Saturday, October 14, 2017

ARC Review: Rule by Jay Crownover

I have read books in the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover before, but I will admit that I read them completely out of order. I hadn't started with the first book in the series, so while I knew how things ended up for Rule I was looking forward to actually seeing how he got to where he did. While I did like Rule and Shaw, I will say that there were times in this book that I seriously wanted to shake them both.  

Shaw has loved Rule since she first met him, but everyone seems to know it except Rule himself. While at first they look like complete opposites, Shaw has always seen and loved Rule for exactly who he is. But even if he was the type to commit to one girl, Shaw belonged to his dead twin brother and he refuses to go there. But when a drunken birthday leads to an unforgettable night together, both Rule and Shaw must figure out what it means for each of them and if there is possibly a future together. 

I liked both Rule and Shaw, and I thought that they were good together. These two had a lot more in common than you would first think, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another better. There was so much more beneath the surface to each of them, and seeing them explore that was really interesting to me. Shaw was kind and she understood that Rule had issues. For the most part she was patient and seemed to know what he needed. Rule on the other hand struggled to embrace change in his life, even when he wanted it. The back and forth with these two drove me nuts, and I really thought that they just needed to talk to one another a lot of the time. I hated that they would run away from each other when they should have been running towards each other.  

The other thing that bothered me here was the fact that both of them let their parents treat them horribly. Besides avoiding them at times, they really didn't do much about it and that drove me absolutely nuts. These people did and said horrible things, and there really wasn't much resolution until the end and at that point it was a bit too little too late for me. There was also an incident that happened that I wasn't a fan of at all. I felt like it was forgiven a bit too easily and even though it wasn't as bad as it could have been, I was never able to really forget that it had happened even if the characters were able to move beyond it. Overall, this wasn't my favorite of the series though I did enjoy it. I like Rule and Shaw, and I do believe they belong together. I love that Jay Crownover gives us unique and different characters than the norm, and the Marked Men all have such strong personalities. The camaraderie between them keeps the read invested and anxious for more, and I look forward to reading more of this series that I haven't so far. 

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Turbulence by Whitney G.

I love this book so hard. I love every Whitney G book and this one is just as good as the others.

I don't even really feel like doing the book summary thing because I just want to gush about this book in random unrelated sentences but hang on, lemme try to do my job. This is the story of Gillian and Jake. Gillian moved to New York to make something out of life. She was well on her way with her job at the NY Times but then something happens. It's not entirely clear what happened while Gillian was at the Times, what is clear is that she blames one very specific person for her downfall. Gillian has taken up writing a blog in which she rages about the unfairness of life and later about all the great sex she's having with Jake (more on him in a second). My favorite part is that the blog randomly has one follower who constantly berates Gillian but still continues reading the blog. The thing I love about Gillian and all her blog foolishness is how imperfect she is. Whitney G is great at writing characters who have issues and Gillian is one. Gillian is a denial artist who can't seem to get a handle on some of her own more destructive tendencies and I was 100% here for all of that foolishness.

And then there's Jake. Jake is CRAZY as all the crays. He is another Whitney G hero with a horrible attitude, a dirty mouth and stamina that will make you look at your own partner with suspicion. Jake has more issues than Vogue but as the book unfolds you learn that there really are valid reasons for all of Jake's shenanigans. Nothing is what it seems with Jake. He's a pilot and even though at times he seems like he's terrible at that, there's still a story there. Just be patient with Jake, you'll love him as much as Gillian did.

The relationship between these two characters is so thoroughly entertaining you don't want to put the book down. Like this is the kind of book you read and then hide in the closet when your kids are looking for you because you don't want to stop reading it. There is some drama built in because Gillian and Jake really aren't supposed to be having a relationship, we don't know what the deal with Gillian's lost job and we're waiting to find out why Jake is so dang crazy. There is some amazing sex and it's really sweet to watch the relationship develop between the couple.  OMG, I almost forgot how these two met! I apologize for almost overlooking that because honestly it was one of the most memorable meetings and initial hook ups you could EVER imagine. It's one of those things where you don't know whether to laugh or cover your eyes. In the end, I went with cracking up because it was hilarious.

I don't know what else to tell you. If you're still reading this review, you're wasting time that you could be reading this book and that's just not smart.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | iTunes |

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Torn by Carian Cole

Torn is the first book that I have read from Carian Cole, and I absolutely loved it! I was first drawn to this book by the sexy cover and the taboo blurb, but this book was so much more than I expected. It was one I couldn't put down, and I cannot wait to read more from Carian Cole after finishing this one. Torn is the first book in the Devil's Wolves series of standalones and from what I have seen this series is also a spin-off of Carian's Ashes & Embers series as well. I can't wait to go back and read all of those as well. 

Kenzi's parents were only 15 when they had her, and with dreams of music careers they needed all the help they could get in raising her. Right from the start, their best friend Tor forms a special relationship with Kenzi. He has always been her protector and the first one she ran to for whatever she needed. As she grew older though that relationship turned into a friendship unlike any either of them had experienced before. But when that friendship starts to grow into more, they both know that the odds are against them. Tor knows that Kenzi is the one for him, but can he get over the fact that she is his best friend's daughter? Can Kenzie show him that what they have is once in a lifetime and worth fighting for? 

I loved these characters so much! I know that a lot of people will have issues with the age difference and the circumstances of their relationship. Let me tell you though that there is no underage sex and things happen naturally. Tor and Kenzi had a truly one of a kind connection that was there right from the start. But they grew and evolved and that connection and bond between them did as well. They knew each other inside and out and understood each other in ways that no one else did. There was nothing that they wouldn't do for each other and I couldn't get enough of them. They were sweet and sexy, but more than that they were just meant to be together in a way that is rare and special. 

Overall, this book was so good and I really loved this world that Carian Cole has created. The characters were interesting and I loved the friendship and loyalty between them all. I honestly loved them all and couldn't wait to go get all the books in the Ashes & Embers series after seeing glimpses of them here. I also can't wait to get to know some of Tor's siblings better as well as the Devil's Wolves series continues. This book is so much more than just a huge age gap and forbidden romance, and I think it is definitely worth the read. If you are on the fence about this one, I recommend giving it a chance as I really do believe that romance readers are going to love this one just as much as I did.

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

ARC Review: Wicked Grind by J. Kenner

I am not new to J. Kenner books. I read all of the Stark series and I was interested to see what these sort of spin off novels would be like. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. J. Kenner is a good writer and this book is no exception to that general rule just didn't do it for me. The book is good but definitely not great and it's not something I would want to read again.

Wicked Grind is a second chance romance. I have a general bias against second chance romance but lately I've been having really good luck with second chance books so I gave this one a....chance. Wyatt is a photographer who is working on a master piece of erotic art. 27 days before the biggest deadline of his career, Wyatt has not found the model he needs to complete his work. That's when Kelsey wanders into his studio looking for a job. Kelsey is exactly what Wyatt has been looking for but Kelsey and Wyatt are not strangers. Kelsey broke Wyatt's heart many years ago but nothing about that situation is what Wyatt assumes.

Kelsey is repeatedly referred to as shy and innocent but that is not at all descriptive when it comes to her.  The book goes through a number of flashbacks between the past and present. During the flashbacks we learn about the bad things that happened to Kelsey that turned her into a runner. That's all good and well. The problem is that the vast majority of the book occurs during the flashbacks. I'm talking like over 80% of the book is in the past and not the present. I think that's what did me in. I wasn't looking to read a book about adolescents. I thought I was going to be reading a really sexy book about two grown ups and that's just not what happened. The weird thing about this book is that there wasn't a whole lot of development of the present day relationship between these characters. Most of the relationship is described in the past tense. So again, that just wasn't something that I liked.

If you like J. Kenner, you might just go wild for this book on the strength of reputation. For me, this was something I could have probably done without.

**ARC provided by Author**

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

ARC Review: From This Moment by Melanie Harlow

I am a huge Melanie Harlow fan, so I pretty much don't even read blurbs anymore when it comes to her. I just add it to my TBR, because I know I will be reading it. I really liked From This Moment and she yet again delivered a sweet and sexy as well as emotional story that I didn't want to put down. She never disappoints, and this is one I think readers are going to love.

After losing her husband, Hannah begins to piece her life back together in order to be the best mom she can be to her young daughter. She gets a new job and has family and friends to rely on. But when her late husband's twin brother moves back to town, all she can see is the future that she won't have. Wes and Hannah find themselves drawn to one another though, and soon grief and understanding becomes want and desire. As hard as they try to fight the pull between them, they find themselves giving in and soon they have to decide if the chance at love and a future together is worth risking everything for.

I liked both Wes and Hannah. They each understood loss and grief and knew what it was like to feel torn about their feelings. Wes was sweet and perfect for Hannah, and I loved that he was different from his brother. Wes is honestly the man Hannah should have been with all along, and I felt bad for him. He was a bit more shy and it was great to see him finally coming clean about his feelings and taking that step. Hannah was a great mom and I loved that she put her daughter first. I don't know how she put up with some of what she did and how she moved forward after an incident that she did, but she was a better woman than I would have been in her shoes. These two had great chemistry and a clear connection and I really liked them together.

Overall, this was another great read from Melanie Harlow. I liked the characters and the story. I was drawn in right away and didn't want to stop reading. There was one thing that I had a bit of an issue with, and honestly it is probably something that just gets to me personally. I don't want to spoil anything, but it seems like there is something authors tend to do when there is a dead spouse and it drives me nuts, I was hoping she wouldn't go there here but she did. I will say things went a bit differently than it usually does with that, but I still didn't love that she went there. Other than that though, this was really good and Melanie Harlow is still one of my favorites. I can't wait to see what she writes next.

**ARC Provided by Social Butterfly PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

ARC Review: Dirty Little Promise by Kendall Ryan

Dirty Little Promise is the second book in the Forbidden Desires Series by Kendall Ryan. This book is not a standalone as it starts right where Dirty Little Secret ended and needs to be read in order. If you haven't already read Dirty Little Secret, make sure you start there because you will not want to miss out on anything, trust me! I couldn't wait for this one after I had finished the first book, that cliffhanger had me anxious for more! I needed to see how things would go for Gavin, Cooper and Emma. 

With secrets revealed, Emma was left scrambling to make a decision. Trust in the connection that she had been feeling with Gavin and listen to his explanation of everything that she had discovered., or take the easy route with Cooper. Though Cooper was a great guy and things with him would be comfortable, Emma couldn't help but feel as though there was something in Gavin that called to her. But can she possibly make the choice to walk away from either one of the Kingsley brothers? 

I really enjoyed getting more of each of these characters. I loved them all for different reasons, and of course I definitely had my side chosen before starting this book. That isn't to say that I didn't want each one to get their own HEA. Cooper was the sweet one and I loved that he was there for Emma no matter what. He was the unfortunate one that had to reveal his brother's secret to Emma, and I felt bad for him for much of this story. Gavin was the darker one, but there was so much more to him than you first see. He cared about Emma so much, and I felt for him and all that he had been through. I also felt for Emma though, she truly didn't want to hurt anyone here and yet it was obvious where her heart was. She knew that there was only one man for her, and she also knew that someone was going to get hurt though it was the last thing she ever wanted to do. The chemistry and connection here though were undeniable and I really believe that things went how they should here. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the conclusion to Emma's story. I definitely can't wait for more in this series though and to see more of the sexy Kingsley brothers. The man not chosen here is definitely one that I am looking forward to, and I can't wait to see what Kendall Ryan has in store for him. The ending of this book set things up perfectly for the next installment and I am already anxious for more. If you like things on the steamy side, this series is one I recommend checking out. Kendall Ryan is a great writer and this series is shaping up to be one of my favorites from her.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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

Feature and Giveaway: Bad Reputation

Meet the most wanted players in sports . . . one ridiculously hot alpha male at a time.

Chase: With a nickname like “Sin,” it’s no wonder they call me the bad boy of hockey. Opponents curse me. Fans scream my name—in the arena and in other, much more private places. Penalties or not, I’m not afraid to dish out a little pain. But pleasure? That’s my weakness. And no one knows it better than my best friend, Cassie Desrosiers. I’d have to be blind not to notice her rocking body and teasing grin. So when she invites me along on a trip to Vegas, my curiosity isn’t the only thing that’s aroused.

Cassie: Chase Barrett is a world-class A-hole. As his best friend, I’m allowed to call him on his BS. Who else is going to do it? Certainly not the puck bunnies swooning at every flex of his biceps. Everyone knows that Chase is the love-’em-and-leave-’em type. There’s no such thing as commitment for the king of casual hookups. So why should I care? Maybe because all work and no play makes me a sexually frustrated girl. It’s time to put the hockey stud at my beck and call to good use . . . but after a week in Vegas with Chase, I might never want to go back to the real world.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes |

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Feature and Giveaway: The Guardian by Anna del Mar

Game Warden Matthias Hawking is a decorated ex-SEAL engaged in a grueling fight against ruthless poachers in Africa. He’s short on resources and long on enemies. There’s a price on his head. The last thing he needs is the unexpected arrival of a beautiful but stubborn journalist threatening to uncover his secrets, an alpha female challenging his alpha male and getting into trouble, a hurricane wearing boots.

Jade Romo is a veteran of several different kinds of war. She’s survived her heroin-addicted mother, the foster care system, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Jade’s tough, confident, cynical, and self-reliant, a woman who doesn’t believe in forevers. But when she defies the poachers and lands at the top of the warlord’s kill list, she’s forced to rely on the skilled, attractive but supremely infuriating game warden who has captivated her body’s undivided attention.

Haunted by his past but driven by his courage, her mysterious guardian will do everything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

ARC Review: The Consort by K.A. Linde

I don't read a lot of books in the fantasy genre, but I am a huge fan of K.A. Linde's. I have enjoyed this series from the start though, and with each new book in the series I find myself unable to put them down! The Consort is the third book in the Ascension series, and these need to be read in order. If you haven't already started this series and read the first two books, you will need to start at the beginning before checking this one out. 

I really don't want to go into much of the story here, because I don't want to give anything away. This book picks up after where we were left at the end of The Bound. Cyrene continues to find herself in a world where nothing is as it seems and she has no idea who she can trust. She finds herself desperate and turning to the one person she shouldn't, but he is her last option. But no one is what they appear to be. 

I have really liked Cyrene from the beginning of this series, even when she has frustrated me. She has always been so strong though, and I find myself relating to her. I have to say though that she has grown and changed so much over the course of these books, and honestly I love how much she has come into her own. She has been thrown so much, and yet she has managed to find a strength and push forward, doing what she has to in order to grow and adapt. K.A. Linde has done a great job with the characters in this series, and honestly I really love them and the depth they each have. No one is simple or shallow here, and I really feel like they each have so many different layers here and that we are just beginning to dig deep with some of them.

I loved that while we got answers to a lot of questions here, there were so many more that I now have. K.A. Linde has done a great job of building this unique and captivating world, and I am loving how we keep digging deeper into all the mysteries of it. Just when I think I start to figure things out, there is another twist or turn. I thought I knew exactly who I was rooting for all along, but just like Cyrene I am now questioning everything. I can't wait to see what is in store next for these characters and I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this series. If you are a fan of K.A. Linde's, this series is everything you know and love from her but with so much more. If you aren't used to reading fantasy, I highly recommend giving this series a chance. I don't read a lot of fantasy, and yet this series is one that I think just keeps getting better. It is worth the read and K.A. Linde's talent really shines. This series is one that shouldn't be missed.

**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

ARC Review: Accidental Man Whore by Katherine Stevens

I'm not sure if it was the timing of when I read this book or what, but I had a tough time getting into Accidental Man Whore by Katherine Stevens. This is the first book i've read from her and I will admit I struggled with it. It had a lot of promise, but in the end it just didn't work for me.

When his dad needs help with his medical bills, Ben Wright finds himself needing to make some extra cash quick. But when one thing leads to another, he finds himself becoming an escort by accident. So when Miryam's fiance leaves her for his coworker and she isn't ready to break the news to her family, she finds herself hiring Ben as her stand-in. 

For me, part of the problem here was that I couldn't relate to the characters, and I didn't feel invested in their story. I just didn't feel connected to either Ben or Miryam and honestly I felt pretty indifferent to them.

Another problem I had here was that while I did find humor in a few moments, much of tis book felt over the top to me. I have a tough time with that style of humor and if it is too over the top, often times it feels like it's trying too hard. I think maybe this is just a personal thing as I have seen a lot of others loving the humor here. For me though this one just missed the mark.

I do think that a lot of readers will enjoy this book, especially if the other reviews I have seen are anything to go by. But for me, this one just didn't deliver what I was hoping for or expecting and sadly wasn't for me. I think it is worth giving the shot if it sounds like one you might like though, as it seems like a lot of readers are loving it and this very well could just be a personal thing.

**ARC Provided by Give Me Books**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N

Feature and Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Guest Post with Author Danielle Pearl and Giveaway

Danielle Pearl is the bestselling author of the Something More series. She lives in New Jersey with her three delicious children and ever-supportive husband, who—luckily—doesn't mind sharing her with an array of fictional men. She did a brief stint at Boston University and worked in marketing before publishing her debut novel, Normal. She writes mature Young Adult and New Adult contemporary romance. Danielle enjoys coffee, wine, and cupcakes, and not in moderation.

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