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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!

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

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 fiancĂ© 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**

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

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.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

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**

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

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**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Attending a Ball...with Julie Anne Long and Giveaway

Attending a Ball on Christmas Eve - Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up, and she has the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of her closet t prove it. When playing to indifferent crowds at midnight in dank clubs lost its, ahem, charm, she realized she could incorporate all of the best things about being in a band—namely, drama, passion and men with unruly hair—into novels, while at the same time indulging her love of history and research. So she made the move from guitar to keyboard (the computer variety) and embarked on a considerably more civilized, if not much more peaceful, career as a novelist.

Julie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a fat orange cat. (Little known fact: they issue you a cat the minute you become a romance novelist.)

Place to find Julie:

Monday, December 23, 2013

ARC Review: Unwrapped by Melody Grace

Unwrapped is a novella in Melody Grace's Beachwood Bay series. This is Lacey and Daniel's story and can be read as a standalone. However, I would recommend reading this after you have read the previous stories as this will spoil some of what happens in the other books. If you haven't read them, beware that there will possibly be spoilers in this review.

Lacey is on her way to Beachwood Bay in order to be the maid of honor in her best friend Juliet's wedding. She is running late at the airport and runs right into Daniel, Juliet's ex. Lacey always had a crush on Daniel but there were many reasons that nothing could ever happen between them. They are complete opposites and even if they weren't, girls just can't date their BFF's ex. Daniel ends up on the same plane as Lacey and just so happens to be sitting in the seat right next to hers. They encounter a winter storm on the way and end up getting stranded at the airport hotel over night. There are no more rental cars that night, and there is only one hotel room left. They end up drinking a bit and skinny dipping, and the next thing they know they are unable to fight the attraction between them. But when they wake up in the morning and head to Beachwood Bay, will it all have been just a one night stand? Or will they start a relationship that neither one of them ever expected?

I liked Daniel. He was a really sweet guy and he had a way of saying things that absolutely made me swoon. He was driven and seemed to be very focused at first. But I love how he really started to loosen up once he was around Lacey. He was definitely more interesting and passionate than I ever expected, and I loved getting to know the real him. I really liked Lacey. She was really funny and I thought that she was a great friend. She really tried to fight her feelings for Daniel because of her relationship with Juliet. But I loved that they couldn't help the attraction between each other, and they had an easy way of being together. They just seemed to belong together and they fit perfectly. They were able to balance each other as well as bring out the best from the other. They also had a ton of chemistry together. I loved how playful they were at first, starting with a game of Truth or Dare and then ending up really exploring the passion between them.

I did feel like this relationship developed extremely fast though. I realize that they knew each other before, but this whole novella takes place over the course of two days. It just felt extremely rushed and I just couldn't quite believe that they were basically calling each other the one after that little bit of time. Especially since Daniel had never felt that way about Lacey before, and Lacey was constantly worried about him being Juliet's ex. I wish we would have seen a bit more of them after this first hook-up and maybe seen through New Year's after they spent a bit more time together. I also thought that there was a bit too much back and forth when it came to their feelings. One minute they were both convinced that what was going on was more, and the next they were convinced that the other thought it was nothing. It just wasn't very consistent. I did enjoy getting the dual POV though, and I loved being able to see Daniel's thoughts and feelings as well as Lacey's. I am excited about Garret's story next though. I have been looking forward to getting to know him better since I first read about him. Although I'm not sure that I am really looking forward to who he is getting paired with. The glimpse we get of the two of them at the end of Unwrapped has me a little worried about how likable i'm going to find Brianna. I just hope that she ends up being completely unlike how she seems at first. If you are a fan of the Beachwood Bay series, I think that you will really enjoy Unwrapped. Lacey and Daniel's story is a fun and quick read that gives you a taste of romance and steam with some holiday spirit, as well as more of the characters from the previous books.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Reuniting with a Former Love...with Vicky Dreiling and Giveaway

Reuniting with a Former Love on Christmas Eve - Vicky Dreiling

Triple RITA finalist Vicky Dreiling is a confirmed historical romance junkie and Anglophile. Frequent business trips to the UK allowed her to indulge her passion for all things Regency England. Bath, Stonehenge, and Spencer House are among her favorite places. She is, however, truly sorry for accidentally setting off a security alarm in Windsor Castle. That unfortunate incident led her British colleagues to nickname her “Trouble.” Vicky is a native Texan and holds degrees in English literature and marketing.

Places to find Vicky:
Site Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads |

ARC Review: Rebel by Skye Jordan

Another great installment in Skye Jordan's Renegade series. I'm really loving this series and I definitely can't wait for more.

