Saturday, January 7, 2017

ARC Review: Satisfaction by Lexi Blake

This is the second book in the "Lawless" series.  I read the first book and I think I gave it either 4 or 5 stars.  It was action packed and fast moving and I was really looking forward to getting the story on the next Lawless brother. Lexi Blake is a really good author but I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this installment in the series quite as much as the first one. 

Bran is very different from the Lawless brother who stars in the first novel in this series. Instead of being as heartless as his brother, Bran is a bit more concerned about the havoc the Lawless brothers might visit on innocent bystanders as they seek to avenge the deaths of their parents. Bran is trying to protect Carly from getting trampled by the Lawless revenge plot in the way his Sister in Law once did.  At the same time, if you read the first book, you know that Bran struggles with some issues of his own that he tries to lock down in this book.

Big brother Drew is working on part 2 of the Lawless revenge plan and it involves Carly.  Carly is a divorcee who is trying to protect her little sister from a mess caused by her ex husband.  Drew's plan involves some dating website shenanigans that Bran decides to undercut by approaching Carly directly.  And that is the beginning of a cute but sexy romance.  

I liked Carly's character because she seemed real to me.  She wasn't super confident and that made sense given her life circumstances. She was in minor shock that someone like Bran wanted her but she turns out to be his perfect match. We find out that Bran has been traumatized by something that happened in the past.  As a result, he thinks that he doesn't deserve to be loved.  So if you have read any of my reviews, you know I love a story about redeeming love. That was this book.  Carly basically drags Bran away from all his inner turmoil and shows him that he deserves love and even if he doesn't deserve it, he can't live without Carly.

This was a good book but the issue for me was the comparison between this one and the first one.  The connection between the characters in the book was so intense and the characters were so strong that I kind of expected that in this book.  It didn't happen that way.  There was some hot sex scenes but I definitely didn't feel the compelling connection between Carly and Bran that I was expecting.  Also, in general neither Carly or Bran were the dynamic characters that I was looking forward to seeing in this series.  I was satisfied that the mystery moves forward in this book and there are some new plot twists.  All in all, this was pretty good and I am definitely going to be back for Drew's story in the next book.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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Review: Bad Romeo Christmas by Leisa Rayven

I am a huge fan of Leisa Rayven and this series is one of my all time favorites! I couldn't wait to get more of my favorite characters, and Leisa Rayven definitely didn't disappoint. If you haven't read the Starcrossed series yet, you will want to start there though as this book is three novellas about three different couples from the series and will spoil the previous books. For fans of the series though, this is a must read!

The three novellas feature Ethan and Cassie, Liam and Elissa, and Josh and Angel. Ethan and Cassie's first Christmas with the hold family is approaching and they are both trying to make it perfect when Ethan's past suddenly reappears. Liam and Elissa have been apart for months and are looking forward to being reunited when their Christmas away from the public eye turns into a nightmare. Josh and Angel are ready to celebrate the new year, but with everything going on around them things don't go according to plan.

I love all these characters and honestly was so glad for a check in with them. This is one of those series that I really just never want to end. I love the characters so much that I am greedy for any tidbits that Leisa Rayven gives us. My absolute favorite is Liam and Elissa, but I truly love each couple in this series. The only reason this wasn't absolutely perfect to me was the fact that I am greedy when it comes to them, and I wanted more. It was so nice to see these characters living their lives and dealing with real world issues together, but it just made me hungry for more. I highly recommend this entire series as Leisa Rayven is a brilliant writer that knows how to write engaging stories filled with characters that you are instantly invested in. I really hope that she never stops writing, and revisits these characters again in the future.

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

Naughty New Year Event with Anna del Mar

Amazon bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories are about strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who fight with all they’ve got to protect the women they love. She’s the author of The Asset, The Stranger, At the Brink and her newest, To the Edge. Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

Friday, January 6, 2017

ARC Review: Feels like Summertime by Tammy Falkner

I have been seen so much about Tammy Falkner's books that I couldn't wait to try one out. People seem to love her books, and I hadn't read any yet but Feels like Summertime really sold me with it's blurb. I liked this one, but if I am honest I didn't love it. I was a little disappointed with it, but that is probably due to how much hype I have seen with her books and my expectations were probably a bit too high. This one was cute and sweet, and I think a lot of contemporary fans will really love it. 

Katie and Jake met as teenagers at Lake Fisher, but after their summer together they never saw each other again. Jake is back at Lake Fisher eighteen years later after his life falls apart and his dad has a stroke. Katie is looking for a place to lie low after her life also falls apart, and returns to Lake Fisher where they meet back up. Though a lot has changed, both Katie and Jake find themselves drawn to one another yet again. But this time around there are a lot more obstacles, and while Jake is willing to open up to Katie, she finds herself struggling to let him in. Can Jake show Katie that they belong together once and for all and get her to let him in before it is too late, or will she shut him out and lose a chance at a happy ending?

I liked both Katie and Jake. That wasn't the part of the book I struggled with. They were cute together and I liked their sweetness. They had really cared about one another and though they had moved forward with their lives, they never forgot one another. It was clear that they connected emotionally as well as physically. I found myself getting a bit distracted though by the flashbacks, and the constant switching between past and present. While that can work for me at times and I enjoyed getting to see how they first met and the present, it didn't fully work for me here. 

I also felt like the story had some pretty major holes in the plot here, and that kept me from being able to love this one. Things were slow moving at times, then rushed and abrupt at others. There were also things that were brought up and dropped out of nowhere and then reintroduced a lot later in the story. It just felt kind of choppy and not 100% put together if that makes sense. The reader was left for quite a bit of this book trying to figure out what was going on with the men of Katie's past (after Jake), and while I am all for a bit of mystery at times, it dragged on longer than I would have liked here and I started to lose interest. I finished the book because the writer is talented and the characters were likable, but honestly I felt like I was finishing in spite of the actual story going on. I really wanted to love this story as it had so much promise, but unfortunately it all just felt kind of meh to me and I wasn't thrilled with the direction this one took. I will read more from Tammy Falkner in the future as I am sure that she is a good writer seeing how many people love her books. Maybe this one just wasn't the best for me to start with.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Naughty New Year Event with Ava Claire

Ava Claire is a sucker for Alpha males and happily ever afters. When not putting pen to paper or glued to her e-reader, Ava likes road tripping, karaoke, vintage fashion, and fantasizing about her favorite book boyfriends.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

ARC Review: Real Good Man by Meghan March

Real Good Man is the first book in the new Real duet from Meghan March. As soon as I heard about these books, I couldn't wait to read! Though this duet is a standalone duet (you need to read Real Good Man and Real Good Love in order), fans of March will recognize both Logan and Banner from her Dirty Billionaire and Dirty Girl books. I highly recommend reading those as well as Real Good Man for full enjoyment (they are fantastic!) but it isn't necessary to understand Real Good Man. 

Banner and Logan are complete opposites, with him being a mechanic from Kentucky and her being a city girl from New York. But one text changes everything, and soon Logan and Banner are texting back and forth. Logan knows she is out of his league, but when the opportunity to meet in person presents itself Logan is determined to show her that he can be exactly what she needs. 

I loved both Logan and Banner before starting this book, and that only grew here! Banner is sassy and the kind of heroine I love to read about! She is just so much fun, and I loved that she just owned who she was. Logan was dirty and sweet, and so real and genuine. He might possibly be my favorite March hero yet and that is saying something as she always creates such sexy heroes that you can help but fall in love with! I honestly just loved these two together and really enjoyed this first installment in their story.

Meghan had me hooked right away, and I didn't want to put this one down. Since this book is the first in the duet, the story isn't over yet for these two. Luckily there isn't much time in between and there isn't a huge cliffhanger either. There were a few things that took me by surprise here, and I am interested to see where things go from here. If you are new to Meghan March, this is a great place to start, though I have yet to be disappointed by her and would recommend checking out any of her books. If you are already a fan though, this book is everything readers have come to know and love about her books and one that you definitely need to read.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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

Naughty New Year Event with Robin Covington

A USA Today bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)

Drop her a line at - she always writes back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ARC Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Hard Hitter is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series by Sarina Bowen. I am a huge fan of hers and I couldn't wait to read the next installment in this series after loving the first one so much. Hard Hitter was a great addition to this series and I really enjoyed Patrick and Ari's story. Leo is still my favorite so far, but I think that readers will love this one, especially if they enjoyed the first in the series. 

Patrick O'Doul is used to being the one who takes the hard hits as the enforcer and captain for the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of playing, he is starting to show the signs of the pain both physically and mentally. So when the team trainers and coaches send him to the team massage therapist and yoga instructor Ari, he wants nothing to do with it even if he is attracted to her. But as he starts to spend more time with her, his feelings begin to change and soon he is ready for more. Ari has just gotten out of a bad relationship and the last thing she needs is to start a new one. But O'Doul is willing to wait for her to be ready and is determined to protect her from her crazy ex at all costs. Can Ari risk her heart once more and give him a shot?

I liked both Ari and Patrick a lot. While I did enjoy their story, I didn't feel quite the same connection to them that I did with Georgia and Leo though. Ari was sweet and caring, and genuinely interested in the health and well being of not only Patrick but the whole team. She really frustrated me at times though, even if I did see why she acted the way she did. Patrick was amazing though. I loved his patience and persistence when it came to Ari. He knew what he was facing with her and he looked for ways to show her he really cared. I absolutely adored him, especially seeing him with his teammates and the way they came up with ideas for what to do for Ari! Trust me you will love it! The chemistry between these two was strong, and their connection continued to grow over the course of this book. It was real and genuine, and they were great together.

I really did enjoy this book, and I loved these two and the way their relationship built. I wasn't the biggest fan of Ari's actions at times, and the stuff with Ari's ex wasn't my favorite. But honestly I still really enjoyed the book on the whole and I think that this series is one of Sarina's best. Her writing seems to just get better and better, and I think fans of hers will really love this one. If you like sports romance stories, I definitely recommend this series. Even if you don't love sports romance though, I think that this is one worth reading and has something for everyone. I am really looking forward to more in this series as I love the characters and the world that Sarina has built. I am really hoping that we get stories for all of these characters as they are so much fun to read about!

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

I have read and enjoyed books from Megan Erickson before, but this was the first book that I have read from Santino Hassell. I really enjoyed Strong Signal, and I thought that these two were a fantastic writing team. Great start to the Cyberlove series, and I am already looking forward to reading more! 

Garrett Reid was counting down the time left of his deployment, while dreading the thought of the job he would have to take once returning to civilian life. But then he met Kai while playing an online game and while they started off as rivals, the two quickly formed a friendship. Soon both of them were counting the minutes before they could talk and see each other online again, with their webcam chats turning from friendly to more. But now that Garrett is headed home, Kai knows that he is nothing like the man that Garrett expects and worries about what Garrett will think when they meet. Garrett has dreamed of what their first meeting will be like, but like the rest of his life it doesn't go as planned and he begins to wonder if the two of them can have a real life connection or if things were best between them online.

I really loved Garrett and Kai. These two were so perfect for one another, despite being so different. They brought out the best in one another, and helped the other just by being themselves. Each one of them was deep and well developed, showing growth and progress throughout the book. I loved seeing both Kai and Garrett moving forward with their lives and becoming who they were supposed to be both as individuals and as a couple. The chemistry between them was there right away, and these two were super hot together! But their connection was so strong and the emotional side of things was what kept me flipping pages here. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were great as well as the story, and I loved that it was something different and unique from what I have read before. My only criticism is that I felt the ending fell off a bit, and it wasn't quite what I had been hoping for. While I liked how things ended up, it felt a bit cheesy and easy and didn't fully satisfy. But I really loved these two and was so happy to see them get the ending that they each deserved. I have to admit that I am super curious to read the next book, as one of the main characters is one that I wasn't entirely sure of here. I am really looking forward to reading more from both Megan and Santino, both as individual authors and this amazing team they were here. If you are a fan of M/M romance, I definitely recommend checking this one out!

**ARC Provided by Authors**

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

Naughty New Year Event with Shelly Bell

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.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ARC Review: Hollywood Prince by Kim Karr

I am a huge fan of Kim Karr's and I could not wait for Hollywood Prince! It was everything I have come to know and love from her, but also so much more. This book also happened to be one of my favorite tropes as well, brother's best friend, making it exactly what I was looking for! Hollywood Prince was such a great story from start to finish, and I could not put it down. 

When Amelia's life falls apart even more than it already had, she heads to California to talk to her brother and stay with him for awhile. But when she arrives and he is nowhere to be found, she finds herself relying on his former roommate and best friend Brooklyn to give her a place to stay until he comes back from Mexico. But while Amelia has just met a nice guy that could be Mr. Right, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Brooklyn who she knows is anything but. Being Hollywood royalty, Brooklyn has never had a problem getting girls and is known for being a player, but could Amelia be the one that makes him rethink everything?

I really loved these two. I loved their history and the way that things felt so natural and genuine with them. Each of them had things they struggled with and reasons for them to not be together, and yet they also knew what they had between them and were willing to see where it took them. Brooklyn and Amelia were so sexy together, with a ton of steam! I loved their chemistry just as much as the strong connection they shared. I just couldn't get enough of them, and never wanted it to end. 

I will say that Brooklyn frustrated me a bit here, but I understood his reasoning even if I didn't like his actions. Luckily he woke up and I loved how things turned out. He really turned things around and made a few really amazing gestures here that had me swooning! While River has always been my number one from Kim Karr, I have to admit that Brooklyn is right up there with him. I just loved him and this will definitely be a book I reread in the future. I highly recommend this one, especially if you love sexy and sweet stories with depth and emotion as well as steamy scenes.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle

Naughty New Year Event with Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is the award-winning author of Slow Surrender, Magic University, and Daron's Guitar Chronicles. RT awarded her the 2014 Career Achievement and Pioneer Awards for her 25+ year career writing passionate fiction. She lives in the Boston area with her partner of 25 years and three shy cats.

Monday, January 2, 2017

ARC Review: Painted on my Heart by Kindle Alexander

I have been waiting for what feels like forever to get a new book from the writing duo Kindle Alexander! Their books are some of my all time favorites, and I knew that whatever they were working on would be worth the wait. I can say now that Painted on my Heart was all of that and more, and I have yet to be disappointed by them. This story was really good, and I think readers are going to really enjoy Kellus and Arik's story! 

I don't want to get into much of the story so as not to spoil anything for the reader, but this story centers around Kellus Hardin and Arik Layne. Arik is a wealthy businessman who prefers not to have relationships beyond casual hookups. Kellus is an artist struggling to pick up the pieces of his life after letting his love and loyalty cloud his judgment. When the two meet, Arik wants nothing more than to make Kellus his. But Kellus isn't willing to open himself up after his past.

I really liked both Kellus and Arik. I will admit that there were times that I was frustrated with Arik and his actions here, but I really did believe in his intentions. Things between these two were obvious from the start, with strong chemistry and a growing bond between them. I loved that it was a slow build that felt real and natural. These two really felt as though they belonged together and that things happened in a very genuine way. If you are a fan of Kindle Alexander's past books, this is one that I think you will really enjoy. 

My one criticism is that this story is on the long side, and it really felt like the beginning of this book could have been a bit less detailed. It was a bit slow and hard to get into, with things going on that didn't really seem to make much difference to Kellus and Arik's story. Once I made it through about 30% though, things started to head in the right direction and at that point I was really enjoying the journey these characters were on. Kindle Alexander is one of my favorites when it comes to M/M stories, and Painted on my Heart proved once again why they are a go-to for me. This one had everything I have come to love and expect from them, and I would definitely recommend this sexy and emotional love story.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N