Saturday, May 16, 2015

ARC Review: The Knight of Ambra by Lyn Brittan

The Knight of Ambra is a non-stop ride of high-energy action, danger and thrills. Everything seems to go wrong for the Brant Jacobs, Knight of Ambra, on his first solo mission to reclaim a world treasure. The first thing that goes wrong is not a thing, but a person. Michaela Alberto stumbles into a scene cast with mob figures. And with Brant. When the attempted purchase of a treasured sword goes bad, Brant and Michaela become unlikely partners when they are forced to flee. At this point, anything can happen. Could be good things happening. Could be bad things. Mostly it is bad.

From the US to Honduras, from mobsters to drug dealers, Brant and Michaela's misadventures will keep your eyes glued to the page. There is hardly a dull moment. When the action does quiet down just a little, Brant and Michaela use it to get to know each other better. What starts as attraction, grows to sweet, hot, sexual tension.

I would definitely peg The Knight of Ambra as a New Adult story. Why? Because of Michaela. She is young. Too young for my taste. I did not care for Michaela. I found her whiny and immature. As a new Knight of Ambra, Brant is also young, so I believe the author intended these two characters to come off as young, inexperienced and still able work as a team to defy the odds. So I can't fault it too much, even if a character like Michaela is not someone I care to read about in my books.

I would have liked the artifact they were chasing to have more import, more history, associated with it. After all, these Knights of Ambra expend a lot of time, money and energy to track them down. Why? Art for art's sake. I get that in real life. But in a suspense novel, an artifact ought to have a little more substance.

In general, I liked the story. The action and the romance mesh very nicely. The ending was very satisfying. Ms. Brittan has done a very nice job on this first book in her new series. I devoured the book once I started it. If you are after a fast-paced romantic suspense, try The Knight of Ambra.

**ARC provided by Author**

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ARC Review: Mermen by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

CAUTION: These are not your average fairy tale, fantasy, Barbie, kids cartoon mermen! They are mean, they are vicious, and they are absolute bastards. Also it ends in a cliffhanger, typical Mimi Jean Pamfiloff fashion. Unlike some of her other book this book is strictly in the third person and I love that; and like her other books it’s weird and I love weird. I loved the premise of the book a protected island in the middle of the ocean it’s only inhabitants gorgeous men unfortunately all of them are massive a-holes. So you are thinking to yourselves… Mermen? Yes. Do they have tales? No the evolved past the point of needing them. They are also stronger, faster, can breathe underwater, and of course swim like they are part fish, which they are not they are genetic cousins to us land lovers. Think along the lines of Mermen are to Human as Tigers are to Kittens. Liv is an awesome character she is strong and not willing to give up even when it comes to Roen. Now Roen, he is a bastard but despite it all your heart goes out to him because the situation he finds himself forced into. The chemistry between the two is outstanding and at one point makes you want to strangle someone; more specifically Roen.

The book starts off with Liv in a life raft; she was on a fishing boat doing interviews for her dissertation when a freak storm comes and sinks the boat and she is the only survivor. She has been floating around for over a week she thinks she is hallucinating when she sees an island, she really thinks she’s hallucinating when she sees a very large very naked man swim out of the water on to the beach and she knows she is not hallucinating when a shark starts circling her raft. At first she thinks the man is a savior but it soon becomes obvious that is not the case.

Roen is a self made billionaire, he hates the water and the only way to conquer anything is to master it hence the shipping company. He was raised by a mother running from his psychopathic father an eco-terrorist and all around A-Hole and Roen wants nothing to do with him but fate intervenes and lands his father’s will in his lap. The will includes the coordinates to nowhere, well nothing that’s on the map. When Roen gets there his helicopter crashes and his phone won’t work. He saves Liv from a half naked man trying to drown her.

Whatever you do don’t drink the water! Roen immediately feels a pull to Liv and a possessive need to claim her; even when he knows he normally wouldn’t do these things he doing them for Liv. That’s not the only thing he is becoming one more and more like these Mermen and maybe the only way to save Liv from them is to come one of them.

I love Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and even though this ends in a cliffhanger book two, MerMadMen, is already available!

**ARC provided by Author**

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Feature and Giveaway: The Opposite of Love by Dahlia Salvatore

The Opposite of Love follows the story of Brooke Wessex as she is seduced into a relationship and has to make some difficult decisions.

"What do you do when fate doesn't offer you a happily ever after?

Everyone must choose his or her own path.

I chose to play pretend.

I lived every day with guilt, frustration, and dissatisfaction. Despite the fact that we loved each other, my husband didn’t want me. Counselors and doctors had no answers for us. For a long time, I longed for something I couldn’t have. For love, I sacrificed pleasure. I struggled against desires ... until I got stuck in a cabin during a raging blizzard with Luc Partridge.

And I simply couldn't ignore the truth anymore ... "

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ARC Review: Clash: A Legal Affairs Story by Sawyer Bennett

Clash is the first part of Cal and Macy's story from Sawyer Bennett. This serial is a spin-off of her Legal Affairs series featuring Matt and Mac. I hadn't read their story before starting this one, but I didn't have any problems understanding anything. I do want to go back and read their story though, as I really like them so far in this story.

Cal and Macy really don't like each other, unfortunately for them they share the same best friend. Because of Mac, these two are forced to see each other more than they would like resulting in verbal insults every time. Cal thinks that Macy is nothing more than a rich uptight snob, and Macy thinks that Cal has a holier-than-thou attitude. But when the tension between them finally explodes, they quickly realize that they might not have really known the other at all. Now all they can think about is how the hottest sex of their lives was with each other. But can these two find something in each other that they never expected, or will it lead to disaster? 

I have to admit that I liked Cal right away, but not Macy. Cal was different than pretty much every hero that I have ever read before. He was able to admit his mistakes (and he knows he made a huge one!) and he was honest about what he wanted. He wasn't afraid of commitment and he genuinely wants to settle down! That was so refreshing to me, and I loved that he was so envious of what Mac and Matt have. He knows that Macy is pretty much the exact opposite of what he is looking for, except the one area that they are surprisingly perfect for one another, the bedroom. Macy came off exactly how Cal depicted her, although the more that we get to see of her, she also comes off as a bit crazy-pants as well. Seeing her thoughts through her diary, I was actually beginning to wonder what kind of crazy she is hiding. I liked that she has Mac in her corner and that Mac didn't say anything to Cal about what is going on with her, other than to clue him in that not everything is as it seems with her. But I am still kind of skeptical on her at this point, and I hope that she becomes more likable as the series continues. The passion between these two is explosive, but I am not sure how much of a connection these two will have. 

I am curious to see how it all plays out though, and I will try not to be too judgmental on Macy until I am given more. But right now they definitely have the sex part down. These two are super hot together, and I expect that it will just get better as the story continues. Sawyer Bennett is a great writer, and her books are always filled with sexy and steamy scenes. I am looking forward to reading Grind next, as well as going back to read Matt and Mac's story as well.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

Wynter is a man who is struggling with the loss of first his parents to a Frost Giant and more recently, his younger brother who was killed by the Prince of Summerlea. To exact revenge for losing the only family he had left, he drank the waters of the Ice King. This gave him the powers necessary to defeat the Summerlea kingdom. After his victory, Wynter demands that Verdon (the former king of Summerlea) give him one of his beloved daughters to become his queen. Wynter is struggling to keep his humanity from the power he acquired and tries to maintain a shield around his heart to protect himself. I didn't particularly like Wynter at first, but his honor and later humility won me over.

