Review: ★Brave Enough★ by M. Leighton

Review-Brave ENoughBRAVE ENOUGH
Series: Tall, Dark, & Dangerous #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Leighton
Release Date: April 5, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes another dark, sexy story…
 
Is she brave enough to give her heart to a man she only thought she knew? 

He was the most charismatic man I’d ever met. Strong, tough, brave. Bold as hell. Something told me Tag Barton could have anything—anyone—he wanted…and he wanted me. It didn’t matter that he was wrong for me in practically every way possible. It didn’t matter that my father would hate it.

I couldn’t resist him. Even if I’d known who he really was and what he was really capable of.

When he suggested we pretend to be engaged, I thought he was the answer to all my problems. He wasn’t. And, in his wake, he left nothing but scorched earth and me, just another casualty of my father’s war.

Can I believe him now when he tells me he loves me?  Or is he nothing more than a beautiful, breathtaking lie?

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview3.5 starsBrave enough-DGR

The light rain bathes my face, the sweet scent of grapes scent the air and the heat of Tag surrounds me. I’m invaded by this moment, by this man. Invaded, body and soul.

Truth be told, I struggled with my rating for this book for days now. I’ve been marinating and marinating over what to rate it. Do I rate it as a part of the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series which it didn’t seem to fit at all? Or do I rate it as a standalone I felt it should have been? After much deliberation, I’ve decided to go with something in the middle of the two. Because here’s the thing, while I did truly enjoy Brave Enough, I didn’t find it fit the series. Aside from Tag being a hero that was first introduced early in the series, there is really no other connection. The story felt different, the romance felt different, and the entire feel of it was just different.

Strong Enough was a heart pounding and intense read. Tough Enough was a lot more tame, but it did follow on the heels of a story arc that was first introduced in Strong Enough. Brave Enough was something else entirely. Those that have read the series will see what I mean, and those that haven’t, good news! You can easily read this as a standalone and miss nothing.

You’re a woman with a body made for sin and a mind full of delicate sensibilities.

Weatherly O’Neil is seeking to escape her life for a bit and her father’s dictation of her life. Growing up in wealth and privilege, Weatherly never quite felt like she fit in that social circle. But now that her father is insisting that she marry someone for wealth and business reasons, she needs out; out from the pressures of her parents and her life. She finds that out in her beloved escape; her parent’s vineyard. There she comes face to face with the most charming, enigmatic and gorgeous man she’s ever met. His eyes promise the most delicious kind of sin, and his lips promise that she’ll enjoy the seduction.

He is magnificent. He is a pagan god preparing to take what’s his. I’m his willing sacrifice, laid out at the altar of his perfection.

Previous Special Forces and part of Delta Five team along with Jasper and Kiefer, Tag lives a different life now taking care of his ailing mother who works and lives on the vineyard as well as tending to the vineyard itself. Tag has never been the type to hurt for female attention but when he first lays eyes on
Weatherly he knows it’s a game changer. He’s determined to break down all her walls and ask her to be brave enough to take a chance on him. But Tag also has a secret, one that no one knows about and could cost him everything.

If you’re looking for a pure contemporary read with plenty of steam, this book will definitely hit the spot. It’s sexy and swoony and packed with plenty of feels. It’s also quite a bit slow paced and has the insta-lust/love thing going for it.

While I loved Weatherly and Tag’s connection, it was just too quick for my liking. There wasn’t enough relationship development for me to truly connect. Things get hot and heavy with these two pretty much straight off the bat, and doesn’t let up. At times I felt their physical connection was overshadowing their emotional one.

The book is also pretty slow paced, but on the flip side, I was never once bored while reading it. I was glued to the pages from start to finish and enjoyed myself the entire time.

I was really let down with the super rushed ending in book 2 of a particular story arc that began with book 2. A part of me had hoped that perhaps this would be fixed or further fleshed out with book 3, but alas there was zero mention of it here. It was like the first two books didn’t happen. Aside from cameos from Kiefer and mention of Jasper, that was all we got.

Ultimately it was the insta thing that brought down my rating. Their quick fall just didn’t feel believable to me. I found Weatherly overly naive and trusting and that was a source of frustration for a large chunk of the book for me. Tag was fantastic; a perfect balance of dirty talker and sweet, so that was certainly great to read. The ending was a bit heavy on the cheese and the entire relationship moved too quick for my tastes, but at the same time it fit this couple.

If you’re looking for a sweet romance with a swoony hero and plenty of steam, this will definitely hit the spot. My quibbles aside, I did still enjoy this book quite a bit and would recommend it to any fan of this author. One thing is for sure; M. Leighton can WRITE, and she most definitely gives good alpha.

I’m brave enough to face knives and guns, death and torture, discovery and capture, and the only thing I’ve ever known that scares the shit out of me is losing you.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER


51ngi4+okBL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_AMAZON | MY REVIEW

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Review: ★Her Fantasy Husband★ by Nina Croft

Review-HFHHER FANTASY HUSBAND
Series: Things To Do Before You Die #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nina Croft
Release Date: April 4, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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Security Company CEO Josh Slater put his life on hold when he said “I do” to protect a stranger. While his marriage was never meant to be real—he hasn’t even seen his wife in five years—Josh can’t shake the idea that he’d be cheating if he moves on. Now he’s a man with a mission: chase down his “wife,” get an annulment, and finally indulge in a little no-strings sex.

Heiress Alexia Slater entered into a marriage of convenience straight out of high school to gain control of her inheritance before her not-so loving family squandered the whole thing. She doesn’t want the marriage to be real—she’s fought hard for her independence—but that hasn’t stopped her from spending the last five years fantasizing about her gorgeous husband.

Then he shows up.

Josh wants an annulment. Lexi needs to stay married. When the chemistry explodes between them, there’s no stopping the battle of wills only one of them can win…

She’s had the fantasy, now it’s time for the real thing…

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview3 stars

He was addictive. Which was a problem, because he was also bossy, and a loner, and a total commitment-phobe.


I love the premise of this series; after being stranded on a lifeboat after the cruise ship they’re one; a group of male friends make a pact to do the one thing they want. In His Fantasy Girl, for Logan it was getting in touch with the woman that he had an amazing one night stand with and never stopped thinking of.

For Security Company CEO Josh Slater, it’s not quite as….virtuous. What he wants is no-strings-attached sex, lots of it. Problem is, he needs to end his fake marriage of convenience first with a wife that he hasn’t seen since their “wedding” five years ago. But what should be a quickie annulment since they never consummated their marriage soon turns a lot more complicated when he lays his eyes on Alexia Slater.

This was a case of opposites attracting. Josh is brooding and grumpy and Alexia is the sweet and easy going, if at times overly so, woman that’s determined to save everyone. Surprisingly, I really loved Alexia. I say surprisingly because at times I felt she let people step all over her, especially her family. I only have one word for her grandmother…
But while I loved the set up, I had a hard time believing that Josh spent 5 years being celibate because he was “married”. Considering their arrangement, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I connected to Alexia and her reasons, but Josh’s seemed a bit extreme.

I did love the two of them together. Josh may not like his attraction to Alexia and fights it, but I liked that he’s still protective of her though it all. And of course the steam did help…

I hope I live up to your expectation.”
“You’re better than I could have ever imagined. My fantasy husband.”

Josh was really slow to thaw, so his quickie turn around at the end just felt rushed and unbelievable. It was a little heavy on the cheese too, considering the time frame.

Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable read, albeit nothing I’d come back to. If you’re a fan of this series, I highly recommend it because it hits the spot for a nice and steamy afternoon read.

New Release Review & Author Interview: ★Cuff Me★ by @_LaurenLayne

Review-Cuff MeCuff Me
Series: New York’s Finest #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: March 29, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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Meet New York’s Finest-three hot brothers sworn to protect and serve the city they love… and the women who’ve stolen their hearts.

ARRESTED BY LOVE

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4.5 starsCuff Me-DGR

Vincent Moretti was more than her partner.
So much more.
What he was to her, she didn’t know how to name. Or wasn’t ready to.

If there’s one thing that Lauren Layne knows how to do, it’s to write a swoony, feel-good, and super sexy contemporary romance. Cuff Me just may be my favorite in the series and of course the grumpy Vince is definitely my favorite Moretti brother…so far anyway.

Vincent and Jill first caught my attention in Frisk Me. Vincent and Jill are partners and homicide detectives for the NYPD, but that’s not what intrigued me. What intrigued me was the hate/lust current that practically sizzled between them. Though it’s not quite hate, more as it is denial. You just know that these two are attracted to each other and try to mask it with barbs and insults, and you simply can’t wait for them to realize it. This was friends-to-lovers but with a little bit more to it and I enjoyed every page of it.

It’s refreshing to get a hero that has his issues but they’re not rooted in some deep emotional scars or anything like that. Vin is a regular man with no OTT issues but he just doesn’t happen to believe in a HEA for himself.

He believed in love. He did.
He just didn’t believe in it for him.
Not because he had any gory emotional wounds, not because he had some brokenhearted past.
He was just…he didn’t feel like other people did.

It was a nice change of pace from the typical broody and tortured hero that you normally find in romance these days. After two books of wondering what made Vin tick and made him the man that he is today, I can certainly say I was not left disappointed with the way the author handled it.

Quiet. Reserved. Broody.
It’s not that he didn’t feel. Of course he did. He just didn’t feel out loud.

Jill is the exact opposite of Vin. She’s sassy to his grumpy, she’s sunny to his broody, she’s smiley to his scowly…well you get the point. If anything I liked Jill even more in this book.

Lauren Layne took an interesting turn in order to get these two to finally see what’s brewing between them and at first I wasn’t sure that’s a particular direction I would enjoy. I had my doubts because it’s not something that normally works for me. However, Miss Layne did such a fantastic job with it then I ended up enjoying it a whole lot more than I thought. I think a huge part of that is due to Jill. She’s so bubbly and endearing, it’s impossible not to like her. She says what she means and she means what she says, and I definitely loved the way she went after what she wanted.

She wanted Vincent Moretti desperately, consequences be damned. And so Jill did the bravest thing she could think of. She went on her toes. And kissed him.

I loved watching Vin’s inevitable fall. It wasn’t instant. Heck, it was basically six years in the making since that’s how long they’ve been partners. But I really appreciated that the author still made it a slow burn and didn’t just throw them together at the very first opportunity. It made it that much more enjoyable and realistic for me.

I excepted more of my beloved hate lust, but this was more friends to lovers and you’ll get zero complaints from me. It was humorous, steamy, and super cute! A guaranteed win for any contemporary romance lover that enjoys their heroes extra broody and their heroines down to earth and with a smart mouth. I sincerely hope that the author continues on with the series because I’m not done with these Moretti siblings yet.

Graphic is stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. 


Author Interview

DGR: Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for being here today!

LL: Oh gosh, thanks for having me!!! We authors practically preen when we get the chance to talk about our book-babies 🙂

DGR: Let’s start simple. Can you introduce yourself to readers that may not be familiar with your books?

LL: Definitely! So, my name is Lauren Layne, I was born in on a sunny April morning in San Diego in the early 80s … 🙂 For real though, I write what I like to call “sexy romantic comedies.” Basically, I like to think about my work as as the book equivalents of your favorite romantic comedies, with plenty of sexy time. My goal is always to make readers laugh and swoon, in either order.

DGR: Now let’s talk about your New York’s Finest series. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

LL: Yes! Hot Cops. The end. Oh wait, not enough? Okay, so … New York’s Finest is about a family, first and foremost. The Morettis are NYPD royalty, meaning that their blood quite possibly runs blue! Each story is about a different brother, all deliciously sexy in their own way 🙂 I also feel the need to mention Nonna, the outrageous grandma who steals almost every scene she’s in.

DGR: Cuff Me is book 3 in the series and all about the grumpy Moretti brother, Vin. What can readers expect from his book?

LL: Longing. I don’t know how else to describe it other than this book, for all its joking banter, has an undercurrent of longing and want. Vin/Jill have known each other forever, wanted each other for at least that long, but they’re completely unaware of the other’s feelings. (stubborn, these two!) Of all the books in the series, this one’s perhaps the most, “hey, I’m the author and I’m going to rip your heart out.” 🙂 You’ve been warned!

DGR: I loved the hate/lust thing that Vin and Jill had going on through the previous two books. But Cuff Me wasn’t quite what I expected. It was more of a friends-to-lovers vibe. I loved that! Were they a fun couple to write?

LL: Oh thank you! You know, they WERE a fun couple to write, but tricky, too. I love their banter in the earlier books, and love it here too, but as I settled down to really get to know them, I realized how much trust they had to have in the other person. Yes, they’ve got their bickering thing going on, yes, they drive each other nuts, but they quite literally, put their life on the line for each other every single day. The foundation of their relationship was really much deeper than even I knew!

DGR: Jill is such a spitfire! All the heroines in the series are, in their own way, but I have to admit that Jill is probably my favorite so far. How would you describe her?

LL: Oh man. Jill makes me laugh. Ava (book 1) was very much a ball-buster, ambitious almost to a fault. Maggie (book 2) was much sweeter, but not quite soft, as she knew when it was time to stand up for herself. Jill is a whole other creature entirely. Jill has a really strong sense of self, which I think is rare in the romance genre. Often we see strong heroines, but quite often they’re hiding something, or they have a secret soft spot, that they reveal only to the hero. And that’s lovely, but it’s also not Jill. More than any other heroine I’ve written, I think she perhaps is the most “what you see is what you get,” and I really love that about her.

DGR: Did you have a favorite scene to write in Cuff Me?

LL: A couple, actually. I’m a sucker for that doughnut scene (no spoilers here, but you’ll know it when you get to i!) It was actually a late addition to the story, added in the final round of revisions on a whim, and I sort of knew it was perfect and crucial to the book the minute I put it in there. The other is the “motel scene.” That one was there from the very beginning, and I think it’s the first time we see Vin at his weakest, getting to see how he really is when he doesn’t think Jill’s watching. It’s a heart-melter, if I do so say so myself 😉

DGR: What about the hardest scene to write?

LL: You know, I would have thought it would be the “murder plot” stuff, as I’m not a romantic suspense writer (at all), but I was pleasantly surprised by how easily the “mystery” part came. Not that this is a mystery novel by any means, but there’s a tiny element of “who dunnit” that I enjoyed more than I thought I would! As far as what was hardest, I’d say it was as we got to the end and I had to figure out how the hell I was going to get Vincent “out of his shell” while still staying true to his character. I don’t want to say too much, but there’s this scene towards the end where Vincent’s heart is literally breaking, but Jill doesn’t know it, and getting that one just right took me a few times!

DGR: Let’s talk Moretti brothers; can we expect for the fourth Moretti to be getting a book in the series? And what about that Moretti sister?

LL: Oh man. I’ll have to say “TBD” on fourth brother (Marc) as well as the sister (Elena). 🙂 I will say that I have Marco’s story VERY clear in my head, and Elena’s “not at all.” Man, that girl is secretive!

DGR: What’s up next for you?

LL: Haha, I feel like my answer to this question is always: lots! 2016 is a huge year for me! 7 releases for me, plus a novella, and CUFF ME is only the second in that set 🙂 Next up, I have Good Girl in May about a Nashville pop princess on the run from the paparazzi after a “cheating” scandal, followed by a brand new series about Manhattan wedding planners in the summer, and then I’ll be wrapping it up with Someone Like You in December, which LL fans likely know simply as “Lincoln’s book.” 🙂

DGR: Anything you’d like to close with?

 LL: Just that I so appreciate you allowing me to stop by and talk about Vincent and Jill, and that if you’re a sucker for romantic comedies and grumpy heroes, you’ll love CUFF Me. Promise 🙂

 

New Release Review: ★Heartbreaker★ by @Melody_Grace_

Review-HeartbreakerHeartbreaker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Melody Grace
Release Date: March 28, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

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The new stand-alone HEA from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!

They say that time heals a broken heart, but you try moving on when your ex is the most famous man on the planet.

Every time I walk down the street, there’s a billboard plastered with his gorgeous face: Finn McKay. Now he’s a drop-dead sexy rock star, but when I first knew him, he was just the boy from the wrong side of the tracks – and the first guy I ever loved. He broke my heart into a hundred pieces when he skipped town without saying goodbye – but now he’s back.

And he wants me.

I’m determined not to make the same mistakes twice, but the chemistry with Finn was always way too hot to ignore. He was the guy who had me sneaking out my bedroom window for just one more kiss, and breaking curfew parked by the riverbanks, steaming up his windows in the backseat of his car. The past five years have been good to him, real good, and between his dirty mind and that ‘I know how to make you scream’ smile, he’s breaking through my defenses all over again.

Maybe one last wild fling for old time’s sake is what I need to finally move on. But what happens when Finn wants more than my body?

This time he wants everything.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview4 starsHeartbreaker-DGR

They say time heals a broken heart, but you just try and get over the love of your life when he’s the most famous man on the planet.

Having never read a Melody Grace book before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this. All I knew is after reading that blurb and seeing that cover, I couldn’t not read it. Also, have you ever known me to turn down a chance to read a second chance romance? I think not. That’s a damn sin is what it is, because let’s be honest, I do love me some second chance romance. All that angst, it just speaks to me. Heartbreaker was actually quite low on the angst, but it did pack a punch to the feels. It was a wonderful, sweet and sexy story of two characters I fell in love with right away. The pace was steady, the writing was great, the characters endearing, and the romance super steamy. It may have been almost too sweet for my particular tastes, but it just worked for me here. It fit these two characters perfectly. There wasn’t a need for any crazy drama or angst. It worked the way it was and I appreciated it for that.

Finn may have left a boy of nineteen, but he’s come back all man.

Five years ago sixteen year old Eva fell in love with the town’s bad boy. Their love was secret but no less potent, until the day Finn left and took her heart right along with him. Five years without a word and Eva still has never gotten over the hurt or anger of his betrayal. But now Finn is back in their small town and he’s determined to right the wrongs of the past; starting with her.

He was inevitable. My temptation.

Eva spiraled after Finn left and spiraled into rock bottom that she’s determined never to repeat. She lost herself along the way, but now she wants to find that girl again. Finn wants a second chance, but can Eva give him her heart again when he shattered it so completely those years ago?

I’ve never felt so out-of-control as when I’m with him, like my chest is cracked wide open and my heart is beating, open and raw, offered up for him to do as he wants with.

I loved Eva; she was such a real person. She’s still clearly lost but she’s determined to find herself. She’s not about games and she’s weak when it comes to Finn, but she owns that. Were there times where I wished she made him work for it a little harder? Sure. But considering we also get Finn’s POV it was easy to see why she caved. Finn is…potent. The man had quite the mouth on him and he knew just when to use it to his advantage.

You’re going to beg for me, beg for another inch, and when I finally give it you, when I finally let you come, that’s when you’ll know. You belong to me, baby. You’ll always be mine.

Told in alternating POVs, this was a light yet steamy escape. I loved Finn and Eva together, and I loved that there was no flashbacks necessary to make the reader truly connect with their romance, even the one from their past. The author did a wonderful job explaining where they came from and leading them into the now. There’s no crazy drama, no crazy conflict that takes place, or silly miscommunications. Just two people, healing the wounds of their past, together.
Heartbreaker2-DGR

Review: ★Liquid & Ash★ by E.M. Abel

Review-Liquid&Ash

Liquid & Ash
Author: E.M. Abel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 1, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

LA Ebook Cover

Love was my weakness.

In the light of the truth, no one can hide.

Derek had ignited a spark inside of my heart, a hope for a love I never expected to find. However, our connection lacked the substance it needed to burn. Weakened with resentment, our relationship crumbled under deception, slowly dissolving into ash.

I had sacrificed myself for him and paid the price.

By the time Brandon entered into my life, the longing in my heart had turned cold. But fate was not done with me. His crystal blue eyes and fluid touch revived a wish that had been frozen in time. He gave me hope once again.

Hope is a dangerous thing, especially when you dare to dream. 

**WARNING: This book contains adult content and drug use.

Buy LinksAMAZON US | AMAZON UKReview3 starsLiquid&Ash-DGR

A woman with a dream of being loved is a danger to herself because she will see it in places it doesn’t belong and doesn’t exist.

Have you ever read a book that’s supposed to be highly emotional and touching, yet you felt…nothing? Like you knew what you were supposed to feel but it was more mechanically going through the steps of those feelings more so than actually feeling them? No? Well that basically sums up how I felt about this book.

Now here’s the thing, I’m a big fan of this author. I really loved Saving Jay, and I adore her writing style that’s somehow raw and emotional while highly sensual at the same time. When I read the blurb to this book, I knew I had to read it. And while I enjoyed the premise of it, I just never fully connected with the story or the characters.

I’d been lost somewhere along the way, and I hated this new woman I’d become.

Penelope is a woman that always put her education and career first, until a man changed everything for her. She fell in love, and now ten years after the fact, she’s lost everything including herself. She’s lost in a haze of alcohol, xanax and weed. She’s a shell of the person she once was, so much so that she doesn’t even recognize herself.

I’d lost everything- my best friend, my lover, my husband…everything. I’d risked it all for him, for love, and now, I was paying the price.

Through her struggle of dealing with the inevitable demise of her marriage, she meets an gorgeous, tatted and enigmatic bartender that stirs something in her she hasn’t felt in a long while; pure unadulterated lust. Brandon is a successful model by day, bartender and weed dealer by night. He’s everything she shouldn’t want, and yet she’s inexplicably drawn to him.

The story is the journey of a broken woman that’s trying to find herself again. A woman dealing with the pain of a failing marriage and maybe the start of something new. It’s raw, emotional, and sensual. I also feel like most people will really love this story. Unfortunately there was a number of things working against it for me, and I’ll get to that now.

1. The flashbacks
They were all over the place and I didn’t find them to be well paced. It would suddenly flash to the past and then come back to the present. I feel the story would have been more gripping if perhaps the first third of the story was told from the past and the rest focused on the present. I didn’t feel that the flashbacks added to the story but more distracted me from it. Just as soon as I was feeling more connected to the characters, it would flash to the past and I’d lose my momentum.

2. The heroine
Although I know I was supposed to truly feel for her plight, I never did. I found her to be too…bland. Not because she was, but that’s the feeling she gave me. As a matter of fact, i just found the entire book to be…bland. It was good. It was ok. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. There was nothing about it that grabbed me or made me feel. Maybe I’m just dead inside or my cold black heart was feeling even more jaded than usual? Whatever the case was, I just never fully connected to Penelope or her story.

3. The plot
Meh. You know those middle of the road books? This was simply the case for me. The entire story felt more clinical. Like I was going through the motions but I didn’t feel them. Penelope’s first “encounter” with Brandon didn’t grab me either. It was just…weird and uncomfortable to read.

4. Brandon
Meh. I think this is what ultimately sealed the deal for my rating. I just felt meh about him. I didn’t feel like I had enough of a connection to him as a character and not nearly enough development for me to truly connect to him or to his relationship with Penelope. There’s a part of the story where his POV appears for the length of a small chapter and the rest of the story is in Penelope’s POV. That just felt random to me. You either have his POV or don’t. But having it just be thrown in there for the sake of understanding his thought process at the time? Eh. Didn’t work for me.

5. The twist?
It was predictable and cliche in my opinion. I saw it coming a mile away and even remember thinking that with the way the story was going, I’m thinking there was a huge plot twist in store at 75%. I was wrong. It came before that. But it WAS there and I wasn’t a fan, sadly.

I also found the ending to be rushed and not as developed as I would have hoped.

Having said all that, I still think that E.M. Abel is an amazing author and I sincerely look forward to whatever she has planned next. I typically really enjoy her books, so I’m writing this off as a fluke of perhaps just not quite being in the right mood for a book like this. You can’t love them all, and this book just fell somewhere in the middle for me.

I do believe that most readers will truly enjoy it. It’s emotionally charged and beautifully written. Just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

I wanted us to stay in that moment, suspended in time. Just me and Brandon and our liquid love.

ARC Review: ★Nobody But You★ by Jill Shalvis

Review-Nobody but youNobody But You
Series: Cedar Ridge #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jill Shalvis
Release Date: March 29, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

25878511

SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN…

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.

 

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4.5 starsNobody but you-DGR

I’m not really into hurrying,” he said.
“What are you into?”
“Slow. Long. Hard. Hot. Dirty…” His teeth sank into her earlobe. “You still in?”


Sometimes a girl just needs a sweet, light and steamy romance with a quirky heroine and a broken but swoony heroine, and this book definitely delivered! It had the feels, the swoons, and the laughs. I enjoyed every single page of it!

Now I went into this a little backwards as I hadn’t read the previous two books in the Cedar Ridge series. That being said, I had absolutely no problems jumping right into the story and the book is easily read as a standalone. Though I do plan to rectify my mistake by going back and reading the other two books because I fell hard for the Kincaid siblings.

He’d been a lot of things in his lifetime: brother, son, friend, Army Special Forces officer. He was none of those things at the moment, though he intended to change that.

After years of being away, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid is back in the town of Cedar Ridge with the intent of making things right with his siblings and his mother. Fresh off a mission gone wrong overseas, he’s still dealing with the crippling grief and all the things that sent him packing overseas to escape in the first place. Jacob was such a great character. He’s broken and slightly broody, but at the same time he’s perfectly swoony. He was incredibly endearing and I loved how the author was able to get across his emotional wounds to the reader but yet he wasn’t an a-hole. He was just a regular man with issues. Nothing overboard, nothing crazy, and yet it worked oh so well.

Sophie Marren quite easily made this book for me. Here’s a woman that’s been married for years to the a-hole of the century. She gave up everything for him and yet after their divorce all she has to show for it is a boat she never wanted in the first place and a whole lot of justified bitterness. But she was such a breath of fresh air at the same time. While her marriage was anything but happy and she’s definitely bitter about how everything went down, she’s also incredibly quirky. I adored her sense of humor and the way she bantered with Jacob. When these two meet, the sparks fly right away and I simply couldn’t get enough of the two of them together.

They just made so much sense together and were this perfect combination of great banter and sizzling chemistry.

Nobody But You was everything I love about Contemporary Romance. It was written with feeling and packed in plenty of swoon and steam. The characters are incredibly endearing and I fell in love with all the secondary characters as well. This book is exactly why I’m such a big fan of Jill Shalvis. It’s just one of those feel good romances you’ll never want to put down. It will make you smile and it packs in just enough steam to make you pant. Simple romance perfection. I can’t recommend it enough!

ARC courtesy of publisher  in exchange for an honest review

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Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: ★Hooker★ by @BrookeBlaine1

Hooker tour bannerTitle: Hooker
Series: L.A. Liaisons, #2
Author: Brooke Blaine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 9, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

Hooker AMAZON

Whoever said singles were missing out by not finding true love and getting married before the age of thirty had never experienced the sheer pleasure of nightly romantic comedy viewings in their underwear while eating one of Licked’s famous Crazy Cat Lady sundaes. Because life just doesn’t get better than that.

At least, it doesn’t for Shayne Callahan. It didn’t take more than a handful of broken hearts after college to solidify that she was better at pairing up those around her than herself. As a matchmaker at the elite HLS—Hook, Line, & Sinker Matchmaking Company—in the City of Angels, she has a knack for finding the other halves of even the most eccentric clients:

Sugar daddy with a foot fetish? Gross, but no problem.
A severe case of nudophobia? Match made before lunch.

But even the most happily independent of women can find their best-laid plans screeching to a halt when they meet that guy. For Shayne, that guy comes in the form of boyishly handsome, suspender-lovin’, dimple-poppin’ Nate Ryan on a pantsless (we’ll get to that later) Metro ride.

Of course, relationships can never be easy. Before the destined lovers can ride off into the sunset, they must overcome a power-hungry and sexual-punning boss, a celebrity scandal and cover-up, and let’s not forget Shayne’s dreadful foot-in-mouth disease—with which there can never be a happily ever after.

Will fate throw Shayne a freakin’ bone? Or will she be destined to live out her life as sexy(ish), single(ish), and L.A.’s finest Hooker (upper)?

Buy Links

AMAZON US | AMAZON UKHooker Teaser 2 by Hang Le

Excerpt

“Hi,” I managed to say.
Nate nodded toward my legs. “Your pants are making me hungry.”Aaaand that was the point where I stopped breathing. Except to say, “What?”His eyes trailed down my body and rested on my thighs. Self-conscious, I looked down, almost sighing with relief when I realized my lower half was indeed covered this time, but that feeling went away pretty fucking fast when I saw the ice cream cones on my pajama pants practically flinging themselves at him.

Yes, I’d gone out in public in pajamas, so sue me. I hadn’t counted on running into…well, anybody.

“Oh. Oh yeah, um…I like ice cream,” I mumbled. “Especially from Licked, my friend Ryleigh’s store, although I have to say, her boozy shakes are unreal, especially the Make Me Quake Shake, which has these amazing pieces of those Ferrero Rocher balls in them, and they just give it the perfect amount of crunch so that you—” I stopped and took a breath when I noticed his grin getting wider. I swallowed and then said, “Not that I go there all the time or anything. Because I don’t. I mean, I’ve only been once or twice. You know…to taste test. Actually, I never eat sweets.”

He laughed then, and those penetrating eyes, tinged with more green than brown today, made their way up my body once more, pausing with what looked like amusement at my full hands. Then his gaze was on me and those dimples were out in full force.

“That’s too bad,” he said. “I’ve got a helluva sweet tooth.”

Wait…was he flirting with me? Was that a come-on? Or just stating a fact?

“Yeah, well, in that case your dentist probably hates you,” I said, readjusting the cold-ass meals in my arms. I’d be damned if I let those suckers go now. I’d tied my jacket around my waist, and my thin tank top would reveal a tit-bit more than I needed him to see.

He chuckled at that. Hmm. He had a nice chuckle. And a husky laugh. Both of which made my eyes zoom in on his throat. I wondered if it was as warm as it looked. He must’ve caught me staring, because he coughed, bringing my attention back to his face. His eyes were twinkling something wicked.

“You might be right about that,” he said. “Maybe I don’t like people telling me what to do. Or dictating what I can and can’t put in my mouth.”

My mouth dropped open, but I quickly snapped it shut. This guy was obviously a charmer, and after dealing with guys like him all day, the last thing I would do was fall prey to another arrogant playboy. Nope. Not me. Not gonna happen.

Hooker teaser 3 by Hang Le

Book Trailer 1

Review4.5 stars

There was only one thought on my mind as I watched him walk to his car and drive away. I was in trouble. Big, dirty, delicious trouble.

#HappyFeels

Brooke’s L.A. Liaisons series is my happy place. The books are guaranteed to put a smile on my face and make me feel like I’m frolicking through a field of rainbows and kittens. Too much? My point is, they’re the perfect feel good romances. They’re steamy, funny, fantastically developed and fabulously written. I’m hooked and I never want it to end!

I highly recommend reading this series in order since you really get a better feel for the girls’ friendship and get to know the characters before their books and it just heightens the enjoyment that much more. We met matchmaker extraordinaire, Shayne, in the previous book. Shane is the Aussie import of the group that works for a successful matchmaking company but unfortunately has a real c u next Tuesday for a boss. I was eager to get my hands on her story because 1. I love matchmaking plots and 2. I was hoping Shane would grow a spine and give as good as she gets when it comes to Val.

I can tell you I was beyond satisfied on both those ends.

I love how each book begins with a certain state of undress with the characters, and we get a bit of pantless action here since Shayne first lays her eyes on hottie, Nate, at a Pantless Metro Ride. A sexy man wearing suspenders and dimples would have caught my attention, too. I loved the added element of Nate being younger and yet he’s not your typical hero that you’d read. This is not a manwhore or a serial dater; this is a man that knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after and show his sensitive side.

Oh, Dimples, who would’ve thought that such a sentimental sap was underneath those sexy suspenders? Should I start taking you to chick flicks and forcing you to read love stories?”
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a good love story.”

I simply adored Nate and the way he pursued Shayne, even while Shayne was doing her utmost best to resist him.

While the romance was fabulous, what I’ve come to love the most about this series is the friendship that the girls have. It’s like this perfect rom-com where you have genuine friendships. There’s no backstabbing or cattiness, I can’t praise it enough for that. I love the friendship that they have and their banter. It reminds me of movies like The Sweetest Thing, which is still my go-to when I need a pick-me-up.

Brooke Blaine certainly knows how to give good romance and she delivers it flawlessly. She also sets up quite a story for Paige and Richard aka “Dick”. I for one can’t wait for Pita and Dick.

If you’re looking for a light romance to put a smile on your face and a chest full of swoons, you need to be adding this one to your TBR like yesterday!

About the Author
BrookeBlaineLogoYou could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

She is the author of the international bestselling romantic comedy series, L.A. Liaisons (“Licked” and “Hooker), as well as Flash Point and The Desperate Man series. The latter, co-authored with Ella Frank, has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Brooke’s Facebook Group | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE L.A. LIAISONS SERIES!

Licked (L.A. Liaisons, #1)

Licked Cover

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Review: Madame X by Jasinda Wilder

Review-Madame XMADAME X
Series: Madame X #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jasinda Wilder
Release Date: October 6, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

25311678

Madame X invites you to test the limits of control in this provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder.

My name is Madame X.
I’m the best at what I do.
And you’d do well to follow my rules…

Hired to transform the uncultured, inept sons of the wealthy and powerful into decisive, confident men, Madame X is a master of the art of control. With a single glance she can cut you down to nothing, or make you feel like a king.

But there is only one man who can claim her body—and her soul.

Undone time and again by his exquisite dominance, X craves and fears his desire in equal measure. And while she longs for a different path, X has never known anything or anyone else—until now…

Buy-Links10AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS

Review3 starsMadame X_DGR

 

I belong to one man and one man alone, and he does not share.”

I’ve been sitting here for two days trying to put all my convoluted thoughts in words. Did I like this book? I don’t know. Did I DISlike it? I don’t know. I really just have no idea how I feel about the book, the characters, or the story. None. And isn’t that a bitch? The entire story is one mystery hidden behind another, and there’s quite a few things at work here that managed to leave me with more questions than answers now that I finished. Am I curious enough to read the next book to see where the story is going? I AM curious. But it’s more of a “I wish someone else would read it and tell me” sort of curiosity. It’s just that middle of the road book that I really don’t know how I even feel about. But I’ve digressed. Allow me to try to sum-up my thoughts somewhat in a semblance of a spoiler free review here…

Silence breathes truth; solitude breeds introspection.”

Madame X is a highly sought after and exclusive trainer to spoiled sons of the rich and entitled. Named after Jon Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X, she whips inept and spoiled boys into men. She’s stunning, beguiling, cold, and incredibly good at her job. Her services are expensive and she has a waiting list 2 years long. She is THE person to go to for the rich to educate their sons how to be men enough to eventually take over their fathers’ empires. Her job is also all she knows and all she’s known for over six years now.

Is she a willing victim or the prey of something much more sinister? Therein lies the rub and that’s what the reader is left questioning for the entirety of the book.

So what didn’t work for me?

The writing style for one…
I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around it. Is it present tense? Past tense?

Your mouth, X.”
I sink to my knees. Unzip. Free the slide-and-hook clasp of custom-tailored trousers. Taste flesh. Smoky essence. My hands and mouth on firm, clean, masculine flesh….

Madame X refers to her clients as “you”. ‘You sit at a table and wait for me. I look at you’. But then the other main character in the story gets referred to as almost something more…almost like an entity if that even makes sense

I am pulled upright, a broad, hard palm cupping the back of my neck. Eyes bore down on me, pierce me, dark and still furious.

Caleb is an enigma in every essence of the word, so perhaps that particular descriptive writing of his scenes are the reasons behind it. To build on that perception? But if I’m being honest, it mostly just flew over my head and managed to confuse me.

The writing style and dialogue is almost ostentatious at times with the words and descriptions used. Madame X is extremely cultured, and it certainly gets across in her inner monologue, however, I just found it to be excessive. Her referring to her nether regions as “privates” didn’t help either.

So focused on the man in front of me, am I, that I’ve noticed nothing of the space around me.

Do you see what I mean though? It was just entirely too much considering I’m reading a contemporary erotic romance…

My other issue was Caleb

Caleb Indigo was created by an artist for the express purpose of ravishing women. Specifically, in this moment, this woman.
And I hate my body for it.”

Is he a bad guy? A good guy shrouded in mystery that’s simply misunderstood? Who is he? What is it he does? Do I care? The answer to all of those questions is I don’t know. I couldn’t connect to him for the life of me. I’m all for questionable characters, but I do have my limits and I do think that this man was that. I found nothing endearing or captivating about him. Perhaps this was the point and the second and third books will put things in better perspective. The problem is that my perception of him is already skewed and I don’t think it’ll be changing.

I feel shame, embarrassment, revulsion. Hatred. I fell for the sorcery again. Caleb has some way of weaving a spell over me, of making me forget all my objections and all my thoughts and everything that is logical or rational.


Now as for the story itself? I can see how people would enjoy it. It is somewhat spellbinding if you can connect to it. The mystery, the secrets, it all weaves together into quite a tale. Perhaps if I enjoyed the writing style and developed a better connection to X, that would have been the case for me as well.
I couldn’t understand X’s behavior or decisions. She’s a strong and captivating woman, but at times her naivety was a bit too much. Yes, I understand that since this is all she’s known for over 6 years that mostly rules her actions…but to a point. This is particularly true for the direction the ending of the book took. I was not at all a fan of that particular direction. While I do plan on reading the second book to see what happens, I’m not exactly anxious at a chance to jump into it either.

I suppose I’ll save my ultimate judgement of the series until I finish book 2, so we’ll just wait to see what happens.

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THE TRILOGY

MADAME X | EXPOSED | EXILED

New Release & Review: ★The Heart of It★ by @MollyOKwrites

Review-THoITHE HEART OF IT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella
Author: Molly O’Keefe
Release Date: February 29, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

TheHeartOfIt-v5

On the outside rich and successful Gabe Paterson has everything.

No one would guess the ghosts from his past are tearing him apart.

Desperate, he reaches out to Elena – a resilient call girl, with her own childhood scars – for help.

In their moments of honesty, the two forge the most surprising relationship of their lives.

But will they be brave enough to make it into something more?

Buy LinksAMAZON 

The Heart of It Graphic 3

Review4.5 starsThe heart of it-DGR

He was a bag of lies and half-truths and she was without counterfeit. There could have been a hundred women sitting at this bar and he would have only seen her and the brilliant truth of her.

Can you write a heartfelt and poignant story full of steam and emotion in under 70 pages? If you’re Molly O’Keefe not only can you, but you do it effortlessly. The Heart of It is a must read for any fans of this author. It’s captivating and erotic; full of feeling and emotion. It’s short but satisfying and yet still left me craving more; not because it was lacking, but because I just didn’t want it to end. I don’t believe I’ve ever rated a novella so highly in all my reading experience. Not only am I rating it for the wonderful story, but the mere fact that the author managed to pack in as much development and emotion as she did in these few short pages.

The characters are so well developed they practically leap from the pages. Considering the subject matter it touches on, I was blown away at just how much this author accomplished with just 67 pages. It’s a beautiful story of healing. A story of meeting that one person that finally changes everything. Elena and Gabe couldn’t be more different. Heck, they practically live on opposite ends of the world for all the differences between them. A high class escort and a successful author of children’s books that’s haunted by the demons of his past share an experience together that irrevocably changes them both.

Miss O’Keefe does an incredible job laying the foundation of a truly broken man for the readers. Gabe is no perfect in any means even while he may live the picture perfect life on the outside. He’s a man with a past that won’t let go of his present. He’s a man that hopes to find some solace in the arms of a beautiful escort if only for one night. I loved how endearing his imperfections came across. You can’t help but fall for him and want to heal all his emotional scars. He was this gentle giant that was just perfectly imperfect. Elena has scars of her own from the past, but she’s a heroine I connected with right away. She’s strong in an understated way. She doesn’t flaunt herself, but she owns her sexuality. Both of these characters were simply refreshing in their originality.

What a wonderful treat the author has written for her fans. I only wish it was longer.

If you haven’t read anything by Molly O’Keefe yet, but enjoy novellas by Cara McKenna and Anne Calhoun, this is an author you’ll want to check out. Trust me on that.

Review: ★Monster In His Eyes★ by J.M. Darhower

Review-MihEMONSTER IN HIS EYES
Series: Monster in His Eyes #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mafia
Author: J.M. Darhower
Release Date: April 27, 2014add-to-goodreads-button-2

MIHEFRONT

Ignazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.

It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.

I want to hate him.

Sometimes, I do.

But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4 starsMIHE-DGR

He’s a whirlpool of darkness, and I feel myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into the depths of his abyss. I’m drowning in him.

As I sit here beating my head against the wall for my complete and utter stupidity, I have only one thought in mind: why in the ever loving hell did it take me so long to read it?
No, but seriously. I love anti-heroes. I love mafia romance. And I seriously love J.M. Drawer’s writing. So why did this book spend almost 2 lonely years collecting dust in my kindle? Because I’m an idiot, ladies and ovaries. Complete and utter idiot that’s currently kicking my own ass if it’s any consolation.

I told you, Karissa. I read people. You have the tendency to just go with the flow and see where the wind blows, so I picked somewhere decent for you to land.

I heard many things about Ignazio “Naz” Vitale. Some of them intriguing, some of them scary, and all of them utterly titillating and ovary tingling.

Monster In His Eyes is told entire in Karissa’s POV. Karissa is an 18 year old college student that’s struggling through a philosophy class. She’s a good girl; she’s not into the party scene, she talks to her mother daily, and she has a scholarship to her school which she needs to maintain with her grades. But then Karissa’s life takes a real turn when she meets the mysterious Naz; a man twice her age, rich, enigmatic, with just the right edge of dangerous.

He fucks me like he means it, like he needs it, like being inside of me is more important than anything inside of him, and every cell in my body calls out to him, craving more of it.

Naz is such a magnetic force. As a reader you know there’s something almost sinister and dark about him. You certainly know this way before the pieces begin clicking in Karissa’s head about the man she’s involved with.

At first I was a little concerned with Karissa being only 18, that she’d be too naive, idealistic and immature. And maybe she was those things in a way, but she also pulled it off. Or better yet, the author pulled it off. I’m not sure how she did that, but I connected with her right away.

As you’re reading, you know that there’s something much deeper involved than a chance meeting. Why? Because the prologue gives that little bit away. It gives you a vague piece of the puzzle that will keep you glued to the pages in eager anticipation for more details. Is it truly a chance meeting or the work of something more? What is it that Naz truly wants. What’s his end game and will Karissa survive it?

He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package.
But I find myself wondering at times like this, when I feel the distance between us, if maybe in his eyes, the real monster is me.

Naz is a true force of nature. I fell head over ovaries for him right away. There’s this air of danger to him. But he’s also a perfectly balanced two sided coin. One side nurturing and caring, and the other side dangerous and depraved.

I’m the king of the jungle. I’m the predator.”
“Does that make me your prey?”
“That makes you my queen.”

You never know just what side you’ll get and yet you’re connected to each side equally. You crave that darkness even while you’re enjoying his sweetness. Though to be fair, there’s really nothing sweet about the man. But his treatment of Karissa is almost fervent.

While the romance is hot, what truly grips you is the intrigue behind Naz’s past and present. Who is he really? What does he want? And when the truth finally gets unveiled?
The only thing that kept this from a solid 5 star read for me was the super quick connection between Karissa and Naz. It wasn’t quite insta-love, but it wasn’t quite not either. There was a large chunk of the book centered around the everyday of their relationship which got a tad stale after a while. But then the second half more than made up for the slowness of the first.

JM Darhower crafts yet another addicting tale that’s utterly impossible to put down from beginning to finish. I read it cover to cover in one day. I was ready to cut someone for daring to interrupt me. This author has this way of sucking you right into the story and keeping you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive straight into book two!

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MONSTER IN HIS EYES SERIES

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