Geri & Lana’s Review: Royally Endowed by @EmmaChse

ROYALLY ENDOWED
Series: The Royally Series Book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: August 14, 2017

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.

***

Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

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Ellie

But then the mood shifts, as if the air becomes thicker, weighted, more . . . sultry.

Because slowly, Logan sinks down to one knee in front of me—looking in my eyes the whole time. In this position, I could touch his shoulders, comb my fingers through his thick, dark hair. He’s the perfect height for me to bend down and kiss his mouth—the perfect height for him to kiss me back . . . in a lot of places.

My breath hitches. And I wonder he feels it too.

There’s a sound of tearing Velcro, and Logan takes something off his ankle—a holster, with a small silver knife, about three inches long.

“Keep this on you all the time,” he says seriously. “Just in case. If you wear a skirt, the strap will fit around your thigh.”

And I almost laugh. Most girls get a ring from a guy on his knees. I get a murder weapon. But still, it makes me feel safe . . . watched over. Like I’m something precious that deserves to be protected.

I take the knife from him, testing the surprisingly solid, heavy weight of it in my hand. I press my index finger to the tip.

Logan grabs my wrist tightly. “Careful. It’s sharp.”

There’s a small, painless nick, a tiny bead of blood, so I put my finger in my mouth, sucking.

And Logan’s watching me again.

Watching my mouth.

His chest seems to rise just a little faster, and his throat ripples when he swallows. He bends his head, curves his strong back, and then I feel his hands on my ankle, securing the strap. His touch is warm and self-assured. It’s the way he always moves—confident and experienced. Logan knows his body and he knows how to use it, in every way possible.

I almost moan. The sound is in the back of my throat, but I keep it trapped. I never knew the ankle was an erogenous zone, but it sure as hell is now. A hot pulse of pleasure streaks from Logan’s fingers on my bare skin, up my thigh, between my legs.

And I throb there, growing swollen and heavy as he keeps his hands on me.

Can he tell? Does he know? He’s so aware of everything, always so attuned, I wonder if he can sense my arousal . . . feel it in the air that clings between us.

LANA’S REVIEW

Hey Logan?”
“Yeah?”
“One of these days . . . I’m going to save you back.”

Oh.
My.
Swoons.

I can barely form a coherent thought right now. I’m a melty pile of swoony goo at the hands of Emma Chase. The woman is incapable of writing a book that I devour in one sitting with a goofy grin on my face for the entire time. As much as I adored Royally Matched, I think this book totally topped it. I don’t have the words to describe all the ways I loved it. And oh my god, you guys, how I loved it!!!

Somebody once told me a slow-burning fire is the hottest—and it must be true. Because Logan and I are a fucking inferno.

If you love an incredibly written slow burn romance with a hero that’s simply to die for and a heroine you’ll want for your best friend, this book will be going straight to your top favorites shelf. GUARANTEED. It wasn’t just swoony, it was EPICALLY swoony. Logan owns my heart AND my ovaries. I don’t ever want them back. EVER.

I don’t know if I’ll be any fucking good at love. I’m not quite sure how it’s done. But, for her, I’ll learn. And I’ll do my damnedest to get it right.

You may remember Ellie Hammond as Olivia Hammond’s baby sister in Royally Screwed. Ellie has always been a bit of a free spirit. Sassy, a little quirky, optimistic and a bit naive in her youth, her brother in law feels like she needs someone to protect her when they’re not around. And the only man he trusts for the job is royal guard, Logan St. James.

They first meet when Ellie is a senior in high school. The chemistry is there, but it’s on a low simmer. Then over the years as Logan sees Ellie grow into a beautiful woman, that low simmer begins to turn into a sizzling inferno that proves almost impossible to resist.

I love a good slow burn romance, and this was easily one of my favorites. I love the playful nature that first forms between Ellie and Logan. I love the way he tries to deny his feelings for her while still falling in love with her. I love the way that Ellie goes after what she wants and I loved the way that Logan finally gives in. These two were some of the most endearing characters I’ve read in a while and I just couldn’t get enough of them.

This book had everything you’d expect from the incredible talent that is Emma Chase; humor, witty dialogue, fantastic characters, and a romance that’s so swoony, it may leave you in a pile of melty goo! This series is just perfection. It’s my indulgence when I need a light and easy romance that will give me the warm and fuzzies and leave me with a smile on my face. Suffice it to say that I. LOVED. IT.


GERI’S REVIEW

Life changes us, with its twists and turns, in ways we don’t always see coming. It changes what we want, what we dream, lays blessings in our hands better than anything we could’ve imagined.”

Emma Chase did it again. Royally Endowed is wickedly sexy, funny with loads of heartfelt moments and characters that you can’t help but root for.

Logan St. James is the dutiful royal bodyguard tasked to guard Princess Olivia Hammond’s baby sister, Ellie. Since her sister married into the royal family, Ellie’s life changed. Part of that change is the stable of bodyguards following her every move and keeping her safe. And provide Ellie with some eye candy along the way.

Logan is the hot, heroic, silent type and unsurprisingly, Ellie developed a crush on him from the get go. As Ellie grew older, that crush developed into something more. But Logan has always been a loyal and dutiful bodyguard. He wouldn’t jeopardize his job or his relationship with the royal family. So even though he started to see Ellie as someone other than the princess’ younger sister, he can’t be with her the way Ellie wanted to. Or so he thought.

Royally Endowed is probably the most romantic of all the books in this series. And that’s because Logan is just something else. He might not be a prince but man oh man, he gave Nicholas and Henry a run for their money. And for me, he’s my favorite hero in this series. Don’t get me wrong. I love Nicholas and Henry but there’s just something about Logan that puts him above the rest.

His loyalty and dedication to his job, not to mention the way he handled Ellie’s crush on him was endearing. I never felt like he took advantage of her especially since she’s way younger than him and basically still in high school when the story started.

Ellie is just as endearing. She’s a free-spirit and even though people see her as nothing but an airhead, she’s more than that. She displays a maturity that’s unexpected considering how young she is. She’s loves her family and is loyal to a fault. I love how she loves Logan in her own way, at a distance at first and then up close.

For the first time since I met him, my hero looks lost, my guardian angel has a broken wing. And I want to mend him, save him the way he’s always saved me. I want to love him until he feels found.

Their relationship was never easy because of the difference of their status. Ellie is the sister of the princess of Wessco, while Logan is just the lowly bodyguard. But their differences is superficial. At the heart of it, Logan and Ellie have more in common than anyone else. I really enjoyed the way their relationship unfolded.

And Logan…*swoon He made this book for me. He had so much too lose with pursuing Ellie but once he decided that she’s it for him, he’s there 100%. And I loved him for it.

You see the good in people, Ellie. You trust. That’s a good way to be, a brave way. I’ll watch more closely from now on; I’ll make sure this never happens again. You just be who you are. Leave the rest to me.”

Emma Chase has another winner in her hands. If you’re a fan of her writing, then this book is a must read. And if you’re looking to be swept away by romance, yes, this book is for you.

 


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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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#DGRFave & Review: The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez

THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET
Series: The Darkest Sunrise Duet
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: July 27, 2017

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Bullshit.
Words destroyed me.
“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.
Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
“He’s gone.”
In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

AMAZON

he’s shown me that there doesn’t have to be light for something to be beautiful. Love can grow in the darkness

How do you even begin to review a book that touched you on such a visceral level that you don’t think you’ll ever forget it? How do you put those feelings into words that can even begin to do a book the justice it so deserves? How do you attempt to relay everything that this book was without giving anything away? You don’t. Because it’s impossible.

The sun still hung bright in the sky, but midnight fell all the same. And, in that moment, I feared I’d never escape it again. The darkness was going to be my executioner. It was going to crush me, suffocate me, and then devour me.

The Brightest Sunset concludes The Darkest Sunrise duet and man did it go out with a bang. Prepare for a story that will keep you up well into the night and I hope you have plenty of tissues handy because Aly Martinez will not just tug at your heart strings, she’ll rip them to shreds like the sadist that she surely is.

I won’t tell you what happens, because if you haven’t read the first book, my review will be one giant spoiler. But what I can tell you is that Porter Reese stole my heart and I never want it back. Here was a hero that had none of the typical frills. He wasn’t an overbearing alpha. He wasn’t intense or demanding. He was just an amazing man. A man that loves fiercely. A man that will make any sacrifice for the ones he loves. A man that isn’t afraid to feel and show those feelings. A man that’s an alpha but not in the obvious way.

If you were on the fence with Charlotte in book one, you won’t be in this one. You really get to see the soft beneath the cold front exterior. You get to see a woman that finally finds her voice and the way to use it. A woman that finally discovers what love means and how to fight for it. A woman that’s every bit deserving of an incredible man like Porter.

Aly puts this couple through hell and back. I was in hell right along with them. I have never had so much anxiety reading a book. I bit my nails to shreds. I sobbed my way through the entire last third. I was a sobbing, sniveling pile of goo and I loved every devastating second of it.

The Brightest Sunset was a stunning, emotional, unforgettable story of second chances and love beyond all odds. It was phenomenal. It was beautiful. It was everything.

He’d made the darkness a beautiful place filled with understanding and acceptance.

Blog Tour & Jenn’s Review: Wicked Intentions by @JTGeissinger

WICKED INTENTIONS
Series: Wicked Games #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: JT Geissinger
Release Date: July 11, 2017

In the Caribbean for his best friend’s wedding, ex special-ops officer and security expert Ryan McLean meets a beautiful woman in the hotel bar. Their connection is immediate and intense, and they spend a passionate night together with pleasure as their only goal.

But when Ryan wakes the following morning to discover the beautiful woman has vanished, along with millions worth of jewels from the safe of the Saudi prince staying in the suite next door, he realizes their meeting wasn’t accidental and becomes determined to find her.

A notorious thief known to authorities only as the Dragonfly, Mariana Lora has one final job to complete before she’s free from the oath that bound her to a life of crime, but the sexy-as-hell Marine she spent one explosive tropical night with is hot on her heels at every turn. She has to outwit him to stay out of jail, but fighting their magnetic attraction soon becomes a game neither one of them can resist.

When Mariana’s last job goes dangerously wrong and she needs Ryan’s help to survive, he has to decide if their game of cat and mouse is only a game, or if he can trust this beautiful thief with something no woman has ever stolen: his heart.

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If I could give only ONE BOOK RECOMMENDATION this whole year, it would be THIS BOOK. Holy Book Perfection. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, JT Geissinger is a genius. You know those authors that are underestimated and not nearly enough people know about them or read their books? That’s JT Geissinger.

I read Wicked Sexy last year and was blown away. After reading Wicked Intentions, my brain and heart and body are bursting!! These books are the whole package (pun intended). What I love about this book? EVERYTHING. It seriously has everything you ever want in a perfect book. The feels. The humor. The sex. The dirty talk. The amazing story. The words. The dark. The light. All wrapped up in one perfectly packaged book.
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I discovered love was nothing like a fairy tale. It was more like a bad poem written in indecipherable meter by a drunken poet who couldn’t keep a job, so he lived with his mother his whole life while writing the most outrageous roadblocks and outcomes, based on nothing but the whims of his own inebriated brain. It had an awkward beginning, a wildly improbable middle, and an awful, painful end. And nothing rhymed.
Love was the worst.
Inconveniently, it was also the best.

à la Mode St. » fashionMariana. BAD. ASS. HEROINE. It’s impossible for JT to write a weak heroine. Mariana is a genius thief. The best. She has a sordid past and was raised to become the best thief the world has ever known. Riddled with secrets, she steals in order to keep herself safe. She meets Ryan when she is on a mission, and she has to seduce him, but the tables turn and he ends up seducing her instead, and THE CHASE IS ON!!!
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“Wrap your legs around my back,” I say, panting too, “and tell me how much you hate me while I make you come.”
Her thighs become a vise around my waist. Her eyes burn. “I do hate you.”
I flex my hips, and her lashes flutter. She whispers, “I do.”

à la Mode St. » fashion
Ryan. BEST. HERO. EVER. JT writes the best heroes!! I loved Ryan’s natural humor and laid-back personality. But at the same time, he is a genius. I love all the geniuses!!! Ryan is irresistible. I am just grinning and giggling thinking about him. He is part of a top-notch security firm that is very well-connected. Mariana continues to underestimate him in the book, but Ryan doesn’t give up on her. His confidence. His swagger. His humor. Gah!
He melted my mind

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He comes like he does everything else, one thousand percent committed. Crying out until he’s hoarse, praising me, making me feel beautiful, like fairy tales could be true and happily every afters might be an actual possibility. When it’s over and he’s spent, lying motionless and panting, his chest slick with sweat, I sit back on my heels and just look at him. I drink him in with my eyes, memorizing every golden line of his body.

Because in some dark part of my heart, no matter how much I want to believe in them, I know that fairy tales aren’t true.

à la Mode St. » fashion
Ryan chases Mariana in this book, and this chase is delicious. Mariana cannot resist him every time he catches her (who could?!). It’s a game of trust issues. The beginning of this book is perfect. The middle is perfect. The end is perfect.

Are you annoyed yet about how much I love this book?

My work here is done.


 Want to read the other standalones in the Wicked Games series? Find out more about WICKED BEAUTIFUL and WICKED SEXY below!


About WICKED BEAUTIFUL

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Life coach and best-selling author Victoria Price has it all: a successful career, fabulous friends, a fantastic penthouse in Manhattan. What she doesn’t have—and doesn’t want—is a husband. Fifteen years ago her high school flame broke her heart so badly she swore she’d never love again. Now she makes millions teaching other women how to be just like her: a ruthless bitch.

Drop-dead sexy restauranteur and infamous playboy Parker Maxwell has only three rules for the women he dates: no questions about his past, no expectations for the future, and no spending the night. When he meets Victoria, however, he’s willing to break his own rules if it means sating the explosive desire she arouses in him. What he doesn’t know is that the alluring Victoria Price used to be the mousy Isabel Diaz, the girl he deflowered and dumped long ago.

Presented with a perfect opportunity for revenge, Victoria decides the game is on. But when her connection with Parker proves more than just skin deep, she has to make a choice: continue with her plan for payback, or risk her career, her reputation, and her heart by taking a second chance on love?

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About WICKED SEXY
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A badass ex-Special Ops officer and a smartass hacker fight a dangerous enemy…and a blistering attraction to each other.

Connor Hughes is an ex-special ops officer, CEO of Metrix Security, and bonafide badass. His private security firm is renowned for its effectiveness. He’s renowned for his lethal precision and iron self-control. But when the former Marine meets a gorgeous young hacker with a mouth as smart as her brain, his control unravels in ways he never could have predicted.

Tabitha West is a genius MIT dropout with a bad attitude, an obsession with Hello Kitty and piercings in unmentionable places. Tabby amuses herself by outwitting the most secure technology systems on the planet. Known in hacker circles as Polaroid due to her photographic memory, she’s as secretive as she is accustomed to working alone. So when Connor decides she’s the only one who can help him catch a cyber criminal intent on taking down one of his clients, she tells him exactly where he can stick it.

But when the cyber criminal turns out to be the Hannibal Lecter of computer crime—and a dark presence from Tabby’s past—Tabby and Connor are drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse. They quickly find themselves fighting not only their common enemy, but also an explosive desire that threatens to consume them.

When the stakes are this high and the game this deadly, will falling in love be the most dangerous move of all?

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Amazon Paperback | Google Play

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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Geri’s Review & Excerpt: Silver Silence by @NaliniSingh

SILVER SILENCE
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Nalini Singh
Release Date: June 13, 2017

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life.

But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her.

But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

AMAZON

I’ve got strong hands, and I promise to be a gentleman unless you ask me to tear off your clothes and kiss every delectable inch of you.”

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Oh my gah, Valentin. *melts into a puddle of goo*

This Changeling alpha bear stole my heart from the get go and he almost ALMOST replaced Hawke as my favorite Nalini Singh hero ever! No small feat coz duh, Hawke is Hawke but oh man, Valentin is right up there.

Silver Silence is the first book out of the second chapter of Nalini Singh’s sprawling Psy-Changeling series called Psy-Changeling Trinity. Silence has fallen and a new peace accord has been signed by the three groups: the Human Alliance, the Psy’s and the Changelings. But a new group threatens to unravel the fragile bonds of peace that the Trinity has forged. Just when you thought this series couldn’t get any better, it does. It really does.

Silver didn’t know how to love, but she knew how to hold on to her people.

Silver Mercant rose from being Kaleb Krychek’s top aide to become the head of the Em-Net, the worldwide emergency response network. Silence has fallen but despite this Silver still chooses to live under it. She has a good reason to and her reason isn’t clear to other characters in the book as well as the readers until it was revealed. The Mercants is one of the most powerful Psy family in the world, and the most secretive. So when an attempt was made on Silver’s life, the Mercants did what they had to do their way.

Fortunately for Silver, Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears offered his home and his protection while her family tried to get to the bottom of who wanted Silver killed. 

The StoneWater Bears are a strong predator changeling group out of Moscow who went through a very traumatic rift which threatens to tear them part. And Valentin being the Alpha has his hands full with keeping his family safe and strong as they navigate the new changes brought about by the Trinity Accord. But Silver has always fascinated Valentin. The man and his bear recognized their mate in Silver and despite her Silence, Valentin goes above and beyond in trying to win her trust and her heart. And we know what happens when you put a determined alpha bear together with a reluctant Silent Psy in one place, right?

This was my favorite part of the book for me. Yes, this book does have multiple POVs. It has intrigued and a dash of suspense. But the romance…the ROMANCE was top-notch swoonworthy.

Explain what’s happening.”  

 “We’re happening.”

Valentin, like most changeling Alpha, is determined. Gah! His devotion and patience as the pursues Silver “sneaky like a cat” was everything. He was funny as hell and he respects Silver and treats her as his equal. He totally won me over and Silver didn’t stand a chance. He was one determined bear.

I loved how Ms. Singh took time to develop not just their romance but each of their character arcs. Silver went from being Silent to the kind of person that was perfect fit for Valentin, who has always worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to Silver. I loved how the StoneWater Bears Denhome was explored in the book. The vivid imagery of their cave as well as the relationships between Valentin and his sisters, as well as his lieutenants added an interesting layer to the story and to the romance.

A few familiar characters from the first chapter of the Psy-Changeling series made some appearances but not all. Lots of names were dropped though which made me so happy because yes, I knew these characters. Their presence were felt but not too much that it became distracting. This book is definitely all about these new characters, specifically, the StoneWater bears and the BlackEdge wolves, which I am already in love with.

I’ll be beary good,” he promised, his face lit from within.

She had the sense of playing with a wild thing. “Now you’re just beyond bearing.”

Silver Silence did not disappoint. It’s tautly written with fascinating characters and an intricate plot that holds your interest from beginning until the end.  There were a lot of plot threads that were left open and I for one, am intrigued.  I’m definitely looking forward to more Psy-Changeling Trinity.

Laughing at the cubs’ antics, Valentin jogged down the slight incline and waded into what had to be ice-cold water after kicking off his boots and socks. He splashed the cubs, laughed when they splashed him back. Running so they could chase him, he turned abruptly and chased them back, to their unhidden joy.
Silver took a seat on the grass. When the female bear looked her way, she inclined her head in a silent greeting. The bear did the same, then they both watched an alpha bear play with two energetic cubs, his hands holding rough care for their small bodies.
By the time Valentin made his way back to her, he was drenched and his eyes weren’t human in any way. When he spoke, his already deep voice was so low it felt like thunder against her skin. “Couldn’t resist,” he said, pushing back his wet hair with one big hand. “If you weren’t in recovery and if I wasn’t in terror of Nova’s wrath, I’d have invited you. The small monsters wanted to play with you.”
Silver didn’t get to her feet. “Can we stay here a little longer?” It was patent that Valentin had an extremely high tolerance for the cold, but he might want to dry off.
“Sure,” he said, and, moving away several feet, shook off the wet.
Fine droplets settled on the skin of her cheek, but she didn’t flinch at the unintentional tactile contact. She also controlled her urge to reach up and touch the water where it lay against her skin. There was no reason to do that, and Silver was alive because she only did things that were rational.
Settling beside her, Valentin waved at the cubs as their guardian led their tired forms toward a path in the trees that was at the same level as the stream. “Gentler climb,” Valentin told her.
“They seem too exhausted to make it to Denhome.”
“It’s all an act—they’re hoping for a ride on their aunt’s back.” His tone held the same fond affection she’d heard when he spoke of Dima. “It’d take more than a few minutes’ play in the water to wipe out those two.”
The cubs had played with Valentin for almost a half hour. “They’re hyperactive?”
“They’re baby bears.”
Silver watched as those baby bears turned toward her and rose up on their back paws, as if in challenge. A stern sound from their caretaker, and they dropped down and scrambled to catch up with her. Their bodies disappeared into the trees as dusk began to turn from orange to shadowy gray.
Beside her, Valentin sprawled out, bracing himself on his elbows. His drenched T-shirt clung to the ridged muscles of his abdomen, pulled tight across his pectoral muscles, shaped itself over his shoulders. His jeans weren’t much better, outlining the raw muscle of his thighs.
Valentin Nikolaev was a man of violent physical strength even in human form. Yet he clearly had iron control over it; when he’d played with the children, they’d displayed zero fear of their alpha.
“You thought about where you’re going to live when you escape the bears who’ve kidnapped you?”
When she raised an eyebrow at him, he grinned. “Fringe netter with his own Internet channel sent out a breaking report last night. Pasha—who obviously needs more work duties—made up a fake account and posted a comment swearing to have seen you being pulled into a black van by six burly bears in bear form.”
“You don’t seem too concerned.” Amber eyes and deep voice, he remained very much a bear in human form.
“Well, according to this ‘eyewitness,’ the getaway driver was in bear form, too. Must’ve been tough for him to steer with one paw since he was drinking a beer at the same time.”
“Bears,” Silver said, making Valentin throw his head back and laugh that huge laugh that wrapped around her.
“I’ve got strong hands, and I promise to be a gentleman unless you ask me to tear off your clothes and kiss every delectable inch of you.”

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

Blog Tour & Jenn + Lana’s Review: The Castle by @skye_warren

THE CASTLE
Series: Endgame #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: April 4, 2017

THE CASTLE by SKYE WARREN IS NOW LIVE!
The trilogy is now complete! #OneClick now!

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!

Safe in the ivory tower…

Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.

Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?

There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.

No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

 

 

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LANA’S REVIEW

So bright. So beautiful. I used to wonder if it would burn to touch you.”
“Now you know. It doesn’t.”
“Oh, little virgin. You definitely make me burn. And I’m addicted to being ash.”

Alright, confession time.
True story. And usually the mere thought of a trilogy is enough to make me break out in hives. Why? Because I’ll usually find book two to be more filler, and I’m pretty much bored and uninterested by book three. So you may be asking yourself, why on earth did this crazy heifer read a trilogy then? And to that, my doubting friend, I only have one answer for you. Skye Warren wrote it. It doesn’t matter what this woman writes. She can write the damn alphabet and I’ll read it.

If I can describe this trilogy for you in one word, it’ll be intense. And not only does it start that way in book one, but it only gets more and more intense as the story progresses.

He fucks me like I’m the enemy, like he can vanquish me.”

Not only was I still riveted to every single word of this book and story, but I was fully invested and addicted. It doesn’t get more intense than Gabriel. It just doesn’t. And the man only gets better and better with each look into the depths of his dark soul.

A sense of inevitability overcomes me, the same as watching the moon rise in the sky. There’s no way that we can change the tides. All we can do is cling to the mast, the way I’m clinging to Gabriel now. He’s my ship, my center. My only hope for surviving the night.”

Skye Warren is a literary genius. The way she weaves her words is downright magical. Greek mythology, chess analogies, and dark intensity all wrapped around a romance that’s as erotic as it is forbidden. An innocent virgin falling for her captor and protector. A man who has seen too much darkness in his life to be anything less than a monster, allowing some of her light to seep through his heart’s cracks. All of it blended flawlessly through a captivating story of betrayal and vengeance that goes to show that monsters are real and can break even the strongest of spirits.

I’m not made of marble or anything hardy like that. I’m built from crystal flutes and rare silk. From the brushstrokes of my mother’s portrait. I’m a shadow of a human being, only a cautionary tale whispered from mother to daughter. A collection of dangerous words. I’m a myth. And as long as I don’t speak, I can bury myself.”

The Castle was the perfect conclusion to a series that captivated me from the very first. The Endgame trilogy was a story that kept me glued to the pages. The intensity built with each new book. With each secret that gets revealed. With each depravity that comes to light. It was addicting. It was heart pounding. It was completely unputdownable.

Oh, little virgin. I love you with every cold bone in my body. I love you with every dark thought, every violent impulse. I love you enough to leave the walls I’ve carefully built, the iron bars I refined, the castle I made.”

I forever worship at the altar that is Skye Warren and kept wait for more. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere, drinking my feelings, until The King comes out. Because DAMON!!!!


JENNIFER’S REVIEW

5 – Do you even have to ask how many stars I’m giving this??? – Stars

A Love Letter to Skye Warren…..Maybe more like a Crazy Fan-Girl Letter….Same thing.

Ok, this should be a book review for The Castle. But let’s be honest. Everyone KNOWS The Castle was brilliant, and if you don’t, then you should obviously read it (After The Pawn & The Knight). But what I really want to do is write a love letter to Skye Warren. Because I’m in luuuurve with her. Ok, not really….Well, maybe a little.
GABRIEL. Can I have him? Seriously, I want you to write a Gabriel story EVERY…..DAY and send me the story. No one else. Just me. Especially not Lana. BECAUSE HE’S MINE!! That’s why I want you in my basement. So no one else can have Gabriel. It’s a completely reasonable request.
Dear, Skye. I’m just over here with your favorite thing to lure you into my house so I can lock you up in my basement. (Jk. I’m not a crazy person…..not really.) Seriously. I want to meet you. And brunch with you. And just…..talk. Because you are brilliant. I love your words on pages. I love your STORIES. Ugh, your stories. I love those people in your head that talk to you and make you put them on paper. Ugh, all your characters. I am completely intimidated by you. This whole series and all of your books leave my jaw on the ground.

Ugh. This letter is getting cray. I should probably go before people think I’m cray.

Actual Review for The Castle:

Seriously.


Start the series today with THE PAWN!

TOTALLY FREE!

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grab THE KNIGHT now!

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Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Contact Skye:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skye_warren
Instagram: https://instagram.com/skyewarrenbooks
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyeWarrenBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sk

#DGRFave & Review: Hard Limits by @AycartElle

HARD LIMITS
Series: Bowen Boys #4.5
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Elle Aycart
Release Date: April 4, 2017

DO NOT READ before Jacked Up.
***MAJOR SPOILERS***

Nico Grabar, head of one of the most ruthless cartels in the world, is in the last stretch of a two-year nightmare, his agenda extremely busy. He has a criminal organization to run. A cover to maintain. A promise to fulfill. Too bad he’s bleeding to death in the middle of nowhere, about to meet his maker on a deserted street. A fitting ending to a bleak existence, really. When a beautiful Vintage bride with racoon eyes and a choke collar, covered from head to military boots in blood, came to him. It looked like the Grim Reaper had gotten a makeover just for him. What an honor.

Who finds a frigging drug lord in serious need of resuscitation while coming back from a bachelorette party at the wee hours? Paige, aka magnet for psychopaths, of course.
The Goth waitress at Rosita’s has already survived a major asshole, narrowly escaping with her life. The last she needs is to have to play Nightingale to a dangerous kingpin. What if he dies on her? Or worse; what if he doesn’t?

AMAZON 

For years there was nothing in my life but darkness and thirst for revenge, whatever the personal cost. Nothing else mattered. Then you came waltzing into my bleak existence, with your quirks and your crazy hair and your lovely smiles, and you fucking blinded me. I should have let you go, but I couldn’t. I just fucking couldn’t, and now you are my priority. I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe.”

WARNING If you haven’t yet read Jacked Up, (1) you’re SERIOUSLY missing out and (2) do NOT read my review. Seriously. Take your curious little nose the other way and step away. Then run to Amazon to one click Jacked Up. You’ll thank me. Trust me.

And if you HAVE read Jacked Up, then you’ve been just as antsy as I have to get your grabby little hands on Nico. This wasn’t a character that Elle had originally planned on writing a book for, and man am I happy that she decided to, because the man totally stole both my heart and my ovaries even when I thought he was a baddie to beat all baddies.

This shit was killing his soul. Whatever small part was still left, it was not going to survive this.

In deep cover, infiltrating the worst of the worst, Nico is finally in a position to bring down the cartel he’s dedicated his life to destroying. But Nico is no one’s hero. The life he’s led has left a permanent stain on his soul. A stain so dark, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be clean of it. He’s not exactly surprised to find himself bleeding out on the street after an attempt on his life. What he doesn’t expect is his savior…

Her facade was so brazen, a deliberate act to distract everyone from her aching vulnerability. All smoke and mirrors.

Paige is no wilting wallflower. But behind her tattoos and piercings are hidden scars of past mistakes she’s trying to outrun. The one one her facade doesn’t work on is the head of a ruthless cartel and the man she has an inexplicable connection to. When she finds him bleeding to death in his car, she knows she’ll stop at nothing to help him. But are their scars too deep to heal and ultimately be their destruction?

This is why I didn’t want you here. Because you are unraveling me piece by piece, and I fucking hate it.”
“If you hate it so much, why are you here?”
“Because I can’t stay away. Because I can’t fucking breathe without you. Because nothing’s worth a damn if I don’t have you. Because I’ve fucking lost my mind.”

In just under 200 pages, this book packed so much depth and feeling. I wish I can say I was surprised, but I don’t expect anything less from Elle Aycart. After not so patiently waiting for Nico and Paige’s book, I can say the wait was worth it. Ever since they met in Jacked Up, you could feel a sizzle between them. That sizzle turned into scorching passion in this book. The novella is eloquently titled, because both are characters with their individual hard limits that get shattered at the hands of the other one. Man but I loved watching them both demolish those.

Nico is everything I thought he’d be and more. He’s ruthless, deliciously dirty, protective and with a hidden vulnerability that you can’t help but fall for. Paige was the perfect second half to him. She’s not without her own demons, but she also doesn’t shy away from them. She owns them and has a steel core of strength that you can’t help but respect.

Hard Limits was an action packed ride that was equal parts spine tingling and toe curling. It was edge of your seat excitement with a romance that was just as deliciously sexy as it was emotional and satisfying. I loved every single page of it. We get a chance to catch up with all our past favorites, but Nico and Paige definitely steel the show. I adored seeing Nico’s vulnerable side come through more and more almost as much as I loved seeing Paige truly come into her own. It was perfection. Pure perfection. I’m addicted to this series and I can’t wait for more! I will never have enough Bowen Boys


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

MORE THAN MEETS THE INK | HEAVY ISSUES | TO THE MAX | JACKED UP

 

#DGRFave Review: Goodbye Paradise by @SarinaBowen

GOODBYE PARADISE
Series: Hello Goodbye #1
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: March 21, 2017

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Caleb,” he whispered against my skin. “Just make me yours.”
“You,” I said, kissing him on the forehead, “are already mine.”

When was the last time you read a romance that was so powerful and sweet that you felt it touch your very soul? For me, that was today and this romance was this book. THIS BOOK. My god. I sobbed my way through almost the entire thing. I couldn’t help myself. It wrecked me and it owned me all at once. I don’t have enough praise to describe everything that was this story. All I know is that Caleb and Josh’s story is one that will stay in my heart forever, and as a voracious romance reader, I don’t make that statement lightly. It was just that good.

Nothing had ever felt better than lying in Caleb’s arms.

Caleb and Josh have been best friends for as long as they can remember. And Caleb has been Josh’s confidant and protector just as long. Growing up in a religious cult where a man’s worth is measured by his strength and ability to withstand hard labor, brainy Josh has always been at the bottom of the food chain. Caleb has always looked out for him and protected him, and Josh has been secretly in love with Caleb just as long.

When it becomes evident that Josh will soon be tossed out, Caleb makes a plan to escape. Having nothing to their name, no IDs, no money, they only have each other to lean on when they end up in a world that Josh had no idea existed and Caleb only had quick glimpses of.

Caleb has always been the strong one, but Josh has always been his strength. Unbeknownst to Josh, Caleb has been in love with his best friend but much better at hiding it. Now that they’re out, there’s nothing holding them back from being together but each other.

Maybe I’d craved him all my life, but I was his first, too. I felt powerful because of it.

This was such a powerful story of an emotional journey of two boys growing into men with nothing to guide them through it but each other. There’s no crazy drama, no silly angst. Absolutely nothing to take away from the incredibly poignant romance.

The secondary characters only served to strengthen the story and add another touching layer to something that was already solid to begin with. I loved the friendships and bonds that these boys formed through their journey. Every secondary character drove the plot further and just connected me to the story that much more.

I adored Caleb’s strength, but what I loved even more was Josh’s silent and unassuming strength. They balanced each other so well and their undying devotion to the other was nothing if not incredibly touching.

Hi baby,” he said under his breath. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and everyone.

This book is exactly why I’m such a huge fan of this author. It was romantic and powerful, sweet and emotional, it was touching and poignant and everything that I love about romance. It was one of the most unforgettable romances I’ve read in a long while and I simply can’t recommend it enough.

Jennifer’s Review: Vicious by @lj_shen

VICIOUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: December 27, 2016

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares.
He is a brilliant lawyer.
A skilled criminal.
A beautiful liar.
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist.
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom.
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down.
She paid the price.
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate.
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t.
So she hates me. Big fucking deal.
She better get used to me.

AMAZON

HEY!!!…YOU!!!…..Yeah, you. Pay attention. You need to read this book. I know everyone says that about the book they love (*rolls eyes). But, seriously. You need to read this book.

 Ok. If you don’t love assholes, then you probably shouldn’t read this book. But if you love assholes……this is the most perfect asshole in all the books I’ve read. I have never met a more perfect asshole. I mean, this guy is actually mean. Like……really really really narcistic mean. And he doesn’t get better….ok, maybe marginally better.

And

I

LOVE

HIM

Like I have deep, down love for this man. For VICIOUS. Ugh. Just give him to me. This man is seriously MESSED UP. He’s got some serious issues. Like he needs therapy. And I still love him.

Love this!: It all starts in high school when Emilia’s parents begin working for Vicious’s parents at their estate. Vicious is a tortured soul, but we don’t find out about his demons until much later. WE HATE HIM….for most of this book. He hates Emilia and always find a reason to torture her, despite that Emilia does nothing to make him hate her. For most of this book, he doesn’t even say her name.
à la Mode St. » fashion

Catering to me. Serving me. Envying me. She was going to stay small and insignificant. Uneducated and opportunity-less. And above all—mine.

à la Mode St. » fashionThe timeline jumps several times during this book, and it’s effortless. I loved every second of the torture that was Vicious and Emilia. I loved the mystery of their relationship because of the timeline. I loved how LJ Shen MADE ME LOVE HIM. She did. She took my heart in her hands, and said, “JENNIFER, YOU WILL HATE VICIOUS SO MUCH, YOU WILL LOVE HIM.” And I did. So thank you, LJ Shen, for making me hate…I mean, love him. ALL THE HATE/LOVE FOR VICIOUS.

Emilia was just as perfect as Vicious.
Swallow. Blink. Sigh. Blush. Look away.
She was a genuinely nice person who didn’t deserve how he treated her. And I love how it takes a long time for him to get back in her good graces (a looooong time). I love her smart mouth and how she doesn’t put up with his shit. He takes her to the brink of insanity and torture, dragging her along. Wanting her but not claiming her and not wanting her to be with anyone else. He RUINS HER LIFE!!!! And I still love him.
clouds walk antonio mora: The beauty of this book is that Vicious learns to be a marginally better person, but in the end, he is still who he is. And she loves him for it. And she doesn’t try to change him. I loved living along with these characters as they grew and changed.
à la Mode St. » fashion

”We’ve waited a long time for this. I want the real thing. Not the watered-down version. And the real thing is not only beautiful. It is also ugly. I want your truth.”

à la Mode St. » fashionI could not put this book down. It is brilliant. Genius. This book blew my mind. The writing. The character development is ON…POINT! LJ Shen can write like a motherfucker!
I will be reading this book again and again and again.
I will be reading ALL of LJ Shen’s books.

#DGRFave & Review: Royally Matched by @EmmaChse

ROYALLY MATCHED
Series:
Royally #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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What a strange pair we are. The sad boy and the frightened girl.

I couldn’t have picked a better book to read on Valentine’s Day. This book! ALL OF THE FEELS! For someone that grew up on the classics and adores all thing Jane Austen, this story was calling to my inner mushy parts. This heroine is my spirit animal. A more shy and introverted version of my spirit animal, but still. It melted my cold black heart. I’m seriously on the swoon train, on the way to swoon city here and I plan on riding the train over and over and over again. Don’t get me started on the perfection that’s Henry or the laugh out loud bits and the glorious writing. Because gah! Just. GAH. Where do I even begin?

There are meetings in books that stand out, that alter the course of the story. Profound encounters between characters when one soul seems to say to the other, “There you are—I’ve been looking for you.”

Henry is a boisterous, quick-witted, happy go lucky ladies man. The wit and humor is strong with this one, ladies, and I loved it. I LOVED IT SO HARD.

Not that kind of proposition. I don’t want to sleep with you, Henry.”
“Who said anything about sleeping? I’m talking about sex. Good sex. Lots of it.”
That puts a flush on her pretty cheeks and she laughs. “I don’t want to have sex with you.”
I pat her hand. “Now you’re just being silly. The cat-and-mouse game can be tantalizing, but it’s not necessary.” My voice drops to a whisper. “I’m a sure thing.”

It’s exactly what you would expect from an Emma Chase male POV. Pure. Awesome.

Henry is quick to jokes and smiles but if there’s one thing he struggles at, it’s politicking. Much to his disappointment. The one thing he yearns for is his grandmother’s approval. As the heir to the throne since his older brother abdicated, he can’t seem to do anything right. So what’s one more grand bad decision in a line of them? May as well star in his very own royal version of the Bachelor. Except the last thing he expects is to meet the unlikeliest of women that takes his breath away.

Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum is a shy, introverted bookworm. She’s the exact opposite of everything about him. It’s funny because I’m not typically a reader that enjoys the shy and mousy heroines, but there was just something so endearing about Sarah that tugged at my every heart string. It was impossible not to like her, to connect and to feel for her.

Sarah only goes to the show to support her sister and to narrowly escape a project at work that would be a nightmare come true for her; force her to speak publicly. Whatever her reason may be, the last thing she expected was the attention of Prince Henry. And as much as she thinks that he’s everything she doesn’t need and guaranteed to break her heart, his presence is a magnet that seems to draw her into his orbit with a mere look.

He’s so damn comfortable, so sure and confident in his own skin. And he makes me feel that way too. Beautiful and bold. Brave. Like I could do anything—say anything—be anything. But at the moment, all I want to be is his.

The romance in this book? OH MY FEELS!!!! This is by far, one of the swooniest books I’ve read from Emma to date. It was pure perfection. I mean, yes, it was also absolutely sexy. But it was so much more than that, too. It made you feel all mushy and warm. It was as sweet as it was sexy and you couldn’t help but fall head over heels for both Henry and Sarah. They may not make sense together at first, but their connection was such a palpable one that you’re rooting for them from the very start. I adored it. Oh my god, you guys, I adored it so hard!!

My darling girl. I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

Do you see?!!!

Look, if this book isn’t on your TBR you’re seriously missing out. It packed everything I loved into one incredibly satisfying read. It had humor, romance, steam, AMAZING characters, a perfect story, and flawless writing as only Emma Chase is capable of. It. Was. EVERYTHING.

I’m not going to fall. I can’t. Because Henry has shown me how to fly.



Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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#DGRFave & Geri’s Review: Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

PRETTY FACE
Series: London Celebrities #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lucy Parker
Release Date: February 20, 2017

Highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Act Like It Lucy Parker returns readers to the London stage with laugh-out-loud wit and plenty of drama

The play’s the fling

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | HARLEQUIN 

 

This was Luc Savage. Award-winning, career-making, ego-curdling Luc Savage. Get-in-my-way-and-I’ll-crush-you-like-a-bug Luc Savage. And her driving instinct was to touch the tips of her boots to his—and then stand her ground until he stepped back first.”

Sometimes I feel like the book goods are smiling down at me and they send me a book that ticks all of my “how romance should be” boxes. Reading Pretty Face by Lucy Parker is definitely one of those times. And oh my gosh, I don’t have enough words to express how much I love this book.

WARNING! Long, gushy review ahead! #Sorrynotsorry

Luc Savage, one of London West End’s premier director/producer is restoring the Queen Anne theatre and capping it off with a new play. Problem is Luc lost not one but two of his female leads, and he’s desperate to find a replacement.

One of the names considered playing the role of Elizabeth is Lily Lamprey. Lily is famous for playing a dumb, conniving bimbo on Knightsbridge, a label that spills over onto her personal life. It doesn’t help that she looks the part: curvy, blonde and a voice that rivals Marilyn Monroe’s—seductive, breathy and totally inappropriate for theatre. Naturally, Luc is not thrilled and made his opinions about Lily known.

If she was as vacant as she looks on screen, she wouldn’t be able to tie her own shoes.”

But even with Luc’s prejudice, he couldn’t quite deny that there’s some raw talent there. He also can’t deny his attraction to her the moment they meet. And Luc doesn’t want to risk the success of his play and his theatre. So he vowed to keep things professional between them, which worked spectacularly for, um, about 5 minutes.

They released each other’s hands; their eyes met again. Game on.”

Pretty Face is full of laugh-out-loud dialogue, quick witted banter and scorching chemistry between Luc and Lily. Despite her appearance, Lily is a hard worker and resolute. I love her so much. She’s not all cowed by Luc or anyone else for that matter really.

Lily knows a thing or two about double standards and being judged based on your looks. But she had a goal: West End. And she’s willing to work her ass off to get there but she won’t ever compromise herself to get it even though she’s insanely attracted to Luc.

Giving in to their feeling could have repercussions on their career, especially on Lily’s. Something that Lily and Luc was all too aware of. Lily had been accused of sleeping with most of her male co-stars, so giving in to her attraction to Luc would give people the ammunition to write Lily off as the bimbo who got the part because she shagged the director. It’s terribly unfair and it made me even more emotionally invested in the romance between Lily and Luc.

Luc and Lily ended up becoming of my favorite couples of all time. I have a weakness for grumpy, taciturn heroes with hidden sweet side, and Luc fits the bill perfectly. And Lily is just awesome. She’s aware of her looks without being conceited about it, and she’s geniunely a nice person. The evolution of their relationship, including the conflict organic and real. The conflict also felt organic. And their banter is beyond hilarious!

How old is Trix?”

“Twenty-six.”

“I see,” Luc said. “And you’re also twenty-six?”

Lily narrowed her eyes slightly. “Yes.”

“Mmm. And Dan is—”

“Not twenty-six.”

“No. I’d say he’s somewhere around my age.”

“Quite possibly. Are we going to arrive at your point anytime soon?”

“No point.” Luc’s voice was bland. His experssion was not. “Just an observation.”

“That some of us are twenty-six and some of us like to make leading comments?” 

The writing is stellar. I can’t believe this is just her second book because Lucy Parker writes like a seasoned pro. Her characters are nuanced and there’s an emotional depth to them. It’s funny without trying too hard to be comedic. It’s just perfect.

I don’t throw out comparisons to Atticus Finch lightly. He was my first boyfriend.”

“He’s fictional.”

“When I was ten, that was a minor drawback, easily outweighed by the staunch devotion to human rights and penchant for natty waistcoats.”

Gah! I have so many highlights I could share but I won’t or else this review would never end. I didn’t even touch on how well written the secondary characters were and how much they add to the story. Just go, pick up the book and enjoy this spectacular romance from Lucy Parker. You won’t be sorry!

 


Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block.

When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well. A family friend introduced her to Georgette Heyer, and the rest was history.

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