Saturday, June 10, 2017

ARC Review: Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren

I have become a huge fan of Christina Lauren's books, and I couldn't wait to read Dating You Hating You when I first found out about it. There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about this story, but there were also some things that didn't work as well for me. While I enjoyed this story, it wasn't my favorite from Christina Lauren. 

Carter and Evie meet at a party through mutual friends and immediately hit it off. They are both Hollywood agents. But just as they are starting to make a go of things, they find out that their competing firms are merging. Not only is everything changing, but they also learn that they will have to compete against each other if they want to keep their job. 

I liked Carter and Evie. I felt the chemistry between them right away. Christina Lauren are always great at creating characters with depth and off the charts chemistry and that was definitely the case here. They were sexy together, and I loved the tension and banter between them. There were a lot of really great moments between them, and they had me laughing out loud at parts. 

The one thing I will say though is that while I liked Carter and Evie, I felt like at times their relationship took a back seat to everything else in the story. There was a lot about their jobs and about being a Hollywood agent, and I found myself wanting to skim some of those parts. I wish that the romance would have been more of the focus here as I think I would have really loved it in that case. So while I did enjoy this one, it just wasn't my favorite from these two. Christina Lauren are still a great duo though and I know this won't be the last I read from them.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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

Guest Post with Author Mira Lyn Kelly and Giveaway

USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly grew up in the Chicago area and earned her degree in fine arts from Loyola University. She met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy, only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her. They live in rural Minnesota.

Friday, June 9, 2017

ARC Review: Not So Sweet Maria by Jessica Spencer

Clean historical romance is a genre that is lacking at the present. I am a huge fan of Erin Knightley because of her books which are so sweet and romantic, but spare me the more embarrassing-to-read intimate scenes. So when I saw the opportunity to read and review Not So Sweet Maria (which is advertised as a clean regency romance), I jumped on it immediately.

Lady Maria is the granddaughter of a duke, but her existence is full of scandal. Her father traveled to America and married a commoner there. Upon her parent's deaths, she is shipped to England to be raised by her grandparents. She feels disdain for everyone within the aristocracy, including her grandmother because of the way they speak about her parents. She grows to become the perfect lady among the ton, and she is greatly admired by it. All the while she harbors this inner animosity and plots to head back to America instead of becoming an aristocratic wife.

Lord Daventon comes from a history of scandal as well. His family's scandal also affected the way he looks at marriage. He believes love is the worst thing for a marriage, because of how it tore his family apart. So though he sees and falls in love with a shop girl he randomly encounters on the street, he sets himself up with a marriage of convenience to Lady Maria... without ever even meeting her! Little does he know, Maria is in disguise as the shop girl.

I was sad to be a little disappointed in this clean regency romance. I know a writer can create true love without intimate scenes, however I never really felt anything between Daventon and Maria. Maria acted like a dramatic teenager almost the entire time, unless they were at a formal ton event. Then she would be all that is proper, and it was commented upon endlessly. The drama may be inferred from an overuse of exclamation points in the writing however.There were a lot of actions made by the characters that didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, and trouble stirred up from some random places. It didn't lead up to the right conflicts appropriately.

Jessica Spencer has potential to create something wonderful with the small sub-genre of romance. I believe this is her first book, so I am curious to see how she may improve. Perhaps this particular story line just wasn't my cup of tea, and her style will be better suited for other stories. I am willing to try again, and hope to see growth. 

**ARC provided by Author**

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ARC Review: A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott

A Girl Like Me is the second book in the Like Us series by Ginger Scott, and I couldn't wait to read this one after enjoying the first in the series. This book is not a standalone and needs to be read only after you have finished A Boy Like You. While I was excited to read this book, it took an unexpected turn and unfortunately that didn't work for me.

This book picks up where the first one left off. Joss is heading to look for Wes and to learn more about her mom. While she does start to learn more about her mom, she still hasn't found Wes and she finds herself with more questions than when she started. Soon she discovers that there are more secrets in her life than she could have ever guessed.

I don't want to go into too much of the story so as not to spoil it for those interested in reading, but I do think that readers should know (since I didn't!) that this book takes a paranormal turn. While there were a few things in the first book that could be a kind of hint, this pretty much came out of nowhere and didn't work for me. It all just kind of felt out of place, and what started off as a contemporary NA sports romance quickly turned into what felt like the author throwing everything and the kitchen sink in and hoping that it would work...and for some it might.

The other problem I had was that this book was slow paced and overly detailed, to the point that I kept losing interest and was forcing myself to finish. With the sudden turn and the pacing, this one was unfortunately not what I had been expecting at all and I wish I had known before starting the duet. While I have loved Ginger's books in the past, this series wasn't my favorite. I would still read more from her in the future, and I recommend giving these a shot if they sound like ones you might be interested in.

**ARC Provided by Wordsmith Publicity**

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

Guest Post with Author Harmony Williams and Giveaway

Harmony Williams has been living vicariously in Regency-era England since she discovered Jane Austen. Since time machines don’t yet exist, she’s had to make do with books—fictional and non-fictional. On the rare occasion she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she likes to drink tea and spend time with her 90-lb lapdog. A feminist, she writes stories about strong women and the men who support them as equals.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

ARC Review: Mature Content by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book! I have absolutely loved the Cyberlove series from Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell. Each book is a standalone story, though the characters are interconnected. Each can easily be read on it's own, but I highly recommend reading in order as they are not only fantastic books, but they give you backstory on the characters and you get to see how far each of them has come. 

Beau Starr and Zane are both YouTube stars, yet each of them are completely different in their personalities and approach. While Beau is on the wholesome side, preferring to offer advice and be inspirational in his postings, Zane tends to tell it like it is and overshare every detail of his life. Though these two have always been on opposite sides and can't stand one another, they find themselves drawn to each other in a way that neither of them has ever felt with anyone else. They quickly realize that while they their public lives might be at odds, in the bedroom they are more than compatible. But can there possibly be anything more than hot hate sex between them when they are so different?

I absolutely loved these two! They were so freaking hot together, and Megan and Santino were right when they said this was their sexiest book yet! Seriously I have loved each of the Cyberlove series books, and each has been hot! But Beau and Zane were on an entirely different level! I couldn't get enough of them and I loved the way things started for them. Enemies to lovers romance stories are one of my favorite tropes, and Mature Content is one of the best that I have read. Zane and Beau were so much more though, and the best part for me was seeing these two get to truly know the other and realize that there was so much they didn't know about each other. There was a lot beneath the surface to both of them, and each one had things that they struggled with on their own. I loved seeing them let each other in and find a connection unlike any they had felt before. These two were so different and shouldn't have made sense, yet they were absolutely perfect together. 

Overall, this was a fantastic story and each time I think I have a favorite in this series Santino and Megan prove me wrong. Mature Content had me captivated from start to finish and I couldn't get enough of these characters. I would love to see this series go on forever, because each story instantly has become a favorite of mine. Beau and Zane are impossible not to fall for, and if you have enjoyed any of the previous books in this series I think you will love this one. If you are new to this series though, I highly recommend you check them out as they are must reads.

**ARC Provided by A Novel Take PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | 

Feature and Giveaway: Called Out by Jen Doyle

Jack "Ox" Oxford is used to being alone. Granted, when you screw over your friends, being alone isn't always a choice. Playing for the Chicago Watchmen is a last-ditch effort to save his career…and right some of his past wrongs. He's not expecting a warm reception, but he's also not expecting a flat tire to change everything.

Recovering control freak, single mom and semiprofessional chaos wrangler Lola Deacon McIntire doesn't need an arrogant ballplayer to swoop in and save her from anything, much less her flat tire. And she definitely doesn't need her body to betray her and decide this is the guy to wake up her rusty libido. She isn't about to upset her sons' lives for any man—much less one who so clearly doesn't think he's dad material.

Jack never thought he'd find someone who wanted to build a life with him, but the more time he spends with Lola and her boys, the more it starts to feel permanent. Even tough-as-nails Lola concedes there just might be a future here—the big, beautiful, messy future neither of them was looking for—but only if Jack will accept he deserves it.

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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ARC Review: Roommates with Benefits by Nicole Williams

I was immediately drawn to this book between the sexy cover and the blurb. I thought this one had a lot of potential and I was really excited to read it. Unfortunately this one wasn't entirely what I had been expecting. While Roommates with Benefits by Nicole Williams did have moments that I enjoyed, this one fell a bit flat for me. 

Hayden has big dreams of becoming the next it girl in the fashion/modeling world. She leaves her small town behind and heads to NYC. But she never expects her new apartment to be so tiny, or her roommate to be so infuriating. Soren is nothing like she expected, leaving his clothes all over and refusing to pick up after himself. Soren has dreams of making the pros in baseball, and between that, school and his job he just doesn't have the time to make sure that everything is to Hayden's liking. Though they have nothing in common, the quickly realize that there is an attraction between them that neither can deny. 

Part of my problem here was that these characters both had moments of immaturity that really had me questioning their ages. They both did and sad things that were just childish, and I found that really hard to get past. While I understand that we all do things like that at that age, this went above and beyond at times. The communication between Hayden and Soren was absolutely horrible, and there were so many things that could have easily been resolved had they just actually talked to one another. I really have a hard time with that kind of thing when it is used as a plot device for the sake of drama, and that is what it felt like here. While these two had great chemistry and I enjoyed the banter between them, I just felt like the entire story was these two acting childish and refusing to just talk. That kept their relationship from being believable to me in the long run. 

 The other thing I had issues with here was the story and its believability. There were just things that forced me to try and suspend all logic and that wasn't realistic. Here you have a 19 year old girl coming from a small town, moving to an NYC apartment with a roommate that she knows nothing about. Not only does she not have a cent to her name, but she has never seen the apartment or roommate but she and her family just let her run off while hoping for the best. Then she goes pretty much the entire story with no real contact with her family and the skeezy agent helping her with her career is just let off the hook and disappears after he crosses the line. Just too much to be believable for me. It was all just swept under the rug and the conclusion was rushed so that it could be wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end. That just didn't work for me. While I think that this one had the potential to be great, it just fell flat overall and I wanted more for Hayden and Soren.

**ARC Provided by Ardent PRose**

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Feature and Giveaway: From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh

Eva Leigh launches a seductive new series that sizzles with the dark secrets of London’s underworld...

Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. But after one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie.

In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help.

Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

ARC Review: Tempting Levi by Jules Barnard

Tempting Levi is the first book in the Cade Brothers series by Jules Barnard. This series stands alone, but it is a spin-off of Barnard's Men of Lake Tahoe series. That was the series that first introduced me to Jules Barnard's writing, and I was so excited when I heard about the Cade Brothers getting their own series. Tempting Levi was a great start and I already can't wait for more. 

All Levi wanted was to leave Lake Tahoe behind, but an accident and the loss of his father changed everything. No longer able to pursue his ambitions of being a firefighter, Levi was left in charge of his family's resort and he knew he needed help. With his advisers trying to tell him what to do, Levi knew that Emily was the perfect person to have on his side. But he also couldn't help the attraction between them or the fact that he wanted her despite her being his ex's little sister. But will she end up betraying him like her sister did? 

I love forbidden romance stories, so this book would have drawn me in even if I didn't know what a great writer Jules Barnard is. I really liked Levi and Emily though, and it quickly became more about the story than the trope for me as I was pulled in right away. Levi and Emily were both real and genuine characters, and I loved that they were each strong and capable yet had vulnerabilities as well. Each of them struggled at times with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. I really felt like they were great for one another and that they needed one another. I enjoyed their journey and seeing how they were able to overcome their struggles together. The chemistry between these two was really strong and you could feel the attraction between them. 

Overall, this was a great start to this series. Jules Barnard continues to deliver fun and sexy stories that are easy to get lost in. I love her characters and the fact that I feel like I can relate to them. She has a way of keeping things interesting, while also making them believable and I know with each book I read from her that I will enjoy it. If you are new to Jules Barnard, I definitely recommend giving her books a try if you like contemporary romance. If you are already a fan, Tempting Levi is everything that you will have come to know and love from her previous books while also being fresh and new. I can't wait to get more in this series, and I am already looking forward to the next book!

**ARC Provided by Author**

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ARC Review: Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

Keeping Kyler is the third installment in the Kennedy Boys series by Siobhan Davis. I have loved this series from the very start, and Siobhan Davis has become a favorite author of mine with this world! I have been waiting for this book since I finished the last one, and Siobhan definitely didn't disappoint with the conclusion to Faye and Kyler's story. If you haven't read the first two books in this series (what are you waiting for?!?!) you will need to start there as this continues Faye and Kyler's story from the previous books and they cannot be read out of order. 

Keeping Kyler picks up where we left off with Losing Kyler, with Kyler taking off to find answers after his world is once again changed forever. Faye understands what that is like after everything that she has been through and she is determined to support him. But when the truth is finally revealed and they go public with their relationship, they will have more obstacles than ever to fight if they hope to have a future together. 

I have loved these two from the start. Their connection was strong and clear from the very beginning, with their chemistry being off the charts. But as strong as things were from the very first book, their bond has continued to grow over the course of this series and what they have is truly special. It hasn't been an easy journey for Kyler and Faye, but I have believed that they were meant to be from the very beginning and they couldn't have been more perfect for one another. 

Overall, I really can't say enough good things about this series. I have been captivated from the start and each book is one I have looked forward to and been unable to put down once I got my hands on it. I really love the characters in this series, and I can't wait to continue on to see how things turn out for each of them. Keeping Kyler was a great conclusion to Faye and Kyler's story and it just made me that much more excited to see what Siobhan Davis has in store for the rest of this series. I highly recommend this series as it is well written, addictive and each book is a must read. Trust me once you start, you won't want to stop!

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | 

Feature and Giveaway: Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin


I’ve given up everything for the chance to play major league baseball. Everything. Now I’m so close I can practically hear the crowd chanting my name. There’s nothing that could take my dream away from me . . .

Unless I lose focus. And Ainsley Burke is the most beautiful, distracting woman I’ve ever met. When I’m with her, I can’t think of anything else.

But no matter how much I want Ainsley, there’s no room for love in my game plan. I can give her a quick tour of the bases, but that’s it. Then I have to let her go. If she wants to think I’m a love ’em and leave ’em player, fine.

All dreams require sacrifice. I just wish this one didn’t mean tearing out my own heart.

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

Monday, June 5, 2017

ARC Review: Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert

This is the fourth book in the O'Malley Boston Crime Family series. I've read all of the books in this series and it's a great series. My suggestion to you if you're looking for a place to enter this series is start from the beginning. There are minor spoilers of the preceding books in the series with each one that comes after. The other thing is that the view of each of the siblings and their partners is very different in the books that are about them versus the books that are about the other siblings. All that being said, start with The Marriage Contract. It's a great book and will be a great intro to the series.

This book is the story of Sloane O'Malley. Sloane has been the super depressed shadow of a person lurking in the prior stories. If you read any of the prior books you'll know that Sloane was slowly suffocating in her life as the crime bosses daughter. She felt more trapped by her surroundings than she felt secure or safe. After Sloane's older sister (featured in another book) leaves, Sloane is barely hanging on when her older brother offers her a way out. Teague (also featured in the opening book in the series) offers to help Sloane escape the Boston crime family. Sloane escapes to a small town where she finds Jude.

Jude is hiding all kinds of secrets about who he is and what he is doing. Jude is big and bad, dark and brooding. He is bossy and desires to control just about everything. Jude is focused on his mission and is not at all looking for love or a relationship. He can't resist his attraction to Sloane though and one time isn't enough. From the minute Jude and Sloane get together that is pretty much it. Jude continues to engage in some epic Aholery but Sloane finds her stride away from her family and has no problem putting Jude in his place. Outside of the bedroom. Inside of the bedroom, Jude unlocks all little Sloane's virgin secrets.

Jude and Sloane are a hot mess of a couple. Neither of them really knows how to be in a relationship and because of their pasts all hell starts breaking loose all around them almost right away. Jude has to decide if his mission is more important to him than a possible relationship with Sloane. Sloane has to decide if she can trust Jude. In between all this action, there is some pretty serious steam.

As a bonus, the author gives us a glimpse into the next stories and surprise surprise, it looks like Dimitri Romanov is getting a book and it's going to involve Keira. That's going to be epic and I can't wait.

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