Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker

Available: May 30, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller (Soul Charmer #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Talos

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller 5 stars! 

Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti (Blood Brothers #2)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti 5 stars! 

Nudes by Sarah Robinson (Exposed #1)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Liz 

Ben Lawson is making a comeback...

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

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

Aria Rose is baring it all….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give Nudes by Sarah Robinson 4-stars!

***Excerpt***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Tell me.”

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

“Wow. Are they still together?”

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

“Love like that is special. Rare.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aria didn’t reply, sensing there was more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

She didn’t want him to let go.

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

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

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

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

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

And just so much more.

 

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Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

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

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

Of course I say yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The question is—does he want more of me?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I give Sexy Jerk by Kim Karr 5 stars!!

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

Available: May 23, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Sports/Contemporary

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Kim

Win the game. Lose your heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Available: Now Amazon

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

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

Or so I thought.

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

Which was what I wanted.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: New Adult

Publisher: Self Pub

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rebellion by S.L. Scott

 

Title: The Rebellion

Series: Hard to Resist #5

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: STANDALONE Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 18, 2017

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

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

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

I didn’t.

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

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

Fend? Fight is more like it.

I’ve been fighting ever since.

Fighting for survival.

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

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

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

***Review From Liz*** 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links

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Author Bio

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

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

Available: Now

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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