Saturday, July 8, 2017

ARC Review: Recluse by Jaycee Ford

Recluse is the first book that I have ever read from Jaycee Ford, and it is also the first book in her Spider series. While I knew this was part of a series, I had no idea that this one ended with a cliffhanger. It took me by surprise and honestly this book went in a completely different direction that I expected. I'm sure I'll read the next one to see what happens, but I'm a bit skeptical after feeling blindsided here since the blurb gave no hint that this book wasn't a standalone story. 

After losing her husband Mike, Grace finds herself struggling just like his best friend Wyatt is as well. The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But can the let go of the past and see where things go? And what happens when they find themselves in danger? 

A huge part of my having mixed feelings here is due to the characters. I felt like there was too much going on at times and not enough focus on Wyatt and Grace. There were so many details and so much time spent on Wyatt's past sex life that I just never really felt fully invested in these two. I don't feel like we really got to know them as I would have liked and that made it hard to connect to them and their story.

I also was pretty confused at times with all that was going on and the secondary characters. There were times that things just didn't make sense or were hard to follow. I think that this story has promise and I was interested to see how things would play out, but I am just hoping that things won't be drawn out for too long. At this point I don't know how many books are planned or when we will get resolution, but I will read the next book. I'm really hoping that there will be more focus on Wyatt and Grace in the next book as well as just the murder.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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ARC Review: The Game by L.P. Lovell and Stevie J. Cole

I really struggle with how to numerically rate this book. I feel like I should warn you that this is one of those books where the rating doesn't matter as much as the review. Depending on how you feel about the way I describe the book from my perspective, you may either agree with my numerical rating or you may totally disagree.

The most objective thing I can tell you is that I didn't think the book lived up to its premise. The idea of the book is that Ella is a participant in this game where nothing is what it seems and for 7 days, she has to "win" challenges and not break any of the 5 game rules. As the book goes on, there are several indications that the point of the game is for Ella to learn some broader lessons than just surviving whatever the particular challenge is. I'm really walking a tight rope here so that I don't give too much away but basically the game seems like it's about sex when in fact, there's sort of more to it.

The most objective issue with this book is that at the end of the book, I really didn't understand the damn game. Not only did I somehow miss the purpose of the game but I felt like Ella missed it too. And I was very confused by how she sorta won and sorta lost...I mean, really, I'm still confused. There were even sub-themes to each day which Ella appeared to fail but neither she nor I seemed to know why. There are two days in the game, day 3 and day 6, for which I am absolutely without a clue. Especially day what the HELL was that??

There are three other players in the game and I'm also totally not clear about what their roles were. I am most unclear about Preston and the character referred to as "Three." And I won't tell you the who but some of the characters develop "feelings" for each other that I totally do not understand. This is not a short book and you get through the whole entire thing without ever learning anything about Tobias, Preston or Three. Not only do we not learn anything but Ella doesn't either. So, how anyone in this book develops feelings for anyone else is a total mystery to me.

Another objective issue for me was that the book is written 95% from Ella's POV and about 5% from Tobias' POV. To the extent that Ella is in the dark about a lot of things in the book, so are we. After about the 50% mark, I was just like 'oh for fucks sake' what is going on?' (a question which was never completely answered).

The last thing I can tell you is purely subjective and it's about the erotic content of the book: #Distewmuch---that was my first thought when I finished this book. I'm a hardcore erotic romance fan. Nobody can really outdo me in that department but even I found the sheer amount of sex in this book to be....a bit much (to put it mildly). I think what happened is that this book was originally several short installments. If you extracted the sex scenes and put them into installments, they might have been less overwhelming. But when you put those scenes back to back in one book, the effect is much different. And then, it's just like a free for all- M/F, F/F, M/M, M/F/M, M/M/F, it was everything but animals. It was just A LOT. And the sex starts so quickly that I almost lost interest in the book. Like, I'm all about loading up for the spank bank library but I like a little plot with my porn and it took awhile for the plot to develop in this book.

This is what I can tell you: If you are most interested in erotic content, your life won't be complete until you read this. If you were most intrigued by the story premise and hoping for some psychological thrill, you're going to be disappointed.

**ARC provided by Give Me Books Promotions**

Friday, July 7, 2017

ARC Review: After All by Karina Halle

I was really excited to read Emmett and Alyssa's story after I first met them in Karina Halle's Before I Ever Met You. After All is a standalone story and you do not need to have read BIEMY to enjoy or understand After All, but you do get to see quite a few characters from that story here and I would recommend it for full enjoyment. While I was excited to read this book, I have to say that I just didn't connect or feel as emotionally invested as I did with Will and Jackie's story. 

