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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Weekly Winners

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

Natasha D.
I Dream of Dragons by Ashlyn Chase

Natash P.
Luck is No Lady by Amy Sandas

Connie R.
Made for Us by Samantha Chase

Evelyn S.
The Paper Princess by Erin Watt


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: Remembering Everly by J.L. Berg


Remembering Everly is the second book in the Lost & Found series by J.L. Berg. This is the continuation of August and Everly's story and cannot be read without having read Forgetting August first. If you haven't read that book yet, you will need to start there and should beware of possible spoilers in this review. 

After waking up from a two year coma, August is left with little to no memories of his past. As he tries to piece together his memories, the one thing he knows is that Everly is the love of his life. But something happened in their past that has changed Everly from loving him the same way to him being the man that she hates. Not only does Everly want nothing more than to move on, but she has found the man to help her do that in her fiance Ryan. But August is determined to not only win Everly back, but to be the man that she once loved before everything went wrong. However his past has other plans for him, and it could ruin his chances with Everly once and for all.

I had really liked both August and Everly in the first book, and unfortunately I lost a bit of that here. August and Everly still had something between them that nothing could take away from them, but I felt like we really weren't able to connect to them as we could in the first book due to some of their actions here. I didn't like the fact that these two spent so much time apart and that Ryan and Magnolia seemed to be used as plot devices here. It just didn't feel genuine to me, especially where Magnolia was concerned. 

I also had a really tough time getting through this book. It was slow and boring for much of the book and I lost interest early on. I just struggled to get into the story here when I had been so excited after that cliffhanger in Forgetting August. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, and unfortunately a lot of nothing happened here and what did was predictable. I really felt like we got lost in the bland and mundane details of these two going through the motions and this book just felt like all filler. I would gladly have had one solid book that was a bit longer than to see what happened here. There were some things that were resolved far too easily to be realistic, while other things would drag and take forever with the amount of back and forth. Overall, this one just wasn't for me. I have absolutely loved J.L. Berg's in the past and I know this won't be the last I read from her. Unfortunately this one just fell flat after all the promise from Forgetting August and I was disappointed with Remembering Everly.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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





RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Vi Keeland


Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is an attorney and a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today Best Selling author. Over the last three years, ten of her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller lists and three on the New York Times Bestseller lists.

ARC Review: Dirty Sexy Inked by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde


Dirty Sexy Inked is the second book in the Dirty Sexy series from Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde. Each book is a standalone story with interconnected characters. I hadn't read the previous book in the series before starting this one, and I had no problems understanding anything. This book was a lot of fun and I really liked Katrina and Mason together. 

Katrina Sands is tired of watching her best friend Mason Kincaid go through an endless stream of women, and knows that as soon as they return home after the wedding of Mason's brother and Katrina's friend that she needs to make some changes to her life. But when a hot night in Vegas leads to them hooking up, both Katrina and Mason know that their relationship has been forever changed and that there is no going back to just being friends. 

I really liked these two. They had a strong connection right from the start, and I loved that they had so much history. Mason had always looked out for her and was determined to be her protector. I loved how close they were, and yet I hated that both of them had wanted more from each other but had always been too scared to admit their feelings. Katrina was smart and sweet, and I she was really easy to like and relate to. Mason and Katrina had so much chemistry between them, and their years of friendship while they each wanted more had built up so much tension between them. I couldn't believe that nothing had happened before with all the sparks flying between these two! 

While I did like the characters and the story, I did feel like Mason's complete transformation from manwhore to knowing Katrina was the one and only for him seemed to happen extremely fast. It was almost as if a switch had been flipped, and I just didn't find that realistic here. I still really liked the book though, and I can't wait to read Levi's story next as well as go back to read Clay's story also. If you like some steam with your contemporary romance, this is definitely a friends to lovers story worth taking a chance on! I look forward to reading more from Erika Wilde and Carly Phillips in the future.

**ARC Provided by RockStarLit PR**

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





Friday, April 8, 2016

ARC Review: Good Dukes Wear Black by Manda Collins


Ophelia is a writer for a Ladies' Gazette, and when a close friend/cowriter is taken to an asylum without cause, Ophelia will do anything she can to help her friend. Ophelia is a little impatient and quick to judge. She turns to a friend of a friend, the Duke of Trent, for help but at the same time feels suspicious of his possible involvement.

Piers (the Duke of Trent) is the recently established president of the Lords of Anarchy. He is trying to give the club a new reputation, and when he hears of the clubs' potential involvement with the asylum, he decides to help Ophelia investigate. Soon his main reasons for continuing the search change as he grows attracted to Ophelia.

The duke is one to think before he acts or speaks, and impatient Ophelia jumps to conclusions about him frequently. I found their conversations to play out similarly to mine and my husbands'! I loved that this story made that connection for me. However, while the initial interactions had great potential for a swoon worthy romance, I felt it didn't meet my first expectations.

The mystery was done very well. I am proud that I was highly suspicious of the correct suspect from the beginning, but I'm not sure if that's a compliment to my detective skills or to it being rather obvious. This part of the plot really kept me turning the pages. It was almost nice in a way how the pulling force of the book alternated between the romance and the mystery.

Some very small things didn't work for me in this book. While the overall plot was exciting, the individual situations were boring at times. The flow of the story wasn't the best either. At times I just felt like the main characters needed to get back to saving Ophelia's friend, not going to balls. My last little peeve is the oddness of the title. It doesn't properly represent this book. I remember feeling similarly when reading it's predecessor, Good Earl Gone Bad.

Good Dukes Wear Black was a good read. It is a historical romance as well as a mystery. I found the romance to be relate-able and sweet. The mystery was interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat for the most part.Overall it was a likable book, and I enjoyed reading it. I will most likely pick up future books by Manda Collins.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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


ARC Review: Touch the Sky by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn


Touch the Sky is the first book in the Free Fall series from Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. I was excited to read this since I have read and enjoyed books from both of these authors before. I liked Lucas and Gabriel a lot, and there was a lot about this story that I liked. I did have some things that kept me from loving this one though. 

Both Lucas and Gabriel had tough childhoods for very different reasons. They met online and a friendship formed between them over the fact that they not only had bad home situations, but over the fact that they were both in the closet. They agreed to someday meet and move to LA when they were old enough. But on the day that they agreed to come out to their families, Gabriel disappeared with not even a goodbye. Now five years later, both are living in Hollywood where they run into each other in a bar. Gabriel will do whatever it takes to show Lucas that he had a good reason for losing contact, but Lucas isn't so quick to forgive him. But the connection they once shared is stronger than ever, and both will have to deal with their pasts that continue to affect them if they have any hope at a future together. 

I liked both Lucas and Gabriel. They each had so much going on beneath the surface, and I really felt for both of them. They had a lot to deal with as kids that no one should ever have to go through, and I was so glad that they had found one another. They desperately needed someone to connect to, and their bond was so strong. It was clear just how much these two had always meant to one another and neither time nor distance changed that. I loved the heat and chemistry between these two, and they were so hot together! Gabriel and Lucas really were perfect for one another, and I couldn't get enough of them together! 

I did think that it would have been nice to see more of them actually together. At times it felt as though their relationship was a bit rushed and that we didn't get to see it fully develop. The connection was always there, but we didn't really see a lot of them actually building a relationship. I also felt like there were times that something felt a bit off here. As though maybe the two writing styles didn't completely mesh or we were missing things. The book was pretty slow for the most part pacing wise, and yet parts of this story just felt rushed to me. These two had a tendency to text one another, and it was confusing at times with the way it was done. Sometimes the texts would be in the middle of paragraphs or sentences with no way to differentiate between their thoughts and the fact that they were speaking. It just didn't always work, and I found myself struggling to figure out what was going on at times when they were texting one another. Overall, I think that this book had so much potential and I really did like the characters. I just wish that the execution of the story was better, since it had so much promise that just didn't quite get there for me. I loved some of the secondary characters as well though and I really hope that they each get stories. Their friends were some of the best parts of this story, so I would love to get to know them more. I am hoping that as Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn write together more that their styles will blend better and that their books will feel more seamless than this one did. It was still a good story though, and if you are a fan of second chance friends to lovers M/M stories, this is one you might want to check out.

