Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekly Winners

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

Vampire Trouble by Sara Humphreys

For the Longest Time by Kendra Leigh Castle

How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels

Awakened by Virna DePaul

Best Served Cold by Tawdra Kandle

All winners have been notified via email. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered. =)

ARC Review: Release by Elizabeth Dunk

Release is the first book that I have read by Elizabeth Dunk and I have never read anything like it before. I have been reading a lot of NA and Contemporaries lately, so when I saw that this was Erotica but with a paranormal twist I had to read it. I can honestly say that this book was completely unique, and I really enjoyed reading it. I am so glad that I took the chance on this one, and I think that this book will appeal to paranormal readers as well as fans of erotica.

Release is the compilation of four different stories, detailing the four ladies and four spirits that help them on their way to sexual satisfaction. Cursed after death to live in a gray world of nothing, the four spirits must atone for their sins in order to move on. The four brothers quickly find that simply helping is not enough and that they need to ensure the women's happiness by allowing them to fully embrace their sexual natures. In the first story Believing, Luisa has just moved into her new house and uses the spirit of the house to help her realize her sensual nature. She quickly makes plans for her house and goes about making her new home an environment to achieve the passion and desire she dreams about. In Live and Let Go, Anna is grieving for the husband that she lost but also the only person that has ever satisfied her physically. The spirit of the beach helps her realize that she can find satisfaction with another if she is open to the possibility of it. Truth in Action is the story of Cara and begins with her wanting revenge after her ex told her she was fat and boring in bed. The spirit of the field helps her see that she is anything but boring and that she should take the chance on living out her greatest fantasy. With his help, she embraces her bisexuality and finally sees what it is like to be with a woman as well as a man. In the final story, Forgiven and Freed, the spirit of the office gets some help of his own from Jan. He finally is able to help his brothers move on after Jan is able to show him that he is different from who he was in the past. With all the brothers having helped the women, they are finally able to move forward and continue the help that they have been giving to those in need.

I really liked these characters. They were each different and had their own issues to deal with. It was great to see the spirits moving forward all while helping the women that needed to deal with issues of their own. I liked all the spirits and thought that they did a great job at making the women feel beautiful and desired. The women were easy to like and relate to, and it was good to see them leave their pasts behind and embrace their futures. I thought that this book was filled with steam and heat, and the chemistry between the characters was really well done. This one was sexy without being over the top, and I really felt the feelings and attraction between each of them.

Overall, this book was really good. I liked that it was so different from anything that I have read before, and it was a great erotic read with a bit of paranormal. I liked that it wasn't the normal paranormal shifters, vampires, or werewolves. It was interesting to see real characters interacting with spirits and then reintegrating themselves into real life with their new found confidence. I really liked all four stories, but I think Luisa and Anna's were my favorites. I really loved their spirits and the women themselves. I would definitely recommend that you give this one a shot if you are looking for something different. The four novellas come together really well, and I loved how cohesive everything was. Elizabeth Dunk did a fantastic job of tying everything together and I cannot wait to read more from her in the future.

**ARC Provided by Escape Publishing**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Guest Post with Author Elizabeth Dunk and Giveaway

Meet Elizabeth Dunk, author of Release.

Elizabeth Dunk is the contemporary romance and erotica-writing alter ego of Nicole Murphy, who cut her teeth writing science fiction and fantasy. This is the third Elizabeth Dunk book — Arranged to Love and The Lies We Tell were published by Escape Publishing in 2013. As Nicole, she has dozens of short stories in print and has published an urban fantasy trilogy, The Dream of Asarlai. Her science fiction romance trilogy The Jorda Series will be published by Escape, with the first book Loving the Prince out in August.

Find Elizabeth at:

Review: The Best Laid Plans by Tamara Mataya

The Best Laid Plans is the second book I have read by Tamara Mataya, and like the first I really enjoyed it. It was written well, and I liked the story and characters a lot. This book was a quick and easy read, and I was invested right from the start. I thought it was a great contemporary read and had just the right amount of sweet and sexy moments.