When Emmett and Alyssa find their paths crossing at their mutual friends' wedding, things end in a steamy night together. But what started as a one night stand quickly becomes more after pictures emerge of the two of them together, with the media speculating that Alyssa is Emmett's new girlfriend. Needing to clean up his act after a few recent incidents, Emmett proposes a fake relationship to help turn his reputation around. But what starts out as fake soon becomes real, with both of them wondering if they have a chance at a future together. 

While I liked Emmett and Alyssa, I just didn't feel invested in their story. I'm not really sure why that was, but I just never felt that way. It took me awhile to get into the book, and even when I did I liked the story but didn't love it. Emmett was sexy and persistent, and I liked that he didn't give up on Alyssa. I did think that at times he seemed a bit detached from her though, and his actions didn't always feel genuine to his character. Alyssa came off as prickly (a word used throughout this story to describe her) but it was also more than that at times. She made so many assumptions about Emmett and the man he was based on the man her father had been, and she didn't know him at all! That made it hard to relate to her or even like her at times if I am honest. I also got frustrated with her constantly trying to push Emmett away when she didn't really know him and at the same time actually wanted him. While there was a lot of chemistry between these two and they were sexy together, I just never felt emotionally connected to them. 

Overall, this one wasn't my favorite from Karina Halle but it did have it's enjoyable moments. Emmett had some great dirty talk and was sexy and the chemistry between these two was there from the start. I just wish I had been able to relate more or feel invested in their relationship. This won't be the last I read from Karina Halle.

**ARC Provided by Bocci PR**

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Feature and Giveaway: Storming the Castle by Arianna Hart

Sam Castleton has fame, houses all over the world, and one really big problem—he’s got an album due and he can’t write. All he wants is a quiet place to get his head straight. Dale, Georgia, seems like the perfect quiet spot to try to hear the music again and get some lyrics down on paper.

With her daughter’s paternal grandparents making a sudden appearance and the difficulties of running her own lodge and being a single mom, Faith Adams doesn’t have the time to worry about the mysterious stranger staying in one of her cottages, no matter how sexy he is.

Her newest guest may be surly, but his money is good, so she’s willing to overlook his surly nature. If only she could ignore the way he awakens a searing hunger in her...

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

ARC Review: Forgetting You, Forgetting Me by Monica James

Forgetting You, Forgetting Me is the first book in the Memories from Yesterday two book series from Monica James. I knew that this was a series, but I didn't really expect for this one to end the way it did. Now that I have finished though, I definitely need the next book ASAP! Monica James had me invested from page one, and I have to know what happens next for these characters! 

Lucy Tucker thought that she had the perfect life. A dream job that she was passionate about, a loving family and great friends, and a fiance that adored her. But when an accident changes everything, it brings her fiance Sam's twin brother Saxon back home. Soon Lucy finds herself torn between her past and the growing connection between her and Saxon. 

I really struggled at times with some of the things that happened in regards to how Lucy was treated. I felt so badly for her and I was so glad that she had Saxon. I don't want to go into too much detail, but my heart broke for Lucy and some of the things that were said to her. She had lost so much and yet she continued to be kicked while she was down. (not actually kicked-there was no abuse here but you know what i'm saying!) I saw so much growth and change here when it came to her and I really loved the realizations that she made about who she had become. I loved seeing her get her fire back and really come into her own. I don't believe that ever would have happened if not for Saxon and all that she was going through. I really loved Saxon as well, and I felt like he got the short end of the stick a lot here too. This poor guy had been portrayed as the bad guy in a lot of ways, and yet the more we got to know here the more my heart broke for him as well. The chemistry and connection between these two might have seemed forbidden in a lot of ways (and that is what originally drew me to this story) but it was so real and genuine and made perfect sense in the end. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and was captivated from start to finish. This book doesn't end with a huge cliffhanger, yet things are definitely far from over. I really hope that we don't have to wait too long for the conclusion as I need to see how things play out here. After reading this one and seeing all that had happened, it was easy for me to choose a side. I really hope that my guy gets the girl, but I also hope that things work out for everyone involved. I do think that one character has a bit of karma headed their way and I am really looking forward to seeing what Monica James has in store for us next. I recommend reading this one, especially if you are a fan of emotional and genuine romance stories.

**ARC Provided by Sullivan and Partners**

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Feature and Giveaway: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

ARC Review: Tied by Carian Cole

Tied is the second book in Carian Cole's Devil's Wolves series, a series of standalones and spin-off of her Ashes & Embers series. I was really excited to read this book after reading Tied, the first book in the series and it was such a good story. This book definitely had a different feel to it than the first one did, and yet it had me captivated from start to finish just the same as Torn did. Carian Cole is quickly becoming a favorite of mine with her emotional and unique stories. 

