Monthly Archives:: November 2016

Fire in You Review

November 30, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★

Fire in You ReviewFire in You (Wait for You, #6) by J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Jennifer L. Armentrout on November 28th 2016
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Forever with You (Wait for You #5), The Problem with Forever
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three-stars
three-half-flames
From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J.Lynn, comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.
She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.
Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

I’ve been a huge fan of J. Lynn’s Wait for You series for a long time now. I’ve found each book to be extremely fascinating and to contain swoony boys and complex heroines. Wait for You was the first NA book that I ever read, and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I’m sad to say that Fire in You was my least favorite book in the series. It was still good, but it just didn’t measure up with the others in my opinion. To be honest, I actually forgot that we were introduced to Jillian back in Forever with You. I’d been anticipating Brock’s story for what feels like forever, so I’m happy he finally got one. However, I really wanted him to end up with Katie, or for her to get a story of her own in general. Though I’m somewhat disappointed, I’m still glad that I read this one.

I felt for Jillian instantly due to the unrequited love that she had for Brock for all of those years when she was a kid. As someone who has an older brother who had a few friends that I was absolutely in love with as a kid, I can totally understand what she went through. I felt like Jillian was a strong character who I had a lot of respect for. She’s been through a lot of terrible things in her life, but she’s a survivor and she keeps pushing on. To an extent, I definitely understood the insecurities that she had, but at times it became ridiculously repetitive and it started to just drag on honestly. Maybe that’s insensitive of me to say, but I felt like at a certain point, she should have been giving Brock more credit than she actually was.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been waiting for Brock’s story since he was first introduced to us. He seemed like such a fun and swoony guy and I couldn’t wait to see him settle down with someone. Though I was hoping his story would be with Katie, Jillian was still a solid match for him because of the history that they already shared. I feel disappointed in his character because I was just expecting more. Maybe my standards are too high, but he wasn’t even close to being as swoony as the guys from the previous books. I obviously want him to be his own person and not just a carbon copy of Cam or Jax, but it was still surprising to me. View Spoiler » Yes, he had some redeeming swoony moments at the end but that’s about it. He also called Jillian beautiful a ridiculous amount of times, which was cute the first couple of times since it started to help build her confidence at times, but it became repetitive quickly.

Second chance romances have became sort of a hit or miss for me. I think that sometimes they can be cliche or just flat out not my cup of tea personally. This one did work to an extent, but it was by no means my favorite romance in the series. I found it unusual that they don’t have sex until around the 86% mark, though that’s probably about the time it happened in Wait for You, I can’t totally remember. But I felt like that worked because they were working on building up a strong foundation before starting anything completely physical. Despite this, the book was still pretty steamy. As a whole though, I honestly can’t say that Jillian and Brock stand out to me as being a power couple when put up against the others from the previous stories.

Fire in You was an entertaining novel that I really enjoyed. Though it wasn’t my favorite, it was still a pretty story nonetheless. Yes, I’m disappointed that this book didn’t stand out more to me, but it was still decent. There’s also a lot of angst in this one, which might be why I wasn’t crazy about it. I was also confused about the timeline and think that maybe a novella before Fire in You would have been more effective in filling in the gaps of the past six years instead of having random flashbacks. I also wish that there could have been an epilogue for not only Jillian and Brock, but one where we see all (or at least most) of the couples. Yes, we do get to see the couples frequently throughout the story but it would have been nice to wrap it all up if this is indeed the last book in the series. I still have my fingers crossed for a Katie book because her story is far from finished after that huge bomb that she ended up dropping on everyone!

three-stars

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Built Review

November 28, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Built ReviewBuilt (Saints of Denver, #1) by Jay Crownover
on January 5th, 2016
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Rule (Marked Men, #1), Retreat (The Getaway Series Book 1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
four-flames
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.
Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.
Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.
But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller are as different as two people can be. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and kill it and grill it. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk while he’s denim and flannel.
The differences between the two of them don’t stop Zeb from dropping every hint he can think of that he would like to get to know her on a more personal level, but Sayer seems oblivious to his interest or is just too nice to tell him to take a hike. To Sayer, a guy like Zeb could never be interested in someone as reserved and boring as she is. She’s never been with anyone that was hot enough to melt the icy exterior she’s had wrapped around hera since her awful childhood. But what if Zeb is the one who might finally thaw her out…?

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to read Built by Jay Crownover. I didn’t have much success with the one book that I read of hers, which was the extremely popular Rule. Anyway, I gave it a shot anyway and I’m happy that I did. Sayer and Zeb were fabulous characters, specifically Zeb. Though Sayer was frustrating at times, that’s partly what I liked about her. All in all, this was a solid romance that definitely pulled on my heart strings more than once. It was a quick read, and I recommend it if you’re looking for something a little on the light side of things.

Sayer wasn’t always a likable character, which was partly why she stood out to me. I personally believe that character likability shouldn’t make or break whether you like a book or not. Though I will admit that it does make it more difficult to cheer for the characters if you can’t relate to them at all. The point here is, I do appreciate that Crownover made the girl the one who pulls back and is afraid to jump into a relationship. I didn’t fully like Sayer’s reasoning for some of her actions, but then again, I hardly ever think the “damaged” male in (typically) NA books has good reasoning for his actions. This isn’t the first heroine in a romance book that I’ve seen be the hesitant one, but I still thought it was more mentioning. I also like how strong and independent Sayer is. She’s a pretty hardcore lawyer, and I liked it when she went into work mode at certain times in the story.

So Zeb was a pretty great character to say the least. He was very confident about what he wanted from Sayer, and not at all hesitant to share those thoughts with her. He was a swoony guy throughout the entire story. Yes, Zeb spent time in prison for beating the crap out of a guy in front of a niece. The circumstances were a lot more complicated than that: his sister’s boyfriend had been beating her in front of their child so Zeb just ended up losing his temper completely with him. Who can blame him though? The point to stating this is that he’s a somewhat complex guy, but he doesn’t play games with Sayer at the same time. This is a huge part of the story so I don’t feel like it’s a huge spoiler, but Zeb finds out that he has a son that he never knew about. I’m going to talk more about him later, but I wanted to mention that Zeb’s interactions with his son will make you laugh and cry every time.

The romance gets real steamy, real fast. Really though, one second they are painting and the next second they end up having sex up against the wall. I’m not complaining about this, that was a really hot scene. The chemistry between them is ridiculously obvious from the start, but obviously Sayer has some doubts about getting into a relationship. I liked seeing them get to know each other better when Sayer helps him get custody of his child from Social Services. Yes, they had a lot of drama going on, but they were still a solid couple in the end.

One of the main reasons why I ultimately read this book is because I saw that Zeb had a child, and I’m on a kick with romance books that have that element here lately. Hyde is seriously adorable and I loved him so much. Basically, Zeb had a one night stand with this girl the night after he got out of prison, which he more or less blocked out completely. Zeb learns about his son through a friend of the girl who tells him that the girl was killed and now his son is going to be in foster care since no one else can take care of him. Though his initial reaction is obviously shock, he soon gets it together and fights for his son. Hyde had a ton of sweet moments with both Zeb and Sayer. I loved the Zeb and Hyde scenes specifically since we get to see the relationship really develop from Zeb just being this stranger to being his father.

Built was a fun read that I’m glad that I ended up reading. It’s fast paced, an easy read, and full of developed characters. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book in this series and the book after that one as well. Sayer and Zeb were both fabulous characters and I’m glad that I got to step into their world for a little bit. I’ll certainly not be forgetting adorable little Hyde anytime soon. This is a must read if you can’t resist a man who’s good with a child and who’s fiercely protective of the people he loves without being overly possessive.

four-stars

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Out of Bounds Release Day Launch

November 22, 2016 Features 0

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Excerpt:

When we reach her home, a cute little white bungalow, she gestures to the porch. It’s teeming with potted plants and flowers, as well as pizza coupons and takeout menus stuffed behind the mailbox next to the doorway. “Thank you, Andrew. For the drinks and the escort service.”

I wiggle my eyebrows because she says escort in kind of a naughty way. “And thank you for the surf angel-slash-nurse work.”

“My pleasure. I was happy to save a guy in distress.”

I narrow my eyes and protest her description. “Hey now. I’m not dude in distress.”

She whispers “just kidding” as she leans against her porch railing. I don’t think it’s intentional, but that pose shows off all her assets. The swell of her breasts in her tank top, her curvy hips, her strong legs. This woman just fucking does something to me. Turns me on, that’s what she does. Makes me hard as hell. Though she’s made it clear that the night ends right here, I intend to make the most of this good-bye.

I move closer to her and run my hand down her arm. I watch as goose bumps rise in its wake. My voice goes low. “Do you know what I’ve been thinking about?”

She tilts her head to the side. “What would that be, Andrew?”

It still sounds funny to hear her call me that. But next time I see her I’ll tell her that everyone calls me Drew. With my other hand, I brush her hair off her shoulder, cataloging her reaction to my touch. The way she shivers. How she sways closer. The rush of breath on her lips. I bring my mouth to her ear, and whisper. “What it would be like to kiss you.”

I pull back, wanting to look at her. Her lips are parted, then she licks them and swallows. It’s like she’s taking a step closer, saying go for it. “You should absolutely find out then,” she says, soft and inviting.

My fingers travel from her shoulder, up to her hair, and I rope my hand through those blond locks. I pull her close, savoring the warm feel of her sun-kissed skin and the smell of sand, surf, and sunshine in her hair.

I dip my mouth to hers, clasping her face in my hands. When I nip her bottom lip, she gasps. It’s such an alluring sound, and it turns me the fuck on even more. My dick would very much like to go inside her house tonight, but kissing is all that’s on the menu, so I kiss her in a way that’ll leave her wanting more. Because I want so much more of her, and I also want her to know that.

I’m not sure how I went from leaving the field when practice ended this morning, to spending the afternoon surfing to get my mind off all the changes I’m sure are coming, to kissing this beautiful stranger outside her Venice Beach home. But hell if I want to analyze this moment.

I spend my working hours making decisions, analyzing, choosing. Then executing.

Right now, I want to get lost in something that no one else controls but this woman and me.

From NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a sexy new standalone sports romance…

OUT OF BOUNDS!

Ready to be swept off your feet? Meet the witty, sexy, dirty-talking quarterback Drew in OUT OF BOUNDS! Grab your copy today!

 

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“Out of Bounds smolders with heat, desire, and wicked swoon-worthy excitement!”

~Beneath the Covers Book Blog

 

“So much passion and intensity that you wouldn’t expect in a sports romance, but once again, Lauren Blakely BRINGS IT”

~Shayna Renee Spicy Reads

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The first rule of football–don’t screw with a streak.

My career is finally looking up, and I’m leading a new pro team down the field every Sunday. No way will I mess with that. But when I meet the most stunning and captivating woman I’ve ever seen, I tell myself one night will have to be enough.

But it’s not. And now I can’t get her out of my mind. Even when I’m playing. Even when I need to focus. Even when I’m on the hottest streak of my life.

And it turns out, she’s not just some random woman I met. She works for the team. My team.

***

I only have one goal this season–do my part as the team’s lawyer to keep them out of trouble. Help rebuild their reputation on and off the field. There’s no room for error and certainly no room for a secret tryst with a player . . . even if he’s the quarterback.

Right?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

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The perfect mix of sexiness, laughter, and sweetness.”

~Two Book Pushers

 

 

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Add it to Goodreads here!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32319429-out-of-bounds

 

 

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✮✮✮Celebrate the release of OUT OF BOUNDS! ✮✮✮

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

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author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With twelve New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

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Sidebarred Review

November 16, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Sidebarred ReviewSidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5) by Emma Chase
on April 24th, 2016
Also by this author: Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2), Royally Screwed (Royally, #1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
four-flames
There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.
Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man. And he’s pretty damn good at it.
Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....
So, of course something has to screw it all up. It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.
And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.

I absolutely fell in love with Jake, Chelsea, and her six nieces and nephews in Sustained. I was a little hesitant to read this because I didn’t read the other two books in the series and wasn’t sure how heavily featured those characters would be in this one. However, I decided to read it anyways just to read more cute moments between Jake and the kids. I got even more than I bargained for here. I’m really glad that Emma Chase wrote a novella about my favorites. She totally delivered on answering basically every single thing that I wanted to know about how things would turn out for all of the kids. If you loved Sustained, then you’ll likely adore this one just as much.

Jake was awesome and swoony in Sustained, but he also had some strong reservations about taking care of six children, which is understandable since he was previously a bachelor. In this story though, he is all in and loves being a husband and father figure. It’s always hilarious to see things through his eyes, he’s just my favorite. Not to mention the fact that he makes a crazy good father. My heart melted countless times throughout the story, probably the most whenever he braided little Regan’s hair.

Chelsea is just as strong and great as always. I’ve always respected that she was able to just jump right in and take care of all those kids when her brother and sister-in-law died in a car crash without even thinking twice about it. Yes, we don’t see the book through her perspective, but I still loved what we saw of her character anyway. She still doesn’t take any of Jake’s crap, which is yet another thing about her that I’ve always respected.

Even though they have six kids around constantly, they still managed to have a super hot sex life. The book picks up when they’ve been married for two years now, and they are still going as strong as ever with keeping things exciting and fresh between them. They have such an incredible love and passion for one another and I loved seeing that only getting more passionate and unbreakable as the years went by. They also both make amazing parents, despite having to give some awkward talks at times, it was still endearing to see them make the attempt.

This novella was everything that I hope that it would and so much more than that. It definitely made me tear up more than once throughout the story. I don’t want to give anything major away, but it was really just some of the talks that Jake gave some of the kids at certain times. My favorite thing about the novella is probably that the very end of it jumps ahead seventeen years and tells us what all of the children decided to do with their lives. Nothing was all that surprising to me, but it was nice to get that insight nonetheless. Seriously though, these characters will always have a special place in my heart and it will be difficult to find a book about a couple raising children that will top this one.

four-stars

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ARC Review: Managed

November 15, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: ManagedManaged (VIP, #2) by Kristen Callihan
on November 14th, 2016
Pages: 304
Source: InkSlinger PR
Also by this author: The Hook Up (Game On, #1), The Friend Zone (Game On, #2), The Game Plan (Game On, #3), Idol (VIP, #1), The Hot Shot (Game On, #4)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
three-half-flames

I received this book for free from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.
I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.
That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.
I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.
If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.
Let the battle begin…

Kristen Callihan is one of my favorite authors. She’s great at writing fascinating plots filled with these eccentric and memorable characters. In my book, she can do no wrong. I thought that Idol was a fabulous start to this new series of hers that follows a band of guys and the girls that bring them to their knees. I couldn’t wait for Scotty’s story. He’s the boy’s manager who seems extremely stuck up and cranky. Sophie Darling is a new character, but she’s definitely the best possible match for Scotty.

You guys, Sophie is absolutely hilarious. From her first encounter with Scotty on the plane, everything that she says is just so funny and witty. Sophie is one woman who isn’t scared of telling you exactly like it is. She’s a fantastic, fun, and bright character who I truly adored. Though she has a shameful past due to her old job, she’s doing the best she can to make up for that. Sophie is the total opposite of literally everything that Gabriel or Scotty represents, and that’s why they turn out to be so good together.

We know him by Scotty, but Sophie prefers to call him by his actual name, which is Gabriel. In Idol, he was this cold yet beautiful man who no one could really figure out. He’s been friends with the guys in the band for such a long time now, but he doesn’t even let them in all of the way. The more we learn about Gabriel, the more we love him. The reasons why he’s so guarded become more and more clear to us as the book progresses, and it was such a beautiful thing when he finally let Sophie in. Surprisingly enough, Gabriel is actually a pretty romantic and swoony dude when it comes to his girl. Despite his issues and insecurities, he’s an incredible book boyfriend.

The romance between Sophie and Gabriel was so amazing because of the tension that builds from their very first encounter. It takes them quite awhile to actually get together, but it’s wonderful once they finally do. I think that they make such a strong couple because they started off as just being friends until it slowly developed into much more. I always like it when a relationship doesn’t develop too quickly. In my opinion, this one happened at the exact right pace. They had such fabulous banter from the start, so the tension was so real and witty. If you can’t already tell, they were such a great couple.

This was yet another excellent Kristen Callihan novel that I truly enjoyed. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I’m hoping that it will be Jax, since he’s been talking a lot about how he’ll never find love like his two friends have, so hopefully he’ll meet his match next! Sophie and Gabriel had such a strong and fun romance that I loved reading about from the start. I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of this author, love books that follow bands, or are looking for a story that will make you laugh.

Excerpt:

In all this time, I had yet to see Gabriel without a shirt. He hides his body like a pious Victorian, never letting me see anything other than him fully dressed and polished. Now I know why. Had he let me get a glimpse, I might never have been able to form a coherent thought around him.

This man’s chest is a work of art. It’s every fantasy I’ve had about a man’s body made real. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I’m not about to complain. God, he looks touchable. Olive skin, tight little brownish nipples, a smattering of dark chest hair over the most incredibly honed—

“You’re staring.” His tone is dry.

“Yes, I am.” I drag my eyes up and find his expression bemused.

A thick brow lifts. I try to mimic the look and fail when both of my brows lift as one. His lips twitch in amusement.

He shifts his weight, causing his abs to clench. Good Lord. He’s not some overdeveloped gym worshiper, just solid and strong, that perfect balance between defined musculature and healthy male—

“You’re still staring, Sophie.”

“You think it’s easy looking away from all this splendor?” I ask his belly button, licking my lips when he huffs out a laugh and just a little bit more of his lower abs are revealed, slanting toward the thick bulge of his cock, which is lamentably hidden behind his slacks.

“You’re impossible,” he mutters, though there is humor in his voice. He strolls farther into the room and then practically kills me when he sits in one of the low-slung armchairs. That body, sprawled out on display, those thick, long thighs braced as if to take me in his lap—it’s too much.

I want to straddle him and lick my way from the hollow of his throat to the tip of his cock.

He eyes me as if he knows what I’m thinking, and the air thickens. So many things we left unsaid. I’m remembering his lips now, surprisingly soft, but strong with purpose.

From the way his lids lower, I wonder if he’s remembering things as well. But he doesn’t move. Tension glides over his body and snakes around the room. I feel it in my throat and down my spine. We’re closing up again, retreating.

Slowly, I toe off my shoes and set my gear down, never breaking eye contact. “I was being completely honest,” I tell him. “I see you like this and I want to stare forever.”

He snorts, shaking his head even as he rests his temple on his knuckles. “What do you mean ‘like this’?”

“Undone.”

He tenses. It does lovely things to that chest. I focus on his face, mainly to maintain some semblance of decorum.

“You think this is me undone?” he asks quietly.

“It’s a start.” I reach for my camera bag. “Will you let me photograph you?”

There is safety to be found with the camera between us. A way for both of us to hide until we’re comfortable around each other again.

“You’re serious?”

“You sound surprised.” Holding my camera, I sit in the sofa opposite him. “Don’t tell me no one has asked to take your picture before.”

“They’ve asked. I never saw the point.” He shrugs. “I’m not the story.”

You’re my story. You always were.

“This is just for me,” I say instead. “No one else.”

His shrewd gaze pins me. “Why do you want this?”

So I can have a bit of you forever. “Pictures capture moments in time. I want this one—when you finally let me see a sliver of the man behind the clothes.”

His nostrils flare on an indrawn breath, and he slowly lets it out. When he speaks, his voice is a rasp. “Take the pictures.”

 

 

 

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KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

four-stars

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ARC Review: This Is Our Story

November 14, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★★

ARC Review: This Is Our StoryThis Is Our Story by Ashley Elston
Published by Disney-Hyperion on November 15th 2016
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she and Stone investigate—the ageing prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

The concept for this one seemed intriguing to me so it’s been on my radar for awhile now. Once the early rave reviews started coming in, I decided that I had to put this at the top of my TBR list so I instantly started reading it. It turned out to be just as interesting and well written as I was expecting. I’m always a fan of YA thrillers, and this one wasn’t disappointing to me. I’ve read quite a bit of books in this genre plus I watch too much TV, so I didn’t find the twist to be all that surprising, but it wasn’t extremely predictable either. My point here is, this book was just as great as I was hoping it would be. The writing had a unique style to it that drew me in from page one. I’ve never read anything from Ashley Elston before but she’ll certainly be an author to watch for me in the future.

Kate was a rad character. She was ridiculously smart and perceptive. Let’s be real, if it was me this was happening to, I’m not sure I would have picked up on all the things that this girl managed to do. She was determined to get to the bottom to what happened out in the woods, and she didn’t let anything or anyone stop her from accomplishing just that. Kate was a cool and collected character, that’s for sure. She was a strong MC and I think that reads will really be able to connect with her.

Usually I talk about the romance at this point in my reviews, and this book does have quite a bit of romance in between the main plot. However, I don’t want to talk too much about it since I’m afraid that it might be a slight spoiler. It seems like other early reviews that I’ve read have left any names out, so I’ll do the same. I will say that there are some swoony boys, and just leave it at that. The romance truly isn’t the main thing since Kate has a lot of other things to worry about, but it’s a nice break from all the action when it does happen.

The writing style is a unique and fascinating one. The first narrator is unknown to us, and those are fairly short chapters that talk in a little bit more detail about what went down in the woods from a mysterious POV. Our narrator the rest of the time is Kate in first person. I felt like the second narrator really gave us some perspective on what was going on inside the boy’s head after the death of their friend while they were all out hunting. As the book progresses, we learn more and more about who this person is.

This was one of those books that I just had to read in one sitting. I’m not going to lie, I have a bad habit of skipping to the end of books just to see how everything ends up. I was tempted multiple times to do that here, but I’m glad that I was able to resist that temptation and just read it for myself. It was a well written novel that sucked me in instantly. I can’t recommend it enough to readers who love a good YA thriller that has strong characters that you will fall in love with immediately.

four-stars

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ARC Review: Daring Fate

November 13, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: Daring FateDaring Fate (Silver Tip Pack #1) by Megan Erickson
on November 14th, 2016
Source: Megan Erickson
Also by this author: Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1), Fast Connection (Cyberlove #2), Overexposed (In Focus, #4)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
five-flames

I received this book for free from Megan Erickson in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We all have tragic backstories in today's world.
I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.
When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.
As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first...

You guys, this book is amazing. I’m not a huge fan of any paranormal or shapeshifter romances honestly. However, I adore Megan Erickson and I was so excited that she was writing more M/M, so I decided to give it a shot regardless of the genre. Sure enough, Erickson managed to make me actually enjoy this genre. She’s written a beautiful cast of characters and a memorable and intense world. This was definitely outside of my contemporary comfort zone, but I’m glad that I read it. I recommend it if you loved Megan Erickson’s In Focus series or her Strong Signal series with Santino Hassell. Yes, it’s different but it still has Erickson’s signature witty writing and major swoony romance.

I loved Reese from page one. You could tell right away that he was such a strong fighter who didn’t back down for anyone, even for people much larger and stronger than him. He’s feisty and full of sass, which is something that I personally never get tired of seeing in an MC. I also loved how passionate he was about keeping his siblings safe. Reese has been through so much with the loss of his parents at a young age, so his siblings are really all that he has, which I respected. I think that he was a fabulous character and I really enjoyed being inside of his head.

Dare was somewhat difficult to warm up to at first. He was a bit of a controlling asshole at the beginning of the story. Aside from that, he still had such a kind heart and he did everything possible for his pack and also for Reese and his family. So yeah, he did earn more and more swoony points as the book progressed. He is still on the possessive side, but it never seemed like TOO much to me. I felt like Dare and Reese had an equal partnership, Dare wasn’t overly dominant over the entire relationship.

Not going to lie to you guys, there’s a ton of sex in this book. They literally have sex at around the 10% mark, so yeah, there’s not much actual relationship development before the physical side of the relationship begins. For the most part, this didn’t bother me since the scenes were actually so hot and didn’t feel entirely out of character since we knew all the context here. Reese and Dare are True Mates, and Erickson writes that sex is an important part of the actual mating process. Eventually though, they connect on more of a personal level as well, and the love that they have is something that we believe by the end of the story.

So I can’t totally judge on the paranormal aspect since I don’t have ANY adult paranormal romances that I can compare this one to. But I will say that I personally believed that the world building was fascinating. Erickson’s written a complete history about Weres, Noweres, and werewolves that’s so descriptive and never boring. I was truly wrapped up in this dystopian world that she’s created here. I also loved all of the supporting characters and can’t wait for more of their stories in the upcoming books for this refreshing new series.

Daring Fate was one of those books that I was unable to put down once I started reading it. Seriously though, as soon as I received the ARC, I started reading this in the middle of class, then hardly stopped reading throughout the remainder of my day. It’s a fast paced read, that becomes really intense at a certain point. If you read a lot of books in this genre, you’ll probably find the climax to be predictable, but I thought it was action packed and awesome to say the least. At this point, there isn’t anything that Megan Erickson writes that I’m not going to instantly buy and I recommend that you do the same!

four-stars

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ARC Review: One Snowy Night

November 12, 2016 Reviews 1 ★★★

ARC Review: One Snowy NightOne Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon Impulse on November 8th 2016
Pages: 160
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)
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three-stars
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Heartbreaker Bay with a fun and festive holiday novella!
It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.
Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.
They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

So One Snowy Night is ridiculously short. Obviously it’s a novella, but the actual story only takes up about 60% of the book, the rest of it is an excerpt for another upcoming Jill Shalvis title. I found that to be a little off putting, I wanted it to be even longer! The length didn’t truly give us enough time to really get into Rory and Max’s romance. I still thought it was an enjoyable and fun short read. It’s something that I’d recommend if you only have a small amount of time and would like to read something mostly light and not completely filled with angst. Though not my favorite, I’m still glad that I read this one.

We’ve learned a lot about Rory in the last book in this series, The Trouble With Mistletoe, since she works for Willa. Rory is a caring woman and I’m glad that she received her own story, even if it was simply a novella. She’s a strong and fascinating character, and I loved learning even more about her background and family. Rory is fun, there’s nothing more to say about it.

What we’ve seen of Max in the past has made me extremely intrigued about him. He works for badass Archer, who’s story we get to read in the next book. It’s clear that he’s intrigued by Rory since he stops by so frequently with his precious dog Carl. However, I was surprised and more than a bit confused by his anger towards Rory considering she did nothing wrong. He didn’t know her whole side of the story, but he still jumped to conclusions nevertheless. In my opinion, it was unnecessary drama. Since it was such a short story, luckily it didn’t last all that long, but I wasn’t a fan of it happening. His attitude in general took away some swoony points for me.

The romance was alright, aside from the drama that I already mentioned it. Based on what we’ve already seen of them, I was certain that Max and Rory would make a solid couple, and I wasn’t totally wrong about that. I just felt like it was imperfect with the ridiculous drama. The few sex scenes that we did see were pretty steamy and romantic. I definitely felt the chemistry between them. I feel like the “I love you” might have happened too quickly. You guys literally just got together and Max has had this terrible grudge for Rory over something that he didn’t know everything about. I get that it was a novella so naturally things moved faster than normal, but I didn’t like it.

This was a sweet romance between two characters that I’ve been curious about for awhile now. Despite my issues with Max, he was still a nice match for Rory. I feel like they were really able to balance each other out. I can’t forget to mention Carl, Max’s adorable dog. I loved him, and I also loved how much Rory obviously loved him. This wasn’t a perfect novella, but it was still an interesting one. I wanted more pages of this and less of a sample for Jill Shalvis’s next book. This was a quick read that I was able to enjoy in just a day.

three-stars

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As Long As You Love Me Review

November 11, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

As Long As You Love Me ReviewAs Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy, #2) by Ann Aguirre
on September 30th 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased
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four-stars
four-flames
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother. 
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can't pinpoint exactly what's missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he's the guy who women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever. 
Though she's terrified of opening up, Lauren's ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

I read I Want it That Way months ago, and immediately bought As Long As You Love Me after finishing it. For whatever reason, I put off reading Lauren and Rob’s story. I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it. I might have actually liked it just a little more than the first book, it’s pretty even though. Anyway, the thing that I loved so much about this was how the plot was rather unique and we also saw a different kind of hero and heroine. Rob and Lauren have both decided that college wasn’t for them, for different reasons but they still managed to reach that conclusion eventually. I’m always looking for New Adult stories that aren’t your typical college story with a pure heroine who meets a bad boy who somehow tames him or whatever. Yes, I’m aware that not all books in the genre are like this, but they still have a bad reputation for it nevertheless. Aguirre has written yet another fabulous NA story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Lauren was an interesting character. She’s Nadia’s (MC from the first book) childhood best friend and roommate until she drops out of college and returns back to their hometown. Lauren was definitely smart enough to attend a college, but once she reached a certain point, it became more and more obvious to her that this just wasn’t her thing. She also had strong social anxiety that she did her best to cover up by being a big party girl, but that only lasted her so long before it all became too much. I really related to Lauren and her struggles with anxiety. I became frustrated with her for not facing her problems earlier than she does, but I still understand her reluctance and pain.

Rob was easily the highlight of this book. It honestly breaks my heart that he isn’t a real person. He was the popular football star in high school who got all the girls and had this awesome life. But he also finds that people judge him based on how gorgeous he is, and they believe that he doesn’t have much more to him than simply his looks. He’s found that girls basically use him because of his looks and isn’t the guy that any of them would actually settle down with. Rob was definitely a character who proved that their is a lot more to a character than just being book smart. Rob is ridiculously caring, loving, kind, and extremely swoony. I fell in love with him on page one and he continually proved that he isn’t your typical NA hero in all the best ways.

This book has one of my favorite trope’s: best friend’s brother. Lauren has had this huge crush on Nadia’s brother ever since she was a young girl. But she believes that he’s very much out of her league and has watched helplessly as he’s brought home girlfriend after girlfriend. Much to Lauren’s surprise, she later discovers that Rob has been attracted to her for quite a long time now, but just never acted on it. I like how the relationship between them doesn’t develop too quickly. They slowly start spending more time together when she helps him with his dream of flipping houses and also building furniture. I love that they build a real friendship before starting anything physical. Once they do get physical, the chemistry between them is very real. The sex scenes were steamy, but it wasn’t excessive either.

This was a fabulous book. The only real complaint that I have is the drama that happens at the end that keeps them apart. It absolutely drove me insane that Lauren treated him that way. I know that she was mostly coming from a caring place, but it was over the top and unacceptable to me. I also didn’t understand why Rob just believed everything that she said so easily, I feel like his actions throughout the book showed that he would have typically fought for her and not accepted what she told him. Other than that, the book didn’t have any heavy angst that really bothered me. I found this to be a fascinating story filled with wonderful characters.

four-stars

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The Hot One Cover Reveal

November 11, 2016 Features 0

  • From the NYT Bestselling author of THE SEXY ONE, comes a sexy new standalone romance…

THE HOT ONE!

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Releasing March 14th, THE HOT ONE will bring readers more of the swoony romance and passion they’ve come to love from Lauren Blakely, as well as plenty of witty humor and clever banter. Check out this fantastic cover created by Helen Williams with photography by Wander Aguiar.

 

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At first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend’s place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her back.

But trust me on this count – she always liked me best without any clothes on. And sometimes you’ve got to play to your strengths when you’re fighting an uphill battle. I’m prepared to fight for her…and to fight hard. I might have let her slip through my fingers the last time, but no way will that happen twice.

He’s the one who got away…

The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that, stripping at my job, showing off his rock hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky, arrogant jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he’s not a jerk . . ? He’s the one I’ve tried like hell to forget but just can’t. Maybe I’m cursed to remember him. My money is on him being the same guy he always was, but what’s the harm in giving him a week to prove he’s a new man? I won’t fall for him again.

But how do you resist the hot one…

 

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Preorder THE HOT ONE now!

iBooks: http://tinyurl.com/TheHotOneLB

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2fDNSRA

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ftBRQ5

GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2fY0KGf

BN: http://bit.ly/2eTapgb

Sign up for Lauren’s newsletter to receive an alert when THE HOT ONE is live on Kindle on release day at http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter/.

Add it to your Goodreads now!

 

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THE HOT ONE is coming to audio! Check out this note from Lauren:

“I’m so thrilled that Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt will narrate THE HOT ONE. Zach has an amazing voice and you might know him from GREY, as well as books by Colleen Hoover and Corinne Michaels — I’ve been wanting to work with him for a long time on an audiobook and he is the perfect Tyler!!

(And yes, I’m still working with Sebastian York! Sebastian is narrating Full Package and Joy Stick!)”

 

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About Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With twelve New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

Links:

Website: http://www.laurenblakely.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenBlakelyBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurenBlakely3

Newsletter: http://laurenblakely.com/newsletter/

Lauren Blakely Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860216.Lauren_Blakely

 

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