Malcolm is a successful musician and has made something of himself after escaping the horrors of high school. He was bullied and treated horribly until an attack left him in such bad shape that his parents pulled him out of school for his safety. But while performing a gig for an office party for some brokers, he ends up running into his childhood crush. She doesn't recognize him at all, and he decides this is his perfect opportunity to get some revenge. He plans to seduce Jayne and make her fall in love with him only to break her heart. Jayne was used to being invisible in high school, but years later with the help of a makeover and some advice she finds herself able to attract any man she wants. When she first sees Malcolm, she thinks that he would be perfect for a one night stand. But she quickly finds herself drawn to him and unable to stay away after he turns the tables on her. Malcolm and Jayne start seeing more of each other, and soon they are starting to develop real feelings for one another. But what happens when they are invited to their 10 year reunion and the truth finally comes out?

I really liked Malcolm. I thought that he was sexy and sweet, and had turned such a horrible childhood into a successful life. He had been through so much, and I felt so bad for him. The bullying that he suffered was so terrible that I cannot even imagine being able to live through that and turn out to be the type of person that he was. I thought that he blamed Jayne a little too much for what happened to him, especially since it wasn't even her that did the bullying. She had made an assumption, but she was young and didn't know what her mistake would lead to. I was really glad to see him figure things out though as his feelings for her started to develop. Jayne had been used to being invisible her whole life and had finally figured out how to make men want her. She was still insecure and vulnerable though and a lot of that influenced her life still. It was good to see Malcolm bring her out of her comfort zone though and I liked that he was able to take away a bit of her control. I liked that they worked well together, and that even though they started things off casually they couldn't help but let things develop between them as their feelings grew. I thought that they had a lot of chemistry together and had a ton of steam between them. But I also really enjoyed seeing the feelings and emotions between them.

Overall, I thought that this book was really great. I really believed in Malcolm and Jayne's relationship and it was great to see how far they had come from their childhood. Their story was cute and sweet, but had plenty of sexy times and heat to keep the reader interested. I really like Tamara Mataya's writing style, and I become more of a fan with each book of hers that I read. I would definitely recommend giving her books a shot if you haven't read anything by her yet. The Best Laid Plans was really good, and I think that fans of contemporary romance will really enjoy this book. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

**Review Copy Provided by Swoon Romance PR**

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

ARC Review: Alive at 5 by Linda Bond

One of my favourite things about reading is discovering new-to-me authors in my favourite genres, so I’m always game to check out something new that comes across my desk if the blurb sounds interesting. Such was the case with journalist-turned-author Linda Bond’s debut novel, ALIVE AT 5: panic attack-prone TV news reporter, lone-wolf undercover police officer, high-adrenaline adventure vacation, and a shirtless-with-a-leather-jacket bloke on the cover? Sold. But while ALIVE AT 5 is an enjoyable enough action-packed romantic thriller, it suffers from the common debut author pitfall of packing so much in that it feels unrealistic, and a heroine that—whilst likable enough—treads dangerously close to TSTL territory.

TV news reporter Samantha (Sam) Steele is on the verge of getting the pink slip from the station due to panic attacks that cause her to freeze up during her live broadcasts. In a last-ditch effort to save her job—and the paycheque she desperately needs to pay for her comatose mother’s care—she pitches a fluff feature piece to her producer: following her beloved mentor and local philanthropist on a two-week, high-adrenaline, extreme-adventure vacation. Skydiving, cave diving, shark diving, and flying in an F-16? She can document that—as long as she doesn’t have to actually do any of those things. When her mentor dies on the skydiving part of the trip and sexy thrill-seeker Zack Hunter voices doubts about it being accidental, Sam vows to find the truth about what happened. But Zack is not really the rich playboy adrenaline junkie he seems to be but a police officer on an unsanctioned undercover mission to investigate his uncle’s suspicious death—along with several others—on the same adventure vacation, and the last thing he needs is a nosy reporter blowing his cover and splashing his evidence (and identity) all over the evening news. Even if that nosy reporter tempts him like no other and makes him want to forget his vow to never become emotionally attached again. Murder and mayhem with a heaping dose of over-the-top action and interspersed sexytimes ensue… and therein lies my main problem with the plot. The action moves quickly from skydiving (where no one seems to bat an eye about the death) to cave diving (which, as a scuba diver myself, I had major issues with—no one, especially cavern/cave divers, would behave the way the characters do!) to flying with the Air Force Thunderbirds (where, apparently, passing out during a 9 G-force turn is enough to induce a personality transplant) to shark diving in the Bahamas, with a near-death experience at every turn and an oddly warped timeline. I get that it’s meant to be pulse-pounding, nonstop action, but this was too much to be anywhere near realistic in my opinion, and I couldn’t buy into the villain(s)’ motivation. However, if you can suspend your disbelief—and I may be unable to do so because I have first-hand experience with the reality of some of these activities—it’s one hell of a white-knuckle thrill ride.

Zack is a typical RS/thriller hero: a little scarred from a tough upbringing, guilt-ridden from having been unable to save a colleague, convinced he’s better off alone because anyone close to him gets hurt, and insanely good at everything. Again, it’s a bit over the top, but he’s a good guy and his characterization works well when considering this a fun, campy romp. I certainly wouldn’t mind having him as my dive buddy, and I liked how he pushes Sam to break out of her controlled, uptight mould and helps her overcome her issues without being a jerk. And despite being nearly perfect, he’s not infallible and the bad guys best him on occasion, which makes him more appealing. Sam, however, I had a harder time with. The TSTL heroine is one of my biggest pet peeves, and Sam wavers right on the edge, countering some kickass moments with some genuinely stupid ones in pursuit of a story camouflaged as a quest for the truth. Sure, it opens the door to more exciting, pulse-pounding scenarios, but it also makes me want to strangle someone… preferably her. I liked how she went from anxiety-riddled and timid to confident and intrepid, but the short length of the book made it feel like she’d gotten a personality transplant partway through. She and Zack, however, make a good couple, and I was rooting for them and their HEA.

Overall, ALIVE AT 5 felt like a print version of a summer blockbuster popcorn film: lots of action and little substance, but a fun, fast-paced way to kill a couple of hours. Linda Bond has a good voice for high-octane action-adventure, so it’ll be interesting to see how it becomes more polished as she grows as an author.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: Problems in Paradise by Kelsey Browning

Problems in Paradise is the third book in Kelsey Browning's Texas Nights series. This book can be read as a standalone with no problems in understanding the story. I have to admit that I really liked the first book in this series and it was nice to see familiar characters again, but I was left with mixed feelings about this boo. It was frustrating at times for me, but I did think that it had its cute and sweet moments.

Eden Durant relocated to the small town of Shelbyville, Texas where she runs Paradise Garden Cafe after leaving a life in California behind. She is dedicated to showing the residents that healthy and organic food can taste good. She is determined to help them live better lives through better food. There has been an attraction between Eden and Chief Deputy Beck Childress since she came to town, and Beck is determined to finally convince her to go on a date with him. When her apartment and restaurant get broken into, he takes the opportunity to get her to agree to spend some time with him. As Beck and Eden get closer, some customers get sick after eating at her restaurant. Beck and Eden begin to investigate to see what happened and who is breaking into her place. When Beck decides to run for sheriff, things get even more complicated and Eden begins to wonder if she should be spending time with Beck. Eden has been keeping a big secret, and knows that it getting out could not only make Beck run but also bring down his chances at becoming sheriff. But Beck isn't willing to let Eden run so easily and sets out to convince her that nothing couldn't be worth her leaving him.

I liked Beck a lot. I thought that he was a great guy and he was really thoughtful. He took his job seriously and was committed to providing the protection and care that the town deserved. But he was also not judgmental about Eden's past, and he didn't care what she came from because of his feelings for her. I loved that he got her a dog to look out for her when he wasn't around, and there were a lot of other sweet things that he did for her. I thought that he was perfect for her and that his feelings were real and believable. Eden was strong and was able to leave a life behind that she wasn't proud of. It had to have been hard growing up the way that she did, and I think that she was great for getting out and making something of herself on her own. I will say that I didn't connect with her character at all though. I thought that she ran too easily and that she didn't really give Beck the chance he deserved a lot of times. I think that they had chemistry between them, and they had some really great moments together. But I just wasn't really satisfied with how their relationship progressed, and I think a lot of that was Eden.

I also felt like this book was pretty predictable, and honestly a lot of the small town typical hypocrisy got really old to me. It was just too over the top at times, and I honestly felt like a lot of it was just thrown in to see how much drama and controversy could possibly be added to one story. I really didn't like most of the characters in this story, but I especially hated Beck's sister Clare. I really wanted to see her get what was coming to her, and I felt like she just never got what she deserved. She was terrible, and she ruined a lot of this story for me. I think that if you are a fan of this series and like small town romance stories that you might give this one a chance. But honestly this one just wasn't for me and I think that while it was sweet and cute at times it was just too frustrating for me to ever fully enjoy. It was well written and I like Kelsey Browning's writing style, but the characters and story in this one just didn't work for me.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Problems in Paradise by Kelsey Browning

Eden Durant hasn't always been Eden Durant. She's made a fresh start in Shelbyville, Texas, far from her mother's notoriety. Running the Paradise Garden Café is as much excitement as Eden wants—or it was, until she meets Beck Childress. Although he's the one man who could expose her past, she's willing to open up enough to see if he might be her future.

Chief Deputy Childress is determined to get to know the real Eden, when he isn't busy cleaning up after the sheriff and running in the election to replace him. When several men fall sick after eating in Eden's café, he investigates even as her mysterious past raises both his suspicions and his protective instincts.

As their relationship heats up, so do the pressures of Beck's campaign. When Eden's secrets are revealed, jeopardizing his dream of becoming sheriff, he'll need to choose: serve and protect the town he loves or the woman who makes it home.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Alive at 5 by Linda Bond

TV news reporter Samantha Steele is one panic attack away from losing her job. Future on the line, she sets up an easy feature story – following her mentor on an exhilarating adventure vacation.

When her mentor dies while skydiving, Samantha suspects he was murdered, and her investigative instincts lead her to gorgeous thrill-seeker Zack Hunter. Zack is an undercover police officer investigating his uncle’s death through the same adventure vacation.

Zack doesn't want Samantha investigating alongside him. The emotionally wounded loner is afraid of being responsible for a partner again, especially a journalist whose goal is to splash evidence all over the evening news.

But the striking reporter’s persistence is quite a turn-on, and Zack’s overpowering desire makes it harder for him to push her away. When the killer turns his attention to Zack, Samantha could be the only one who can save him, forcing the anxiety-riddled correspondent to finally face her greatest fear.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Feature and Giveaway: Tempting Tatum by Kaylee Ryan

What do you do when your whole life crashes and burns? How do you get through the flames?

Tatum Thompson is living the dream. Her life is perfect; with a loving boyfriend, loving parents and a soon to be college graduate how can life get better? Life is good until it isn't. When tragedy strikes Tatum runs to Josh only to find him in a compromising position with someone else. Turning away from the only life she knew, Tatum is forced to alter her life plan.

Blaise Richards is a tattoo artist who moonlights as a volunteer fire fighter. Lies and deception leave his broken heart closed until the beautiful green eyed girl casts her spell over him. She’s making him feel things he’s never felt. Making him want things he thought he would never want.

Tatum wants Mr. just for tonight.

Blaise wants Tatum to be his forever.

Can Mr. Just for tonight convince Tatum that she’s the one? How long can Tatum resist Blaise’s determination to make her his?

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

ARC Review: Tempting Tatum by Kaylee Ryan

Tempting Tatum is the first book that I have ever read by Kaylee Ryan, and I absolutely loved it! It was so good, and I honestly can't wait to read more from her. This book had one of the best book boyfriends I have ever read about, and he was just amazing. But I also really enjoyed Kaylee Ryan's writing style and I loved all the characters.

When Tatum Thompson loses both of her parents in a tragic car accident she turns to her boyfriend, only to find him with another girl. Her best friend Leah and Leah's fiance Brent offer to let her move with them from Ohio to Tennessee and stay with them for as long as she wants to get a fresh start. She decides to move with them and Brent gets her a job interview with the mayor's office to work in her field of marketing and PR. She ends up meeting Blaise Richards the receptionist's son. They are both instantly attracted to each other and feel a connection neither of them have ever felt before. Tatum is determined to stay away from guys after what she just went through with Josh, but Blaise isn't willing to give up so easily. Blaise has kept things casual since his ex cheated on him, but he knows that what he feels for Tatum is so much more than just a good time. Can Blaise show Tatum that he is worthy of her trust and that they belong together? Can Tatum open herself up again and take a chance on forever with Blaise?

I really can't say enough great things about Blaise, but I loved and adored him. He was sweet and kind, patient and understanding. He was so great with everyone in his family and his friends, and he was so good for Tatum. He let her take her time and do things on her terms, but he was always there for her. He was supportive and encouraging, and I loved that he took things slow with her. He wanted all of her and he didn't want to be with her physically until she was able to commit to him, which I thought just made him that much better of a book boyfriend. He cared so much about her, and even though their feelings developed quickly they just felt so real and believable. Tatum was great also, and I liked seeing her find Blaise and see what a real man is like. She had been used to a relationship that while not awful at first wasn't great either. It was nice to see her cooking and playing games with Blaise and his family, and really starting to let others in besides Leah and Brent. She had so much healing to do, and I felt like Blaise and his family were exactly what she needed. Their relationship was so sweet, and I really felt like they were perfect for each other in every way. I loved the chemistry and attraction between them, but I also loved the emotional connection that they were forming as well.

Overall, I really felt that this book was fantastic. I read this cover to cover because I couldn't put it down. I loved everything about the story and the characters, and I really liked how everyone fit together. This group of friends and family were so much fun to read about, and I loved the connection that they had to each other. I will say that this one was really sweet sometimes bordering on cheesy and the feelings happened quickly, and for some it might be too unrealistic to get behind. But honestly for me, I really was enjoying the story and characters so much that it didn't even matter to me and I felt like it worked. I would highly recommend this book to romance fans of all genres, and I think that these characters will be so easy for readers to relate to and become invested in. If you are looking for a sweet HEA with a sexy tattooed hero and a strong and likable heroine, you should definitely give this one a shot. I can't wait to read more from Kaylee Ryan in the future.

**ARC Provided by Between the Sheets Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ARC Review: Two Week Seduction by Kathy Lyons

Two Week Seduction by Kathy Lyons was a fun and light read. This is what I would call beachside reading. It’s the perfect book to escape to by the beach. The story is light and fun and so are the characters. I was really interested in this book because of the plot. Alea Heling and Tech Sergeant John O’Donnell seemed to have unfinished business between them and I wanted to find out how they resolved their issues.

Alea always had a crush on her brother’s friend, John. When she decided to act on her attraction he walked away from her. Alea was never able to get over the rejection. When John comes home to help out his widowed mom she sees it as an opportunity to have a second chance with John.

John was a great character. He was a little short fused but he really was a good guy. He had a tough childhood with his father who was abusive and an alcoholic. When John left to enlist in the services he and his father argued. That was the last time he saw his father alive. Now he is back to his home town but he is not happy with all the memories that come back. These memories include Alea. He is attracted to Alea but out of loyalty to his friend he knows that he can’t act on his feelings for her. He knows that he is only home temporarily and then he will be back to his base.

Usually when I read a romance novel I either like both main characters or I like the heroine more but with this book I really liked John. He was an honorable and good guy. He has his ghost to deal with and his temper but he is healing form his past. Alea was a harder character to understand. One minute she is dressed as a librarian and the next she is wearing thigh-high boots and playing pool in a bar with a group of men. She is a teacher but has applied to law school and received acceptance. She also has an alter ego that she lets lose once in a while. I think I would have liked her more if she stayed within one character. At the beginning she is helping John’s mother with his welcome home party the next she is deciding how to seduce him.

Overall, this was a fun and light read. Both characters had great chemistry and they were enjoyable. They were well matched because Alea knew how to handle herself and John as well. I recommend this story if you’re looking for a fun couple who are trying to play a game of cat and mouse, although it’s never clear just who the mouse is! Fun read!

**ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: All of You by Christina Lee

All of You is the first book ins Christina Lee's Between Breaths series, and I absolutely loved it. This story had me from the first word, and I could not put it down. I loved the writing style, I loved the characters, and I loved that this story was different from everything else out there. This is one of the best new adult books that I have read to date, and I can't wait to read more from Christina Lee.

Avery Michaels doesn't do boyfriends. She is a nursing student with a painful past, and when she has an itch that needs scratching she goes out and gets what she wants for one night only. When she meets her super hot new neighbor, she instantly wants him for a night. But Bennett doesn't react like most guys do, and he only does commitment. When Avery finds out that Bennett not only doesn't do casual, but that he is also a virgin she is shocked. Because of their differences, Bennett and Avery try to become friends and keep things platonic. But the more they hang out, the more their attraction and feelings grow. Can Bennett convince Avery give a relationship a chance and see where things go? Or will Avery's past be too painful for her to give her trust to Bennett?

I really loved Bennett! He was a super hot tattooed virgin, and I loved how different his character was. He was super sweet and kind, and he was also really loyal and protective. He looked out for Avery and his family and made it a point to take care of his mom even when she made things difficult for him. I loved that he was an artist and that he had so much depth to him. Avery was great too. She was vulnerable and had been hurt before, but she was determined and smart. She was really great at her job, and I loved her friendship with Mrs. Jackson at the nursing home. She was also really supportive with Bennett about his being a virgin, even if she didn't really understand at first. I thought that Bennett and Avery had a lot of chemistry from the very start, and you could feel the attraction between them. But they had so much in common even with their differences. They were able to understand each other so well because of their family situations. I liked the way they got to know each other, and I thought that the game they played was so cute! I loved seeing their questions and responses, and it was definitely one of my favorite things about this book. You could really see the connection forming between them and it made their relationship so real and believable.

Overall, I really loved everything about this book. I honestly can't think of a single thing to complain about and I really just thoroughly enjoyed this story. I really liked Bennett and Avery, and I liked the secondary characters as well. Avery's friends got on my nerves at times, and I thought that they acted pretty immature a few times but I could see that they were just trying to be friends and a lot of it was just due to their age. I would definitely recommend this book to NA fans though, and I think that it was one of those books that people can easily relate to and become invested in. Bennett was definitely worth the read, and I really can't say enough how much I absolutely loved his character. I can't wait to read more from Christina Lee in the future and see what she has in store for Avery's friend Ella next in Before You Break.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Interview with Author Cheryl Brooks and Giveaway

Meet Cheryl Brooks, author of Rebel.

Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Previously published works in her Cat Star Chronicles series include Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, and Wildcat. Look for book 10 in July 2014. Her newest series is Unlikely Lovers, including Unbridled, Uninhibited, Undeniable, and Unrivaled. Other self pubs include Midnight in Reno and Sex, Love, and a Purple Bikini and If You Could Read My Mind (writing as Samantha R. Michaels).

She also has several erotic novellas published with Siren/Bookstrand.

She is a member of the RWA and lives with her husband, two sons, two horses, four cats, and one dog in rural Indiana.

Find Cheryl at:

Feature and Giveaway: All of You by Christina Lee

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He's irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she's perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother's bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won't accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Guest Post with Author Mina Carter and Giveaway

Meet Mina Carter, author of The Letter.

Mina Carter is a bestselling, multi-genre author. She lives in the UK with her husband, daughter and a bossy cat.

Find Mina at:

ARC Review: Tug by K.J. Bell

Tug is the first book that I have read by K.J. Bell, and I really enjoyed this story. When I first started this book, I thought that it was a standalone. I had no idea that Tug was actually a character from some of her previous books, and I felt like I had missed something. There seemed to be a whole lot of back-story between the characters and I quickly realized that there was a lot of history and drama that I had missed out on. I will say that you do not have to have read those books to understand this story or get into it, but after reading Tug I can't wait to go back and read those books. I really want to see how these characters ended up where they were at the start of this story.

Aidan "Tug" Hunter is heartbroken after losing the only girl that he has ever loved to his brother. She is pregnant with his child and they are getting married. Tug fills his time with drinking and parties and as many casual flings with women as he can. He meets Maria and they immediately get off on the wrong foot. But Tug is attracted to her and is determined to have her. Maria resists, but Tug isn't giving up. When Tug and the rest of the guys go to his brother's bachelor party at a strip club, Tug is surprised to find Maria working there. He buys a night with her and is determined to finally hook up with her. Maria works to be able to support her son and her grandpa who suffers from Alzheimer's. Maria and Tug's night ends dramatically as everything in their relationship has been so far. Maria is ready to completely forget Tug and move on, but Tug isn't ready to give up. The longer that time goes on, Maria and Tug begin to finally be on the same page and agree to see where their feelings go and give things a chance. But Maria's past resurfaces and threatens everything. As Tug works to take care of ensuring Maria and her son's future, things quickly go from bad to worse leaving things more up in the air than ever.

I had moments where I liked and disliked both Tug and Maria. They both had their childish moments where they acted immaturely and did things before thinking them through. I thought that Maria had a lot of moments where she jumped to conclusions and should have taken the time to actually listen and see what was going. But I thought that she was very dedicated to her family and her son was really important to her. She also didn't let Tug get away with his normal crap, and she kept him on his toes. Tug made a lot of mistakes and screwed things up several times. But he was always ready to make things right and he never gave up. He was sweet and thoughtful and I loved that he was always trying to do whatever he could to take care of those that he cared about. He might have gone about it the wrong way at times, but he always had good intentions. I thought that Maria and Tug had great chemistry, and I was really glad that we got both of their POVs so that we could see how their feelings were developing. It didn't happen instantly, and that is what made their relationship so real.

I will admit that I don't know what Tori was like in the previous stories, but I really didn't like her in this one. She drove me absolutely nuts, and I couldn't believe everything that she did in this book. I will also say that I wasn't expecting this to be a cliffhanger since I thought it was a standalone. I was absolutely shocked to reach the end and be left hanging. I honestly still have no idea what just happened, and I need to know what is going on! I really have no words for the ending, but trust me when I tell you that it was not at all what I was expecting. I can't wait to get the next story, and find out just what K.J. Bell has in store for these characters next. I would definitely recommend this book, but I would probably start with the previous ones first if I could go back and do it again. Its not necessary, but I think it would have explained so much and given me a better insight to these characters and relationships. At this time there is no date for the next book, but I hope that we don't have to wait too long because I really need more Tug! I can't wait to read more from K.J. Bell in the future.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: Elect by Rachel Van Dyken

Elect is the second book in the Eagle Elite series by Rachel Van Dyken and should be read after finishing Elite. I couldn't wait to read this one as soon as I finished Elite. I am absolutely loving this series! I love these characters, and everything about this series is so unique and different than anything I have ever read before. I am a huge fan of Rachel Van Dyken and everything I read by her just impresses me that much more. Her writing is always so fresh and captivating, and I am instantly drawn into her stories. If you haven't read anything by her yet, you are definitely missing out. The Eagle Elite series is an absolute must read, and I just can't get enough!

Now that Tracey has found out about who she really is, she and Nixon are in love and happy together. Tracey is the love of Nixon's life, but that also puts her in danger. Being from rival families, there are many who want to keep them apart. In order to keep Tracey safe Nixon is willing to do anything, including push her away. Pushing her into the arms of his best friend is the hardest thing Nixon has ever done, but he needs everyone to think that she means nothing to him. Tracey isn't willing to give up on them so easily though, and is determined to fight for them. But with the families facing off against each other, sacrifices must be made. Will their love be strong enough to survive anything, or will one or both of them be left heartbroken?

I didn't think that I could love these characters any more than I already did after Elite, but they made me fall even harder. Tracey, Nixon and Chase were all put in such impossible situations in this book, and yet they all handled things as best they could. I am not a huge fan of love triangles, and I usually end up picking a side right off and hating one of them. That didn't happen with this story though, I love both Chase and Nixon. These guys are so completely different, and they are both good in different ways. I loved getting to know them both better in Elect, and I think you really get to see who they truly are. It is impossible to really describe these guys with just a few words, because there is so much to each of them. Rachel has done such a great job of creating these characters, and giving them so much depth. They are so real and easy to root for even when they are doing things you disagree with. Poor Tracey has been through so much, and yet she is always able to stay strong and get through anything. She had so much to deal with though and was often times left completely in the dark. I honestly don't know how she was able to get through everything. I really love her and Nixon together, and they have such a great bond. Their chemistry is so strong and you can feel how intense their feelings for each other are. But I also really loved Tracey and Chase's friendship and connection. These two have such a natural ease to their relationship, that you can't help but love the time they spend together also.

Overall, this book was fantastic. I love this series so much, and it always keeps me guessing. Every time that I think I know what is going to happen, it turns out that I have no idea at all. This book was more dark than Elite, but I absolutely loved everything about it. I really enjoyed getting to see more of the families and how they are interconnected. I thought it was great that we got some different POVs in this story, and I thought it added so much to the experience. I think we really got to know the characters better because of it. This series just keeps getting better, and I am really looking forward to the next book. This one ends with quite a shock, and I can't wait to see what happens next. I highly recommend this series, and anything by Rachel Van Dyken.

**Copy Provided by Author**

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