Wicked Love by Michelle A. Valentine (Wicked White #3)

Wicked Love by Michelle A ValentineAvailable: May 31st, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: New Adult/College, Contemporary

Publisher: Montlake Romance

My Copy: Net Galley

Reviewer: Kim

All Tyler Mercer wanted was to make music—until he met Avery Jenson. The beautiful new girl in town turned his head and struck a chord in his heart. But when their one night of passion results in devastating tragedy, Tyler hits the road, leaving behind his dead-end hometown and the girl he knows he’ll never forget.

After her father was caught embezzling, Avery’s comfortable life in the city was blown to bits. But meeting Tyler helped to pick up the pieces and eased her into country living. She just never expected the handsome musician would add to her heartbreak by walking away without a backward glance.

Now, three years later, rock star Tyler’s come back, hat in hand. He’s found fame and fortune as a member of Wicked White, but it’s all worth nothing without Avery’s love. Can she forgive him for leaving when she needed him most? Or will the ghost of their past keep them apart?

Avery Jensen father embezzled money from the company he worked for nobody and the repercussions are hurting Avery at college. On top of that, she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with one of her sorority sisters. When she goes to seek revenge and chickens out last minute, out run her sorority friends and in steps a good Samaritan, Tyler.

Tyler Mercer has just met the most beautiful girl whom he gives a ride home to after she was ditched by her friends. Tyler can’t seem to stop thinking of Avery and is shocked when he finds her at his job in a small town. The two of them start spending all their free time together but Tyler has dreams and promises to his late father he is determined to fulfill. When the two of them finally decide to be together, tragedy strikes and everything falls apart.

Wicked Love was a very short, quick read for me to which I am very thankful. This is book #3 in the series and I did not need to read the other two books to understand what was going on. I have to say that I did not like this story, at all. I personally feel that there was so much more that could have been done with this story.

Tyler got everything he wished for immediately without any hard work. Avery seemed like such an ungrateful, materialistic person it just made it so hard for me to finish the story. Tyler just disappears on Avery and when he returns, its ok?!?! There needed to be so much more to the ending not just I forgive you, let’s have make up sex, we love each other, we’re back together and happy. The End. WHAT?!?!?!

I give Wicked Love by Michelle A. Valentine  2 stars

The All-Star Antes Up by Nancy Herkness (Wager of Hearts #2)

The All-Star Antes Up by Nancy HerknessAvailable: May 31, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance/Sports

Publisher: Montlake Romance

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

“No strings, no rings.” That’s Luke Archer’s motto. As the champion quarterback for the New York Empire—not to mention a self-made billionaire—Luke has given up on serious relationships. Women only want him for one thing: the thrill of being with a superstar. And he can’t risk love distracting him from his next Super Bowl victory. But when his best friend announces he’s retiring from football to spend time with his wife and kids, Luke feels like he’s missing out on something much bigger than his career.

The assistant concierge in Luke’s luxury high-rise, Miranda Tate fled her family’s dairy farm to come to the bright lights of New York City. She works hard to move up and sends her spare earnings home to her brother. When she and Luke meet, there’s an instant attraction, but they’re in completely different leagues. Could Miranda be just the woman Luke needs to win the most important game of his life?

The All Star Antes Up is the second in the Wager of Hearts series. I have not read the first book but had no problem picking up this story. The prologue explains the background very well and I did not miss a beat. This book can be read as a standalone. This book tells the story of Luke Archer, NFL quarterback.

Luke Archer is a 36 years old man dedicated to the sport of football. He eats, breathes and sleeps football, even during the off season. One night he walks into a the prestigious Bellwether Club where he places a bet with CEO, Nathan Trainer and an author, Gavin Miller, in which they have to fall in love and become engaged within a year. The three men each bet something very close to their hearts so the stakes are very high. Luke plans to start finding love after the season is over but thanks to his free loading brother, Trevor, Luke is going to meet her sooner than later.

Miranda Tate is a concierge in the apartment building where Luke and his brother live. Miranda is a hard worker and truly enjoys her job. She is helping to support her family back home at the dairy farm her brother is running. After one night of denying Luke’s brother Trevor’s request for a hooker, Miranda is summoned to her boss’s office along with Trevor and Luke to be reprimanded. Luckily for Miranda, Luke figures out exactly what Trevor asked for and puts the fire out with her boss.

After their encounter, Luke wants to thank Miranda with tickets to a game to which she takes her family. They both start to realize there is something more between them and Luke tries to pursue Miranda. What works even more in Luke’s favor is being on the side lines for a week which gives him the opportunity to spend time with Miranda. It really takes some finesse as she does not want anyone to find out about them even going to dinner together. Working as a concierge she knows anonymity is what is best for the time they have together.

Towards the middle of the books is where it fell apart for me. I enjoyed the idea of Luke and Miranda’s story. I loved the scenes where they were out exploring the city and going to the ballet. As soon as the sex started, I felt it went downhill from there. Luke says to Miranda that she deserves better than having sex in the limo on the way home yet they have sex in his home gym and on the floor? The line that did me in though.. ”and now, sugar, let’s get to know each other.” Luke just kept referring to her as “sugar” and I have to say that irritated me to no end. Luke and Miranda definitely had chemistry together but the sex scenes needed a little something different. It was just not my cup of tea.

By this point, I really didn’t know if I could finish the story. I’m glad I did though. This really is a very well written romance between Miranda and Luke and I love the whole story line of the bet. I enjoyed when Luke messed up (and you know they always do) the extremes he went to just to fix things with Miranda. I also enjoyed their HEA. However, I just could not get past the sex scenes.

I give the All Star Antes Up by Nancy Herkness 3 stars!

Manacle by Belle Jewel (MC Sinners Next Generation #3)

 

 

Title: Manacle

Series: MC Sinners Next Generation #3

Author: Bella Jewel

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

 Release Date: May 23, 2016

Blurb

 

I’ve loved Danny since I was five.

He’s loved me longer.

It seemed destined that we would be together, it seemed like the stars had aligned.

Then we grew up and life got in the way.

He’s stepping up to be president of the Motorcycle club we grew up in.

And I want no part in it.

I want to be free, to travel the world and experience life without violence.

He’s not willing to give up the club.

I’m not willing to be an old lady.

But giving him up is like losing a part of myself.

Love isn’t easy.

Life certainly never is.

The manacles he has wrapped around me will hold me to him.

No matter how hard I try to run.

*****LIZ’S REVIEW*****

So I have to admit up front, I am a huge MC fan. Love them. They are my guilty pleasure in reading. I devour them. Don’t get me wrong, I love my HEAs, but I also love real, gutsy, angst filled stories too. And MC books have that and so much more. So, with that out of the way, I loved Manacle by Bella Jewel. It had everything I love in an MC book.

This is book three in the MC Sinners Next Generation series and the first book in the series I am reading. I had no difficulty picking up the story and did not once feel lost. What I do want to do now is to go back and read all the books in the series. Always a great sign of a good series.

I loved the story and I loved the characters. You have an MC that has been together for a long time. Some bad things have happened and the princess of the club is now afraid. Skye loves her family, has great memoires of the life she has led but now she is ready for a life outside what she has always known and loved. She does not see a future with family, children and love in the confines of what she has always known. So she flees and leaves the love of her life, her soulmate behind.

Leaving is the hardest thing Skye has done and though she questions the choice repeatedly, she feels she needs to give this new life a try. Skye is afraid. She loves Danny. He is everything to her but walking away from her best friend, her soulmate is necessary to live the life she wants. Yes, she is a bit indecisive and her choices almost break the man she loves. But she is determined to stand by her choice. I feel that many will not like Skye for her choices and wishy-washy attitude, however, as you begin to understand what drives her, it’s hard not to understand why.

Danny, oh Danny. He is one hot alpha who knows what he wants. He is going to step in to be President soon and it’s what he always wanted. But he always imagined Skye at his side. They grew up together, were the best of friends and eventually lovers. But Skye always kept herself a bit apart from Danny and when she walks away, he understands why. Giving her up is the hardest thing Danny can do and though he feels he understands her better then herself, this is a decision she has to make on her own.

I loved Danny. He was always there for her, his friends and his club. He was strong and determined and though he was more than willing to fight for what he wanted, he was not going to walk away from this club.

And so Danny and Skye part ways and find themselves heading in different directions and moving on. Yet they were never truly apart from each other and they found themselves fighting their decisions even as they moved forward.

Once it seems they are both finally in different places, Skye finds herself needing her MC family more than ever. But is it too late? Were her choices really the right ones?

I really enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting. And as I mentioned, will go back and read all the books. I would highly recommend this book.

I give Manacle by Bella Jewel 4 stars!

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

 

 

Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

 

 

Author Bio

 

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA

Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release

was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon

release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a

bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is

currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella

has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013

she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling

modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her

writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

Author Links

Giveaway

Get Lucky by Lila Monroe

Get Lucky by Lila MonroeAvailable: May 26, 2016 

Type: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Self Pub

My copy: Sent (ARC)

Reviewer: Liz

What happens when you wake up in a hotel suite next to a gorgeous naked man with absolutely no memory of the past twelve hours?

I guess it’s true what they say. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Or at least I hope it stays here. The Romantic Style convention was meant to be a weekend of raucous fun with friends, sun, and enough poolside margaritas to forget about my ex. But now, instead of meeting my fans and signing books, I’m stuck with cocky divorce lawyer Nate Wexler. He’s arrogant, infuriating, and I can’t keep my hands off of him. Judging by the state of our hotel room, last night was wild. I just wish I could remember it.

A pair of matching tattoos. A cheap wedding veil. A half empty box of glow in the dark condoms.

What the hell just happened?

I could not stop laughing while reading this. Opposites attracting does not always work, but Lila Monroe really made it work in Get Lucky. Not only did she make it work, but also gave us a romantic comedy you could not put down.

You have a night in Vegas, two total opposites, a romance writer’s convention, a friend’s wedding and the morning after, what can go wrong? Everything and anything, that’s what!

I loved, loved, loved Julia. Loved her personality, her outlook on life, and her zest. Even though she is getting over her ex, she is ready to move forward is and looking to enjoy meeting her fans.

Nate Wexler is as straight and narrow as they come. A divorce attorney who knows there is no such thing as love and happily ever after. Logic is all he needs. Until he runs right into a short and curvy whirlwind that upends his world.

The shenanigans that follow are hilarious and over the top, but they work for this story. We get both the present and backstory to the night before in both point of views and in a back and forth sequence that is hysterical. Adding to the story, both set of friends, his and hers, were crazy, supportive and loveable!

While Julia and Nate are trying to piece things together, they are also dealing with very unexpected feelings and thoughts they do not know how to handle, much less deal with it. They find each other aggravating, annoying and not what they want at all. But sometimes what you think you want is not what you need at all.

I really enjoyed this story. I found it enjoyable and could not wait to find out what would happen next. I would definitely recommend it and would read more from this author.

I give Get Lucky by Lila Monroe 4 stars!

Sway by Adriana Locke (Landry Family Series #1)

Sway by Adriana LockeAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

BARRETT LANDRY has it all. Power, prestige, and plenty of women, the dapper politician’s life is pretty phenomenal. But in the midst of the biggest campaign of his life, he needs to focus. The last thing he can afford is a distraction.

ALISON BAKER is a work-in-progress. As a single mother to HUXLEY, she’s rebuilding life on her terms. She’s focused on family, faith, and a future for her son that can’t be taken away. Putting her child first means not being careless, no matter what.

A chance encounter forces Barrett and Alison to redefine what they really want out of life. But everything comes at a cost … and sometimes, even for love, it’s a price too steep to pay.

Vote Landry!!

I’m usually not a huge fan of books where the main character is a politician but Mr. Barrett Landry has changed my mind! We all know what politicians are like, especially now with the election just months away. We see on a daily basis how smarmy they can be! However, if all politicians were like Mr. Landry? My…what a wonderful world it would be J

Barrett Landry is the Mayor of Savannah who is currently running for Governor of Georgia. Barrett is a determined, sexy man with a good heart. He can have any woman, anytime, anywhere he wants. And he has…many times. Now Barrett has to clean up his act while working on becoming the Governor.

Barrett meets Alison at an event she is working and falls for her immediately. There is an instant chemistry between them but she is not the typical woman he usually meets. Instead of clamoring to get in his bed, she knows well enough to stay as far away as she can. Barrett is instantly smitten with her and knows he is going to work hard to get her to see him again. Game on.

Alison Baker is a divorced mother with a ten year old son to think about. All of her actions have consequences and she is trying to do what is right for her son Huxley and herself. She is strong willed, a hard worker and is a totally relatable woman in this story. Being that she was married to a judge and being put through the wringer from his stupidity has made her very cautious.

“I just don’t need a knight in shining armor. In my world, I am the knight. I’m the one that saves the day.” – Alison

The chemistry between Barrett and Alison is AMAZING!! The banter between the two of them is sometimes funny, sometimes sarcastic, and all incredible. This story is sweet yet sexy and fun….and hot. I never knew I would appreciate grapes so much after this book.

I am totally in love with the secondary characters in this book. The entire Landry family, especially Lincoln Landry, will be a great continuation on to the Landry Family series. Sway is a delightful book and I truly enjoyed every minute reading it. I will definitely be re-reading this book again soon. I look forward to more Landry’s!

I give Sway by Adriana Locke 5 stars!

The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter (Wicked Trilogy #3)

The Wicked Duke by Madeline HunterAvailable: May 31, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Suspected of his brother’s murder, Lancelot Hemingford, Duke of Aylesbury, was forced to give up his hell-raising habits in London for the anonymity of quiet country living. So, when an opportunity arises to clear his name in exchange for proposing to the niece of a neighbor, he sees no choice but to accept. Plus, seducing the reluctant maiden will be a most intriguing challenge…

As Marianne Radley is dependent on her uncle, she must accept the Duke’s marriage proposal at her family’s request, despite her belief he is irredeemably wicked. But along with marrying him, she intends to sniff out the duke’s unsavory secrets and expose them to the world: a plan that would be flawless were it not for one minor detail—even she, with all her determination, is not immune to the charms of a rakish duke…

This is the third book in the trilogy that tells the tale of a murdered duke, three brothers who hated him and the accusations that point to one person, the oldest brother and current duke. I have been looking forward to Lance’s story and the conclusion of the mystery since the beginning.

Lancelot Heminford is the newest Duke of Aylesbury; he received that title after his oldest brother Percy mysteriously died. Lance was visiting at the time of his death and many view him as a suspect. Percy’s death was not mourned by many as he was not well liked in society and even more hated by his brothers. However because of the murder hanging over his head, Lance has spent the last nine months wallowing in the country keeping a low profile until something is decided. This is the perfect opportunity for his neighbor Sir Horace to blackmail him into a marriage with his niece, leaving Lance without much choice.

Marianne Radley has come back to the area on her uncle’s behalf. She brought along her mother and Uncle Horace’s daughter Nora who Marianne has been helping. Nora had a fall, along with some trauma several years ago and suffers when she is agitated around others, but her uncle wants her home. Uncle Horace believes Nora was harmed by Lance and wants revenge, he helps promote the idea but will prove his innocence if he marries Marianne, but when the two meet, sparks fly between them, marriage might not be such a bad idea, but first they must find the true killer.

A great ending to this trilogy, I enjoyed the mystery and the suspense throughout the series, as the brothers and their heroines come together to find the real culprit.

I like Lance, he has graciously lived a solitary life since his brother died in order to keep the peace, and his brothers help him by visiting and trying to find the killer. I like the brother’s relationship and enjoyed meeting them again with their wives. However Lance is tired of hiding out in the country, he is ready for this farce to be over and is delighted when he meets Marianne.

Marianne is a strong heroine; she champions Nora and is determined to find out who hurt her. She is willing to be under the roof of her uncle to help but is angry with him as he tries to force either Nora or herself to marry the duke for revenge. She also has a secret that is intriguing, if not surprising, which provides more proof of her strength. She is unprepared for her reaction when she meets Lance, but the chemistry ignites and their relationship takes off as the passion between them is apparent. I love how she is determined to find answers to help both Lance and Nora.

The pace works well, the beginning of the story is slower as we meet Marianne and the storyline is set up, but it quickly speeds up when Marianne and Lance agree to marry and the race is on to find the murderer or watch Lance get arrested. I enjoyed the story arc from the beginning, there is deception and danger as the murder mystery is ever present, I have been wondering who really killed Percy and why and was very surprised at the outcome. This is the third book in the series and although you could read it as a standalone, the enjoyment is reading the entire series to get the full effect of the long story arc, and the very satisfactory conclusion.

I give The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter 4 stars!

On Her Six by Christina Elle (Under Cover #1)

On Her Six by Christina ElleAvailable: May 23, 2016 Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Entangled

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

New neighbors are bad news in Samantha Harper’s experience. Especially ones as suspicious and brooding as the guy who just moved in next door. So when the dangerous but sexy stranger seems to be involved in something illegal—the aspiring cop in her takes action. If only she could stop thinking about how he looks naked…
All DEA agent Ash Cooper wants to do is lay low and survive this crap surveillance assignment. But after a run-in with his attractive neighbor, he realizes that’s going to be much harder than he planned. Keeping the woman out of trouble is hard enough, but keeping his hands off her is near impossible.

When wanna-be cop, Sam notices a suspicious new neighbor, she’s determined to find out everything she can about him. Armed with homemade weapons and a band of nosy elderly women, Sam sets up surveillance and against her better judgement, becomes a shadow he can’t dodge.

Ash doesn’t need some nosy neighbor trailing his every move. Working undercover looking for a drug supplier is difficult enough without Sam constantly getting in his way too. Giving her something to do will not only get her out of his hair but maybe allow him to actually do his job. Except the more time he spends with her, the more he likes her, until their combustible attraction hits a breaking point and Ash is left wondering what’s more important, getting his team back together or the one woman who seems to see past the walls he created out of self preservation.

On Her Six was a fast read with snappy dialogue and well fleshed out characters. Ash and Sam together was not only hot but hilarious at times. Sam seemed to get on Ash’s very last nerve quite often, resulting in my constant chuckling as he tried desperately to keep the woman in check. She had a way of finding trouble around every corner, but at times it was her that ended up saving him…even if he wouldn’t have been in trouble in the first place if it hadn’t been for her.

Sam’s grandma and the local neighborhood watch play a large role, which was often incredibly funny. There’s just something about watching an immensely alpha man be put in his place by a handful of scrappy grandma’s that made me laugh. Ash got his revenge though by knowingly displaying his goods while being videotaped by the unstealthy group. Doing naked lunges, I just…LMAO.

I will definitely be back for book two, because Christina Elle has thoroughly hooked me with her world building and engaging characters. Both suspenseful and funny, On Her Six is worth the read for the naked lunges alone, add in everything else and you’ve got yourself an awesome book!

I give On Her Six by Christina Elle 4 stars!

 

Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake (The Perfect Gentlemen #3)

Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black & Lexi BlakeAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

The New York Times bestselling authors of the Masters of Ménage series present the third scintillating novel featuring the privileged, wealthy, wild men of Creighton Academy—the Perfect Gentlemen.

Years ago, Naval officer Dax Spencer and NCIS agent Holland Kirk indulged in a steamy affair—until she betrayed him in the wake of his father’s death. Dax tried to put her behind him with a payback of his own. But he never forgot Holland…

Now, as Dax and his fellow Perfect Gentlemen unravel a web of lies, he discovers his family’s tragedy is part of a much larger conspiracy. Soon, all clues point him back to New Orleans…where Holland waits, protecting her deadly secret and holding a torch for the only man she’s ever loved.

Once reunited, they can’t fight the passion flaring hot and wild. But something sinister lurks around every corner, from the elegance of the Garden district to the beauty of the bayou. Dax and Holland may find their way back to each other—if they survive…

What a great addition to this series. Friends since Creighton Academy, these men have bonded like brothers through thick and thin. Dax and Holland go through an emotional journey to find love and of course his brothers are beside him until the end.

The Perfect Gentlemen are a group of boys who grew up together at school all becoming very successful men in their own right. After the death of Mad, a member of the group, their lives have been surrounded by a mysterious conspiracy of lies and deaths which has brought them back together.

When Dax was looking into his father’s death a few years ago, he was involved in a steamy romance with Holland, an NCIS agent. Then all hell broke loose when she promptly dropped him and he went into a spiral which ended in a disastrous marriage to her friend. They both were hurt by their actions and his father’s reputation was in ruin. Now several years later he has uncovered new information and is in New Orleans to confront his past and maybe rekindle something he lost with Holland.

Holland had her own reasons years ago for breaking it off with Dax and now that he is back in her life she can’t deny the attraction that never went away. They both have some explaining to do but as the two start looking at the new clues the danger mounts and the sparks fly.

I love these authors; they bring intrigue, danger, sexy heroes and heroines together for an incredible ride. This is the third installment about these Perfect Gentlemen and the women who capture their hearts. The overall story arc that surrounds the friends continues as they come closer to finding answers to the ever growing questions about uncertain deaths, disappearances and real danger.

Dax is an amazing hero whose heart was broken several years ago. He never believed what the evidence said about his father and has spent years trying to find the truth that now leads back to the one woman he has never forgotten. With Holland answering some of the questions from the past, he is piecing together the information, both new and old to find the truth.

The two together are explosive, and the chemistry is electric. The authors put them in some amazing scenes together to prove this fact. They not only have to work around their own feelings but also the issues that have dogged the Perfect Gentlemen for many years. There are unending mysteries, more questions than answers and ever present danger. I can’t wait for the next book to see what these two authors will throw our way next, I know it will be another thriller.

The pace is fast and non-stop for most of the book, and it works well even though I am not a huge fan of a long backstory, and this has a dozy. I tend to want to get to the heart of the book, usually present day, so I was in a hurry to get to the second part of this story, and then the book took off for me. I highly recommend this series for mystery, danger and the sexy heroes and heroines.

I give Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake 4 stars!

The Empty Jar by M. Leighton

The Empty Jar by M. LeightonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My copy: Sent 

Reviewer: Liz

Three months touring Europe. Romantic. Dazzling. Unforgettable. The trip of a lifetime. But some lifetimes are shorter… We couldn’t have known it would work out this way. No one could. No one could’ve guessed that something so beautiful could be so tragic. But it is tragic. Yet so, so beautiful. That’s what sacrifice is—beauty and tragedy. It’s pain and suffering for something or someone you love. And this is the ultimate sacrifice. One stunning act of true love. This is our story. Our true love story. .

I don’t even know where to begin. This story was amazing, heartbreaking, captivating, tragic and beautiful all at once. There is a note from the author about this book that states “This book is not a romantic fairy tale. Yet, it’s the most romantic story I’ve ever told…” and I could not agree more or said it better myself.

The Empty Jar is about love. The kind of love that comes once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, and life changing. The emotions felt while reading this story are raw and heart wrenching. I felt my heart soar, laugh and break over and over. The emotions are real. This book will stay with me for a long time.

From the blurb we know something has happened to take Lena and Nate on a three-month tour of Europe. They find themselves wanting to experience as much as they can, as quickly as they can. We find ourselves drawn into the story and swept away.

It is very hard to talk about this book without giving away spoilers, but know that what has happened to Lena and Nate is devastating, but their outlook was to experience everything they can together and build on those memories. While accomplishing this, they are given a surprise that will blow them away.

With every word you read you feel Michelle’s heart being poured right over them. Every chapter, every line, every word, I felt it to my core. This book came from her heart and soul and though this was not by any means an easy read, it was one of the most amazing books I have ever read.

Lena and Nate were amazing characters with so much depth to them. I felt so much for them and with them as I read this story. I found them to be strong, powerful and so captivating. And this to me is what makes a story so worthwhile.

Michelle has written a story that is at once beautiful and poignant. She has truly outdone herself with The Empty Jar. This is a must read and though it is very emotional story that will leave you a bit loss, it is also a story of hope and love. This is a book that will stay with me for a very long time to come.

I give The Empty Jar by M. Leighton 5+ emotional, gripping, must read stars.

The Debt by Tyler King

The Debt by Tyler KingAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever Yours

My copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz

Hadley saved my life…and I ruined hers

Hadley’s my best friend. We share a house, our friends, a life. She knows all my secrets…except one. My desperate need for her is inked on my body, it’s the best I can do. But Hadley needs to hear the words…

Growing up as foster kids, Hadley made me feel whole—sane. And what did I do? I destroyed our chance to be together. I ran out on Hadley when I should have stayed, and something broke between us. Now I’ll do anything to fix it.

I’ll never leave her again. I won’t ever let her feel afraid again. But the more I try to protect her from my pain, the more I just make things worse. I’m terrified that if I tell her everything, she’ll never forgive me. I’m even more terrified that it may be too late to make her mine. I have to try to give her what she needs…it’s a debt I’m determined to repay.

The Debt by Tyler King was an interesting read for me. The entire book was told in Josh’s point of view, which I found very interesting and very rare. Most authors go with either only the female point of view or dual point of views. So it’s always interesting to me to go with just the main male point of view.

In the Debt, we get a lot of angst, mostly between the two main characters. Josh and Hadley, or Punky, as Josh calls her, met in a foster home when they were young. Both had very traumatic history they are trying to overcome. Together they found their way out of the foster care system and in loving homes, but both have repercussions from what they survived and do not know how to move past it.

In high school, Josh caused a huge rift between them and walked away from Hadley. Years later Josh and Hadley see each other every day, but could not be more apart from each other. They both want the same thing, but have no idea how to get there.

After a series of big communication mishaps, will these two find their way to each other or finally walk away from each other?

I really liked Josh. I found him heartbreaking, strong and weak all at the same time. It created quite the hero and flawed, which I find more endearing. He was so conflicted and could not come to terms with himself, much less Hadley. In the end, he needed to do this before being able to move forward.

Hadley on the other hand seemed so strong at times, but at others so weak. There was a reason behind her up and down, but she never really did anything to fix it. She knew what she wanted, but pushed it away for so long, she almost lost everything.

This story had so much going on at times, that it seemed a bit overwhelming and all over the place. Too many issues going on and not all of them always addressed or resolved. Then sprinkled with one more big unexpected occurrence and it seemed a bit too much. But I must admit I found the second half of the book much more engaging. I needed to find out what was going to happen.

So though some parts failed for me, overall it was a good read and I look forward to other work by Tyler King.

*Note this book may contain triggers for some and is filed with angst, however, I would consider recommending and keeping an eye on other works by this author.

I give The Debt by Tyler King 3.5 stars.

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*****EXCERPT*****

Hours later, just after 8:00 a.m., I was still awake when the woman next to me stretched and reached for her phone on my nightstand. Propped up against my headboard, I watched the silhouette of a leggy blonde dressing at the foot of my bed. She shoved her tits into a push-up bra and wiggled her way into a tight black dress.

“It was fun,” she said. “See you around, MacKay.”

“Later.”

She tiptoed away with her shoes in her hand and closed the door behind her. I knew I shouldn’t have brought Kate home, but at the time I didn’t have the clarity of mind to do otherwise. Women had always been transient in my life. This one was no different.

I pried myself from the covers, then crossed the room and stood at the floor-length mirror beside my dresser to inspect the new ink peeking around the right side of my rib cage. The skin there was still tender and swollen, a result of six hours under the needles to continue the design that decorated my back. Bear was an artist with an implement of pain.

My eyes fell to the framed photo lying facedown on my dresser: a younger me in a tux, standing onstage with my adoptive parents beside a piano before my first sold-out concert. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and I couldn’t bear to look at it.

I was skinnier then, and lanky. Hadn’t yet grown into my body. Next to my pale, freckled parents, I stood out like one of those exotic adopted children of yuppie celebrity parents. Dark skin. Black hair. Green eyes. People told me I was “interesting” to look at, to gawk at. So little by little I covered all the pretty bare flesh in tattoos.

The first piece I ever had done was of a raven with its wings spread wide across my chest. The tips of each broken wing nailed down. I was seventeen then. After my first sitting, I came to understand why people said tattoos were addictive. I suppose I became a glutton for pain, because when Bear’s wife offered to put a hole in my lip, I let her stick a needle through my face. For shits and giggles. At twenty-one, I had two full sleeves. My dad only asked that I keep the modifications within reason. I was a bit fuzzy on that definition.

From the top dresser drawer, I grabbed a tube of antibacterial ointment and applied two fingers’ worth to the new tattoo. My stomach growled. It was empty and angry from last night. So I sifted through the field of laundry-pile bunkers scattered around my bedroom until I found a black shirt and dark jeans on the passable side of clean.

When I hit the landing at the bottom of the stairs, I felt a pair of knowing brown eyes watching me from the living room. Nothing good ever came from the morning-after ritual. Even so, I couldn’t help but glance at my roommate curled up on the leather couch with her laptop open and earbuds hidden under her long dark hair. She held seven fingers over her head. Hadley averted her gaze back to the computer screen rather than look for my reaction. Like she didn’t give a fuck.

“Don’t you have anything better to do than wait for the walk of shame?”

“Don’t you have an appointment to get your dick swabbed for STDs?”

“Fuck off.”

“Get bent.”

And so everything was par for the course on a Sunday morning. I held out my middle finger as I turned toward the kitchen. That was fun. Let’s do it again next week, shall we? I had yet to decipher her scoring system. Asking for clarification would only validate her participation in my sex life.

Neither of us enjoyed living together. My parents’ house in the middle of nowhere was too big for two people and not big enough for the both of us. Since my dad left to take a job in New York during our freshman year of college, every day was a special kind of torture. But Hadley needed me. And as much as I couldn’t stand being near her, I wouldn’t abandon her again.

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