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. 


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

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 . . .

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
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
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
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?
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!


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.



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.

Release Day Review: The Five Year Lie by Sarina Bowen

Bestselling romance author Sarina Bowen’s debut thriller, about one woman’s search for the truth after receiving a text from her deceased ex...