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Saturday, October 29, 2016

ARC Review: My Addiction by Cassie Ryan


This is the second book in the "Club Desire" series.  I read the first book as well but I see no reason you need to read both. You can start reading this series wherever you would like.

This installment features Kate and Dex.  If you read "My Obsession" you met Dex during that book. This is a BDSM club novel (in case you had not guessed).  Dex is a a dominant alpha male who Kate recognizes and wants to submit to from the minute she meets him. I have feelings about this book that are similar to my feelings about the first book in this series- the book is good in terms of kink and erotic content.  Ryan is outstanding at writing BDSM scenes that FEEL authentic.  Now, mind you, I've never been involved in a real life scene so I have no point of real comparison.  I can just tell you that as someone who reads a lot of books with BDSM elements, this one struck me as being a good representation. I like that Ryan builds a lot of emotion into the scenes involving sexual intimacy.  If you are writing about a sex club, there is a risk that you overdo it with the kink and neglect the romance aspects. I didn't get that vibe in this book.  The sex is actually a part of the romance...if that makes sense.

I'm not sure how I feel about the heroine, Kate.  Kate is a submissive at an elite club featured in the book that serves the rich and powerful (several of whom have serious character flaws).  Kate is supposed to be the submissive with edge who is not afraid to assert herself.  I guess that kind of works but it causes some conflict because some of her choices don't make sense.  Dex is very intriguing and the perfect flavor of dominant to get me interested.  Dex is compelling from the first scenes that he is in.  The fact that he turns out to be an undercover FBI agent was an interesting twist.  The best thing about Dex is the serious chemistry between him and Kate.  Like it immediately leaps off the pages at you.  Every scene between the two of them is FIRE.  

Ryan seems to follow the pattern she started in the first book in the series of building in some suspense.  I'm not really sure how I feel about this.  Similar to the first book, I felt like the whole suspense line was really shallow.  There was supposed to be some mystery but it was really obvious and easy to figure out.  That's ok I guess but it makes me feel like the suspense is just a page burner.  The other thing that stopped this from being a great book for me is that there were things about Kate that just never made sense to me.  I feel like this author does her best work when she is focused on the kink but things can get a little vague outside of those scenes.  I would still recommend this book for any readers who like the sex/club BDSM sub-genre.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |


ARC Review: One Step Closer by Kahlen Aymes


One Step Closer is the first book that I have read from Kahlen Aymes, and I will admit that I struggled with it. While there was a lot to like here, there were a lot of things that didn't work for me personally. That doesn't mean that others won't find this book to be a great read, but for me I ended up with mixed feelings and I think that this book is probably better suited for others than it was for me. 

After losing his mother the last thing that Caleb Luxon wanted was a new stepmother and stepsister. But after discovering what Wren's life was like, he vowed to protect from everything, even her own mother. As they grew closer, both Wren and Caleb wanted one another but nothing happened until a night together changed everything. But after Caleb ran scared, both were left broken hearted and years go by with barely any contact. The death of Caleb's father brings them back together, and both must decide if it is time to figure things out between them or leave each other behind once and for all. 

I mentioned that I struggled quite a bit with this story and a lot of that was with the characters. I wanted to love them, but Caleb came off as weak and that was hard to get past. He was casually dating Macy, who showed up to throw a wrench in the middle of everything and he never put his foot down with her. She was downright awful and he let her get away with treating Wren horribly as well as getting away with her gold-digger scheming and it just got old real quick. I didn't understand why this supposed alpha male who liked to run things wasn't capable of kicking her out and moving on, and I just lost patience and respect for Caleb. Same for Wren, there was one time that she stood up for herself, but otherwise she let Macy's schemes go and actually believed them. For someone who knew Caleb better than anyone and reminded us of that constantly, she seemed to be too easily convinced of the worst of Caleb and never actually went straight to him, believing Macy over him. It just didn't make sense to me, and honestly I was just over it. They had chemistry and a connection, but I just couldn't take the drama and back and forth when the whole thing was just so bizarre to me.

The other thing that I really had problems with as well was the way this story was told. It was in third person and it kept switching back and forth between the different character's thoughts and it was really distracting. I am all for getting multiple POVs and experiencing this story through the character's eyes. But when you switch thoughts and characters on me in the middle of paragraphs and it never stays with one long, it just takes me out of the story and I lose interest quick. I also thought that between the flashbacks and the tendency to provide more details then necessary at times just dragged the story down, and made this one too slow at times. The pacing was just off, and as much as I wanted to be interested at times i wasn't. I did finish because I wanted to know what happened, and I was anxious to see Macy get what she had coming (a bit disappointed there if I am honest) but this one just wasn't for me. There was so much promise and I do think some readers will really enjoy this one, so if it sounds like something you would enjoy then I recommend giving it a try.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 





Feature and Giveaway: Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley


Welcome to Two-Time Texas:
Where tempers burn hot
Love runs deep
And a single marriage can unite a feuding town
…or tear it apart for good

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancĂ©, Meg’s dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.

Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

ARC Review: The Reason for Me by Prescott Lane


I have read a few books by Prescott Lane now, and I have really enjoyed each one. She is one of those authors that I really believe that not enough people know about. Her stories are heartfelt and emotional, and The Reason for Me was no exception. She once again drew me right into the story and I didn't want to stop reading. 

Annalyse has used her career as a freelance writer to run since a tragedy happened on Halloween five years ago. Tired of running though, Annalyse finally decides that she is ready to think about staying put and putting down some roots. Holt has his own reasons for not pursuing any type of relationship, but when they meet everything changes. Holt thought she was a dream, but little did he know that she was living next to him and nothing would ever be the same. 

I really liked these characters and felt so much for them. Each of them had so much that they were going through and they were really different. Annalyse was so strong and I was so curious about what had happened that had shaped her life. Holt was great as well and I really liked him for Annalyse. I will admit that I was a bit worried at the beginning about whether or not I would like him as he came off as a bit too bossy in the beginning, but that changed and I ended up really liking these two together. They had great chemistry as well, and you could feel that attraction just as strongly as you could their growing connection. 

Overall, this was a great story. I don't want to get into too much of it because this one is best if experienced rather than told. Trust me you don't want to know much about this one before just diving in and experiencing it. Prescott Lane is a great writer, and Annalyse and Holt's story might be my favorite from her yet. I recommend giving her books a shot if you haven't read anything by her yet, and The Reason for Me is a great place to start. I know this won't be the last I read from her and look forward to seeing what she writes next.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | 





Feature and Giveaway: The Reason for Me by Prescott Lane



Holt

She likes it quick and dirty.

I like orders and rules.

She hates small talk.

I hate to share.

She’s an open book.

I’m a closed dresser drawer.

She rides a Harley.

And that drives me f’ing nuts.

Annalyse and I have both lived in our own personal hells for half a decade. She’s learned to love the warmth, and I’m still consumed. But my new neighbor is stoking more than my libido these days. We agreed on only pleasure. But she changed the rules.

And now I’m not even sure what they are.

Maybe there’s a reason she found me that night, maybe there’s a reason I can’t stop thinking about her, maybe there’s a reason for the pain. Maybe not.

We all look for reasons in life. Reasons for death, love, pain. Why one thing happens and not another? It’s human nature. We’ve been looking for the meaning of life since the beginning of time. But maybe the reason for all of it — life, love, loss, heartache — is the curvy brunette living next door.

Purchase: | Amazon |

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**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |


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 | 





Feature and Giveaway: Bottom of the Ninth by Jami Davenport



This long-awaited story of the third Wolfe brother introduces the Seattle Skookums baseball team.

Zeke Wolfe, the man who’s written off his entire family, rescues a young woman and three children on a stormy Seattle night. Before he knows it, he has an instant family and a fake fiancĂ© he’s certain he doesn’t want.

Paisley Madison dreams of having a real home for herself and her sister's children. When a handsome baseball player drops into her life, she knows a gift when she sees one and hires herself as his assistant.

As their business arrangement turns into something much more personal, Paisley and Zeke's pasts threaten to destroy their precarious hold on a future together. Can they conquer their demons and find love, or will they run from their pasts and abandon their future together?

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ARC Review: Make Me Stay by Rebecca Brooks


Make Me Stay is the first book in the Men of Gold Mountain series by Rebecca Brooks. I was excited about this one because I love sports romance stories and Austin is a retired skier and this one sounded like it would check all my boxes. I have to say though that while there were some cute and sexy moments here, ultimately I had a tough time getting over a few details and that kept me from loving the story. 

Austin retired from a successful skiing career after an injury changed his life. Now Gold Mountain is his home and refuge and Kane Enterprises threatens to ruin everything for Austin once again. When Austin meets Sam on the slopes, he has no idea that his sexy one-night stand is also Samantha Kane, the woman determined to get him to sell his land for her to develop. As Sam and Austin start to fall for one another it is only a matter of time before the truth comes out. 

Sam and Austin had a lot of chemistry. They were great together, and their scenes were sexy. They were clearly forming a connection and I would have loved to have seen the focus more on that, rather than the secret being dragged out to the very end. As much as I loved these two together, the secret about Sam's identity seemed to be used solely for the purpose of building conflict and I would have preferred to see these two deal with that earlier so that we could have seen more depth to their relationship. 

As much as I wanted to really love Austin, the author made that a bit impossible as she made him come off as a bit too stupid for my liking. Austin knew he was supposed to be meeting a woman named Samantha Kane, and yet when he bumped into a woman named Sam he was just completely clueless. I found that to be completely unbelievable and hurt my enjoyment of the story as well as how much I could like Austin's character. I think that this book had potential, but unfortunately it was just hard for me to really feel invested when things were unrealistic for me right off with this story. Don't get me wrong it was still a good read, and aside from that it was a sweet and sexy romance. I would read more in the series and I think contemporary fans will enjoy this story even if they don't all love it.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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