Saturday, June 11, 2016

ARC Review: Raw Redemption by Tessa Bailey

RR is the fourth book in the Crossing the Line series. I read all three of the preceding books. I already loved the series and was invested in Henrick as a character after meeting him in previous books. You do not have to read the other books to read this one. In fact, I didn't even read the preceding books in order. So if this is your first book in the series, you can start right here and read the others later (all of which I recommend).

RR is the story of Henrik Vance. Henrick is a disgraced cop. His career in law enforcement went up in flames when he destroyed evidence that would have put Ailish O’Kelly in prison. Henrick becomes a part of the quasi criminal task force which stars in the other three books in this series to redeem himself and also to protect Ailish. Henrick is assigned to a mission, along with the rest of the task force, that will lead to the take down of Ailish's criminal boss Father. Henrick is determined to do whatever it takes to protect Ailish and that's pretty much evident from page one. I love Henrick, he's everything I want in my book boyfriend. He's tough, protective, loyal and has a dirty mouth!

It turns out that Ailish is not just the daughter of a crime boss, she is a prisoner. Ailish has no independent will when it comes to her Father or his criminal enterprise. Because she is under her Father's control, Ailish is forced to become a criminal herself and eventually she has just had enough of it. Ailish eventually runs from her Father and winds up running again. It seems that even though Ailish may not be aware of it, she needs help to escape her Father's grip. Enter Henrick.

I liked the fireworks between Henrick and Ailish from the beginning. I loved that Ailish is determined to save herself but drawn to Henrick. Henrick alternated between being completely bad ass and totally gentle and careful with Ailish, Ailish never knew which side of him to judge him on but she knew that there was no denying the rampant attraction between the two. Things heat up pretty quickly and no matter how Ailish feels about saving herself, from the minute Henrick enters her life, they are bound together.

I had so much fun with this whole series and this particular installment. I'm sad to see the quasi criminal task force go but I'm glad I got to be a part of the fun. If you haven't read the other books in the series, I recommend them. Every book in this series is romantic and entertaining.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Hanging by a Thread by Jenna Sutton

Hanging by a Thread is the third book in the Riley O'Brien Co. Series by Jenna Sutton. Each book is a standalone though the characters are connected. I have only read one of the previous books in the series, but I really enjoyed it and looked forward to reading this one. While I did like this book, I had some issues with the story that kept me from liking it as much as the previous book I had read from Jenna Sutton. 

Bebe Banerjee is thirty years old and is desperate to lose her virginity and the fiance that she has never wanted to marry. Looking to make her parents happy, she agreed to the arranged marriage when she was younger and came to an agreement with her fiance. But when her fiance suddenly changes everything with an ultimatum and blackmail, she sets out to make sure that even if she is forced to marry him, he will never get her firsts. Cal O'Brien is the man she has wanted since she met him, but with them constantly arguing and insulting she knows that he could never be interested in her. But Cal has been just as interested in Bebe as she has been in him, although he never told her. When Cal overhears her conversation with his sister about losing her virginity, he offers himself up. But what starts out as an arrangement for her to take care of her V-Card quickly turns into more and both Cal and Bebe find themselves wanting something real together. But can Bebe get out of her engagement, and what happens when Cal finds out that she has been engaged the entire time?

I will admit that part of my issues here were with Bebe. While I liked Bebe at times, I never felt like I could relate to her. I did understand that she was so smart that she experienced a lot more at a young age academically, but that really stunted her social growth. She had little to no experience with social settings and men. But it also struck me as unrealistic that she would be 30 and never have even been kissed or gone on a date before. She was naive and rigid, and at times her thoughts were just plain odd and bordered on creepy if I am honest. (for example one of her thoughts was that scientist should clone Cal so that all women could enjoy him privately...seriously?) Cal was sweet and I really liked him. I thought that he was great with Bebe and they were good together. They got along really well, had great chemistry, and it was obvious that they had a strong connection. I did find the fact that they went from constantly arguing and insulting one another to sweet and lovey dovey to be a bit unrealistic as well though, and I would have liked to have seen more of a natural transition there rather than it just being like a flipped switch. I also hated that Cal got so mad at Bebe for never having said anything about her feelings for him and him being upset that she caused them to waste four years together, especially since he had felt the same way but never said anything. He had kept quiet and dated others during those four years when he had never told her how he felt. It was hypocritical and really irritated me. 