Rebel is great and I really enjoyed the relationship between Wes and Rubi. I love that they were friends before they became a couple and that their relationship didn't feel rushed. It was great seeing them take the next step. The chemistry and heat between these two was smokin' hot and I just didn't want to stop reading. I loved watching their relationship evolve and grow from friends to lovers.

First let me say that Wes is so swoonworthy. Seriously, he's hot and pretty much the perfect guy. *sigh* Loved him. What I love most about him is his honesty. He's completely upfront and honest and doesn't play any games and let me tell you, that is so refreshing to see. He's such a good guy and a perfect match for Rubi.

As for Rubi, she's smart, sexy, sassy and tough as nails. I like her and the fact that she's so intelligent. I'm a big fan of smart characters. Intelligence is definitely sexy in my book. =) Though Rubi is tough, she's actually really vulnerable and I couldn't help but want to give her a hug. She has a difficult past with her father and it just breaks your heart at times to see her in pain. I felt that Rubi grows quite a bit and I enjoyed watching her cope and come to terms with things.

All in all, this was a great read and I can't wait for more. I love this world and it's characters that Skye Jordan has created. It's hot and fresh and I can't wait to see what's in-store for the rest of the Renegades.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ARC Review: Snowed Over by Angie Stanton

Angie Stanton is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. Her stories are sweet and filled with extremely likable characters that you can't help but fall for. I really enjoy her writing style and I think that her books always have such a great flow. They really pull you in and you become extremely invested in the characters and their HEAs. Snowed Over was no exception, and I really enjoyed reading about Alex and Katie. Snowed Over is a short holiday themed novella, and is the perfect read to bring the reader some holiday cheer.

After Katie's parents decided to separate a few months back, Katie is dreading going to her mom's Not Boyfriend's house for Christmas. This is the first Christmas that she and her sister will spend without their family and normal traditions. Katie gets a ride from a friend of her roommate's brother. Things don't start off well when Alex arrives late to pick her up and they begin the trip while a storm starts heading their way. After swerving to avoid a deer, Alex's truck ends up in a river and they are left out in the cold. They quickly find a cabin to hole up in and wait out the storm. Alex and Katie work to make the best of being snowed in and an easy friendship begins. Soon they are both feeling more than friendly though, and realize that they are starting to care more for each other. But with Alex needing to convince his fiance that he really is through with her they know that they should wait to pursue anything. What happens when they are finally rescued and have to return to the real world? Can Alex and Katie take their time snowed in at a stranger's cabin and turn it into a relationship, or will there be too many things standing in their way?

I really liked Alex, despite his heinous fiance/ex-fiance Trina and the fact that he let her treat him as a doormat. I thought that he was sweet and smart and he really seemed to be an all around good guy. He took care of Katie and I loved how they started off by developing a friendship first. Alex seemed like an easy going guy and he fit perfectly with Katie. Katie was really easy to like. She was smart and funny and was able to handle herself well. I loved how she looked after Alex and tried to take care of him as best she could. I also really loved how drama free she was. She actually sat and listened when Alex explained everything going on in his life and she didn't jump to conclusions. She cared about him and was very understanding of everything. I also loved how she was always on his side and didn't react like a catty girl when she was faced with Trina. Alex and Katie were really sweet together and there was a lot of sexual tension between them. They had great chemistry and were a natural fit for each other. I found them to be so real and believable.

I really enjoyed reading this story, and I liked that it wasn't your typical holiday novella. Katie and Alex really had to make the best of their situation and I loved that they were still able to capture the spirit of the holidays with their story. Their exchanging of gifts and cooking together was really adorable and I couldn't get enough of these two. They had great banter as well, and I really loved their wit. I have to admit that I really loved how thoughtful Alex was with their first date and even if I hadn't already been swooning over him that definitely would have done it. My sole complaint with this one was the same complaint I have with most novellas, and that is the length. I'm greedy, and I wanted more Alex and Katie. I would have loved to have seen more of the two of them as they went on their first date and beyond. I always want to get a peek into the HEA, and I feel like we were just starting with Alex and Katie's. I hope that maybe someday we will get more of Alex and Katie as I would love to read more about them. Snowed Over is a great holiday story, but its also just a really great romance. It is sweet and charming and will leave you feeling the holiday spirit. I recommend this one to anyone looking for a quick Christmas story that has a great romance to go along with it.

**Copy provided by Author**

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble |

A Secret Rendezvous...with Elizabeth Essex and Giveaway

A Secret Rendezvous on Christmas Eve - Elizabeth Essex 

When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden and simply messing about with boats, award-winning author Elizabeth Essex can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she. It wasn’t always so. Long before she ever set pen to paper, Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University. While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure.

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books.

Places to find Elizabeth: