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Saturday, May 14, 2016

ARC Review: Dirty Little Rendezvous by Emma Hart

Dirty Little Rendezvous is a spin-off to the Burke Brothers series by Emma Hart. This features their sister Leila, and I was really excited to get her story. I enjoyed this one a lot, and it was good to catch up with all the Burkes again and to see so many familiar faces. If you enjoyed the Burke Brothers series this is one you are definitely going to want to read, but if you haven't read those this is easily read as a standalone story.

When Leila Burke heads out on tour with her brothers and their band Dirty B, the last thing she expects is to come face to face with her one night stand Jase. She had met Jase while backpacking through Europe the year before and they shared one passionate night together. Now with her brothers on her case and laying down the law while they are on tour, the last thing she needs is someone that tempts her to break their rules. But Jase is more than just a one night stand from her past, he is also Dirty B's new supporting act. Though Jase and Leila know all the reasons they shouldn't be together, they find themselves unable to fight the attraction between them.

I have been waiting for Leila's story since she was first introduced in the Burke Brothers series. She is such a firecracker, and I loved how she was able to keep up with the boys! I knew it would take a special guy to win her over since you can't grow up with four brothers like the Burkes and not expect to have to work for it a bit. She is such a strong character, and I have liked her since the beginning. I will admit she did have some immature moments here where it drove me a bit nuts, but that didn't stop me from loving her character. Jase was amazing. I loved him right from the start! I mean who wouldn't, he is a sexy British rockstar! But he was so good for Leila and I really felt like they were perfect for one another. He was sweet and I couldn't get enough of him. These two had off the charts chemistry, and the attraction was clear right from the beginning.

As much as I loved these characters, I would have liked a bit more of them. I felt like while they got to know one another and we did too, that it wasn't quite as deep as I wanted and everything felt mostly on the surface. I think part of that was because while this story focused on them, there was also a lot going on with the rest of the Burkes and it just didn't leave a lot of extra page space for these two. As nice as it was to see all our favorites again, I wish some of that had been cut back a bit to really allow Jase and Leila to remain the stars of this book. I think Tate's parts could have been cut back considerably as he got to be a bit over the top obnoxious in this book with all his protective ways when it came to Leila. Some of that from the Burkes was cute, but Tate took things a bit too far, especially considering Leila's age. Overall though this was a good story and a lot of fun to read, and Jase and Leila are definitely worth checking out if you haven't already!

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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

ARC Review: Good Girl by Lauren Layne

I will admit that the cover for Good Girl is what drew me in even though I have read and enjoyed books by Lauren Layne before. I just couldn't resist that beautiful cover, and had to read this one. I did like it and there were some really cute moments here. I ultimately had mixed feelings though, and if I am being honest this wasn't my favorite story from Lauren Layne. 

Jenny Dawson is known as the good girl of country music. Used to being the country pop princess, she does what those around her tell her to do so that she can focus on her dream career. But when she finds herself the subject of a scandal, she heads to a remote location to hide out while the press dies down. There she meets the sexy Noah Maxwell who tells her that he is the caretaker for the property that she once visited as a child. But Noah is actually the owner of the property looking to hide out from his own life. Though they get off on the wrong foot, the attraction between them is undeniable and soon they find themselves unable to stay away from each other. But with their lives being so different how can they possibly make things work, especially when they are both running from things that will catch up to them soon rather than later. 

I think part of my issues with this story were the main characters. Noah was a jerk. There really is no other way to say it, and he did have some good moments. But he was so mean to Jenny at times, and then would instantly feel bad but not really go out of his way to make it better. Not only that, but then he would just do it again, sometimes even worse than the time before. So all the good times he did have were nowhere near enough to make up for how awful he was most the time. Jenny was sweet and I wanted to like her, but she came off as such a weak doormat. She let Noah get away with causing her to cry multiple times, and then just forgave him as though it was nothing. While it was nice she didn't hold a grudge, she didn't really stand up for herself or have any self respect it seemed like. She tried standing up for herself one time, and that was quickly forgotten when he apologized and said it wouldn't happen again. I just couldn't get over it because it was nothing but constant circles and going round and round gets old quickly. They did have chemistry and the attraction was there, but I just had a tough time getting into it especially considering the fact that while these two were becoming physical with one another, they refrained from a lot (including kissing) because it was "too intimate". 

Besides the characters themselves, the story just didn't have a lot of spark and there wasn't really anything new or exciting here. It was predictable and was back and forth the whole way through, with the ending feeling forced and rushed. I will admit that I loved their dogs, and the moments between them and the dogs were the highlights of this story. If there are any characters that I truly liked here it would be them, but even that wasn't enough for me to love this book. Overall though, this one just felt like another typical NA story with less than likable characters and a ton of eye rolling on my part. If you are a Lauren Layne fan and can handle a jerk of a hero and a heroine that continues to put up with it, you might give this one a chance. But if you are looking for more than a predictable NA story with characters that aren't easy to like, I don't know that I would recommend this one.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | 

Feature and Giveaway: Outlaw Cowboy by Nicole Helm


Ever since his father's accident, Caleb Shaw vowed he'd mend his wild ways, and he means to keep his word. He’s a changed man. A better man. And he knows he should want absolutely nothing to do with his crazy old life...or the maddening temptation that is Delia Rogers.

Because Delia? Is nothing but trouble.

Delia’s been stealing her sisters away from their violent father ever since she was old enough to fight back. But now with the police on her trail and all her bridges burned, there’s nowhere left to run but back into the arms of the one cowboy she knows she shouldn’t need. Caleb has always been too good for her, no matter how bad he claimed to be. Yet when close quarters turn into something more, Delia and Caleb are forced to decide what really matters: mending their reputations or healing their wary hearts...

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

Review: Burn by Suzanne Wright

There are times where I am on a book roll with new releases and generally in the genre that I know what I want to read. But then the book funk comes along and we all know how that can end.

After two duds in the same genre I needed a change. A reread from one of my favourite authors was in order to get me out of my current book slump. Enter Ms. Wright and the fabulous worlds that she can create.

I've always been a fan of paranormal romance. The world created by Ms. Wright is unique, original and very entertaining. The right amount of information is given for your kindle to be stuck to your hand rather than overflow of information that makes you loose interest in the book. With Burn there is this exact balance.

In the world of demons Knox Thorne is the uber demon. He is powerful, not to be crossed but there is still vumerability which we only see when he is with Harper. He has lived a very long time and has become bored with life that is until he meets the sassy, confident, funny and snarky Harper Wallis. Harper like Knox is a unique Demon as well.

I love their interaction and banter. They are indepth characters and what I liked the most is that although they are mates they talk about the issues and doubts that they have which is rare. You can't predict what this author can conjure up which for me is also a bonus.

This is a book that can be read over and over again. The good news? They are getting a second book which made me do a happy dance and pre-order it. There is also great potential for the secondary characters to get books as well. There are so many possibilities open and I just know that Ms. Wright has the skills to continue creating a fantastic series.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Friday, May 13, 2016

ARC Review: Bound to You by Shawntelle Madison

I went back and forth over my rating of this book and finally settled on four stars. I was somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but decided it was best to round up based on my total impression of this book and this author. Despite a few issues I had with Sophie as a character and some of the plot points, the writing in this book is really good and overall I have positive feelings about the book.

So let's start with what I really like about this book. Xavier is an alpha billionaire who doesn't do relationships but instantly wants Sophie. Sophie is a concierge to the rich and privileged and is committed to not ever getting involved with another client. From the first time Sophie and Xavier meet there are all sorts of sparks flying. Xavier proposes a no-strings sort of involvement and Sophie fights it but it is clear that beyond her principles and past heart break she really wants Xavier. When Sophie does give in to Xavier I really like the two of them together. The relationship is sexy and interesting. Xavier is protective of Sophie and pretty much willing to put business aside if it is for Sophie's good. Sophie is also a strong heroine, for the most part. I enjoyed her transition from resistance to accepting that Xavier was the person for her.

The reason there is some wiggle room in my rating is because there were some things about this book that I just didn't get. For starters Sophie's attachment to her ex was a complete turn off for me. There is absolutely no cheating in this book so relax BUT Sophie is so attached to the memory of her ex that she continues to wear the cuffs he gave her. This particularly disturbed me when Xavier tries to give her something to replace the accessories and she would not do it. I just really didn't get that. I also felt like between the time that Sophie was sure she didn't want a relationship and Xavier felt the same way to the time they got together, something was missing. I just don't remember the part where the relationship developed to that point and I felt like I was missing something. Finally, there was more of a promise of erotic content than actual erotic content. The steamy scenes were good but didn't totally live up to their hype.

Like I said, overall the writing of this book and the execution are good which is why it gets 4 stars. I'm already on board to read the next book in the series and I'm looking forward to Carlie's story..

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

ARC Review: The Hidden Life by Erin Noelle

The Hidden Life is a spin-off novella of Erin Noelle's book The Perfect Life. This is not intended to be a standalone and should only be read if you have already read The Perfect Life. The Hidden Life is Seth's story. On the outside it looks like Seth has a pretty perfect life. He has a great job and his best friend Colin is a famous quarterback playing for the New England Patriots. But there are only a few people that know that his playboy facade actually hides the life he truly desires. Torn between the life he leads and the life he wants, Seth must decide if he can keep pretending for the public when the only life he really wants is the one that can never be revealed. 

I was so excited when I found out that Erin Noelle was writing more in this world after I read The Perfect Life. I couldn't get enough of Seth, Colin, and Monroe, and I was dying to see more of Seth! It was so great to get more of his backstory and to see some of his past, while also seeing moments that we had already experienced in The Perfect Life from his perspective. I was emotionally invested already in Seth's character, but experiencing everything as he did added a whole new level of what I was feeling. My heart broke for him as he struggled between what he wanted and what he needed. I knew his story wouldn't be easy, but I ended up just loving him so much more than I already did and I hated that he had to go through some really rough times here. 

Overall, this was a great follow up to The Perfect Life and I am so glad that we got to see more of these characters. The only reason that I didn't give this story five stars is that I wish we had been given a bit more of these characters since the story was so short. I liked that we got some scenes from The Perfect Life in a whole new way here, but I would have loved even more all new content either from Seth's past or a bit down the road into his future. Don't get me wrong, I still really loved this story and definitely recommend it to those that have read The Perfect Life. But I am super greedy with these characters that we have come to know and love, and I was not ready to let them go yet. Erin Noelle is a great writer, and I really loved that she gave us this novella and stepped outside a bit from what she normally writes. I can't wait to see what she writes in the future and I am already anxious to see what she has in store for her readers next.

**ARC Provided by Love Affair with Fiction**

Purchase: | Amazon

Feature and Giveaway: Blown Away by Brenda Rothert

In a sensual, emotionally charged novel of love and loss, a tender affair gives two daring storm chasers the strength to overcome shattered dreams and the courage to build a future together.

Drew McGovern is living for two. Her fiancĂ©, Colby, used to savor the feeling of a powerful gale, the rain pelting his face as the sky grew dark—until a shocking tragedy struck him down. Drew’s still grieving his death a year later when she bumps into some of his old storm chasing buddies. For reasons she can’t explain, she volunteers for the next tornado. But when she reconnects with Colby’s best friend, Aiden O’Neal, Drew gets a breath of fresh air that stirs the ashes of her broken heart.

