Thursday, October 3, 2013

Worth The Fight- Vi Keeland

It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same.

Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control.

Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.






I'm not even sure where to start with my review. We all know I love Vi's writing style and characters, but Worth The Fight takes my love to a new level. Nico and Elle are two troubled soles fighting demons that haunt them daily. There passion and intense feelings for each other can not be denied, but neither of them knows how to let go of the guilt and shame they carry. This is a love story about overcoming the obstacles and letting go of the past.

One thing I really applaud Vi about is writing in a STRONG female lead character that knows how to stand her ground. She is not weak, annoying, defiant, or a pushover in any way. Elle is a beautifully complicated woman who finds herself in a position she never thought possible. She is losing control of her sculpted life as she falls for Nico. As a reader, I loved this. She deserves happiness and love- even though she doesn't see it.

Nico- well let's just say he's amazing. He's charming, sexy, and endearing. He carries around guilt over an incident that we learn was not his fault. He and Elle together are magnificent. His feelings are obvious and he goes after what he wants. Since the book is told in alternating POV's, I was able to really get to know Nico. Because of this, I fell in love with him.

I can't say much more without giving spoilers, but I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a beautiful story about two people that are facing real chance at true love.






Sunday, June 30, 2013

Made For You- Vi Keeland




 
Jack and Syd spent a week in paradise. It was only supposed to be a fling. But life can be funny sometimes, and circumstances brought them back together again. Together they seemed to have found their happy ever after. But when Sydney is offered a chance at the career she has always wanted, she must leave Jack behind to follow her dreams. Can their love survive long distance? Sydney’s touring with a man every woman wants, but he only has eyes for Syd. And an unexpected tragedy leaves Jack feeling remorseful. Can the two find a way through to forever?

Okay, I know I have been absent for quite a while but I have been working really hard on a surprise. There's only one person I came out of hibernation for and that is the awesome VI KEELAND!!!!!
I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Made For You because I stalked her. Being so gracious, she didn't have me arrested- she sent me the book instead.

This is a PERFECT conclusion to Jack and Sydney's story!  I was so scared we wouldn't get the chemistry and passion we had in book one and I was wrong. This book was filled with love, passion, jealousy, angst (not unbearable), and of course friendship.

I can't write much because I fear I will give too many details. I am so in love with this book and can't wait to sit in on the discussions when it is released. If you haven't picked up the first book in the series- Belong To You- DO IT NOW!  You will want to read these back to back and follow this amazing journey.

Thank you Vi! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

REAL- Katy Evans

A fallen boxer.
A woman with a broken dream.
A competition…
He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…
Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life.
He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents .
But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me.
I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations.
If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me?




Have you ever had such a book hangover so bad you want to relive the last few hours of your life EVERY FU%CKING DAY???? That is what REAL did to me. I can't tell you how much I LOVED this book. It hit me out of the blue and I can't stop thinking about this story!

CAUTION****** REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!

Katy Evans delivers such a powerful and gut wrenching story with REAL that my stomach physically hurt by the end. Remington & Brooke are nothing like any other book couple out there. There is a lot of foreshadowing in the beginning that lets the reader know Remy is a complicated and dark man, but HOLY SHIT!  His life is a series of sad events that lead him to be a closed and damaged sole. I wish he was standing in front of me so I could hug and kiss all his hurt away.

From the first chapter of the book you can't help but like Brooke. She has compassion, love and grit. Even though she had her share of disappointments in life, she picked up the pieces and moved forward with the determination to help others. When she accepts the role with Remy's team, I shouted with Glee because I saw really great things about to come off the pages.
I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!!!

Let me just mention how intense this story is. I haven't felt this level of sexual frustration since Twilight. Even though we don't get a good sex scene until halfway through the book, the writing that leads up to it is hot. Brooke doesn't hold back her desires and it was good to know she could hold her own and tell Remy exactly what she wanted.

Now let's address the Illness that plagues Remy. When this was revealed  I knew this would be a top pick for me in 2013. The book took me to a whole new emotional level when I finally understood why Remy was closed and mysterious. I looked at each character with new eyes because I realized why he surrounded himself with these people. And when Brooke understands her role in his life now that she knows his secret- you can't help but cheer for this couple.

Let me just say how happy I was with the ending of this book. Even though it was emotionally crippling, it all pulled together. I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream, I wanted to crawl in a corner because I knew we weren't going to get HEA that I craved. But I was wrong. When the whole truth came out, my heart both broke and jumped for joy. As if I didn't already love Remy, I now found myself obsessed with him. His selfless act was the ultimate sacrifice for love and I wanted to strangle Brooke. But I felt her heartache so I just reveled in their connection.

The ending is beautiful with no cliffhanger. The story of Remy & Brooke will continue in book two and I can't wait to watch their journey continue.

Thank you Katy Evans for bringing such a beautiful book to me. I will sing your praises for a very long time!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Belong to You - Vi Keeland

My honeymoon was almost everything I dreamed it would be, a tropical paradise, turquoise water, romantic walks on the beach, and loads and loads of mind shattering sex. The only thing missing was the groom.


After seven years of coasting through a relationship with Michael, my senses were numb. A week of passion with a stranger was just what I needed to clear my head and take back control of my life. But how do you move on when the man that was only supposed to be a fling somehow seeps into your soul and steals your heart?
WOW!  All I can say is WOW!
Belong to You is one of those books going to my Favorites category for sure. I devoured this book in one sitting.
I knew when I purchased this book it was going to be a series so I was prepared for an unfinished ending. But I was pleased with the ending. This is the type of book that makes me want to pack up my best friend for a tropical vacation and see if I can find my own Jack Cole.
Vi Keeland brings all my favorites to book one of this new series. There is lust, angst, sadness and heartbreak, mystery, sex and steam. This book delivers so much more than the synopsis let's on. I was scared it would be about a week-long affair that gives you an immediate HEA. But I was WRONG!  This story starts with an affair but the true story runs so much deeper.
This is a story about a shadowed character, Sydney, whom lost herself and is trying to find  her new place chasing her dreams. She left her fiance 2 months before their wedding and starts a new life- a life she thought was never going to happen. While this seems like a small point, it turns out to be the pinnacle that will lead to book two. Sydney's best friend, Sienna, goes on the "honeymoon" with Sydney and coaxes her into having a fling.
I loved the relationship between Sydney and Sienna. These two best friends are funny, wild, strong and solid.
When the Alpha-Hot Jack Cole comes into the picture there are fireworks. Every woman has a fantasy about their very own Jack Cole. He hits with a force that made me want to jump into his bed in the first five minutes. I knew he had secrets and demons, but they still were sexy. 
The story follow Sydney and Jack as they connect outside of their tropical bubble and navigate through the delicate process of starting a relationship. Both characters are exceptionally written and the emotions are high - in a good way.
I am always looking for new authors that give me a story that stick with me. Vi Keeland has done just that and I am begging her to release book two ASAP! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Resisting The Bad Boy- Violet Duke


 
Abby Bartlett is the quintessential nice girl. Between teaching, volunteering, completing her PhD, and helping her best friend raise his daughter, Abby never gets the chance to be anything but nice. That is, until the all-wrong-for-her man she’s only ever known from afar starts daring her to simply take that chance for herself.  His sage advice?  Try something wild and fast.

Preferably him.                                                   

An unbridled, hotshot attorney with a not-so-little black book, Connor Sullivan has earned himself quite the bad boy reputation.  But in his defense, he’s a very conscientious one. He knows far too well that sometimes in life, love isn’t enough…or worse, not even a factor at all.  To avoid that misery—and repel the drama—Connor always makes his one and only rule crystal clear right from the start.  Absolutely nothing more than a month.

Turns out, a whole lot can happen in one month.



Exerpt:

“Why you little—”
Connor launched at Abby as she shrieked out in laughter and tried ducking around him to make for the door.  Snatching her around the waist, he hoisted her cackling body over his shoulder and upended her back onto the bed.  “You set me up.”
Now unliddable, her giggles effervesced, giving zero credence to her perfectly scandalized denials.  He trapped her under him and buried his grin against the curve of her neck, feeling disproportionately victorious at the gasp she couldn’t contain when he skimmed his lips over her collarbone. 
The woman was getting to him.  This time, when his lips found her soft skin again, it was with purpose.  “You planted that wicked little bag-o-fun there for me to find, admit it.” 
She gave an Oscar-worthy gasp at the accusation. “What?  What possible reason would I have had to do that?”
“To drive me up the wall?  Send me bursting through my zipper?”  He nipped at her earlobe playfully.  “Though I guess I should be flattered to be the reason you bought all that stuff.”
The cutest derisive snort he’d ever heard shot out of her like a torpedo with impeccable aim.  “Breaking news, Connor: scientists have in fact discovered that the earth doesn’t revolve around you.  Women buy toys for themselves all the time.”
He nearly bit off his tongue to avoid even thinking about Abby having any sort of toy-based fun.  “I still call foul.  When you and I agreed to this who’ll-beg-first stint, you didn’t say you’d be weaponizing your attacks.” 
“Weapons?”  She blinked innocently.  “You make them sound so sinister.  I’d say they’re more like…private tools.  Survival tools, if you will.  For my time here.  Naturally, you were never meant to see them.” 
Bull.  Next, you’ll tell me the snowflake masquerading as underwear in that bag is worn strictly for comfort.  Hell, I’ve seen more fabric on the teeny doilies in Skylar’s toy tea sets—”
“Aw, I remember those,” she cut in softly with a smile.  “She used to go on and on about how her ‘bestest Uncle Connor’ hosted the fanciest dress-up tea parties.”
“I wore suits,” he clarified gruffly, “and don’t change the subject.  Why buy sexy lingerie if not to have them be seen?” 
By me.  He didn’t have to say it out loud, they were both thinking it.  And his ego was celebrating it. 
“Easy access,” she eventually answered, straight-faced.
His imagination went nuts.  Picturing Abby wearing the microscopic scrap of white lace he saw earlier for private ‘easy access’ unhinged him.  He shackled her wrists above her head with one hand and began tickling her ribs.  “Another foul.”
“Stop!” she screeched and dissolved into a breathless puddle of mirth.  “Okay, I admit it!  It was a dirty, dirty foul on my part.  You should definitely take a free throw shot.”
He paused, wondering where she was going with this.
She pointed to the trash can.  “There’s the basket; my new panties can be the ball…since yours are clearly in a twist.”
Incredulous, he dialed up the tickle torture to merciless.
Her squealing ‘I-take-it-backs’ became unintelligible as she wriggled and squirmed and bucked until soon, he was fairly certain he was suffering more than she was. 
Breathing hard, he released her wrists and rolled onto his back beside her.  “You’re planning to drive me completely crazy these next few weeks, aren’t you?”
Limbs all akimbo, head dangling off the bed, she heaved between breaths, “Like you wouldn’t believe.”

Author Bio:
VIOLET DUKE is the pen name for Nina Nakayama, former professor of English Education turned author who now spends her days on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance.  When she’s not catering to the whims of her story characters or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, she enjoys randomly rearranging the furniture in her house, tackling reno projects with her power tools, cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes, and trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first.  Nina lives in Hawai‘i with her two cute kids and similarly adorable husband.  Learn more about her and her books at http://www.violetduke.com.


Click here to purchase Resisting the Bad Boy

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Connected by Kim Karr

What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice?

Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London's soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.

When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate.

Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia's grief begins to lift--but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her.

But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?


LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!
That is the 4- letter word I would use to describe Connected by Kim Karr. I can't tell you how great this book is- actually I would describe it as MAGNIFICENT!  If is easily in my top three books of 2013 and I have read 75 books so far this year. Let me compose myself before I finish this review. This book makes me wish I knew how to create video reviews.

Connected has it all- love, angst, steam, sizzle, heartbreak, passion, and mystery. Unlike most other Rock Star novels, Kim Karr has introduced a sense of mystery in her book that is completely refreshing. This is a true love story that makes even the hardest  of hearts melt. The level of emotions present in this writing style is so moving that the reader can actually jump into the story and wrap themselves up. I was so engrossed in the story of Dahlia and River and I cried when the last word was read. I did not want this beautiful story to end.

What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice?

In a chance encounter, Dahlia meets River Wilde one night in college. Even though there is a mutual attraction, Dahlia is in love with her boyfriend Ben. She walks  runs away fron River and never looks back. 

Fast forward a few years and Dahlia and Ben are living together, engaged, and ready to start their life. Then tragedy hits- BOOM!  Dahlia is faced with the death of Ben and the demise of the life she thinks she was supposed to live. Her loss and journey of recovery is heartbreaking.  I could actually feel her grieving process all the way to my sole. Her love, commitment, and loyalty to Ben is amazing and emotionally,I was right with her the whole time. You see, Ben wasn't just her fiance and best friend, he was her rock when tragedy struck her family throughout her life. These two grew up together and their love story was written from a young age. Dahlia has to learn to live a life without her other half.
 When Dahlia's best friend forces her to take an assignment in Las Vegas to cover an interview, forces collide and she comes face to face with River again after 5 years. The chemistry is still evident and this time, she cannot walk run away from him. Thus begins a love story with such velocity and intensity that even the most critical audience is cheering for.

Kim wrote most of this story from Dahlia's point of view and this allowed Ben to stay a main character in the book. Throughout multiple flashbacks and side visions, Ben and Dahlia's relationship is explained further and it is easy to understand her confusion about her overwhelming feelings for River. To me, this was written so that I could feel her guilt when she discovers that her soulmate may not be whom she thought he was.

RIVER, RIVER, RIVER..........
I could spend all day just fantasizing about River Wilde. Honestly he makes Jake, Travis, Kellan, and most others look like amateurs. His immediate connection to Dahlia is so powerful that I am now a firm believer in Soulmates. He carried this love affair to a level I felt to my own soul. His love and adoration for Dahlia was classic. He is so sexy, thoughtful, charming, caring etc, etc, etc..... I am telling you honestly- he is topping above the others right now in the book boyfriend category. Oh, and when we finally get to his POV- it is well worth the wait!!!!
 
I need to advise anyone who reads this book to PAY ATTENTION to EVERYTHING. Don't skip ahead, don't overlook the conversations, don't even blink if you can. At the end there is a side storyline that comes together that hits you - SMACK- and you start to weave all the clues together. I think I started to figure out there was something odd going on at about the 50% mark, but I didn't piece it together. As I started to delve into the secondary characters, I started to feel a since of discomfort and realized there are secrets everywhere and something important has happened in the past that involves everyone.

Let me just say that I was completely shocked at the end. Kim Karr brings a whole new level to the term cliffhanger. I am not sure if I am furious or elated. Those are serious the two emotions I felt. When I mentioned before that I cried at the end- you have to read this story to understand why. The ending is epic and lays the trail for book two.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this ending blows away anything out there right now. It is so powerful that it  is on the same emotional level as Callie & Kayden. The next book in this series will be as anticipated as Collide, RIY, All In, Ella & Micha, TMS etc.......

I am begging Kim Karr to finish up #2 in record time so I can hole up and finish one of the most dynamic love stories I have ever read!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BLOG TOUR STOP! VACANT by Evelyn Baldwin




SYNOPSIS:
Ethan Parker gets up every day, surviving the only way he knows how—alone.

Orphaned as a child and forced into the child welfare system, he knows better than to depend on anyone but himself. He’s learned trust is a word used all too often, but rarely earned.

Ethan believes that his best chance for maintaining a simple and solitary existence is to live by a simple mantra: Don’t get involved. Keep things simple.

Take care of yourself!

When a young woman moves in next door, Ethan is forced to reevaluate his beliefs. He tries to keep his distance, but his new neighbor’s infectious smile and outlook on life leave him struggling with the decision of living the life he knows, or taking a chance on the unexpected.

As Ethan develops a relationship with his new neighbor, Emily, he realizes nothing is simple and learns that life is about more than just surviving… it’s about living.




REVIEW:

I can honestly say that I LOVED this book. Even though it was a novella, it was packed with emotion, romance, sadness, joy, and true love. Throughout the 100 + pages the reader is taken through a journey that lasts 15 years. Even though this seems like a large timeline to fit into such a short story, Evelyn Baldwin does an excellent job with the flow of the book.

From the first few pages, I was gripped with sadness for this wonderful character named Ethan Parker. As I learned his hardships and his drive & determination to make a life for himself, I felt a sense of longing for him to find his HEA. Ethan doesn't have much, but he has worked hard for everything he has and he lives his life as a loner because he doesn't want any complications.

When his new neighbor, Emily, knocks on his door. I felt the immediate connection. Even though this was  not a "fly by night" romance, Ethan and Emily have created a beautiful love story that jumps off the pages. They both grow into such wonderful characters that you can't help but cheer them on as they navigate into a future together with no foundation at all.

This is a novella like no other out there right now. There are no best friends to rely on, no parents for guidance or advice, no novelties of todays' acceptance (cell phones, Flat Screens, DVDs, Laptops, etc). Instead this is just a story about two young adults that overcome terrible tragedies and find each other. I followed their voyage with happy and sad tears in my eyes because I was so proud of these characters. To me this was really a feel good story that I highly recommend.  

I read a lot of books and I have my share of emotions that I expect with a contemporary romance. Evelyn Baldwin hit them all with Vacant !

AUTHOR BIO:
Evelyn R. Baldwin was born in the Midwest and spent her childhood on a horse ranch. As an only child, Evelyn was often forced to entertain herself with the family's horses as companions, and her imagination the only limitation.

After moving to St. Louis to attend college, she earned a degree in Education. During her Master’s program, Evelyn discovered her fascination with behavior and psychology.

Her first professional job experience was as a juvenile counselor, which led her to venture into other human sciences, eventually making a career with Behavior Analysis. While writing is a hobby for Evelyn, she often uses her experiences with human behavior to guide her characters.

She’s written short stories since childhood but only recently began exercising her real writing muscles. While she does not consider herself a professional writer in any sense of the word, she continues to polish her craft and hopes for success in her writing ventures, even if they are just as a hobby.
CONTACT LINKS
Twitter: EvelynRBaldwin
Buy Links:





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Unbroken- Melody Grace

"Mom always told me there are two kinds of love in this world: the steady breeze, and the hurricane. Emerson Ray was my hurricane…"

Juliet McKenzie was an innocent eighteen-year old when she spent the summer in Cedar Cove—and fell head over heels in love with Emerson. Complicated, intense Emerson, the local bad boy. His blue eyes hid dark secrets, and just one touch could set Juliet ablaze. Their love was demanding and all-consuming, but when summer ended, tragedy tore them apart. Juliet swore she’d never go back, and she’s kept that promise… Until now.

Four years later, Juliet’s done her best to rebuild the wreckage of her shattered life. She’s got a great boyfriend, and a steady job planned after she graduates. Returning to Cedar Cove to pack up her family’s beach house to prepare it for sale, Juliet is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her future. But one look from Emerson, and all her old desire comes flooding back. He let her go once, but this time, he’s not giving up without a fight. And Emerson fights dirty.

A heartbreaking history. An unstoppable passion. Torn between her past and future, Juliet struggles to separate love from desire. But will they find a way to overcome their tragic secrets—together? And after so much damage has been done, can a love remain unbroken?


I found this book by accident as I was perusing my favorite blogs this week. Since it looked like a story that is right up my alley, I immediately purchased the book and sent the author a message. I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but I was very pleased with Melody Grace's debut as a New Adult author.

First let me say that Melody Grace has excellent writing style. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the character development. This really was a beautiful story. There was heartbreak from the first page but there was also an incredible love that I couldn't wait to learn more about.

I am not going to break down the plot of this story because I think the book description says it all. But what I will tell you is that there is passion that jumps off the pages that made me think back to my first love and wonder "what if."

Juliet and Emerson are another magnificent book couple that the bloggers will be talking about for a while. This is how I would break down the storyline for those who want to know what to expect:
Angst: B+
Passion: A+++
Steam: A+
Chemistry: A+
Atmosphere: A
Secondary Characters: B+
Alpha Male- A+++

You will not regret buying this book and reading cover to cover. It is short enough to read in one day and still feel fulfilled.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes- It sort of reminds you of a KA line:)

“You’re mine,” he says again fiercely. “Not his, not anyone else’s. You can try and pretend you don’t feel it, but you do. You’ll always be mine.”  Emerson Ray

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CORPORATE AFFAIR EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY

Click On Link Above to Follow our Tour


A smart, sexy entrepreneur. A wealthy, arrogant ladies’ man set on purchasing her company. And a hotbed of chemistry neither one of them anticipated.

Aiden Stewart is just going through the motions of running the family business, a mega communications company snapping up all the competition. His trip to a tiny New England town to negotiate the purchase of ChatDotCom is nothing more than an interruption in his plans for his next female conquest. The last thing he expects is for Chat’s CEO M. Jordan Fitzgerald to be a woman who takes his breath away.

Jordan is focused on business, not romance. She’s got too much at stake, working to protect Chat’s employees, as well as making sure her family is taken care of. Falling in love is not part of the business plan, but resisting the man she really should not want is proving impossible.

When a rival wants to take over Chat too, Jordan struggles to keep her personal life from affecting the business deal. With secrets that could ruin everything, she has to decide if she can balance business with pleasure.



TEASER

"In the end, I can just flat out offer more cash. Money talks. It’s about the only thing that does.
Besides, I plan to maneuver Miss Fitzgerald into a position of, how shall I say, submission.”
Aiden was lifting his glass to his lips and stopped. This was very nearly a threat. It sounded
sinister. Was his imagination running away with him?
“And how do you propose to accomplish that?”
Aiden heard Christopher Fenton give a nasty little laugh. “That is something that’s just going to
have to remain a corporate secret. Suffice it to say, I’ve used it before to fire people, to get
information, to turn the situation for the benefit of Fenton Industries. Works every time.”
Aiden was boiling over with impotent rage. He had to finish his beer and get out of there. What
was that his mother had said? Eavesdroppers always hear unpleasant things. Well, he had heard
some unpleasant things.
To read more how Christopher Fenton will get Jordan to ‘submit’, read CORPORATE AFFAIR by Linda Cunningham.
Find more information on Corporate Affairs at
 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17339732-corporate-affair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Linda has written steadily throughout the years, but usually other people’s papers, speeches, or articles for agricultural trade magazines. Her only published work of fiction was a children’s book, “The Copper Angel of Piper’s Mill”, written in 1988 when her children were still small. Now that the kids are out of the house, Linda is writing fiction again, and this time it’s personal! She writes full time and it’s Romance!
Linda lives in a romantic stone house in the green mountains of Vermont surrounded by her gardens and her animals who include horses, sheep, cats, dogs, chickens, a parakeet and various wildlife visitors who wander in and out at will. When time permits, she also enjoys sketching and painting.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Reckless-S.C. Stephens

Can love survive when life gets Reckless?

When the band hits it big, Kiera and Kellan must ask themselves: Can their love for each other survive the constant pressures of superstardom? The friendships they've formed, the new family they've found, and the history they've forged will all play a part in helping them navigate the turbulent waters of the band's exploding popularity. A greedy executive hell-bent on success, a declining pop star looking for an edge, and a media circus that twists lies into truths are just some of the obstacles the lovers will have to overcome if they are going to remain together. Fame comes with a price-but will it cost Kiera and Kellan everything?







Okay, where should I start? The release of Reckless was probably the most anticipated book of this year so far. Between the snippets, excerpts, interviews,  & endless promotions, Reckless by S.C. Stephens had everyone begging for midnight to hit on 3/4/13. There were even some lucky readers that picked up the book in a secret location and had the chance to read the book before the 3/5/13 release date. Well, I was one of those readers that hit "confirm' at 12:01am on March 5th and read straight through.
I have to say- Well Done Ms. Stephens, Well Done! 

S.C.Stephens brought us a beautiful story that ended one of my favorite trilogies ever. Her ability to continue to showcase Kiera and Kellan's strength's & weaknesses was impeccable. Even though the D-bags were on the road to stardom and Kiera finally had the option to write her novel and be with her love, you could see the insecurities and doubt that continue to plague this young couple.

I fell more in love with Kellan in this book than I ever thought possible. He lived through such a troubled and dark childhood and has so many demons, but you can really feel his ability to love through the pages. The reader really gets to see his love for Kiera, his band, his new family, and his music. He is torn in so many directions trying to follow his dream and remain grounded to his love of writing and performing. And of course, who wouldn't swoon with his dirty talk and bedroom antics? As he is faced with the price of stardom and fame, I think he followed the best path and finally followed his heart.

Keira still has insecurity issues that are blinding but she really pulls through as a strong partner for Kellan. She takes time to divide her personal feelings and find a way to encourage Kellan to follow this dream. Even though she is raked over the coals and must hide her engagement and love for Kellan- she is encouraging and open- minded. Even when she must face the fact that her fiance' is now pictured in another woman's arms and in her bed, Kiera shows tremendous growth.

This is a beautiful love story from start to finish. I know they had to overcome so many obstacles and the angst at times was agonizing, but it was well worth it.  The whole book was well written and completely engrossing. I am so happy yo have a conclusion but I will miss this crazy group that I spent hours enjoying!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Raid- Kristen Ashley

Hanna Boudreaux has lived in the small town of Willow all her life. She’s sweet, cute and quiet.
Hanna has a moment of epiphany when she realizes her crush for forever, Raiden Ulysses Miller, is not ever going to be hers. She sees her life as narrow and decides to do something about it.
Raiden Miller is the town’s local hero. A former Marine with the medal to prove his hero status, he comes home, shrouded in mystery. It takes a while, but eventually Hanna catches his eye.
After all these years of Raid and Hanna living in the same town, the question is why? Is Raid interested in Hanna because she’s sweet and cute? Or does Raid have something else going on?
 
When I saw this early release on Wednesday night, I jumped on B&N and bought it immediately!  Within hours I had devoured this addition to the Unfinished Heroes Series. Once again, WELL DONE KA!  This was a beautiful story about a war hero and town sweetheart searching for something from one another.
 
We know right away that Hanna has watched Raiden for years and is in love with him and waiting to be recognized. One day as she watches him with another woman she realizes she may have been wasting her time on a dream that will never come true. She decides to "shake things up" and makes some changes in her life. She is ready to move forward and enjoy her life and not dwell on her obsession with Raiden.
 
Raiden has returned to Willow as a war hero. There are rumors swirling around town about his experience in the war and the horrors he faced, but Raid keeps his privacy and discusses nothing. As months pass, he finally starts to notice the town sweetheart and he cute disposition. He decides he must get to know her better. But as the story progresses, the reader has to wonder- is he looking for love or is there something else?
This is a really sweet story that covers all elements of Kit's typical work-
Alpha- Male- YES!
Beautiful/Sweet Heroine- YES!
Excellent Secondary Characters- YES!
Steamy, Sexy, Scenes- YES!
Recurring roles with other UH Characters- YES!
Element of Angst- YES!
HEA- YES!
 
It was a fun read that has dominance and darkness and proves that KA can create a story from almost any thought that comes up in her creative mind.
Without giving any thing away, this third installment in this series is very different from Creed. There is really no comparison, but it is very clever how Sylvie and Tucker show up in this story.
I am once again blown away by another KA series that leaves me wanting more..........
 
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Creed - Kristen Ashley

Way too young, eleven year old Tucker Creed and his six year old neighbor, Sylvie Bissenette, find they have something awful in common. Creed then decides he’s going to do everything in his limited power to shield his Sylvie from her ordeal. So he does and Creed and Sylvie form a bond that grows and blossoms with their ages.
They plot to leave their lives behind, the town they live in that will hold them down and the histories they share that, unless they break free, will bury them. Sylvie goes to their special place, Creed never shows and she doesn’t see him again until it’s too late.
With Creed gone, Sylvie is forced to endure a nightmare and do the unspeakable to end it. To deal, she develops a hard shell with sharp edges that very few can break through. So when Creed again finds his Sylvie, he discovers the girl he loved is locked away and he has to find his way back into her heart without getting shredded in the process.


Wow!  All I can say is wow!  Even though I waited way too long to pick up this book, I can honestly say that it is a KA beauty. I was so afraid of the darkness and depth that I let this slip through my fingers for 5 months. My Mistake! 
Let me just say Creed is much different that any other KA book that I have read- and I have read almost all of them. She introduces us to a darker and more complex relationship that has been in any other book. The only ones I can think to compare are "For You" & "Golden Trail". All three of these books see true love torn apart or separated for years and the desire to find it's way back.
This is a story of two young people setting up to leave their abusive and stormy lives and run off to find their own brand of happiness. Their love and devotion is so solid that they know that just being together will be enough for them to endure the hardships they come across. Then on the day of their departure, Creed never shows up and leave Sylvie alone and unsure of everything.

Through the years, Sylvie is forced into an abusive marriage and never hears from Creed again so she takes matters in her own hands and builds a fortress of armor around her heart and feelings. Once she has freed herself and moved on, she continues to live her life as if she will never be effected with emotions again.

When Tucker Creed is asked to work on a special case with a new client he immediately knows that Sylvie will be back in his life. What he didn't expect is all these years and the pain she endured has formed a hardened shell of what he once knew as  "his Sylvie".
This journey is sad, emotional, steamy, raw, and extremely satisfying. Even though I am left with a few unanswered questions, I can honestly say that Tucker Creed is probably one of KA's most enduring characters. She allows his emotions to be forefront of the reconciliation.
I am very glad that I read this book and I am excited for the series to continue.

Creed was written with such depth and passion that my heart broke for the characters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

True Love Story- Willow Aster

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn't so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.








Oh Willow Aster, you have just made the jump to my FAVORITES list!!! True Love Story is a truly beautiful story that captured my heart for the entire read. I will admit, I had some ups & downs, but nothing could have prepared me for the journey I took with Sparrow & Ian in this incredible debut novel.

Let me start by saying that this book brought out so many emotions in me that I had to take a step back and wonder if I was actually a character in middle of this love affair.Let me rephrase that- I WANTED to be a character in this love affair. From the very beginning Sparrow felt like my BFF. I wanted to laugh with her, cry with her, shake some sense into her, and then cradle her from my own heartbreak. As a woman who has had my heart broken more than once, I felt every single emotional tear throughout Sparrow and Ian's relationship.
There was so much to this story that was beautiful. Sparrow's innocence and unconditional devotion to Ian was crushing. Ian's dark and brooding attitude and his eventual revelation of love was exceptional. I was so proud of him when he finally stepped up to the plate and became the man I saw in his character. Even though there was definite foreshadowing throughout the book that made me uneasy, I wanted to believe in the power of this love. Then BOOM!

****Spoiler Alert****
WHY oh WHY oh WHY??? Ian you have broken my heart. I am laid bare to the hurt and angst you have caused with your personal insecurities and selfishness. Poor Sparrow ( see I really did feel like her BFF). She is such an open, positive, and caring person, how could you throw all this away for your personal pleasure?
I must say, once the deception is revealed is where I think Willow's talent started to shine brighter. I was completely enveloped in the emotional turmoil and pain going through both Ian and Sparrow. Even though Ian  may not have deserved to be given a second chance, I found myself wanting to comfort him. As the story continued to play out, I was unsure how I wanted it to end. But I will say that I am very pleased with the HEA.

I only have two issues with the ending of this book. I felt it was too sudden. After the 5 year journey waiting for a beautiful resolution, I think we deserved more that 4 pages of happiness. I would like to see more of the next steps for Ian and Sparrow. Also, can someone please bitch slap Laila? Why didn't we get any revenge on this cheating, spiteful woman?

With all that said- this is a wonderful book that I will recommend to anyone looking for a beautiful love story. Well Done Willow!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hustle Me- Jennifer Foor

John (Jammer) Thomas is not one of the good guys your parents want you to end up with. He's been on his own since he was seventeen, traveling from city to city, making enough money to survive by doing the only thing he's ever been good at.
Playing pool.
He's covered in tattoo's and has a mouth that would make a grandmother cry.
He doesn't do relationships.
He doesn't care about anyone besides himself.
He's a drifter.
A Hustler.
At first look, she's just a pretty little thing behind the bar, but Charlene (Charlie) is so much more.
After her parents died in a fire she was put into the foster care system. Thanks to her good grades and hard work, she earned herself a scholarship.
Feeling like she was finally going to make something for herself, she finds out she has inherited a bar and a kid brother, from a father she never even knew.
While she tries to manage her new life, people from her father's past come to collect old debts and threaten everything Charlie has left.
Can she really trust Jammer, or is he just helping her for what it pays out?
This was my first book by Author Jennifer Foor and I am glad I picked it up. With all the series currently out there, it was refreshing to finally get an ending that didn't leave me hanging. Jennifer Foor does a great job with character development and I felt like I truly knew Jammer and Charlie throughout the book.
 
Let's start with Charlie- what a heartbreak. After losing her parents, surviving the foster care system, and finally making a break for a new life, her world crashes around her. Even though she has been beat down, she makes the decision to raise her brother and give him the best life she possibly can. She does not want to see him go through the same childhood she did in the foster system. She knows nothing about the man who was her father and how to run a bar, but she is trying her best. Due to her  father's past business decisions, she is about to lose the bar and her home with nowhere to go and no other options.
Here comes Jammer!
Initially it would seem that Jammer is your typical arrogant asshole just trying to sleep his way from town to town while hustling at the pool tables. But when he makes a detour to reconnect with an old friend and mentor, he finds himself in a predicament. His old friend has died and left his daughter and son in a dangerous situation that Jammer is in the center of. Without knowing it Jammer is 100% invested with the bar, the debts, and Charlie. He has the power to change Charlie's situation from the very first encounter, but he decides to remain anonymous  and find out why he is involved in the first place. He finds himself wanting to stick around to protect Charlie and her brother
 
When Charlie and Jammer meet the hostility jumps off the pages. She is a total bitch to him but he keeps coming back for more. He is determined to knock down her defenses and get her to trust and open up to him. It only takes a short time, but once the chemistry is set to action- it is HOT!  I wanted these two to have a HEA because I knew their lives had enough suffering for a lifetime. They were awesome together and you could actually feel their love grow through the pages. It was a relief to see Jammer drop his playboy ways and find a true love with Charlie.
 
This book was hot and steamy with just the right amount of angst. It is more than a romance novel because when the plot line starts to unravel there is so much more to this story. I really enjoyed it and want to thank Jennifer Foor for giving me a satisfying ending without having to wait months for the conclusion. I know there  is room to continue this story, but there was resolution for the reader at the end.
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Forever Black- Sandi Lynn

When Ellery moved to New York with her boyfriend, she thought they’d live happily ever after in their small New York apartment. She never thought he’d pack his bags and leave because he “needed space.” With her newfound single status and fear of being alone, Ellery buries herself in her artwork and paintings until one night she helps a mysterious intoxicated stranger get home safely. Little did she know the mysterious stranger is none other than CEO and millionaire Connor Black. After finding Ellery in his kitchen the next morning and assuming she broke his #1 rule about sleepovers, he becomes intrigued, not only by her stubbornness and defiance, but by her kindness.

Connor Black, emotionally dead and damaged, that stemmed from a personal tragedy, made a vow to never love or fall in love with a woman, until Ellery Lane walked into his life by accident. After she opens up and shows him her world, Connor starts to feel emotions and feelings he never knew existed. Despite the rumors and warnings regarding Connor Black and his use and misuse of women, Ellery finds herself being drawn into his world.

Ellery knows they can never be together because she is harboring a deep secret that could destroy Connor emotionally forever.

Join Connor and Ellery as they embark on a journey of courage, love and strength. Will it be enough to save them?


Let me catch my breath here...... Okay, I think I am composed. I have just read one of my favorite books for 2013. I did not want this book to end. I wanted to revel in the story of Connor and Ellery for at least 100 more pages. I only have a few complaints and they are pretty insignificant compared to the magical story that unfolded from "Forever Black."
This story starts off with Ellery's boyfriend walking out on her and citing "irreconcilable differences" and leaving her to wallow in self- doubt and misery. She throws herself into her art and her job in order to get on with her life. Then, with the decision to go go one night with her best friend, her whole life changes FOREVER!
Connor Black is a very private man hiding a deep rooted guilt that has led him to a life of no relationships. He is a self-admitting playboy that uses women for sex with no room for anything else. Lucky for him, when he gets blistery drunk one night in a bar there is an angel to take care of him. And because of this chance meeting, his life too is changed FOREVER!

So begins the journey of Connor and Ellery and the bumpy road that gives readers laughter, tears, angst, pity, sadness, and understanding. Connor and Ellery are two completely opposite soles that mesh perfectly when thrown together. She is kind, gentle, loving, free-spirited, open minded, and determined to take chances and live an open life. He is rigid, focused, close minded, domineering, and used to getting his way.
They both hold secrets that  make them the way they are. The only problem is that Ellery's secret is in the present and Conner's secret is 12 years in the past.  

The great thing about Sandi Lynn's writing style is this book is that we didn't have to wait until the 50% mark for the secrets to be revealed. We learn the truth and this is what drives the rest of the book. As the reader I was able to feel all the emotions that both characters displayed as they found the way to each other.

**Spoiler Alert**
 One reason I loved this book so much is the way Sandi was able to write in the emotional issues facing cancer patients and the ones who love them. This is a very hard subject to address because of the nature of the disease. In this book, you see the strain on both Ellery & Connor and the love it takes to move forward. Connor was truly a force and his love came flying off the pages. You can only hope for the HEA that they both deserve.

Okay with all the praise, here are my complaints. I felt that the ending was rushed. Even though there was a brief Epilogue, I think their journey and love deserved  to play out for a few more chapters. For example, how do all Connor's past lovers handle his new status?  How did Ellery find out she was in Remission? Tell me about the wedding??? Maybe there is a continuation in the works for this wonderful romance.
  Sandi Lynn has a wonderful debut novel that has made me a fan for life!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ruining You - Nicole Reed

I want to start  this post by Thanking Nicole Reed for this EXCELLENT sequel to Ruining Me!!!! If you read my post on 10/21/12, you will see that I was floored with the ending of RM. I literally sat up at night wondering when I would get closure on such an emotional and riveting ending. I begged for the sequel just to calm my nerves.  Well, It was worth the wait. Ruining you will be one of my top books for 2013.

Ruining You brings you immediately to your knees during the first chapter. JJ has lived through her own hell and she is still not sure she should have survived with so much loss around her. In the first few chapters, she takes on the emotional roller coaster of her therapy, her relationship with her parents, her guilt and love that lingers, her pent up emotions regarding Kane, and the anger she regards.

Nicole Reed introduces a new character in RY  whom is pivotal to JJ's acceptance and willingness to move forward with life.  When JJ meets Eli in therapy, her inner bitch comes out. But over time, these two become so close and he is a glue that helps her move on. I loved Eli and I am so glad he was in this story.

Throughout the book, we are reacquainted with all the friends from RM. We see Rhye (yeah), Kane (yummy), Molly, Reed, and Cal. We also get a bigger presence from JJ's parents. Did I mention KANE????? Once again, there is a book boyfriend that makes you wonder if there are real men out of fictitious characters that can be this awesome. Even though the reader has to suffer through angst with the Kane/JJ/Rhye triangle. It is well worth the wait.

The only complaint I have is the ending. I felt like there could be a longer epilogue with details. But there is now room for a book three if Nicole would like to give us more (hint, hint, hint).


Love Unexpected - Anne Leigh

Synopsis:

There are times, when you least expect it, where fate hands you the one person you cannot live without.

Sedona Mackenzie had her life perfectly planned; down to the coffee that she drank, the curfew that she lived by, and formulas that she solved to release stress. She had everything figured out, in a neat, little timeline. Then, fate chose to intervene in the form of a chance meeting with a guy who stirs unknown emotions inside her, leaving her reeling and wanting for more.

Zander Zebowski is not your typical college jock. For one, he's a good guy. Second, he's pretty smart. And, he's level-headed. The farthest thing on his mind was smacking into a woman who may just be his undoing.

This is not your typical bad boy meets good girl love story. This is a story between two people who are great on their own. But, with each other, they are absolutely perfect.



I must say, I wasn't sure what to expect with this book or this author. I was aware this was more NA than YA, and I was looking for a read that didn't have me waiting for  more in the end. When I read other reviews about Love Unexpected, it became clear that it may have a jaw- dropping ending. I was curious so I went ahead and bought the book.Well, I was pleasantly surprised. Anne Leigh is a great story teller with a good imagination for her characters.

Once again, you are introduced to a female lead with a male best friend that is perfect! Sedona has her life planned out with little room for disruption or a highly unexpected relationship. She is not your typical college senior because she has mapped out her life to the nth degree and really has closed herself off from everyone but her 3 best friends and her father. Then comes........ Zander.
****SWOON***
Zander is the school quarterback, rich, almost famous, gorgeous, thoughtful, smart, goal driven, and totally enamoured with Sedona. He is persistent to a degree and it is HOT! Even though Sedona gives him many reasons to give up on their relationship throughout the book, he sticks to his plans to win her over. Even when he is betrayed and left alone, he finds a way to understand her reasoning and lights up the pages.

I can't review this book without mentioning the perfect best friend. I love Keiran!  He is the one person that I watched the whole book to see if there was going to be any kind of love triangle. He is such a great character and I felt his presence was essential to the love story blooming. With that being said- there is a revelation that rocked me to my core. I just want to jump into the pages of this book and make him love me!

So yes, I liked this book and I am glad I picked it up. Even though I had to remind myself many time that it was fiction (football season does not last the entire school year and there is no NFA), I wasn't disappointed.
Oh yeah- even though you get a solid ending, there is a lot of room for a sequel or spin off with theses characters.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beautiful Bastard- Christina Lauren


Wow!  After all the reviews I read regarding BB, I am not sure I even read the same book. I really liked this book!  I think that Christina & Lauren did a nice job. This is not FSOG or BTY, but there are some similarities. I think it is a stand alone book that does a good job at giving the reader insight into two very strong characters.

Chloe and Bennett are two very head-strong characters that love perfection and expect performance in both their roles. Even though Bennett is a raging asshole, I seemed to love him by the end of the book. The reader discovers that he has a human vulnerability and her name is Chloe Mills! 
Chloe is great!  She can dish it as well as she takes it. Her determination to get her MBA and prove her worth is awesome!  She is loved by her friends and co-workers and this shows all throughout the book.

There is a shift about 3/4 of the way through the book that turns from the annoying banter and hate and leads to a more functional relationship. This is where I realized I was enjoying this read.
Overall, I do recommend Beautiful Bastard as a 3.5-4.0 star rating.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY- THE WAY BACK TO ME K.L Conlon & T.D Waesch




Lexi Reynolds is facing a game changer. Three years ago, under the insistence of her husband, she walked away from a promising career as a special education specialist with her eyes set on becoming an administrator so that she could be a stay-at-home wife and mother. Now with the demise of her marriage along with her self-esteem and heart, Lexi must face the task of building a new life.

Layla Karsten is not one to sit idly on the side lines. Seeing the crushed spirit of her sister, Lexi, she is bound and determined to push her sister back in life....even if it means tapping into Lexi's inner slut to do it.

Intended for ages 18 and over. Mature content and language.

These are a few things that rang through my head while reading this book:

Wow!
I think I just peed in my pants.
Did that just happen?
Did she really say that?
Did he really say that?
Why doesn't someone slap him? ( and there are several hims)
Don't be a douche- please.  Too Late

Okay- ready to tell you about this book. I loved this book there are only a few minor complaints, but they will come later.

In the very beginning of this book you are introduced to a 30-something divorcee  (Lexi)who  has lost all self confidence and personal drive. She has been cheated on  by her husband- who by the way had an affair with his personal trainer-and she has no career because she gave it up to be a mother and wife. You instantly learn that her sister is not going to let this go on because she has formed her own form of "rehabilitate Lexi" plan. This is where it gets GOOD!!
There were parts of this book that had me laughing out loud with tears in my eyes. (Anyone want to go jogging with Lexi & Layla?) Then there was raw emotion of finding yourself in a situation where Lexi has to accept that her perfect planned life has changed and never will be the same.
Layla is such a main character- I don't even consider her secondary. She is righteous! We are introduced to 2 very sexy men that help lead Lexi on this path of discovery and understanding about her internal make-up and what she needs to be happy now. Both Patrick and Sebastian- albeit assholes- have an intricate part of helping Lexi.  They both introduce her to side of herself she never knew existed. I will tell you now, I hated both men in this book in many ways. I don't like "loose ends" and "controlling values" but they rocked it!  In the end it is almost like a flip-flop of which guy you are pulling for.
Throughout her journey to discover what changes are in store for her  and you root for her to come out on top because she is JUST THAT AWESOME!

Okay, now here is what I have a problem with- I felt like the end just hit-BAM!!!! I needed a little more from the confessions. And I needed clarification on Benjamin's feelings for Gracie. She's a twit! 
I needed to know where Lexi's head is at and what Patrick and Sebastian are thinking.
I am a girl that wants closure...... I understand we can expect a second book this spring. So please hurry up!

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

Release Date: November 18 2012

Series / Stand Alone: Series (Book #2 to be released early March 2013)

Genre: Erotic and Contemporary Romance

Add it on Goodreads:


http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16207944-the-way-back-to-me
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



I am a stay-at-home mom for the second year in a row. My three young children keep me on my toes as well as our crazy dog and hamster. Thank goodness I have such a loving and supportive husband!!

Writing has been my secret goal that I put on my bucket list of things to do before I hit 40. As my loving sister pointed out to me last summer, I turn 40 in a few short months. There are definitely things that were on the bucket list that I had to just remove. For instance, I will never be a size 6 again. I removed it from my list by tearing it off and shredding it.

However, writing was one that I just couldn't bring myself to erase from the list. Knowing this about me, my sister pushed and prodded me to just start writing something...she strongly suggested something with adult content.

So caving to her pressure, I started to write The Way Back To Me. I gradually pulled her into the writing process as she had spent an enormous amount of time reading "mommy porn" and together we completed The Way Back To Me in November 2012. We have already started a sequel that should be ready to go by the end of February 2013.

I am also in the beginning process of another romance novel that I hope to complete by the summer of 2013.


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