Beyond just those issues though, I also felt like the big conflict in the story here (the fiance/arranged marriage) wasn't dealt with in a believable manner. It went on the entire way through the book, but when it came down to it's resolution, Akash and the arranged marriage just disappeared. It was referenced in one conversation with Bebe and Cal, but was never brought up again and we never saw any of the actual resolution. Akash and all of it was just gone as though it was magically resolved. There is no way that it would have just been over with one overcompensation between Bebe and Akash's parents...not buying that at all. So while I did have moments that I liked this story and things were sweet between Bebe and Cal, I also had a lot of things that just didn't quite seem plausible. I think if you are looking for a contemporary romance and don't get caught up in how believable or realistic it is, that this might be one worth giving a shot. Cal is great and he is definitely worth reading about. But if you are looking for something that seems more realistic and true to life, this one might not be for you.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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Guest Post with Author Dawn Ryder and Giveaway

Meet Dawn Ryder author of Rock Steady.

Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over 8 years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.

Friday, June 10, 2016

ARC Review: Chasing Lady Amelia by Maya Rodale

I’ve been waiting for “Chasing Lady Amelia” by Maya Rodale for so long… I could not believe when I finally had a copy in my hands to read. First, I loved, loved, loved the first book in the series, “Lady Bridget’s Diary.” It was such an amazing read and I devoured it. Even though I was fascinated by Lord Dary and Lady Bridget my interest was piqued when I read about Amelia. “Chasing Lady Amelia” is a story that is parallel to “Lady Bridget’s Diary.”

First, Maya Rodale is such a gifted story-teller. She has such a magical way of bringing her characters to life that they seem real and they are fascinating. Lady Amelia was such a great character. Her energy, charisma and personality jumped off the pages. There are many funny moments, comical, just like in the previous book. Just like Lady Bridget, Amelia has a very hard time fitting in, but unlike Lady Bridget, she doesn’t care. Amelia feels stifled by all the rules that she has to follow. She loves her family very much but she wants to be her own person and feels like she doesn’t fit into London society.

If anyone knows about being an outcast it’s Alistair Finlay-Jones. Alistair has been out of London for many years and is also an outsider. When he is asked to marry and marry well Lady Amelia becomes a big salvation for him. Finally, he can make amends for his ways and win his families favor. Alistair sees Lady Amelia drunk in the street one day, he takes her in and doesn’t know who she is. When fortune smiles down on him he starts to follow her around London. The more time that Alistair and Amelia spend together the more they like each other and the more they realize that they are meant to be together.

Rodale is such a great author! I just love to read her. I have to say that the only part I had a hard time with was the span of the plot. Amelia and Alistair spend two days together and that is the entire book. It would have been more believable if it had been longer than just that. Nonetheless, this was a great story, and I’m already impatient for Lady Claire’s story!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Vivid Lies by Alyne Roberts

I honestly don't even know how to really write this review. Alyne Roberts is an author I have enjoyed in the past, so I had to read this one when I first read that blurb! The cover is gorgeous, and Alyne is a great writer. But even though I knew things would be complicated going in, I never could have predicted how it would go. Because I don't want to spoil any of this story, this will most likely be brief and vague. This book was a really great story though, and I couldn't put it down! 

London and Brooklyn have shared everything for their entire lives. As identical twins, the got used to having nothing for just themselves. The leave the only place they have ever called home along with their best friend Miles, looking to start over. But as Miles begins to see them as more than just friends, they also meet their sexy new neighbor Kane. While on paper it should be easy to figure out, they all find themselves with feelings that will change everything, including the bond between London and Brooklyn. 