Aiden doesn’t trust himself around Drew. He’s wanted this girl for a long time—long enough to remember the stab of jealousy he felt the first time he saw her in Colby’s arms, long enough to remember the tears that fell as they buried the man they each still miss. Now he’s trying his best to behave himself. But when the wind ruffles Drew’s hair and puts a sparkle in her eye, Aiden can’t resist the urge to hold her close. And when it comes to true love, he’s holding out hope that lightning strikes twice.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Thursday, May 12, 2016

ARC Review: The Deliverance of Dilan by Kathy Coopmans

I'm not going to bother telling you what this book is about because if you read the blurb, it really does pretty much sum up the whole plot line. This is a revenge book and from page one Dilan is plotting and working out a vendetta that seems to have been continued from books past. And therein lies the rub for me. I don't feel like I can fairly evaluate this book as a standalone. It is marketed as a standalone and readers are led to believe that you don't have to read the other books in the series to follow along. I haven't read any of the other books but my impression is that you need to do that before you read this one.

Right from the beginning of the book I felt like I was missing major pieces of the picture. I tried to use context clues to figure out what was going on but honestly sometimes I just got lost. I got the impression that the plot might be really griping if you were already committed to this series and familiar with these characters. For me, however, it was really hard to commit to the characters because I just never developed a connection to them.

Speaking of the characters, I can tell you something that was probably unique to this book. The heroine, Anna, was two different people. One person was strong and independent, the other person was super weak and constantly in need of attention. It's ok to have a character who varies but Anna's variation was so drastic that it added to my overall confusion and disconnect with the plot.

There was a lot of good stuff in this book. It's high octane action, suspense and sex. It is a little slow at the beginning but it does pick up really quickly. The problem for me is that I just don't think this book is a standalone. If you are already invested in this series, you will probably really appreciate this installment. If you are like me and you want to invest in this series, I strongly recommend you start back at the beginning. Based on this book, I would be willing to give the whole series a try.

**ARC provided by TRSoR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

ARC Review: Black by Aria Cole

Black is Aria Cole's debut novel, and I had to take a chance on it when I read that blurb. I am a fan of fairytales retold, and I love Beauty and The Beast so this seemed like a no-brainer to me. I think that this novella had a lot of potential and there were some things I really liked. But I do think that it needed some work, and it was easy to see that this was Aria Cole's first book.

Maxwell Black used to be the town golden boy, but now he is a recluse that hides out in his home and library rarely venturing out into public because of his scars. But when Elle McKellan shows up on his doorstep looking for a job, the attraction between them is instant and Maxwell finds himself wanting more than the life he has been living. 

I liked Maxwell and Elle together. The attraction and sparks were there right away. The chemistry between them was strong, and you could feel the connection forming between them even if it was a serious case of insta-love. But I will say that Elle was super naive, and at times she had me rolling my eyes. I just find it really hard to believe that someone her age could possibly be as clueless as she was at times. I won't say more because I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say there was one glaring example of this that most teenage girls are more knowledgeable about than she was. It was unrealistic and drove me nuts.

I also felt like this story needed a good editor or beta reader. I will say that I read an advanced copy, so there is the possibility that some of this was cleaned up before the final published edition. But my copy had a ton of inconsistencies that were beyond obvious. (thinking the hero's name in her thoughts and then asking him for it claiming she didn't know it...then a couple pages after he gives her only his first name she suddenly knows his last name, being terrified of men and avoiding them at all costs because she doesn't trust them but then blindly trusting and wanting a relative stranger to hold her and put his hands all over her because she feels so safe with him a few sentences later...) I know that things happen fast in a novella and Aria Cole did say in the blurb that this one has insta-love. But these things don't make sense even then, and should have been caught ahead of time and hopefully were fixed before being published. (though I don't have the final copy to verify if they were)

I think that Aria Cole has potential, and there is definitely a spot for shorter stories filled with sexy heroes and insta-love. If you like Alexa Riley this had a similar feel to it, though it wasn't as polished as an Alexa Riley story. I would read more from Aria Cole in the future, and I hope as she continues to write she will get some beta readers or a good editor that can help her clean her stories up a bit more because I think that this one could have been much stronger than it ended up being.

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | 

May Embrace Release Blast with Jennifer Blackwood and Shae Ross

Welcome to the endless possibilities of New Adult fiction. Let us Embrace you with swoon-worthy heroes, butt-kicking heroines, contemporary issues, intrigue, fantasy, edge-of-your-seat thrillers, paranormal adventures, and everything in between. All entangled with a heavy dose of romance, be it sexy or sweet. Let Embrace usher you from the halls of high school graduation and into the wide open world beyond... To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and check them out on Instagram.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Embrace's May releases:

Jennifer Blackwood is an English teacher and contemporary romance author. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.

Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide

1. Don't call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.

2. Don't stare at hot boss's, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)

3. Don't get on the malicious first assistant's bad side.

4. Don't forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.

5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.

6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.

7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.

8. Don't break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.

9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.

10. Never forget the rules.

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

Shae Ross was born and raised in Ferndale, Michigan. After graduating high school, Ms. Ross attended Michigan State University and continued her education at Detroit College of Law. Prior to 2014, she spent the majority of her career practicing corporate law, running a successful business and engaged in entrepreneurial ventures.

After having one too many stressful days at the office, Ms. Ross began to consider pursuing her lifelong dream of writing. Armed with an English degree, an interest in historical settings and a huge collection of romance novels, Ms. Ross put pen to paper and began converting the characters in her head to ink. She soon found herself happily immersed in a new working world that included heroes and heroines, agents and editors, and a multitude of secondary characters.

Ms. Ross’ debut novel, PRETTY SMART GIRLS – LACE UP released in January of 2015. The second book in the series, PRETTY SMART GIRLS – FEARLESS will release August 18th of 2015. She currently writes in the new adult and contemporary romance genres and lives with her husband and three children in Holt, Michigan.

College Quarterback Preston Rush is living the dream. He’s leading his team to the National Championship and days away from earning a ‘first round draft pick’ label. When he meets Little Bo Peep at a Halloween party, he thinks he’s scored big. Instead, he wakes up in a jail cell with the corseted beauty. Because of him, she’s in trouble and when he discovers her true identity, he realizes, his nightmare is just beginning.

The always shooting-for-perfection Priscilla Winslow can’t believe her good deed has cost her a soccer career. Even though she knows it isn’t Preston’s fault, she can’t forgive him for the disaster that is her life. She just wishes her damn body would get the message. Every time she sees him, it’s all she can do not to kiss him.

When everything crashes down around him, Preston will have to decide if doing the right thing is worth losing it all.

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

ARC Review: Blackmailing the Virgin by Alexa Riley

This book is labeled as a really quick taste of one of our favorite romance tropes. There's a virgin, a super bossy/jealous alpha billionaire and a forced marriage. Those are three things that will get my attention anytime they are in one book. I have to say, I don't know if it's possible to write a 4 or 5 star romance that takes place in less than a hundred pages but I still think this short story was plenty of fun.

There isn't much to tell. If you know what the themes are, you pretty much know what this book is about. Calder meets Felicity and he wants her right away. Felicity is shy but wants Calder right back and welcomes him into her bed despite her total lack of sexual experience. From there things move pretty quickly. And frankly, for a reader like me, it was just too quick. I like to feel things actually develop between the main character and you just couldn't do that in this book. One minute the couple is meeting, the next they are married and not a lot really happens in between. You don't get a good sense of who either character is or why they are so drawn to each other. Also, because things develop so fast, the characters seem kind of emotionally unstable. The intensity of Calder's feelings after seeing Felicity twice was just a lot to comprehend.

My suggestion for readers is to read a book like this on a short road trip to kill time. It's not a bad book but it's also not one that you are going to remember for long or that will keep your attention if you are facing anything other than open road. If you like the themes in the book like I do, I think you will find this book worthwhile. If you are not a instalove, instaromance, instaeverything type reader, I would skip this one.

**ARC provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon |