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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Weekly Winners

Below is a list of all of the winners from last week.

Carey Fletcher
eBook copy of Fighting for It by Jennifer Fusco

Kristina Hammock
$10 Amazon Gift Card + Australasia Swag Pack from Christina Phillips


All winners have been notified via email and are posted on the Rafflecopter form from that giveaway post. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: A Lover's Lament by K.L. Grayson and B.T. Urruela


I am already a huge fan of KL Grayson's, but after reading A Lover's Lament I am also a huge fan of BT Urruela's. The first time I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I was immediately drawn not only to the beautiful cover, but also to the fascinating blurb. This story was so good, and I loved all of it. It was beautiful and emotional, and while filled with hope also had it's heartbreaking moments. This was no easy journey, and I will warn readers that if you are sensitive to war or military content I would advise you to proceed with caution. But I absolutely believe that this book is worth the read, and would highly recommend it.

Katie Devora's life changed in an instant with a tragedy she never expected. Now struggling to feel anything, her therapist suggests that she reach out to a soldier through a pen pal program in order to help her begin to heal. So when she found Devin Clay's name on the list of possible pen pals, she was shocked. Katie had loved Devin and planned on spending her life with him, until he left her without a goodbye. Trying to finally find peace and some closure, Katie sends him a letter, never expecting him to actually write back. But what started out as a way to heal quickly turns into a friendship that Katie and Devin both thought was gone forever. But with ten years between them and a ton of pain and grief, can they find their way back to what they once shared? 

I loved both Katie and Devin. I wanted to be so mad at Devin for what he had done to Katie, and yet I really did understand why he made the choices he did. It doesn't excuse everything, and he definitely could have done things differently. But it was clear that he had enough regret and pain on his own for what he had done. The one thing that was clear is that he never stopped loving Katie, just as she had never stopped loving him. Though they had each moved on with their lives, the connection that they shared was so strong that it had never gone away. Katie and Devin were both so strong in some areas, and yet they each had a vulnerability that the other was able to help. I loved seeing how supportive and loving they each were of each other, even with what had happened. The bond they shared was so real and intense, and their chemistry off the charts. These two were soul mates, and it was clear right from the start that they were made for each other.

I will say that there were times that this book was a bit slow, and that is the only reason that this was a four star instead of a five star for me. The descriptions were great, and I really felt as though I was instantly invested and living right through everything with both Katie and Devin. But there were times that I think it went a bit too far, and that unfortunately made me want to start skimming a few times here. I thought that Urruela and Grayson's writing styles meshed extremely well here, and I loved the letters between Katie and Devin. I also really enjoyed the fact that they included a playlist, and I thought that it really added a lot to the story to listen to the music that they had chosen as I read each chapter. This story was beautiful, intense, and deeply emotional. I think that absolutely everyone can find something to relate to here, and I really believe that this is one of those books that will stay with the reader forever. I know that I won't forget Katie and Devin anytime soon, and I already can't wait to go back and read this one again. If you are new to KL Grayson's books, this is a great place to start as this one had everything I have come to know and love from her stories. Her collaborating with BT Urruela here though took this one to a whole other level, and I am honestly excited to see what else he writes in the future. I expected this to be a good book, but he really impressed me with his writing talent and I know that I will be looking forward to his books as well as Grayson's in the future. They make a great team, and here's to hoping that they decide to collaborate again in the future!

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |





Feature and Giveaway: Sinner's Steel by Sarah Castille



HE’S HELL ON WHEELS.

Tall, dark, and dangerously handsome, Zane “Tracker” Colter is the strong, silent type of tattooed muscle biker who drives women wild. But as a master of strategy for the outlaw MC club, Sinner’s Tribe, he doesn’t have time to play around with groupies and biker chicks-especially when he can’t stop thinking about Evie, the girl who got away…

SHE’S PLAYING WITH FIRE.

Evie’s been in love with Zane ever since they were children-until he broke her heart and disappeared. Now he’s back in her life, bigger and badder than ever. Zane is stunned by how beautiful and confident Evie’s become, using her artistic talent to customize motorcycles. He wants her so bad, he’d ride through fire to win her back. There’s one problem: Evie is dating his deadliest rival-the leader of the Black Jacks-and if Evie and Zane hook up, there’ll be hell to pay…

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

ARC Review: Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh


This was my first story by Nalini Singh even though I have been wanting to read her forever. I’m so happy to say that “Rock Redemption” was fantastic! Although the third book in the Rock Kiss romance I was not lost with the story and really enjoyed it. The first thing I noticed about Singh is that she does not waste any time. From page one I was interested in this story and instantly loved Kit and Noah.

Noah St. John is apparently a famous rock star. He is also a big mess. Although he and Kit are only friends he quickly messes up their relationship. Noah is the typical tortured soul. He makes one bonehead move after another but I absolutely adored him and my heart really went out for him. I really felt like he was a tortured soul and tried to be a good person and ultimately the man that Kit deserves.

Not to be outdone by a great hero, Kit was a fantastic heroine. I loved her as much as I loved Noah. She was tough and could hold her own even though it was painful at times for her. Kit loved Noah and was not only in love with him but a great friend to him as well. I loved that Kit was a contrast between fragility and perseverance at the same time. I could not imagine a better partner for her.

Kit and Noah have a lot stalked up against them. They are both very sensitive and fragile souls in need of love and healing and at the same time best friends. The struggle between friendship and more was beautiful to see and Singh provided so much angst and heartache I had to put the book down a couple of times and just breathe. The chemistry between them was amazing. It had me engaged and rooting for them at the difficult moments when it seemed that they would not find their way to each other.

Needless to say I’m hooked on this author and cannot wait to get my hands on her other books, especially the previous two in this series. I highly recommend and definitely enjoyed Noah and Kit.

**ARC provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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



Friday, October 9, 2015

ARC Review: All I Want by Jill Shalvis


All I Want is the newest installment to the Animal Magnetism series from Jill Shalvis. Though it is book seven in the series, each book is a standalone story containing interconnected characters. Each of these books is so much fun to read, and I always know that I am going to enjoy the story when Jill's name is on the cover. All I Want was no exception, and it was just as adorable as what I have come to know from Jill Shalvis. 

After the childhood she had, Zoe is happy to be settled in Sunshine Idaho. Being a pilot allows her to work and give flying lessons on the side to help pay the bills. But besides her work and family, Zoe is looking for something else and has been trying to find it with a series of blind dates. So when her brother asks her to allow his best friend to rent a room from her for a few weeks she agrees as long as he agrees to her house rules. But when Zoe meets Parker, things immediately spark between them and Zoe finds him getting under her skin. Zoe finds herself wanting something with Parker and though she knows she should stay away, she can't help but give in to her feelings. With Parker only in town for a few weeks though, will she end up with a broken heart? 

I liked Zoe and Parker together. They were really cute, and they had great chemistry. These two seemed to just get each other right away and their connection was natural. They were sweet and funny, and I loved how they couldn't help but fall for one another. I will say that I didn't really connect with them that well, but I did enjoy their story. Zoe was hard for me to relate to, and I thought that she had a few issues. Parker was the same though, which is part of what made them work well together. While I did like them, I just thought that each of them made some questionable choices here, and I didn't always like the way they acted.

Overall, this was another great addition to the series and I did enjoy it. Fans of Shalvis will enjoy the humor here as well as the sweet and romantic emotional moments that always set her contemporary romance stories apart from others. I did think that this one was a bit predictable and there wasn't really anything new or different. But it was a solid story and I think a lot of readers will really like Zoe and Parker together. If you are a fan of Jill Shalvis you will definitely want to check this one out, and if you are new to her books this is a great place to start. The Animal Magnetism series is one of my favorites, and are well worth the read.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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





ARC Review: How Forever Feels by Laura Drewry


How Forever Feels is book number four in the Friends First series from Laura Drewry. It is a standalone story with each book having interconnected characters. I hadn't read any of the other books in this series before starting, but I am definitely interested to go back and read them after this one. I enjoyed the characters a lot, and I loved the friendship that Maya had with the other girls here. I am looking forward to reading their books and seeing how they all got together with their guys. 

Maya McKay thought that she had found forever when she got married to Will, until she found him cheating on her. Though losing Will hurt her, it was the fact that she also lost the friendship of Jack Rhodes at the same time since he was like a brother to Will. Maya and Jack always had a connection, but since the divorce two years ago they hadn't spoken. So when Will comes back to town, Maya finds herself hoping to rekindle the friendship they once had. Jack always wanted Maya, but he stepped aside for Will. Now that it has been two years though, he finds his feelings for Maya rushing back and doesn't know how to handle them. Though Maya is no longer married, she is still his best friend's ex-wife. The more time they spend together, the more they both begin to realize that the connection they had is stronger than ever and things between them are far more than friendship. But can they ever be together with all that stands between them? 

I liked Maya a lot, and I really loved her friendship with the girls. They had each other's backs, and they weren't afraid to be honest with one another. They were all supportive and encouraging, and it was easy to see how far they would go for one another. I really liked how Maya and Jack connected right from the beginning as well. Though two years had gone by, it was as if no time had really passed. Things were easy between them, with their connection natural and real. But the circumstances around them were far from easy, and I really saw how hard it was for them to figure things out. There were times that I absolutely loved Jack. He really was perfect for Maya, and her knew her inside and out. He loved her for who she was and he was a really good guy that had been through a ton. My problem here though was the fact that the author made him come off as extremely weak. I don't think that all heroes need to be alpha males, but Jack was such a doormat here for Will and his family to walk all over. They might have been there for him and taken him in, but he gave up far too much far too easily when it came to them and it got to the point that enough was enough for me. 

Overall, I really enjoyed parts of this story and the connection between Jack and Maya. They had really great chemistry and a bond that was unlike any they had ever felt with anyone else. But I just couldn't ever really get over how disappointed I was with Jack's character here. Just when I thought things were finally turning around, he did something that really irritated me and it pretty much sealed his fate. He asked for way too much from Maya, and the fact that she gave in so easily was something that also made me lose respect for her as well. If I had been in the same situation, not only would I not have done what he asked of me, but I probably would have never spoken to him for even asking in the first place. It was beyond crazy and just too much considering the entire situation. I think that this one had the potential to be a really great story, and had it not been for Jack's weak nature I think I would have really loved this friends to lovers story. But unfortunately I was unable to really love this one and it ended up just being okay to me when it could have been so much more.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes





Feature and Giveaway: First Season / Bride to Be by Jane Ashford


Two classic Regency romances by beloved bestselling author Jane Ashford celebrate the adventures of a London Season

FIRST SEASON

Widowed Lady Anabel Wyndham was married right out of the schoolroom and has never before experienced the delights of a London Season. She’s dazzled by the attention of the fascinating Sir Charles Norbury, a man whose touch seems to melt her very soul, but a notorious rake. She’s drawn to handsome friend-of-the-family Christopher Hanford and the comfort and serenity he offers. But how does one choose between two such charming suitors? Anabel is finding that love is so much more dangerous the second time around.

BRIDE TO BE

Emily Crane is the toast of the ton—and she couldn’t find it more tedious. Until she encounters the darkly sensual stranger whose life she once saved and the London Season becomes infinitely more exciting. Recently returned from the wilds of South America, Lord Richard Sheldon has only contempt for tiresome London chits, but he finds himself stunningly intrigued by the dauntless Emily Crane. When the two become embroiled in a budding scandal and are forced into an engagement, they discover a passion more dangerous than any killer…

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

Thursday, October 8, 2015

ARC Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy


This is my first book by Elle Kennedy and is apparently also the start to her new Outlaws series. By way of background, the book presents a dystopian world in which some major event wiped out most forms of modern life to which we are accustomed. There are essentially two groups of people in the book, the city folks and the outlaws. The people in the city are “protected” but oppressed by the controlling military government which has become increasingly depraved. The people outside of the city, the outlaws, exist by evading the city military known as the enforcers. That is basically their task in life, avoid the enforcers, stay alive. There are no overarching principles to life as an outlaw, you’re just trying to make it tomorrow. As you can imagine, living everyday like it’s your last can lead to some pretty wild ish. That’s the background you need. Don’t be intimidated by the sci-fi themes, the book is not too farfetched and even though this isn’t my usual scene, I had no problem getting into things.

The main characters in this book are Hudson and Connor. Hudson is a refugee from the city. She escaped from the city because even though her brother was a top enforcer and her father was a founder of the city system, the depravity of the enforcers was threatening even her safety. Hudson ventures into the land of the outlaws and runs smack dab into Connor. She basically begs him to take her into his group of outlaws because she knows she can’t survive on her own. In addition to seeking safety, Hudson also wants the freedom that comes with the outlaw life. She has known nothing but the control of the city and she basically wants to get buck wild and naked. I mean, seriously.

Connor is the typical brooding alpha male commander type. He’s smart enough to know that taking on Hudson is probably going to bring trouble for him and his posse of outlaws but she’s hot and he does it anyway. Of course things escalate pretty quickly. Hudson is looking to get loose and Connor and his crew lead an extremely loose lifestyle. It’s only a matter of time before Hudson is observing orgies to participating in threesomes. All along Connor makes it clear that he isn’t looking for or interested in an attachment to Hudson.

I’m all for kink, smut etc. But I struggle with books where the Hero doesn’t mind sharing. I’m just not the right person for threesome books. The focus of this book is not at all on threesomes, it’s more about Hudson’s sexual exploration and Connor’s emotional exploration. But still, I just don’t like the sharing, it’s a turn off for me personally. Also, the sex was more about sex for the sake of sex and not because of any emotional attachment. That definitely serves a purpose but I enjoy romance with my sex and I just didn’t get enough of it for my taste. I’m still giving this book 4 stars because it was so well written, I loved the action and I loved what happened after Hudson’s true identity was revealed. The bottom line is that I was thoroughly entertained by this book and captivated by the story. So even despite my threesome aversion, this book is on my recommended reading list. I’ll probably check out future releases in the series.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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


Guest Post with Author Laura Drewry and Giveaway



USA Today Bestselling author, Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Guest Post with Author Claire Kent and Giveaway


Claire Kent has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she’s not writing, teaches English at the university level. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Noelle Adams.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ARC Review: '90s Playlist by Brighton Walsh, Lorelie Brown, Amy Jo Cousins, Audra North, Rebecca Grace Allen and Jennifer Blackwood


I'm not too big on anthologies because of the length of the stories. I really wanted to give this one a shot though after reading which authors were a part of this one though. I have to say that these felt even shorter than most stories in anthologies though since there were six here. I really loved the '90s concept though, as I am a huge fan of all things '90s. It was great to see some things here that I hadn't thought about in forever, and I really enjoyed seeing all the different music referenced here. I will admit that I definitely had to listen to some of them as I read these. 

My Strongest Weakness-Brighton Walsh

Mason is the typical All-American Jock and Tia is his exact opposite, the goth girl. Yet despite their differences, they find themselves drawn together in a way they aren't with anyone else. They live by a set of rules to keep others from finding out what is going on between them, but before long real feelings are starting to develop and Tia wants more. But is Mason willing to risk everything by letting others see how he really feels about her? 

I really liked this short story from Brighton Walsh. I always enjoy her books, and she proved to me what a talented writer she was here with this one being so quick of a read. I was really surprised with the amount of depth and feeling she was able to show here between Mason and Tia, and I really felt like these two were it for each other. They were really sexy together, and I liked seeing them get to know one another better too. My only complaint here is that even though this was really great for being so short, I would have loved more. This opposites attract story was romantic and emotional, and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Creep-Lorelie Brown

Roni and Tom meet when Tom shows up at the shop where Roni works looking for his brother Corey. Roni knows Corey as her drug dealer Skittles, and is reluctant to give information to Tom. She is attracted to Tom though, and gives him some information on where he might run into Corey/Skittles. The attraction between Roni and Tom is instant, and she finds herself drawn to him.   

This one was flat out confusing, and it didn't really go anywhere or explain anything. It made no sense to me and ended right where the story seemed to start. I have no idea if this story is continued anywhere by Lorelie Brown, or if this is all there is. The whole thing with Roni and Tom didn't work for me, and I didn't feel like they had any connection at all. It was too instant, and honestly just seemed out of nowhere. The situation with Tom and Corey/Skittles was never briefly and partially explained, but it was never resolved. If this one hadn't been so short, I would have ended up not finishing. I also hated how casual the use of drugs was here, and the fact that pretty much everyone seemed to be okay with it. This one was a miss for me. 

The Belle vs. The BDOC-Amy Jo Cousins

Shelby wants Florence, but Florence is convinced that Shelby is straight. So Shelby sets out to make Florence notice her and finally realize that she is also a lesbian. But what starts out as Shelby putting together a team to beat Florence on trivia night quickly escalates, and soon Shelby and Florence are not only competing at trivia. But can Shelby show Florence that she wants more than to just beat her?

This was one that I just couldn't connect with at all. I don't read a lot of F/F stories, but I don't have anything against them. For me though, I wasn't really feeling the connection between Florence and Shelby here. Florence was super judgmental, and flat out awful to Shelby at times. I didn't understand why Shelby would continue to want her after everything. I just didn't really care for the characters or the story here, and this was another case of it being just short enough that I was able to finish. 

Worthwhile-Audra North 

Just as Jill begins a semester abroad, the boyfriend she traveled there for dumps her. Two weeks into her semester and she is ready to return home, but she stumbles into the arms of sexy Stuart. As Jill and Stuart get to know one another, sparks begin to fly and soon Jill is glad that she decided to stay. But is Jill ready to move on with Stuart, or is she still hung up on her recent ex? 

I really liked Jill and Stuart. They were great together, and Stuart was such a good guy. This story was short, but really sweet and I enjoyed it a lot. Stuart and Jill's connection was quick, but it felt very real and believable to me. I loved how cute they were together, and this was definitely one of my favorites of the entire anthology. I would have loved for these two to have been given a full story though, as I was really curious to see where things would go from here for them. I also found myself wishing that we had been given Stuart's POV, as I would have loved to have seen what was going on in his head. 

Smells Like Teen Spirit-Rebecca Grace Allen 

Rory is working a dead end job in the town where she graduated college. One night she meets James, a sexy singer about to graduate from the same college she went to. They instantly hit it off, but Rory is scared to allow herself to feel anything for him after all that she has been through with her parents. She has always felt lonely and abandoned, but James makes her want more. Can Rory and James have something together or will it be over before it ever really begins? 

I liked James and Rory. These two were super hot together, and the chemistry between them was explosive. I thought that they also had a great connection though, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another. Rory loved poetry and James loved music, and they seemed to always be able to relate to one another and discuss their passions. James and Rory's connection felt real to me, but it was a bit rushed. I did feel as though these two were meant for each other though, and I would have liked to have seen a bit more down the road for them after where things left off here. 

Little Red Thong-Jennifer Blackwood

As Emily, her brother Drew, her best friend and her brother's best friend Chase set out on a spring break cruise, they each set out to win a game of spring break bingo. There are several things that they must each accomplish in order to win, but with each of them being competitive they will do whatever it takes to win. Chase has always liked Emily, but he knows that he needs to stay away from her as the sister of his best friend. Emily finds herself drawn to Chase though, and is interested to see where things could go between them. But will Chase risk his friendship with Drew in order to see what he could finally have with Emily?

I love stories about heroines falling for their brother's best friend, so I couldn't wait to read this one. It was really good, and I liked the characters a lot. I loved that Chase had grown up with Emily and Drew, so they had a lot of history together. That made this super short story about them seem real and believable to me in a way that it might not have been had they just met. Because they already had a connection, it didn't feel rushed. Chase and Emily were cute together and they had a lot of chemistry. My only complaint here is the same as most of the stories in this anthology, in that I wanted more. I would have loved to have seen what happened after the cruise was over and they returned to their lives at home. I didn't doubt that they could handle the distance, yet it would have been nice to see. 

Overall 

Overall, this was a good anthology and I really enjoyed four of the six stories here. I wish that those had been longer though, and that was my biggest complaint for them. There were two of the stories here that just didn't do it for me though, and I probably wouldn't have finished those if it wasn't for how short they were. I would still recommend this anthology for the other stories though, and I will definitely be checking out other works by those authors.

**ARC Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon | iTunes |