**ARC Provided by Authors**

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





RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Donna Grant


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

ARC Review: Blazing Earth by Terri Brisbin


As the third book in the Stone Circles series by Terri Brisbin, this book takes off immediately after Raging Sea. I highly suggest reading the first two books in this series before reading this one. I think I would have been lost otherwise.

Tolan and his family have always had a way with the earth and having prosperous crops. The magic is a family secret that has been passed down for generations, and is accompanied with a responsibility to protect their lands. Tolan's son is almost at the age where he will discover if the magic is in him as well, and Tolan is hopeful to share the family legacy with him.

In the same village, Elethea is a local healer with a specialty as a midwife. Harshly ironic, Thea cannot have any children of her own. However, she does the best she can, and loves her independent life since the death of her late husband. Tolan and Thea have an ongoing involvement at the start of this book.

The ancient fire goddess is still trying to break free of her prison, and her next possible point of entry into the world is near Tolan and Thea. Together it becomes their responsibility to close the gate so that the evil sorceress will not be unleashed upon the world.

This book felt mostly like a place holder. The romance wasn't great because the main characters were already involved before the book began. (Don't be confused however. The heat level for this was high for me. The relationship just lacked substance). The fantasy mission felt like a repeat of books one and two until the end. Tolan seemed to be the only one with anything to do. Thea just seemed so useless. The book left me feeling really down. Not what I look for when reading romances.

Despite the fact that I didn't love this book, I still am impatiently waiting for the last one. I need to know how this ends! Also I believe a reoccurring character I like will be the female lead in the last book. For the overall arc plot of the series, this story had to be told. However, I think it's the worst of the series thus far.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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


ARC Review: Lay It Down by Carina Adams


I will admit that I didn't even read the blurb when I first saw Lay It Down from Carina Adams! I am a huge fan of hers and have enjoyed everything I have read from her, so this was a no-brainer from me. After I started reading though I quickly realized that Lay It Down is actually a box set of books 1 and 2 in Carina's Bastards MC series. Lay It Down contains the novels, Always Been Mine and Honey Whiskey. I had previously read these books and loved them, so it was really great to go back and see some of my favorites again all featured in one book! 

Always Been Mine is Josephine Walker and her best friend Matt Murphy's story. With Jo's world falling apart, she turns to her best friend Matt for support. She is tired of playing it safe and is ready to really live. She knows that if she is looking for wild and crazy that Matt is the one to help her. Matt had resigned himself to friendship only with Jo, but now that he sees he might have a shot, he will do whatever it takes to make her his. 

Honey Whiskey is the continuation of Jo and Matt's story and needs to be read after Always Been Mine. Honey Whiskey picks up after the events of Always Been Mine, with Matt having walked away from Jo. He knows that he messed up and will do whatever it takes to get her back. But after everything that has happened, Matt also knows that he will have to fight for her. 

These two books were such a journey for these characters, and I couldn't get enough of them. I absolutely love Jo and Matt, even if there were times that each of them frustrated me. Their connection was so special, and you could really feel just how deep it went. Not only did they have a great foundation of friendship, but they also had a ton of heat and chemistry between them. I don't want to go into too many details here and spoil anything, but trust me when I tell you that their story is definitely one worth reading! 

I loved having both of these books in one collection so that I could immediately jump from the first book to the next. Fans of this series will love having both books in one place, and if you haven't read these books yet, this is a great way to get both books together for a great price! I highly recommend these books and anything by Carina Adams. Her writing style is one that I absolutely love, and she always captivates me from the first word all the way until the very end. Emotional and steamy, Carina Adams writes unique and beautiful books and that is definitely the case here with Lay It Down. If you are a fan of MC romance novels that are fresh and different, Always Been Mine and Honey Whiskey are not to be missed, and Lay It Down is the perfect way to get them both together in one place!

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | 





RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Jennifer Blackwood


Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ARC Review: Mercy by M.N. Forgy


Mercy is the second book in the Sin City Outlaws series by M.N. Forgy. This book is not a standalone and should only be read after Reign as it continues Jillian and Zeek's story. After the cliffhanger in Reign, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Mercy! I really enjoyed getting more of Jillian and Zeek, and I think readers are really going to enjoy the conclusion to Zeek and Jillian's story. 

Mercy picks up right where Reign left off. Zeek and Jillian are on the run following the murder of her father. Zeek knows that if they are found, they will both be killed. Jillian is used to relying on the law and thinks that they need to turn themselves in. But neither of them know exactly who they can trust. Used to living on opposite sides of the law, both Zeek and Jillian can't fight the connection they share and both will have to step outside their comfort zones if they want to be together and stay alive. 

I love Zeek and Jillian together. These two are so different, and yet the connection between them is so strong! Zeek is so tough, so it was great to see him here with Jillian. She brought out this whole other side to him that was so unlike what he has ever been like before. Jillian is just as strong and tough as Zeek, but in a completely different way. She thought that cops were good and serving justice, and when faced with the reality that they aren't always like that she struggled. She didn't want to believe Zeek, and yet she had to face that he was right and things weren't always as she had thought they were. As much as both of them had tried to fight what was developing between them, their connection and feelings were undeniable. 

Overall, this was a great ending to their story. I really enjoyed seeing how things would play out for them, and this one kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. I will say that Jillian annoyed me a bit at the beginning of this book though. While I understood how big of an adjustment her situation was to everything she knew, she came off as pretty naive. She just couldn't seem to grasp the fact that cops she knew could be dirty and I just had such a hard time believing that anyone could continue to fight that when there was so much evidence to the contrary. It was still a really great story though, and one I would definitely recommend. Reign and Mercy were a lot of fun to read, and I look forward to more from M.N. Forgy.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N





ARC Review: Trust Me by Sophie Holloway


Trust Me is the third installment in the Lessons in Seduction series by Sophie Holloway. This is the last part of the series and does need to be read in order as it continues Eva and Jack's story. Trust Me picks up right where Take Me left off, with Eva having been taken. Jack is determined to get her back and do whatever it takes to protect her and find those responsible. But can Jack and Eva figure out who is behind everything, and will they be able to figure it out before it is too late? 

Jack and Eva's connection seemed to be stronger here than in previous books, even if it still felt a bit rushed to me. I feel like we never fully saw it develop, but with everything that has happened it was more believable that their feelings would intensify with that. I wish I had seen them really get to know one another better, since there weren't that many interactions between them besides their lessons. The chemistry and heat was still there for them and as strong as ever, but I was just never fully sold on their relationship turning into more because I didn't feel like their emotional connection was fully developed. I wanted to believe in them, but I just didn't see enough happen to find it entirely realistic.  

The other thing that kept me from loving this series was the mystery/suspense portion of this series. Things seemed to be resolved far too easily and while there were some twists here they were a bit too far fetched for me to believe at times. I really wanted to love this series, but overall it just fell a bit flat for me. It wasn't a horrible series by any means, but it wasn't anything really special or fantastic either. It didn't hold my interest like I had hoped, and the main reason I continued after the first installment was to find out what happened as things played out. If you like some mystery/suspense with your romance and are looking for some quick reads, you might give this series a shot. This one was just okay for me though.

**ARC Provided by Gossip Girls PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes





RFTC I've Got a Secret Event with Author Cari Quinn


USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn pens sexy romances for a living and routinely counts her lucky stars. When not writing, she’s usually watching men’s college basketball or playing her music too loud. Sign up for her super fun newsletter at www.cariquinn.com or join the Word Wenches on Facebook!