I liked each of the characters here. They were unique and each had such strong personalities. It was easy to see how things could quickly get complicated and how they would all be drawn together the way they were. I will admit that there were things that were going on here that really bothered me at times. I stuck with it though because I knew there had to be more to the story. I am so glad I did, because there were twists and turns I never would have suspected. Just when I thought I had things figured out, Alyne would prove me wrong. 

There were a few things that kept me from giving this one 5 stars, even after all was revealed. Unfortunately they are spoilers, so I can't go into them here. But even with those few things, I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad that I read it! If you are looking for a book that is really different from everything else out there, Vivid Lies is one you should definitely check out! I have enjoyed everything I have read from Alyne Roberts, and I know that I will be reading more from her in the future.

**ARC Provided by IndieSage PR**

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

Guest Post with Author Kat Martin and Giveaway

Meet Kat Martin author of Into the Whirlwind.

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. She is married to L.J. Martin, author of western, non-fiction, and suspense novels.

Kat has written more than sixty-five novels. Sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, China, Russia, and Spain.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Kat currently resides in Missoula, Montana, on a small ranch in the beautiful Sapphire mountains.

Her last 10 books have hit the prestigious New York Times bestseller list. AGAINST THE WILD, AGAINST THE SKY, and AGAINST THE TIDE her latest release, took top ten spots.  

Guest Post with Author Cynthia Eden

Meet author Cynthia Eden author of Torn.

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller.  Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas.

Cynthia lives along the Alabama Gulf Coast. She loves romance novels, horror movies, and chocolate.  Her favorite hobbies including hiking in the mountains (searching for waterfalls) and spelunking.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

ARC Review: Foolproof Love by Katee Robert

“Foolproof Love” by Katee Robert is my first time reading the author. I’ve heard so many great things about her that I couldn’t wait to see for myself. True to her reputation Robert’s stories are filed with steamy romance and great characters.

This is was a really quick read. It was more of an introduction to the series and I think it was a good introduction. Jules Rodrigez has lived in Devil’s Falls her entire life. She graduated from High School there and her existence has always been centered around Devil’s Falls. When her ex-boyfriend from high school shows up she starts to doubt her accomplishments. One of the reasons that Grant broke up with her is because he wanted to leave the small town and go off to college. When he returns he is ready to take over his father’s law firm. Grant has no problem letting Jules know that he expected her to stick around and basically do nothing with her life. Jules for her part wants to break out of her mold. She is sick of people thinking that she is a 26 year old spinster. She is even more intimidated by the fact that when Grant shows up her relationship with another male is nonexistent. One instinct she goes over to Adam and starts to kiss him. Lucky for her Adam is willing to play along.

Adam is the opposite of Jules. He has moved around often, is a wild man and considered to be a bad boy. He is only back in Devil’s Falls to look after his mother that has been battling cancer. Jules is a complication he doesn’t expect but he is willing to help her along. Adam instantly dislikes Grants and he is more than willing to rub their “romance” in his face-even if it’s a fake romance.

As can be expected, Adam and Jules begin to develop feelings for each other. They both enjoy the others company and their chemistry is undeniable. Jules is a sweet heroine. She doesn’t have much self-confidence and often finds herself lacking, Adam finds nothing lacking in Jules. For me this was a great introduction to Katee Robert because this is a novella the story was very rushed but it was just what I needed and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the other characters in the book.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Dirty Sexy Secret by Nazarea Andrews

Dirty Sexy Secret is the first book in the new Green County series from Nazarea Andrews. I have really enjoyed her books in the past, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one with that sexy cover. While there were things that I liked here, this book was completely different from what I have read from her in the past. It wasn't as polished as her past books have been, and I found myself struggling to get through this book on more than one occasion. 

After a tragic accident leaves a small town reeling, Hazel Campton and Brandon Archer are taken in by a woman who helps them form a new family. Hazel, Archer, and the foster brother Elijah become close, but while they feel like Elijah is their brother, they both find themselves drawn to each other in a way that is far from brother and sister. One night things change between them forever, but Hazel runs leaving the guys and their small town behind. But when she returns four years later everything has changed but how she feels about Archer. Now an investigative reporter Hazel finds herself digging into something that her town has kept secret for years and sets out to find the truth while Elijah and Archer (now cops) investigate another incident in town. But when everything appears to be connected, the three of them realize that they are in far more danger than they ever suspected.

I liked all the characters here, but I never felt as though I really knew most of them or was able to connect with them. I can tell you how they all related to one another and how close they were. But I really don't feel as though I could give you many specifics when it came to their personalities. I loved what a tight unit they were though, proving that you can be a family without being related by blood. You could tell that things had always been different between Hazel and Archer than they were with Elijah though, and their connection was very strong. I do think that as strong as their connection was though and as much as they knew about one another, that they had some communication issues. There seemed to be a lot that should have been discussed between them that they never talked about, both in the past and present. I also felt like while they had chemistry and were clearly attracted to one another, that there was so much going on here we didn't really get to see them fully explore things between them. The romance felt to be sort of an afterthought rather than the focus, with Hazel and Archer taking a backseat to everything else going on around them. 

My biggest complaints though are things that kept me from loving this book, but are also things that could have been fixed before publication. Since I had an advanced copy, I am not sure what the final version of this story looks like. But this version was filled with errors. While you expect that spelling and minor issues will be fixed, there were so many name inconsistencies here that it was often times hard to keep everything straight. (main characters, not secondary characters) We were given several POVs, and they would often times switch not only at the start of a new chapter but in the middle of chapters. There were no labels or any indication of which POV we were getting and it was very confusing. There were many times I thought it was one character's POV only to get a few paragraphs in and discover that I was completely wrong and it was someone else's. There were several times that Hazel referred to Archer as her best friend, while several times she referred to Gabe as her best friend rather than using either of their names. It was hard at times to figure out who she was talking about. The thoughts and dialogue got to be very repetitive at times, with things constantly being rehashed. The other thing that really bothered me and had me wanting to DNF almost before I even got started was the fact that at the beginning of the story so many characters were present and referred to as though we should know who they were. It felt like we were being dropped into the middle of a story already in progress. It was hard to get into because I felt like I was missing so much information already. 

While I do like how things turned out and the fact that this one had some twists and turns I didn't expect, I will admit that I almost gave up on it several times. I think ultimately it was worth the read, but it just had so many issues that it kept me from really loving it despite how much potential was there. Like I said before though, some or all of these things might have been fixed before the final published version. But for me, this one was confusing and a mess to get through. I am looking forward to Gabe's brother Aiden getting his story in Dirty Stolen Forever. We didn't get to see much of him here, but what I did see made me want more. While I really like Nazarea's books, I will admit that this one wasn't my favorite. It was still good though, and I think it is worth the read even with the criticisms I had.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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Feature and Giveaway: 30 Nights by Christine d'Abo

Baring your body is simple--but baring your soul might just change everything

The last thing Glenna O'Donald expected to stumble upon in a cemetery was a pack of index cards. And not just any cards--each one contains instructions for a seriously kinky, no-holds-barred sexual encounter. Glenna, an over-analytical research assistant by day, is suddenly tempted to conduct some nocturnal experiments of her own. Especially when gorgeous university professor Eric Morris offers to be her lab partner.

Soon Glenna begins meeting with Eric once a week to try out the suggestions that intrigue her most. In between those daring nights of sensual exploration are work days filled with laughter and flirting…until Glenna fears she's getting in too deep. For all the pleasure she's giving and receiving, Glenna wants more than skin-on-skin interaction--and Eric realizes he's about to lose the intimate connection he didn't know he needed. Can they find the courage to take this game to the next level?

As hot as it is heartwarming, Christine d'Abo's fresh, witty novel proves that practice makes perfect, and that some games are worth playing…

Purchase: | Amazon | KindleB&N | Google | iTunes | Kobo |

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ARC Review: Downtown Devil by Cara McKenna

Downtown Devil is the second book in the Sins in the City trilogy by Cara McKenna. Each book is a standalone menage story. If menage stories are not your thing or bother you, this series is one you will want to skip. I have to say though that if you are looking for some seriously hot books, these have a ton of heat! There were things that I both liked and disliked with the first book in this series, Crosstown Crush, but I have to say that I ended up enjoying Downtown Devil more than I had CC. I am really looking forward to seeing what Cara McKenna has in store with the next in the series, Midtown Masters. 

Clare is turning thirty and is starting to feel restless with her life. She works at a call center while trying to pursue her passion for photography. When finally getting a break, Clare must find subjects to model for cohesive collection in order to show at a local gallery. When she meets Mica at the local coffee shop, she approaches him to see if he would be interested in being one of her models. But what starts as getting a few shots for her collection quickly turns to more when they spend a steamy night together. The more time they spend together, the more Clare begins to wonder what the future could possibly be for them. But when things start to change with Clare, Mica and his best friend Vaughn, Clare finds herself in a situation she never expected. 

I really liked these characters. I liked Clare's passion for photography and how she took something that could have offended her and turned into something beautiful. Showcasing the differences between people and their ethnicities was something that she celebrated and I loved that! I also loved that when presented with the opportunity to explore her desires and step outside her comfort zone, she welcomed it even while being a bit nervous. It was great to see a heroine embrace that and not be judged for it. I liked Mica and he was beyond sexy and charming. He also frustrated me at times, but over the course of the story it was easy to see that his past affected him greatly. I loved Vaughn though right from the second he was introduced. He was sexy as well as sweet, and I loved how he was with Clare right away. The three of them together were so smoking hot, but I knew that in the long term there was no way that they could all be together. I will admit I definitely had my opinions throughout this story about what I wanted to happen, but it was great to see things play out here and I felt that it happened naturally. 

I won't say how things turned out and spoil the story, because this one was so good and I think it needs to just be read. Things progressed in a genuine way here and I really liked the way things happened. There were times that I felt like the sex scenes did take over the story a bit. While we did get some dialogue and character development, I felt like that part of this story did suffer from the amount of sex that was happening. Don't get me wrong, the story was still good, it just didn't have the amount of depth it could have had considering some of the backstory with each Mica and Vaughn. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, and I definitely recommend Downtown Devil as well as Crosstown Crush. This series is different, and I really like that Cara McKenna is exploring some desires that aren't always common, even in erotica books.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Scandal by Kathleen Kimmel

Colin and Elinor have known each other for years. They bicker quite often and absolutely don't seem to suit in any way. So it surprises Colin when he realizes he has fallen for Elinor. Unfortunately for the poor sap, right before he is about to propose, his plans are thwarted, So he hardens his heart to the reality that she can never be his.

Years later, Elinor is on the brink of being a spinster, and is helping Colin's younger sister find a husband during the Season. Colin's family has some bad history that they are all trying to work through, and Elinor falls into the search for answers. This puts Elinor and Colin in closer proximity, and they must work together to figure out the past and exact vengeance.

This romance started off a bit slow and boring, but it definitely picked up around 30% to 35%. I hated Colin's drinking problem. I understand the need for some inebriating distraction, but this guy was an extreme alcoholic. I think that should have been downplayed a little. There were some predictable parts to the story, but Kathleen Kimmel still turned me around a time or too which was great. The romance is strong, and I did like that it got a bit exciting here and there.

I very much enjoyed this read and only didn't give it a five star rating because of the slow beginning. I'm glad I pushed through it because the rest of the book was everything I look for in a historical romance. You do not have to read the prior books in the series, but they were both great as well so I say go for it! I hope to see the next in this series soon. I have no idea who it would feature, though! Oh the suspense!

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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