Holly and Tyler are both broken and damaged in different ways. Tyler lives in the woods, in self-imposed isolation after what happened in his past. But when he saves Holly from a monster that stole her childhood, he finds himself unable to stay away from her. Holly knows that she should be scared of him, but he is the only one that has ever made her feel anything. Holly is determined to move forward with her life and she wants nothing more than to make Tyler smile and feel like he has done for her. But can they let go of their pasts and have a future together, or will there be too much damage from their pasts for them to overcome? 

I really liked these two for one another. Tyler was a character that had intrigued me from Torn, and I really wanted to know what had happened to him. My heart really went out to both him and Holly here for all that they had been through. These two needed one another, and no one understood them like they did each other. I was so glad that they had one another and that they were able to find their own future. It might not have been what most people would go for, and yet everything that they wanted and shared was so perfectly them. I loved that this one was a slow burn, with everything that had happened this truly felt genuine and real. They both had a lot of growing and healing to do here, and I loved getting to see all the progress they made. Their connection was there from the start, but seeing it strengthen over the course of this book was something I really enjoyed. 

Overall, this was a great story and I liked the characters a lot. I am loving this world and getting to know each of these characters as the series continues. I honestly can't wait for more, especially when it comes to Tanner and Tesla. Tyler, Tor and their siblings are some of my favorites that I have read about and I am so excited to get more of them as we get more Devil's Wolves books. Carian Cole is relatively new to me, but her books are ones I definitely recommend and I am really looking forward to more from her in the future. If you haven't read anything by her yet, I highly recommend the Devil's Wolves series.

**ARC Provided by Give Me Books**

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Feature: Hunted by Elisabeth Naughton

Erebus – Dark in every sense of the word, a skilled and lethal warrior, and sinfully sexy by design.

Since the dawn of modern man, Erebus was Hades’ secret weapon in the war between the immortal realms. Until Hades lost the minor god in a bet to his older brother Zeus. For the last hundred years, Erebus has trained Zeus’s Siren warriors in warfare and the sexual arts. But he’s never stopped longing for freedom. For a life filled with choice. And lately, he also longs for one Siren who entranced him during their steamy seduction sessions. A nymph he quickly became obsessed with and who was ripped from his grasp when her seduction training was complete. One he’s just learned Zeus has marked for death because she failed the last Siren test.

Before Erebus can intercede on the nymph’s behalf, she escapes Olympus and flees into the human realm. In a fit of rage, Zeus commands Erebus to hunt her down and kill her. Erebus sees his opportunity to finally go after what he wants, but he’s torn. Freedom means nothing if the Siren at the center of his fantasies doesn’t truly crave him back. Because defying the gods will unleash the fury of Olympus, and if he chooses her over his duty, whether she joins him in exile or not, the hunter will become the hunted.

Purchase: | Amazon |

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

ARC Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood’s thirteenth Buchanan-Renard book Wired is a romance driven story, technically classified as Romantic Suspense, it however does not have enough suspense for me to call it that. The overall romance is the driving force behind the story and the book is just a series of events that ties these two characters together they just happen to be moderately suspenseful in nature. The characters I enjoyed; Liam Scott is a FBI agent and because the FBI encourages their agents to have a degree in either law, accounting, or engineering Liam like many other agents also has a law degree. Allison Trent is kind of like a savant when it comes to finding patterns, she can decipher things easily and programming code just came natural to her. Unfortunately for Alison she wasn’t raised in a loving environment and was taken advantage of, she was discovered by a fashion designer who begged her to become his model. She models for the extra money, not like she gets much her Aunt and Uncle are taking it all; but she gets to keep the clothes!  The fact the Alison is beautiful is inconsequential she can be both beautiful and brilliant those two things are not mutually exclusive. 

Liam and Alison initially meet because the FBI has a leak. Liam knows it is coming from the inside and after hearing Alison debate with her best friend at a seminar he knows she the right person for the job. Talking her into is another matter entirely. Alison originally agrees just for that one job but then her cousin fucks up and she uses her pull to get him probation the downside is that she now has to work for the FBI for six months. Alison is hesitant at first because she isn’t quite the law-abiding computer programmer, she hacks into different computers and just looks keeping an eye out for virus and bugs and if she finds them she gets rid of them she also she has found other hackers who have stolen money and handed them over to the FBI, all anonymously of course. She does this because her plan is to write a write a security program that is full proof, in fact she has already done so she just waiting to graduate. Only now she suspects her former roommate to have stolen her program, but she’s got that covered.

Liam and Alison both acknowledge their attraction but both agree that while she’s working with him they shouldn’t act upon it, so as soon as she has found the leak they sleep together. It’s after he leaves that Alison realized she not made for one night stands. Liam and Alison don’t see each other again for over two months and when they do see again he ties himself up with everything going on in her life, ‘cause at this point there is quite a bit going on. Liam has never been in love before and he’s not handling it well and his mixed signals are really starting to mess with Alison’s heart.

Overall, it was a good read. I have read a couple of the books in this series but they are all written in a way they are standalone novels as well. The romance was great I liked the chemistry between Liam and Alison and the fact that they waited for the job to be over before sleeping together was nice. I completely sympathized with Alison about Liam’s mixed signals. I personally love that Alison was so smart and yet so humble. I like that Julie Garwood writes intelligent women.        

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Steal by Rachel Van Dyken

Steal is the third book in the Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken. Each book is a standalone story, though for full enjoyment I would recommend reading them in order as they are interconnected and the characters from previous books play somewhat large roles here. I did have some mixed feelings with Steal, and while I liked it I didn't love it like I was hoping for. The secondary characters are great though, and this series is one I have enjoyed overall. 

Will and Angelica once loved each other until everything fell apart. Both are famous and the aftermath of their relationship was anything but pretty. But with a last chance to save her career, Angelica finds herself playing a role that should be easy but might be hardest of all...herself. Now faced with seeing Will again, she realizes that her past mistakes are what has caused him to look at her with judgment rather than love. But can they find a way to move forward and let go of the past when it is clear that there is still something between them?

My biggest issue here unfortunately was Will and Angelica. I had a hard time relating to either of them, and I just didn't ever really feel invested in them like I normally do with RVD's characters. I felt sort of removed and there were just a lot of things that made it hard for me to really like either one of them. They weren't bad and I did think that they each had redeeming qualities about them, they just didn't ever really grab my attention. I saw that there was so much more to them, especially with Ang, than met the eye and it was enjoyable to get to know them beyond the surface, but for me that was it. I just wasn't quite drawn in like I normally am with RVD's books. 

Overall, this book was one I liked but didn't love. It didn't have the same feel as the previous books in the series, though I did like the secondary characters a lot. It was great to see characters from the previous books and to get to know Will and Ang better but it just felt like something was missing here for me. I was never emotionally invested and that made this one just okay when I think it had the potential to be so much more. Rachel Van Dyken is a great writer and I have loved so many of her books. Steal wasn't my favorite from her, but it definitely won't be the last I read from her.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

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Feature: Comeback Cowboy


As a single mother, Naomi Sullivan is used to doing things on her own. She's finally saved enough from working at the Cortez Ranch to buy a lovely home for her and her little girl. Life is going as planned. But when her high school sweetheart comes riding back to town, this self-sufficient woman feels something she hasn't felt in years: red-hot, unbridled need for the handsome cowboy who left her behind.

Lucas Cortez doesn't plan on being in town long. Yet when he sees Naomi again-the gorgeous girl he never stopped loving-he's tempted to hang up his hat and stay awhile. He's already charmed his way into her daughter's heart, but he'll need more than sweet talk and roses to convince Naomi to give them a second chance-especially when she's hiding a secret that could change their lives forever . . .

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

Monday, July 3, 2017

Feature and Giveaway The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day...

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARC Review: Snow's Surrender by Kristin Miller

First things first, this book is not a standalone. It's a continuation of the other books in the series. Don't start the series here. Start at book 1 (if you decide to read it) and go forward from there. Here's the second thing, this book is sold as a twist on Snow White and I'm pretty sure it isn't. There were some very insignificant references to the fairytale but overall, I just didn't see the connection. Third, based on the cover of the book and the way this book is marketed, I really thought it was going to be a threesome book. What I did not expect or want was a triangle, which is what this is. 

Last, for all you fans of the shifter paranormal stuff, there's almost none of that in this series. I'm not really in to that stuff so that is not a criticism from me. Part of the reason I read "paranormal" romance by Kristin Miller is because I'm not really a paranormal fan. She gives me just enough of the paranormal stuff to make me feel like I'm being adventurous without me having to really step outside of my comfort zone.

 I just felt the need to get all the preliminary stuff off the table, so let's move on now. I can't really say that now that I've read the whole series, I loved it. I didn't like the Hunter/Malcolm split. I also didn't love the heroine. She had moments of being really funny but a lot of the time, I found her to be indecisive and a bit immature. The erotic content is off the charts as is guaranteed in any Kristin Miller book. Each of these installments is short and not at all hard to read but there isn't really any character development and the plot is pretty thin.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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