Saturday, April 22, 2017

ARC Review: Damaged Locke by Victoria Ashley and Jenika Snow

I have no idea what I just read. I'm really struggling to even tell you what just happened. So the Locke brothers are some kind of super violent vigilantes and Aston Locke is the baby brother (he's 21). Everyone in town is terrified of the brothers but it seems the terror is based on reputation and not reality. In real life, the brothers are a threat only to "bad guys." And even then, they somehow get hired by people to take care of those bad guys.

Aston Locke is constantly referring to himself as a sick sadistic SOB in his head. Only that doesn't seem entirely accurate based on the actions he takes. Aston doesn't seem sick or sadistic, he seems...well, damaged. He had something really bad happen to him as a teenager and he has absolutely no coping abilities or no context for PTSD so he just thinks he's sick.  Then one night, while on one of his missions with his brothers he sees Kadence.

I have no clue really what the deal is with Kadence. I know she's really young and falls instantly in crazy love with Aston. Aston barely even says anything to her and she isn't just declaring her attraction but her unending devotion to him. And then the author throws in this really confusing scene where Kadence goes running in the woods. After dark. By herself. Predictably, she is nearly assaulted but saved by Aston. I was reading this going what? what? nooo! Between Kadence never having seen any of the rape awareness videos in college and apparently none of the safe consensual sex videos either, I was just done with her as a character.

I don't read YA romance or NA romance because I find the characters can be frustratingly stupid. Even though I don't think this book is technically in one of those categories, these characters definitely were. I didn't really see a romance in this book or the development of any deep bond between these characters. I kind of just didn't get it. I see a lot of other really positive reviews for this book so I leave room for the possibility that the whole thing just went over my head. But from my perspective, this just wasn't my favorite book.

**ARC provided by Ardent PRose**

Purchase: | Amazon |

My Favorite Things Event with Jen Frederick

Jen Frederick is the USA Today bestselling author of Unspoken, part of the Woodlands series, and Sacked, part of the Gridiron series. She also co-writes the NY Times bestselling Royals series under the penname Erin Watt. She lives in the Midwest with a husband who keeps track of life’s details while she’s writing, a daughter who understands when Mom disappears into her office for hours at a time, and a rambunctious dog who does neither. Email her at

Friday, April 21, 2017

ARC Review: Illicit by Ava Harrison

I am really torn with this review. On the one hand, I have read and loved books by Ava Harrison and I couldn't put Illicit down. But I also had some serious issues with this book and unfortunately those kept me from really being able to enjoy this story. I did have to keep reading though to see how things would play out here. 

After finding out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, Lynn meets Carson while on the beach and they share a steamy night together. The next morning she leaves thinking she will never see him again, but when she returns to school for her senior year she is shocked to see that Carson is in her classroom and is also her new history teacher. The two know that they need to stay away from each other, yet the attraction and connection they share prove to be harder to fight than they would like. But can they possibly have something together even though it is forbidden? 

I really liked both Carson and Lynn right off here. I felt bad for Lynn and all she had been through. Her family situation and her ex were awful and you could tell that despite it all she was strong and determined. But as the story went on, that all seemed to diminish and in her place our heroine was replaced with someone who grew progressively weaker and more doormat like. I wanted her to really stand up for herself, but she allowed things to happen that really went against that. Carson was sexy and sweet and I thought that he was a great guy. But then just like with Lynn's character, the more the story went on the more I grew to dislike him a bit. I liked that he was supportive of Lynn and didn't back down in protecting her. When confronted with his past, he opened up to her and explained everything to her, even knowing that it could mean the end of them. Yet he also pushed her away and even went so far as to date someone else all in front of Lynn. I didn't like how far things went with the OW and that all really hurt my opinion of him. I know why he did it, but I just couldn't get behind it since his feelings for Lynn were as strong as they were and he knew exactly what he was doing to not only Lynn but also himself. His thoughts and the fact that he was so into trying to get with the OW were a huge turn-off and it just tainted the rest of his story and relationship with Lynn. Especially since she was able to forgive and forget so easily, she didn't even make him work for it. I couldn't get over the fact that he went to her right after a date with another woman and she just lets him in as if it's no big deal. 

Overall, I really wanted to love this story and the characters but there were things that just didn't work for me. I felt like these two had so much chemistry and a genuine connection, which is why the OW stuff just ruined it for me. It was clear that these two were supposed to be together, and with her age and the fact that she was going to be graduating, it just didn't make sense to me why he would even go there even though he tried to reason with himself that he was doing the right thing for her. There was already enough drama going on in the story that the OW stuff just wasn't needed, and it ended up hurting the reader's view of the characters with everything that happened. I also felt like this book was a bit choppy at times, and I think that might be in part because this was originally a novella included in the Hot for Teacher anthology. It just didn't feel as smooth and effortless as some of her previous books have, and it was a bit distracting at times. This won't be the last I read from Ava Harrison, but this definitely wasn't my favorite which was a bit disappointing for me considering I love teacher/student romance stories and forbidden romances.

**ARC Provided by Give Me Books Promotions**

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ARC Review: Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, with every new Lauren Layne book I have a new favorite. Lauren Layne is one of the few people who can write a book in a troupe or genre I usually don’t enjoy and enjoy the crap out it. It’s a first person POV, the narration very has a Sex and the City vibe, and Georgiana “Georgie” talks us through her life as it is happening. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who narrates what I’m doing especially when I’m bored and alone). It also has, which I enjoyed, short chapters intersecting with a third person POV of Andrew. I love the character development you can see how much Georgie has grown up in the span of the book and how good she is for Andrew and she for him.

You learn pretty straight off that Georgie isn’t the airheaded waste-of-space socialite you might think, she is extremely caring; she is someone who would go out of her way to do something nice, she is smarter than people realize with a degree in economics, she doesn’t have to work and goes out and parties every night but she doesn’t get drunk and sleep around and even with her expensive taste she is very humble and down to earth once you get to know her. Georgie pretty much is enjoying her life before she gets too old to enjoy it. Despite it all the one time of day she looks forward to every day is 5am because that’s when she sees him, Mr. Andrew Mulroney, Esquire. Prominent divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney is leaving for the day when Georgie is coming in from her night out, and even if he doesn’t realize it he looks forward to that time too. The two didn’t start off on the right foot both moved in on the same day and promptly began fighting over the freight elevator and every weekday morning since they exchange insults and quips. But one day their lives change with one interaction outside their building and it sends them on a crash course to the inevitable. 

Georgie realizes she thinks about Andrew more than she should for not liking someone and then some mornings later he unintentionally insults her does she realize just what he means to her. Sporadically throughout the book we get Andrew’s point of view and learn more about him and how enthralled with Georgie he really is, to the point he doesn’t know how to act around her. But once she lets him in to her life and vice versa they both realize how perfect they are for each other, especially after Andrew gives her the flu. Unfortunately it’s not all good, Andrew has a secret he legally cannot share with Georgie and he knows the longer it takes for the truth to come out the more painful it’s going to be for Georgie. The only thing he can do is figure out how to make it up to her.       
Overall, it is a well written, witty romantic, and perfectly ridiculous. 

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

My Favorite Things Event with L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled all over the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like chocolate, wine, reading, HBO, spending time with her girlfriends and internet-stalking Chris Hemsworth. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

ARC Review: Grounds For Seduction by Shelli Stevens

This is my first book by this author and it's an ok read. This is not a book that you are going to remember for long after you read it and there isn't much about it to distinguish it from most other "little sister" romances but it's a solid 'ok.'

This book is about Madison (Maddie) and Gabriel (Gabe). Maddie is the little sister of Gabe's best friend Eric (and by little sister I mean the 25 year old adult sister of Eric). Gabe and Eric are tough cops who have been best friends since they were kids. Gabe is known as a no strings attached bed hopper. Maddie has always had a crush on him.  When Maddie finds herself fresh off a break up, she turns to Gabe for some of his notorious no strings attached fun. Maddie doesn't want a relationship, she just wants to feel good about herself. Of course, Gabe is all 'I can't, you're my friend's sister' blah blah blah. But the entire time he is "resisting" he is also wildly attracted to Maddie and wants her badly.

The author throws the two characters together after Maddie's Espresso cafe gets robbed by the "espresso bandit." Maddie is the only bandit victim to see the robber's face so Gabe and Eric figure she has to be protected or the bandit will come after her. This was kind of the beginning of a lot of things that I didn't love about this book. First, the espresso bandit is just a stupid name and I couldn't take the threat seriously. Second, from the time that Gabe barges in to save Maddie from the bandit he's popping erections left and right. Ok, we get it, he's attracted to her but dammit, have a little restraint. The woman was almost murdered. Third, Eric doesn't want to keep Maddie with him because he's worried about exposing his wife to danger. That made me feel like, damn, you'd just leave your sister? So Eric ask Gabe protect Maddie and Gabe agrees but he treats her kinda rude. Gabe is mad at himself for being attracted to Maddie and often takes it out by snapping at her. Maddie realizes Gabe's struggles so she is ok with being snapped at and continues throwing herself at him.

I mean, really, this isn't a bad book but I just wasn't rooting for these characters to be together. Maddie comes off way desperate and Gabe comes across as somewhat of an a-hole. This just isn't what I'm looking for in a romance.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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My Favorite Things Event with Laurelin Paige

Laurelin Paige  is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She's a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there's kissing. When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She's also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn't do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio. 

Site | Facebook | Twitter |

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ARC Review: Cole by Tijan

I haven't read much from Tijan yet, but I absolutely loved the Carter Reed books. So when I saw that she was writing Cole, another Mafia story, I couldn't wait to read this one! Cole is a standalone story, though it was great to see some familiar faces. I really enjoyed reading it from start to finish, and I didn't want to put this one down!

Addison is a bit broken and lost, but the first time she lays eyes on Cole, she feels something inside her shift. Though she didn't know who he was, she knew that he was different. But after she meets him in her new apartment building, things begin to change for her as she starts to spend time with him. Though at first he won't tell her much about him, she soon learns that he is so much more than just the sexy guy that she can't stop thinking about and nothing is like what she thought.

I really loved these two. Things were very quick with them, and their connection was instant. Honestly though, it felt very genuine to me. These two just had a spark that felt right between them, and it really felt like they were meant to know one another. I was so glad that Cole was able to help bring Addison back to life after all she had been through. She needed someone to show her how to really live again, and Cole was perfect for the job. Cole needed someone to love him and support him, and Addison was as perfect for him as he was for her. These two had great chemistry and I couldn't get enough of them. 

The one thing I will say about this book is that I really enjoyed the side characters with the exception of one, and she was what kept this book from being a five star read for me. As much as I tried to like her and see the best in her, Addison's best friend Sia was one I just couldn't warm up to. I loved the rest of the characters, including the guy that Sia was with. But honestly she was a terrible friend, and apologizing over and over didn't make it okay. She was there at moments that Addison needed her, but she also continued to neglect Addison and blow her off when they had plans, and I just couldn't get past that and started to cringe anytime she was in a scene. Other than Sia though, I really loved this book and highly recommend it. Tijan has yet to disappoint me and I can't wait to read more from her!

**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**

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ARC Review: The Player by K. Bromberg

I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Player by K. Bromberg. Not only do I love baseball romance stories, but K. Bromberg is one of my favorite authors. This book took a bit for me to get into for some reason, but once I did I really loved it! I will admit that the ending caught me by surprise though, and I need the next book! I have to see how this all plays out after the way things ended here!  
Scout Dalton and Easton Wylder both come from baseball royalty. Easton now plays for the team his father played for while Scout is now a physical therapist seeing high profile patients that once turned to her father. When a career threatening injury lands Easton in a position to need help, he expects Doc Dalton to show up not his daughter Scout. But Scout is determined to show the world of baseball that she is just as qualified at what she does. But the more time that Scout and Easton spend together, the more personal their relationship grows threatening to cause problems for both of their careers. 

I really liked these two. They had great banter and chemistry right from the start. I really enjoyed seeing them get to know one another, and really learn who each one was beyond what everyone else saw. These two understood each other in a way that others wouldn't be able to, and I really felt their connection was strong right from the start. I couldn't get enough of Scout and Easton together, and I I didn't want to leave their world once I was in it.

Overall, this was a great first installment to this series. I really liked the characters and I loved seeing the friendship between Easton and his teammates as much as I did seeing him with Scout. This book was a lot of fun to read and was everything I have come to love about K. Bromberg's books. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens for Scout and Easton. I highly recommend checking this one out if you are a fan of K. Bromberg's, or if you love contemporary or sports romance stories. This one was so good and I will be anxiously waiting for The Catch.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | 

My Favorite Things Event with Megan Hart

Megan Hart writes books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay. She can't live without music, the internet, or the ocean, but she and soda have achieved an amicable uncoupling. She can't stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves her cold. She writes a little bit of everything from horror to romance, though she’s best known for writing erotic fiction that sometimes makes you cry. Find out more about her at, or if you really want to get crazy, follow her on Twitter at and Facebook at

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Fast Connection is the second book in the Cyberlove series by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson. I have really enjoyed each book in this series, despite the fact that I read them completely out of order. With each book being a standalone story, it is easy to jump in wherever you want though the books are interconnected. I highly recommend reading each of these books because they are so good, and if you can read them in order that would be even better.

After returning home from his recent deployment, Dominic Costigan is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He knows that he needs to get out of his parents' house and that he wants to explore his attraction to men now that he admits that he is bi. When he meets sexy silver fox Luke Rawlings through a hook up app, he immediately feels drawn to Luke and wants more. But Luke is used to keeping his hookups separate from his life after a bad experience in the past left him with trust issues. Though Luke tries to keep Dominic at arm's length, he quickly realizes that Dominic has a way of getting under his skin. But can Dominic show Luke that they belong together and can work through anything as long as they are together, or will there be too many obstacles for them to overcome? 

I really liked Dominic and Luke. They were exactly what the other one needed, and they fit together perfectly. Dominic was able to loosen Luke up, and help him to move forward with his life. While Luke had a lot of great things going for him, he wasn't truly living until Dominic. Dominic made him happy and that was something he desperately needed. Luke did the same for Dominic, encouraging him to pursue a career of his choice and live his dreams. He was supportive and kind, showing Dominic that he deserved to be happy and loved. While these two had a lot against them, I loved their connection and chemistry and the fact that their love was stronger than any obstacles standing in their way. 

I did feel at times like Luke pushed Dominic away and tended to blame him for things that weren't his fault or use his past as an excuse to keep Dominic from getting too close. Luckily he was able to redeem himself in the end, and I ended up really liking this story. I also really ended up liking the age difference between Luke and Dominic. I am not usually big on stories where there is such an age gap, but I really thought that it made sense here and actually was the reason that these two worked so well together. I can't imagine it being any other way. If you are a M/M fan, I think that this is definitely one worth checking out. If you are new to these authors or haven't read this series yet, it is one I would highly recommend. I have loved each book in this series, and I honestly hope these two never quit writing together!

**Review Copy Provided by Alpha Book Club**

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

ARC Review: Low Blow by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Low Blow is the fourth installment in Kristen Hope Mazzola's Shots on Goal series. Each book is a standalone story, so don't worry about jumping in here if you haven't read any or all of the previous books in this series. While I have liked things about each of these books, I have also had some mixed feelings on them as well. Low Blow was no different, and while I wanted to love this one there were some things that just didn't work for me.

Griff got a heart transplant when he was 16 that saved his life. Years later he knows that something is missing from his life and he knows that he needs to meet the daughter of the man that saved him with his heart. Olive is a mechanic and as soon as they meet, it is clear that they have a connection. 

This were pretty instant between these two, but I did really like them together. I felt like they fit well with one another, and the chemistry between Griff and Olive was really strong. I loved the secondary characters and how they were accepting and welcoming, it really just felt right between these two. But I will say that things happened really quickly and at times things did feel rushed. I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth at times. 

There were some thoughts and conversations here that were a bit odd for me, and if I am honest took me out of the story a bit. They just kind of had that ick factor that made me stop and ended up distracting me from the story and the connection that these two had. Again I did like the story and the characters, I just wish that a few things had been different because I really think that had it not been for those and the rushed pace at times that I would have loved this one. I think that this is worth reading, and if you are looking for a quick sports romance this is one that you might want to check out.

**ARC Provided by L. Woods PR**

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