Posted on

BOOK REVIEW ~ BE MY HERO BY LINDA KAGE

Once upon a time, there was this pampered rich girl who was kind of full of herself. She really only cared about appearances and hiding all her dark, ugly secrets under the guise of an opinionated snob. But then Eva Mercer got pregnant, shot by a psycho, and kicked out of the only home she knew. Now she’s broke, unemployed, and has to start anew with a newborn to raise. But how?
On the other side of town, sexy, tattooed orphan, Patrick Ryan, can’t get a break. He’s out on parole for defending the last damsel in distress while trying to help her support her child, but all he wants is to find his one true love. He knows this woman by scent, smile, and laugh, but he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the key to fixing everything.
One kind of hero can save you from physical harm. Another can rescue you from a different kind of doom. To reach their dreams, Eva and Pick can save each other. But first, they must open their hearts and learn how to trust.

This is my first book from Linda Kage, and I’m sad to say it wasn’t really a winner for me. I adored the hero of this book though, and I do think he’s a good enough of a reason to read this book, but because everything else – from the convoluted, overdramatic plot to the romantic connection I didn’t really feel or get – didn’t work for me I honestly can’t bring myself to rate this book even 3 stars. For me, this is one of the books where it starts off REALLY good, but by the time I got to the end I was docking stars left and right and just wanted the book to be over already.
The first 20% of this book was a solid 5 star read for me, and I was so giddy thinking I found another winner. The hero Pick is an orphan who’s got a heart of gold, but has no sense of direction in his life. At this point, he’s eerily given a glimpse into his future, a future where he sees himself happy with kids and a wife he calls Tinker Bell. This vision gives him the motivation he needs to live life and search for this girl so he can finally have the happily-ever-after he’s always wanted.
“I wanted it so damn bad I could taste it. I wanted that future and happily-ever-after. And if I never found that girl, if I never found even a portion of those glimpses, the disappointment would probably kill me.�?
It was a strange beginning, but it gave the story a fairy-tale spin that was quite unique and atypical and I wanted to see where it would lead. Fast forward ten years later where Pick now works at a bar with his friends, still the softie like he was back then but he’s had no luck in finding his ‘Tink.’ To protect his childhood friend Tristy who’s a druggie and her baby, he marries her to give her life insurance. But then…wonders never cease because the day he marries Tristy he finds his Tink, the heroine Eva Mercer, who’s pregnant and escaped from her toxic family.
“If fate had really labeled Eva Mercer as my soul mate, then why did we come from worlds so far apart it was frankly a miracle we’d ever crossed paths?�?
At first I was really with the whole fate and soulmate idea, and it actually touched a hopeless romantic nerve in me I never thought I had. But then, it just kept dragging and dragging and there were two main things that kept me from believing in Eva and Pick’s romantic connection. One was that he kept making Tink remarks and alluding to the vision he’d seen, so often times I wondered if he was falling in love with his fairytale Tink or the real Eva Mercer.
Another thing was that there was SO MUCH SIDE CHARACTER DRAMA it took up the first half of the book and left me wondering where the romance was. At first I really enjoyed seeing the side characters show up because it gave me some background info since I hadn’t read the first 2 books, but it got to the point where they completely overshadowed Eva and Pick. I actually thought about putting this book down and jumping in Mason and Reese’s story since I wanted to know more about his gigolo background and also Noel and Aspen’s story because of the student/teacher dynamic. It’s a serious problem when I’m more interested in the side characters than the main characters.
Even with all that going on, I still liked the book more than I disliked it and continued on hoping there’d be a bigger focus on Eva and Pick in the last half of the book and for a couple of chapters there was. But then I was so disheartened to read more drama resurfacing. Here’s a brief list that doesn’t even include all of it:
1. Tristy drama
2. Parental rights over Tristy’s baby
3. Eva’s psycho ex-boyfriend (this was supposed to be tied up but apparently not)
4. Eva’s toxic family (this was supposed to be tied up but apparently not)
5. Side character Mason’s past showing up AGAIN (this was supposed to be tied up but apparently not)
6. Drama blowout at Pick’s bar, combined with Eva’s dad and a woman from Mason’s past
Please…give me a break.
It just seemed like anything that could possibly go wrong in the world had a spotlight in this book and I mean…is that necessary? Rape, abuse, drugs, violence, suicide, etc…and more are all heavy themes in the story and when you combine that with the author’s flair for drama and then the side characters who completely overshadowed Pick and Eva, where was the romance?! I bookmarked the place where there was finally Pick and Eva alone time by the way, and you want to know where that spot is? At the 70% mark. Seriously…I honestly can’t fathom their romantic connection, nor was I even close to being impressed with the over-the-top storyline.
Prior to writing out this review, I thought I dug up enough positives to give this at least a 3 star rating, because believe me, I TRIED. But as you can probably tell, the more I wrote this review, the more aggravated and annoyed I got and I had to bump down the rating. When I rate a book, I take the whole story in consideration – plot, characters, writing, etc…and even though the hero was amazing and the fairytale twist at the beginning fascinating, those two positives just aren’t enough for me to give this book even a 3 star rating. However, there are many readers who enjoyed this book so don’t let my one not-so-glowing review sway you from reading this book. I just simply didn’t love it like everyone else did…and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Rating: 2.5 stars!
Posted on

BOOK REVIEW ~ BROKEN CHORDS BY CARRIE ELKS

Lara knows she should feel lucky. Married to the man of her dreams, with a gorgeous new baby, she should be enjoying her happy-ever-after. But she never expected motherhood to be so difficult, or for her life to change so dramatically.
Alex has it all: hot, tattooed looks, a beautiful wife, and a band that’s finally getting noticed. A lucrative offer of a US tour should be the icing on the cake. But as he leaves the country, distance isn’t the only thing that starts to pull their relationship apart.
With half a world dividing them, Alex and Lara have to battle for a marriage they once took for granted.
Author Note: Broken Chords is the second story in the Love in London series but can be read completely as a stand-alone.

Thoughtful, realistic, heartfelt. These are just a few of many words to describe this easy-to-read yet stormy romance that portrayed a married couple’s struggles, from the hero’s fame as a rising rockstar to the heroine’s new responsibilities as a mother. It’s not very often that I do read romances where the couple is already married, and for these to be a hit for me they have to make me root for the couple in question despite all their obstacles and that’s what this one did…hit just the right spot.
The story is told entirely from the heroine’s POV, and at the start of the book, she’s a new mom to a beautiful baby boy and happily married to the love of her life. And even though she expected there’d be changes to her life, she never imagined how tough it would be to juggle being a wife and being a mother.
“I’ve never known exhaustion like this. It’s as if I’m walking around in a constant haze; everything seems slowed down, deeper, heavier. Each movement requires an effort I’m not sure I possess.�?
The hero Alex is her rock, and though the complete opposite of her in personality, he keeps her grounded. A rockstar on the rise, he’s carefree and wild, but always sees his home with Lara and their son Max.
But sometimes, love isn’t enough, and what started as normal, expected arguments between any regular couple soon turns into heated fights, both hurtfully lashing out at one another until Lara crumbles and Alex is helpless as he sees his family falling apart. On top of that, Alex plans to go the US for a 3-month tour to promote his band, creating a deeper wedge between him and Lara.
“We’re both sorry, yet somehow we can’t seem to do anything about it. He wants what he wants and I do too. The difficulty is our wants are too far apart. The distance growing with each passing moment.�?
This book was one tumultuous read and though I didn’t cry, there were several scenes in the book that made my heart sink. I found it refreshing to read a story where any and all drama and conflict were realistically portrayed, no ounce of exaggeration to it. I’ve never been in Lara’s shoes but it was easy for me to relate and sympathize for her, a testament to the author’s writing. Towards the end I did think that having even a couple of chapters in Alex’s POV would’ve been great for the overall development of the story because having everything told from Lara’s side – especially the arguments – made things a bit one-sided. There were also some jumping between the past and present, and some of them just felt out of place. But other than that, I loved reading about Lara and Alex’s interactions (good and bad), their dynamic as a family with Max, and the themes of forgiveness and second chances weaved into the story.
If you’re looking for a realistic romance that explores life after the happily-ever-after, this is a good one to pick up!
Broken Chords is the 2nd book in the Love in London series but can be read as a standalone.
An advanced copy was provided by Romance Beckons via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted on

BVR WEEKLY RECAP 2/24/15 part2

  • Broken Chords by Carrie Elks <– my last read and it was really good! A realistic romance about an already married couple and their struggles (here’s my review). It’ll be released this Thursday and you can preorder!
  • Be My Hero by Linda Kage <– hmm I’m in the minority but this one didn’t really work for me. I adored the hero but there was too much drama that got in the way of the romance, at least for me (here’s my review). Don’t let my not-so-glowing review sway you from checking it out though, many loved it!
  • Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young <– an oldie from over a year ago but definitely a goodie! This is my latest TOP recommendation and it was such a FUN, steamy, and feel-good friends to lovers romance! Definitely will be making my favorites list for this year (here’s my review)
  • Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle <– recent release where a flight attendant and the sister of a drug lord falls for the man sent to kill her! Whew, love that premise! This book was different from what I thought it would be, but overall, I liked it & I’m glad I rolled with it (here’s my review)
  • Until We Fly by Courtney Cole <– TOP recommendation!! Why did I wait so long to read this one?! Either way, I’m glad I finally read it because this NA romance was gripping, it was unputdownable, and I didn’t want it to end when it did. Highly recommend!! (here’s my review)
  • Rainwater by Sandra Brown <– an oldie but a goodie! This was such a moving historical romance set in the era of the Great Depression. I enjoyed it a lot, but be warned. You’re gonna need tissues (here’s my review)
  • Thoughtful by SC Stephens <– new release & Kellan’s POV of Thoughtless. I did like getting in his head and hearing his thoughts but my opinion? ONLY read this book if you’re dying to get more of him, any way you can. Otherwise, you may get bored with this book because it’s truly a rehash of Thoughtless, just in male POV (here’s my review)
  • Floored by Melanie Harlow <– recommendation! I really enjoyed this one. It was a lighthearted drama-free romantic comedy that was such a great de-stresser  (here’s my review)
  • Tight by Alessandra Torre <– this one didn’t work for me for me at all (here’s my review). Once again, it may just be me being picky again, so give it a try if you were interested before!
  • Shug by Jenny Han <– this was a re-read for me, and one of my favorite YA books!! I’m amazed that after seven years since I last read it, it still affects me and makes an impact. 5 stars and a book I’d recommend to everyone – you, your teenage kids, your friends, etc…(here’s my review)
  • The Hooker & the Hermit by LH Cosway & Penny Reid <– TOP recommendation and a 5 star read for me! Such a fun, fresh, and quirky book – you won’t find a more wonderful, full-of-heart story to fall in love with (here’s my review)
  • Hero by Samantha Young <– favorite and recommendation!! This enemies-to-lovers office romance was fun, sexy, and at-times emotional! It had the perfect amount of angst and swoon (here’s my review)
  • Trade Me by Courtney Milan <– favorite! I really loved this NA romance. It was unique (couple pairing), had such whip-smart writing, and both characters were so likeable. I’d recommend it! (here’s my review)
  • Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler <– TOP recommendation and a 5 star read for me! Just thinking about this book is making my eyes water. I took a chance on this one and I strongly encourage you all to do the same (here’s my review)
  • Raze by Tillie Cole <– recommendation for all dark romance fans!! The one and only word to describe this book would be INTENSE. I could not put it down and there’s this hidden layer to the romance that made my heart race! If you’re looking for a book that’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping, try this one  (here’s my review)
  • Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole <– a TOP recommendation!! This NA romance is one of the darkest and emotionally heavy stories I’ve read in a long while, but it was exactly what I was in the mood for. It also made me ugly cry and I’m just blown away by the amount of emotion it evoked….if you’re looking for a standalone romance guaranteed to make you FEEL, try this one! (here’s my review)
  • Dear Emily (#1) and Dear Tabitha (#2) by Trudy Stiles <– TOP recommendation! These books are a blend of realistic women’s fiction with romance and made my heart feel so full…I loved both and being able to read them back to back let me carry my emotions from the first book to the second without delay. BEST kind of reading experience!! Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2. Be sure to read these in order!
  • Extinguish (#1) and Reignite (#2) by JM Darhower <– TOP recommendation!! This 2-book paranormal forbidden romance was unputdownable from the get go and I didn’t want the story to end. I mean, the hero is Lucifer, the Devil! That alone made me pick these up  Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2.
  • Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie <– I really enjoyed this NA romance! This was so unique (setting is in the circus) and the character development was stunning! It truly embodies every aspect of NA and as always, the authors’ writing style is great. Totally recommend (here’s my review)
  • Last Will & Testament by Dahlia Adler <– another favorite! This was such a refreshingly witty NA romance standalone (a little taboo since he’s the heroine’s TA). Totally recommend it (here’s my review)
  • Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn <– TOP recommendation!! This 5 star book rocked my world, 200% unputdownable (here’s my review)
  • Clockwork Angel (#1)Clockwork Prince (#2), and Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare are my ultimate TOP recommendations!! I seriously finished this sensational trilogy and had tears dripping down my face, a pile of tissues discarded on the floor, and food wrappers scattered around me. It was SO emotional, SO intense, SO passionate, and SO good. 6 star series for me!! (here’s my series review) These books must be read in order!
This week I’m highlighting a couple of preorders that have REALLY caught my eye, and I can’t wait to read them all!!
Dangerous Temptations by Brooke Cumberland
Releasing tomorrow!!! “I was the party-goer who managed to seduce a man twice my age to have the lifestyle some could only dream of. I was every magazine’s cliché of what a gold-digging whore was. I wanted to prove them wrong—that our love was real and that I wasn’t that girl. But then everything changed. One wrong decision. One unfaithful night. One haunting reality. Perhaps they were right. The media didn’t see it coming…and neither did I.”
Untamed by SC Stephens
Releasing November 3, and it’s Griffin’s book! Griffin Hancock is tired of being stuck behind Kellan Kyle’s spotlight. He’s the best, the main event, and everyone should know it. He has Anna, and his beautiful daughter Gibson, and to hell with the rest of them. A new venture presents itself, and Griffin decides this is his chance. When he tells the band about his new side gig, they are less than supportive. Undaunted by their criticism, Griffin decides to take matters into his own hands. Packing up his family, he leaves Seattle behind and returns to L.A. to break out on his own. But success isn’t as easy as Griffin thought it would be, and he soon finds that the phrase ‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’, is all too true.”
Night Shift Anthology
I rarely read anthologies but this is one I’ll be checking out for sure. One: it’s got brand new content, not stories that have been published before. Two: it’s from some of my favorite authors Sawyer Bennett, Eden Butler, Toni Aleo, Kindle Alexander, Brenda Rothert, and Chelle Bliss, and proceeds are going to 3 different charities. Releases March 17!
“Summer in the Big Easy is hot. Inside Tulane Medical Center the temperature is on the rise. 
A doctor nursing a broken heart. A wounded warrior with no interest in love. A single father finding the girl who got away. A combat nurse trying to adjust to civilian life. Two lost souls looking for love. A former detective looking for answers and an FBI agent who finds more than he bargains for. 
Desire. Lust. Excess. New Orleans will never be the same. 
Six never before released stories that will leave you breathless. 
Dirty things happen in the dark.”
Tryst by SL Jennings
For fans of Taint, here’s the 2nd book in her Sexual Education series where “a happily married couple decides to take a walk on the wild side in order to add spice to their sex life—but end up in a situation that neither could have ever bargained for.” Release date: July 21!
Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie
So this isn’t a preorder but I had to sneak it in because Rose and Connor are my favorite couple in this series and the release date was JUST announced for April 7!!!!
What KB said about this book: “We really only touched the surface with Kiss the Sky, and throughout Fuel the Fire, we’ve dug so much deeper. We can’t wait to share this book with you, as we’ve cried, we’ve laughed, and our hearts have been ripped open. Connor & Rose’s conclusion will be here soon — and we’ll do our best to make the waiting game fly by.”
Posted on

BVR WEEKLY RECAP 2/24/15

Happy Tuesday everyone!! Insanely awesome new releases for this week as well as some great sales, some of which are my favorites! A couple of books I’m eyeing right now are The Deal by Elle Kennedy (NA romance, good girl strikes up a deal with the bad boy), Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez (hero’s slowly going deaf and he’s fighting for his girl and his hearing!!), Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (women’s fiction + mystery thriller), and Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams (NA cowboy romance).

Upcoming Releases: Did you know I now have a section that’ll list upcoming releases for the year? Be sure to bookmark the page below as I update it daily with preorders/Goodreads links.

Cool tip: Tired of seeing all the $.99, $1.99, $2.99, etc… on your bills? Send yourself an Amazon gift card and plan a budget accordingly

P.S. Don’t have a Kindle/Kindle account? No worries! Get a free Kindle Reading App, regardless if you have a Kindle! I have an iPad and I mostly read on the app

