Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & #Giveaway: ★Nice Girls Don’t Ride★ by @roniloren

 
 NICE GIRLS DON’T RIDE
Author: Roni Loren
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 21, 2015

Natalie Bourne thinks she has the perfect night planned for her twenty-first birthday. But when her car breaks down and her boyfriend bails on her, she’s left stranded in an auto shop dealing with a way too cocky, way too hot mechanic, who seems to be intent on pushing every button she has.Monroe Hawkins knows he shouldn’t be messing with a girl from the uppity private college. Especially when he can tell she sees him as the help. But he’s having trouble resisting the redhead with the smart mouth and the killer legs. So when Natalie’s night goes from bad to worse, there’s no way he’s letting her spend her birthday alone. He makes her a deal—he’ll take her home but not until the sun comes up.Ten hours, one motorcycle, and the city of Austin at their fingertips…things are about to take a major detour. And soon, there may be no U-turn in sight.

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ExcerptChapter One

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday, dear…

I groan and lean back against the guardrail, shielding my eyes from the piercing sunlight. How exactly should I finish that?

Girl who currently smells like sweat and roadkill?

Girl about to go broke paying for this mess?

Girl whose boyfriend will not answer his goddamned phone?

My fingers move over the screen as I text Caleb again. Where r u???

I stare at my phone, willing a response out of it, but the screen goes black before there’s any answering ding. Caleb had warned me that he was going to be cutting it close for our date tonight. And I know his internship at the local campaign office sometimes runs late when they’re prepping for a rally, but he should be out by now.

My fingers move over the screen again. R U secretly Superman in ur off hours? Come on, u can tell me. If ur saving the world, I’ll understand.

Of course, there’s still no response. And now my neck is prickling with not just sweat but anxiety. What if something happened to him? What if he was in an accident? What if—?

I stop myself before the thoughts spiral, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. Cool it, Nat. But that little exercise only gets me a lungful of the dead skunk that’s roasting in the heat a few yards away from me on the side of the highway. Blech. I press my fingers over my mouth, fighting a wave of nausea.

I check the clock on my phone for what seems like the hundredth time. The roadside-assistance lady said they would contact a local garage and get me a tow right away. But it’s been over an hour, and the only cars that have passed by have either ignored me or sent catcalls flying my way. Because, of course, my piece-of-crap car had to break down when I’m all dressed up in a low-cut dress and heels for my birthday dinner. Yay for timing.

One guy had at least offered to help and had seemed nice enough, but I’ve seen how those horror movies end. Girl on the side of the road accepts help from a seemingly harmless stranger, only to have her organs carved out later that night. No, thanks.

A grinding of tires on gravel draws my attention upward. A black tow truck rolls past me on the road and pulls to the side, sending a cloud of dust in its wake. I keep my phone clutched in my hand, quickly check the can of Mace in my purse, and then push off the guardrail. The side of the truck says Billy’s Custom Cycles and Auto Repair. There’s a tattoo-style logo of a motorcycle on fire, and I know that it’s definitely not the name of the repair shop the roadside assistance service gave me. It had been some big chain—AutoPlus or something like that. A little shimmer of nerves goes through me and I stop where I am, my heels sinking into the gravel.

The front door of the tow truck opens and a tattooed arm appears before anything else. For some reason, my eyes lock onto pieces of the man instead of the whole—like I can’t handle the entire view quite yet, only snapshots. That muscular arm as the driver slides out of the truck. The worn black motorcycle boots that hit the ground. I force myself to look up, tracking along the faded jeans and fitted black T-shirt, until I collide with a dark blue gaze.

“Looks like you need a ride.”

The deep voice startles me for a second and snaps me back into the moment like a slingshot. Ping! Pay attention, Nat. Now is not the time to let my guard down. “No, thank you, I don’t. I already have another shop on the way.”

His gaze tracks over my dusty dress, slow and lazy like, before he lifts a dark brow. “How long have you been waiting? It’s pretty hot out here.”

The once-over makes me more than a little self-conscious. He can’t be all that much older than me, early twenties for sure, but something about him is intimidating as hell. “I don’t know. Not long. I’m sure they’ll be here any second.”

He crosses his arms over his chest and eyes my car, which has chosen this moment to start smoking from under the hood—as if it senses help in its midst and is crying out for it. “What shop is coming?”

I brush at the skirt of my dress, trying to give my nervous hands something to do. I don’t want to look worried or scared or show him that I’m melting in this brutal Texas heat. “AutoPlus, AutoMart . . .”

He scowls. “Autoland.”

“That’s it.”

“You might as well set up a tent then. They take forever to get to calls, and they’ll charge you twice as much as we would. Plus, they close at six. They’re just going to tow you in and then lock up for the night.”

“Says the guy who wants to make a buck on a girl stranded on the side of the road.”

The corner of his mouth lifts. “Hey, princess, I’m just trying to be a nice guy and get you to your”—he looks me up and down again—“sorority party on time. I get paid the same either way.”

Princess? Sorority party? My eyes narrow and I give him my own head-to-toe look, taking in the messy dark hair, the tattoos, the heavy boots, the finely shaped . . . I snatch the thought back before I can go there. “Look, Son of Anarchy, I appreciate the nice guy offer, but how do I even know you’re legit?”

He snorts. “You think I drive a tow truck around for fun? Call the number on the side of the truck if you want. But otherwise, I’ve got better stuff to do than stand here in the heat, smelling roadkill. Two minutes, princess. I’ll be in the truck. You want a tow and a ride? You get in. If not, good luck with Autoland.”

He turns to go, and I feel a little dart of panic at being left alone again—even if he’s not exactly the company I want. This isn’t the best part of Austin, and the sun is on its way down. “Wait, what’s your name? You know, so I can verify.”

He doesn’t turn around but calls back. “Monroe.”

I dial the number to the shop and, of course, they verify that Monroe works for them and is driving the truck today. The guy on the phone sounds amused by my questions. And his reaction makes me realize that I’m being paranoid, that my nerves are officially frayed, and it’s making me act like a bitch. I thank the guy on the phone, hang up, and take a steadying breath. This is going to be okay. Not everyone is out to take advantage. Some people actually do things to be helpful without ulterior motives.

My mother would laugh her ass off at that logic. Everybody’s got an agenda, Nattie.

I straighten the neckline of my dress, hike my purse up my shoulder, and walk over to the tow truck with as much dignity as I can muster for a sweaty girl in a dusty dress. Monroe hasn’t climbed back into the cab, but is instead leaning against the front bumper and watching the cars zoom by on the overpass up ahead. He doesn’t look my way. “Verified that I’m not a serial killer?”

“Verified that you work for Billy’s. The serial-killer part is yet to be determined.”

He smiles out at the horizon. “Want to check the backseat for weapons or body parts?”

“I have a feeling you’d be too sneaky to leave such obvious evidence lying around. And if you aren’t that clever, I’m going to be seriously disappointed in myself if I fall victim to a dumb serial killer.”

He chuckles and it changes his whole face, warming it. When he turns his head, his blue eyes meet mine and my stomach tightens a little. I do my best not to let my reaction show on my face. Last thing I need is him thinking that I’m interested in him. Because, of course, I’m not. I’m totally not. If there’s an opposite of my type, it’s this guy. And plus, I have Caleb. Cute, smart, on-his-way-to-big-things Caleb.

Caleb, who won’t answer his goddamned phone.

Monroe pushes himself off the bumper. “I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult, princess, but I’ll take it you’re going to ride with me.”

“Yes. But only because I can’t handle the dead-skunk smell for another minute.”

“I’m preferable to skunk guts? The flattery just rolls off you, doesn’t it?”

The jab lands squarely. I press my fingers to the space between my eyes and rub. “Sorry. I’m really not trying to be a bitch.”

“It just comes natural, then?”

My eyes snap open and I’m ready to hurl an insult back, but I find him wearing a playful grin and clamp my lips shut.

He angles a thumb toward the truck. “Get in . . .”

“Natalie,” I supply.

“Natalie. And kick the A/C on. Getting your car hooked up is gonna take a few minutes. You may want to call someone for a ride, too, because there’s no guarantee we can get this fixed tonight. I’m assuming you have plans.”

I glance down at my outfit, suddenly self-conscious about the sexy getup. It’s not my typical style, but tonight was supposed to be special, and I had wanted to knock Caleb on his butt. He’s been so wrapped up in work and school lately that I’ve felt a little like furniture. So I borrowed my roommate’s dress with its plunging neckline and treated myself to the new risqué lingerie I’m wearing beneath. I’m not exactly Ms. Vixen normally, so Caleb would’ve never seen it coming. Now it’s all a waste.

“I have a date with my boyfriend,” I say to Monroe.

“Right. So, he can pick you up?”

“He’s not answering his phone. But I’m sure I’ll get him soon.”

Monroe makes some noncommittal noise and nods. “I’m going to get to work. You go and cool off. There’s bottled water in the ice chest in the backseat.”

“Thanks.”

Before getting in the truck, I find myself watching Monroe walk back toward my car. He’s easily over six feet tall but doesn’t move in that awkward, hunched way that most of the taller guys on campus move. There’s an easy confidence to him, like he’s fully grown into his body and taken ownership—a man’s walk. My eyes follow him as he pops the hood of my car and leans over. The hem of his shirt lifts as he bends, exposing a strip of tanned, muscular lower back. I find myself wondering what it would feel like beneath my fingers and if he has any more ink hidden under there . . . I force my eyes away.

What the hell is wrong with me? I don’t have random illicit thoughts about complete strangers. Especially not strangers who have tattoos and call me princess.

I shake my head and pull open the door on the passenger side. Maybe I have heatstroke or something.

I lay my head back against the seat and close my eyes. But all I can see is the image of my new mechanic pulling his shirt all the way off, sweat dripping off him, me putting my hands . . .

I sit straight up.

Yep, definitely heatstroke. Has to be.

Review
3.5 stars

Never have I been so bold. I don’t make first moves. I’ve been the nice girl behind closed doors just like I have been in the rest of my life. But right now, all I want is a whole lot of bad.

I barely bothered to read the blurb when I saw this title. I’m a huge fan of Roni Loren’s, so what the woman writes, I’ll read. This was definitely very different from anything that I’ve read from her in the past. It’s not BDSM or angsty. It’s a light, steamy and quick NA romance that it just perfect for a quick afternoon read. This is not a long book (under 100 pages I think), but it still packs a steamy punch and I loved the story. Typically with short novellas I find it hard to truly get invested in the characters or their romance, but that wasn’t the case here. Sure I wish it was a little longer simply because I enjoyed it, but it was the perfect length for what it was.

Remember, birthdays are like trips to Vegas. Whatever happens doesn’t go on your permanent record.”

So you’re broken down on a deserted road, on your 21st birthday, in suffocating heat. You call a tow truck company but they may take over 2 hours to reach you. You have a fancy restaurant booked for a date with your boyfriend and no way to get there. Oh and your boyfriend is completely unreachable. What’s a girl to do? That’s precisely the predicament that Natalie Bourne finds herself in. But then a tatted up and sexy stranger proves to be her savior and biggest temptation. Natalie is the stereotypical good girl. Her childhood and drunk of a mother ensured that she keep herself in line…a very narrow one. She does what she’s told, she doesn’t make a scene, she dates the nice boys. Basically the exact opposite of the girl that would be interested in the bad boy mechanic that pulls over on the side of the road to help her out.

Monroe Hawkins is not into uptight and rich sorority girls, and Natalie absolutely screams uppity with her appearance. But there’s also something about her that tempts him. As circumstances put them together and Natalie finds her inner bad girl, the attraction between them soon proves too much to ignore.

Because when Monroe braces his arms alongside me and holds my gaze while he moves inside me, I feel like this is bigger than a hookup. This is what sex is supposed to me like. Not just a whole-body experience, but a whole mind one.

Don’t worry, Natalie’s douchebag of a boyfriend isn’t in the picture long and there’s absolutely no cheating or love triangles. This is a super light but steamy read that’s sure to hit the spot for any lovers of NA.

I loved the chemistry between Natalie and Monroe and seeing more and more of Natalie’s true personality coming out with Monroe’s presence. It was fantastic. I read this in one sitting and loved every page. So why not 5 stars? Well, as great as it wasn’t anything that blew me away. It was an entertaining albeit a fairly forgettable read. But definitely one I’d highly recommend.

About the Author

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that’s it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

Places to find Roni Loren:

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#NewRelease & Review: ★Tool★ by @SabrinaPaigeRom

Tool: A Stepbrother Romance (A Step Brother Romance #2)
Genre: Erotic Romance
Author: Sabrina Paige
Release Date: April 7, 2015
I call him “Tool” because he’s a dick.Gaige O’Neal is nicknamed “Tool” because of what he’s packing. Rumor is, he’s well equipped.I wouldn’t know. I’ve never had the pleasure.

He’s a cocky, entitled, insufferable a**hole who’s as reckless with women as he is with that stupid motorcycle he races.

He’s also my stepbrother. Lucky me.

It’s been four years since I’ve seen him. Four years since he’s made me so frustrated I could scream. Four years since he’s given me that look, the one that makes me instantly wet.

So it’s just f**ing fitting that the first time I see him in four years, he’s buried beneath three scantily clad blondes.

Now I’m stuck here under the same roof with him while he recovers from a racing injury. An injury that clearly hasn’t affected the use of his tool.

The problem is, as much as I despise him, I just can’t help myself. I want to find out what kind of tool he’s working with.

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Review
4 stars

 

Motorcycle racer, womanizer, asshole extraordinaire. Four years ago, he was the bane of my existence. And my best friend, my confidant, my first love.
My stepbrother.

So here’s the deal, I’m not a fan of the stepbrother romance thing…at least I don’t go seeking it out. I like the taboo as much as the next pervert reader, but the stepbrother thing doesn’t really do it for me. That is, unless Sabrina Paige writes it. A few months ago I read Prick, my first book by her, and I was absolutely hooked. After finishing Tool, I can tell you that this is just one of those guilty pleasures authors for me. Her books are super smutty but with a great story too. Because let’s be honest, even us perverts romance connoisseurs want a story to go with our smut.

If you haven’t yet read Prick, I highly recommend you get right on that. Pun most definitely intended. But if you haven’t, no worries, because you can very easily read Tool as a standalone. Now onto the review…

Gaige O’Neal is nicknamed “Tool”. A very appropriate nickname too, considering what he’s packing if you catch my drift. And if you’re slow on the uptake, the man has a giant

OK? Great! moving on.

Delaney has spent four years away at college. Mainly she took the opportunity to run from her feelings for her exasperatingly sexy stepbrother. But now she’s back and looking to start working at her father’s company, which also lands her on babysitting ‘handling’ duty with her stepbrother, a professional motorcycle racer. She gets to travel with him to Japan to negotiate the company’s sponsorship deal. Too bad that all those feelings she ran from four years ago have not gone away in the least and Gaige is just as determined to get in her pants now as he was then.


I didn’t come back here to restart something with you, Gaige.”
“You and I are the fucking definition of unfinished.”

Now being a HUGE lover of the hate/lust thing, I gobbled this book right up. Delaney and Gaige are absolutely sizzling together. The snark, the banter, the sexual tension. Gaige is a cocky asshole and Delaney is a good girl with no small amount of sass. The sexual tension between them practically sizzles. I thought my ovaries would just about explode until they finally got together. It hurt, I tells ya. But in the most delicious of ways. Now a good 50% of this book is super hawt sex.

And you sure as hell won’t find me complaining. A lot of times I find that a lot of sex can dilute the story, but that wasn’t the case here. While it was super hot and smutty, I was always engaged in the story too.


Manwhore- check. Past history with him- check. Professional relationship- check. Stepbrother- double fucking check.

It was fantastically smutty!

If you’re looking for a super hot read and haven’t read anything by this author yet, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. Trust me, your ovaries will thank me 😉

Don’t miss the first book in the series!

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★A Perfect Ten★ by @lindakage

A Perfect Ten
Author: Linda Kage
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: March 30th, 2015
Self-Published

Let your hair down, Caroline, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.I know I’ve closed myself off in a major way in the past year, ever since “the incident” where I messed up my life completely. It’s past time I try to live again or just give up completely. But this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve ever done. In a last ditch effort to invigorate myself, I’m standing outside Oren Tenning’s bedroom, I just peeled off the sexiest pair of underwear I own, and my hand is already raised to knock.

