Saturday, October 17, 2015

ARC Review: Her Accidental Husband by Ashlee Mallory

Her Accidental Husband is Payton and Cruz’s story from the Sorenson series. Payton is the wealthy fiancé of a wealthy absentee fiancé. When she finds out he’s cheating on her, she happens to be on her way to Mexico for her best friend’s wedding and she is accompanied by all the brooding hotness that is Cruz. Cruz is supposed to be looking out for Payton and winds up doing a lot more than that as every aspect of their travel arrangements to Mexico goes wrong. During one particularly wild night, the pair wind up sort of married. The issue for Payton is whether Cruz is any different from Payton’s absentee father who couldn’t see past his business ambitions. The issue for Cruz is seeing to his business ambitions so he can feel like he’s good enough for Payton. Throw in a square dancing troupe and a truly psycho Mother and we’ve got a story.

This is a very light weight read. It’s fun but it isn’t something that’s going to go on your epic read list. Payton was likable but a bit more silly than I really like to see in heroines. Cruz was good at the silent brooding role and I enjoyed all of his grunting at Payton. I like Cruz and Payton together and I like the fact that there are rotating POV’s. The sex in this book is alluded to but not described and I think I could’ve got into the connection between the characters a little more if there had been more steam to the steam. I also would’ve liked it if the conflict between the main characters was a bit more unexpected than what occurred in this book. The author gave us some great points of potential conflict in Payton’s mother and ex-fiance but fell back to the good old misunderstanding as the grand finale. I would’ve liked a little more nuance. I loved Cruz’s crazy family and I liked the traveling adventures. It’s a fun book but there isn’t much that will stick with you. Great book to read on a short flight (like I did).

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Sinner’s Steel by Sarah Castille

“Sinner’s Steel” by Sarah Castille was my first read by this author. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews about her work so I jumped at the chance to read this and review it. This is the third book in the “Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club Series” and although I have not read the previous books, I still enjoyed this book. I really love MC books and enjoy them, however I think they need to be done right.

Zane was an interesting character. He was a silent, moody, keep-to himself and at times jerk, type of guy. He came from a broken home and is determined to make something of himself. Evie had her heart broken by Zane and feels jaded by life. Evie is tougher now and her anger at Zane pushes her to move on with her life. She is carrying a big secret and eventually the truth comes out.

I had some issues with this story and I put it down and forced myself to finish. One issue is apparently Evie and Zane were best friends when they were kids. They fought their feelings for each other but eventually they gave in and took their relationship to a new level. Ok, so far. I really love friends to more type of stories. I even love those types of stories where they fight their feelings for one another. My first issue is that Evie doesn’t recognize Zane. He also doesn’t feel the need to say, “hi, I’m the guy from your childhood and the one you shared that very special night with.” When Evie and Zane reunite it was a little bit awkward. The flow of the story felt awkward and Zane felt awkward with Evie. I thought some parts of the story were overly dramatic and the author just had too much going on.

Although I did not love this book as much as I wanted to, I still plan to read more by Castille. She has a lot of other things going on while Zane and Evie try to figure each other and themselves. She presents some of the dangerous aspects of the MC world and it becomes a point of contention between Evie and Zane once they figure out where they want their relationship to go. Also, I have to confess, I love Joanna Wylde’s Mc books and I think she does great with the alpha males. Honestly, I thought some of the men in this book were immature teenagers. They should have been on bikes instead of motorcycles. I’m sure Castille’s fans will really enjoy this addition to the series and I’m going to stay put for the next one to see how it continues.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Author Nazarea Andrews and Giveaway

Meet Nazarea Andrews author of Fatal Beauty.

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

ARC Review: Falling for the Wrong Guy by Sara Hantz

Falling for the Wrong Guy is my first book by Sara Hantz. This story is a standalone young adult novel. While there were some really positive messages here and moments that I liked, unfortunately there were also a lot of things that didn't work for me. I think that there are those out there that will really enjoy this book, however there were just too many things for me that I had issues with.

Mia Davis (My ARC had the heroine's name as Mia but the blurb actually says I am going to call her Mia since that is what I read and am familiar with) has always liked her brother's best friend Drew. But after a tragic accident occurred, her brother felt betrayed and Drew has been off limits ever since. Drew has suffered since that horrible night, but he knows that he is responsible and views all the pain and looks he gets are his karma for what happened. After taking some time off from school, he returns and finds himself face to face with Mia. No longer the cute little sister type, Drew starts to see Mia in a completely different way though he knows he needs to stay away. But when a school project forces them to work together, the feelings between them are more than either of them can fight. Can they ever hope to have anything together though when Drew feels constant guilt and Mia's brother refuses to accept them together?

Part of my problem here was Drew and Mia. Mia was weak and let others walk all over her. She was a good girl, seeing the best in people and trying to be there for them. She was kind and compassionate, and yet she let others treat her horribly because of it. Instead of standing up for herself, she would apologize and be upset with herself when others reacted poorly. Drew was suffering a huge amount of guilt and grief, and yet he was just wallowing in it and lashing out at people. He had pretty much no one on his side, including his awful parents, and yet when Mia would reach out he would be an absolute jerk to her and always assume the worst. I just didn't see much improvement over the course of the story, and most of the change was right at the very end and hard to really believe at that point. I didn't feel the connection between Drew and Mia since he pushed her away so much, and when they finally did start to connect it seemed to be more on a physical level than anything. They could make out in private and that was their "being together" yet nothing could be done out in the open for others to know about, and they didn't spend any real time talking or developing a real relationship that we saw. 

Between the character issues and lack of development, I found myself skimming a lot and wanting to just get to the end to see what would happen. I wasn't invested, and the ending felt rushed and abrupt. I didn't buy it, and though it seemed everything turned out well wasn't that satisfying since I didn't really believe it. The overall message of not judging others based on appearance as well as forgiveness and healing were positive and I felt like they were really great for readers to see. But I just wish that the story had been better to really get the full effect of such positive ideas and themes. While I do think that this story had a lot of promise, it just fell flat.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Friday, October 16, 2015

ARC Review: Fatal Beauty by Nazarea Andrews

Fatal Beauty is not at all a romance in the typical way you might expect. Indeed, if there is a romance in this book, it is between the two heroines, there really is no M/F romance though there is a great deal of M/F sex. Please note, there is also F/F sex. When the book opens up, you can’t really help but to be intrigued. We meet two bored rich girls, Charlie and EJ, with very different outlooks on life but an affinity for drug dealing….So yeah, that’s intriguing. From the beginning of the book the author focuses on the development of the relationship between Charlie and EJ. When Charlie’s picture perfect existence starts to crumble, she calls on EJ and that begins a very very crazy ride. To get a picture of what you’re getting with this book think Bonnie & Clyde meets Thelma & Louise. Eventually Charlie and EJ find themselves on the run and things get….complicated.

Ok, the good news is EJ’s character. EJ was one of the most complex characters I have encountered. Her mixture of hard as nails tough and aching vulnerability was perfect. I understood the relationship between Charlie and EJ more from EJ’s POV than from Charlie’s. The entrance of Jacobs in the story was kind of the beginning of where things started to get a bit too complicated for me. EJ has a long complicated history with Jacobs but he’s the guy you call when you want to get rid of a body and so EJ calls him when she and Charlie find herself in that situation. From the point where Jacobs enters the story, the book starts to take on a “stream of consciousness” writing feel. This issue is compounded by the rapidly switching POV’s and time hops without any sort of explanation or dividers. I just didn’t get the sense that the author had an actual plot plan, it very much seemed like the story was being created on a page by page basis. That can be ok but in this case it led to a very disjointed feeling in the story. I didn’t understand why choices were being made by the characters in the way that they were.

One very good example of how the book kind of stops connecting all the dots for you came when Charlie and EJ decided to stay with Jacobs. I just didn’t get how that would not look suspicious under the circumstances or how it was ok for them just to disappear from their lives. Another example, why EJ thought her plan to get revenge on Jacobs was workable is beyond me. I didn’t even understand why she would’ve wanted to do something like that.

I also wasn’t a fan of Charlie or EJ. They are not the kind of characters you really root for. They are rich and mean. In reality, they only care about each other and would literally blow the rest of the world up without a backwards glance.

If you are into the action, suspense genre and you don’t mind a F/F romance with lots of M/F sex and what-not thrown in, this book might be for you. I’m not that kind of reader so this wasn’t really the right book for me.

**ARC provided by InkSlinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon |

ARC Review: Untouchable by Ava Marsh

Untouchable is the story of an escort, Stella. I picked this book up because the blurb caught the attention of the part of me that is really into thriller/suspense type romance. I was hesitant about the escort aspect but I was hopeful that it wouldn’t overshadow the potential of the plot. I might have been too hopeful.

I would not at all call this book a romance. If you know me, you know I need a side of romance with my freaky deaky crazy suspense or whatever else a book may have to offer. Without the ooey gooey love stuff, Momma is not happy, I’m like…well me, without coffee before 10am. What wound up taking a lot of the potential enjoyment out of this book for me was the lack of love. A lot of the story is just Stella’s life as a prostitute. She bangs random men, she tries to figure out how to describe that activity on her taxes and bangs more random men. I think we are supposed to identify with Stella’s pain because the reasons for her choice to be a prostitute are pretty tragic. It didn’t happen for me that way. I just could not identify with Stella. I felt bad for her character when I wasn’t repulsed by it but I couldn’t connect to her at all.

There is a DP scene that is particularly disturbing. Everyone is going to have their own opinions about this sort of thing, all I can give you is mine. I just have a really hard time dealing with a heroine who has had a d!ck in every entrance and exit, at the same time, before I get to the 50% point of the book. Beyond that personal bias, the plot just doesn’t live up to the hype. I thought one of Stella’s good friends got killed in the book…because that’s what the blurb states. In reality, the person who gets killed is someone Stella barely knows outside of paid orgies where Stella performs her DP tricks. I mean just aaaaaaack. The other thing is that this book was supposed to be a thriller but I didn’t walk away feeling like I had been thrilled. A lot of the book is kind of slow. You wouldn’t think the life of a prostitute could be so…mundane. But the way it’s described in this book is really ho hum….or hoe hum…ok, enough of that. When the book isn’t slow it’s kind of depressing. For me, Stella was just a really sad character. It just wasn’t fun for me to read about her.

Ok for my rating I went with 3 stars. That’s because the book itself is well written. The plot is set out in a clear and coherent fashion and the author tackles a taboo subject matter with relative grace. This definitely was not the book for me but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I couldn’t see some readers enjoying this story. Just know that if you’re a romance junkie, you’re going to have to get your fix somewhere else.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: Duchess Decadence by Wendy LaCapra

Thea Worthington, Duchess of Wynchester divides her time between social engagements and playing her luck against fickle fortune. Yet every gamble is only a bluff—a means to hide from the pain deep within her, and the loss of a babe she never held in her arms. Now Thea's luck is about to run out. Her estranged husband has returned and seeks a reunion...

Plagued with guilt over what happened to his wife three years ago, the Duke of Wynchester has kept his distance. The duke is resolved to piece his family back together, especially now that he's discovered his beloved brother—long thought dead—still lives. But Thea's lovely, porcelain facade is on the verge of cracking...spurred on by the duke's brother's secretive, malevolent animosity.

With everything riding on her future, Thea plays a daring game of chance for love and her marriage...and this time, the dice are most certainly rigged.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Feature and Giveaway: Untouchable by Ava Marsh

Spend a night of sexual adventure with this gritty, debut thriller.

In a toxic world of lust, lies, and elegant hotels, London’s high-class escorts cater to the carnal appetites of powerful men. It’s a game Stella knows how to play, one that allows her to escape the nightmares of her past. The rules are simple: always leave your client satisfied, don’t get involved, and never disclose your real name. But when a fellow call girl is murdered, the game changes completely. And there’s only one rule—survival.

Once a respected professional, Stella knows how easily men can get away with murder—especially when the victim is a prostitute. Determined to get to the truth, she finds herself sucked into a deadly conflict with some of the world’s most powerful men. But while they may consider themselves above the law, there’s one secret every escort knows: no man is truly untouchable.

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Ava Marsh grew up in Margate, Kent. A former broadsheet journalist, she now works freelance in the charity sector and writes novels.

Ava lives in Battersea, London. Her hobbies include running, kayaking and photography.

RFTC giveaway button
Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 Print copy of Untouchable

To Enter: 
  • US shipping ONLY.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.
Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Penguin Books for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC Review: Hard to Break by Bella Jewel

Hard to Break is the story of Quinn and Tazen and while it’s decent, it might be a let down for some die hard Bella Jewel fans. Quinn started off as such a strong heroine in this book. She was balancing the challenges of dealing with her alcoholic father with running his neglected business and generally staying sane. For the first 30% of the book, I really liked Quinn and I was cheering for her but somewhere along the way it all fell apart. Quinn meets Tazen, I think that’s where the downhill slide started.

I like Tazen, he is a solid bossy alpha male who happens to be smoking hot. From his first meeting with Quinn, he is upfront with her about two things: he is attracted to her and he wants to buy her Dad’s business right from under her. He was crystal clear about both things. So where I struggled to understand Quinn occurred after Tazen did exactly what he said which was buy Quinn’s family business. Quinn loses her sh!t. Ok, I kind of got that, the business was pretty much all she had. What I didn’t get was Quinn’s “plan” to hang on and I’m still trying to figure out how Quinn and Tazen fell in love.

Now look, I was here for the sparks between the main couple. I loved the friction and the tension. I am a fan of enemy romance so in the beginning, everything was working out great. Strangely where the book started to lose me was when Quinn and Tazen got together. I was just…confused. I wasn’t confused by the hot sex when they seemed to hate each other, nope, that was just great. What confused me was how they went from that to love. I went back in looked, there were almost no conversations between Quinn and Tazen before the L word starts getting thrown around. I actually don’t have a problem with instalove, what made this book different is the history between Quinn and Tazen. When we see instalove, we don’t usually have instahate too. Where the main characters are enemies, we need some sort of logical transition into them becoming lovers and it just didn’t happen in this book.

I also didn’t love the subplots in this book. The crazy ex who was for real crazy didn’t do anything for me. Quinn’s alcoholic father was a nice throw in but Quinn’s handling of the situation aggravated me. My overall impression of this book is that something is just missing. I like Tazen but I didn’t feel any connection to him or between him and Quinn. I kind of like the story in a general sense but the details didn’t really move me. I think I would recommend this book as a light fast read but if you’re like me and you’ve read a lot of Bella Jewel books in the past, this one could be disappointing.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ARC Review: Life After Falling by Alyssa Rose Ivy

I have read quite a few of Alyssa Rose Ivy's books at this point, and I have become a fan of hers. So when I saw that she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to read it. Life After Falling is unlike her other books that I have read, and this is a complete standalone. I have to say though that this isn't what I had been expecting, and while I did enjoy it I also had a few issues with this book. 

Unhappy with her life and herself, Cassidy quits her job and dumps her fiance. She heads home to stay with her parents until she figures out what to do next. When she comes across a cassette tape from her childhood, she believes that it is the way to find happiness once again. But the tape is broken, so she sets out to get it fixed at a used record shop. There she meets Leo, and the two of them hit it off. Cassidy soon finds out that Leo has his own set of issues from his past, and has put up walls against anyone that would possibly get under his skin. But the more time they spend together, the more they start to fall for one another. Soon they are beginning to wonder if they can find a second chance at happiness together.

I had a really hard time connecting with Cassidy and Leo. They were both a bit different, and they didn't open up easily. I did think that they fit each other well though, and they were really good together. They had great banter, and I did like that they were able to get along so well as quickly as they did. These two understood one another, and their connection was easy to see. There were friends first, but the chemistry was there from the beginning. They did take awhile to open up to each other, and I wish that they had talked to each other without things just coming out due to circumstances around them. I think it would have meant more and showed a better connection between them had they made the choice to open up rather than things just coming out. 

Besides finding the characters hard to relate to though, I also just felt like this story was a bit weird. There was so much focus on the cassette for quite a bit of this story, and I just found it all a bit odd. I also felt like there were several things that were brought into this story for extra drama or for no real reason, only to be dropped without mention again. At first Cassidy meets back up with a former classmate Brent, and he quickly disappears. Then her brother is mentioned throughout the story quite a bit and his girlfriend is hated by absolutely everyone, but they were hardly around though they were mentioned a lot. There was one scene where Cassidy finally meets the girlfriend and the brother is horrible as well as his girlfriend, but after the big showdown happens and Leo stands up for Cassidy the whole thing just goes away. They are never mentioned again and nothing was resolved. So while I have really loved stories from Alyssa Rose Ivy in the past, this one just wasn't for me. It did have a cute ending and I was glad to see how things turned out for the characters, I just didn't enjoy it like I have with some of her previous books.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Feature and Giveaway: Life After Falling by Alyssa Rose Ivy

One tangled cassette tape. Two tangled lives.

Cassidy snaps. She quits her job and fiancé all in the same day and ends up on her parents’ doorstep. In the midst of everything she is determined to fix a broken cassette tape that she thinks holds the key to rediscovering happiness.

On her quest to fix the tape she meets Leo, a guy as down on his luck as she is lost. What starts with curiosity leads to something resembling a relationship and maybe a chance at love.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Guest Post with Author Shelly Bell

Meet Shelly Bell, author of Blue Blooded.

A sucker for a happy ending, Shelly Bell writes sensual romance often with a bit of kink and action-filled erotic thrillers with high-emotional stakes for her alpha heroes and kick-ass heroines.

She began writing upon the insistence of her husband who dragged her to the store and bought her a laptop. When she’s not working her day job, taking care of her family, or writing, you’ll find her reading the latest smutty romance.

She currently writes for Avon Red Impulse, Loose Id, and Soul Mate Publishing.