Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ARC Review: Beg Me to Slay by Lisa Kessler

Tegan Ashton was attacked by a Hingo Demon. According to Gabe no human can survive this type of attack but Tegan does. Tegan has physical and emotional scars. She has lived in fear since the attack. Because of the conditions surrounding her attack she is thought to be crazy and sent to a mental institution. She happens to come across the “man” that attacked her one night and she knows that she has to find someone to help her. She finds Gabe on-line in a search, the adjective “paranormal” catches her eye. Even though she has her doubts about Gabe and how authentic he is she knows that she needs someone who believes her about her attack. Gabe definitely believes her and immediately realizes the grave danger she is in. He knows that the Hingo demon will not stop until he finds her again and claims her.

Gabriel V.H. Smith, is a demon-slayer by night and a Licensed Private Investigator by day. Gabe is sorting through his emotions, in his line of work he has seen a lot of deaths. He lost his parents and fiancée and is not ready to give his heart up to Tegan. He knows that behind her black-belt-in-karate-tough-persona is a women who has beaten incredible odds. He swears to protect her and keep her safe. He takes protecting her very serious but is not sure how vulnerable he can let himself become. Tegan is overwhelmed to discover that she was attacked by a demon. Up until she met Gabe she didn’t know that demons existed, but that is only the beginning. She learns that there are different types of demons and each one has a different way to die. She also learns that witches are real when Gabe has a spell put on him. His only recourse is Tina, a witch that he later learns put the spell on him because demons had her sister. Tina, we later learn, plays a very important role in Tegan’s attack.

As the story unfolds we learn that Tegan’s attack was not accidental. Her father gives her a book with their family lineage and Tegan begins to learn about her ancestors. She and Gabe have to piece together why the demon attacked her and why they are searching for her again. Gabe is also in for some surprises. Four years ago he was slaying a demon to protect a random women on the street. Unbeknownst to him while he was rescuing this random women on the street demons killed his fiancée-Laura. When he meets the demon that attacked Tegan he learns that the random women he saved was Tegan. When pieces of the puzzle start to come together Tegan realizes that she has to use all her strength, both physical and emotional to face the battle that awaits her. Tegan and Gabe have to face an army of demons, this is a fierce fight but after the battle is over they have their own personal emotional demons to battle.

I tend to stay away from paranormal because I don’t find them to be entertaining, but Lisa Kessler really delivers! I really loved the way she weaves this story of demons and witches and I caught myself tense with anticipation. I was intrigued to see how Tegan and Gabe would beat the demons and the other little difficulties that appeared. Tegan was a fascinating character to watch evolve. At the beginning she motivated by fear and keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. As she starts to face her possible death she becomes stronger and confident. At the end of the story she is reclaiming her life. Gabe also comes to terms with his fears and realizes that it’s harder to fall in love than be a demon slayer.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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A Naughty New Year with Rebecca Zanetti and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Rebecca Zanetti

USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day--or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Places to find Rebecca:

Monday, December 30, 2013

ARC Review: The Fine Line by Alicia Kobishop

The Fine Line is the debut novel of Alicia Kobishop. I never quite know what to expect with a debut novel, but I thought this one sounded interesting so I gave it a shot. I am always immediately drawn to stories that feature a heroine that is against love. I think that i'm drawn to them because they are usually unique and I like to watch as they open up and grow as they slowly realize that they can't fight it anymore. This book was not what I had been expecting, and although there were things that I liked about this one there were also quite a few things that I had some issues with. I thought that this book was written well though, and I enjoyed the author's writing style.

Liv has put up walls against ever letting anyone in again. After a past filled with people leaving her, she never wants to feel the emptiness they will inevitably leave behind when they leave her. But all of that begins to change when she meets Logan. She immediately is drawn to him and starts to feel as though he is different. Liv and Logan begin spending time together and develop an easy friendship. Logan wants more from Liv and thinks that they have a shot at having a great relationship together. However Liv is determined to keep things just friends. But she quickly finds out that it isn't always that easy to fight a connection and attraction like the one that they share. Can Liv take a risk and give a real relationship with Logan a chance? Or will they end up losing everything including their friendship?

I liked Logan. I thought that he was a nice guy and I loved how determined he was when it came to winning over Liv. I feel as though we don't really know him that well though. I would have liked to have seen more character development and see his motivation behind the street racing and his pursuit of Liv. I have to say that I didn't care for Liv as a heroine. I was never able to warm up to her and her push and pull with Logan really made it impossible for me to like her. I just don't think that she was fair to Logan with all the mixed signals. I understand that she was confused and trying to fight falling for him, but it still just didn't work for me. I honestly couldn't figure out why Logan kept trying to change her mind and why he would stick around for her. I think part of that is because we didn't really get much of Logan and his motivation. Liv and Logan did have chemistry and you could feel their attraction as well as the friendship they shared. But the whole relationship didn't really seem to be real to me after all the back and forth that they went through. I just didn't quite buy their HEA after all that had happened.