  • Thoughtful by SC Stephens – KELLAN KYLE FANS!! Here’s Kellan’s POV of Thoughtless! Here’s my review and it’ll give you an idea what to expect.
  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy – I can’t wait to read this!! It’s a NA romance where the bookish heroine and bad boy hero strike up a deal. She’ll tutor him in exchange for getting lessons in seduction and they fall for each other in the process…
  • Losers Weepers by Nicole Williams – latest book in her Lost & Found series and a NA cowboy romance!
  • Slow Burn by K. Bromberg – Driven series fans! This is a spinoff standalone.
  • Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez – this sounds SO good! Another one I’ve been eyeing. “…meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one. They both happened anyway. Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life. Fighting for my career. Fighting the impending silence. Fighting for her.”
  • After Ever Happy by Anna Todd
  • Good Girl Gone by Tammy Falkner – This is the 7 book in her Reed Brothers series and a standalone.“She’s perfect. He’s not. She’s the lead singer in a popular rock band. He’s a tattoo artist. She’s all perfect creases and fancy clothes. He’s covered in prison ink. She’s wealthy. He doesn’t have a pot to piss in. She’s good. He’s bad. The question is — Will she ever be good enough for him?”
  • When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
  • By Any Other Name by JM Darhower – forbidden mafia romance
  • Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel – this sounds really good, and I’ve enjoyed books from this author in the past! “Twin boys grow up in the same family, in the same town. Dramatically different, they become bitter enemies, even as children. One good, one bad. One leaves his peaceful hometown, but when all else fails, the prodigal son returns, twenty years later. The reunion of brothers, sweet and healing at first, exposes shattering revelations of good and evil.”
  • Killian by Brenda Rothert ($.99) – sports romance!
  • Sometimes Never series by Cheryl McIntyre ($.99) – the entire NA series in one bundle for $.99!
  • Soulbound by Kristen Callihan
  • Relent by Nina Levine – This is a biker romance. The hero and heroine are best friends who grew up together and fell in love with each other but scandal rocked their families and they were torn apart where he went down the MC path and she built up a stable life for herself, but always longing for the hero. “The love these two have for each other never wavers but sometimes in life, love isn’t enough…”
  • Highland Guard by Hannah Howell
  • Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat by Daisy Prescott – quirky romance & the 4th book in her Modern Love stories series. “You can call me Tom Cat. I’ve been told I’m irresistible to women. Like catnip for a different kind of pussy-cat. This is the story about how I lost my wingman, broke all my own rules, and found myself falling in love.”
  • Her Unexpected Hero by Melody Anne
  • Take by Nashoda Rose ($.99) – This one’s a paranormal romance. “I’m not a good guy and I don’t pretend to be. Condemn me if you want, I don’t give a crap. You’re nothing to me. No one is, except her…she’s my target. And I was hired to do a hell of a lot more than protect her…I was hired to kill her. It should’ve been simple, but it was complicated as hell.”
  • Quiet Angel by Prescott Lane – second chance romance! “We all have that someone we can’t forget, the summer it all began, and the sleepless nights wondering what went wrong.”
  • Void by Cassy Roop – escort romance!!
  • An Indecent Proposal by JC Reed & Jackie Steele
  • A Stone in the Sea by AL Jackson – sounds good! The hero is a bitter, short-tempered lead singer who gets sent to Georgia to lay low after facing assault charges. The heroine is the exact opposite of him – she’s sweet, kind, and can definitely see that the hero’s trouble for her, “but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers. They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.”
  • Inappropriate by Elizabeth Finn
  • Redemption Lane by Rachel Blaufeld – I got a reader recommendation for this recently released romance and thought to pass it on in case any of you are interested! Described to me as an intensely emotional read about a heroine recovering from addiction and a VERY tortured CEO hero – “Both are seeking salvation in the arms of others and ignoring the truth—that the only road to redemption lies in confronting your past. When the past and present collide, is there any chance at redemption?”
  • Collateral Damage by Elisabeth Grace – 3rd book in her Limelight series!
  • Waiting for You by Natalie Ward – for fans of her Losing Me Finding You book, here’s an extra followup novella!
  • Broken by Lies by Rebecca Shea
  • Camden’s Redemption by LP Dover
  • The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo – sounds like an emotional and intense romance – “Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly. Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date. Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds. Maybe we should have never been together.”
  • Ember by Rachel Van Dyken – the 5th book in her Eagle Elite series and a dark mafia romance – “I am Phoenix De Lange, son to a murdered mob boss, estranged brother, horrible friend, monster in the making, newest leader to one of the most powerful families in the Cosa Nostra. And I will have my vengeance. Or die trying…Death is all I know. Until she offers me a piece of life–I can’t resist taking.”
  • Crash Ride by T Gephart – rockstar romance
  • Afterburn & Aftershock by Sylvia Day ($1.99) – steamy 2-book series about “unexpected reunions, bittersweet revenge, and the fight for redemption.”
  • The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by LB Simmons ($.99) – TOP FAVORITE!! This was one of the best NA romances I read last year and it was a 6 star read for me (here’s my review). Get. This. Book.
  • The Will by Kristen Ashley ($.99) – first in her Magdalene series and a heartwarming read! “It hit him in that moment in a way he knew he’d never forget that he could take that hand and she could lead him anywhere. Just tip up her lips, turn those eyes to him and hold out her hand and he’d go straight to hell with her and do it smiling.”
  • Night Owl by M. Pierce ($2.99)
  • Raveling You by Jessica Sorensen ($.99)
  • A is for Alpha Male (#1) and Secret Alpha (#2) by Laurel Curtis are both $.99 each! These books are hilarious romances where the heroine enlists her mother and they set out on a road trip searching for love…“This road trip wasn’t to be just any road trip, but a very special one indeed. An adventure with an acutely specific purpose– to find our other halves. The peanut butter to our jelly. The i to our Phone. The stripper to our pole.”
  • The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson ($2.99) – 50% price drop! This one’s an emotional love after loss romance.
  • Surviving Raine by Shay Savage ($.99) – awesome survival romance read! I gave it 4.5 stars.
  • Lost & Found (#1) and Finders Keepers (#3) by Nicole Williams are both $.99 each!! I loved these NA cowboy romances and highly recommend both! The 4th book just released too (see above section).
  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout – teehee! This is a mature YA paranormal romance – “The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out [the hero] and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and [his] touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to [him] until my alien mojo fades.”
  • Fall in Love 22-Book Bundle ($.99) – 22 contemporary romances in one for $.99! I’ve read several in this set and it’s a pretty great deal.
  • Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt ($.99) – Any historical romance fans? If you haven’t read Elizabeth Hoyt’s daring and seductive Maiden Lane series yet, I highly recommend these books….and lucky for you, one of them is on sale for $.99 (regular $6)!! This one’s a suspenseful and erotic historical romance between a strong yet emotionally distant hero who meets his match with the tough-as-nails heroine!
  • Love Realized (#1), Love Resisted (#2), and Love Required (#3) by Melanie Codina are all $1.99 each! These are interconnected second chance romance standalones.
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ($3.99) – This one’s a women’s fiction + mystery/thriller read and how 3 women’s lives collide in the wake of a tragedy –> “A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what?” Normally $7 but it’s $3.99 right now if you’re in the mood for a non-romance read.
  • Hitched by Karpov Kinrade ($.99) – This is a fun and sexy contemporary romance. The heroine and hero are totally different and on a wild night in Vegas, get hitched, but she doesn’t remember a thing –> “Disjointed images from the night before, the night I can’t entirely remember, float into my mind. Meeting him in the bar. Sharing tidbits of our lives…Sex in the elevator. Hot, forbidden, delicious…But I don’t remember marrying him. And now, he won’t let me go.”
  • Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder ($.99) – one of my favorite books from her! “… when you feel that kind of all-consuming need for someone, a person you’d do fucking anything for, no matter what? They’re in your fucking skin, in your soul, like the essence of who they are is imprinted on you so completely like the very air you breathe…That’s love.”
  • Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn ($2.99) – 50% price drop! This book was one of THE most unputdownable books I read in 2014 and a TOP FAVORITE for sure. After I finished this unique biker romance, I couldn’t pick up another book for days! (here’s my review)
  • Then There Was You by Melanie Dawn ($.99) – a TOP FAVORITE book from 2014 and one of the few books I pulled an all-nighter for!! It’s a gripping romance between a rockstar who just let his old love go and his former counselor when he was a teenager…kinda taboo there hehe (here’s my review).
  • If You Stay (#1) and Until We Fly (#4) by Courtney Cole are both $.99 each!! I loved the first book back when I read it a few years ago, and my last read was Until We Fly, which is now a TOP FAVORITE for this year! It’s a book that kept me on my toes and just from the first few pages when I read it, I knew it’d be a winner (here’s my review)
  • Love Unscripted (#1) and Love Unrehearsed (#2) by Tina Reber are on sale for $1.99 each!!! These are highly addicting Hollywood romances following the same couple and hardly EVER on sale! If you haven’t grabbed these yet, I highly recommend you do.
  • Jacked by Tina Reber ($1.99) – Aaaand here’s the other Tina Reber book on sale!
  • Flawed by Kate Avelynn ($.99) – Oh boy…this book broke my heart but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’re looking for a taboo-ish romance standalone, check this one out, especially if you’ve read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma and are looking for another that’ll give you similar feels. “When he planted himself between our father and me that day, an eight-year-old with small fists clenched at his sides, I think I fell in love with my brother.”
  • A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers ($.99) – great taboo romance! The heroine gets caught between her stepbrother who she grew up with, and a soon-to-be-priest. It’s a quick read and pretty steamy! “She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.”
  • Photographer trilogy by Sarah Robinson ($.99) – for the very first time, all 3 books in this series are bundled together for $.99! These are crime romances/romantic suspense reads following the same main leads about a serial killer and a heroine determined to not let him get the best of her… “He takes a picture of every woman he kills…Monsters are only uglier in the light of day.”
  • Thin Love (#1) and My Beloved (#1.5) by Eden Butler both got price drops!! These were two of my TOP FAVORITE books from 2014 and are angsty, unputdownable, and unforgettable reads. Book 1 is $1.99, and the wonderful novella is $.99. Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for the novella.
  • Rocked by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliot ($.99) – NA rockstar romance between a rocker and a spunky chef! “…Deacon and his bottomless stomach are too tempting to resist. He’s far from the typical rock star and before long, she finds herself experimenting with him, inside and out of the kitchen. Apron – and panties – optional.”
  • Perfectly Damaged by EL Montes ($.99) – I really want to read this one! The heroine suffers from schizophrenia, constantly questioning her reality and tries hard to not let anyone get close to her, not even the hero –> “I’ve pushed him away, but he isn’t easily deterred. I’ve told him I’m different, but he doesn’t care. He’s trying to slowly break me down. I’m trying just as hard not to let him. He doesn’t know how truly damaged I am; what will happen when he does?”
  • Carnage by Lesley Jones ($.99) – angst alert! “I love him, from the instant I set eyes on him when I was just 11 years old I have loved him and nothing will ever change that, he owns me, he owns my heart and he owns my body and no matter how many lies are told, no matter how many people conspire to keep us apart, despite the fame and the distance, we will find a way.”
  • Beautifully Awake + Beautifully Done by Riley Mackenzie ($.99) – I’ve heard these are two highly emotional romance standalones, both stories tackling sensitive subjects. “This is a story of love, trust, acceptance and forgiveness.”
  • Even the Moon Has Scars by Steph Campbell ($.99) – YA romance! “Two strangers. Two broken hearts. One night to set each other free.”
  • Revenant by Larissa Ione ($.99)
Posted on

FEBRUARY FOLLOWER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY

It’s that time of the month again!! I host a follower appreciation giveaway at the end of each month as an extra thank you to every Book Vigilante Reviews follower. Every comment, like, share, email, book recommendation, etc… I all love and appreciate and it’s just so great to be able to chat with like-minded readers about books! So anyways for this giveaway, one winner will receive a paperback of choice from the list provided.

How do I decide what goes on the list? Well, it is a compilation of all the books I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged about each month – it doesn’t matter if I loved the book or disliked the book. Every book (except for books I started and did not finish) I’ve read, reviewed, and blogged that month will be on the list.

**Note: Some book titles do not have paperback options available. In the event you choose that book, I will gift you an ebook copy instead. If a book hasn’t been released yet, paperback or ebook copy will be delivered on release date.**

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone andmake him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish,cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.
…and it’s going to be oh so good
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

If only there were more NA romances like this one! This book completely charmed me, and is probably one of the best college romances I’ve read in a while now. While the premise isn’t anything I haven’t read before, I felt like the author took the idea and shaped it into her own unique tale, so trust me when I say it’s not your typical NA romance riddled with common clichés. This book was definitely one of those unexpected gems: the more I read, the more I fell in love with the delightful main characters, the witty banter, and the steamy and impassioned romance. Elle Kennedy, you’ve got yourself a new fan!

A big reason to why this book was such a winner for me was the hero Garrett. It may be just me, but I’m a little tired of heroes who are bad boys and jerks…I mean, give me a guy who’ll actually live up to the title of ‘hero’ you know? And Garrett really did. He’s a sports jock who’s not only dedicated to playing hockey, but also in getting his grades up as well and has such a fun-loving, caring personality. It’s really hard not to fall for him! When his grades drop though, and his hockey-playing goal is in jeopardy, he finds the class smartie to tutor him, leading him right to the heroine Hannah.

Studious and practical, Hannah is pursuing her goals as a songwriter/singer and is pretty confident in all areas of her life, except her sex life that is. She’s finally found one guy who catches her interest but with absolutely zero seduction skills she’s at a loss. When Garrett barges into her life asking for her to tutor him, they agree on a deal: she’ll tutor him so he can bring up his grades and be able to keep playing hockey, and in exchange he’ll pretend-date her to catch her crush’s attention.
I LOVE that there’s no insta-love, and heck, the attraction didn’t settle in until later too. Hannah and Garrett’s relationship is very much a gradual build, going from barely acquaintances to tentative friends to an explosive couple. But I’ll also admit that in the very beginning of this book, I wasn’t fully into the story and the characters until later. I didn’t like how judgmental Hannah was towards Garrett in the start, partially because her crush was in the same position (both sports players) as him and she chose to stereotype Garrett while glorifying the other guy, even when Garrett’s actions were always honorable and meant well. But as I read on, my dislike for Hannah thawed out and I ended up really loving her character. I liked that despite her very strong personality, she had this layer of vulnerability and her backstory (actually, both hers and Garrett’s) hurt to read. And of course, I loved Garrett’s patience and understanding with her, and how he propelled their relationship forward one step at a time.
I also appreciated that there wasn’t any contrived drama, which almost always exists in the NA books I read. Any and all conflict in this story was handled well, very thought-out and dare I say, practical too. I love that the author doesn’t follow the norm and to balance out the angst, she’s got a wonderful sense of humor that’s evident in the story. Almost everything I highlighted in the book were passages of snarky/witty/laugh out loud hilarious banter that made me laugh the entire time I read. And the locker scene near the end of the book? Freaking EPIC I tell you!
Much like the way Hannah and Garrett surprised each other and everyone else when they fell in love, this book also surprised me in the best of ways.
Love NA romance? You’ll hit gold with this book.
Not a fan of NA romance? Take a chance and let this book work its charm on you too.
The Deal is a NA romance standalone and the first book in the Off-Campus series. Consecutive books will be about side characters.
Rating: 4.5 stars!!
Posted on

BLOG TOUR ~ THE HIDDEN LIBRARY BY HEATHER LYONS

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .
Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.
On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.
Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.

I have been patiently waiting for this second book in The Collectors’ Society series for a while now and I’m excited to say it didn’t disappoint. Once again, Heather Lyons has penned a creative, nail-biting fantasy romance that had me on the edge of my seat! Don’t get me wrong, I thought the first book was rich in action and adventure, but the author really takes it up a notch in this second book, weaving twist after turn that had my head spinning and left me clueless to where she’d take the story next. Not many books can surprise me like that, so I love that everything about this story was unexpected and had me guessing the whole way through.
This second book picks up right after the ending of the first one where the Collectors’ Society members are back again, especially the badass heroine Alice and the charismatic hero Finn as well as their colleagues. The premise of the story is that many beloved literary characters are well and truly alive, and each of the books they hail from are called timelines. A sinister villain is destroying those timelines, and hereby destroying characters in the process and it’s up to the Collectors’ Society to protect them. Lines will be crossed and love will be tested…
This book was just as gripping as the first one, though I admit in the beginning it took me some time to really settle into the story. The setting is in the 21st century but be warned, the writing style is reminiscent of historical times (which I LOVED by the way). The overall feel of the story was whimsical, quirky, and unique, and the dynamic characters, intricate plot, as well as the lyrical writing made it easy for me to get lost in the book. I think my one complaint with the story was that the romance aspect felt a little lacking but not where it hindered my enjoyment of the book. It’s just that Alice is such a strong heroine that she – in my opinion – completely overshadows Finn and it’s hard to remember she’s got a romantic interest sometimes. I get the feeling that if she ever lost him, yes, she’d be devastated but still be able to move on, and from a romance standpoint, I want to feel that need, that strong unbreakable bond. I still adored these characters individually though, and while I liked Finn in the first book, he really shined in this one. His unwavering support for Alice despite the circumstances is what makes him stand out to me.
Aside from the somewhat weak romance, everything else about this book was wonderful. The author stuns with her rich, complex plot and by the end of the book I was dying to get my hands on the next one. If you’re a fantasy and/or fantasy romance lover, definitely check out this series as it’s a reading experience unlike any other!
The Hidden Library is the 2nd book in this adult fantasy romance series and isn’t a standalone. You must read The Collectors’ Society first.
An advanced copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
 
Rating: 4 stars!
Posted on

BVR TURNS 1 + CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY!!!

So today, February 28, marks my 1-year blogiversary day. I’m still a little in shock mode that I’ve been reading, reviewing and blogging for a full year now. I love reading books, and I’m even more ecstatic and grateful that this hobby of mine has introduced me to the book community, led me to meet new authors and interact with fellow bloggers and readers alike. There are times I am simply overwhelmed by the support and love from others and today is one of those days. To all BVR followers seeing this, THANK YOUfor your continued support. I hope you’ll stick around for another year

It’s custom to celebrate big milestones with giveaways so that’s what I have planned. I have one big rafflecopter here with an assortment of prizes, and there’ll be 25 winners in total. As always, this giveaway is open internationally. I want to take a quick second here to thank the generous authors who helped make this giveaway possible. Your support means the world to me! Without further ado, here’s the giveaway, and GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

Posted on

BOOK BLITZ ~ DEBT INHERITANCE BY PEPPER WINTERS

“I own you. I have the piece of paper to prove it. It’s undeniable and unbreakable. You belong to me until you’ve paid of your debts.�?
Nila Weaver’s family is indebted. Being the first born daughter, her life is forfeit to the first born son of the Hawks to pay for sins of ancestors past. The dark ages might have come and gone, but debts never leave. She has no choice in the matter. She is no longer free.
Jethro Hawk receives Nila as an inheritance present on his twenty-ninth birthday. Her life is his until she’s paid off a debt that’s centuries old. He can do what he likes with her—nothing is out of bounds—she has to obey.
There are no rules. Only payments.

The world was a dangerous place, but I was worse. The human race left the dark ages behind—technology improved and ruined our lives in equal measure, and the devils in society hid with better camouflage. As the years rolled by, and we left our barbaric ways behind, people forgot about the shadows lurking in plain sight. Men like me morphed into predators in sheep’s clothing. We preyed on the weak with no apology, and everything landed in our fucking laps. Civilization cloaked us, hiding the animals at heart. We traded caveman mentality and murder for suits and softly spoken curses. I hid my true temper beneath a veil of decorum. I mastered the art of suave.
People who knew me said I was a gentleman. They called me distinguished, accomplished, and shrewd. I was all of those things, but none of them. We might live in a civilized world, but rules and laws didn’t apply to me. I was a rule-breaker, curse-maker, life-stealer.
The projection was a farce—but even the worst of us had someone who owned us.
Whether family, honour, or duty.
I’d embraced my inner barbarian, yet was governed by a hierarchy and when the Hawk matriarch snapped her fingers, we all came running.
Including my arsehole of a father, Bryan Hawk.
There, in the cigar and cognac laced library, I learned a truth that forever changed my life.
And hers.
My family owned another.
An IOU on their entire existence.
To this day, I didn’t know why, and I didn’t bother asking.
Who gave a shit why a wealthy family called the Weavers were indebted to us? Who gave a damn that they’d royally fucked off my family and earned the wrath of my ancestors? All I cared about was the news I’d inherited something more than just money, possessions, or titles.
My twenty-ninth birthday gave me a pet. A toy.
A responsibility I didn’t want.
Debts I had to extract from unwilling flesh.
A job to uphold our family honour.
Nila Weaver.
One mistake six hundred years ago put a curse on her entire family.
One mistake sold her life to me in a mountain of unpayable debt.
I inherited her.
I preyed on her.
I owned her life and had the piece of paper to prove it.
Nila Weaver.
Mine.
And my task…
devour her.
Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA Today International Bestseller. She wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She’s also honoured to wear the IndieReader Badge for being a Top 10 Indie Bestsellers, best BDSM series voted by the SmutClub, and recently signed a two book deal with Grand Central. Her books are currently being translated into numerous languages and will be in bookstores in the near future.
Posted on

BLOG TOUR ~ MEAN STREAK BY SANDRA BROWN

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.
While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.
Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.
As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.

“I’m not going to undress,�? she said, meaning it.
He watched for her a moment, then went back into the bathroom and came out with a fresh towel, still folded.  Although the gesture was kind, his expression wasn’t.
His lips had thinned into a cynical line.  “Your virtue is safe, Doc.  I meant to set up the screen to give you some privacy.�?
He dragged it away from the wall and unfolded the panels.  When it was balanced, he stepped around it, leaving her feeling like an ungrateful idiot. Whatever modesty she’d ever possessed had been abandoned in med school.
She and fellow interns had practiced procedures on one another, usually amid ribald joking, but, in any case, it had been impossible to remain maidenly skittish about nudity and bodily functions.
As she unzipped her running shirt, she told herself she hadn’t protested undressing because of modesty, but rather self-preservation.  He’d been caring and considerate, a gentleman.  But how trustworthy was a man who wouldn’t even share his name?
She undressed as quickly as her uncontrollable shivering allowed.  Rid of everything on top, she hastily dried her torso with the towel, then pulled on the shirt he’d loaned her.  The flannel was old, soft, and it felt wonderful to be free of the binding, clammy jogging bra.
Last to go were her running tights.  In the morning, she’d put them back on, but for now, it felt good to slide her bare legs between the sheets.
He couldn’t see her, but he must have been listening to the rustle of clothing and bed covers.  Once she was settled beneath them, he said, “Is the coast clear?�?
“You can leave the screen.�?
He began folding up the panels.
“I prefer having it,�? she said.
Apparently what she preferred was immaterial.  He returned the screen to its place against the wall.  “I need to be able to see you.�?
“I’ll tell you if I need anything.�?
“You didn’t tell me that you had to throw up, and we almost had a big mess on our hands.�?  He bent at the waist and pulled a small metal waste basket from beneath the table beside the bed.  “If I don’t get here in time.�?  He placed the trash can where she couldn’t miss it if she hung her head over the side of the bed.
“I think I’m over the nausea.�?
“If not, don’t be prissy about it, okay?�?
She gave one terse bob of her head.
“Anything else you need now?�?
“No.�?
“You sure?�?
“Yes.�?
Looking doubtful, his eyes scanned down her form beneath the covers, making her extremely self-aware.  To avoid looking at him, she closed her eyes.  Eventually he took her at her word and moved away.
His stocking feet were mere whispers against the floor, but something as large as he couldn’t pass through air without creating a disturbance.  She mentally followed his movements, heard the thunks as he added two logs to the low burning fire, then the squeak of leather as he again settled into the recliner.
A few minutes elapsed.  The new logs made popping sounds as they caught.
She watched the flickering patterns of firelight and shadow cast onto the ceiling.  She noticed something she hadn’t before.  A metal rod about two inches in diameter extended horizontally between two of the exposed rafters, each end fitting into a borehole.  She couldn’t imagine what the rod was for.  As for the rafters, they looked as roughly hewn as he. Roughly hewn, perhaps, but thoughtful.
She cleared her throat.  “I didn’t thank you before.�?
“Don’t mention it.�?
“I’m thanking you now.�?
“Okay.�?
Another while passed, but she knew he wasn’t asleep.  “I’d like to know your name.�?
The fire crackled.  One of the rafters groaned under the weight of the roof.
He didn’t make a sound.
Having read almost all of Sandra Brown’s books, I was really worried that this book wouldn’t captivate me at all. That turned out to be a misplaced fear. I will admit that some of Brown’s recent releases aren’t up to standard compared to her older work, but I believe longtime fans (and newbies) will find a winner with Mean Streak. Written with romantic undertones, this story will keep you on your toes and deliver plot twists up until the very end of the book.
************
Renowned pediatrician and esteemed among her colleagues, Dr. Emory Charbonneau prepares for a 20-mile run in the harsh, cold mountains in North Carolina. While she has a very successful and rewarding career, it is obvious that her relationship with her husband Jeff is in shambles. After trading bitter words, Emory leaves and heads out to the mountain terrain for the marathon, never expecting to sport a concussion and wake up in the cabin of a stranger, a man that she’s strangely attracted to. For the sake of containing the suspense and surprise, I’m going to refer to the cabin stranger as ‘Mr. X.’ Anyways, Mr. X is what I like to call the classic Sandra Brown hero: taciturn, broody, yet honorable to the core. He cares for Emory’s wounds but reveals little about himself, only insisting that Emory must stay at his cabin.
I always find it hard to review romantic suspense stories, especially ones like Sandra Brown’s books where they are much more suspenseful than romantic. I never know what I say would be considered too much info that would ruin the suspense so plot-wise, I’m going to stop here.
For me, Sandra Brown’s strongest writing quality is her dialogue. Her words create such palpable tension (not just sexual tension) which fuels the heart-pounding thrill when combined with the page-turning suspense. Her characterizations are also top-notch, and aside from Emory and Mr. X, she does a fantastic job with Agent Jack Connell’s character and local officers Grange and Knight (two of my favorite characters in this book). I especially love that there isn’t just one main focal point for the suspense – there are a few subplots but they don’t overshadow Emory and Mr. X. Instead, Sandra Brown effortlessly weaves them together until they all converge and all of a sudden, I’m left gobsmacked wondering why didn’t I think of that earlier??
The romance will always come in second (as to be expected from this author), but what it lacks in steam and quantity is more than made up for with the emotional intensity. There are no hearts and flowers, nor do the characters (particularly the hero) start waxing poetic about one another.
The romance will always go in accordance to the suspenseful plot, which makes those parts that much more meaningful to read. This is a book I’d highly recommend and yet another reason why Sandra Brown is regarded as the queen of this genre.
An advanced copy of the book was provided by Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
 
Rating: 4.5 stars!!
Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.�?
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Posted on

BLOG TOUR ~ THE HOOKER & THE HERMIT BY L.H. COSWAY & PENNY REID

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.
THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…
THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together. What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

I’m seriously at a loss for words to describe just how much I adored this book. From the catchy cover to the whip-smart writing to the endearing characters…everything about this story was absolute perfection! I’ve already read it twice now, and highlighted nearly 75% of the book filled with unforgettable quotes that made me laugh or swoon. I wholeheartedly loved this story, and I’m confident that everyone who reads it will love it too, whether it’s the charming dirty-talking hero, the feisty sharp-witted heroine, the humor, or their romance that appeals to you.
There is so much about this book that worked for me personally, especially the heroine Annie Catrel. This chick is a social media genius and works for a top-notch media company. But her secret? She runs ‘Socialmedialite,’ a well-received & popular blog where she dazzles readers about celebrity news in anonymity.
She’s good at what she does, and the online world adores her for it. In real life though? Her track record isn’t too perfect. She’s introverted and a hermit, willingly choosing a simple, lonely life because she always plays it safe, never letting anyone get close to her. From a romance reader point of view, her personality is my worst nightmare. I don’t want to spend most of the book reading about a heroine who pushes away the hero, you know? BUT! And this is a big one…I ended up loving Annie. Her character was well-developed and her backstory convincingly explained why she bottles up her feelings. I didn’t find her to be weak at all. She was strong in mind and just needed a special someone to push her boundaries a little is all. Someone like the hero Ronan Fitzpatrick…
Ronan, Ronan, Ronan. I could wax poetic about this hero all day because he’s just that amazing. At the start of the story, Ronan is a rugby player who has to clean up his image for the sake of his career and team, and luckily for him, he gets paired up with Annie. I loved this guy. I loved how much he loved his family, his dedication to his sport, and he complemented Annie perfectly. While she was shy, he was outspoken and reading about him wooing her made me swoon big time!
Even though Annie has high walls around her, Ronan’s charm is irresistible. While she teaches him about the workings of social media, he teachers her how to truly live. There is a good amount of conflict in here that stems from Annie’s insecurity issues but I found it all to be ‘healthy angst’ so to speak. I loved Ronan’s patience and acceptance of Annie’s quirks, and in turn, I loved that Annie pushed his buttons like no other. The authors did a splendid job of showcasing their individual traits and how well they complemented each other together. It made me root for them even more.
I have to take a minute here and talk about how stunningly good the writing is. I’m especially impressed because this is a collaborative work, and the few I’ve read in the past I’ve been disappointed by since I felt the authors lost their individual voice. It’s definitely not the case here. With Ronan’s character, L.H. Cosway really brings out the charismatic side of him along with giving him this passionate voice. It’s a heartfelt feeling that only makes me adore this hero more. And with Annie’s character, Penny Reid has done the impossible – endear me to a heroine whose quirks would normally frustrate me but didn’t. And I can’t forget the wit and humor that leapt off the pages! Both of their writing styles flowed so well I even forgot that this book was written by two authors. As such, this is a book that engaged both my mind and heart, and those kinds of books are my absolute favorite.
I already know that this is a book that will be on my best books list for this year. It’s highly entertaining yet has emotional scenes sprinkled in that tugged at my heartstrings. The writing was beyond sensational and both characters were wonderful and brought big smiles to my face. It’s a fun, fresh book that’s both intellectually stimulating and a beautiful love story. I can’t recommend it enough!
The Hooker and the Hermit is a standalone collaborative romance. L.H. Cosway wrote Ronan’s side of the story while Penny Reid wrote Annie’s.
ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
 
Rating: 5 stars!!

ABOUT L.H. COSWAY

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.
She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

ABOUT PENNY REID

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).
By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Posted on

Monthly REVIEWS/RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Floored by Melanie Harlow <– recent release that I really enjoyed!! It was a lighthearted drama-free romantic comedy that was such a great de-stresser  (here’s my review)
  • Tight by Alessandra Torre <– a hot new release from the author dubbed as the queen of mindf*ckery! Sadly though, this one didn’t work for me for many reasons (here’s my review). Once again, it may just be me being picky again, so give it a try if you were interested before!
  • Shug by Jenny Han <– this was a re-read for me, and one of my favorite YA books!! I’m amazed that after seven years since I last read it, it still affects me and makes an impact. 5 stars and a book I’d recommend to everyone – you, your teenage kids, your friends, etc…(here’s my review)
  • Verum by Courtney Cole <– this book BLEW. MY. MIND!! And I can’t even talk about it that much or it’d be a spoiler for those that haven’t read it or haven’t started this series (here’s my review) But seriously…if you’re feeling adventurous and want a story that’ll keep you on your toes, pick up this NA psychologically thrilling romance, starting with the first book Nocte.
  • The Hooker & the Hermit by LH Cosway & Penny Reid <– This is my latest TOP recommendation and a 5 star read for me! Such a fun, fresh, and quirky book – you won’t find a more wonderful, full-of-heart story to fall in love with (here’s my review)
  • The Vixen & the Vet by Katy Regnery <– what a sweet, heartfelt romance! It’s a modern ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling that truly warmed my heart (here’s my review)
  • Hero by Samantha Young <– new favorite and recommendation!! This enemies-to-lovers office romance was fun, sexy, and at-times emotional! It had the perfect amount of angst and swoon (here’s my review)
  • Second Debt by Pepper Winters <– recent release & recommendation! You don’t want to miss out on Nila & Jethro’s dark and twisted story (here’s my review)
  • Kyland by Mia Sheridan <– Hmmm…I am clearly in the minority, but this one didn’t work for me. It just had some personal plot devices I wasn’t fond of (here’s my review). It seems to be a hit for 99% of readers though, so give it a shot!
  • Trade Me by Courtney Milan <– favorite! I really loved this NA romance. It was unique (couple pairing), had such whip-smart writing, and both characters were so likeable. I’d recommend it! (here’s my review)
  • Cartel by Lili St. Germain <– the first book in her prequel series to the wickedly intense and twisted Gypsy Brothers series! I really enjoyed this one and if you’re in the mood for one wild, fast-paced biker read, this one’s a good choice! (here’s my review)
  • The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick ($.99) <– This book totally wrecked me! It was one emotional rollercoaster I couldn’t get off of (not sure if I even wanted to). I was so conflicted I didn’t know how to rate it…so I didn’t. (here’s my review)
  • Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler <– TOP recommendation and a 5 star read for me! Just thinking about this book is making my eyes water. I took a chance on this one and I strongly encourage you all to do the same (here’s my review)
  • Raze by Tillie Cole <– recommendation for all dark romance fans!! The one and only word to describe this book would be INTENSE. I could not put it down and there’s this hidden layer to the romance that made my heart race! If you’re looking for a book that’s guaranteed to get your heart pumping, try this one  (here’s my review)
  • Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole <– a TOP recommendation!! This NA romance is one of the darkest and emotionally heavy stories I’ve read in a long while, but it was exactly what I was in the mood for. It also made me ugly cry and I’m just blown away by the amount of emotion it evoked….if you’re looking for a standalone romance guaranteed to make you FEEL, try this one! (here’s my review)
  • Dear Emily (#1) and Dear Tabitha (#2) by Trudy Stiles <– TOP recommendation! These books are a blend of realistic women’s fiction with romance and made my heart feel so full…I loved both and being able to read them back to back let me carry my emotions from the first book to the second without delay. BEST kind of reading experience!! Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2. Be sure to read these in order!
  • Extinguish (#1) and Reignite (#2) by JM Darhower <– TOP recommendation!! This 2-book paranormal forbidden romance was unputdownable from the get go and I didn’t want the story to end. I mean, the hero is Lucifer, the Devil! That alone made me pick these up  Here’s my review for book 1 and here’s my review for book 2.
  • Amour Amour by Krista & Becca Ritchie <– I really enjoyed this NA romance! This was so unique (setting is in the circus) and the character development was stunning! It truly embodies every aspect of NA and as always, the authors’ writing style is great. Totally recommend (here’s my review)
  • Last Will & Testament by Dahlia Adler <– another favorite! This was such a refreshingly witty NA romance standalone (a little taboo since he’s the heroine’s TA). Totally recommend it (here’s my review)
  • The King by Tiffany Reisz <– TOP recommendation!! For fans of this heavy erotica series, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one! Kingsley is the best  If you’re new to this series, check out the series reading order at the bottom of my review –> (here’s my review).
  • Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn <– TOP recommendation!! This 5 star book rocked my world, 200% unputdownable (here’s my review)
  • Clockwork Angel (#1)Clockwork Prince (#2), and Clockwork Princess (#3) by Cassandra Clare are my ultimate TOP recommendations!! I seriously finished this sensational trilogy and had tears dripping down my face, a pile of tissues discarded on the floor, and food wrappers scattered around me. It was SO emotional, SO intense, SO passionate, and SO good. 6 star series for me!! (here’s my series review) These books must be 
Posted on

NEW RELEASES, SALES, & REVIEWS RECAP 2/10/15

Happy Tuesday book junkies! Ready for yet another great week of new releases and sales? Some books that are really catching my eye are Volition by Lily Paradis ($1.99) (anti-heroine + this quote from her: “There’s a darkness that surrounds me, and I think I want it there.”), Because of Him by Jessica Roe ($.99) (student/teacher romance!!), To the Max by Elle Aycart (pregnant heroine who becomes roommates with the hero), and The Delivery by Mara White (older women/younger man forbidden romance!!).

Oh and some recommendations for you! I recently read and had a blast with Floored by Melanie Harlow! It was such a great de-stresser and a light and steamy romantic comedy (here’s my review). I also re-read an VERY old favorite Shug by Jenny Han! This one’s a YA fiction (with a little romance) that’s great for all ages and truly touched my heart. It says a lot when a book I read 7 years ago still makes the same kind of impact on me (here’s my review). For more of my recent reviews & recommendations, check out that section below!

Upcoming Releases: Did you know I now have a section that’ll list upcoming releases for the year? Be sure to bookmark the page below as I update it daily with preorders/Goodreads links.

Cool tip: Tired of seeing all the $.99, $1.99, $2.99, etc… on your bills? Send yourself an Amazon gift card and plan a budget accordingly

P.S. Don’t have a Kindle/Kindle account? No worries! Get a free Kindle Reading App, regardless if you have a Kindle! I have an iPad and I mostly read on the app

NEW RELEASES

  • The Delivery by Mara White <— Ooooh!!! I love, love, love forbidden/taboo romances so this new book from Mara White has my attention. The heroine is a 25 year old social worker and is dedicated to helping kids…and she falls for the 18 year old juvenile delinquent in her charge (!!!) “Their love is illegal, much like [his] undocumented status in the States. So [she] lets him go even though it might be the worst mistake she’ll ever make. But destiny has a way of catching up with us even when we run from it.”
  • To the Max by Elle Aycart <– sounds fun! The heroine is “35, single, temporarily homeless, and pregnant by a gigolo” who becomes the hero’s house-sitter while he’s out of town. Not expecting him to be back so soon, “she ends up being roommates with a 27-year old sex god who turns out to be so much more than what she expected.”
  • One Night – Unveiled by Jodi Ellen Malpas <– the 3rd and final book in her One Night series!
  • Crown Me by Geneva Lee <– the 3rd and final book in the Royals Saga series!
  • Rebel by Callie Hart <— This is the first book in her Dead Man’s Ink series and can be read before OR after the Blood & Roses series….your choice. “What do you do when the man who raised you is murdered, and the only witness is a kidnapped girl [the heroine] who’s being sold as a sex slave? You buy her, of course.”
  • Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean <– mature YA romance standalone!
  • Dark Needs by T.M. Frazier ($.99) <– follow up novella to The Dark Light of Day.
  • Be Mine Anthology ($.99) <– 10-book erotic romance bundle!
  • Beneath This Ink by Meghan March <— This is the 2nd book in her Beneath series but it’s a standalone –> “I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her. And then I finally had her for one night. A night I don’t remember. I figured I’d blown my shot. But now she’s walked back into my life, and this time, I have the upper hand. I want my second chance. Will she be able to see the man beneath this ink?”
  • Adam by K.A. Robinson <– novella in her Torn series!
  • More by Lea Griffith <– erotic romance!
  • The Next Sin by Georgia Cates <— This is the 2nd book in her Sin trilogy, “an epic tale of revenge and love,” and must be read after book 1 ($.99)!
  • Saving Jay by E.M. Abel
  • The Redemption by Lauren Crowe <– The 3rd book in the Club trilogy and the steamy conclusion to the series: “There’s never been a love like ours and there never will be again…”
  • Embers of Starlight by Sonia De Leon ($.99) <– dark romance!!
  • Last to Know by Micalea Smeltzer ($.99) <— This one’s a YA rockstar romance standalone from Micalea Smeltzer –> “He was just a boy. And I was just a girl. But if that’s all there was to the story it wouldn’t be very interesting, would it?…No one said love was easy, and for [the hero] and [the heroine] it just might be impossible.”
  • Shades of Kink Anthology ($.99) <-– an 8-book anthology, all erotic romances “filled with sinfully sexy doms, masters, alphas, and the women who love them.”
  • Volition by Lily Paradis ($1.99) <– okay, this one’s too intriguing to pass on. For one, the blurb is really vague, and all I’m told is that the main girl is an anti-heroine and embodies a lot of things that are REAL yet painful to read and accept –> “There’s a darkness that surrounds me, and I think I want it there.” I also took a peek at the author’s note in the beginning and it sounds like there might be a love triangle + angst.
  • Tight by Alessandra Torre <-– Sadly, it didn’t work for me. The storyline didn’t grab my attention and the suspense + mindf*ck aspect was a little too similar to another book I read and loved so that was a disconnect. Anyways, give it a try if you were interested before! It’s probably another case of me being too picky (here’s my review).
  • Floored by Melanie Harlow <– I recently read this one and had a blast with it! It’s actually my first book from this author and her writing immediately grabbed me….that and her humor!! If you’re looking for a relaxing, drama-free, fun, and flirty read, this is the perfect book to go with (here’s my review).
  • Jake (#1) and Jax (#2) by Jennifer Foor were both released! These must be read in order and the story focuses on a love triangle – 2 brothers, one girl *yikes*
  • Crossroads by Lori L. Otto ($.99) <— If you’ve read her Choisie series, this is a brand new novella to be read after those books –> “This novella is a tie-in to the Choisie series. CROSSROADS takes place the summer after Livvy’s first year of College. This should be read after completing the Choisie series.”
  • Hayden’s Verse by A.C. Bextor <– biker romance!! The hero & heroine have a no-strings-attached fling because they’re both afraid to let others in –> “Was I capable of falling in love? Our path together was tumultuous and unforgiving. At times, it was full of anger and resentment. But it was also fun and sometimes downright ridiculous. There’s no label to our story; tales of cliché pale in comparison. It just happened. It was us. It was crazy and it was exactly what we made it.”
SALES

  • The Saint (#5) and The King (#6) by Tiffany Reisz are both on sale, $1.99 and $3.99 respectively. Just holy crap!!!! I can’t believe it! This book (and series) are my #1 favorites, hands-down. Tiffany’s writing is whip-smart and she’s ruined me for all erotica out there. If you’ve been waiting for a price drop for these, grab ’em NOW!!
  • Night After Night by Lauren Blakely ($.99) <– first time sale! This is the 1st book in her erotic Seductive Nights series –> “Their world was sex, love, and lies. He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed.”
  • Stay With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout ($1.99) <– 3rd book in her Wait for You series!
  • To Professor, With Love by Linda Kage ($.99) <– NA student/teacher romance where SHE is the teacher! Nice change
  • Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley ($1.99) <– the first book in her Chaos series, and it’s a biker romance standalone!
  • The DUFF by Kody Keplinger ($2.99) <– this was a really cute YA romance! Can the DUFF (designated ugly fat friend) find love too?  Oh and it’s going to be a movie!!
  • In Flight by R.K. Lilley ($.99) <-– One of my favorite books from R.K. Lilley!! This one’s an erotic romance with a dominant billionaire –> “I knew I had a problem. I was starting to like that kinky rich bastard.”
  • TAUT by J.A. Huss ($.99)
  • Love in Between by Sandi Lynn ($.99)
  • High Strung by T. Gephart ($.99)
  • Because of Him by Jessica Roe ($.99) <– this one’s a student/teacher romance, one of my favorite tropes!! The hero and heroine are polar opposites – she’s the tough & crude girl with an attitude, he’s the good, studious guy. “Too bad he’s forbidden…[they] cross paths in ways they never could have imagined, and they discover that even though they know they should, they can’t quite bring themselves to stay apart. Opposites really do attract.”
  • Heaven Hill series by Laramie Briscoe ($.99) <– the first 4 books in her biker romance series!
  • Here by Denise Grover Swank ($.99) <— This one’s a YA dystopian romance that rarely goes on sale – the heroine kills her best friend in a car accident but wakes up in the hospital with distorted memories where she’s dead instead and her best friend is alive. Everyone’s chalking it up to her head injury talking, yet some facts don’t add up and suggest her ‘memories’ have merit. At the same time, a fellow classmate starts to look after her but he seems to know a few things about her situation too –> “…he begs [the heroine] to run with him, convincing her that [her best friend] is still alive. [She] agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop ($2.24) <— This one’s a paranormal romance from Anne Bishop and sounds really good!! The heroine is a blood prophet – she can see the future when her skin is cut (wicked!). She escapes from the guy controlling her, and tries to blend in by seeking a job from the hero who’s a shape-shifter.
  • Collision Course by S.C. Stephens ($.99) <– I loved this book!! This is a mature YA/NA romance standalone that was deeply moving, and at-times haunting. It realistically portrayed 2 characters caught up in the aftermath of a horrific car crash, and their story of love and healing.
  • Truth or Dare by Mira Lynn Kelly ($.99) <– this sounds fun! The heroine and hero are new next-door-neighbors and when a welcome attempt goes wrong, it puts a dent into their acquaintanceship hehe –> “He and [the heroine] can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning…the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue.”
  • Now series by Brenda Rothert ($.99) <– 3 NA romances following the love lives of 2 sisters (both are the main leads).
  • Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery ($.99) <-– This is the first book in her Fool’s Gold series & a sweet standalone romance between a city planner who’s settling down and growing roots and the town’s golden boy and retired cyclist.
  • Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. Maxwell ($.99) <— This one’s a sweet and steamy friends-to-lovers romance! The heroine’s tired of the hero just seeing her as his best friend and nothing more, so when she heads off to Vegas for a book convention she’s more than ready for a one night stand. The hero knows she’s too good for him, but can’t stomach the thought of her with anyone else so he follows her… –> “Neither of them expects their explosive chemistry to burn hotter than the lights on the strip, but with a little help from Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, a flamboyant matchmaker, and TSA, what happens in Vegas might not stay in Vegas…”
  • Patch Up (#1) and Fix Up (#2) by Stephanie Witter are both $.99 each! These are NA romances about the same couple (damaged college girl + her sweet psychology TA) so be sure to read them in order –> “What if I am already broken into pieces?”
  • Kaleb by Nicole Edwards ($1.99) <—  first book in the Alluring Indulgence series & an erotic best friends to lovers romance with some menage.
  • Trouble by Samantha Towle ($.99) <-– NA romance standalone between a tattooed, cocky bad boy and a heroine with a load of baggage, so if you’re in the mood for a little drama and angst it sounds like a good one to check out!
  • That Boy by Jillian Dodd ($.99) <— I really loved this one. It was such a cute and sweet YA romance that made me smile and feel nostalgic –> “One boy will give me my very first kiss. One boy will teach me to make out. One boy will take me to prom. And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him. They will both be my best friends. But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with. Only one of them is That Boy.”
  • Whiskey Prince by Toni Aleo ($.99) <– sounds sweet! The heroine’s mother passes away and leaves her a letter asking her to fulfill three things, and so she heads off to Ireland to honor her mom’s request. At the same time, the hero – dubbed the ‘Whiskey Prince’ – is given an ultimatum to get married in half a year by his family, and they cross paths: “Take a risk. Do something drastic. Fall in love.”
  • Fighting for Flight by J.B. Salsbury ($.99) <-– I read this one a while back and liked it – the heroine’s a spunky mechanic who falls in love with a local celebrity and a UFL fighter. And because of her past and upbringing, the story’s got a suspenseful twist too. Even though it’s the start of the series, it’s a standalone!
  • Thoughtless (#1), Effortless (#2), and Reckless (#3) by S.C. Stephens are all on sale!!! The first is $.99, and the others are $2.99 (regular $7.99!!) I love, love, LOVE this trilogy and it’s one of my all-time favorite rockstar romance series featuring the one and only Kellan Kyle! A friend dubbed him ‘pornographically delicious’ and I couldn’t agree more
  • Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken ($.99) <– LOVED this book!! It made me ugly cry, not because the story was tragic or anything but because of all the emotion that just builds up and you have to let it out. The writing was beyond phenomenal as well. I mean quotes like these just make me want to clutch my heart –> “Baring your soul to someone is like purposefully stabbing yourself in the heart and waiting for the person you love to stop the bleeding.”
  • The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley ($.99) <– LOVED this book!! It’s a mature YA romance and there’s just something about this author’s writing that makes her stories so addicting! Honestly, every book I’ve read from this author is hard to put down because her writing just grabs me, even if the characters do make silly decisions
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han ($1.99) <-– sounds super cute and fun! The heroine writes letters to her crushes, but “her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, [her] love life goes from imaginary to out of control.”
  • Destroyed by Pepper Winters ($.99) <– love this dark romance author!! This book is a standalone unrelated to her Monsters in the Dark series or Indebted series.
  • Happenstance 1 by Jamie McGuire ($.99)
  • Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher ($.99) <– their collaboration work!
  • A Necessary Sin by Georgia Cates ($.99) <– sounds good! After a horrific childhood incident, the heroine is obsessed with revenge and bringing the monster who haunts her to justice, but “walking hand in hand with retribution means risking collateral damage…She’s always known this undertaking would place her life in danger–she never imagined her heart would be as well.”
  • Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker ($1.99) <– LOVED this book and on sale for the first time in 2 years!! It’s an equally heartbreaking and heartwarming NA romance with a swoony hero and feisty heroine!
  • Into the Deep by Samantha Young ($.99) <— one of my FAVORITE books from her, and is a steamy, heartfelt NA romance about making mistakes and second chances. “Live young. Live hard. Love deep.”
  • Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover ($.99)
  • Wait for You by J. Lynn ($.99) <– LOVED this book!! It’s a sweet and at-times intense NA romance with one of the swooniest heroes ever! He bakes cookies!
  • A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers ($.99) <– LOVED this book!! It’s a romance between 2 step-siblings and it’s actually been out for a while now…this is the one of the rare times I’ve seen it go on sale!
  • Taint by SL Jennings ($.99) <-– “…who am I? Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life. I am Justice Drake. And I turn housewives into whores. Now…who’s first?”
  • Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye ($.99)
  • Dark Light by S.L. Jennings ($.99)
  • If You Stay by Courtney Cole ($.99) <– LOVED this book!! It’s got a bad boy (and I mean, real bad) hero who falls for the sweetest, most endearing heroine!
  • Only With You by Lauren Layne ($.99)
  • One Night Promised by Jodi Ellen Malpas ($.99)
  • Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine ($.99)
  • Catch My Fall by Ella Fox ($.99)
  • Take Me For Granted by KA Linde ($.99)
  • Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines ($.99) <–LOVED this book!! It’s what started the Rosemary Beach series and it’s a highly addicting NA romance. You won’t be able to put it down!
  • The Passion of Darius by Raine Miller ($.99) <— first book in her Blackstone Affair Historical Prequels series is $.99 – if you’ve read her Blackstone Affair series you’ll want to read this one as it’s part of Ethan & Brynne’s story!
  • What If by Bayli Lane ($.99) <— This one’s a friends-to-lovers romance from Bayli Lane! Looks like there’s a lot of push/pull between the hero and heroine. “For some people falling in love was a happy, glowing experience. For Briar Kelly and Arrow Donovan it was more like getting hit by a freight train…They constantly fought to hold their feelings inside, not wanting to jeopardize their friendship…What ifs keep piling up while resentment and redemption battles continue…”
  • Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting ($.99)
  • Hard Knox (#1) and Damaged Goods (#2) by Nicole Williams are both $2.99 each!! These are NA romance standalones about ‘outsiders’ falling in love with each other.
  • Therapy by Kathryn Perez ($.99) <— I’m told it’s an emotional story full of heartbreak & pain, but also love and healing –> “Depression, self-harm, bullying….that’s my reality. Sex and guys….that’s my escape. The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me–the two men that I love try to save me.”
  • Unhinged (#1), Unraveling (#2), and Chaos (#3) by Timberlyn Scott (aka Nicole Edwards) are all $.99 each!! This is a completed series that follows the same couple –> “Have you ever met that someone who steals your breath with just a look? That someone you can’t stop thinking about, no matter how hard you try?…Although I can’t explain why, [she] makes me want things I never imagined I could have…She’s supposed to be off limits to me. But that’s not a problem because I’ve perfected the art of breaking the rules. My name is Sebastian Trovato and this is the story of how I met the woman who unhinges me.”
Posted on

Every story has two sides

Every story has two sides, and in this new book, the epic love story between Kiera and Kellan is shown through his eyes.
All Kellan Kyle needs is his guitar, and some clean sheets of paper. Growing up in a house that was far from a home, he learned a hard lesson: You’re worthless. Now his life is comfortably filled with passionate music, loyal band mates, and fast women…until he meets her. 
Kiera makes him ache for more. Makes him feel for the first time that he’s worth more. But there’s one problem – she’s his best friend’s girl.
Just when Kellan thought his emotional defenses were rock solid, Kiera’s indecisive heart wreaks havoc on his soul, changing him forever. Losing Kiera is not an option.

I can’t remember the last time I read something that was purely the alternate POV of the same book…maybe it was Walking Disaster? Hmm I don’t remember, but the point is I don’t read those much because I don’t want there to be a risk of ruining the original version of the story. I took a leap of faith this time because of the hero Kellan Kyle. He’s one of my all-time favorite book boyfriends and there isn’t much I’m not willing to endure while reading if it means he’ll end up in a better and happy place. Because honestly? This book had many, many things that would normally drive me up a wall had I read it in another book.
I also want to say that if you’re reading this book expecting there to be ‘new stuff’ to be added to the original storyline of the Thoughtless trilogy, wrong mentality. When the author said Kellan’s POV of Thoughtless, she really meant that…you’re getting a rehash of book 1 in his view. At this point I would only recommend this book if it doesn’t matter to you that the plot is the same – you just want more Kellan, any way you can get it. I went into this book with that in mind, so my review won’t touch on the plot redundancies, because really, that’s not even supposed to be an issue.
Now about this book. It was a slow burn, a snooze fest, and an angsty rollercoaster ride all in one. Different sections of the book made me feel different things and by the end, I was just tired and exhausted from it all. First and foremost, reading about Kellan’s heartbreaking upbringing in his own voice downright hurt. The emotional scars his parents left on him were deep, leading him to feel this perpetual loneliness inside of him while on the outside he looked like a perfect golden angel. And yet for all his looks and charisma, he’s insecure about feeling, about emotion, and about love.
When Denny and Kiera enter the scene, the snooze fest sort of began. In Thoughtless, part of Kellan’s allure was the fact that I didn’t fully know his thoughts when Kiera did this or that and while it was pretty adorable and heartwarming to see the depth of his love and longing for her, I feel like the author exposed too much if that makes any sense. There are some things best left unsaid, and be open to the reader’s imagination instead, so I was a little discouraged to have to read EVERY single one of Kellan’s thoughts about Kiera this and Kiera that for half of the book. Honestly, these were the parts that drained the life out of me because Kellan’s world IS Kiera. His love for her blinded him to the rest of the world and in everything he does and sees, it’s all her, even when she’s not really his and to have to read about that kind of torment killed me.
There was one thing that really bothered me though, and it was a technical issue so nothing to do with the characters themselves. In my opinion, I think the author is weak with the male POV, and it’s the reason why I can’t bring myself to give this book at least 4 stars. I don’t say this to hurt her; it’s just an observation. Because when I read this book, there really was no difference in writing style or tone between this book and Thoughtless. Kellan must’ve hid his sensitivity very well because in here, he noticed the tiniest things like how eyes have different shades, he used flowery words like ‘blossomed,’ (do dudes really talk like that?), described looks and clothing to the finest detail, etc…all things that I’d normally read from the girl’s POV.
But in the end, I am glad and immensely thankful that I got to hear his side of the story. Most importantly, it made me understand him better as a person, and though I will always believe Kiera doesn’t deserve him, I now understand why he believes she is the one for him, something I could never accept even though I loved Thoughtless.
Because the plot itself is the same as before, I didn’t feel the same kind of intensity like I did when I read Thoughtless. However, Kellan Kyle himself will stir up enough emotions for you, and if you’re determined to read more about him rather than about the story as a whole, this book will probably be a winner for you.
Thoughtful is Kellan’s POV of Thoughtless. book 1 in the original trilogy. Even though it’s technically a standalone, I would not recommend reading this on its own. At the very least read Thoughtless.
ARC provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted on

BOOK REVIEW ~ RAINWATER BY SANDRA BROWN

Ella Barron, a single Texas mother, built a careful life running a boarding house in the Depression-era cotton South. But when a mysterious stranger takes a free room, he also takes Ella’s careful life apart. In the tradition of Gone With the Wind comes historical romance in the Dust Bowl.
Ella runs her Texas boarding house with the efficiency of a ship’s captain and the grace of a gentlewoman. She cooks, cleans, launders, and cares for her ten-year-old son, Solly, a sweet but challenging child whose busy behavior and failure to speak elicits undesired advice from others in town. Ella’s plate is full from sunup to sundown. When a room in her boarding house opens up, the respected town doctor brings Ella a new boarder―the handsome and gallant Mr. David Rainwater—but Ella is immediately resistant to opening up her home to this mysterious stranger.
Even with assurances that Mr. Rainwater is a man of impeccable character, a former cotton broker and a victim of the Great Depression, Ella stiffens at the thought of taking him in. Dr. Kincaid tells Ella in confidence that Mr. Rainwater won’t require the room for long: he is dying. Begrudgingly, Ella accepts Mr. Rainwater’s application to board, but she knows that something is happening; she is being swept along by an unusual series of events. Soon, this strong-minded, independent woman will realize that the living that she has eked out for herself in the small bubble of her town is about to change, whether she likes it or not…
Racial tensions, the financial strain of livelihoods in cotton drying up into dust, and the threat of political instability swirl together into a tornado on the horizon. One thing is certain: the winds of change are blowing all over Texas—and through the cracks in the life that Ella Barron has painstakingly built. This is the story of a woman who takes her life’s circumstances in both hands, but who will be forced to reckon with the chaos of her historical circumstances..

I’m a huge Sandra Brown fan, and some of the most memorable romantic suspense books I’ve read are penned by her. Though this book was a departure from her usual storyline, I enjoyed it just the same. It’s refreshing to read a story that’s not just pure romance once in a while, and as a US history lover, this historical fiction read was just what I needed. Whether it’s the nostalgic setting or the lovely romance that takes place, this is a story that will touch hearts, and is probably one of the most moving books I’ve ever read.
“Is the ending sad?
Very.�? In a low voice he said, “Even knowing the ending was said, I wouldn’t have deprived myself the beauty of the story.�?
Set in the era of the Great Depression in a small town where corruption was prevalent, job opportunities scarce, and racial tensions high, young widow Ella Barron runs a well-known boarding house to support herself and her challenging son. She’s strong, level-headed, and independent, and her past experiences have only fortified her heart. On a day just like any other, she accepts a new boarder at her house, a Mr. David Rainwater, and he starts to shake up her life from the start. From working with her son Solly to helping out with chores around the house, David picks apart Ella’s walls one by one, but there is a catch, something that’s revealed from the very beginning: David is dying from an incurable illness.
“…I don’t want to cause you one moment of heartache. Ever.�?
Peering deeply into his eyes, she said hoarsely, “You will.�?
I’m always wary of books that have a dying/dead character to have overly preachy writing, but thankfully, none of that was in this book. In fact, the rich historical backdrop of the story took my mind off David’s inevitable death. The writing was very authentic and rang true to reflect the speech of the people in that time. And even though I knew the ending of the book would be sad and was prepared for it, the way events played out still shocked the tears out of my eyes.
“I’d like the time I have left to count for something.�?
The only issue I had was that the ending felt rushed, but that’s an aspect I’ve come to expect in all of this author’s books so it wasn’t a huge bother. Despite this aspect, the bulk of the story was a captivating and gripping one, and if I hadn’t been traveling, I would’ve finished it in one sitting. All in all, a must-read for all historical fiction and historical romance lovers. It’s a book that’ll run you through with emotions but ultimately leave you with a smile on your face.
Rating: 4-4.5 stars!!
Posted on

QUICK RECAP OF WEEKEND SALES!!

Hey guys!! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend! Normally I’d send out book sales with Tuesday’s weekly recap newsletter but because of Valentine’s Day and the super RARE price drops going on, I decided to send a quick email summary of them now so you won’t miss out on these deals. These are all very limited time offers. Happy reading & 1-clicking everyone

Books that have a * next to them are ones I’ve read and wholeheartedly recommend!

Then There Was You by Melanie Dawn ($.99)* – rockstar romance + older woman/younger man romance
Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler ($.99) – YA Hollywood romance
Even the Moon Has Scars by Steph Campbell ($.99) – YA romance
Revenant by Larissa Ione ($.99) – part of a PNR series
Matched by SE Hall & Angela Graham ($.99) – reality TV show romantic comedy
Shhh…by M. Robinson ($.99) – erotic romance
Carnage by Lesley Jones ($.99) – angsty emotional rollercoaster
Wreck Me by Jessica Sorensen ($.99) – heavy NA romance
Phenomenal X by Michelle A. Valentine ($.99) – steamy wrestler romance
Prick by Sabrina Paige ($.99) – stepbrother/stepsister romance
Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre ($.99) – erotic romance
With the Father by Jenni Moen ($.99)* – forbidden romance + mindf*ck
Flawed by Kate Avelynn ($.99)* – taboo romance
Eight Days a Week by Amber L. Johnson ($.99) – contemporary romance + single mom
One to Love by Tia Louise ($.99) – erotic NA romance
Beautifully Awake + Beautifully Done by Riley Mackenzie ($.99) – 2 emotional romance standalones
Beneath This Mask by Meghan March ($.99) – military romance
To Professor, With Love by Linda Kage ($.99) – student/teacher romance (SHE’s the teacher)
Bullet to the Heart by Lea Griffith ($.99) – dark romance + suspense
Once Upon a Time by SK Hartley ($.99) – modern fairytale retelling
In Flight by RK Lilley ($.99)* – erotic billionaire romance
Collision Course by SC Stephens ($.99)* – emotional YA romance
Never Never by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher ($.99) – YA romance + twist
Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting ($.99) – bad boy romance
Only With You by Lauren Layne ($.99) – steamy office romance
The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley ($.99)* – addicting YA romance
Winter by Frankie Rose ($.99) – NA romantic suspense
Whiskey Prince by Toni Aleo ($.99) – light, fun contemporary romance
Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts ($.99)* – dark romance
A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers ($.99)* – taboo romance (has a stepbrother AND a soon-to-be priest)
Eversea by Natasha Boyd ($1.99)* – Hollywood romance
Jacked by Tina Reber ($1.99) – romantic suspense
Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker ($1.99)* – emotional NA romance + twist
Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James ($2.99) – erotic billionaire romance
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas ($2.99) – dark romance
Broken Dolls by Kitty Thomas ($2.99) – dark romance
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr ($3.99)* – NA PNR romance with faeries

**Walk of Shame series by Victoria Ashley**

#1 Slade ($.99)
#2 Hemy ($.99)

**West Bend Saints by Sabrina Paige**

#1 Elias ($.99)
#2 Silas ($.99)

**Reclaiming the Sand series by A. Meredith Walters**

#1 Reclaiming the Sand ($.99)*
#2 Chasing the Tide ($.99)

**Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole**

#1 If You Stay ($.99)*
#4 Until We Fly ($.99) – I’m currently reading this one and LOVING IT!!!

**Asylum trilogy by Lauren Hammond**

#1 Insanity ($.99)*
#2 White Walls ($.99)*
#3 Beautiful Nightmares ($.99)

**The Aces series by Nicole Jacquelyn**

#2 Craving Redemption ($.99)
#3 Craving Absolution ($.99)

**Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye**

#1 Hard As It Gets ($.99)
#3 Hard to Come By ($1.99)

**Wait for You series by Jennifer L. Armentrout**

#1 Wait for You ($.99)*
#1.5 Trust in Me ($1.99)*
#3 Stay With Me ($1.99)

**Too Far series by Abbi Glines**

#1 Fallen Too Far ($.99)*
#2 Never Too Far ($3.99)*

**Love series by Tina Reber**

#1 Love Unscripted ($1.99)*
#2 Love Unrehearsed ($1.99)*

**Thoughtless series by SC Stephens**

#1 Thoughtless ($.99)*
#2 Effortless ($2.99)*
#3 Reckless ($2.99)*