Review: ★Breaking★ by Barbara Elsborg

Review- Breaking Breaking
Series: Fall or Break #2
Genre: Contemporary Erotic, MM Romance
Author: Barbara Elsborg
Release Date: July 28, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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Archer Hart is on the move before the man he’s just killed is found. When a bullet whizzes past his ear, he realizes hunter is now hunted. So much for his retirement plans. Someone wants him dead and all he can do is keep running.

Downed by a hit and run driver, barrister Conrad Black is certain the ‘accident’ was deliberate but he has no proof or support. In recovery, struggling to work out of partial paralysis, he has plenty of time to wonder who regrets not striking him harder. At this point, running anywhere is a distant dream.

The confidence, determination and stamina of two alphas males will mean little if neither is willing to bend—seize the love offered—and work together to understand why they’re suddenly both marked men. Not easy for either when Archer has broken the law in the worst possible way and Conrad is the law.

 

Buy-Links10

Amazon / iBooks

Review4.5 starsBreaking-DirtyGirlRomance

His present was a lie and he didn’t know what his future held. One moment it seemed possible and the next a distant dream. His biggest worry was that if he stopped running, he’d die.

What is it about an MM romance by Barbara Elsborg that just does it for me? Every. Single. Time. I’m pretty sure it’s the perfect combination of incredibly erotic sex scenes with a dry wit, snark, and humor along with some suspense that all adds up to be exactly what I need it to be. If you’ve read Falling, then you’ll definitely remember Conrad as the intense, assholish but not without feeling and atonement ex of Malichai. And if you haven’t read that yet, no worries, because you can easily read this one as a standalone. Though I’d still recommend you read Falling first, not only because it’s a great book, but it’ll give you a background (albeit a small one) to Conrad that you’ll appreciate here.

Everything was warm except his heart. He didn’t deserve it to be otherwise. Was he even incapable of accepting kindness? I’m too broken to mend.

If you enjoy your MM with two very distinctly ALPHA males, this is not a book that you’ll want to miss. That was quite possibly one of my favorite parts about this. The fact that both the MCs are very much alpha and have a power struggle on who will bottom. Damn but it was delicious. But beyond that, Barbara Elsborg has once again managed to deliver and emotional and erotic story about two very broken people that find strength in each other and heal.
While recovering from an injury that almost paralyzed him and may not have been quite the accident that everyone else believed it to be. he’s sequesters himself to a house on the lake to go through the physical therapy he needs to finally gain his strength back. The last thing he expects to do is save a random drowning surfer.

But Archer Hart is the furthest things from a surfer you can get. Lethal and running from a threat from his life while trying to figure out who targeted him, the last thing he expects is for a man that can barely walk to rescue him from the water. He also never expected to feel the intense connection to Conrad considering they couldn’t be more wrong for each other.

You know we’re doomed, right? There’s no way this can work. I’ve broken the law in the worst possible way. You ARE the law. I’m not some young kid to be manipulated into being what you think you want. I don’t play games. What I do is real. I’m dangerous. I’m your worst fucking nightmare.

This was so much more than just a romance. The suspense element was just as entertaining to read. If I had any doubt about Conrad in the first book, this one manage to truly humanize him. While you get a few hints as to what truly runs beneath his cool exterior, you truly get to the bottom of it here.

I absolutely loved Conrad and Archer together. The chemistry between them was sizzling, and that delicious power struggle about who gets to top? Ugh. I couldn’t get enough of it.

This mouth-bruising, air-stealing, mind-fucking kiss was like no kiss he’d ever had or ever given. It deprived every cell in his body of oxygen, and flooded him with lust.

Barbara Elsborg has become an auto-buy author for me and this book is a perfect example of why. I only hope that there may be more books in this series, but if I’m being honest, it doesn’t even matter because whatever this woman writes, I’ll read. Without a doubt.


DON’T MISS BOOK 1 IN THE FALL OR BREAK SERIES!

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Review, Author Interview & #Giveaway: ★Sustained★ by @EmmaChse

Spotlight Sustained

If you follow me on social media, then you may have already seen me gushing and raving about Jake and this absolutely FABULOUS book. Whenever I need sexy romance and laugh out loud scenes, Emma Chase is my go-to and she hasn’t let me down yet. But this book? Oh I think I may have my favorite one by her yet with Sustained. Drew from Tangled may be my number one still, but Jake Becker is now standing right there alongside with him. If this book isn’t on your TBRs, it NEEDS to be. Trust me on this. You’ll thank me for it after 😉

I’m super excited to have the awesome Emma Chase on the blog today answering all my (intrusive) but still totally fun questions. And don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of Sustained (US/CAN residents)


About The Book SUSTAINED
Series: Legal Briefs #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: August 25, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with the second installment of the Legal Briefs series!

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will get you off. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and am knee deep in a damn compost pit.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, and defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do.

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N /iBooks  / BAM  / IndieBound  / Google


Emma Chase interview

DGR: Can we start out with having you introduce yourself?
 
EC:  Hi, I’m Emma Chase, author of the Tangled Series and the Legal Briefs Series. I live in New Jersey with my highly entertaining husband, two brilliant kids and two badly behaving dogs, whom I love to the moon and back (all of them – not just the dogs). 
DGR: You have written some of my favorite male POV books, hands down. How are you able to channel the male perspective as well as you do?
EC: Thank you! Growing up with a rowdy, raunchy group of boys as my best friends probably had a lot to do with it. Their voices, all their opinions and advice are definitely running around in my head. But there’s also a freedom for me, in writing from the male POV. And I think that’s because my guy characters have such confidence – so much swagger – that they believe pretty much no matter what they say or do, readers are going to love them anyway. So in their voices, there’s no self-doubt, very little indecision. That makes for some very fun writing.
DGR: Let’s talk Sustained. I don’t know if you remember, but I met you at a Vegas signing (I was the chatty redhead LOL). And when you talked about Sustained with the passion that you had for it, I swear right then and there that was going to be my next read. Clearly this book holds a special place in your heart, can you tell us about it?
EC:  Yes – I actually do remember you! Sustained is definitely very special to me – for a few reasons. There’s something so heartwarming about Jake and Chelsea, an amazing mix of strength and vulnerability – it’s beautiful to see their journey, to watch them find their place with each other. And the kids are just so fun and entertaining – I knew even before I wrote it that much of the humor would come from the kids (my own children are two of the funniest people I know). 
I think another reason Sustained is so dear to me, if I’m being honest, is, for a long time I never thought I’d be able to write something as special as Tangled. I’ve loved all my stories, but there was something different and so entertaining about that first book. And I was okay with it possibly being the best thing I’d ever write. But then Sustained came along and though they are different stories – it has that same special quality to it – that same feeling of a book that will make readers really happy and characters that will stay with them in the best kind of way long after they finish.
It’s rewarding to read reviews that feel this is my best work – to know that I’m improving in my craft and able to give readers fun, sexy stories that are just as good as the book that made them start reading my work in the first place.  
DGR:  What was your favorite part about writing Sustained? And don’t say everything, because that’s all I loved about it and couldn’t pick. I’ll put you on the spot though LOL
EC: Haha! You took my answer! I really did love every scene, lol! But beyond that, I loved the experience of writing these characters, of watching them grow, change, find themselves and their place with each other. They deserved each other, they deserved that happiness, so much! And because I adored them, writing Sustained was a beautiful journey to take.  
DGR:  If you had to describe Jake Becker in 5 words or less, what would they be?
EC: Honorable, gorgeous, protective, shrewd, loving 
DGR:  I think one of my favorite parts about this book were the kids and then Jake’s relationship with them. I think I actually cried myself laughing at the One Direction concert scene. Did you have any inspiration for the kids when you were writing them?
 
EC: Yes! So much of my own children’s energy and humor went into the McQuaid’s personalities. And so many hilarious memories (things I can laugh about now, that I didn’t laugh about then) of moments with my kids growing up inspired Jake’s interactions with the kids. The way he talks to them, treats them with respect and honesty but also gentleness was such a joy to write.
DGR: Do you have a favorite scene in Sustained? 
EC: My favorite scene is when Jake and Chelsea are in bed, having a deep, revealing talk. There’s something so moving about that scene for me – and it’s a pivotal moment for Jake and Chelsea. I also love the scene when Jake and the kids are waiting for Chelsea to get home and kind of ambush her when she does.
DGR: Any little teasers you can give us to whet the reader’s appetite for Jake?
EC: Does this work?
Chelsea is drawing. Me. 
“Am I gonna have to pay you a dime, Jack?” My voice is gravelly with sleep and sex.
She smiles. And it’s beautiful. “This one is on the house, Rose.” 
Yeah. Time to remind her I’m definitely not a Rose. I throw back the covers, sit up, swing around to sit on the edge of the bed, feet on the floor. I lower my hand, wrap it around my dick, and bring him back to life with just a few rough strokes. And Chelsea’s drawing suddenly stops short. 
“I’ve never done an X-rated sketch. Are you auditioning to be my first?” she asks lightly. 
“I wasn’t sure what the focus of the piece would be. I wanted to make sure it’s to scale.” 
“That’s so helpful of you.” 
“How about you? You in a helpful mood?”
DGR: Jake’s friend Brent is up next. Any hints about what we can expect for his book? 
EC: What’s great about this series is each of the guys have very distinct personalities. Stanton is the southern charmer, Jake is the more serious protector, and Brent is definitely the carefree playboy. There’s a lot of quick banter, sexy sexual-tension, and clever arguing in Brent’s story – he and Kennedy argue really well. Theirs is a story about first crushes and second chance love that’s light and pure fun! 
DGR:  Anything you’d like to add to leave the readers with?
EC: Just that I’m super excited for everyone to read Jake and Chelsea’s story. It’s very special to me and I hope it will be just as special to all of you!

Review

5 stars
Sustained- Dirty Girl Romance

 

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

No one, and I mean no one gives male POV quite like Emma Chase. The woman is the queen of male POVs and nothing beats her. While Drew from Tangled is still my number one, Jake is now right there alongside with him. I want to tell you that I liked this book, but that’d be an outright lie. Because I didn’t just like it. I fucking loved it. Hard.
Sustained teaser-DirtyGirlRomanceI had the immense pleasure to meet Emma at an author signing earlier last month, and hearing her talk about this book alone let me know that I’m in for a heck of a treat. Why? Because when an author is clearly so passionate about a character and book that her entire face lights up when she talks about it, you just know that it will be transferred to the writing. And you know what? It’s so true. The writing and the characters practically leap off the pages at you. The romance, the MCs, the secondary characters, the story, the kids, EVERYTHING about this book just did it for me. It was absolutely fabulous.

You don’t have to be an asshole.”
I shrug. “I don’t HAVE to be…it’s just easier that way.”

Yep. That’d be Jake and he’s one of those. You know the type I’m talking about. The womanizing, successful types that thinks that relationships are for suckers. But then again you also know what they say about “the bigger they are.” And when Jake falls, he definitely falls hard.
Jake was a character that I fell for hard in just the first chapter. The man is a successful defense attorney but there’s just something so sardonic about him that he endears you to him straightaway.

Criminal defense really isn’t so different from proctology. In both fields, it’s one asshole after another.

He’s the asshole at work and outside of it and he’s just fine with that. But then a chance meeting with a woman tilts his entire world on it’s axis, especially when the woman’s six orphaned nieces and nephews steal his heart right along with her. I have to say that Jake’s “manny” relationship with those kids absolutely melted my heart. It was easily one of my favorite parts of this book. His banter with them never failed to put a goofy smile on my face. I honestly couldn’t get enough of it.

Riley, boys your age….are really not worth your time. They’re selfish and stupid. It’s not their fault; they’re just programmed that way- but they’re still a lost cause. I think you should stay away from all of them until you’re at least…twenty-five. Or…have you considered being a lesbian?”

The romance, while almost secondary to the story, was perfectly balanced with it though. I’m not sure if that makes sense but it does in my head. What I mean is, it wasn’t ALL romance, but there was just the right amount of it to bring this book from good to absolutely fantastic. There’s nothing better for me than to watch the “asshole” fall and fall heard for a woman when he least expects it, and watching Jake fall for Chelsea was perfection.

Now I’m going to make you come. And it’s going to be ever bit as fucking good for me as it is for you. Probably better.”

Don’t get me wrong, both Chelsea and Jake are far from perfect and I wanted to shake them for their stupidity more than a few times. But at the same time it just worked. I adored these two together. It wasn’t instant and I loved the burn of their sexual chemistry until they finally ignited together.
Sustained-DGRSustained was just one of those laugh-out-loud, feel good romances that I never wanted to end. It was funny, and sweet, and oh so sexy. It reminded me exactly why I fell in love with Emma Chase’s writing and heroes to begin with. In a word, it was perfect. It was everything I’ve come to expect from this incredibly talented writer and yet so much more. I loved the absolute hell out of it. I can’t recommend this book enough. You will fall in love with Jake, you will absolutely fall head over heels for the kids, and you’ll adore Jake and Chelsea together. It’s simply impossible not to. Now I’m anxiously awaiting Brent’s book in Appealed.
Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of Sustained HERE

Review: ★Worth It★ by @lindakage

Review Worth It WORTH IT
Series: Forbidden Men #6
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Linda Kage
Release Date: August 25, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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I fell in love once.

It was amazing. She was amazing. Life was amazing.

I lived for each time I could see her, and nothing else mattered, not that our families were enemies, our time together was forbidden, or we had to meet in secret.

Our love could conquer all.

Until it didn’t.

So I was ripped away from the love of my life and shoved into hell, forced to continue without her.

It shattered me, broke the best parts of me, left me permanently damaged.

Or so I thought.

Years later, I swear history’s trying to repeat itself because she’s back in my life, and I’m just as drawn to her as I was before. But I’m older and wiser now, and I know she should stay away from a worthless ex-con like me.

So, I will not let her in. I absolutely refuse to hurt her. I will keep her away.

Then again, sometimes risking your greatest fear to get to a smile makes everything worth it, and besides, I’m not sure I can resist her, anyway.

This is the story of how Felicity Bainbridge changed my life forever, starting one summer day long ago after I was forced to change a dirty diaper…

–Knox Parker

Buy LinksAMAZON

Review

4.5 starsWorth It- Dirty Girl Romance

I craved every little second I got to see her, but I knew I should stay away. It was torment, the two cravings rivaling and constantly churning in me, playing tug-of-war between what my heart wanted and what I knew was best.

Wow. Suffice it to say that I’m drained. This book absolutely gutted me. It was devastating and beautiful all at once and I loved every painful second of it. Worth It is unlike any other book this author’s ever written. It has much darker undertones than the other books in this series, and it’s no light read. It’s gritty, it’s emotional, it’s devastating, made you ugly cry while hugging your kindle sort of read. It’s a beautifully unforgettable second chance romance about two people that didn’t belong, but yet belonged to each other that fate ripped apart in the cruelest of ways, only to bring them back together a little more broken to put their shattered pieces back together six years later. If you don’t recall these characters from previous books, that’s because they weren’t introduced there. Linda Kage managed to flawlessly interweave them, so if you’re wondering why they got a book before Asher, trust me when I tell you that you’ll understand once you read. Both of them have such a profound connection to a few of the previous characters that I never saw coming and definitely loved reading about. This also makes this book an easy standalone, so if you haven’t read the rest of the series, you’d still be able to enjoy this one fully.

I think the worth of person comes from who you are and less from WHAT you are.”

Knox Parker is the boy from the wrong part of the railroad tracks, so to speak. His father’s a drunk, and his family are the pariahs of their town. He’s the last boy that should catch the eye of the daughter of the rich and influential Bainbridge family, but that’s exactly what happens. One chance meeting in the woods between Knox and Felicity is the start of an incredible friendship that soon turns into a unforgettable young love. Knox may only be 18 to Felicity’s 16, but that doesn’t make their love any less real.

Stop looking so sad when I don’t kiss you, and stop trying to leave when you’re sad. You’re not allowed to walk away from me unless you’re smiling.”

Worth It is told in alternating POVs, jumping from present to the past of six years ago, slowly showing the reader how they fell in love and what ultimately led to the devastating event that tore them apart. This was probably my one biggest quibble about the book. The “past” is set in our “present”. Meaning the books, movies and songs that are described are from this year; but it’s set to six years ago. The “present” doesn’t have a year, but it starts pretty much almost right where A Perfect Ten ended. I’m one of those readers that has a hard time turning off my disbelief during books, so this was a little odd for me to wrap my head around. Also there was the part about Knox (this is not a big spoiler (it’s revealed in the very first chapter), but just in case you don’t want to know more than what the synopsis gives you, I’ll hide it)(view spoiler) Luckily it wasn’t significant enough to ever take away from the story because I was completely enraptured in it.
Worth It teaser2-DirtyGirlRomanceSix years after they were ripped apart, Knox is back in the town he grew up in, but he’s no longer the boy he once was. He’s broken and he’s harboring his fair share of demons from his time in hell.

I’m just some wasted shell of space who won’t stop breathing. And I can do nothing but hurt you. There’s this stain on me. I’ll never get it out.

There’s enough hints and bits and pieces given about what he’s been through to slowly let the reader connect the buttons, and my hear absolutely broke for Knox. His life was so tragic and when the whole truth of it gets revealed, I flat out sobbed. It was one thing trying to connect the pieces, but when you’re hit with the full picture of what he’d been through, it’s absolutely devastating.
Worth It teaser-DirtyGirlRomanceIf you love broken and tortured heroes, trust me when I tell you that you will absolutely fall in love with Knox.

Felicity was a wonderful heroine. She always had this understated strength about her, and I loved the way she fought for Knox and what they once had even though he does his best to push her away because he doesn’t think he’s good enough for her now.

These last six years have been hell. Because being without you is like an open wound that bleeds and festers every day. It hurts and it’s miserable, and now you’re right here, yet you keep pushing me away.”

This book was definitely a step away from the rest of the series, but it was amazing in it’s own right. It was emotional and completely unforgettable. It’s a story that will definitely be staying with me for a long long while. It’s just one of those books that truly touches you on a visceral level with the amount of emotions it brings out in you.

With a choked sound of defeat, I crushed my mouth to hers. I had to shut her up. Her words were slaying me. Her tears were like poison. I died a hundred deaths from each aching confession. And I need her to stop before I ceased to exist.

There’s also a hell of a teaser in the epilogue for Asher’s book that’s sure to whet your appetite if you’ve been waiting for it like I have. If you’re on the fence about reading this book, I can only tell you that you need to. It may not be a light read, but it’s so worth it. I love a good second chance romance, and this one was just so beautifully tragic and yet wonderful all at once. I simply can’t give you more than that because you need to experience it for yourself. But believe me when I tell you, that that’s what you need to do; experience it.


Read this amazing series in order!

Price of a Kiss
Book #1

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To Professor, With Love
Book #2

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Be My Hero
Book #3

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With Every Heartbeat
Book #4

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A Perfect Ten
Book #5

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Review: ★Until You★ by @PenDouglas

Review-Until YouUNTIL YOU
Series: Fall Away #1.5
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Penelope Douglasadd-to-goodreads-button3

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From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a companion novel to Bully. 

This is Jared’s story.

Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or numb to all emotions? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between. Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don’t care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. I hate that I can’t let her go. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn’t trust her—or anyone else. So I hurt her. I pushed her away. But I still need her. She centers me. Engaging her, challenging her, pushing her—it’s the one last part of me that feels anything anymore.

But then she went and screwed everything up. She left for a year and came back a different girl. Now, when I push, she pushes back…and I’m not sure either one of us will ever be the same.

Buy LinksAMAZON

Review

5 starsUntil You-DirtyGirlRomance

Becoming hard at heart isn’t an intersection in your brain where you have a choice to turn left or right. It’s coming to a dead end, and you just keep going, over the cliff, unable to stop the inevitable, because the truth is you just don’t want to.
There is freedom in the fall.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I was actually hesitant to read this. Last time I read a companion novel, the only thing it managed to do was make me hate the heroine with the fire of the worst kind of venereal disease. Not that I’d know what that felt like, but you catch my drift. What I mean to say, is more often then not you’re getting the same regurgitated novel you already read but in a different POV. Well this wasn’t that at all. Not even a little bit. Not even close. While this is essentially in Jared’s POV it’s a completely different book. So much so, that you can read it as a standalone, which I wouldn’t recommend since you need to see it from Tate’s POV first in Bully. You may be asking yourself, why wasn’t this just written as an alternating POV initially? Well you, my doubtful friend, clearly haven’t read the first book, because then you’d understand that no way would it have had the same effect if you got both their POVs in one book. Nope. This story was meant to be told in two books, it two different experiences, by two very different people.

I wanted her to hurt. I didn’t want her to hurt.
I hated her. I loved her.
I wanted to violate her body in a hundred different ways. I wanted to keep her safe.

I fell in love with Penelope Douglas’s storytelling in Bully, and the only thing this book managed to do was completely reaffirm that. Everything and I mean everything that I wanted more clarification and answers on in Bully was addressed here. While I adored that book, I found the reasons that Jared gave Tate for his behavior in it a little…weak. I felt like it had to be something more, something bigger for him to flip that switch and be the way he was with her. Until You delivered those answers in spades. Penelope truly allows the reader inside Jared’s head and you understand him and all his behavior so much more. Plus I loved getting more of him and Madoc and their banter together.

Anyone who sees the way you looks at her knows you don’t want to hook up with her. No, right now you’re looking at her like you want to tie her up and give her a big, fat spanking.”
Stupid ass.
I wasn’t into shit like that, or…I didn’t think I was. Never tried it. Might try it, I guess. You should try everything at least once.
Except crystal meth.

What I loved the most about Until You was that it was a totally different experience from Bully. You get to see everything from an entirely different perspective. You also get to see that year that Tate was away in France and the spiral that hit Jared. And get to experience all the events that finally lead up to his epiphany about his feelings for her.

Right at that moment, I wanted everything from Tate. Everything. Her anger and passion, her hate and lust, her body and soul.
I wanted control of all of it

Until You teaser-Dirty Girl RomanceI adored Tate in Bully and I was so happy that didn’t change seeing her from Jared’s eyes. If anything, it made me like her even more. But what this book managed to do, was endear the reader to Jared completely. The bully that you loved to hate and hated to love in the first book really lets loose his vulnerable side and you appreciate his behavior and the why’s of it so much more. It just clicks.

The hair, the outfit, it was the perfect blend of good girl and bad girl, of salvation and danger.
There was no point in lying to myself. As much as I hated her, I wanted a taste of her.

If you’re on the fence about reading this, you need to get the fuck off it! Seriously. The only thing this book will do is make you love Bully even more and fall in love with both these characters even deeper than before.
Until You teaser2-Dirty Girl RomanceAnd this is coming from a reader that has a shorter attention span than a fly. If I get a HEA in one book I’m not typically one to read a second book for them. I call it my book ADD. But this incredible book made me change my view on that completely. I’m so glad I experienced it because it only made me love their story that much more. I’m now a huge fan of this author and can safely say that absolutely anything she’ll write, I’ll read…without a second thought.

Read it. Love it. Trust me.


THE SERIES

Click directly on book covers for buy links!

Fall Away #1

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Fall Away #1.5

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Fall Away #2

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Fall Away #3

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Fall Away #4

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Review: ★Bully★ by @PenDouglas

Review Bully BULLY
Series: Fall Away #1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Penelope Douglasadd-to-goodreads-button3

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate…

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He’ll barely refer to me at all, and he’ll hardly ever speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way I’ll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have.

It’s time to fight back.

When one brave young woman stands up to her best friend Jared, now tormenter, the consequences go beyond anything either of them ever would have imagined…

Buy LinksAMAZON

Review

5 starsBully- Dirty Girl Romance

I had loved Jared once, but now I knew, without a doubt, that “my Jared” was gone.

God. This book. I mean, THIS BOOK. Words fail me to describe just how much I loved this. I’ve had this in my kindle for what feels like ages since I got it as a freebie way back in 2013. I’ve seen it making the rounds on Goodreads and for some reason I still hadn’t read it. If I can kick my own ass for not reading this sooner, I would, because this book? This book reminded me about all the reasons why I fell in love with New Adult romance to begin with. And I’m not talking about the manufactured angst, stupid decisions, at at times gratuitous sex scenes. No. I’m talking that all-encompassing feeling, just the right amount of gut-wrenching angst, you hate but love the hero, and you want to high five the heroine kind of read. It was like it was custom written just for me.

This is how bullies are made…

Bully teaser- Dirty Girl RomanceJared will be a hero that every reader will love to hate. I sure as hell did. But as much as I wanted to hate him, I can’t deny that I was always wondering what was buried right below the surface to make him act the way he did because you just knew there had to be something. I have to say that Penelope Douglas did a phenomenal job with character development and that’s what made the book as good as it was. The characters were multi-faceted and strongly developed. You get to know both of them as the story progresses and you also begin to understand both of them that much more.
Bully teaser3-Dirty Girl RomanceWhat truly made this book for me was Tate. She wasn’t your typical NA heroine. This is a girl that had a backbone but didn’t take it overboard. She wasn’t intentionally cruel or flippant, she stood up for herself and she owned it. She was comfortable in her own skin and it was the perfect balance to the Jared’s mercurial moods.

You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all of those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”

I can’t remember the last time a book kept me up all night, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second because I needed to know what happened next. I was sucked in from just the first chapter and read this in one sitting. This is exactly the kind of angst that I’m starving for. Imperfectly perfect, rage inducing and yet flawless. That probably doesn’t even make sense, but if you’re an angst whore like me, you’ll know what I mean. My absolute favorite trope is the enemies-to-lovers, hate/lust thing and Bully delivers that in spades. While there were parts I wanted more from, I still can’t rate it down for that simply because this book absolutely enthralled me. So much so, that I couldn’t even bat an eyelash at any minor quibbles it may have had.

We can be confused about what is good for us but not about what we truly want.

Bully teaser2-Dirty Girl RomanceSimply put, it was amazing. Just amazing. This is a book that I recommend to any lovers of New Adult romance. I have found myself a new author to obsess over and my only regret is not reading this fantastic book sooner.

Yesterday lasts forever.
Tomorrow comes never.
Until you.


THE SERIES

Click directly on book covers for buy links!

Fall Away #1

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Fall Away #1.5

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Fall Away #2

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Fall Away #3

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Fall Away #4

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Review: ★Hard To Fight★ by Bella Jewel

Review- Hard To Fight HARD TO FIGHT
Series: Alpha’s Heart #1
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary Romance
Author: Bella Jewel
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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Grace is a bounty hunter who wants to be taken seriously, but her boss refuses to believe that a woman can bring down a dangerous criminal. She finally gets a chance to prove herself when she’s given the case of a lifetime: capture Raide Knox and bring him to justice.

Raide is a dangerous fugitive on the run…and the sexiest man Grace has ever met. Catching Raide won’t be easy. He’s not the kind of man to go down without a fight. Raide is more intense and frustrating than any man she’s ever had to deal with, and the instantaneous attraction that sparks between them is undeniable. One thing is for sure…it’s going to be a case they will never forget.

**Hard To Fight is a full-length standalone romance with a HEA**

 

Buy LinksAmazon

Review1.5 Stars

I tried to like this book, really, I did. But the plot had more holes in it than a dead guy from The Godfather. I loved the premise of it, unfortunately when I finished, that was also the only thing about it I liked. For once it wasn’t the hot cover the sucked me in (what? Like that hasn’t happened to you? Judge not, my judgey friend, judge not), but the synopsis. I love me a badass heroine and it doesn’t get any more badass than a female bounty hunter. Unfortunately for me, there was absolutely nothing badass about Grace. The only thing that she managed to do is annoy the ever loving hell out of me.

See Grace is supposed to be sassy. You know she’s sassy because she reminds you of it every other bloody paragraph. Nothing like subtlety to drive the point home, right? Sorry Grace, but I think you missed your ship to sassy land, and took a detour there somewhere
So Grace here is a bounty hunter but her boss won’t give her the big cases because she’s a woman and women are weak and blah blah blah
Finally her big break comes in the shape of big bad and uber sexy Raide, who she happened to have met the night before finding out he’s a fugitive and shared some snarky sexual banter with. Raide is wanted for aggravated assault and suspected murder. Grace needs to prove herself so while being on a team of bounty hunters, she’s going to go after him herself because…badass. But since Raide is all big and bad she can’t bring him in physically. So what’s a girl to do? Seduce him, of course. That’s a sure way to prove to your boss and team that you’re a woman to be reckoned with.
Anyway the rest of the book goes something along the lines of this…

I need to seduce him, but oh my, how do I do that when he doesn’t seem interested? I know, I’ll stalk him! He goes to a club, I’ll go to that club. He goes to a coffee shop, I’ll go to that coffee shop. He goes to a gun shop, I’ll go to that gun shop…because badass!
What’s that? He notices me every single time I follow him because subtlety and subterfuge isn’t my strong suit? No worries, because I’ll just use my sassy to get me out of it!

Hi there, handsome.”
“You following me?”
“I like coffee.”
“We done playin’ games long enough for you to have one with me?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was just here having coffee. What are these games you speak of?”

Subtle, real subtle there, 007.

Hmm..this seduction business isn’t going well. I need to stalk him some more. What’s that? HE followed me home twice and I didn’t notice it? No worries! I’m still badass. Operation seduction is still on. But I have my limits, there will be no kissing. Damn, I just made out with him! No worries, operation seduction is still on. But I have my limits, there will be no sex. Damn, I just had sex with him. But I think he’s innocent. I still need to bring him in though.

Blah blah blah other stuff happens blah blah.

I think I’m falling for him. But now I really believe he’s innocent. Screw my job and proving myself, nothing beats good sex. I’ve known him for a whole month, he’s worth it! What’s that? We’re in danger and being held captive while Raide is severely wounded? What should we do? I know! Have sex!
I mean for fuck’s sake! Don’t even get me started on the fact that Raide’s endearment for her was “lady”. And all I can hear in my head as I was reading it was “hey laaaaddyyyy!”. Or the fact that after a month of knowing each other she tries to get him to give up his revenge (view spoiler) because it’s selfish of him to continue with it knowing he’s putting himself in danger and she’s in his life. All the while she STILL hasn’t come clean with him about her motives.
Then there was an additional random POV toward the end and then everything was wrapped up in a pretty little bow to rival a disney fairytale. Suffice it to say this book did not work for me in any way. The characters were flat and I really didn’t feel there was much character or relationship development. It was all just meh.

Will I read other books in this series? Maybe? This could have been a total fluke since I’ve read and enjoyed a few other titles by this author. Unfortunately Hard To Fight was a book I actually had to push myself to finish and then was kicking myself for not DNFing it at 25% as I had originally wanted to. Ah well. You lose some, you win some. I suggest you read it and see what you think. Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz.

Release Blitz & #Giveaway: ★Where We Belong★ by J. Daniels

RB Banner  Where We Belong
Series: Alabama Summer #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J Daniels
Release Date: August 21, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

ecover WWB

From NY Times and USA Today bestselling author, J. Daniels, an Alabama Summer series novella.

Ben and Mia Kelly can’t seem to catch a break.

Grueling night shift and opposing schedules have left the passionate couple geared up and ready for some much needed alone time. There’s only one thing standing in their way.

Parenthood.

With two curious boys who have mastered the art of cock-blocking roaming the house, Ben and Mia, sexually frustrated beyond reason, quickly resort to surprise sexcapades and naughty little trysts whenever and however they can get them.

Who said anything about keeping things legal?

Assume the position. Things are about to heat up in the south.

Warning: This book is recommended for readers over the age of 18 due to strong language and explicit sexual content.

Buy-Links10Only $.99

Amazon US / Amazon UKTeaser 3

Review4 starsWhere We Belong-Dirty Girl Romance

My mind loves Ben. My heart loves Be. My body loves Ben. He’s the warmth in my blood. The roar of my pulse.

First of all, if you’re reading this as a standalone, how dare you?! If you haven’t yet met Officer Ben “OMG Nine Inches” Kelly in Where I Belong, you read right this second! Right now, you hears me?! FFS! LOL! But if you want to seriously miss out, you can also read this as a standalone. But why would you? I’d highly recommend reading the whole series in order so you may truly appreciate all the secondary characters that make an appearance here like; Tessa and Luke, Reed and Beth, CJ and Riley.

You know when you create the perfect cake and it’s already multi-layered and filled with yummy deliciousness? But then you go and add this even better icing ON TOP of the cake and it just makes everything that much better? That’s what Where We Belong was to Where I Belong. It was the perfect extended epilogue that I was craving when I finished Where I Belong. There was no drama, unnecessary angst, stupid miscommunication, NOTHING of that sort.
WWB teaser- Dirty Girl RomanceWhere We Belong gave the reader a wonderfully realistic relationship progression for a couple that still can’t get enough of each other and I can’t get enough of. While Reed is still my number one in this series, Officer Ben Kelly is certainly no hardship…with his nine inches and all…to read about. I adore him and Mia together, I adore their cute little cockblockers…erm…kids, and I adore the relationships they have with their friends.

We choose to believe what we want to believe. I choose Ben. He is my truth.

While there was no drama here, there was a hell of a lot of sexual frustration. I swear to gawd, I actually wanted to message J. Daniels to let her know my ovaries were going on strike if Ben didn’t finally give Mia the D. It hurt, people! Hurt so bad! They’d get so close to doing it and then BAM! Interruption. I swear it made me question having a second kid myself because I felt their pain so bad LOL! It was as hilarious as it was frustrating. I was also glad to see the closure to Ben and Angie that I felt missing in the first book. I was happy to see that the author addressed that here.

If you’ve been wanting a peek at CJ’s story, J gives a hell of a teaser here. And by hell of a teaser, I mean it felt like that masochist dangles a carrot in front of rabid fucking bunnies! I am foaming at the mouth for his book and this only served as making me even more crazed for it.

I can’t recommend this book enough for fans of this series. Think of it as that bonus extended epilogue for a fantastic fucking couple.


ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Where I BelongWhere I Belong Cover US:  http://amzn.to/1PCI4nK
UK:  http://amzn.to/1JjsTKC
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#2 All I WantAll I Want CoverUS:  http://amzn.to/1PCI4UE
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KOBO:  http://bit.ly/1wyreud
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#3 When I FallWhen I Fall CoverUS:  http://amzn.to/1PCI7jd
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About the AuthorJ. Daniels is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, and the Alabama Summer series. She loves curling up with a good book, drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, and writing stories her children will never read.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

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Teaser 2

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Tyrant★ by @TM_Frazier

Tyrant book TourTyrant
Series: King #2
Genre: Dark, Erotic Romance
Author: T.M. Frazier
Release Date: August 16, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

tyrant cover

I Remember. Everything.

Only now I wish I didn’t.

When the fog is sucked away from my mind like smoke through a vacuum, the truth that has been beyond my reach for months finally reveals itself.

But the relief I thought I would feel never comes, and I’m more afraid now than I was the morning I woke up handcuffed in King’s bed.

Because with the truth comes dark secrets I was never meant to know.

I will put the lives of those I love most at risk if I let on that my memory has returned, or if I seek help from the heavily tattooed felon who owns me body and soul.

I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the magnetic pull toward King that grows stronger every day.

He’s already saved me in more ways than one. Now it’s my turn to do whatever it takes to save him.

Even if that means marrying someone else…

Buy Links

Amazon US /Amazon UK tyrant teaser 1

Excerpt

King snarled. “You seem to have forgotten who the fuck I am, Pup. So I’m going to remind you.” He pressed his hips against mine. “I’m the man who took you against your will and handcuffed you to my fucking bed. I’m the man who wanted you, so I fucking kept you.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Do you really think you have a choice when it comes to being mine?”

King lifted me onto the dresser and pushed himself between my legs, forcing my legs apart. He held my wrists behind my back forcing my shoulders backwards and pushing my chest into his. My dress rode up to the tops of my thighs. King pushed a strand of hair behind my ears and leaned in to me, his lips just a breath away from mine. The room was getting hot. I couldn’t breathe. I needed…I don’t know what I needed. “No more questions.”

I opened my mouth to argue. “Stop fucking talking,” he snapped.

King lifted me off the dresser and carried me and set me down in front of the full-length mirror that hung on the closet door. He stood behind me. A head taller than me and outweighing me by a hundred pounds, our differences had never been more obvious. His dark jeans and dark tank top were a stark contrast to my little white eyelet sundress. My pale skin next to his tanned. My white hair to his black. It was a sight that made my knees weak. Because although the reflection in the mirror made our differences obvious, it also made me see

tyrant teasser

Review

4.5 starsTyrant- Dirty Girl Romance

I sometimes wish I could just forget it all, but I can’t. I won’t. Because I don’t want to ever want to forget you. And I welcome this pain because it reminds me that you were real.”

I’m spent. Emotionally exhausted. Fucked the fuck up. This book….I can’t even. Every single time I end up finishing a book by T.M. Frazier I find myself wanting to live in her head for just a little bit just to personally witness the fuckery that must take place there on a daily basis. The woman is an evil fucking genius is what she is and her writing never ceases to grab me right by the throat from the very beginning and keep me glued to the pages right till the end. I didn’t think it was possible, but I liked Tyrant even more than I liked King, and I fucking LOVED King.

I never expected to fall in love with King. My captor, my tormentor, my lover, my friend, my world.
But I did.

Tyrant Teaser-DirtyGirlRomanceTyrant begins immediately where King left off and there is not one dull moment for the entire fucked up ride. And holy shit on a cracker it was one fucked up ride. Filled with twists and turns that will leave your head reeling, it was action packed and Gritty. As. Fuck.

I honestly don’t want to give any details for this book because it would either be a spoiler for this one or for King for those that haven’t read it. So you won’t get much more from my review than what the synopsis gives you.
Pup is still dealing with her memory loss while flashbacks continue to trickle feed into her mind bit by bit. She doesn’t remember much, but there’s one thing she knows; no matter what her past, King undoubtebly holds her heart and her future.

You seem to have forgotten who the fuck I am, Pup. So I’m going to remind you….
I’m the man who took you against your will and handcuffed you to my fucking bed. I’m the man who wanted you, so I fucking kept you. Do you really think you have a choice when it comes to being mine?”

King is still dealing with the fallout from the events that took place at the end of book one. Knowing the danger he still faces, he also knows that he’ll do everything to protect the ones he loves, even if it means taking a bullet.

In this world, there is very little I believe in, Pup. But I believe we belong together.”

There are a whole lot of revelations, some of which you will never see coming. There are also parts of the book that will leave you a shuddering, quivering, and ugly crying mess. Each time you think that T.M. can’t take an already fucked up situation and fuck with it some more, she proves you wrong. The woman is a damn sadist!
Then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved the hell out of this book. This is one of those stories that could never have been the same if it was written as one book, and having it be a duet made it that much better. It’s rare that I’ll enjoy book 2 even more than the first but that’s exactly what happened here. If possible, I fell for King even more in this one. He gets that bit of humanity and hard-edged softness to him that some may not have seen in him in the first book. It’s definitely a lot more evident here. Pup continues to grow into her own and for a heroine that’s only 18 years old, she certainly gives as good as she gets. No sniveling weak ass female here. For those of you that loved Jake and Abby, you’re going to LOVE a certain cameo they have in this book. Jake *lusty sigh*

Every single answer you were hoping to get after book 1, you will get here in spades. The way that the author manages to tie up certain events that you didn’t even give a second thought about before was mind-blowing. That’s not even touching the revelations that happen at the end.

For those that have been impatiently waiting for Bear’s book, Tyrant will set you over the edge. Holy shit but the set up for his book here is UNBELIEVABLE. I have a feeling his story will be even more fucked up than King’s. And I for one cannot wait to get my hands on him so T.M. can fuck with my head some more. The woman is the queen of grit and I love her for it.


Haven’t read this series yet?

Meet King & Pup in King (Book One)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1J6jAi8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1AOJb0q
iBooks: http://apple.co/1UU5hob
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1B7H73R


About the Author

t.m. frazier

T.M. (Tracey Marie) Frazier resides in sunny Southwest Florida with her husband and three feisty fur kids.

She attended Florida Gulf Coast University where she specialized in public speaking. After years working in real estate and new home construction, she decided it was finally time to stop pushing her dreams to the back burner and pursue writing seriously.

In the third grade she wrote her very first story about a lost hamster. It earned rave reviews from both her teacher and her parents.

It only took her twenty years to start the next one.

It will not be about hamsters.

Stalk Her: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads

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Review: ★Deeper Than Dreams★ by @jesstopper

Review- Deeper Than Dreams DEEPER THAN DREAMS
Series: Love & Steel #1.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jessica Topper
Release Date: August 18, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

25537670

Will wedding bells rock out for Louder Than Love’s most beloved couple in this Love and Steel novella?

Falling in love with rock star Adrian “Digger” Graves was a dream come true for former librarian Kat Lewis. But with a little help from friends and family—including Kat’s adorable daughter, Abbey—Adrian has planned an evening and a proposal beyond her wildest dreams.

The night before, Kat witnessed the triumphant reunion of Adrian’s rock band at Madison Square Garden. Tonight, he will escort her to the elegant, ultra-exclusive Library Lion’s benefit. It seems like a fairytale, but even fairytales have a deeper, darker side. When old habits return to tempt her knight in shining heavy metal armor, will Kat’s happily ever after come crashing back to reality?

THIS IS AN EPILOGUE NOVELLA THAT PICKS UP THE DAY AFTER LOUDER THAN LOVE ENDS. This novella is intended to be read after Louder Than Love.

Buy LinksPre-Order
Amazon / iBooks

Review

5 stars

DeeperThanDreams-DirtyGirlRomance

 

Adrian Graves, did you go and write me a heavy metal love song?”
“Well now, maybe I did.”
“I thought if love was going to appear in your music, it had to be doomed, damned, or deadly.”
“I’ve learned since that love runs much deeper than that. Deeper than dreams. And if I’ve made even one of your dreams come true tonight, then I am a better man for it.”

Last year I read a book and fell hard for a fictional couple. I swooned, I sighed, and I fell irrevocably in love with Jessica Topper’s incredible writing. Louder Than Love was one of those romances that was just so wonderfully real. I don’t even know how to describe it better than that. It wasn’t angsty, filled with crazy drama, manwhoring rockstars, or anything of the sort. It had two characters each struggling with moving on from their past finding love together. It was perfection.
Deeper Than Dreams teaser- DirtyGirlRomanceI simply adored that book. Now I’m not a reader that typically enjoys follow up novellas for a couple that I loved. Why? Because more often that not, that novella will do something to mess with the couple’s HEA, it will throw in some miscommunication or drama, anything just to justify them getting additional story. But I didn’t think twice before jumping at the chance to read this novella because I already knew it would be nothing of the sort. And you know what? I wasn’t even a little bit wrong.

No one else can take a couple you already loved and then make you fall in love with them even more than you already were in less than 100 pages. But that’s exactly what happened here. This was the perfect epilogue novella for Kat and Adrian. I downright cried happy tears at the end of it. What amazed me even more was the feelings that it was able to bring out in me. It’s not common that you’d read a novella and by the end of it feel like you read a whole book with the amount of emotions it was able to wring from you.
Deeper Than Dreams teaser2-DirtyGirlRomance
This is not meant to be read as a standalone, and you absolutely need to read Louder Than Love before this. And if you read and loved Louder Than Love like I did, then this epilogue novella is an absolute must read. I couldn’t think of a better conclusion to one of my most beloved couples.

Jessica Topper also gives readers a lot more Rick if you’ve been curious about him, along with a teaser for his book that will leave you anxious to get your hands on his book in September. I absolutely cannot wait.

Deeper Than Dreams was one of those perfect treats that’s like the icing on an already fantastically delicious cake. Emotional, lovely, captivating, it was everything I’ve already come to expect from this author and more. I simply cannot recommend it enough.


Don’t miss the book that started it all!

19168012

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

Buy LinksAmazon

READ MY FULL 5 STAR REVIEW


And don’t miss Rick’s story in the upcoming Softer Than Steel

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LOVE & STEEL #2
From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much “I Do” About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love…

As rock star “Riff Rotten”, Rick Rottenberg has enjoyed all the perks that fame can offer, especially now that he’s reunited with his former band mate, Adrian “Digger” Graves. But despite his success, Rick is a mess. Still reeling from the death of his wife years ago and terrified his demons will end his career, he agrees to seek help for his anxiety.

Burned by a musician in the past, Sidra Sullivan has closed her heart to love. So when Rick walks into her yoga studio, she wants nothing to do with him–until the bad boy shows an unexpected soft side.

As Sidra and Rick work through their painful pasts, they realize just how strongly opposites can attract. But when a crisis threatens the delicate balance they’ve forged, they’ll discover if their love is strong enough to weather another storm or just too broken to survive…

INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE FIRST LOVE & STEEL NOVEL: LOUDER THAN LOVE

Buy LinksPre-Order (Releasing September 15, 2015)

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Make Me★ by @mstessabailey

Blog Tour Make Me- DirtyGirlRomance MAKE ME
Series: Broke and Beautiful #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

MakeMe

In the final Broke and Beautiful novel from bestselling author Tessa Bailey, a blue collar construction worker and a quiet uptown girl are about to discover that the friendzone can sometimes be excellent foreplay.

Construction worker Russell Hart has been head-over-work boots for Abby Sullivan since the moment he laid eyes on her. But he knows a classy, uptown virgin like her could never be truly happy with a rough, blue-collar guy like him. If only she’d stop treating him like her personal hero—a role he craves more than oxygen—maybe he could accept it.

With the future of her family’s hedge fund on her shoulders, Abby barely has time to sleep, let alone find love. And her best friend Russell acting like a sexy, overprotective hulk any time their Super Group goes out in public definitely isn’t helping her single status. But after a near-tragedy lands Russell in her bed for the night, Abby’s suddenly fantasizing about what he looks like shirtless. Chest hair and tattoos—who knew?

As Russell struggles to keep Abby at a safe distance, she begins to see through his tough-talking exterior—and acknowledge her own feelings. Now she’s ready to turn the friend-zone into foreplay…and make him lose control.

Buy LinksHarperCollins / Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Google Play

Excerpt

Chapter One
Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.Russell Hart stifled a groan when Abby twisted on his lap to call out a drink order to the passing waiter, adding a smile that would no doubt earn her a martini on the house. Every time their six person “super group” hung out, which was starting to become a nightly affair, Russell advanced into a newer, more vicious circle of hell. Tonight, however, he was pretty sure he’d meet the devil himself.They were at the Longshoreman, celebrating the Fourth of July, which presented more than one precious little clusterfuck. One, the holiday meant the bar was packed full of tipsy Manhattanites, creating a shortage of chairs, hence Abby parking herself right on top of his dick. Two, it put the usually conservative Abby in ass-hugging shorts and one of those tops that tied at the back of her neck. Six months ago, he would have called it a shirt, but his two best friends had fallen down the relationship rabbit hole, putting him in the vicinity of excessive chick talk. So, now it was a halter-top. What he wouldn’t give to erase that knowledge.During their first round of drinks, he’d become a believer in breathing exercises. Until he’d noticed these tiny, blond curls at Abby’s nape, curls he’d never seen before. And some-fucking-how, those sun-kissed curls were what had nudged him from semi-erect to full-scale Washington monument status. The hair on the rest of her head was like a…a warm milk chocolate color, so where did those little curls come from? Those detrimental musings had lead to Russell questioning what else he didn’t know about Abby. What color was everything else? Did she have freckles? Where?Russell would not be finding out – ever – and not just because he was sitting in the friend zone with his dick wedged against his stomach – not an easy maneuver – so she wouldn’t feel it. No, there was more to it. His friends, Ben and Louis, were well aware of those reasons, which accounted for the half-sympathetic, half-needling looks they were sending him from across the table, respective girlfriends perched on their laps. The jerks.Abby was off-limits. Not because she was taken – thank Christ – or because someone had verbally forbidden him from pursuing her. That wasn’t it. Russell had taken a long time trying to find a suitable explanation for why he didn’t just get the girl alone one night and make his move. Explain to her that men like him weren’t suitable friends for wide-eyes debutantes and give her a demonstration of the alternative.

It went like this. Abby was like an expensive package that had been delivered to him by mistake. Someone at the post office had screwed the pooch and dropped off the shiniest, most beautiful creation on his Queens doorstep and driven away, laughing manically. Russell wasn’t falling for the trick, though. Someone would claim the package, eventually. They would chuckle over the obvious mistake and take Abby away from him, because really, he had no business being the one who’s lap she chose to sit on. No business, whatsoever.

But while he was in possession of the package – as much as he’d allow himself to be in possession, anyway – he would guard her with his life. He would make sure that when someone realized the cosmic error that had occurred – the one that had made him Abby’s friend and confidant – she would be sweet and undamaged, just as she’d been on arrival.

Unfortunately, the package didn’t seem content to let him stand guard from a distance. She innocently beckoned him back every time he managed to put an inch of space between them. Russell had lost count of the times Abby had fallen asleep on him while the super group watched a movie, drank margaritas on the girls’ building rooftop, driven home in cabs. She was entirely too comfortable around him, considering he saluted against his fly every time they were in the same room.

“Why so quiet, Russell?” Louis asked, his grin turning to a wince as his actress girlfriend, Roxy, elbowed him in the ribs. Yeah. Everyone at the damn table knew he had a major thing for the beautiful, unassuming number whiz on his lap. Everyone but Abby. And that’s how he planned to keep it.

“I know why,” Ben said, causing Russell’s stomach to catapult itself across the bar. Before he could change the subject, Ben pulled his student-turned-main squeeze closer and continued. “He doesn’t need to give us advice on girls anymore. His powers have been diminished.”

“We’ve slain the beast.”

Ben and Louis toasted their plastic beer cups without a single glance at one other. Why was he friends with these two again? Oh right. The power of beer had brought them together. Praise be to Heineken. Smug as they were, though, Russell knew humor was their way of showing support. If it wasn’t humor, it would be sympathy, aka dude kryptonite.

“What kind of advice did he give you about us?” Roxy wanted to know, shooting Louis and Ben stern glances.

“Uh-uh.” Russell shook his head. “I’m calling bro confidentiality on you both. That includes pillow talk and supersedes any and all forms of sexual coercion.”

Ben adjusted his glasses. “That reasoning, however, should lend some insight into what you ladies missed.”

Honey leaned across the table and patted Russell’s arm. “It all worked out in the end, big guy. Who knows? You might have had something to do with it after all.”

Russell opened his mouth to respond, but whatever he planned to say withered in its inception because Abby spun in his lap again, sending the world around him into slow motion. A left jab of her scent – which after careful consideration he’d termed white grape sunlight – caught him in the chin and he barely restrained the urge to shout oh, come on, at the top of his lungs. Her big hazel eyes were indignant on his behalf, mouth pursed in a way that shouldn’t have been sexy, but damn-well was. She’d snapped her spine straight, hip bumping his erection in the process.

Please, almighty God, just kill me now.

“Russell gives great advice,” Abby protested and Russell would have smiled if he wasn’t busy earning his master’s degree in boner-soothing meditation. She really had no idea her outrage only made her sweeter because it looked so unnatural on her. “Remember the man on the first floor of our building? The one who used to clear his throat loudly every time we walked by?” She waited for Honey and Roxy to nod. “Russell told me the next time it happened, I should just shout TROUBLE at his door. I did. And it hasn’t happened since.”

When Louis and Ben started laughing into their beers, Russell flipped them off behind Abby’s back. What his friends knew that Abby didn’t? As soon as she’d told him the problem, he’d paid a visit to their downstairs neighbor and explained that trouble would find him if he so much as breathed in Abby – or any of her roommates’ – direction again. Hence, the single word being so effective. Russell was trouble.

But as Abby turned a bright, encouraging smile on him, swelling his heart like an inflating balloon, he recognized that his brand of trouble had nothing on Abby’s. She didn’t even know how dangerous she was to his health. Because while Abby was the package that had been delivered by mistake, he’d gone and fallen for her, despite his attempts to simply be her friend.

And maybe it was his imagination, but the loss of her seemed to loom a little closer each day. Like any minute now, she would peer a little closer and realize he was in imposter. Loss was something with which Russell was familiar. Loss had cut him off at the knees at a young age, made him hyper aware of how fast it could happen. Whoosh. Chopped off at the knees. So he was already in damage control mode, hoping to limit the fallout when she inevitably headed for a younger version of Gordon Gekko. For now, it was all about keeping a comfortable gap between him and Abby.

She scooted back on his lap to make room for the waitress who had returned with a round of drinks, and Russell gritted his teeth.

Okay. Comfortable definitely wasn’t the right word.

***

I have friends. I have friends now and it’s glorious.

Six months ago, when Abby Sullivan had placed the ad on Craigslist, seeking two roommates to share her Chelsea apartment, her highest hope had been for noise. Maybe it sounded silly, but apart from the Ninth Avenue traffic trundling past and the occasional shouting match on the street, her life had been so quiet before Honey and Roxy showed up. She’d been hoping for hair dryers in the morning, dishes being tossed in the sink, singing in the shower. Anything but the void of sound she’d been living with, alone in the massive space.

Then, oh then, she’d gone and done something even more impulsive than placing an advertisement for massively discounted rent in cyberspace. She’d blurted upon meeting them for the first time that she didn’t need help paying the rent; she merely wanted friends. Unbelievably, it hadn’t felt like a mistake to reveal such a pitiful secret to a couple of strangers. There had been a feeling when all three of them first stood in the same room that it would work out, like a complicated math equation that would prove itself worth the work.

Now? She couldn’t imagine a day passing without them. The guys had been an unexpected bonus she hadn’t counted on. Especially Russell.

As they walked crosstown toward the Hudson River where they planned to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, Abby smiled up at Russell where he towered over her. She received a suspicious look in response. Suspicious! Ha! It made her want to laugh like a lunatic. All the way back to her furthest memory, she’d been reliable, gullible, sugar-filled Abby to everyone and their mother. Even Honey and Roxy, to a degree, handled her carefully around subjects that might offend her or hurt her feelings. She was too grateful for their presence to call them on it, though. Sometimes she opened her mouth, the words I’m not made of spun glass hovering right on the tip of her tongue, but she always swallowed them. They meant well. She knew that with her whole heart. Maybe someday, when she was positive they wouldn’t vanish at a rare show of temper—the way people always did when she bared a flaw—she’d tell them. Until she worked up the courage however, she would stay quiet, and appreciate her new best friends for the colorful positivity they’d brought into her life.

But Russell? She appreciated him even more for getting mad at her.

Such occurrences were her favorite part of the week. Russell stomping into the apartment, grumbling about her not checking the peep hole. Refusing to go out on a Saturday night until she changed into more comfortable shoes. Giving her that daunting frown when she revealed they’d had a leak in the bathroom for three weeks and hadn’t yet called the super to repair it. He’d had it fixed within the hour, but he hadn’t spoken to her the entire time.

It was awesome.

Because he kept coming back. Every time. No matter what—no matter what she said or did—he never washed his hands of her. Never got so fed up with her admittedly flighty behavior that he skipped a hang out. Or didn’t respond to a text. He was the steadfast presence in her life she’d never had.

No one spoke to Abby at her job. She’d been hired after graduating at the top of her Yale class and placed in a silent power position at a hedge fund. Her father’s hedge fund. So she could understand her co-workers’ reticence to invite her for happy hour. Or even give her a polite nod in the hallway. At first, she’d been prepared to try anyway. Force them to acknowledge her in some small way, even if it was just passing the stapler in the conference room. Then she remembered. When she forced her opinion on people, or had an outburst, they went away, and didn’t come back for a long time.

Her coworkers assumed she sat in her air-conditioned office all day playing Minecraft or buying dresses online. And why wouldn’t they? She’d done nothing to sway that notion. In reality, however, she worked hard. Showed up before the lights came on and stayed later than everyone else. Brought work home with her and often, didn’t get to sleep. She had no choice.

Stress tightened like a shoelace around Abby’s stomach, but she breathed through it. Tonight was for fun with her friends. Tomorrow morning would be soon enough to face her responsibilities.

“It’s the shoes, isn’t it?” Russell demanded, encompassing Abby, Roxy and Honey with a dark look. “This always happens in the eleventh hour. You girls started limping around and we just have to watch it.”

Ben sighed. “Here we go again.”

“No, really. I think I’ve finally figured it out.” Russell swiped impatient fingers over his shaved head. “You ever heard of sympathy pains? When my sister-in-law gave birth, my brother swore someone was firing a nail gun into his stomach. To this day, the guy has never been the same.” He pointed at Abby’s electric blue pumps. “Women wear these evil creations around to confuse us. Sure, they make a girl’s legs look good, but that’s the black magic, my friends. They want us to feel their pain and not understand why.”

Louis turned, walking backwards on the sidewalk so he could face them. “I have to admit, I’m with Russell on this one.” He smiled at Roxy’s outrage. “You could go barefoot and it wouldn’t make a difference to me.”

“I’ll round it out with a third agreement,” Ben chimed in. “I like Honey in her Chucks.”

That statement earned Ben a kiss from Honey and a groan from Russell. “I’m thrilled you assholes have found a way to use my amazing logic to earn points.”

Abby loved the familiar argument simply because it was familiar—a routine she had in common with others—but she had to admit her feet were throbbing. After a night of dancing, the crosstown walk was giving her blisters. She wore heels all day at the office, but they were sensible and low-heeled. Nothing like the stilettos she’d borrowed from Roxy. In fact, now that she’d acknowledged her tired feet, every part of her seemed to sag with exhaustion, as if she’d finally given her bones permission. “I can end this argument right here,” Abby interrupted with a weary, but determined smile. The group stopped to watch as she slipped off her shoes and placed her bare feet back onto the cool sidewalk with a hearty sigh. For some reason, everyone’s gazes swung to Russell who – God love him – was frowning at her like she’d just crashed his beloved truck.

“A new tactic, gentlemen. Take note.” Their four friends laughed at Russell’s ominous tone, but Abby stayed pinned under his scowl. Although now, his scowl had a hint of uncertainty behind it. “Put them back on, Abby. You’re going to step on something. Broken glass, or—”

Abby breezed past Russell. Honestly, he worried constantly for no reason. They were only a few blocks away from the river and the streets were well lit. What was the worst that could—

Her feet left the ground, her gasp cutting off as she was cradled against Russell’s big chest. His expression was hidden, thanks to the streetlights shining blindingly above his head, but Abby knew from experience, he would be annoyed. She couldn’t prevent the smile from spreading like wildfire across her face, feeling as if it reached as far as her chest. It seemed impossible, but somehow she’d earned a place among these people who cared about her. Friends. Good friends. The kind you can’t live without.

Especially Russell. Her favorite.

“You were put on this earth to make me crazy, Abby. You know that?”

“I’m not sorry about it,” she whispered. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“No. It makes you a woman.”

She muffled her laugh with the use of Russell’s shoulder. “Men make women crazy, too. It’s not a one-sided affair.”

He frowned down at her. “What would you know about it?”

That question coming from anyone else might have embarrassed Abby, but for all Russell’s bluster, he never judged her. Not for her lack of a love life, anyway. Shoes were another matter altogether. “I know things.”

Things, huh? Maybe Louis and Ben should spend more time at their own apartments.” His arms flexed as he hefted her higher, with minimal effort. “Do you actually like watching the fireworks or is this just a patriotic custom we’re upholding?”

“No, I love fireworks.” She tilted her head back and looked at the sky. “Everyone forgets over the course of the year how incredible fireworks are. You know? They forget until they’re standing beneath them again. You don’t like them?”

He stared ahead as he answered. “I like that you like them.”

Abby smiled, knowing Russell would have to be extra gruff for the remainder of the night to make up for that slip. And needing to torture him a little over it. “That’s how I feel when you make me watch the Yankees.” She laid a hand against his cheek. “It’s worth it just to see your adorable man eyes light up.”

His sigh was sharp, but she caught the corner of his mouth kicking up. “All this time, I thought you were enjoying it.”

“The blooper reel is my favorite.” Drowsiness settled more firmly over her and she stifled a yawn against his shoulder. “Also, I love when kids in the audience catch foul balls.”

“Crowd. It’s called a crowd.”

She hummed in her throat, eyelids beginning to weigh down. “I knew that. Just seeing if you were paying attention,” she murmured.

Russell chewed his bottom lip a moment, worry marring his features. “You’re so tired lately, Abby. Everything okay?”

“Totally fine,” she lied. “Just going to rest my eyes a minute.”

Positive he would wake her up when they reached the Hudson, she wound her arms around his neck and dozed off. It was the first time she’d slept in three days.

Review

4 starsMake Me-Dirty Girl Romance

Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.

I love a steamy New Adult romance and I love Tessa Bailey. Add into all that her gift for writing alpha men that I pretty much drool over and it’s really a no brainer. Having not read the previous two books in this series, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. That synopsis ultimately sealed the deal. Construction worker? Friends-to-lovers? Tessa’s dirty talkers? SOLD!

You were put on this earth to make me crazy, Abby. You know that?”
“I’m not sorry about it,” she whispered. “Does that make me a bad person?”
“No. It makes you a woman.”

Russell Hart has been in love with Abby since he first saw her on her front porch all those months ago. Being her best friend has been a special kind of hell for him, especially since her innocent naivety towards all the dirty dirty things he wants to do to her does nothing to diminish his lust. He wants her with a fire that only burns brighter and hotter with each passing day, but he knows that the likes of him will never be good enough for her. Her family can buy anything he owns three times over, how can he possibly provide her with the life that she’s accustomed to?

Abby Sullivan is a good girl. Growing up in the world of the rich and entitled has guaranteed that she’s deathly terrified of ever showing any signs of imperfection for fear that she’ll be left. It’s happened with her friends in high school, and it’s even happened with her parents. So now perfection is what she strives for, even if it means working herself to the bone at her father’s multi-billion dollar hedge fund company. The attraction between her and Russell is always crackling with electricity, until the one night where a dash of alcohol finally brings it raging to the surface.

You like the way I look?” Hands braced on either side of her hips, he leaned down and sucked her left nipple into his mouth. “That’s good, angel. You’re looking at the first man to tongue-fuck your uptown pussy.”

Make Me Teaser- Dirty Girl RomanceAs much as I loved Russell’s dirty mouth and even dirtier sexy ways, he was also an exercise in frustration for me. His inability to believe he can offer anything of worth for Abby and be good enough for her made me want to reach through my kindle and shake the ever loving stubbornness out of him. The man was downright infuriating. Add into that his inability to voice out those concerns with a woman that’s supposed to be his best friend, and I was waffling somewhere between ragey and damn near homicidal. Luckily Abby helped balance things out nicely. I’m always afraid with virgin heroines that they’ll be too naive and mousy for my tastes, but Abby wasn’t that. While she deals with a good dose of her own insecurities, she was also incredibly endearing. I’m not even sure what exactly about her that did it, but she was a heroine I liked from the very beginning.

The sexual chemistry between Russell and Abby was off the walls hot. Make Me certainly delivers on that signature Tessa Bailey steam and then some!

Six months of you sitting on my lap. Wiggling around and laughing, no idea I wanted to fuck you through a wall. Don’t you DARE call me a tease. I’VE been teased. I’m so fucked up, I can’t hear your name without getting hard.”

As much as Russell frustrated me with his thought process, his insecurities were rooted in a very dark place and the more you find out about that, the better you understand him. I equal parts wanted to slap him and hug him…(and definitely do him because HELLO dirty talker!)

I don’t ever want to be inside anyone else, Abby. I want you to unzip my pants whenever you’re wet and know I’ve been waiting- just fucking WAITING- to get inside my girl’s pussy. I want you to forget how it feels to sit down anywhere but my lap, right on top of my dick. Yours. It’s yours. I’m yours.

Having not read the previous two books never lowered my enjoyment of this one and I can definitely attest that it may easily be read as a standalone. I don’t think Tessa Bailey is capable of writing a book that I don’t enjoy the hell out of, and Make Me was no exception.
About the Authorhighres-MJB_5140.jpg

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives on Long Island with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

 

 

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