I also really didn't like some of the things that happened as far as Liv and Logan with other people. I know that they weren't together officially, but with the feelings that they had for each other it just seemed wrong for those things to keep happening. I really didn't like how they would sort of use these other people to get back at each other. It just left a bad taste in my mouth and it felt like cheating which I just can't stand. Not only did I not like that, but I also felt like they acted extremely immature at times and that drove me nuts. I also felt like Liv and Logan were never really allowed to have a real shot at a relationship between them. It seemed like every single time that they got close, something would happen to tear them apart. It just got to the point of being too much. By the time that the story was over, it was almost too little too late. Some of the obstacles thrown in their way at the end seemed to come out of nowhere for the sole purpose of drama, and they just seemed to really detract from the progress of Liv and Logan's relationship. I did like that Liv and Logan worked well together when they weren't fighting against their feelings. I thought that they were great friends and had a great foundation for a relationship. I just would have liked to have seen them really be together without so much constantly trying to be in the way of a future for them. It was nice to see Liv's growth from not wanting to have a relationship to finally admitting her feelings for Logan though.

Overall, I felt like Liv and Logan were great for each other and could have had a really wonderful relationship if they just would have been honest with each other and themselves. There was a lot of miscommunication between them as well as some very bad reactions to situations. I think that their relationship had a lot of promise though, and I would have liked to have seen more character depth and development. I think if we would have seen more of that and less drama and obstacles that their relationship would have been much more believable. I did however really like the author's writing style. I thought that the story flowed well and the pacing kept me interested and reading. I was drawn into the story and didn't feel as though my attention wandered at all. I was interested the whole time and despite the problems I had, I really wanted to know how Liv and Logan would end up. I think that Alicia Kobishop has a lot of promise, and I will look for more from her in the future. I think that this book was a good first effort, and I think that there are many New Adult fans that will enjoy reading The Fine Line. Give this one a shot if you like a friends to lovers story with some drama and angst mixed in.

**ARC provided by Author**

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A Naughty New Year with Megan Hart and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Megan Hart

I was born and then I lived awhile. Then I did some stuff and other things. Now, I mostly write books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay.

I can’t live without music, the internet, the ocean or Coke Zero. I can’t stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves me cold. I write a little bit of everything from horror to romance, and I don’t answer to the name “Meg.”

Places to find Megan:

ARC Review: Talking Dirty With The Player by Jacki Ashenden

Talking Dirty with the Player is the second book in Jackie Ashenden's Talking Dirty Series. I didn't know that this was the second book until after I had already started reading this story. Luckily, these books can be read as stand alone and I didn't have any problems with feeling lost or missing anything. This book does a great job of including the characters from the first book and giving enough back-story that you know everything you need to. That being said though, I think that having read the first book before this would have given me some extra insight to these characters. I really enjoyed this book though, and I can't wait to go back and read the first one now.

Judith is used to being in control. After having her heart broken by her brother's best friend Caleb eight years ago, she is reluctant to give him the time of day at her brother's wedding. Caleb needs a photographer for a charity fundraiser and thinks that this is a great chance for them to catch up. He knows that the feelings he has for Judith are not something that he should pursue for many reasons, not the least of which is her brother. But once he convinces Judith to do the fundraiser, he can't help but want to rekindle the relationship they once had. However convincing Judith to give him another chance after the way he pushed her away so many years ago will not be easy. He sets out to win her back and promises that this time he won't hurt her. They begin a relationship and their relationship and connection are stronger than ever. But with the end of his career in sight, and a possible job in another country how can they possibly make things work? Will they both be able to put their fears and the past behind them, or will they continue to push each other away to try and avoid another heart break?

I really liked Caleb. I didn't think I was going to like him much at first. When we first meet him in this book, he comes off as arrogant and out to annoy Judith. But he quickly turns things around, and becomes the hero that you want to root for. He was strong and sexy, and yet he was also really sweet. Caleb and Judith were very witty, and their banter was so much fun to read! I also loved that Caleb was always calling her cute nicknames. Judith was for the most part a likable heroine. There were a few times that I felt she was somewhat confused. She seemed to be a bit wishy-washy to me and would flip back and forth. I was frustrated at times that she wouldn't just make up her mind. But once she finally was honest with herself and stopped fighting Caleb, I was glad that she opened up to him and was honest about what she wanted. I think it spoke a lot about her character that she would lay herself and her feelings bare to someone that had broken her heart once in the hopes that the risk would be worth the reward. Caleb and Judith were really hot together and I thought those scenes were very well written.

Overall, this story was enjoyable. I am a huge fan of this particular trope, and I always jump at the chance to read stories like this. This one was very fun to read, and I found myself laughing many times throughout this story especially because of the characters' witty banter. It was also nice to see both of these characters evolve and grow. They both had things in their past that they had to overcome and I loved watching as they shared with each other and their connection grew deeper. I think that Caleb and Judith were a very believable couple and they were a great balance for each other. I think romance fans with find this story to be a very satisfying and enjoyable story that is not only heartwarming, but also very funny. I am looking forward to reading more from Ashenden, and I cannot wait to go back and read the first book Talking Dirty with the CEO which is the story of Judith's brother Joseph and Christie.

**ARC provided by Goddess Fish Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Sunday, December 29, 2013

ARC Review: Sex Love Repeat by Alessandra Torre

Wow. After reading this book I am pretty much speechless. This is going to a very tough review for me, because there are so many twists and turns and I don't want to give anything away. I have never read a book by Alessandra Torre before, but after reading Sex Love Repeat I will definitely be reading more from her. This book had me feeling so many different things. Just by reading the blurb, you can tell that this book is definitely going to go one of a few ways. I can honestly say that there were so many things that I didn't see coming. It was fun to read this book and I absolutely could not put it down. I loved that it was unpredictable and unique.

Madison is dating and in love with two guys. They are both completely different, and they are both aware of the other. While they don't know anything about each other, they know that they each have half her heart. Stewart is a very wealthy man who is committed to his work. Madison would not be exclusive with him because she didn't want to come in second to his work. While she understood and loved him for that, she just couldn't give him everything when he couldn't return it. Stewart knew that Madison deserved more, and encouraged her to find a steady boyfriend who could take care of her and fill in the gaps when he couldn't be around. Madison met Paul and they had an instant connection. Their relationship is easy and makes her happy. Paul and Madison live together and spend most of their time together, except when she is with Stewart. Paul originally was opposed to the kind of relationship Madison was asking for, but he knew he couldn't live without her and decided that he would rather have part of her than not have her at all. All three of them know that this relationship cannot go on forever the way it is, and that eventually some choices will have to be made. None of them expect it to come quite as it does though. Through all of this there is a mystery girl who knows and loves both Paul and Stewart and is determined to see that Madison doesn't hurt either of them. Can Madison make the choice of who she should be with? Or will that choice be made for her?

I really loved both guys in this story. They were both extremely different and yet they had things in common. Stewart is sexy and dominant. He is wealthy and spends the majority of his time in suit and working. He knows exactly how to take care of Madison, and you could tell that he even though he is focused on work that he really did care about her. He was a bit impersonal though when it came to anything but sex with her. He had his assistant pick out gifts for her, and never seemed to really get too personal with Madison. Their connection was pretty much all about sex and I never really felt that they had an intense emotional connection. They did care about each other and there was definitely love between them, but it wasn't all encompassing like true love is. Paul was laid back and sweet. He was a hot surfer who was content to live his life to the fullest, regardless of how much money he made. He didn't focus on material things, and was happy to just be with Madison. Paul and Madison had not only a ton of chemistry together, but they also had a really strong connection. They were very natural together and they seemed to really love one another. I loved that they would surf together and just hang out together, the ease of their relationship very clear. I know it sounds weird, but you could really tell how deep Paul felt about Madison that he was willing to accept her being with Stewart. He was vulnerable, and it was obvious that he worried that eventually Madison would leave him. I liked Madison. I wasn't sure at first how I was going to like her when I knew that she was with two guys at the same time and that she seemed to perpetuate their strange triangle. But I was really surprised to see just how much I ended up liking her. She was an easy heroine to root for, and you could tell that her feelings for both men were very real. She was likable and she really did what she could to take care of both Paul and Stewart. I loved that she wasn't material and didn't try to get everything out of Stewart that she could. She was with both guys because of her feelings for them, not because of what they could give her.

This book was extremely hot. I thought that both guys had great chemistry with her and no matter who was with her, the sex scenes were some of the hottest that I have ever read. I was surprised how much I enjoyed her with both men. Even though I was rooting for one of them for her in the long run, I couldn't help but like her with both of them. They both treated her well and cared about her in their own way. This love triangle was so different from anything I have ever read. I never knew what to expect next, and I loved flipping the pages to find out what would happen with everyone. As much as I loved these characters though, I did have a few issues that kept this book from being a five star rating for me. Without spoiling anything, there is an HEA. It wasn't entirely unexpected, but the ease with which it happened seemed a bit unrealistic to me. I thought that after everything we had been through with them, that it was a bit anticlimactic. I was waiting for more drama or angst, and there was surprisingly very little. For me that just didn't make sense after everything that we had read up to that point. I also felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to have seen more of how the characters got to the point at the end of the story after everything went down. There is a jump in time, and I feel like we missed out on a few things that would have been nice to see. I feel like if we would have seen it play out a bit more that it would have been more believable for how things end. I also have to admit that I either usually really love or hate an epilogue. This is one of those that I really did not love. I thought that in this case, the content of the epilogue was definitely something that I had previously questioned. I had thought about it once everything had been revealed, but when it wasn't brought up I figured that was the end of it. When I read the epilogue though, it almost made me with that it would never have been brought up at all. It sort of hurt the way I thought of Madison and although I still really like her, it did have an effect on how much I liked her.

Overall, this book was really good though. I loved the sex and steam and this was one of the hottest books I have ever read. I really loved Alessandra Torre's writing style, and I loved her characters. I loved that each character was deep and interesting, and they really owned up to their strengths and weaknesses. It was impossible not to connect with these characters and become invested in them. But what I loved most about this story was that it was so unique and different from anything I have ever read before. I loved the twists and turns, and there were several times that I literally found myself asking what just happened. It is hard for a book to truly surprise me anymore and this one definitely did it. This is not your typical love triangle, and I could not have enjoyed that more. This book is one that will stick with me and had left me with a huge book hangover. I honestly can't wait to go back and reread this story. I highly recommend this story to those looking for an erotic read that will keep you guessing until the very last page. This book grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go even after you have finished it. I can't wait to read more from Alessandra Torre in the future.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

A Naughty New Year with Cari Quinn and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Cari Quinn

USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn gets to pen sexy romances for a living and routinely counts her lucky stars. When not scribbling furiously, she can be found watching men’s college basketball or playing her music too loud. Visit her at to sign up for her brand new newsletter (Contests! Excerpts! Fun!) - or join her reader group, the Word Wenches on Facebook (Even more contests! Excerpts! Fun!) 

Places to find Cari:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

ARC Review: If You Leave by Courtney Cole

If You Leave is the second book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I have not read the first book, If you Stay, but after this I definitely will be. These books can be read as standalones, but they do have interconnected characters. I really enjoyed this story and I am excited to read about more of the characters in this series. I thought that Courtney Cole has a great writing style, and she was able to pull me in right from the start with this one. I am looking forward to seeing what she has in store for the rest of this series.

Madison gave up the life she wanted after her parents were suddenly killed. She came home and now lives in their house while she runs their restaurant. Her best friend Jacey has been trying to get her to meet her brother for awhile and finally convinces her to take a night off and have some fun. Madison loses Jacey though, and she ends up meeting a hot guy named Gabriel on her way out of the club. She decides to have some fun and ends up going home with him, only for their taxi to get in an accident on the way. Gabe freaks out and Madison ends up making sure he gets home safely but ends up going home alone. They both think that is it, but when Gabe goes to visit his sister they run into each other at Maddy's restaurant. Gabe is Jacey's brother and the person she had been trying to fix Madison up with. Gabe and Madison keep running into each other and before long their attraction is too much to fight. But Gabe is still suffering from PTSD after a horrible thing happened to him while he was an Army Ranger, and believes that he isn't good enough for more than a hook-up with Madison. Madison grew up with a bad family situation and isn't looking for volatile and possibly violent. However once Gabe and Madison start to develop feelings for one another, can they figure out a way to put their pasts behind them and move forward together? Or will their pasts keep them from having a future together?

I liked Gabe. He was strong and sexy but also really vulnerable. He was understandably damaged and you could tell just how much guilt he felt for things that weren't his fault. He was loyal and a good friend as well as a good brother. He looked out for those he loved and it was clear that he would sacrifice himself for them. I loved that he was a bit cocky and that he wasn't afraid to go after Madison. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like Madison. She seemed to start off kind of bitchy and rude, but it quickly became easy to see that it was just her way of trying to protect herself. She was caring and would do anything for her friends and family. I really liked how she was so protective of her sister and Jacey. Even though she tried to fight her feelings for Gabe, I liked that once she had let him in she was all in. Gabe and Madison had a ton of chemistry and they were hot and steamy together. I liked how they were able to open up to each other and that it helped them heal and grow. They made a great couple and I thought that they each brought something to the relationship that the other had never had but needed. It was nice to see how well they fit together and were stronger because of their relationship.

I had a few things with this one that I didn't care for, and they are the reason that I dropped my rating down a bit. I thought that Jacey was incredibly immature and she annoyed me pretty much the entire book. I couldn't believe how ridiculous she was being on more than one occasion. She seemed selfish and spoiled, and it was really hard for me to care about her at all. Towards the end of the story she did seem to kind of see that she was having an effect on those around her and I just hope that it wakes her up. Her book is the next in the series and I will check it out despite how I felt about her in this one. I just hope that she redeems herself and turns out to be a better person than in this book. I also had a problem with some things that happened with Gabe. I don't want to spoil anything, but there are some things he does when he is trying to protect Madison from himself that really bothered me. Frankly those things alone were pretty much the reason this one lost a star for me. I couldn't believe what he did and it didn't make sense to me at all. After Madison finds out about it, she just seems to move on and put it right in the past too. I know for a fact that if it were me, I wouldn't be able to do that as easily as she did. It just didn't seem to fit with the strong feelings and love that these two proclaimed that they had for each other. I also had a problem with Pax and Mila. I haven't read their story yet, and I am looking forward to it. I really liked them both and I loved how Pax and Madison were really close. Their interactions were some of my favorites and you could see that they really cared about each other and not just because they were in-laws. But I felt like they sort of took over this book with their story. I understand that since Mila and Madison are sisters and really close that it would really affect Madison with what was going on. But I also felt like Pax and Mila had already had their book and though its always nice to get glimpses of characters in a series, they should pretty much remain in the background from that point on unless they get another book of their own.

Despite those problems though, I really did enjoy this book. I liked that these characters were real and that they were a little broken. I was really able to see how they were affected by everything that they had been through, and yet they were able to overcome the really awful things that had happened to them. I also really liked most of the other characters from this book, especially Brand. I really hope that he gets his own story because I found him really interesting. He seemed like a great guy and he really deserves his own HEA. This story is filled with ups and downs and was an emotional roller coaster for me. There were parts that were light and funny and had me laughing. But there were also really heart wrenching scenes that had me reaching for some tissues. I think that this is a really great romance, but that it also is a great story about growth and healing. I feel that this is one of those books that everyone can find something to connect with, and I really think that if you haven't read this one you should give it a shot. I can't wait to read more from Courtney Cole, and I look forward to reading more in this series.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

A Naughty New Year with Heather Long and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Heather Long

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Places to find Heather:
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ARC Review: Midnight Lies by Ella Grace

I'm a huge Christy Reece fan-- I love her gritty & dark Last Chance Rescue series and, like many a fan, was sad to see it end. But when Christy announced that she'd be writing more romantic suspense under the pen name Ella Grace--this more character driven and Southern gothic than the action-packed dark RS of the LCR series-- I immediately perked up. I picked up the Wildefire series expecting trademark Christy Reece... but, unfortunately, the first book (MIDNIGHT SECRETS) was almost a DNF for me. Instead of the usual unputdownable, page-turning, sleep loss-inducing read I had come to expect from Ms. Reece, what I found was a story that was more contemporary than RS and so SLOW to get going that only sheer determination got me through all the teenage Zach and Savannah chapters. I understand the need for exposition when setting up a new series, especially one set in a small Southern town where the town itself is like another character, but this was excessive. The overly flowery writing that often veered into cliché and the overblown drama of Zach and Savannah's relationship didn't endear me to the series much. But I enjoyed the banter between the triplets and I'm a notorious series completionist, so I persevered.

MIDNIGHT LIES starts off with much more of a bang. Though it is the story of another of the Wilde triplets, Samantha, it takes place before and after the events of MIDNIGHT SECRETS--and so much of Sam's character and motivations is shaped by those events that the books really must be read in order. The painstaking exposition of the previous book allows Sam's story to jump straight into the action, with her seemingly perfect doctor boyfriend, Quinn Braddock, as the prime suspect in his ex-wife's murder and Sam unsure of his innocence. Of course, she soon realises her mistake and works tirelessly to clear him, but the damage is done. She's an idiot (talk about a cop with terrible people instincts!), he's an absolute wanker, and the mostly-physical-though-Sam-is-head-over-heels-in-love relationship implodes, sending Sam scampering back to her hometown of Midnight, Alabama to set up a security agency with her sisters. I mean, I get that Savannah was a former DA, Sam was a big-city homicide detective, and the third sister, Sabrina, is a private investigator... but I wouldn't hire them for protective services to save my life. They look like complete twits!

Fast-forward a few months. Quinn cannot completely get rid of the cloud of suspicion that surrounds him and realises that he really was a complete asshat to Sam the last time he saw her (and he can't live without her, despite his being soured on marriage for the rest of his life and her being a good ole Southern girl with traditional values)... so he shows up in Midnight to apologise. And buys Sam's dream house. For them. Despite the fact that there's no 'them' anymore. But their libidos are apparently uncontrollable whenever they're together and they end up in bed and Sam thinks everything is finally falling into place. Except that Quinn won't change his mind about marriage and she wants a serious commitment. So they break up, again. Until he (again) realises that he was an idiot and he has no life or job in Atlanta, moves back to Midnight to be near Sam (who's come to realisation that she wants Quinn more than she wants the white picket fence, so she's willing to give that up for whatever he's willing to give her)... and finds himself the prime suspect in another brutal murder. This time, Sam very publicly sticks by her man--even when he tries to be all noble and leave again because someone is clearly targeting the people in his life and he couldn't live with himself if something happened to her-- and the Wildefire Agency works the case. I think the identity of the villain is supposed to be an unexpected twist, but I saw it coming a mile away (granted, I do read a lot of suspense).

I was a bit ambivalent about both Sam and Quinn and their relationship. They're both scarred by the 'dark' pasts they keep close to the vest and let that shape their current behaviour, which could lend itself to some good angst. But it mostly comes out as slightly melodramatic, with Quinn's stalwart rejection of everything home-and-hearth and Sam’s hopelessly-in-love-even-though-I-deserve-better attitude. It’s not that they were bad characters; I was just underwhelmed by them and not terribly invested in their HEA. I found the same to be the case with Savannah and Zach in MIDNIGHT SECRETS. In between the two murder accusations that bookend the story, it’s pretty much a run-of-the-mill small-town contemporary romance with the same slightly overly-flowery writing as the previous book. Ms. Reece does an excellent job writing family, however, and the close relationship between the sisters and the sense of community in Midnight are palpable.

Overall, I enjoyed MIDNIGHT LIES more than MIDNIGHT SECRETS: less exposition, a faster-paced plot with more action, and the understanding that these books are very different from the Last Chance Rescue series definitely worked in its favour. Though I still enjoy Ms. Reece’s LCR books and writing style more than her pseudonym’s, the Wildefire series is a good read for anyone who likes their romance primarily character-driven and with a dash of suspense. Sabrina looks like the most layered of the three Wilde triplets, so I look forward to reading her story in the coming months.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: Everything I've Never Had by Lynetta Halat

I really enjoyed this book! It was a great read and kept me interested from the very first page. Everything I've Never Had is definitely an emotional read and there were many ups and downs. At some points my heart was literally breaking for these characters and I felt it so strongly because Lynetta Halat did such a great job drawing the reader in so that we become extremely invested. The characters are amazingly deep and and seemed so real to me. They were fantastic and I found them to be impossible not to fall in love with. I hadn't ever read anything by Halat before, but I can tell you that I will be reading more from her in the future. I loved her writing style and this book was written beautifully.

After losing her husband, Celeste is left to raise her three boys alone. She has always done what her family tells her to, even if she wants something else. Adrian steps in to help Celeste with the boys after his cousin Tripp's death and they settle into a very close relationship. They are best friends, but there has always been an attraction between them. They have always fought to keep it under control, but after a passionate kiss one night things change between them. Despite their strong feelings for each other and off the charts chemistry, there are so many reasons that they shouldn't be together. But when two people have such a strong connection, how can they possibly stay away from each other? Will they let the obstacles that stand in their way ruin their future together or will they fight for the love they feel and come out stronger than ever?

