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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!
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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.
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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.”
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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)
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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!!
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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!
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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!!!

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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.
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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.
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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.