series for a while, I’m almost afraid to delve back in because I don’t want to be disappointed. I felt that way when I started Falling in Deeper, but those feelings evaporated – quickly. What I loved the most about this book was the way the characters were transformed as their relationship grew stronger. Stone is determined to win Lily over as her Dom, keeping her safe and taking care of her every need. He is sexy and playful and understanding, but he knows when to be strict with Lily so her fears don’t overwhelm her. He tests both of their limits until they become comfortable with the D/s aspect of their relationship. I liked that the book wasn’t overwhelmed with Lily becoming Stone’s submissive. Shayla Black made it seem like that change in their relationship was a natural progression and exactly what Lily needed.

Good Earls Don’t Lie by Michelle Willingham – Oh, how I love to discover a new to me author who has an entire backlog of books I can look forward to reading. Michelle Willingham has been on my radar for some time, but I haven’t gotten around to any of her books until now. Good Earls Don’t Lie had everything you could want in an historical romance: emotion, humor and likable characters you will be rooting for.

One in a Million by Jill Shalvis – Wow. Just wow. Just when I thought I was getting to the point of “read one Jill Shalvis book, you’ve read them all”, I fall totally in love with another one. Tanner Riggs was NOT what I expected. I thought he’d be a moody, broody, tough to catch hero. Instead he was steady, sexy, caring and sweet. Callie was the one who was tough to catch. I loved him, I loved them together, and this book made me fall in love with Lucky Harbor all over again.

Nico by Sarah Castille – All I can say is merry early Christmas to me. I read Nico in one sitting, not because it was short (it wasn’t) or an easy read (it wasn’t that either), but because I.COULD.NOT.PUT.IT.DOWN. I don’t know how Sarah Castille did it, but she made me fall in love with a mob boss. She has a talent for taking larger than life heroes and making a romance with them seem attainable for any woman.

Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedythe-harder-you-fall-by-gena-showalterThe Obsession by Nora RobertsNobody But You by Jill ShalvisChaos Bound by Sarah CastilleShadow Rider by Christine Feehanfalling-in-deeper-by-shaya-blackgood-earls-dont-lie-by-michelle-willinghamOne In A Million by Jill Shalvisnico-by-sarah-castille

 

 

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