I loved Adrian. I really can't say enough about him. Not only is he a sexy Marine, but he is also a rocker. But he is also sweet and caring while being protective of those he loves. I loved how he was with not only Celeste but also her boys. It was so refreshing to see a guy step in and really man up in order to help someone out. There aren't a lot of guys who would have done what he did for Celeste and her boys. Especially since he was younger than her by eight years. I loved how thoughtful he was. Celese is strong and determined. She is a great mom and was extremely loyal. I loved that she fought for Adrian and refused to let him get away with some of the things he tried. These two were perfect for each other, and it was clear from the start that they were meant to be together. Not only were they sweet together, but they were super hot! These two really generated an enormous amount of steam and I loved that what they had was so special that they took it a little slow before just jumping into bed with each other. You could tell just how much every kiss and touch meant to both of them. It was really great watching them come to terms with their feelings and begin their future together.

Overall this book was pretty fantastic. There were a few things that I didn't love about it, which kept it from being a five star rating for me. But these things were pretty minor. I felt there was a little too much back and forth and feelings of being unworthy before they finally got to a good point and could admit to wanting to be together. I felt like there was already enough going on angst wise that they really didn't need that much indecision about their relationship. I also didn't really like how they kept saying they had to stay apart because of the family and then when it came down to it and they found out about their relationship, there really wasn't much fallout. It just felt a bit anticlimactic for me. But these are extremely small gripes and other than those few things, I really loved this story. This book is beautiful and emotional and is a great romance that I believe is a must read. These characters and the writing really draw you in and you don't want to stop reading until you have turned the last page. I was honestly sad when this book was finished, because I wanted more of Adrian and Celeste. If you haven't read this one yet, you should absolutely check it out!

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A Naughty New Year with Nicolette Day and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Nicolette Day

A mom by day and a romance writer by night, Nicolette Day harbors a weakness for black and white mochas and books that steam up her Kindle screen. She grew up in a one stoplight town where she once upon a time she only dreamed of becoming a writer. Now she lives in a slightly larger town in North Carolina where they have at least three stoplights. If you love young adult romance, check out Nicolette’s alter ego, Tara Fuller!

Places to find Nicolette:

ARC Review: One Night in Santiago by Audra North

I’ve read Audra North before and really enjoyed her writing style and her story. Her story, “Falling for the CEO” was very good. I loved the characters and their chemistry. However, “One Night in Santiago” fell short for me. I thought that the characters did not mesh well. Even though the meet under an unpleasant situation their conversation seems forced and awkward. Lily seems, almost immature. Although I think the conversation where they meet is supposed to be light hearted and funny it was uncomfortable and strained. Some of the scenes seemed overly dramatic. Lily is going through a lot of emotions. She is on a trip that was supposed to be her honeymoon. She gets stranded there because of a terrible storm and misses her sisters’ graduation. Although it’s understandable that she is under emotional stress after she discovers her fiancé was cheating on her with her friend. Lily seems to be all over the place. She goes through a lot of different emotions in a short period of time… she can’t wait to rip Bruno’s clothes off and then she is weeping on his chest after speaking with her sister. She makes the statement to Bruno that she is “the worst sister in the world”. The set up the story was interesting. Both Lily and Bruno are stranded at the Ritz and there is only one room available. They fight over it and eventually Bruno, chivalrously, lets Lily have it. But then they fight again about why she is letting him share the suite… Even though both characters attribute their bickering to their mutual stubbornness, it doesn’t play out well. Instead of chemistry it comes off as petty and trivial.

As Lily and Bruno Komarov spend the night in their shared suite they get to know each other. Bruno despite his last name comes from Chilean heritage. Lily also finds out that Bruno is inheriting a very profitable wine making company. Lily in her own right owns a consultant company that is also successful. Lily decides that she is not going to let the opportunity to be with Bruno pass by. She throws caution to the wind and makes it clear to him that she is interested. After a very hot and steamy night together they have to part ways. Lily gets up the next morning and goes to the airport. When Bruno wakes up he does not find Lily but only the note she left. Realizing that the still has time to reach her he goes to the airport to find her. Novellas are tough because the author has a hard job, make the characters relatable and the reader interested in a small number of pages. I definitely plan to read more by this author in the future. I really like that her characters are very unique and different.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Collide by Riley Hart

I have to admit that I have sort of been on a M/M kick lately and have pretty much devoured any of them I can get my hands on. I am pretty new to this genre, but the more of it I read the more I love it. There is just something hot about two guys together. I never thought that I would enjoy this genre as much as I do. When I first read the blurb about Collide by Riley Hart, I knew I had to read it. I am so glad that I read this story. I really enjoyed this one, and I cannot wait to read more from Riley Hart. This was a great start to her Blackcreek series, and I can't wait to get Wes and Braden's story next.

Noah and Cooper were best friends as soon as they happened to collide while going for the same football at age ten. Noah grew up moving around constantly, but finally felt like he had found a home in Blackcreek. Not only did he feel at home, but he also met Cooper there. Cooper was the only real friend he ever had. But one day while Coop is out of town with his aunt, Noah's parents up and leave taking Noah with them. Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to the other. Seventeen years later though, Noah returns to Blackcreek and literally collides with Coop again. Noah is looking for a place to settle, and Blackcreek was the only place he ever felt at home. Not only is Noah suffering from being cheated on, but then his car breaks down. As he begins the walk into town, he is hit by a truck. Coop just so happens to be driving the truck that hits him. Not having a place to stay, Coop offers to let Noah stay with him for the time being. Coop and Noah pick their friendship back up where they left off, but things are different after all these years. When Coop finds out that Noah is gay, he is very surprised but also curious. As the two spend more time together, their feelings for each other grow. Noah knows that Coop has always been straight, but that doesn't stop him from wanting to be with his best friend. Coop has never been attracted to a man before, but this is Noah and they have always had a strong connection to each other. Noah and Coop begin to explore their new relationship and see where things go. But when secrets from the past are revealed and people begin to find out about the two of them, can they have the relationship they both want? Or will they end up being torn apart?

I really loved both Coop and Noah. Coop is a sexy firefighter who has never done commitment. He lost his parents to a fire when he was young and was raised by his aunt and uncle. He grew up being told by his uncle to move on and the only person he was ever really able to open up to about everything was Noah. Coop was vulnerable, but he was able to really connect with Noah even at a young age. I loved that he really cared about Noah and was able to accept Noah for who he was. At first Coop tries to fight his feelings, but I loved that he quickly realized that his feelings were real and that he didn't waste a lot more time by continuing to fight it. Noah was strong and proud. He wasn't afraid to be who he was and was very clear about not caring what others thought. I loved that he didn't push too hard with Coop, and that he really was there to support him through everything. Noah and Coop were really great together, and I loved that their connection to each other went so deep. They both felt like they were the best friends they had ever had and felt a comfort and ease with each other that they never found with anyone else. I think their relationship seemed so real and natural because they had such a great foundation and friendship. I loved how hot these guys were together, and they had such amazing chemistry.

Overall, I really felt like Coop and Noah were absolutely perfect for each other. They were friends first, but truly became partners in every sense of the word. I loved watching as they took their relationship from friendship to lovers as their love grew. I really felt their love and connection to each other. I was immediately invested in these characters and thought that they were extremely likable. They were funny and I loved how they gave each other a hard time and were able to banter. As much as I liked Cooper and Noah, I also really liked Wes and Braden. I am really excited to get their story next, and to get to know them both better. I am definitely a fan of Riley Hart after reading this great story, and I really liked her writing style. I would recommend this story to any fan of romance, but I think that this is a must read for fans of the M/M genre. Regardless of what you might at first think about reading a M/M book though, this book is really just a story about love and friendship which just happens to be between two men.

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A Naughty New Year with Samanthe Beck and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Samanthe Beck 

Sam was transfixed from an early age with any tale featuring a handsome prince, a great dress, and, of course, the all-important kiss, and eventually aspired to write her own happily-ever-afters. Naturally, she became a lawyer. The legal world heaved a sigh of relief a few years ago when Samanthe retired from law to take the plunge as a writer.

When not living the glamorous life of a romance author (i.e., chained to her computer), Samanthe keeps busy with the care and feeding of her extremely patient prince-charming of a husband, a not-so-patient ball of energy known as their son, a furry ninja named Kitty, and Bebe, the trash talkin’ Chihuahua. Their love, support, and willingness to eat Pizza Hut three or more times a week enables Samanthe to pursue her literary dreams.

Places to find Samanthe: 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ARC Review: Out of Time by Jen McLaughlin

I have been looking forward to this book since I finished Out of Line. I absolutely adored Carrie and Finn, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next for them. If you haven't read Out of Line yet, not only should you get on that, but you are going to want to make sure you read that before you read Out of Time. These books are not standalone, and should only be read in order. So if you haven't read the first one, beware that there are possible spoilers in this review. I am always a bit scared of a series when I really love the first book, because they can go a few different ways. I have to say though that with Out of Time, I not only enjoyed it but really liked where the author took Carrie and Finn. I am already anxiously awaiting the next book Out of Mind.

Out of Time picks up where we left off with Out of Line, and fortunately for us we are not kept waiting long to try and figure out what is going on with the phone call that Finn got. In Out of Time, Finn and Carrie are back together and are happier than ever. But after Finn received that mysterious phone call, what does the future hold for them? Suddenly Carrie's father the Senator isn't the only obstacle in the way, now they also have to worry about the Military as well. But when Finn is presented an opportunity that could change his and Carrie's future, he views it as the perfect way to begin their future together. The only problem is that in order to give Carrie the life that he thinks she deserves, Finn will have to leave her for awhile and head into danger. Can they get through the time apart and end up where they belong, safe and happy together? Or will the dangerous situation and separation bring an end to the future that both Carrie and Finn want together?

I didn't think it was possible to love Finn anymore than I already did, but Jen McLaughlin went and proved me wrong. Finn is so sweet and protective and he truly loves and cares about Carrie more than anything else. I loved how he was willing to sacrifice everything for her and he also really opened himself up and was vulnerable. He wasn't afraid to admit to her or anyone else just how much he felt for her and I thought that it was so refreshing that he was so honest about his feelings. I absolutely loved what he had planned for her before he left, and it was just really cute and perfect for them. Even though he had a few moments where he reacted badly, you could tell that he was just scared and that he just cared about her so much that it was tearing him up. I also really loved Carrie even more than in the first book. She continues to be kind and caring and always thinking about others. It was clear how she felt about Finn regardless of their differences. She truly loved him for him and she would do anything for him. I loved seeing how she tried to put on a brave face for Finn and be strong even though she was scared for him and was going to miss him. Carrie and Finn have such great chemistry and are really steamy together. I loved reading their sexy scenes and I think that they are even more perfect for each other as their relationship progresses. But the connection between them goes so much deeper than just the physical with them, and it is so real and believable.

This book was an emotional read for me. It had its sweet moments and some sexy moments, but there were also times that it was truly heartbreaking and definitely brought tears to my eyes. Even though I usually get emotionally involved with books and the characters in them, it takes a lot to make me cry. This one had me tearing up though, and I thought my heart was breaking right along with Carrie and Finn. I really love these characters and I think that they deserve their HEA together. I hope that they get through all the obstacles in their way and come out stronger and better because of them. I cannot wait to see what happens next for them, and I will keep rooting for their happiness. I did enjoy some of the characters we got to know better in this book also. I really liked Carrie's roommate Marie and thought it was great that she was able to have a friend to lean on. I also liked Finn's friend Hernandez, and I hope that we get to see more of him and maybe get that double date that Carrie wants to arrange. I also really liked Riley and thought that he and Carrie had some great banter and could be great friends. I thought he was really funny and I would love to see more of him in the future. It was nice to see someone from her world that was more like her and not afraid to be who they were rather than constantly trying to keep up appearances. For me, this was a really great follow up to Out of Line and I am loving this series. My main complaint is that I really hate cliffhangers and unfortunately we are left with a pretty big one at the end of this book. I really need to know what happens, and I just have this fear that it will get worse for Carrie and Finn before it gets better. I think this series is definitely one that New Adult fans will love, and If you have read the first book you really need to read this one and see what happens next with Carrie and Finn. This series is one that has grabbed a hold of my attention though, and I am really invested in these characters now. This is a must read series for me, and I think that many romance fans will absolutely love these books just as I do. I hope that we don't have too long to wait to see what happens because I will be anxious until I know that Carrie and Finn are together and everything is okay with them.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

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Interview with Author Debbie Mason and Giveaway

Meet Debbie Mason, author of The Trouble With Christmas.

Praised as a "writer to watch" by RT Book Reviews, Debbie Mason also writes Scottish-set historical paranormals as Debbie Mazzuca. Her MacLeod series debuted in April 2010 and is said to "combine the passion of Hannah Howell's Highand romances with the seductive fantasy of Karen Marie Moning's bestsellers."

Places to find Debbie:

Feature and Giveaway: Brandon's Bride by Lisa Gardner

Life isn't easy for Victoria. She lives on a struggling ranch where she raises her son as a single parent, because his father was addicted to drugs. Along comes Brandon MacNamara, who’s staying at her ranch on temporary business, a man with whom she knows she shouldn't get involved. But her curiosity gets the better of her. And after Brandon begins to let his guard down around her by telling her about the mission that brought him to her ranch—the one to find his absentee father, he wants to become a man worthy of her affection. But Brandon’s search for answers is about to turn dangerous, threatening their growing connection—and their very lives.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ARC Review: Christmas Catch by Chelsea M. Cameron

Novellas are always really hit or miss for me. Sometimes the length is just not enough to do a story justice and they end up feeling rushed or incomplete. But I really love a holiday novella, because they are usually just the perfect amount of holiday spirit to really get me in the mood. Christmas Catch by Chelsea M. Cameron was short and sweet and I really enjoyed reading about these two great characters. I am so glad that I read this novella because it was extremely well written and a very fun read.

Two years ago, Ivy left her small hometown for Columbia determined to have more out of life than a small town future. The only thing that she was sad to leave behind was Sawyer. But she knew that things would never work out with him going to Georgetown and her at Columbia, so she decided to end things before they fell apart. Now her mom has convinced her to return home for Christmas, and as she is on her way into town she ends up swerving to avoid hitting a deer and ends up with her car in the ditch. The first person to drive by and offer help happens to be Sawyer. Ivy ends up running into him several times, and they finally begin to talk about what happened when they broke up. The connection and feelings are still strong between them, and they realize that just because they broke up doesn't mean that things are over. With both of their families determined to see them together, Sawyer and Ivy begin spending time together. Will they realize that love is worth fighting for and try to make things work?

I really liked Sawyer. He was sweet and thoughtful and was willing to sacrifice everything to help his mom out after his father died. I loved how he remembered everything that Ivy liked and he seemed to never have stopped caring about her. I thought it was really great that he knew her so well despite their time apart. He was just a really likable hero that you couldn't help but root for. I liked Ivy a lot too. Even though she had made a bad decision to break up with Sawyer and lost touch with everyone after moving, you could tell that she was doing what she thought she needed to. She was determined to make a better life for herself and didn't want anything to stand in her way. I think that even though it seemed sort of rash to give up everything without even trying, that a lot of that was just her age and her trying to protect herself. Sawyer and Ivy were great together though, and you could tell that they really belonged together. They had great chemistry and were a really sweet couple.

I also really enjoyed reading about the unique and fun holiday traditions that Ivy's family had. I thought that they were really interesting and they really made the story a great holiday read. My one complaint about this book is that I wasn't ready for it to be over. I felt like Ivy and Sawyer had a nice ending in this story. But because of the length I was left wanting more of them and wanting to see what happened in the future for them. I would love to read more about Sawyer and Ivy and I hope that maybe the author will write another story around these two. I just have to know what happens now and in the future for them! Sawyer and Ivy were definitely worth reading about, and I would highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a sweet and satisfying holiday romance story. This one will put you in the holiday spirit and leave you smiling.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

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