Khamsin is the fourth princess of Summerlea that most people don’t even know exists. Because her magical abilities caused the death of her mother, Verdon has hated her for as long as she can remember. Verdon finds a solution to both of his problems by tricking the Winter King into marrying the daughter he despises instead of one of his beloved “Seasons” (his three older cherished daughters: Summer, Spring, and Autumn.) Khamsin matches Wynter’s stubbornness with a healthy dose of her own and refuses to let anyone see her weak. I loved Khamsin from the start! She was entertaining and her need to be loved and wanted had me rooting for her.

There is an instant attraction between Wynter and Khamsin. Their arranged marriage leads to quite a lot of intimate scenes starting very early in the book. I was very happy, though, that the two didn't ever claim love at first sight. Those types of stories are harder for me to accept and believe. The growth of their love is full of distrust and struggles that are right on point with their circumstances. I found their love story to be enchanting, beautiful, and minimally irritating.

The need for love and lack of family really brings Khamsin and Wynter together. They needed each other. The love story tied in amazingly with the fantasy plot. So well in fact, that I can’t really call either the behind-the-scenes story. The fantasy needed the love story, and the love story wouldn't have been near as good without the evil they had to fight together. There is a great magic system though it isn't the most unique by any means. The world was described in great detail which was wonderful. It definitely wasn't overdone like many fantasy books tend to do.

I loved this book because of its strong romance and strong fantasy. It definitely represents both genres individually and together very well. I wasn't bored at any time. This was my first read by C.L. Wilson, and I think she is a very talented writer who didn't disappoint me. I am looking forward to the release of the sequel, The Sea King.

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ARC Review: Cape Cod Kisses by Bella Andre & Melissa Foster

What do you get when you combine the amazing writing skills of both Bella Andre and Melissa Foster? A great new contemporary romance series! I cannot tell you how excited I was to see two of my favorite contemporary romance authors teaming up to write a brand new series! While I love each of these authors on their own, I loved them together as well! Cape Cod Kisses was a great story, and I am really looking forward to more from these two together as the Love on Rockwell Island Series continues! 

Shelley Walters isn't the type of girl to sit around and wait for the perfect life to fall in her lap. She decides to take a solo honeymoon, knowing that if she has to wait around for Mr. Right it might never happen. Upon arriving on Rockwell Island she meets Quinn Rockwell. Though at first he appears to be everything she should avoid, she quickly realizes that he is nothing like what she expected. These two are about as opposite as can be, but the more time they spend together the more they begin to feel. But what happens when their week together is over and it is time for Shelley and Quinn to leave the island behind and head back to the real world?

I loved these two together! I thought that they worked so perfectly because of their differences. Quinn was used to working very hard, he was dedicated and determined. He had built a shipping empire and focused on being a successful businessman. He loved his family and had loved growing up on the island, but he was clearly living a different life than the way he had grown up. But when he returns to the island and meets Shelley, he was able to let loose like he hadn't in a long time. I loved how playful and fun he could be with her, and she brought out a whole other side to him! Shelley was a free spirit, and I loved that she was able to just go after what she wanted. She had no problems taking a risk and working hard to make sure that it would pay off. She had no fear, and I thought that she was a ton of fun! These two might not have had much in common, but the sparks between them were instant! Their chemistry was so strong and I enjoyed seeing them explore it as they continued to get to know one another. 

Overall, this was such a sweet and fun read. It is the perfect book if you are wanting something fun and light without a ton of drama or angst. I loved that these two were sexy and hot together, but that they were also forming a strong connection and deep feelings. The fact that it was clear how close Quinn's family was just made it that much better! I loved getting to know a little about the Rockwells, and I can't wait for more! I love these big family stories where they are always in each other's business and can be a total pain, but yet the love they feel for one another is so strong that nothing can break the connection. This book was great and I am really looking forward to getting to know Trent better in the next book. If you are a fan of either of these authors or contemporary romance in general, this is one that you are not going to want to miss!

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

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Feature and Giveaway: Cape Cod Kisses by Bella Andre and Melissa Foster

When Quinn Rockwell left Rockwell Island a decade ago to build a shipping empire, he never thought he’d return to live on Cape Cod Bay—that is, until his grandfather summons Quinn and his four siblings to take over the prestigious Rockwell Resort. Quinn is already working fifteen-hour days, and the last thing he has time for is his grandfather’s demands. But on his first night back, when Quinn finds a gorgeous and carefree woman skinny-dipping in his favorite cove, he’s tempted to ignore his work for a while…and focus on her instead.

As a free spirit who follows her heart and her dreams, Shelley Walters is not the kind of girl to wait around for Mr. Right, so she heads to Rockwell Island for the honeymoon of her dreams—a solo honeymoon. Ready for a week of sun and fun, she never expected to meet a man like Quinn Rockwell.

Wealthy and intensely driven, Quinn is everything Shelley swore she didn’t want. Refreshingly spontaneous and a true romantic, Shelley is everything Quinn never knew he needed. Drawn together despite their differences, during a week of sizzling-hot passion and deep conversations, they fall head over heels for each other. But when their perfect week on the island is over, will their love survive in the real world?

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Feature and Giveaway: Still Into You by Ryleigh Andrews

What happens when you continually run from your demons?

When Mia watched Ethan walk out of her life, she did what she did best—she ran—ran from the only person who ever made her feel safe; home.

They work even harder to try and find you.

He was her everything and she let him slip away.

And when they do … they’ll come at you full force, guns blazing.

Hitting rock bottom forced Mia to stop. Now she needed to dig herself out. Figuring out how to do that required help, maybe a plan. She had to face those demons. Not an easy task when she spent her entire life running from them.

Would Ethan still be there for Mia after all was said and done? Or would she find that he had moved on? Or would he still be into her?

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: The Viper by Kele Moon

The Viper is the first book in the Untamed Hearts series by Kele Moon. The Untamed Hearts series is a spin-off of her Battered Hearts series, but these books can be read as standalones. I had never read a book from Kele Moon before, but as soon as I read the blurb for this one I knew it was one I wanted to take a chance on. I am so glad that I read this book as I absolutely loved it! It was a great story and start to this series, and I honestly cannot wait to read more from Kele Moon after reading this book. 

When Katie Foster and Marcos Rivera get into an accident, Marcos stays and talks with her while they wait for help. Though Katie and Marcos are complete opposites, they both find themselves drawn to one another. After the accident, Katie tries to find Marcos but the address and phone number she had from the accident report are no longer accurate. She tries to get in touch with him by placing ads on craigslist as well as by going through his cousin Chuito. When Marcos finds out from Chuito that Katie has been trying to contact him, he returns to Garnet from Miami in order to see what she wants. Though Marcos knows that he needs to stay away from Katie, he finds himself unable to. Marcos knows that his life is full of bad things and that Katie deserves so much better, but he finds himself agreeing to spend a week with her before returning to his life at the end of it. But when the week is over Katie isn't willing to let him go, and she is determined to show him that they belong together. 

I really loved Marcos and Katie together. These two were so completely different, and yet they were absolutely perfect for one another. Marcos had a tough life growing up. He didn't finish school and got involved in a gang. He lost his mother and cousin Juan, and it changed his and Chuito's lives forever. Marcos was used to living life as a criminal, and even when he tried to find honest work he ended up getting let go because of his record and his past. But after he met Katie, he wanted to be better and do more with his life. I really loved how protective and caring he was with her, and you could tell that they had a really strong connection. They made each other better, and I liked that they really seemed to bring out something in each other that no one else ever had before. Katie was used to her boring steady life and had thought that after divorcing her ex-husband that she would never find anyone. But Marcos changed something in her the night of the accident, and he really brought her to life. He showed her that she could stand up for herself and take what she wanted. I liked that she was stubborn and challenged Marcos. These two had such great chemistry together, and I loved seeing them fall for one another.

Overall, I really loved this story. Katie and Marcos were fantastic as a couple, and I really liked seeing how their feelings grew and how they both changed over the course of this book. I liked that Katie never judged Marcos, and she saw beyond just his past and the things that he had done. She truly loved him for who he was, and she brought out the best in him. Marcos thought that Katie deserved better than him, but I was glad that she kept trying with him and showed him that she wouldn't give up on the connection they shared. I also really liked Chuito and the rest of the secondary characters, and I can't wait to get more of them as this series continues. I am really looking forward to getting to know Chuito better, and I am also really wanting to go back and read the Battered Hearts series now.This might have been my first book by Kele Moon, but it definitely will not be my last! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great opposites attract romance with a sexy alpha and likable heroine.

**Review Copy Provided by As the Pages Turn**

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Review: All Played Out by Cora Carmack

This book was AMAZING! Seriously, it was everything I was hoping for and more. I'm a HUGE fan of Cora Carmack's Rusk University series and I've been dying to get my hands on All Played Out ever since I finished reading All Broke Down. Mateo Torres was everything that I was hoping he would be and so much more. Seriously, he's strong, sexy, hilarious and so damn sweet. Gah loved him so hard. Definitely one of my favorite heroes that Cora has ever written.

As for Nell, I was surprised by how much I liked her. I'll admit when I found out she was going to be the heroine of this story I wasn't overly excited. But I grew to love her and found that I could relate to her in a lot of ways.

Let me just say that these two are beyond adorable together. They truly bring out the best in one another but not only that, they grew so much together. The chemistry between these two was explosive and I just loved watching these to interact with one another and let their walls fall down. Seriously, these two were just so good together.

From beginning to end, I couldn't get enough and just loved this book to pieces. I want more and I hate that I have to wait so long for the next book. If you love sports romances or new adult you definitely need to read this series. It's just so, so good!

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Guest Post with Author Stacey Kennedy and Giveaway

Stacey Kennedy is the USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less traveled, and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and she continues to feed off emotion—always staying true to her heart. Those traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two young children. If she’s not on Mom duty or plugging away at a new story, you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter, and obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones, and Sons of Anarchy.

Feature and Giveaway: No One Like You by Kate Angell

No One Expects a Curveball

For Rylan Cates, the gloriously sunny beachside town of Barefoot William may be home, but the pro baseball player needs to focus on spring training. Hiring a personal assistant to keep him and his four dogs organized for the next eight weeks is the first step—and Beth Avery is the perfect pinch hitter.

Beth is still looking for her place in the world, and a couple months caring for Rylan’s two dachshunds, his golden retriever, and a Great Dane named Atlas should shore up her finances before she moves on. Except it’s Atlas who won’t budge, pushing her toward tanned, scruffy, sexy Rylan every chance he gets. One more strike and she’s calling the dog out—unless she and Rylan admit that the attraction they’re feeling is a game-winning grand slam…

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ARC Review: The Devilish Mr. Danvers by Vivienne Lorret

I’ve never read Vivenne Lorret before so “The Devilish Mr. Danvers” was my first book by her. Although it’s the second book in the (The Rakes of Fallow Hall #2) series I did not feel like I missed out by not having read “The Elusive Lord Everhart (The Rakes of Fallow Hall, #1).

The heroine of this book is Hedley Sinclair. I liked her but didn’t feel a huge connection with her. Hedley is all alone at Greyson Park. She couldn’t be happier. After having spent a large amount of time locked away in the attic she has inherited Greyson Park. Greyson Park is everything Hedley ever wanted and dreamed of, it’s a symbol of her independence. Greyson Park is also falling apart. It’ been badly neglected and Hedley really doesn’t have any means to fix it or to provide any comfort for herself. It’s also the home that Rafe Denvers has his sights on.

Rafe Denvers was engaged to Hedley’s sister and had Greyson Park added to her dowry because there is a treasure hidden in the attic that holds great value to his family. Hedley’s sister ends up breaking off their engagement when his family’s name is tarnished and Rafe hates the Sinclair’s since that moment. When he sees Hedley at Greyson Park he does not remember her because she was still very young.

Hedley didn’t have too many wonderful memories of her childhood but she remembered Rafe as one of the few people who actually saw her and paid attention to her. They quickly become enemies when they both realize that they want to lay claim to the same home.

I enjoyed this story and the characters. I liked the tension between Hedley and Rafe and also the way they tried to best each other but ultimately became friends. I was happy to see Hedley claim her destiny despite so many different odds that were constantly against her, not the least of which were her sister and mother. Even though I did not love this story I did enjoy the hero and the heroine and the mystery surrounding the treasure. Also, I didn’t find too many “devilish” characteristics in Rafe. He did seem a little jaded by his family’s fall from grace and his broken engagement but he was really a sweet guy. I really liked how he was always looking out for Hedley even when they were on opposite sides. I also plan to read the previous book in the series “The Elusive Lord Everhart” and the next one “The Maddening Lord Montwood.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: The Australian by Lesley Young

The Australian is the second book in the Crime Royalty Romance Series by Lesley Young, but each book can be read as a standalone. I don't really even know where to begin with my feelings on this book, but to be honest they are mixed. While there were things that I really liked about this story, there were also parts that I really didn't care for at all. I felt confused on more than one occasion, and to be honest I didn't care for the heroine at all. What started off as different and quirky quickly turned to annoying and over the top. 

After losing her mother, Charlie Sykes heads to Australia to start over. She has never been great with social settings, regardless of her book smarts. When she begins to work for Jace Knight, she lets him know upfront that there will be nothing but a professional relationship between them. If only her body felt the same way. She finds herself unable to avoid the attraction between them and soon she is engaging in the last kind of relationship she expected with him. But when she finds out that Jace might be involved in criminal activity, she begins to wonder if she knows him at all. Can Charlie trust Jace and her feelings for him, or is she setting herself up for disaster? 

I thought that Charlie was a bit odd at the beginning of the book, but by the end I really just didn't like her. She was very annoying and everything about her got old very quickly for me. She is so socially inept and completely awkward. She has zero social skills and is logical to the point of being almost a literal Sheldon Cooper in female form. Though Sheldon is geekily adorable and you almost feel like he is a grown child that you love, whereas Charlie was just impossible for me to like or relate to. Unfortunately with the story being told from her POV, I felt like we were stuck with her and that she pretty much killed all the positive in the story. Jace was mysterious and sexy, and you never quite knew exactly what was going on with him. I loved seeing his amusement with Charlie and you could tell that she was different to him right from the start. But all the good I felt for him didn't make up for Charlie. You could tell that these two were attracted to one another, and I expected things to get better once they started acting on the chemistry between them. But if anything it made things worse for me considering that it was Charlie's POV we were seeing it from. The sex came off as clinical and more of a biology lesson than a steamy and sexy romance scene. I just felt like it took all the heat from it by being seen through Charlie's eyes. 

Overall, I was interested to keep reading and see how things would play out but I didn't love this story. Charlie was my biggest issue, and unfortunately she never got better to me. I think another issue for me was Lesley Young's writing style. For some reason I just didn't mesh well with it, and it just didn't work for me. The entire thing felt so formal and stilted to me, and it just didn't have an easy flow that made me want to keep reading. The dialogue was awkward and I felt like I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on or what the characters were saying. There was a lot of Australian slang, and although most times it was explained I felt like it disrupted the story. So while the story itself wasn't bad and I wanted to know what would happen, I found myself wanting to put this one down because I wasn't enjoying the writing itself. That is purely a personal complaint though, and I think the author's voice just might not be for me. I think if you are looking for something different that will keep you guessing that you might give this one a shot. But unfortunately this one just didn't work for me like I had been hoping for, and I wasn't feeling the romance at all because of the heroine.

**ARC Provided by Book Plug Promotions**

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