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Saturday, January 3, 2015

ARC Review: More than This by Jay McLean

This book started out so good for me. It grabbed me and made me not want to put it down. But once I got about half-way through, it just seemed to lose the spark for me. The story and the characters started to grate on my nerves and it just was filled with so much over the top drama that I just found myself rolling my eyes at everything especially Mikayla, the heroine.

To me, Mikayla came across very immature at times. I get that she's only 18 and she's had to deal with a lot but the way she handled some things left me scratching my head and annoyed. She also came across a bit whiny at times when it came to Jake. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to open her mouth and just talk to him. It was kind of aggravating.

Honestly, I feel like both of them were immature at times. Instead of just talking to each other bot would jump to conclusions or storm off in a huff, that after awhile it just got annoying to read. I just wanted them to both stop and to talk.

I will say that these two had great chemistry and I really felt their pull towards one another. I thought they had definitely sparks and some of their scenes together just sizzled. Besides their evident chemistry, I will say I really liked these two as a couple. I loved the way Jake stepped up and helped Kayla through everything and become the rock she obviously needed. He was there for her completely and I couldn't help but fall for him a little after that.

Despite my feelings for the second half of the book I really did love the first half and I really became invested not with just Kayla and Jake but all of the side characters that the author introduced us to. I am looking forward to continuing on in the series and I can't wait to see what's in store for everyone.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

ARC Review: Tempting Her Fake Fiance by Julie Particka

Tempting Her Fake Fiance is the first book that I have ever read by Julie Particka, and I really enjoyed it! It was a sweet and sexy story about two people helping each other out by having a pretend relationship. For some reason though it has been done a lot and in many different ways, I find myself drawn to these stories. There is just something about a fake relationship turning into something real. I thought that Julie did a really great job with this story, and I am really looking forward to reading more from her in the future.

When Journalist Stasia Grant shows up for a week long press junket for an upcoming movie, the last thing she is looking forward to is running into her ex-husband. Though they have been officially divorced for three months, it still hurts that he left her for someone else so publicly. While interviewing the star of the movie, Evan Stone, she gets emotional and he can't help but want to help her out. They soon realize that with his image needing help as well, that they can pretend to be together and it will be beneficial to them both. While spending the week together pretending to be together, Evan's playboy image will get a makeover and in the process Stasia's ex will want her back. But soon the real and fake start to blend together and both are wondering if their fake relationship could possibly lead to a real future together?

I really liked Evan. He was sweet and sexy, and he was so down to earth. He was loyal to his family and always looking out for others. He had been used to women always looking for something from him, so he really fell for Stasia as she was so different from all he had known. I liked that he was developing real feelings for her and wasn't afraid to acknowledge them. He might not have said anything to her and he thought that his first duty was to his family rather than himself, but he didn't have a problem admitting to himself that he was falling for her. Stasia was fun and I loved seeing her rediscover herself. She had become a completely different person after years of being with her ex, so it was nice to see her get back to herself with Evan. These two just clicked together on every level and I loved seeing their sweet and fun moments as much as their steamy ones. They had a ton of chemistry and I couldn't get enough of them. 

Overall, I thought that this was a really cute and quick read. I enjoyed it a lot and really loved Stasia and Evan as a couple. I liked seeing them get to know one another and experience all that Vegas had to offer together. They had so many fun moments, and I felt like they were just a really great couple from the start. They didn't feel rushed despite the fact that they were only really together for about a week. I did think that this story was predictable and that it was similar to other stories about pretend relationships out there, but that didn't keep me from liking this book or the couple. I was able to lose myself in the story and felt like this one was a quick and light read that was perfect for when I just wated to get lost in a book. I definitely recommend this one if you are looking for something short and sweet with some steam to it. I look forward to more from Julie Particka in the future.

**ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing**

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A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Julie Patricka and Giveaway

Julie Particka was told to get serious about her future in Junior High. Several years after getting a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, she realized being serious was over-rated and went back to her first love–writing. Now rather than spending her days in the drudgery of the lab or teaching science to high school students, she disappears into worlds of her own creation where monsters sometimes roam, but true love still conquers all.

She can most often be located in the Detroit area with her favorite minions (the ones who know her as Mom) where she is currently hatching a plot for world domination. It involves cookies for everyone, so she’s pretty sure there’s no way it can fail…except the minions keep eating the cookies.

Find Julie at:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Review: The Pact by Karina Halle

Let me just start off by saying I absolutely loved this book! This book gave me all the feels without leaving me a total emotional wreck. I have been a fan of Karina Halle's since the first book of hers I read, but after reading The Pact I absolutely cannot wait for more from her! Karina proved with this contemporary adult romance that she really can do it all. While I am a huge fan of her work, I will tell you to keep in mind that this book is very different from everything that she has done in the past so fans of hers should go into The Pact expecting for this to be unlike anything else she has written. I loved this book and pretty much devoured it, but that being said I can see how this book will bring out strong reactions on both sides. I think that some will really love this book like I did, but I also think that others will have a really tough time with this one.

Linden McGregor and Stephanie Robson have been best friends since they met through their mutual friend James when they all worked together at a bar. While Stephanie and James dated for awhile, she became close to Linden and they kept things platonic. After Stephanie and James broke up, both Stephanie and Linden dated others and tried to find the right person for them. When they are both 25, Linden suggested a pact to marry each other if they still were single or not serious at the age of 30. As the years pass and they both approach their 30th birthdays, many things change and they find themselves in a complicated situation where sex, friendships and relationships are all on the line.

I absolutely loved Linden! Seriously this guy is amazing, and by far one of my all time favorite book boyfriends ever. He was a dirty-talking, sexy helicopter pilot with a Scottish accent, and he really could not have been sweeter. He definitely made some mistakes and he should have been honest with Steph on more than one occasion, but he cared deeply for her and was such a great guy. He was supportive and encouraging, and always pushed her to make her dreams come true. Steph was great as well. She was smart and sweet, and I loved her friendship with Linden. They clicked so well, but you could tell that for her it took awhile for things to become more than just friendship for her. While Linden seemed to always be interested but unable to do anything about it, Stephanie was attracted to him but didn't see more than friendship until later on. I thought that she was a great friend to him though, and I really liked seeing her start to realize what a great guy she had right in front of her. These two definitely had chemistry between them, but I loved seeing it build. I was glad that it started off as a bit of tension that just kept growing rather than them jump into bed together before they were ready for each other. Because once they finally made it to that stage, you could tell just how perfect for one another they were.

Here is where I think that some people will have problems...the relationship between Stephanie and Linden takes awhile. For a good chunk of this book, they are not together and one or both of them are seeing others. This is a friends to lovers story, and it starts off with nine years of friendship. It honestly didn't bother me though, because I truly felt that while they were attracted to one another and were developing real feelings that they weren't ready for one another yet. They had some growing up to do as individuals and needed to figure some things out first. For me, this was completely natural and I enjoyed the progression of their relationship even with others involved. It wasn't always easy, and I hated most of the people they were with, but it felt real to me. Another thing that I think people will probably have some issues with is the fact that Linden was afraid to really pursue anything with Stephanie because of his friendship with James. He worried about how James felt and didn't want to destroy their friendship. While I didn't agree with his choices when it came to James, I do understand what he was thinking. He had never really had any close family relationships or love in his life, and he felt like James was almost a brother to him. So while it drove me crazy and broke my heart for him and Stephanie at times, I did get it even if I didn't like it. 

Overall, I thought that this story was real and believable and I adored Linden. For me this book was fantastic and beautiful, even when it was breaking my heart or bringing on the tears. I loved Linden and Stephanie and had faith that they would find themselves together in the end, because a love like theirs really had no other option. Their connection was too strong, and I knew they would eventually figure things out and fight for each other. I honestly love Karina's writing style, and this book was everything that I have come to know and love from her but also so much more. I cannot wait for more from her in the future, and I can't wait to go back and read this story all over again.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: The Charlotte Chronicles by Jen Frederick

The Charlotte Chronicles is the first book in the Jackson Boys series by Jen Frederick. This book is a spin-off from her Woodlands series with the main characters being the offspring of characters from the Woodlands books. While I enjoyed the books in the Woodlands series, I have to say that I was more intrigued by this story and I couldn't wait to get to know these characters. I loved the idea of these being the children of Grace and Noah and Bo and AM. While I did have a few issues with this story, I really loved it. These characters are still on my mind long after having finished their story, and I could not put this one down.

Charlotte and Nathan were always meant for one another. Since Charlotte was born, Nate knew that she was his. Their families were a unit, with their parents being best friends and their children following in their footsteps. Charlotte and Nick were always close, but it was always Charlotte and Nathan that had forever. Then an illness and a decision tore them apart. Although they always thought that they would end up together, the years and distance between them start to weigh on both of them. Just when Charlotte finally begins to move on, a chance encounter changes everything. Can Charlotte and Nathan find their way back to one another and have the forever that they always knew was in store for them?

I liked Charlotte and Nathan a lot. Charlotte was strong and positive after everything that she had been through. She showed so much grace and strength in the face of heartbreaking events at such a young age. I loved how she didn't give up on Nate for so long and that she was always loyal to him. She did everything that she could to show him that she would always be there for him, and I loved her character for how she handled everything. Nathan was made for Charlotte just as much as she was made for him. He was her protector and lover, and he was exactly who she needed by her side. That being said, he made some real bonehead moves when it came to her that I just flat out didn't understand. His actions didn't make sense to me, and I thought that they seemed to be sort of unreasonable. Even with his explanations I just never really felt like he had a good enough reason for doing what he did. I did like that he was as faithful to Charlotte as she had been to him though, even if it was unbelievable. I have a hard time believing that things would happen the same way in real life, but as far as the story goes I really loved it. Charlotte and Nate were great and I thought that they had it all when it came to their relationship. They had the history and emotional connection, the chemistry and steam, but above all they had support and love to see them through all the tough times. 

I will say that beyond Nate's actions being ridiculous, I also felt like it was a bit out of character for both him and Charlotte both to have let things go for nine years. It just didn't ring true for me, and I felt like with both of the being loyal and feeling as they still did about one another that one or both of them would have tried harder over the nine years to fix things. I didn't really buy into their re-connection because of a chance encounter. I thought that was unrealistic, and didn't care for how that played out. I also felt as though with everything they had been through as teenagers as well as the long time apart, that the drama at the end was over the top and unnecessary. It seemed a bit overkill to me, and I honestly don't know why it was needed. They had enough obstacles to overcome, and it all felt rushed to me. It just didn't seem to fit with everything else, and I thought that it would have been a better story without that happening. I did enjoy the story despite my complaints though, and I can honestly say that even though it seems like I had a lot of criticisms that I still thought this was a great book. Charlotte and Nathan's story just really got to me, and they are characters that I will never forget. I loved seeing more of their parents and how things turned out for them, but I am really fascinated with their children. I absolutely cannot wait to read more about the Jackson boys and get to know Nick better. I loved his friendship with Charlotte and that he was like a brother to her. While I think that fans of the Woodlands series will enjoy seeing old favorites as well as new faces, I think that NA fans should read this one regardless of having any experience with the Woodlands or not. This book is easily read as a standalone and does not require knowing the characters from those books to understand what is going on. I would recommend reading those books though because I think that it gives a much better history and complete story if you see how Charlotte and Nathan as well as Nick came into existence. I am definitely looking forward to more from Jen Frederick in the future.

**ARC Provided by All Night Reads**

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A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Amanda Usen and Giveaway

Amanda Usen Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast, and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. They live in Western New York with their three children, one gerbil, four fish, a Russian tortoise, and a beagle. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found reading a book and trying to get out of cooking dinner..

Find Amanda at:
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Madness Of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley, Narrated by Angela Dawe

When I reviewed “Scandal And The Duchess (MacKenzies & McBrides, #6.5 I became really interested in the McKenzie family. The bond between the brothers seemed so full of love and it was endearing to watch these rough and tough men love and support each other.

This story in particular “The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie” is one of those books that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I have to say that Jennifer Ashley is talented, very precise and thorough in her storytelling. She really gets to the heart of her characters. She really knows how to plan out a plot and she really knows how to keep a reader/ listener on the edge of their seat. Her characters and plot were so rich that I felt satisfied when the story finished.

Lord MacKenzie is considered “mad.” This madness is because he has a photogenic memory and is a type of “Rain Man” in London/ Scottish society. One day he meets Beth Ackerley and immediately becomes fascinated by her. Ian doesn’t have good social skills but Beth realizes immediately that Ian is special and she finds his brutal honesty refreshing. Beth is a great heroine. She is not of English/ Scottish society. She actually has a dark family history but she ends up marrying a man she loves who unfortunately dies shortly after their marriage. She is taken in by an English lady that teaches her about society and ends up leaving her with a nice fortune. I really loved Beth and thought that not only was she an excellent heroine but she was excellent with Ian.

Through a series of circumstances Beth and Lord Ian end up married even though she wants to stay a widower after a failed courtship when she meets Ian. At first I thought that the story would begin to drag since Ian and Beth married so early and quickly but the plot was well played out when we discover that Ian is the suspect in a murder. Ian trying to protect his older brother Hart has never confided in anyone about the mystery surrounding the death he is a suspect in. Although Beth doesn’t know Ian very well she knows he is not a murder and she takes it upon herself to find out the truth behind the murder. Ian was such an endearing character. Because emotionally he is so cut and dry I thought it would be difficult to identify with him, but he was so honest and sincere it was easy to see what a wonderful man he was. Besides these fantastic characters and the great plot, I was intrigued by Isabella and Cameron’s story. I plan to read their story soon.

Finally, I thought that this was a great story. It really delivers and I enjoyed all the twists and turns that I did not expect. Also, I thought Angela Dawe did a great job narrating the story. She really seemed to understand the characters and their personalities. She really made the story that much more enjoyable for me.

**Audiobook provided by Tantor**

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ARC Review: Best Man With Benefits by Samanthe Beck

I absolutely loved this book! Best Man With Benefits by Samanthe Beck was definitely my favorites in the Wedding Dare Series, even though I really loved them all. It was hot and sweet, and really had everything I look for in a good story. Sophie and Logan were amazing characters, and I felt invested in them right from the start. If you haven't read this series, I definitely would recommend these books because they are so good. Each one can be read as standalone stories, with all the characters interconnecting as they spend the week at Colt and Kady's wedding.

Logan McCade is the best man for his friend Colt's wedding and it is the first time in years that he has actually taken time away from his busy schedule at work. Running his own business is all he ever wanted, but it has left little time for anything else in his life. When Colt asks him to look after his younger sister, he has no idea that the girl he once knew has now grown into everything he has ever wanted in a woman. Soon his looking out for Sophie turns into a hands on job, and Logan is realizing that he wants Sophie despite the fact that she should be off limits to him as his best friend's little sister. The more time they spend together, the more each of them begins to hope for something beyond just the time together at the wedding. But what happens when Sophie finds out that their relationship started because of a favor to Colt?

I really liked Logan and Sophie. Sophie was pretty insecure and had such a vulnerable side to her. She was used to being picked on and didn't have a great self-image. I loved the fact that Logan was kind and patient with her, and he really made an effort to show her just how beautiful he thought that she was. He was so sweet with her, and I could not have loved him more for it. He allowed her to explore her desires, and made sure to encourage and support her always. Logan was sexy and athletic, and was used to running things in his life. But when it came to Sophie, he let her take control when she needed to and it didn't bother him at all. These two were such a perfect match for one another, and I loved their sweet moments just as much as the steamy ones!

Overall, I thought that this was a great story. This is by far one of my favorite tropes, and Samanthe Beck did a great job telling this story. It was the perfect balance of sexy and sweet, without being cheesy or over the top. This story was enjoyable from the very beginning, and I didn't want to put it down. While I have really loved this series and seeing all the characters, Logan and Sophie were my favorites and I couldn't get enough of them. I can't wait to read more from Samanthe Beck in the future.

**ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Samanthe Beck and Giveaway

Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their elementary-aged turbo-son. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

Find Samanthe at:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

ARC Review: Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

What a fun, sweet, heart-warming, laugh-out-loud read. I’ve read Tessa Dare before but I was so impressed with her in “Say Yes to the Marquess.” Page one the story begins and I was instantly interested in Clio Whitmore. What a great heroine. I loved her, I applauded her and I wanted to stand up and cheer for her!

When the story begins, Clio is looking to end her eight year engagement to the Piers Brandon. Piers is the very eligible older brother. Although he is engaged to Clio he has been wondering the globe while she has been sitting at home waiting for his return. The reasons for his absence become known later in the story. Clio is sick of waiting. She has endured her mother’s constant priming and now that she has inherited a castle from her uncle, she is read to take her life into her own hands. The obvious problem is that Clio can’t find Piers to “annul” their engagement. The only other option is Rafe Brandon- Pier’s brother.

Rafe can’t be any more unlike his brother! He is not accepted in polite society since he makes a living prize fighting. Unlike his older brother he is not able to manage the estates as effectively and unlike his older brother, he is madly in love with Clio. Rafe is a little rough around the edges, but he is also comically sweet and intensely loyal.

When Clio asks Rafe to let her out of her engagement, he refuses. Not only does he refuse but their first meeting is so funny I could not help laughing. They had instant chemistry from their first meeting and it continued throughout. Rafe was so incredibly sweet and vulnerable. He sets off to see Clio in her castle and asks that he give her a week to change her mind about marrying his brother. He is determined to give her the wedding of her dreams. Clio agrees but she has already made of her mind about the wedding and she has her life planned.

When Clio receives Rafe’s unexpected visit she is a little taken aback, but she welcomes him and his very funny promoter who is masquerading as a wedding planner. I loved Rafe and Clio so much. There was a sweetness to them both that made my heartache. Rafe went out of his way to not ruin Clio’s engagement. They shared many funny and sweet scenes as they learn about each other. The author really did an amazing job with Clio and Rafe. Aside from the meddling family members, this was also about Clio finding her voice. I loved them both and understood them. I also loved the secondary characters, they were fun and added to the story. Most importantly, I loved that Rafe and Piers had a chance to really get to know each other as brothers. I read this book in one sitting. I put toothpicks under my eyelids so they would not close and so I could see how Clio and Rafe ended up together. Hilarious and heartwarming! Loved!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Riskier Business by Tessa Bailey

Riskier Business is the prequel to Tessa Bailey's new Crossing the Line series. This novella features Troy and Ruby from her Line of Duty series, though this novella can be read as a standalone. You do not need to have read His Risk To Take to understand this book, but I would recommend it to fully know the backstory for Troy and Ruby.

Ruby Elliott gave up a life of pool hustling and has been living with her cop boyfriend Troy Bennett. But when her father comes around offering a deal of information on her mother that left years before in exchange for her playing a game, she can't help but agree though she knows there is something he isn't telling her. Troy wants her nowhere near that world again, but when Ruby agrees he starts to feel his control slipping and soon Ruby and Troy are no longer on solid ground. Can Troy keep Ruby safe and keep their relationship intact, or will Ruby risk losing her heart and her life?

Fans of Ruby and Troy will enjoy getting more of these two, and the chemistry between them is stronger than ever. But there was a lot of drama in this story and I really felt that while it had heat, it wasn't quite at the level I have come to expect from Tessa Bailey. I did think that this story did a good job of filling in the reader on more of Ruby's history, and I loved that it set up Bowen's story for her next book, Risking It All. I absolutely love Bowen, so it did a great job of putting together some of the puzzle that was Ruby and Bowen's friendship. Since I read Risking It All first, I felt like this story really explained their history. I would definitely recommend reading this before Risking It All, but it isn't necessary. Though I love Ruby and Troy, I think that this story was good but wasn't one of my favorites. I think that what kept me from loving it was that the drama and action going on around Ruby and Troy was the focus, when I wanted them to be the focus. They kind of did their own thing in this story when I wanted them to lean on each other more for support. I still love Tessa Bailey and her dirty talking heroes, and Troy is still one of my favorites. But this novella just wasn't what I had been expecting from her.

**ARC Provided by Entangled Publishing**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style with Tessa Bailey and Giveaway

Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Find Tessa at:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ARC Review: Eyes Turned Skyward by Rebecca Yarros

Another fantastic read from Rebecca Yarros. After reading Full Measures, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Eyes Turned Skyward. I just wanted more of these characters and the world that Rebecca Yarros created. As soon as Jagger appeared in the last book, I just knew that I wanted more of him and wanted to read his story. This book was so good and Jagger's story was everything I was wanting and more.

In Full Measures when we meet Jagger, we meet a sexy, cocky playboy that is all about a good time. Don't get me wrong, he's still all about the good time in this book but he's no longer the playboy that we met in the last book. Now he's got his eyes on being number one in his class in flight school and wants no distractions...that is until he meets Paisley.

Diagnosed with a with the same heart condition that killed her sister, Paisley just wants to live her life and cross as many things off on her bucket list that she can while she can. When a chance encounter with Jagger ends up saving her life, Paisley and Jagger spark up an unlikely friendship that eventually leads to more.

One thing that I loved about this book is that Paisley and Jagger don't immediately jump into a relationship. They start out as friends. Yes, part of the reason for that is because Paisley has a boyfriend when they meet but because they are friends first they were really able to get to know one another. I found myself on edge waiting to see when and how they two would finally get together and when they did, it was spectacular. There was just so much chemistry between them both and their sparks were evident to everyone around them.

What I loved most is how Jagger is with Paisley. He's kind, sweet and just so damn cute with her. He really "sees" Paisley and gets what she's about and what she likes. Yes, he wants to be with her but he is more than happy to be her friend if that is all that she is willing to give him. He was patient and just so damn adorable. I can honestly say that Jagger blew my mind. He turned out to be nothing like I was expecting.

This book was intense, emotional and just an all-around great read. I found it difficult to put down and read it in pretty much one sitting. From the first page to the last, I found myself rooting for these two but not only with their relationship but with everything going on in their personal lives. They both have so much that they have to deal with and I feel like the way the author handled things rang true to the characters and the story.

Eyes Turned Skyward was a fantastic read and I HIGHLY recommend. I definitely can't wait to read more from Rebecca Yarros.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |