Thursday, December 26, 2013

4 flames for Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir


Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town.

Setting: Minneapolis, Minnesota 








I'm going to be honest -- at first I didn’t know if I was going to be able to finish this book. I didn’t read the first one in the series, Girl with the Cat Tattoo, and had no idea I’d be reading the cat’s point of view. That’s right, the first voice you read in this book is the cat. I was glad I kept reading though, because Geek with the Cat Tattoo is a sweet, well-crafted novella that I enjoyed very much. 

Emerson Foshay (what a great name!) is a painfully shy, soulful twenty-six year old with some real talent when it comes to his craft of making musical instruments and restoring old amplifiers. He’s the only one Lola’s father will hire to fix his guitar, and when Lola comes to pick the instrument, it becomes clear that Emerson struggles with his interactions with Lola, even though he really likes her.

Enter the cat. Sam’s a meddler, and his furry point of view is often entertaining. He’s drawn to Emerson and decides to help him with Lola. With Sam’s calming influence, Lola and Emerson hook up and it is one of the most sweet romantic pairings. I thought the cat’s part was accomplished with enough subtlety that his POV enhanced rather than detracted from the story. Animal lovers will get this.

All three are just perfect together, until Sam’s former owner takes him back and things go downhill very quickly for Emerson and Lola. My heart broke for them at this point in the story.

It’s a good thing that cats have nine lives.

Geek with a Cat Tattoo is an incredibly sweet read. I really enjoyed this. There are some wonderful moments and almost lyrical writing, and at times I felt that this book was almost singing the story to me, it was that poetic.


Recommended for when you want a quick, sweet, shy-boy romance.  This was a solid 4-star offering that made me want to look at other titles from this author, and Girl with the Cat Tattoo, the first book in this series is waiting for me on my e-reader. 


Thanks to Patchwork Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

5 Flames for Take Me On by Cherrie Lynn



The consequences of a moment can last a lifetime.

Gabriella Ross suffered every bride’s worst nightmare: a no-show groom. Now summer stretches before her with nowhere to go but home, at least until it’s time to go back to medical school.

Determined to prove she might be down but definitely not out, she chucks all her old plans in favor of having a good time—starting with giving herself a pair of wings. Tattooed wings, that is, in the form of a phoenix on her back.

When everyone else at Dermamania chickens out at the prospect of putting the gorgeous, perfect skin of the boss’s big sister under the needle, Ian Rhodes finds himself stepping up. Then unexpectedly connecting with her through tears that have nothing to do with the pain of getting inked.

Attraction flares into one hot night that was supposed to stay that way—single, and secret. But best laid plans have a way of getting blown out of the water. Now two perfect strangers must plan for a very different future…beginning with whether there’s enough common ground to spend it together.


Warning: Contains explicit sex, graphic language, Ross family drama, reuniting with beloved old friends…and a hot tattooed, Harley-riding hero who doesn’t mind being robbed from the cradle.





I'm a huge fan of this series and looked forward to meeting the last of the Ross siblings, Gabriella. She’s  back home taking a break from Dallas and “The Wedding that Wasn’t”. When she meets Ian, she’s attracted to him on a couple of levels, and they go for it, heating up the sheets (and other places)  in awesome Cherrie Lynn style. Her love scenes are top-notch, with tons of emotion and fan-inducing hotness.

I didn’t know what to expect with Gabby, but I really liked her. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, especially when it came to telling her family exactly what she thought. Ian is a straight-shooter too, although more reserved than some of the other Dermamania men. It took me a little bit to warm up to him, but by the end of the book, he proves his swoon-worthiness.

Gabby and Ian just click and complications from that one night stand turn Gabby and Ian’s life upside down. They have lots to work out and it doesn't go down easy. Gabby’s due to return to Dallas and medical school, while Ian likes where he’s at. But they soon find that there are other obstacles, as in conditions from Gabby’s parents. Cherrie Lynn does a nice job of weaving the drama of the circumstances with Gabby and Ian falling in love.  It’s quite lovely, and when they both chose to do the “right thing” my heart broke a little for them.

Gianna Ross was a force to reckon with in this book, one to rival Sylvia Andrews, for sure.  More than ever, I’d love to see these two square off and Cherrie Lynn leaves us with a nice setup for that -- please give us that in a novella! I loved these family scenes, mostly because they felt so real to me. 

The way Brian and Gabby interacted, her parents reactions, all rang true to me. Brian Ross fans will not be disappointed with his role in this story. His directness hasn’t tempered, and he steps up for his sister in a big way, all the while acting like a little brother.  These brother-sister scenes were spot on, I thought. And thank goodness times ten for Kelsey, who has a nice role in this as well.  It made me want to go back and reread this series from the beginning.

Take me On is a great story about dealing with life and the curve balls that come along. This will definitely be going on my “books I re-read when I need a lift” list, along with the other titles in this series. 

Recommended.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rome by Jay Crownover: Excerpt Reveal!

The MARKED MEN are coming back on January 7, 2014, so get ready for the ride of your life with ROME (MARKED MEN #3) by the fabulous Jay Crownover.

You’ve met inked-up bad boy RULE (Marked Men #1) and have been swept away by the lyrical JET (Marked Men #2). Now, get ready to be riveted by Rule’s older brother ROME.



Rome returns to Denver after serving his country and leaving a part of his soul, along with his blood, behind on the sands of the battlefield. When he meets Cora, sparks fly and all bets are off in this steamy, heart wrenching love story. Can two souls who have their own dark past survive the explosion of them coming together. Find out in ROME on January 7th.



Be sure to join us January 7, 2014 when we are part of the Jay Crownover’s Rome Book Tour.
Rome by Jay Crownover: Excerpt Reveal!


Rome by Jay Crownover: Excerpt Reveal!




Title: Rome (Marked Men #3)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: January 7, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing

Synopsis
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.
Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17798233-rome
Pre- Order Links
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Indie Bound





Title: Rule (A Marked Men Novel #1)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins
Synopsis
Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn't want--and the only person she's never tried to please. She isn't afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. She lives by other people's rules; he makes his own. He doesn't have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she's the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17851754-rule
Purchase Links
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes and Nobles | Kobo | iTunes



Title: Jet (A Marked Men Novel #2)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins
Synopsis
With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17204860-jet
Purchase Links
Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes



Author Information

I'm supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I'm an natural redhead even though I haven't seen my real hair color in years, I'm a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I'm interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4 flames for A Christmas to Remember Anthology



Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

Here’s what I thought...

 Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream

Oh, this was so sweet! How can you resist the firefighter saving the girl he dreams of while she’s doing the same for him? And Melissa knows she has to fix it, and she works hard to do just that. My first story from this author, and now I see why my friends like this author. Very nice second-chance romance!.

Kristen Ashley, Every Year

This was the story that attracted me to this anthology. Own the Wind was one of my favorite reads this year, and this is the perfect novella to go along with it. Shy and Landon aren’t quite sure how to process all their feelings over what they had and what they lost, but Tabby and Tyra and the entire Allen clan show them what family is all about. Even though her part was small in this story, Tyra still stands out as the perfect matriarch of the family, having just the right words to put everything in perspective in her loving way. I hope there will be more stories coming about the Chaos MC, and Tack and Tyra and the boys. Can we get something hot and sweet from Rush? Loved this story.

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night:

Genuinely sweet story of a woman down on her luck. Maryanne is looking for a fresh start and takes a huge chance on a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. She’s got a baby, no money, and no gas in her car, so she ends up walking the last few miles to her destination, only things look different in the dark and she miscalculates and ends up in a neighbors barn. After a huge, but slightly improbable sacrifice, she ends up with the help she needs to start over again. Not your typical fall-in-love story, and I think that was what I really liked about this story. Very nice interpretation of the joys of the holiday.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas:

Very cute story of two people meeting up because of a job. Linc and Dinah get off to a rough start, mostly because Linc is reluctant to admit and accept he needs help. But over the course of the job, they develop an attraction to each other that can’t be denied. Very sweet ending to this story, as Linc demonstrates that he really does have a tremendously sweet and unselfish view of the holiday.

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas:

And this was the story that was so sweet and wonderful it made me cry. I absolutely loved Ilena’s outlook on life in this story. She’s just what Jared needed to help him find what he’s looking for in his life. Really enjoyed this one.

Overall, a really lovely holiday anthology. The stories are on the shorter side so they are perfect for when you want a quick read.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Bitter Sweet Love Release Day

Jennifer L. Armentrout's amazing novella in her new The Dark Elements Series, BITTER SWEET LOVE, is out and we are excited to join in the release day launch for it. BITTER SWEET LOVE is the Prequel Novella for The Dark Elements Series and is full of Wardens, fantasy, and romance. The first novel in the series, WHITE HOT KISS, will be released February 25, 2014. Check out what we have for you today! There's also a fantastic excerpt for you to check out below!

EXCERPT:


Moving lightning fast, Dez shifted and I was suddenly underneath him. His arms were on either side of my head, caging me in. Our bodies didn’t touch, but I felt him to the tips of my toes anyway.
                The teasing grin disappeared when I dragged in a deep breath and my chest brushed his. Everything changed in an instant. The playful mood faded, replaced by primal heaviness. Our gazes collided and locked. Neither of us moved. His closeness sent a series of shivers skittering across my skin and made it hard to take slow, even breaths. My body tensed when his gaze dropped to my mouth.
                He tilted his head to the side. “I… I honestly have no idea what we were talking about.”
                “Good. Neither do I.”
                He shifted his weight onto one arm, bring him closer. “Have you enjoyed your trip so far?”
                “Yes.” I felt as if I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
                “Good.” He lowered his head. His breath was minty as it moved across my cheek and then my lips. “I’m glad.”
                I wasn’t really following the conversation and I wasn’t sure that he was fully aware of what was coming out of his mouth. I searched my hazy brain for something to say and wet my lips. I-
                The sound that came out of Dez’s chest rumbled through me. A stuttered heartbeat passed and then his lips were on mine. There was nothing slow about this kiss. It scorched my skin and caused my body to stretch tight like a bowstring. The kiss deepened, spinning my senses. I shuddered when his hand curved over my shoulder and drifted down to my waist, his long fingers spreading out under the hem of my shirt, grazing the bare skin of my stomach.
                I gasped, floored by the raw sensations pounding through my blood. My skin felt as if I was about to phase. Maybe I was.

                “Jasmine,” he whispered, the word falling against my lips, and then his body was pressing mine into the mattress, heavy, sweet and hard.

ABOUT BITTER SWEET LOVE (The Dark Elements #.5):

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series The Dark Elements, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn't just Jasmine's crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn't help that Jas's father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he's back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn't taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

Don't miss White Hot Kiss, book one in Jennifer L. Armentrout's The Dark Elements series from Harlequin TEEN!






About Jennifer L. Armentrout:


# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

WHITE HOT KISS Buy Links:



Sunday, December 1, 2013

4.5 Flames for Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.










 4.5 Flames

I know. Everyone has been waiting for this book with Isaiah’s story, me included. There was a lot of hype around this book from the bloggers, flinging out 5’s like candy. Of course this just made me want to be even more critical. This has been a challenging review to write. I had to re-read before I could even begin to put my thoughts together.

This series has always been about family to me, with Katie McGarry pairing the family of foster kids with the seemingly have-it-all ‘normal’ families that underneath are incredibly dysfunctional in some very serious ways. It’s always been somehow easy and natural for these young adults to pair up, in spite of their socio-economic differences.

In Crash Into You, Isaiah meets Rachel, a car-loving, slightly rebellious and very naive seventeen-year old with secrets of her own. Her family is fairly messed up too, with a mother that’s still grieving for a lost child, a father who will do anything to appease the mother, and brothers that are frankly just awful to Rachel under the guise of protecting her. Oh, and she has a health problem she’s hiding from everyone, although her twin brother is catching onto her.

Rachel and Isaiah get into a bit of trouble with the local gangster, Eric, and their initial attraction turns into a real relationship as they navigate the dangerous situation they find themselves in. There were some really sweet moments between these two, including their first kiss and a scene at Lover’s Leap that epitomizes what young, first love is all about.

Much of the hype surrounding this book came from wanting to know more about Isaiah and we do get his story. Even though the scenes with his mom are emotionally charged, the brief scenes where he finally opens up to his case worker are a window into his fears, and these packed a powerful punch for me. These were the moments that I look for in this series, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I was disappointed that Isaiah’s partying seemed to have been a big fabrication, and that seemed odd since a lot was made of his smoking in previous books. It seemed a little too convenient to write away his drug use in that way. It sounds odd to say that this bothered me, but it did. Another disappointment was Rachel never taking on her brothers for what they did to her. She left them off the hook much too easy.

But in spite of these little things that itched me, this was still a good read for me, and a perfect wrap-up of the three main characters from this series.

I absolutely loved the scenes where the gang was all together, and Beth Risk remains my all time forever favorite character in this series. I loved the scenes between her and Isaiah as they resolve the tensions in their relationship. The scenes where everyone was together, even though the circumstances were less than ideal were some of the favorite parts of the book for me. I love how this ‘family’ of teenagers come together to help each other. Makes me feel hopeful for the future.

Honorable mentions go to Logan and Abby for providing great supporting characters.

Crash Into You did a nice job of telling Isaiah’s story in the same style as the previous two books in the series and with the same emotional impact. Recommended.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

4 stars for With or Without Him by Barbara Elsborg


Synopsis: "The most dangerous refuge could be his lover's arms. "

Everyone has at least one deep-seated fear. For Tyler, it's being in debt. He's so desperate to get out and stay out of it, he'll do almost anything-including selling his body at Saturday night sex parties.

But he refuses to open his mind to anyone, especially the men paying to use him however they want. The only time he's truly happy is during the week at college, when he can escape into his music.

The moment Haris sees Tyler playing piano at a concert, he falls hard, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make the guy his. Even if it means-for the first time in his life-opening his wallet as wide and desperate as his heart.

20,000 to live with a good-looking guy for four months? How can Tyler resist the chance to ditch the sex party scene for good? But neither man realizes how much they're risking. And when outside forces close in, ready to destroy them, the trickiest part about the next four months could be just surviving.

Warning: Contains a "for hire" bad boy with a filthy mouth, an awkward guy with a penchant for BDSM, a hypochondriac butler who won't shut up, a dog called Alcide, and a lot of hot and dirty M/M sex.



 There's a lot I liked about this story. I've always felt that Barbara Elsborg does a very good job with M/M relationships in her books. They feel very authentic to me, so when I saw this release,I wanted to give it a read. Very hot cover, too.

In this story, Tyler is a college student paying off his loans by selling his body to other men at Saturday night "parties" set up by a man named Prescott. Tyler doesn't really like what he's doing, but he likes the money. When Tyler encourages the new boy, Jeremy, to stay away and not live this lifestyle, he buys himself a heap of trouble from Prescott, who then retaliates with demands that mess with Tyler's college music recital and his life in general.

Haris is a wealthy man who happens to be at the recital and overhears what's going on. He's intrigued and on a hunch, he follows Tyler. Good thing he does, because Tyler is in some trouble. When Haris saves him, so begins their relationship.

Haris makes a deal with Tyler to live with him, but he also has problems of his own that impact how he reacts in his life. His secrets aren't revealed until the end of the story, so its tempting to judge him as just a rich and selfish man who only knows how to buy his way into and out of relationships.

But the reader does get some of the innermost thoughts of both men. I thought this was a great way to show how these men felt about each other, but they end up acting in a different way. I liked having that glimpse into their fears and desires and watching how each interaction brought them closer to sharing what was really in their hearts. It did take a long time for that to happen, but it seemed very believable considering what these characters have been through.Some of my favorite scenes were those that had Tyler trying to break Haris from his tight shell of control.

There's a nice little mystery plot threaded through this that I really enjoyed. I appreciated the twists and turns in the story and that there were multiple villains to choose from. Kept me guessing all the way until the end.

This is a very rich story, with many twists and turns and interesting reveals of the background of both of these men. Honestly, Tyler and Haris's backstory broke my heart and I was rooting for them to overcome their history so they could find happiness together.

I read this book in less than a day. The story held my interest in a way that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens to Tyler and Haris. Even though a good part of the story was dark, I liked the complexity and diversity of it.

I think it's challenging to write sex scenes dealing with prostitution without sensationalizing sex-for-hire and Barbara Elsborg does a great job with this. I really liked the contrast between the prostitution sex and the love scenes between Tyler and Haris. That was very well done.

So great main characters, even though Haris was bit frustrating with his jumping to conclusions. I liked that his trying to use his money to buy everyone was a subject that was dealt with thanks to the fabulous and funny butler Wilson. I loved his contributions to the plot, his sense of humor and his common sense were a relief to the darkness of this story.

So overall, a good read for me. If you like M/M stories with realism, you might like this one.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

4 stars for Holiday Games by Jaci Burton

A Holiday Novella

A Riley wedding is in the works, a Riley Christmas means a house full of family, and baby making is on Liz Riley's mind. Chasing Gavin around and meeting in dark closets can be fun, but Liz is more than a little determined. Even with family in every corner of the house, Gavin is more than ready to do whatever Liz wants—especially when sex is involved. It's a Riley family Christmas.


 First off, let me say I love the early books in this series and the entire sports-minded Riley family. I was so excited for this novella because my favorite couple of the series, Jenna and Tyler, are getting married!

But as much as some of the activity in this book centers around wedding and holiday preparations, this is really Gavin and Liz's story. Liz wants a baby in the worse way and thinks she can manage it just like she does her job. The story opens with a negative pregnancy test and an even more determined Liz.

Most of the Riley's make an appearance in this novella, but unfortunately their interactions are used mostly to present backstory for new readers to the series. I did find that left me wanting more. The football game with Cole and Mick matching up was awesome and while I missed some real dialogue between these characters, it was still nice to have them in the story.

A good bit of the story revolves around Jenna's wedding preparations, and I have to say that the girls bacholorette party was fun, with Jenna kissing bald heads and getting loaded. On the other hand, the guys bachelor party is ho-hum. I would have thought those men could have put together a much better send-off for Tyler.

But this is really Gavin and Liz’s christmas miracle. The absolute best moments of this book are between Gavin and Liz, and I gotta say, I don’t remember Gavin being quite as hot as he is in this book. The scenes between them are steamin’. But Gavin really won my heart when he called his mom to help when they needed it. It’s the little moments in this book that have the impact.

Overall, this is what I’d expect in a Christmas novella. It was great to visit with the Rileys.

Hard one to rate. There were some definitel pluses and minuses. But I wasn’t disappointed to pay for this one. So I'm rounding my 3.5 stars up to 4 on this.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

4 stars for Addcted to You by Krista & Becca Ritchie

She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other.

New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content



I will admit that I was a little worried about this book at the start. Two self-indulgent, co-dependent, running-from-their-problems privileged young adults. I wasn't sure if I was going to like them, but I decided to give it a go and I ended up really liking this book.

Lilly is a sex addict and Loren is an alcoholic. They live together, hiding each other addictions from their families, hiding from their problems behind their addictions. The first 2/3 of the book is their descent to rock bottom. Lucky for them, they do have a support system of friends and relatives to help them.

The last part of the book reveals some secret that I had figured out early on, but its reveal was still done very well. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger too, and I will admit to digging right into Ricochet as soon as I finished.

By the end of the book, somehow I'd become very interested in these characters, even though there are some disturbing scenes depicting both Lilly's and Lo's addictions. Their love story is what really pulled me into this book and I'm looking forward to finding out what is going to happen next.

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sentinel Tour + Giveaway : Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Book Summary for Apollyon

Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.


Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

Buy Links:      Amazon     |   Barnes & Noble





# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen.

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author Links:



Spencer Hill Press is giving away a $200 gift card to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository or any indie bookstore of the winner's choice to not only stock up on amazing books, but to perhaps buy a Nook HD or Kindle Fire. 

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I'm in the midst of re-reading Apollyon in anticipation of the release of Sentinel.  So many good lines!  but my favorite so far is this one:

 "Well it's good to see the Scooby gang all in one piece. Warms my heart and all that jazz, but let's get to the point."

Do you remember who said that? 

This book was chock full of action!  I gave it 4 stars!   Here's my review: 



Wow! Another emotionally charged and action-packed installment in this series. Apollyon picks right up where Elixir ends and we learn many new details regarding the two Apollyons, Lucian's plot, the gods involvement, and lots of feels from the "gang of nine" While Apollyon doesn't have quite the intensity of Deity, it is a great setup for Sentinel, the final book in the series.

And although Aiden is incredibly swoon-worthy, I've got to say that Alex is the star for me in this series. She deals with a whole world of crapola in Apollyon and does it well. Even though her feistiness takes a few hits, her core values remain intact. I'm really hoping that Alex and Aiden get the happily ever after they have both been dreaming of, but it's still a long and dangerous road to get there. *sigh*

Here's a mini interview with the author and characters of  Apollyon:

For JLA – So much of your personality comes out in the snark in your books and Apollyon is no exception.  Which character has the most of you in them?  Probably Alex. 


For Alex – As far as I can tell, Aiden is just about perfect.  What are your thoughts on the matter?  I don’t think anyone could be more perfect than Aiden. 


For Aiden – This journey has been full of so many close calls.  When were you most concerned that you would lose Alex?  I can’t even answer that question because Alex is always scaring me.  It seems like I’m never there to protect her or I’m locked on the other side of the door. 


For Caleb – What was it like for you, seeing Alex again?  I wanted to see Alex, she’s my best friend, just not where we were reuniting.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

4 Flames for Holiday Kisses

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey




Fabulous holiday anthology with 4 awesome stories.

I knew I would enjoy the Jaci Burton story since I had read A Rare Gift before in the Kent Holiday series.

I really liked this, and it worked as a novella. The story hits on a few emotional levels, and had a lot of heat and good tension. I loved Calliope and how she tames Wyatt. A nice little love story.

Shannon Stacy also delivers in her story, Mistletoe and Margaritas, a sweet friends-to-lovers starting over story. You can’t help but want Claire and Justin to find comfort and love together. Shannon Stacy always makes me feel like her characters could come from my home town, and I like that about her work.

Alison Kent and HelenKay Dimon were new authors for me and I really liked both stories.

In This Time Next Year by Alison Kent, Brenna is rescued by the hot but damaged local doctor and she has to make some tough decision about not only their relationship, but her own future. Will she see her own dreams come true or has she changed them now that she’s met Dillon?

I loved the recognition of health care professionals in the armed forces and those who volunteer to help the needy. Such wonderfully understated but powerful themes for me in this story.

It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon was an interesting treatment of career versus love story. What happens when you are still in love but the job keeps you apart? I loved the struggles of these two characters and I especially loved Austin’s love and devotion to Carrie. It came across so clearly.

Lovely holiday anthology. Recommended.

Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Heating Up the Holidays 3-story Bundle by Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell

As leftover turkey and stuffing give way to stockings and little black dresses, this tantalizingly sexy eBook bundle offers up holiday-themed novellas from a trio of beloved romance authors. Lisa Renee Jones gives a dedicated reporter and a powerful businessman a chance to count their Thanksgiving blessings in Play with Me; Mary Ann Rivers presents Snowfall, the story of a woman who confronts a life-changing event—hopefully with a special man by her side—just in time for Christmas; and in Serena Bell’s After Midnight, an explosive New Year’s kiss leaves two strangers wondering whether they’ll ever see each other again.

PLAY WITH ME by Lisa Renee Jones

Kali Miller has spent three years reporting fluff stories, waiting for the article that will launch her career to new heights. When she suddenly finds herself forced to take a job as an executive secretary at a Vegas casino, Kali meets the subject of what will surely be a shocking exposé: her boss, Damion Ward, the arrogant and undeniably sexy CEO. But after Damion invites her to help him plan a Thanksgiving charity event, Kali begins to see another side of the man. And when she surrenders to the exhilarating tension simmering between them, Kali hopes her story will have a happy ending.

SNOWFALL by Mary Ann Rivers

Jenny Wright can’t get enough of her erotic conversations with someone she knows only as “C.” Flirting online helps Jenny temporarily escape confronting the changes to her life as she slowly loses her vision. Jenny’s occupational therapist, Evan Carlisle-Ford, is helping her prepare for the challenges ahead, but the forthright, trustworthy man can no longer ignore his growing attraction to his fiercely intelligent client. Now Jenny must choose between the safe, anonymous “C”—or the flesh-and-blood Evan, whose heated kisses can melt snow faster than it can fall.

AFTER MIDNIGHT by Serena Bell

The clock is ticking down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, and all Nora Hart and Miles Shephard can think about is kissing each other—even though they met just minutes before. Then, as fast as Miles enters Nora’s life, he’s gone . . . and she never even gets the name of the man she thinks might just be “the one.” One year later, Nora and Miles are reunited. The chemistry between them is just as strong as they remember. But Miles broke her heart once before—and this time around, Nora’s not sure whether she can give love a second chance.



I love this time of year when the holiday anthologies get released. It’s a great way to get introduced to new authors. Heating up the Holidays contains three stories, which really makes for a perfectly sized read. 

Play With Me is the “starting over” story of Kali.  When circumstances force her to take a job as an executive assistant, she meets Daimon. Kali’s instincts tell her he’s not quite what he seems, but it isn’t until she learns more about him that she sees what he’s really hiding. This was my second read from Lisa Renee Jones and  I loved how this story captured the spirit of generosity

Snowfall by Mary Ann Rivers is the very personal story of Jenny Write, a woman dealing with life changing circumstances.  What struck me most about this story was the very unique voice and it doesn’t pull any punches as far as the emotional content. It captures the sometimes sad part of the holidays  but ends on a hopeful note. Nicely done.

After Midnight might just be my favorite story in this anthology by a very narrow margin.  This was such a sweet story of Nora and Miles.  They meet at a New Year’s Eve party  and a full year passes before they see each other again.  A lovely story of attraction, taking chances, and rebuilding that really touched me.

This gets a solid 4 star rating from me. Very nice holiday anthology from authors to watch.

Thanks to Loveswept and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review.

Buy Links:

Amazon       |  Barnes & Noble






Saturday, October 19, 2013

5 Flames for Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she's getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn't want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he's done, what he's lost. He's sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he's too damaged to get close to her, yet she's the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?



I loved this read. It has all the characteristics of a 5 star read for me: I stayed up all night reading it and it ended with me feeling that I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

This is not a story that will appeal to everyone. It deals realistically with some very difficult subjects: suicide, accidental death, hard-core drug use, and depression. If these topics are triggers for you, you may want to pass.

This is the story of Nova. She’s a mess, still grieving after losing her boyfriend and best friend. And there’s Quinton, dealing with same emotions under slightly different circumstances. There’s a lot of pain here. When they meet, neither one knows that they are fighting frighteningly similar demons. I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to happen when so much pain came together. How could these two damaged souls be good for each other?

But they are drawn to each other, and over the summer, their shared experiences may change the course of their lives. Yes, I’m being deliberately vague because this book is a journey and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.

There is a lot of drug use in this, but in my opinion it wasn’t glorified.I loved the gritty real feel of this book. It was a realistic depiction of how kids get involved with drugs, and what it takes to get away. I thought this aspect of the book was very well done without preaching about it.

The emotional content in this book is huge. If you like a story that takes you deep into the heart and mind of the characters and like a darker story, this may be for you. The emotions dripped from the pages, but yet I did not find this maudlin. I think that’s pretty darn good writing, because there is so much sad in this.

So for me, this book had a lot of what I look for in a read. It was fast paced, had some interesting multi-dimensional characters, had supporting characters that weren’t just placeholders, and it left me wanting more when I got to the end. I liked the dark realism of this read. Jessica Sorensen isn’t afraid to give the reader a heaping dose of it in this.

I also loved how Nova moves forward as the book comes to a close. It was a very hopeful ending.

I can’t wait to find out what happens to Quinton. Will he pull himself out abyss or will he fall? What will happen to Nova when she tries to help him? I will definitely be making a note of the release date for the next book in this series.

Thanks to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

AMAZON         |      B&N