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Thursday, October 27, 2016

ARC Review: Candy Cane Christmas by Laura Trentham

Candy Cane Christmas is a short Christmas novella that takes place a few years after the events of the previous three Cottonbloom books. This is about Kayla and Jeremy we’ve met them already. Jeremy saved Kayla and Monroe from Kayla’s stupid abusive ex and in return Cade and Sawyer gave him a job working for them. After that night Kayla became more cautious she stopped dating altogether and started to focus on school. She graduated from high school and started attending the local college and is a few short weeks away from obtaining her associates degree in bookkeeping. Jeremy needed a fresh start and he found one in Cottonbloom it almost didn’t start out that way but thankfully Cade and Sawyer were there to give him the chance he needed, now he’s their right hand man in the shop.

It’s Christmas, Kayla just got a job as bookkeeper for Cade and Sawyer’s company. So far Jeremy has only admired Kayla from afar and now she works with him it’s harder to keep his feelings from showing. It starts off innocent enough; Kayla is still afraid of making mistakes with her life and Jeremy thinks he isn’t good enough for Kayla but one text message from Jeremy’s life before and everything changes. Jeremy and Kayla both realize it’s so much more. Jeremy needs to get over his hatred of Christmas and his insecurities and show Kayla just how much she means to him and Kayla shows him how special Christmas really can be.

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read and it was nice to see Kayla and Jeremy finally getting together. I would say this is a sweet romance but Kayla and Jeremy get kind of dirty there; but Jeremy is really sweet in the end. Laura Trentham’s has a great writing style and I for one don’t want Cottonbloom to be over, I want more from this town.    

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Beneath These Shadows by Meghan March

Beneath These Shadows is the sixth standalone novel in the Beneath series by Meghan March. While each book can be read on it's own, the characters are connected and are best if read in order. I have most of this series, and I have enjoyed each book that I have read. That was the case here too, and I think new readers will enjoy this one just as much as fans of this series will. 

Bishop has never been one to put down roots. He drifts from one city to the next, inking clients along the way. But when he gets to New Orleans and meets Eden, everything changes. Where Eden is innocent, Bishop is not. But he helps her out and the two quickly discover a connection between them that they never expected.

I liked both Bishop and Eden. I loved them together and the chemistry between them was strong. As the daughter of a crime boss, Eden had grown up being told what to do and not having much freedom, so it was great to see her start to come into her own. She really started to grow and change with Bishop's help, and I enjoyed that. Bishop was interesting and I liked getting to know him here. I will say that I did find it hard at times to connect with these two, and I didn't feel as invested in these two as I have with characters in previous books of this series. It wasn't that I didn't like them, because I did, I just didn't feel that same pull that I typically do with a Meghan March story. 

I also felt like things were a bit cliched at times here and there wasn't really anything new or truly unique about the story. So while I liked it, I didn't love it. I do think that there was a lot to like here though, and fans of the series will enjoy seeing familiar faces as well as getting to know both Eden and Bishop. I was interested to see how everything would play out and Meghan March definitely knows how to bring the steam with her stories. So while this wasn't my favorite of the series, I do recommend this book to fans as well as those that haven't read any of the series yet. Meghan March is a great writer and I recommend checking her books out if you haven't already. I know I will read more from her in the future and look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Feature and Giveaway: Don't Lie to Me by Amber Bardan

Amber Bardan returns with a heart-stopping third installment in her high-octane, highly addictive Bad For You series

A fling with her best friend's reclusive business partner should've been harmless.

When Emma meets him, the only way she's looking to be tied down is in the literal sense. But Avner—shady hacker, off-the-books investigator, occasional spy—takes her breath away. He's the first man who doesn't turn to mush under her sexual spell: a fact that makes what's between them very different, and very real.

Beautiful and uninhibited, Emma is everything Avner thought she would be and more. Yet his deadly past and dark duties can never be forgotten…not even as he succumbs to their seductive intimacy. But for the first time he's after something of his own, as well.

And now that he's found Emma, he'll protect her, no matter what. Because anything worth loving is worth fighting for.

But nothing about Avner is remotely harmless.

Soon, Avner has infiltrated Emma's personal life, stalled her career and nearly destroyed everything she's worked for—all in the name of protection. Desperate and heartbroken, drawn into a secret criminal underworld in her quest for understanding, Emma discovers the truth: Avner's secrets are far more devastating than his lies.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | Google | iTunes | Kobo |

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ARC Review: Pull Me Closer by Sidney Halston

Pull Me Close is a book that I think you readers who love romance and emotion will truly appreciate.  This is the story of Katherine and Nico. The author spends quality time in this book building these characters and drawing you into what makes each of them unique. Nico has a history of being betrayed by a woman with some serious issues. He figures that the last thing he needs in his life is a woman with issues. Enter Katherine who has more issues than Vogue magazine.

I have to say, when you think of 'how I met your mother' type stories, the first thing that comes to mind is not 'I met your Mom when she was losing her shit in the middle of a panic attack.' That's how Katherine and Nico meet. I was fascinated by the whole thing because I was wondering how the author was going to build a love story from the hot mess that was Katherine and Nico. Nico thinks Katherine is a druggie, Katherine thinks Nico is an a-hole (which he was at first) then BAM, love starts to grow.

Katherine has a serious issue with anxiety.  She is basically scared of everything and lives in a self imposed prison. When you find out why she has the fears she has you will have to say 'ok, yeah, that totally makes sense.' This is the first book I've read about a survivor of the crisis Katherine went through.  When dealing with a topic that so many people are familiar with, the author could have easily gone wrong but she didn't.  I felt like this book was really believable in terms of what happened to Katherine and how she responded.  I really felt her agony and her struggle to reconnect with the world. It was deep.

In his own way Nico has also locked himself off because of fear. He, like Katherine, found himself the victim of a situation over which he had no control. As a result, he tries to control everything and just winds up making himself and the people around him miserable. You wouldn't think Katherine and Nico would be a good match. They were both a little dysfunctional. But, I love a story about how two people can offset each others crazy. That is what happened in this book. Katherine was honest and non-judgmental because of all that she had been through. Nico needed that more than anything.

The falling in love part of this book is so sweet. These are two characters you really want to see happy and you feel good when things work out for them. The only reason this book is a 3 star and not higher for me is because there just isn't any edge to it. I just need a little more steam and grit to keep me into the story. But if you just like a good romance story, this book is a 4 or a 5 for you easily.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Audiobook Review: My Skylar by Penelope Ward, Narrated by Casey Jones and Piper Goodeve

My Skylar by Penelope Ward is a standalone novel, but those that have read Jake Undone will recognize Skylar and Mitch. After reading Jake Undone, I couldn't wait to get to know these characters better, but don't worry if you haven't read Jake's story as you don't need to in order to understand anything. I thought that both Casey Jones and Piper Goodeve did a great job narrating this story, and I enjoyed listening to them as Skylar and Mitch's story unfolded. 

Skylar and Mitch were best friends who both secretly loved one another, but one thing after another kept them apart. First Skylar had cancer and then Mitch did something that caused Skylar to leave. Years go by, but now that Skylar is back Mitch is more determined than ever to make Skylar his again. Though Skylar is back, she is with someone. But Mitch knows that Skylar isn't happy and that she is about to make a huge mistake. Mitch vows to do whatever it takes to make sure that he doesn't lose her forever. 

I loved Skylar and Mitch. Their love and connection was so strong, and it was obvious that they belonged together. They both made a ton of mistakes, one of the biggest being the fact that they never communicated well. There were so many things that could have been prevented had they just talked to one another and been honest about their feelings. A lot of that was age though, and it was hard to blame them for some of that since we all do questionable things in our youth. The one thing that I can say with absolute certainty though is that the love these two felt for one another was undeniable and never dimmed or diminished no matter what they went through. There were so many obstacles that they faced and so many things that happened, but they never stopped loving each other through all the hurt and time apart. The chemistry between them was there from their very first meeting, and it just grew with age and the more time they spent together. I absolutely loved them together and couldn't get enough of their relationship. 

Overall, I loved this story even when it was difficult to get through. There were times that my heart felt like it was literally breaking for these two. While I did love so much of this story, there was one thing that I didn't care for. I hated that this story went there, and it felt a bit unnecessary and cliche. After everything that these two had already been through, I was hoping for them to finally get a break, and while the story did recover it wasn't exactly what I had been hoping for for these two. Suffice it to say I wanted to reach through my Kindle and strangle a character, and I could have easily done without said character. I still think that Skylar and Mitch's story is well worth the read, their love is epic and what we all dream of finding. Skylar and Mitch will definitely stick with me, and I think that these narrators did a great job of bringing the story to life and giving it depth that isn't possible by just reading the story alone. I highly recommend this one and I can't wait to read more from Penelope Ward. Her stories are heartfelt and emotional, and while they are hard at times to get through, I have never been disappointed by her yet.

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |