#DGRFave, Lana and Jenn’s Review: Ruckus by @lj_shen

RUCKUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: May 24, 2017

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.

AMAZONLANA’S REVIEW

Dean Cole was nothing like people pegged him. He was the worst kind of devil. One that hid behind a polite smile, preppy clothes, and good manners.

Confession time: I was equally ready to part with an ovary to get my grabby little hands on this book and dreading it. I know! I know! Quit looking at me like I’m crazy, I’ll splain everything. I was excited as hell for this book because I live for LJ’s words. LIVE for them. But a part of me was dreading it because Dean happened to date Rosie’s older sister in the previous book, Vicious, and even though their relationship was nothing big and happened when they were young, the last time I read that particular plot device, I absolutely hated it. I should have known better than to doubt the magic that is LJ Shen’s writing, though, because not only did she pull it off, she did so FLAWLESSLY.

She had no clue, this girl. No. Fucking. Clue. Who she was dealing with. I might’ve been nicer than Vicious, but I was still a HotHole. I was still a sinner…and I was still the wolf her grandmamma warned her about.

Dean has always had a thing for the baby LeBlanc sister; ever since he first laid eyes on her as a teenager. But then life happened, and in an effort to protect her older sister, Emilia, from his fellow HotHole Vicious, they began to date…entirely killing his chances with the younger sister. But his obsession with her never ended. Now she’s in New York, renting an apartment in the same building as him, and he knows nothing will stop her from having her now…not even her.

Because giving up was not in my dictionary. When I wanted something, I took it. And I fucking wanted her. A lot.

In the previous books Dean came off as the fun loving, quick to smile, anything for a good time party boy. It’s easy to write him off as a shallow party boy, but boy would you be wrong. This is a man of so many depths, it’s incredible. Shen wrote such a multifaceted character with Dean, it’s impossible not to lose your heart (and your ovaries) to the man. There’s so much beyond the party boy and dirty talker. But let’s be fair here, because the dirty talk?
Was.
On.
Point.

What am I doing to you?” He sounded menacing. Almost evil.
All-American, fresh-faced, lovely Dean had a very dangerous side, and he allowed me a sneak peek into it.
“You’re…” I stuttered. He tugged at my hair harder for the answer. It was painful, but at the same time, extremely hot.
“Say it, Baby LeBlanc.”
“You’re fucking me.”
“Hell, yeah, I’m fucking you. Feels good?”
“Y—yes.”
“Am I too deep?”
“N—no.”
“Am I too rough?”
“N—no.”
“Good. ’Cause I’m about to be.”

Rosie was an amazing heroine. Here’s someone dealing with a life-altering illness, yet it doesn’t diminish any of her spark. She has sass for days and isn’t afraid to put Dean in his place. Constantly. I loved how hard she made him work for it. And boy did he work for it.

Rosie was never the prey. She was, at times, the motherfucking hunter.

I loved the way these two complimented each other. I loved how their individual jagged pieces somehow fit together so effortlessly into something so beautiful and poignant.
Ruckus was everything I’d hoped it would be and yet so much more. It was angsty deliciousness filled with enough chemistry you felt like your fingers will burn just from turning the pages . It was packed full of feeling and so much depth, you can’t help but fall into the vortex of the story. It was beautiful. It was tragic.
It.
Was.
Everything.

There was zero menace in his tone. Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucked you over with a polite smile on his face. In that sense, he was the Joker. In his mix of confidence, cockiness, good looks, and money, there was a dash of insanity thrown in. Enough to let you know that he meant every word he said.

LJ Shen is a freaking unicorn. Every book she releases is better than her last. If she gets any better at her craft I may have to build her a shrine and stalk her incessantly (at least more than I do now.)

What I’m trying to tell you here is…
Read.
The.
Damn.
Book.

Period.


JENN’S REVIEW

5 “after the flip, comes the boom” Stars!!!!!
Me going into this book:

Me at the end:
I knew I would love this book. But I didn’t expect my love for this book to compete for my love for Vicious’s book. To follow up after Vicious, which was basically perfection, I was skeeered. BUT LJ Shen just shoved her way into my heart with Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole. How?! I have no idea. It was sneaky and genius.
à la Mode St. » fashion

Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucker you over with a polite smile on his face. In that sense, he was the Joker. In his mix of confidence, cockiness, good looks, and money, there was a dash of insanity thrown in. Enough to let you know that he meant every word he said.

à la Mode St. » fashionI didn’t expect him to be mean. I expected to love him to death, but LJ Shen blew my mind out of the clean, crystal water and into the dirty gutter. Her words. Her feels. I loved the parallels the Shen draws in this book. There is NOTHING that I don’t love about LJ Shen’s books.

Rosie. WOW. Again, did not expect to love her show much. Stop making me FEEL so much shit, LJ Shen!!!! Rosie is sick. This is no secret. We know this when reading Vicious. We don’t know how strong she is, and the background story between Dean and Rosie. They love each other from the first sight, but they can’t be together, and they hurt each other left and right, and time is not on their side. But love is still there, after all the hurt and after all pain (AND DAMMIT, LJ SHEN, I’M CRYING WHILE WRITING THIS REVIEW!!!!!). Ok, breathe.

Dean…..dear god, where do I begin? He’s a manwhore. And don’t we just love a good manwhore? Hell, yes. He is an asshole, like Vicious. I mean, all 4 of these guys are called the Hotholes. Lol! But there is a goodness to Dean, deep down. It takes him a while to find it. And Rosie isn’t the one to change him. Again, it’s what I love about this series! The girl doesn’t change the asshole. The asshole essentially stays an asshole but tweaks the slightest parts of themselves to be loved by the girl.

It’s funny that I’m touching on all the emotional parts in this book because damn, it was all kinds of hot. And not like a little steamy hot…..like your brain can’t even wrap around the temperature of this book.
à la Mode St. » fashion

”You’re fucking me.”
“Hell, yeah, I’m fucking you. Feels good?”
“Y-yes.”
“Am I too deep?”
“N-no.”
“Am I too rough?”
“N-no.”
“Good. ‘Cause I’m about to be.”

Did you just feel that quote in your ovaries??? Yeah, you did!!!
à la Mode St. » fashionI didn’t know what to expect from the ending. To be honest, I was expecting the worst. I was gearing up for it because I didn’t want to lose my heart and my mind if something bad happened. And I can’t even tell you if there is a happy ending because just saying whether or not there is one will give it away because again…..LJ Shen is genius…..but I will say that I was happy WITH the ending. 🙂

Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over trying to pick up the pieces of my heart and tears after this book.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

DEFY | VICIOUS | RUCKUS

Review: Master of Solitude by Cherise Sinclair

 Master of Solitude
Series: Mountain Masters & Dark Haven #8
Genre: BDSM Romance, Contemporary
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Release Date: May 23, 2017

Since childhood, Mallory McCabe has dreamed of falling in love with a hero. And then one saves her life. He’s honest…and blunt. Deadly, but filled with pain. Overpowering, yet ever so gentle with her. Oh yes, she’s found her hero. Taking him to her bed is simply…right. As is losing her heart.

How could she have known he’d want nothing more to do with her?

His indifference hurts. She vows to forget him…then he buys the land next to hers.

Released early from prison, all Sawyer Ware wants is to put his life back together. His police detective brother houses him while he makes plans. But when a violent gang targets his brother, Sawyer puts his future on hold. He’ll have to take on the gang first. After a decade as a Navy SEAL, he won’t–can’t–walk away if someone he loves is threatened.

His mission is likely to prove bloody. He sure can’t afford to get involved with a woman, especially his captivating neighbor. He hungers to be near her, to enjoy her clear laugh, her easy friendship, and the peace she brings wherever she goes. A relationship is absolutely out of the question.

Why won’t his heart obey orders?

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The decision wasn’t easy. He could damage her. Not her body, but her heart. Her emotions were already engaged, and if he pulled away—again—it would hurt badly. Yet, if she said no, she’d regret it. Forever.

If you’ve read Master of Freedom, then you’ll recall Sawyer Ware, Atticus’s brother. While his brother is a Detective, Sawyer is on the opposite side of the law. His sentence for a crime that haunts him to this day is cut short when he gets early release for his help during the prison riot and kidnapping. Now he’s out but the stench of the ex-con stigma follows him everywhere he goes, especially when it’s back to the small town where he stands out like a glaring beacon. He’s a shell of the man he used to be. He just wants to keep to himself, make an honest living, and rid the town of the dangerous gang that now inhabits it and targeting his brother for the role he played in killing their leader. He doesn’t expect for the shy and beautiful Mallory. When he rescues her on the side of a road, he knows that she’s too good for the likes of him, but that doesn’t erase her draw. She’s like a ray of sunshine and he’s a man used to the dark of the night. Their connection is instant and in a moment of weakness, he gives into their chemistry, only to let his assumptions get the best of him and think that Mallory is just another woman enamored with the allure of being with an ex-con.

Mallory is a sweet soul with a spine of steel. She’s an understated strength full of hope and understanding. When Sawyer unkowingly hires her construction company to fix his newly purchased home, he soon learns the error of his way when he discovers all the depths of Mallory and her heart, but that doesn’t mean he’s ever going to be good enough for her.

I adored Sawyer. My heart broke for him and everything that he’s been through. If there’s one thing that Cherise Sinclair can do is create these characters with an incredible amount of depth, and Sawyer was no exception. Mallory was a sweetheart, though at times, I have to admit, she was a little too sweet for my tastes. She does stand up for herself and her soft was the perfect compliment to Sawyer’s hard, but there was also something that was just missing for me.

There’s a suspense plot that unwinds in pace with the romance which was a great addition and I loved getting more of Atticus and Gin. Master of Solitude was a slower paced romance, but as much as I loved Sawyer and Mallory, there was also something missing for me that I can’t quite put my finger on. It just wasn’t one of those books that kept me riveted to the pages, which isn’t a bad thing, sometimes that’s all you need. I think maybe my mood went against me with this one and took a little of the enjoyment out it. Nonetheless, this was another fantastic addition to the series, and one I’d certainly recommend. I live for this author’s words and can’t wait for more.

Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

LETHAL LIES
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: May 16, 2017

A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

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Oh, their timing sucked, that was for sure. But he’d take this night. Before everything went to sh*t again, he’d take this night.”

I loved and I mean I LOVED Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series. So when I saw there’s a spin off series with the Blood Brothers, I was sold. I was immediately hooked on the story with Deadly Silence. I was intrigued by the three men that forged a bond that was beyond blood and genetics. They have a brotherhood that’s all theirs. On the run from Sheriff Cobb and his seeking revenge for the death of his cruel brother that made their life at the boy’s home a living hell, they refuse to form any bonds…especially a woman. With the doctor that’s responsible for their genetic makeup determined to bring them to heel, they have all the more reason to avoid any entanglements…until Ryker falls in love.

Heath is envious of his brother but knows that will never be him. He’s a protector but he refuses to let go of his heart and give in to his baser urges when it comes to women. When their investigation agency brings them in the center of the investigation of a deranged serial killer, Heath finds himself the protector of Anya. Anya is determined to bring the man that murdered her FBI sister to justice, with or without Heath’s help. Anya tempts Heath like no other woman ever have, but can he outrun his past without it bringing Anya down and protector from the serial killer that’s obsessed with her without losing his heart along the way?

I wanted to love this book. I wanted to so bad…but it lost me more and more with every chapter. Heath’s mommy issues managed to overshadow any semblance of romance that developed between him and Anya.

Her soft lips had nearly pushed him over the edge, but he’d been able to keep his mind. Yet the moment hurt had flared in her soft green eyes, he’d been lost.

He’s so hell bent on protecting her like she’s this delicate flower, he completely misses the strong woman in front of him. It drove me out of my ever loving mind. I thought it would get better as the story progressed, but it never did. Everything came back to this issue and it overshadowed everything. I never truly felt a connection with this couple beyond Heath’s fierce need to protect her. I wanted to feel their chemistry, and while it was there, it was lackluster at best. He treats her like cracked crystal and no matter how often she showed him that she’s strong and knows what she wants, he refused to see it. This dynamic lasted too long for my taste and it totally killed the enjoyment of this book for me. Everything read very…dry. I liked the mystery and I loved the action at the end, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to save the book for me. While I enjoyed the suspense, I never clicked with the romance. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t love it either. It was those middle of the road books that I don’t regret reading but would easily forget once I finished.

I don’t recommend reading this as a standalone because I feel a lot of context would be missed. I also would recommend reading it if you’re a fan of the series because it does have a pivotal event to the overall story arc.


TWISTED TRUTHS is releasing November 17, and available for pre-order now! Read the series in order

DEADLY SILENCE | LETHAL LIES | TWISTED TRUTHS

Review: The Opposite Of You by Rachel Higginson

THE OPPOSITE OF YOU
Series: Opposites Attract #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachel Higginson
Release Date: March 30, 2017

I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.

AMAZON 

 

He’d told me I was bright, but not compared to him. He was the sun, and I was a flower turning my face to his heat. He was the stars in the clear summer night sky, and I was the stargazer mesmerized by the mysterious beauty I would never fully understand.

Well color me giddy, because I just found a new author to love. I love a good opposites attract story almost as much as I love an enemies to lovers one and this book combined both into one witty romance packed with plenty of feeling, charm, and swoon.

Date him?” I laughed. “Hardly. And not just because I’ve sworn off men for the rest of all eternity. He’s too… He’s too familiar. I don’t want a guy like Killian Quinn. I want the exact opposite of him.”

Vera bet everything on a man once…and lost. Now back home to lick her wounds and start over, leaving her potential dream of becoming a famous chef behind, she’s starting from the ground up. She still has dreams of having her own kitchen in a fancy restaurant one day, but for now she has Foodie the food truck. Her brother is even letting her use the parking lot across from his shop rent free. The only problem? That problem is right next to one of the best and most well known restaurants in town. It’s a restaurant where she would have loved to work, and also one where the kitchen is ran by the renowned and super grumpy Killian Quinn. World famous chef and notorious pain in her ass. Killian is less than thrilled about her food truck darkening the parking lot and he doesn’t hesitate in letting her know…at every opportunity…what he thinks about it.

Sparks fly between these two from the very first insult and keep sparking hotter with each additional encounter. What begins is a hilarious back and forth that’s had such a potent sexual tension beneath it that I thought I’d catch on fire with every page I read.

He threatened everything. My business. My sanity. My vow of celibacy. The carefully constructed walls I’d built around my heart. My fragile courage I’d only just regained. He’d bulldozed into my life and shaken up everything I’d thought was true about men and chefs and people.

Now I love food, so I absolutely loved how engrained the story is in food and cooking. I felt like I was right there in the kitchen along with the characters. But beyond that, I simply loved the slow burn romance that starts as an unwilling friendship. These two seriously burned up the pages with their chemistry. So much so, that I didn’t care that this wasn’t my typical steam packed romance. It had just enough of a taste to satisfy but the budding romance is truly what took center stage here and I appreciated that so much.

The writing is witty and engaging and full of humor. The characters are phenomenally developed and full of depth. The romance is swoony and the story completely unforgettable.

As soon as I opened the door, you became more. You were significant and important and right. You settled inside me like you were always meant to be there. I found you, Vera, because I was supposed to find you.”

I’m thrilled that this is the first in the series and can’t wait for more. Especially knowing that the mysterious Ezra is next. I can’t wait to see what happens with him and Vera’s BFF. Or at least that’s who I’m assuming will be the one to bring the grumpy millionaire to his knees.

#DGRFave & Review: Behind The Curtain by @BethKery

BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Beth Kery
Release Date: May 2, 2017

Cultures clash and passion ignites in the novel that will leave you begging for more—from the bestselling author of The Affair and Looking Inside.

There’s something about this woman…

On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil…

…That could bring a man to his knees.

The veil gives Moroccan American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked away from him nine years ago…

Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Part of you is always a bit of a mystery to me. Uncommitted. Unavailable. A little bit of you is always veiled.”

Shivers. I have honest to god shivers. This author is simply incomparable. She writes such raw, emotional, sensual stories that are unlike any I’ve ever read. What makes them so memorable is that they’re just so…real. They’re immeasurably satisfying but without having to be wrapped up in a perfect little bow at the end. I truly believe that Behind The Curtain is Kery’s best book to date and easily my favorite by her. It was such a beautiful and poignant second chance romance that was packed with as much heat as it had feeling. I love every page of it.

It was the sweetest kiss: questing and sun-warmed and gentle. Laila had never known there was a part of her that was frozen, deep down inside, until she felt it thaw beneath Asher’s mouth.

Eight years ago, behind the veil of youthful innocence and nativity, Asher Gaites and Laila Barek fell in love. It was was lovely, pure, and true. Asher was just out of university and about to take on his career outside of his parent’s influence and pull. Laila was a sheltered young woman just discovering the wonders of love and lust. They had all the odds stacked against them; Laila’s conservative Moroccan family, Asher’s upcoming move to a different state to begin his job, yet none of it could stop them from falling head over heels…only to be ripped apart.

Eight years has passed since that wondrous Michigan summer. Asher is now hardened and renowned journalist that’s traveled all over the world one war torn country at a time. Getting together with his two best friends for drinks, the last thing he expects is to see a performance that rocks him to his very core. He sees nothing but her shadowed figure behind a sheer veil and hears nothing but her haunting voice as she sings, but something about the woman strikes him as familiar. He can’t get her out of his head and he doesn’t know why. He has no idea that the woman behind the veil is the girl that got away. The girl that he never got over. The girl that he never forgot.

She saw it then for the first time: that hard glint of determination in his light eyes, the stubborn set to his jaw, the diamond-hard focus. It suddenly struck her that Asher Gaites-Granville wasn’t like anyone she’d ever met in her life. He was like a force of nature: powerful and undeniable.

I absolutely LOVED the way the story unfolded. The author did an incredible job with transitions of past to present. It was flawless. You start in the present, then get the entire flashback to the past, to then continue in the present. There’s no back and forth. It’s fluid and perfect and utterly spellbinding.

Asher only got more intense with the years while Laila really grew up into a strong young woman. I loved watching them discover each other again and experiencing everything right along with them. Did I mention that no one writes a sweat inducing love scene like Beth Kery? Because OMG!

Do you hear that? Do you hear how wet you are? I could die in this pussy,” he grated out darkly. He was right. She was soaking wet. She could hear him moving in her flesh. “You know I fantasize about it. About fucking you raw. You know it, but you wanted me to say it. Didn’t you?” She cried out in unbearable excitement as he stroked her harder

If you haven’t read a book by this author yet, you can’t start with a better book than this one. It was so much more than just a romance. I loved every page of it and simply can’t recommend it enough.

Review: Enemies Like You by Annika Martin & Joanna Chambers

ENEMIES LIKE YOU
Genre: MM Romance, Suspense, Erotic
Authors: Annika Martin & Joanna Chambers
Release Date: May 15, 2017


They’re dangerous men. Absolute enemies. And totally hot for each other.

Will has never met anyone like Kit. He’s arrogant. Gorgeous. Lethal.

The most expensive bodyguard money can buy. And Will can’t seem to resist him.

A simple command in Kit’s cut-glass accent makes Will want things he’s never wanted, do things he’s never done. Their red-hot chemistry is off the charts.

Just one problem: Will has vowed to kill the billionaire that Kit is hell-bent on protecting.

And Kit has secrets, too—his own reasons for sacrificing his soul, piece by painful piece, to keep one of the worst men on earth alive.

 

This is a stand-alone contemporary M/M romance.

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DOWNLOAD ENEMIES WITH BENEFITS FOR FREE!

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I like my sex like I like my grenades: simple, fast, and furious. One-time use.

That. Was. So. Freaking. HOT.

No seriously. That was SO FREAKING HOT. I don’t think I even bothered to read the blurb for this book before jumping at the chance to read it. While I haven’t had a chance to read anything by Joanna Chambers prior to this (which I’ll be rectifying quickly), Annika Martin has been an auto-buy for me for years. But really, this book couldn’t have been more custom written for me if it had my name on it.

Enemies to lovers? Check!
Sizzling hot MM? Check!
Suspense interspersed with smoking hot sexy times? Check and CHECK!

Will is a man on a mission. With the CIA at his side, he knows that he’s on a suicide mission that no one expects him to come out of alive. But he also knows that he’ll stop at nothing to kill the man that’s responsible for the single event that still haunts him to this day. Nothing short of feeling his blood seeping through his fingers will make Will rest. There’s only one thing in the way; his target’s ruthless and unstoppable bodyguard.

Their attraction is unexpected. Their connection is dangerous. And their inability to stay away from each other just may cost both of them their lives.

He takes my mouth again, snarling against my lips as his hips pump. His strong fingers intensify their grip. It’s wild and animalistic. And I love it. Kit’s civilized demeanor has fallen away completely, exposing the passion that lies beneath the cool, icy surface.

Enemies Like You was one twisty and sexy ride. I didn’t expect what I got and what I got was entertaining as hell. I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but not everything is what it seems and man did I love that particular twist to the story. But the twists don’t stop. The authors hit you with them from every corner, until your mind is spinning so hard you feel like the lid will explode.

There were a few points that I felt were underdeveloped but it wasn’t anything that took away from my enjoyment of the book. And boy did I enjoy it. THOROUGHLY. It was deliciously naughty and full of action and suspense and with two characters that I couldn’t get enough of. This book is like GI Joe and James Bond came together to make a sexy MM baby. Does that even make sense? Whatever. Just go with me here.

 Joanna Chambers always wanted to write. She spent over 20 years staring at blank sheets of paper and despairing of ever writing a single word. In between staring at blank sheets of paper, she studied law, met her husband and had two children. Whilst nursing her first child, she rediscovered her love of romance and found her muse. Joanna lives in Scotland with her family and finds time to write by eschewing sleep and popular culture.

Connect with Joanna:

Twitter | Website | Facebook

 

Geri & Lana’s Review: Curveball by @MariahDietz

CURVEBALL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Mariah Dietz
Release Date: May 18, 2017

Shakespeare believed there was always humor in tragedy and tragedy in humor.

My life proved his theory as fact.

At eighteen I was a single parent moving to this small town to be with the man I loved. The one who was supposed to love and cherish me in return.

Finding out he had a wife was tragic.
Remaining in love with him in spite of her was more tragic.
My mom and best friend setting me up on a long string of blind dates was an ongoing tragedy.

Nine years later, I’ve learned to see the humor in most situations.

My mom and best friend setting me up on disastrous blind dates.
My son’s jokes.
The fire alarm going off each time I cook.

My constant bright spot always adding to the humor was my son, Hayden. But when Hayden had a life-threatening allergic reaction, the man who came to help my little boy became my own savior. His laugh, his smile, and the way his eyes lit up when he spoke to my son made him a beacon of light in both our lives.

But I wasn’t the only one who noticed him.
When I began having feelings for the man my best and only friend had fallen for, I knew following my heart would once again lead to a fresh round of heartbreak.

Love led me to this town.
Lies kept me there.

Would history repeat itself?
Or had life just thrown me another Curveball?

AMAZON

LANA’S REVIEW

Will you keep looking at me like I’m yours if I tell you there’s nothing to worry about?”
“You just haven’t been paying attention. I’ve been looking at you like you’re mind since I first saw you.”

Holy. Wow. How is this the first book I’m reading by this author? I’ll fully admit that I was hooked by the blurb with a promise of an angst fest. Being the angst addict that I am, I was ready to have my heart ripped out…
But that’s not at all what I got.

This book was nothing what expected and yet exactly what I needed. I loved the flowing, almost lyrical writing style. I loved the characters and most especially the incredible hero. I loved the character driven story and the pacing. I loved the slow burn romance. I loved the lack of unnecessary drama. I loved Elle and Coen’s connection and their journey from friends to lover. I loved Elle’s adorable little boy. I just loved it. I loved everything about it.

I feel the blurb is a bit misleading, or maybe it was for me. Because this is not an angst fest. It’s a story that’s full of depth and feeling, but there’s no crazy drama or angst. It’s a story of a woman that made a mistake when she was young and naive and now learning to move on with her life. Elle fell for a man when she was a teenager that irrevocably changed the course of her life. Now 9 years later, she’s come a long way from the naive 17 year old girl she used to be. Being a single mother that’s balancing raising her son and a full time career leaves no time for her love life. She inevitably allows her best friend to set her up on a string of horrible dates from a dating site she’s on, fully convinced she’ll never meet the man she wants.

The last thing she expects is to form a connection with her best friend’s new neighbor. Coen is everything that she’s sworn off; a firefighter and off limits because her best friend is interested in him. He’s also endearing, thoughtful, sweet, and is incredible to her little boy. What starts off as an almost unwilling friendship, soon begins to develop into something much more.

She squares her shoulders when I take three measured steps that bring us toe to toe and the flame in her eyes smothers me as it spreads like a wildfire, heating me, filling me with a fight or flight instinct that has me reaching up to grab a handful of her dark hair and lean forward until my lips steal her breath and give her my own.

Coen.

SWOON. All of the swoon! This man was perfection. He’s fiercely protective, sweet, thoughtful, and he cares for Elle’s son as much as for her. I loved seeing the development of the connection between the three of them. I loved the way that Coen demolished every wall that Elle has built around her heart through the years.

There was no crazy drama or angst and it’s not even a little smutty. It was simply a story of a love in the most unlikeliest of place. Elle and Coen complimented each other so perfectly. Coen lifted Elle up in her weak moments and Elle stood by Coen in his. It was poignant and touching and I absolutely adored it.

My only quibble is the twist in this book that made things a little too convenient in how some things played out. But other than that, I enjoyed this book immensely. I’m seriously kicking myself for not reading this author before but I’ll be rectifying it by reading every future book this woman releases.

GERI’S REVIEW

I love him because he saved me. Because he makes me acknowledge my feelings rather than feel ashamed of them, and he makes me feel calm and safe. Two things I haven’t felt since I was seventeen.❞

This was my very first Mariah Dietz book and certainly won’t be my last.

Curveball was a pleasant surprise. I was kind of expecting angst on top of angst, which I admittedly am all for on some cases, and Curveball isn’t quite the angsty read I was expecting. But it nevertheless, captured my attention and I was able to fell in love not only with the story overall but with the characters.

Speaking of characters…Coen, Coen, Coen. He made this book for me. Just an amazing hero. He had me swooning right from the get go. He could’ve easily become an indecisive character with two beautiful women vying for his attention but he’s not. I loved his steadfastness and resolve. He’s definitely worthy to be called a hero in every sense of the word.

I also loved Ella. Her journey is quite heartbreaking. I liked how the author showed the toxic kind of love that Ella had with her ex and how it can happen even to a person like Ella who had a great family and friends, etc. Her reactions and her fears felt real to me, and I really enjoyed seeing her character evolved from the beginning of the book until the end.

Another thing that I really liked about this book was how rich and complex the secondary characters are. They’re not just there to serve the hero or the heroine. They definitely have their own personalities and quirks.

That said, I felt like the ending was a bit rushed and conflict resolved a little too quickly. Some people got away with some things and there were some confrontations (which I won’t divulge here because it’s a spoiler) that I would’ve loved to see.

But overall, this was a very solid, heartwarming read. And yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from Ms. Dietz.

Mariah Dietz lives in Eastern Washington with her husband and two sons that are the axis of her crazy and wonderful world.

Mariah grew up in a tiny town outside of Portland, Oregon where she spent the majority of her time immersed in the pages of books that she both read and created.

She has a love for all things that include her sons, good coffee, books, travel, and dark chocolate. She also has a deep passion for the stories she writes, and hopes readers enjoy the journeys she takes them on, as much as she loves creating them.

Geri’s Review: The Simplicity of Cider by Amy Reichert

THE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Amy Reichert
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Image result for tangled lanterns gif

You make my heart reckless.”

I had the pleasure of reading my first Amy Reichert book with The Coincidence of Coconut Cake. I fell in love with Lou and Al and with Amy’s writing then. I mean, I love food. And what’s better than reading about romance and food? Nothing! It’s a no-brainer for me.

The Simplicity of Cider take readers on another journey through Wisconsin’s charming apple orchards.

Sanna Lund is a daughter, hermit, and talented cider maker whose life was scarred by a family betrayal. She’s content with her life making cider and helping her father tend to their family orchard. Things aren’t going well for Sanna and her father though. She’s failing to sell her cider and her family might lose the orchard to developers.

Help came in the form of two strangers, Isaac and his son, Bass. Father and son are running from their own heartbreak at home and found solace and respite in the Lund orchard bringing Sanna and Isaac together. The attraction that sparked between them took Sanna and Isaac by surprise. But Sanna has no time for love especially one that could leave her at any moment.

She couldn’t tell if he was the storm or the rescue boat.”

Love, loyalty, family and betrayal are just some of the themes that are at the heart of this book. Amy Reichert did a phenomenal job with these characters. Sanna was an amazing character. She’s awkward but sure of herself. Confident in her skill but also shows vulnerability which made her such a joy to read.

Isaac and his son Bass straight up stole my heart. Their interaction and banter was given a substantial amount of page time, which I really enjoyed and the tragedy that they both went through tugged at my heart. Isaac was the perfect foil for Sanna. He’s exactly what she needed.

Image result for fireflies gif

Despite its somber theme, there was such a joy to this book. Sanna’s love for cider making, Isaac’s love for Bass, Einar’s patience, Ms. Dibble’s matchmaking—these things saved the book from being depressing. Not to mention, the romance was really strong in this book. Isaac and Sanna’s chemistry sizzled throughout the book.

The toe-curling romance combined with strong family dynamics made this book a winner for me. Simplicity of Cider was simply lovely. And I couldn’t have asked for a better book from Amy Reichert.

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Tease by Ella Frank

TEASE
Series: Temptation #4
Genre: Contemporary, MM Romance
Author: Ella Frank
Release Date: May 9, 2017

Tease – verb: to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it….unless your name is Tate Morrison.

It’s been four years since Logan Mitchell walked into Tate’s life and irrevocably changed it. Four years since the sexy as sin lawyer dared him to try, and four years since Tate won his love.

Now, as they approach the next chapter of their lives Logan is determined they won’t end up like many of their friends. Settled. Domestic. Boring. However, that’s easier said than done. With busy careers and working odd hours, finding time for one another is becoming increasingly difficult.

But that sh*t isn’t going to fly with Logan or Tate.

The two of them are determined to compromise to get what it is they want, and what they want is each other.

Tease is the sexy, tantalizing continuation of the two men who stole your heart…and popped your cherry.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

AMAZON

Four years ago I met a man

who forever changed my life.

He dared me to try.

I dared him to love.

And while that’s where our story began, it’s certainly not where it ended.

-Tate Morrison

Excerpt:

“Hello, counselor. How’d the big case go today?”Tate had been eyeing the clock all afternoon waiting to hear the outcome of the Berivax trial, and while he was happy it was finally going to be over, he also hoped all of Logan’s hard work had paid off.

“When was the last time we had sex?” Logan’s question was so blunt and unexpected it had Tate stumbling over his response for a second, and when he didn’t answer, Logan continued, “You don’t know, do you?”

The side of Tate’s mouth twitched at Logan’s disgusted tone. “Well, to be fair, you caught me off guard. I had to think for a minute.”

“And now that you’ve had time to think?”

“Umm…”

“Oh my God. You can’t remember,” Logan said, and Tate couldn’t stop his laugh then. “That’s fucking shameful.”

“We’ve just been—”

“Don’t say it—”

“—busy.” Tate headed over to the door that separated the bar from the tiny foyer and stairwell that went up to their loft, shut it behind himself, and took a seat on one of the steps. “Well, we have been. This case of yours has taken up most of your time, and with the bar hours we just got…busy.”

“Yeah? Well, that shit needs to stop. Right now.”

Tate leaned his shoulder against the wall and shut his eyes, picturing Logan with his jet-black hair, those piercing blue eyes, and that full, sensual mouth. Tate had barely had time to say goodbye to him this morning, and no matter how much he was laughing it off, Logan was right—this not seeing one another was bullshit. They needed to sit down and work something out, now that Logan’s schedule would be returning to something more manageable.

“Agreed,” Tate said. “Something needs to change.”

“Good. How about we discuss it at dinner?”

Tate winced. “I’m here until one.”

“Can’t you beg Amelia to stay and come meet me?” Logan asked, and if he hadn’t sounded quite so desperate, Tate might not have caved.

“Depends.”

“On?”

“What am I going to get if I come to you?”

Logan’s voice lowered to a tone that never failed to make Tate hard. “Me. All night. And maybe again in the morning. I’m in a giving kind of mood.”

Tate swallowed and stretched his legs out in front of himself, suddenly needing a little more room in his jeans. “All night, huh? It’s been a while since that happened.”

“It has. So come find me and I’ll rectify that little issue you’re having with remembering our weekend away at the cabin. That was the last time my cock was inside you.”

“Jesus, Logan.” Tate pressed a palm to his erection, recalling the weekend trip they’d made around three weeks ago. Or maybe it was four. Shit, okay. They did need to work something out if he was having trouble remembering that. “Let me get things settled here and I’ll be at your office in”—he checked his watch—“an hour? Hour and a half?”

“Perfect,” Logan said. “I’ll be waiting.”

 

I love you so damn much. I can’t believe there was ever a time when I didn’t.”

Mother.
Effing.
Swoon.

This couple! I can’t even form words right now. I fell hard for both these men Try and I haven’t looked back. I loved being a part of their journey and couldn’t get enough of them. But I also have a confession to make. When I find out they’ll be getting more books? I wasn’t so excited. Now now, before you start throwing tomatoes, allow me to explain. See, I’m what you’d call an ADD reader. I’ll be reading along just fine and then…
SQUIRREL!

Yeah. That. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a reader that enjoys trilogies or long standing series about the same couple because I find myself getting bored or losing my steam and enthusiasm about the characters after a while. If I feel like they got their HFN or HEA, I’m good with it. I want to move on to something else. And since we got a satisfying HEA for Tate and Logan in Trust, I moved on. I was terrified that we’d get some drama thrown into the mix that will totally kill their HEA for me in this book, but you know what? I couldn’t be more wrong and I’ll gladly eat a slice of crow as I write this review.

Tease takes place four years after Trust. Logan and Tate are as happy together as they were but life is always getting in the middle. Between both of their successful careers, they find they don’t have as much time for each other and Logan is determined to fix that.

You’re always here when I need you the most.”
Logan let his hand fall away so he could take hold of Tate’s, and once their fingers were entwined, he brought them to his lips, kissed them, and said, “Where else would I be? You’re where my heart is. So that’s where I stay.”

Have you found yourself wondering about a few of the loose ends after Trust? I know I have. I wanted more from Tate’s family and to truly get some closure on that side. I love the route that Ella Frank chose to take in this book in getting the reader just that. It isn’t perfectly wrapped in a bow for you but it’s real, and it was touching, and I absolutely loved it.

As for the rest? I loved catching up with my boys. They’re just as sizzling together as they were in the last books, only they’re more swoony now because there’s nothing taking away from their love for each other.

So why not a higher rating? While I loved getting to catch up with the boys and the rest of the gang; Rachel, Cole, and a surprising appearance from someone else (who I’m hoping will be getting a book), it just wasn’t enough to keep me glued to the pages. I found myself skimming some of the sex scenes, as hot as they were, hoping for a little more meat to the story (no pun intended). The story began to get overshadowed a bit by the (crazy hot) sex scenes, and while I’m actually ashamed of myself for complaining about this, I can’t help the way I feel. I appreciated that there was no crazy drama or conflict to take away from anything. It was simply a look into one of my favorite couples and what happens after the HEA. It gave the reader a chance to catch up with the boys and to see where their lives are now four years later. This book was very appropriately titled, because it’s exactly what it was. A tease. A tease of a peek into Tate and Logan’s life and what’s to come.


Start the Series Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Try (Temptation #1)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Take (Temptation #2)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Trust (Temptation #3)

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR. You can reach her on the web at www.ellafrank.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ella.frank.author

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

Connect with Ella:

Newsletter | Bookbub | Facebook | FB Street Team | Instagram | Email | Website
Twitter – @EllaFrank2012

Blog Tour & Review: Until Sage by Aurora Rose Reynolds

UNTIL SAGE
Series: Until Him #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Release Date: May 9, 2017

Sage Mayson had Kimberly Cullen once, and the memory of that brief encounter has tortured him since the moment he pushed her away. He should have followed his gut, but he didn’t, and now he’s left watching the woman he wants more than anything from afar.

 

Kimberly vowed to protect her heart from Sage, but when her sister is murdered and her world starts to fall apart, he’s the one person she finds herself leaning on.

 

Getting a second chance is something Sage knows is rare. He’s not going to squander the one he’s been given, and he won’t take no for an answer when it comes to making Kim his.

 

But what Sage doesn’t know is Kim has a secret that could leave them both devastated and heartbroken.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO

 

“He apologized. Don’t you think you should do the polite thing and at least hear him out?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know, or you’re just too scared to find out what will happen if you do?”

“Do we have to do this right now?” I sigh, and he tosses his arm around my shoulders and pulls me into his side.

“We’ve been doing this for months now. I’ve seen the way you look at him when you think no one will notice, and I see the way he looks at you, not giving a fuck if everyone sees. Even when he thought you and I were a thing, he still made it perfectly clear to those who were watching that if by some chance he got a shot, you would be his.”

“I really think you are reading way too much into this.”

“Am I?”

Look at me, baby.” The edge in his tone has my eyes going to his. “Tell me that you feel this.”

I’d like to preface this review by saying my expectations totally got the best of me when it came to this book. I tried my hardest to stay objective, but alas, when you spend years waiting for a particular character, expectations happen. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this book, because I really did. I read it in one sitting after all.

The setup for this couple has been happening through several books and I was practically foaming at the mouth to get my hands on their story. I love me some grovel and after the epic f-up that Sage made, I knew one had to be in the works.

It was you. You ruined me for anyone else. You didn’t even know you were doing it, but did it all the same.”

Sage and Kim shared one night together that changed everything. Kim thought it was the beginning of something great, until Sage not only broke her heart but shattered it.

Sage fell hard and fast for Kim, but a run in with her long lost twin and a case of mistaken identity burns it all to the ground. But now Sage knows the truth and he’ll stop at nothing to get his woman back, even if she shows every sign of being over him now.

I want her. No… want is too tame a word. I fucking need her.

Sage was everything I knew he’d be. Aurora has a knack for writing devoted, sexy, and possessive alphas and Sage was no exception. I adored the way he was with Kim and their chemistry was practically crackling with electricity.

So why 3.5 stars? Well, a few reasons. The biggest one being that I felt a lot of the meat of the story happened off the pages. Having been getting bits and pieces of this couple through the past few books, I wanted to really dive into their history. I wanted to see them meet (which we got), I wanted to see the deterioration of their relationship (which we were told about), and then I wanted Sage’s epic grovel to make things right (which was cute but not what I’d hoped). We barely get a glimpse into all that until all is well and they’re back together. There were a few things thrown in for conflict sake, but it just didn’t do the trick for me. The major conflict at the end and Sage’s reaction to it was a bit lackluster. After everything that they’ve been through, it just didn’t make sense for him to react the way that he did.

I wished it was fleshed out a bit more with their actual relationship and character development. The timeline was a bit flip floppy and I did hope for an epic grovel which I didn’t get. However these are all my expectations getting the best of me. Did I still enjoy the story? Absolutely. Sage was swoony and had that signature Aurora sizzle to him. While it wasn’t my favorite book in the series, I’m still invested enough to anticipate the next ones and gladly read them.

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

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