My brother would disown me for doing anything with his best friend, and he’d probably kill Oren. But if I play my cards right, no one will ever know about this. Not even Ten.

Maybe after tonight, I’ll finally get over this stupid, irrational crush I hate having on the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Or maybe I’ll just end up falling for him even harder. Maybe I’ll discover there’s so much more to my crude, carefree hunk than meets the eye.

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Excerpt
She was Noel Gamble’s one and only sister; I could not fuck her. No matter what.
Ergo, I needed to take drastic measures to keep her at arm’s length. I needed to…okay, fine. Fuck. I just needed to be me. Not really so drastic once you think about it, even though it probably seemed that way to her.
So I let her have the full intensity of Ten. I stopped watching what I said when she was around, and I let all my base, disgusting thoughts bleed out of my mouth like I usually did. I stopped smiling at her, stopped paying her special attention with little courteous things like holding doors open for her or asking her how her day went. I completely stopped being a nice guy. I backed off and pretty much ignored her, unless I could think up something crude to say in her direction. I made sure to chase other women when she was around. And I felt like shit every night I lay in bed, unable to get to sleep, because I’d relive every awful thing I’d done to her that day.
No matter how deeply my actions ate at me, though, it didn’t stop me from making her hate me and killing any soft feelings she’d ever had for me.
It should’ve been easy to accomplish. Everyone who knows me knows how fast I can piss off a woman.
But nothing about Caroline has ever been easy.
That’s the curious thing about temptation. It festers and grows. You feed that bitch enough and she morphs into craving, and then craving turns into obsession. Pretty soon, nothing in your life is as important as that one thing you want but can’t have.
I wanted her and I couldn’t have her, so I fed the temptation, I flooded the craving, I would’ve fucking nursed the obsession from my own tits if I could’ve. I made sure I got little doses of her here and there. Except something incredibly enlightening happens when you spend enough time in one woman’s company. You start noticing shit about her, little useless shit that actually begins to mean everything, like how she brushes the hair out her face—even if there isn’t any in her eyes—whenever she’s unsettled, or how she chews on the end of a pen during class whenever she’s listening to something that captivates her attention. You learn all her different laughs and know what each one means. You learn what pisses her off the most, or what makes her the happiest. You discover how smart and witty and sarcastic she is, and that her mind is almost as dirty as yours. You see how passionate she becomes when she defends those she loves, and you start to fall. Hard.
So, this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning and I have fallen. Hard.

Review

5 stars

So this is my Pathetic Loser’s confession: I am Oren Tenning, and I have fallen. Hard.

Have you ever started a series and fallen so hard for a secondary character you were equal parts itching to finally get your hands on their book and dreading it at the same time? Dreading it because after 3 books of building his story up in your head, there is no possible way the author can do him justice. That is, unless that author is the brilliant Linda Kage. Because OH MY GOD. I loved this book so hard, I don’t even have the words. When Oren Tenning first came on the scene as Noel’s loud mouthed and manwhoring best friend in To Professor, with Love I just knew his story had to be a good one, especially when you could practically see the fireworks go off the first time he laid his eyes on Noel’s younger sister…Noel’s very VERY hands off sister.

Didn’t he know that forbidding me only made me want to crowd in as close as I could until I was fucking INSIDE her?

Book by book Linda built him up to our hearts, where finally in With Every Heartbeat he truly shined for everything that he truly is. Where early in the series you just get to scrape the surface of everything that is Ten, seeing the way he was with Quinn and Zoey you truly get to see the heart beneath his manwhoring and potty mouthed ways. And oh, be still my beating heart.
Caroline has been lusting after Oren for months. After having her young girl heart crushed by a man that cared nothing for her, she moves in with her brother and his now wife. But unfortunately her relationship past has turned Noel into an overprotective ogre, especially when it comes to warning off his best friend. Too bad that no matter how many times Noel tells her and no matter how many times she’s slapped in the face with who Oren is, Caroline can’t turn her feelings off…

My stupid, idiotic heart that had no sense of decency or self-preservation whatsoever. Seriously, what kind of heart fell for an annoying, obnoxious, loud-mouthed male-slut?

Can I just say how much I loved the humorous banter in this book? Because it was just filled with it. Between Ten’s smart mouth, and Caroline and Zoey, and all the other fantastic secondary characters, I think I had a goofy smile on my face the entire time reading this.

I can’t text him saying, ‘Your dick is now mine. Get it near any other woman, and I’ll physically remove it from you and keep it in a jar by my bedside.’ That would sound a bit creepy.”
“Actually, I was thinking it sounded A LOT creepy.

But of course at the center of everything was Ten and Coraline. If ever there were 2 people that couldn’t be more perfect for each other, it’s these two. They just fit. I don’t know else to better describe it. Their chemistry together was just through the roof. And speaking of chemistry, this may just be THE hottest book Linda Kage has written yet. I thought my Kindle may catch fire through certain parts because let me just say that Oren has quite the mouth on him…

What the fuck have you done to me, Caroline?

I never wanted this book to end. I honestly can’t tell you one thing about it I didn’t absolutely love. It was funny, it was sexy, it was os so addictingly good.
I adored Ten. Who would have guessed that the dirty mouthed manwhore would have such a heart of gold. Gah! I’m in total gush mode here.

Why couldn’t I stay away from you?” he demanded with another long, slow thrust. “Why can’t I get enough of you?” Thrust. “Why do I want to own every fucking piece of you?” Thrust.

As much as I never wanted it to end, I absolutely LOVED the epilogue. What a perfect conclusion to the series. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Linda has in store with us next, and hopefully Asher will be getting his turn soon because the little peak we get of his story in this book sounded absolutely delicious.
About the Author

Linda grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now she lives in Kansas with her husband, daughter, and nine cuckoo clocks. Her life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part of her world, and she is so happy to finally share some of her stories with other romance lovers.

Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift card, 1 Print copy of A PERFECT TEN, or 5 digital copies of A PERFECT TEN

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★If★ by N.G. Jones

Title: If

Author: N.G. Jones
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: March 16, 2015
goodreads

If CoverIf…
Someone hadn’t scarred my face.
I hadn’t followed my dreams to LA.
That tweaker hadn’t attacked that homeless guy.
I hadn’t invited a stranger over for Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t fallen in love.If I hadn’t lost him.
——
If…
I hadn’t gone for that drive.
I saw the world like everyone else.
My “genius” wasn’t slowly destroying me.
I had just walked away before I could ever know her.
She hadn’t ignited the spark.

If the spark didn’t ignite the madness.

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Review

3.5 stars

Most people’s souls hide inside of their minds and bodies, but Bird is inside out. Her dancing, with the sweeping transparent ribbons of color that followed, was the embodiment of a divine gift. Her dancing was the closest I could get to heaven without dying.

With Debt being the only other book I’ve read by this author, this book couldn’t be more different. So if you’re going into this expecting a mindfuck or steam, think again. It’s neither of those. It’s an emotional and touching story about two broken souls finding some solace in each other. If truly showcased Nina’s range as an author for being to give her readers stories that are so different from one another. If is a book unlike any other I’ve read lately, and kudos to the author for broaching a subject that isn’t touched on enough in the romance genre and not only doing it well but truly bringing some light to something that mainly gets glossed over.

Bird was tempting a live wire and she didn’t know it. She stood there, her finger on the switch, without even knowing how close she has come every time we met. She’s tempting me…she’s triggering me…

Bird is a talented young dancer trying to chase her dreams of becoming professional after moving away from her family home and parents that wanted her to have a more suitable career. While her skill as a dancer is unquestionable, her facial scarring prevents her from landing any starring role. It’s truly a source of shame for her and something that she has a difficult time living with….the stares, the whispers, the pity. All she wants is to dance and all she needs is a chance…

Ash is a talented young artist that has given up on his dreams and barely keeping his head above water. Leaving behind his career after a terrible tragedy, he lives on the streets and has long since forgotten about his aspirating in the art world. He just wants to disappear. But in the shadows of his street corner, there’s a woman whose colorful aura that calls to him and draws his eye like a magnet. He’s perfectly content to just watch her, until a night where the brave girl stands up for him while he’s being attacked by a tweaker and he’s forced to come out of his shadows to save her life.

I knew no one, not even Jordan could understand what Ash and I had going on. People only saw us on the outside. My scars, his situation. We saw each other inside out.

Bird and Ash form an unconventional friendship from that day forward. Ash paints her while Bird dances for him, and their presence seems to soothe the other. But Ash is hiding a secret; a secret about who he is and his past, that just may cost them everything.

You don’t want me, Bird. You want the idea of me. The quiet artist. The guy who saved you, painted you. But I am a mystery you don’t want to solve. I am a question you don’t want to answer. It was simpler when it was just you dancing, and me painting.

This is a slow paced love story about two very unique individuals. I really appreciated how different this was from anything else I’ve read lately. But at the same time, there was also something missing for me to really make this the captivating read that it could have been. Maybe the fact that (view spoiler)[Bird’s scarring is never explained. She doesn’t know who gave them to her or how she got it. (hide spoiler)] I understand that it may have done that way on purpose, but I think having a WHY or WHO to it really would have helped me connect to her more as a character. There was also an event at the very end that seemed to be really unnecessary for the story and was just too much. The book is already emotional enough on it’s own, and that particular event didn’t seem necessary for the plot or the characters. It was incredibly sad but empty. I really don’t understand WHY it needed to happen since it just completely came out of the blue for me.

I did enjoy the story as a whole and the unique situations of both the characters. I didn’t even find myself missing the steam since the emotions of it all were perfectly enough on their own, the steam never felt missing. If you’re looking for something different from your everyday romance that you find lately, definitely give this one a try. I don’t think you’d be disappointed.

About the Author
Nina

Nina G. Jones is the author of the bestselling novel DEBT, the Strapped Series and the erotic romance, Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel. She wants to say something clever here, but all her good material goes into her characters.

Nina currently resides in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and two crazy Boxers.

Her first new adult romance, If, releases on March 16th, 2015 under the moniker N.G. Jones.

Nina LOVES connecting with readers. You can connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or email her through her website, NinaGJones.com.

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Review: ★With Every Heartbeat★ by Linda Kage

With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4)
Author: Linda Kage
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 408 pages
Release Date: March 2, 2015

I used to think everything was black and white, truth or lie, easy or hard, that if I could just escape my strict, overbearing, abusive father, my life would be perfect. But since I’ve found a reason to risk his wrath and leave, to help a friend in need, I’ve come to realize everything I thought I knew is wrong.Friends have their own agenda, honesty comes with a dosage of lie, easy doesn’t even exist, keeping secrets sucks, and love…love is the most painful thing of all.Maybe if Quinn Hamilton hadn’t asked me to skip classes for the day and help him pick out an engagement ring for my best friend, I wouldn’t have fallen for him so completely on that sunny Tuesday afternoon and I wouldn’t feel so conflicted. But I did, and I can’t take it back, no matter how hard I try. So I have to deal with the fact that even I’m not as good, or honest, or caring as I’d always thought I was, and no matter what I do next, someone’s going to get hurt. Probably me.

-Zoey Blakeland

*Don’t worry! The hero and heroine are not cheaters.*

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Review
3 stars

We came together, and it was the biggest biology lesson of my life.


Have you ever read a book where you absolutely adored the hero, found the heroine incredibly endearing, loved the story, and yet…you hated a side character so much that it completely overshadowed most of the enjoyment you got from the book? That is exactly what happened to me here. I’ve been impatiently waiting for shy Quinn to get his book especially after his heroic actions in Be My Hero. I’ve adored him for 2 books straight as a side character and couldn’t wait for him to get his HEA and just hoped that the heroine would be deserving of everything that he is. Was Zoey that? Oh absolutely!

Usually sheltered, super shy, and introverted heroines are not my thing. But in the case of Zoey, you couldn’t help but not like her. Scratch that, I absolutely loved her character. This is a young girl that didn’t have an easy life. She had a domineering, extremely abusive and controlling father that she was finally able to escape when she started college. While she may have been shy and naive, she was so sweet and the way she cared for others around her endeared you to her so completely. You also couldn’t help but draw the parallels between her and Quinn and think how perfect they would be together. Unfortunately here my friends, is where the book took a very rapid decline for me; Cora.

To say that I hated her would be a gross understatement. I have never in my life wanted a side character to be killed off more than this vapid and sociopathic person. She drove me up the wall crazy. And just as I’d think she couldn’t be any worse, she’d go and do or say something that would leave me ripping my hair out and screaming at the ceiling.

I was curious to see how Linda Kage would make the relationship between Zoey and Quinn play out considering that Quinn is dating Cora for a large part of the book. Luckily, I was very satisfied with how this was handled. Well…aside from one particular part where Quinn decided that (Highlight to view spoiler)[it would be a good idea to ask Zoey to go ring shopping considering the feelings that he knows are brewing between them](end spoiler) . But I suppose he played ignorant or was just too naive to know better? I’m not sure.

My heart went out for Quinn in this book and everything that he’s been through. I never questioned what he would see in someone like Cora because given his inexperience and age you can see how he would get attached and turn a blind eye to all her faults. And oh dear gawd were there faults! SO MANY FAULTS!!!

But I digress.

My one big saving grace and comedic relief in all of this was Ten. Thank goodness for Ten and everything that he is. If I loved him in all the previous books, I absolutely fell head over heels for him in this one. There was one shower scene in particular that had me in tears from laughing so hard. Sigh. I just loved him so much.

But unfortunately, I found the parts with Cora to just last too long. Sadly, that also made the book feel dragged out for me and caused me to get frustrated even more. But really Cora,

There was also just a little too much drama packed into the end for me too. Between Cora, and then a continuation of Noel’s drama, and Zoey’s revelation I found myself finding it way too much. While I can’t say it was OTT, I think that the extremity of Cora would have been more than enough.
The love story was wonderful, and I loved the additional bits of Coraline and Ten’s story. I cannot freaking wait to read their book. Sadly, when something begins to bother me as much as Cora did, I tend to zero in on that and it will take away from everything else. However, if you’re a reader that can overlook something like that, perhaps you wouldn’t feel quite as extreme as I did.

I still adore Linda Kage’s writing, and I love this series, so I’m really looking forward to reading Ten’s book next and getting a little bit more of Quinn and Zoey hopefully.


With every beat of my heart, I am yours, Zoey Alaina Blakeland.


Don’t miss the rest of the FORBIDDEN MEN

Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1)
To Professor, with Love (Forbidden Men #2)

ARC Review: ★By Any Other Name (Forbidden, 1)★ by @JMDarhower

By Any Other Name
Series: Forbidden #1
Author:  J.M. Darhower
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: February 23, 2015

A deadly rivalry.
Two families at war.
Nobody is safe, not even the innocent.
Especially the innocent.
Blood will be spilled.Genevieve “Genna” Galante knows a thing or two about causing trouble. After all, it’s engrained in her DNA. As the only daughter of Primo Galante, notorious boss of the Galante crime family, her life is dictated by a certain set of rules… rules Genna was never very good at following.

Matteo “Matty” Barsanti never wanted anything to do with the family business, but as the first-born Barsanti son, certain things are expected of him. It’s his duty, according to his father, to help take down the enemy… even if that enemy means something to him.

A chance encounter on an elevator changes the course of lives, causing the biggest trouble of Genna’s young life. The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti. She’s heard it said time and time again. So what happens when she falls in love with one of them?
The story of star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of the biggest rivalry New York has ever seen, determined to make it… if only they can survive their parents’ feud.

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Review
4 stars

Shall I compare thee to a…uh…whatever the hell Shakespeare compares thee to.”
“A summer’s day, but I’m more like a winter storm.”
“Ice princess,” he joked, softly kissing her as he gripped her hips. “You feel warm to me.”

Are you sitting down for this? Because what I’m about to tell you here is so shocking, it’s crazy! *whispers* (this is the first J.M. Darhower book I’ve read) *pause for dramatic gasps* I know! I’m not sure what rock I’ve clearly been living on there, but I have found my way out and seen the light because I am definitely a huge fan after finishing this book

Their families didn’t just carry animosity- they were mortal enemies, hell-bent on destroying each other. The two of them were a disaster waiting to happen, and they had just been fooling themselves if they thought anything good could come out of this thing.”

Star crossed lovers on opposite ends of rivaling mafia families? Sign me right up!

Genevieve “Genna” