Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review!! Afraid to Fly (Fearless #2) by S.L. Jennings

Afraid to Fly (Fearless #2)
by S.L. Jennings
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance
Published on: 5/26/15

I’d like to tell you that I’m ok.

That the meaningless sex with countless women has somehow numbed the pain. That it’s deciphered the constant confusion in my head. Eased the self-hatred that sinks into my gut every time I look in the mirror.

I’d like to tell you that time heals all wounds.

That we evolve and grow into well-adjusted, stable adults, set on a path to right the world’s wrongs. That we are not our past…we are not our pain.

I want to tell you all those things. Hell, I want to believe all those things. But I’d be lying. I’m good at that. Living a lie is the only way I truly know how to survive.

But the day I saw her, I stopped surviving. I stopped existing. And for the first time in 24 years, I started living.

She brought me back to life. Set me free and sent my soul soaring. Made this useless shell of a man feel like…something. Something whole and real and good.

She saved me.

Although she believes I wasn’t even worth saving.



My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!


S.L. Jennings does it again. Seriously. If you've read anything by her you know that this woman knows exactly where the strings of your heart exist and knows exactly how to tug on them for maximum effect. I LOVED Fear of Falling. It was one of my top 5 reads of 2013 when it came out. And while reading Kami's story, as invested as I was with her and Blaine (and I was VERY invested) I gave a little piece of my heart away to Dom really really hoped that he would get his own story. 

Oh quick side note- Although this is Dom's story it also keeps you fully in the loop with Kami and Blaine's happy ending. It serves as a background to what is going on in Dom's life. And with how intertwined he, Kami and Angel are it's really no surprise. 

Back to my current obsession.

Dominic Trevino is a beautiful, caring, confused, broken man. Taken advantage of at a young age by a man who was supposed to love and care for him, his concept of what love is supposed to be was intensely and irrevocably altered. When it goes into detail about what exactly his uncle did to him, my heart shatters. Dom is such a strong friend to both Kami and Angel and to read what was done to him it strikes a chord with me. He's been their rock, so to see the anguish and struggle he deals with on a daily basis guts you. But he goes through the motions the only way he knows how, usually with a lot of meaningless sex with a lot of meaningless women. Most of which he picked up at the local strip club. 

Enter Raven West. Literally. He first sees Raven waitressing at said strip club and makes quite the impression. That impression being intense and immediate hate on sight. She despises him and it only took her mere moments. And then enter Raven again. This time through the doors of his child mentoring job. With a young boy with selective mute-ism. Oh and have I mentioned she has a little secret she's keeping about our Dom? 

This story takes you through Dom and Raven's emotional roller coaster. Mostly Dom's. He has so many issues with rejection and fear and love that he needs to work through and it seems as though Raven is just who and what he needs. She unintentionally hurts him on more than one occasion (which upsets me. Fictional character or not, I am very protective of him) but it only helps him to discover how to become the man he is meant to be. He needs the hurt to learn and grow and come out of hiding so to speak. He needed to face his demons head on to know that he is strong enough to conquer them. To know that he is not the broken young boy his uncle created.

As cliched as this will sound, I laughed, I cried, I public ugly cried and then I immediately emailed S.L. Jennings thanking her for taking me on these character's journeys. It is that wonderful of a story.

Grab it up on AMAZON NOW!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review! Compulsive (Liar #1) by Lia Fairchild

Compulsive (Liar #1)
by Lia Fairchild
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published on: 5/12/15

Lies hurt.
Lies destroy.

But some lies protect…and heal. At least that’s what Gray Donovan had hoped for. She’s a compulsive liar using it as a defense mechanism to survive life and her shattered past.

When she starts seeing therapist Daniel Harrison, she can no longer deny the truths that have haunted her for so many years. She must now stand and face them.

Opening up to Daniel leaves her exposed and vulnerable. When her soul is bared to him, she can’t contain the attraction or the feelings he elicits.

Daniel feels drawn to his new patient, but knows he will have to fight it in order to resurrect Gray from her demons. His will and his judgment are tested when he must overcome his own doubts and face his own secrets.


My Rating: 4.5 Coffee Cups!!!

I was a little bit skeptical of this book at first. When a love story arises from a therapist-patient pairing it could easily go epically wrong. And for other books that have used this catalyst it has. It’s an intimate relationship and when the characters seem to have no issues about blurring the lines it makes it unrealistic, forced and makes me shake my head with an ugly faced grimace. But enough about what could go wrong, let’s focus on the fact that Lia Fairchild did ABSOLUTELY NONE of this. This was beautifully done. The story was in-depth, believable and heart-wrenching.

Gray Donovan is, simply put, a liar. She can’t seem to help herself. She has been this way for as long as she can remember. She uses lying, sex and alcohol to cope with her demons. In a seamless way Ms. Fairchild brings you back and forth from the present to the past. Her demons unfold right before you as you see exactly what causes her to become the flawed woman she is. She’s been to therapists before to try and help “fix” her, but she can never fully commit or connect. She may want to change, but she doesn't feel she needs to.

Enter Dr. Daniel Harrison. In a chance encounter Daniel sees the woman that Gray can be and wants to help her become that woman. He puts his immediate attraction for her aside and tries to become the person she can lean on. The person she can be honest with, even when she is not being honest to herself. He, simply put, tries to become her friend instead of just her doctor. He falls for Gray, but knows that she does not need him to be her boyfriend or her lover right now. She needs him for more than that.

The angst is definitely present in this story. Gray doesn't deny the feelings that grow for Daniel. She knows that his support is pushing her to be the person she needs to be, but he is steadfast in his earnestness to keep it platonic. Yes, there are slips but when the chemistry is there like it is for these characters, it’s pretty much expected. 

This is a love story, absolutely. But it is so much more than a romance. It is a love story between Gray and herself. It is a love story about family. Love between Gray and her friends who are essentially her family (Nathan, a friend she met in AA and Alyssa the 15 year old neighbor are the closest things to family she has in her life and their interactions are perfect). And love between Daniel and his young niece. 

Be forewarned, it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger but even if that wasn't the case you would be dying to get your hands on the next one.

Buy it on AMAZON now!


Exclusive Excerpt: 

The ridges on the stark white ceiling blurred from my intense stare as I listened to the steady even breaths coming from the body next to me. He wasn’t a bad guy. Just an idiot. Maybe even married for all I knew. The clock read four twenty-three. That wouldn't work for me. I waited for a nice round even number. Something that felt right. I held my phone with the message typed out: I need you. I keyed in the address, and when the clock hit four thirty, I hit Send.

At ten before five AM, I eased my body out of the bed the way a mother slips from her sleeping child, hoping not to rouse her angel. He stirred a moment and turned on his side, his arm involuntarily reaching for me.

“Sky,” he murmured with his eyes closed. His dark buzz cut hair was sprinkled with gray flecks, and a small rectangular scar bordered the hairline on the right side of his face. I hadn’t noticed that the night before, or I would have asked him. Now my curiosity had me pausing, conjuring up various scenarios for its origin. Whatever the cause would forever remain a mystery. With a gentle hold around his wrist, I lifted his hand and rested it on the comforter. His eyes flitted open and closed. Frozen, I waited to see if he’d wake. I didn’t worry about coming up with a story. It always came.

Still sitting on the edge of the bed, I reached over to an adjacent chair to snag my black silk shirt. When I pulled it over my head and then glanced down, two light blue eyes met mine.

“Hey, you,” he whispered. His soft, sweet smile almost made a dent, but I pulled my hand away.

“I’ve got to run.”

Surprise and confusion colored his face. “What time is it?”

“Around five. I’ve got early rounds.”

He seemed satisfied with my excuse and looked thoughtful. “Ah, yes, Dr. Phillips. Time to save lives.”

I gave him a nod and a tight smile just before a knock at the door sounded. I rose from the bed to pull on my skirt and slip my feet into my heels.

He sat up watching me closely like a cat that’d dart out of an open door. “Who could that be at this time?” he said.

“My ride,” I threw over my shoulder. I scooped up my purse from the dresser on the way out, catching his face in the mirror. They always had that same look the next day. Or perhaps I was the one who saw things differently.

I heard him jump out of bed and scramble for his pants as I made my way to the living room, picking up my pace. “Sky, wait.”

When I reached the door, he came in and leaned against the couch, folding his arms. “I could have driven you home.”

“It’s okay,” I said, pulling the door open.

Nathan stood in the doorway, hands stretched out to the jams on each side, his brown hair ragged from being dragged from the comfort of his bed. He shot me that look that said, you owe me and then let one hand fall and sweep to the side as if making a path for royalty.

“Wait,” a voice came from behind me. “Who’s this guy?”

Nathan took a step into the doorway. “Oh, hey, man.”

“John, this is my cousin, Nathan,” I said.

Unfortunately, Nathan had spoken at the same time I did and said, “I’m her neighbor.”

John walked over to the two of us, eyes darting between me and my partner in crime. “Well, which is it?”

Nathan and I exchanged looks, and I opened my mouth to speak.

John held up his hand. “No. Let me guess,” he said in a sarcastic tone. “He’s your cousin who lives next door.”

I half-shrugged while looking him dead in the eye. “I really should get going.” A split second later, I plastered on a smile. “I’ll call you.”

“You haven’t given me much choice,” he said to my back as I sidled past Nathan. “I don’t even have your number.”

I’d be willing to bet John wouldn’t be holding his breath.



Book Spotlight! Lead me Not (Twisted Love # 1) by A. Meredith Walters









In this dangerously sexy novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Find You in the Dark, a straight-laced college student meets a handsome but enigmatic stranger who lures her into an underground club scene, where she finds it difficult to resist temptation 

Aubrey Duncan understands loss. She knows what rock bottom looks like, and she is determined to crawl back up to the top after the sudden death of her younger sister. She blames herself for her part in the tragedy, convinced that she could have done something, anything, to help her.

In her effort to gain redemption, Aubrey starts fresh at Longwood University and facilitates an addiction support group, hoping she can support someone else in the way she failed her sister. But what she doesn’t count on is an all-consuming fascination with group member Maxx Demelo, a gorgeous, blond, blue-eyed enigma who hides dark secrets behind a carefully constructed mask. He only reveals what he wants others to see. But Aubrey glimpses another Maxx hidden below the surface—a Maxx who is drowning in his own personal hell.

As Aubrey and Maxx develop an attraction too intense to ignore, he pulls her into the dark underbelly of the city club scene, where she is torn by her desire to save him and an inexplicable urge to join him in his downward spiral. Worst of all, she is beginning to love everything she should run away from—a man who threatens to ignite in her a fire that could burn her alive…


  AMAZON   B&N    iTUNES


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Chaos & Moonlight (Order of the Nines #1) by A.D. Marrow

Chaos and Moonlight (Order of the Nines
#1)
by A.D. Marrow
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Date of Publication: May 6th, 2015


The Nines, an elite group of vampires, was established to stand as protection for their race. Fractured by centuries of betrayal and loss, the group is now little more than myth, its remaining members scarred and shattered.

Taris, the oldest living vampire, is no stranger to loss and heartbreak. He is all that holds the Nines together as they struggle to save themselves from total extinction.

Enter the beautiful and brilliant Dr. Sarah Bridgeman, whose medical research has resulted in a breakthrough for both humans and vampires. Her work may be the salvation this weary band of guardians has been looking for.

Taris needs to reach Sarah and enlist her help—before those aligned against him can act. Can a vampire king convince a stunning young scientist to save a species that isn’t even supposed to exist?

For now, only one thing is certain: no science can explain the explosive chemistry between them.

Chaos and Moonlight is the first installment in the Order of the Nines series, and is A. D. Marrow’s debut novel.


My Rating: 3.5 Coffee Cups!!

Let me start by saying I did, in fact, enjoy this book despite the lower ratings. I’ll explain my reasoning in a bit. I had been on such a New Adult/Romance kick that when I saw the blurb of this book I decided that I needed to get back to my roots and read what I’ve always loved. Paranormal. Yeah I couldn’t go too far off the romance pack, but I’m a girl what do you expect. This book helped to give me a quick hit. Chaos and Moonlight in its heart is more sci-fi than paranormal IMO. It has the bad-ass, old and cranky vampires but these paranormal beings are looking for a scientific cure to a pretty imminent problem within their race- their inability to produce children. The vampire race is close to becoming extinct. They cannot have children or create new vampires, something in their blood is preventing them from doing so.

Taris, the oldest living vampire, and his sister Kalin have been in search of a cure for years. They hit the lowest of low points when their adopted human daughter experiments on herself to a tragic end. Just when they begin to feel all hope is lost they catch a disastrous talk show interview. The brilliant Dr. Sarah Bridgeman essentially blows up on a pretty obnoxious talk show host. But that’s not what catches Taris’s attention. Besides the fact that he finds her utterly captivating is the fact that she is on the show to talk about a serum to aid in organ donations. A serum that could very well be their salvation. As Sarah and Taris work together you meet baddies, dip a bit into the backstory of the other Nines and watch another love story bloom. Oh by the way, the Order of the Nines are a closely held secret. An elite guard that protects the Vampire race from any threats that may come their way.

So, the reasoning for my 3.5 on the coffee cup meter. There were quite a few unfinished thoughts. Thoughts such as why is Bane (the baddie) actually bad? I’m suspecting (and hoping) that this is just A.D. Marrow’s way of kick starting this series. Which I am definitely interested to follow. Although I liked Taris and Sarah, they actually were not who kept me hooked. It was the other Nines. Judah, Zillah, Rhiannon and most especially Achan that had me reading more and more.

Happy Release Day to this AWESOME BOX SET- Love, Laughter and Steamy Ever Afters!

It’s release day for Love Laughter and Steamy Ever Afters!! I am so excited about this sexy boxy set from ten bestselling authors. Check out all the fantastic release day goodies, including several excerpts and a giveaway, now!!


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Ten Novels by Ten New York Times Bestselling Authors From the hot big city heroes that make us melt, to the sassy small town heroines that make us smile, this limited edition collection has something for everyone. Ten sexy and sweet full-length novels—a wide mix of fun, heart-tugging, addictively romantic love stories—each handpicked by an all-star gathering of ten of today’s most popular contemporary romance authors. -- 

Ten NYT Bestselling Authors -- Ten full-length, standalone novels (no cliffhangers) spanning 2,000+ pages -- Over 97% off retail for the individual books sold separately (a forty dollar savings!) -- Only available until June (So snag your copy today) 

THIS BOXED SET INCLUDES: BELLA ANDRE – Can’t Help Falling in Love (The Sullivans) MELISSA FOSTER – Seaside Dreams (Seaside Summers) LAUREN BLAKELY – Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love) VIOLET DUKE – Love, Tussles, and Takedowns (Cactus Creek) SAWYER BENNETT – On the Rocks (The Last Call) CARLY PHILLIPS – Dare to Desire (Dare to Love) ERIN NICHOLAS – Out of Bounds (Boys of Fall) MELANIE SHAWN – Actually Love (Crossroads) JESSIE EVANS – Diamonds and Dust (Lonesome Point Texas) CRISTA MCHUGH – Falling for the Wingman (The Kelly Brothers) 

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 

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Exclusive Excerpts: 

 CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE by Bella Andre   

 Gabe Sullivan’s captain, Todd, stepped into the room. “How’re you feeling, Gabe?” “Good, Captain.” He moved to sit up straighter on the bed and Todd shook his head. “You’re fine just like that. I know your skull must hurt like hell.” He nodded back to the doorway. “Are you ready to see Ms. Harris and her daughter, Summer?” No, he thought, he’d be better off never seeing those eyes again. He’d thought about Megan and her daughter one too many times for comfort. Not just because he was reviewing the rescue, trying to look for what he could have done differently, to have gotten them out faster and more safely—but because he hadn’t been able to forget her strength, how hard she’d fought to stay conscious, and what a fighter she’d been every single second of the harrowing journey from her burning apartment. Still, he understood that fire victims often felt compelled to say thank you to the men who had saved them. Especially in a case like this, where they’d just barely held death at bay. “Sure.” He began to nod, but a sharp shooting pain stopped him halfway into the movement. Catching his grimace, Todd said, “I’ll ask Megan and her daughter to come back later.” Her name fit her, Gabe had found himself thinking one too many times. Megan was pretty and strong all at the same time. It would be better to think of her as Ms. Harris. Although, he had to wonder, was there a husband? And if so, where had he been during the fire and why wasn’t he here with them now? “No,” he said, “it’ll be better if I see them now.” She’d say thank you, he’d tell her he was happy to see her and her daughter doing so well, and that would be that. No more being haunted by her eyes, by the surprising strength she’d shown him as she’d crawled on the floor of her apartment and down the stairs. A couple of minutes later, Todd walked back in with the mother and daughter. Ignoring the pain in his head, Gabe sat up higher and forced a smile on his face. And then, his eyes locked with Megan’s and his smile froze in place. My God, he found himself thinking before he could shove the thought away, she’s beautiful. The last time he’d seen her face it had been through a thick haze of dark smoke and the knowledge that one wrong move meant their lives were over. Her eyes were just as big and pretty, her limbs looked as lean and strong as they had when he’d been helping to move her along the floor, but now he could see the softness in her, the sweet curves of her breasts and hips in her T-shirt and jeans. He couldn’t stop staring at the startling green of her eyes, the silky dark hair falling across her shoulders, and the way her pretty young daughter was a carbon copy of her, the only difference their hair color, one dark, one light. She seemed just as stunned as he and for a long moment, the two of them just stared at each other in silence until her daughter ran over to him and threw her arms around him.


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  LOVE, TUSSLES, AND TAKEDOWNS by Violet Duke
    
 She felt his eyes on her before she saw him. Her body recognized the intensity of that stare as if it were hardwired to her directly. The guys were all but forgotten now. Hell, the whole room faded away like white noise as she watched Hudson climb into the ring. Lia enjoyed watching him move. There was nothing hurried about his motions; he always seemed relaxed and confident, efficient and ready. He wasn’t intimidating in that built-like-a-fridge way her friends who’d played football in college were. Rather, he was leaner. But infinitely harder. More etched out of wood than molded out of clay. As such, running into his chest was literally like running into a wall. A hard, sexy wall lined with bricks. “You’re killing me.” His voice simmered, soft and low, with a lazy smile curving his lips to show his words were more compliment than complaint. It took just one glance at the throbbing pulse in the muscular column of his neck for Lia to know he wasn’t nearly as unaffected as he sounded. Then all analysis of the man scattered when he went and peeled his shirt up over his head, sending those granite-etched muscles of his back rippling and expanding. His eyes tangled with hers as he toed off his shoes and immediately, Lia felt a surge of adrenaline override any female reaction she’d normally have to the sight. Because the man was doing something so much better than flirting. He was inviting her to play. No gloves. No strike pads. With a slow grin, she snagged her teeth around the Velcro bindings on her MMA gloves and started stripping off the boxing tape underneath as well. This was exactly the kind of sparring she’d been craving for weeks now.  

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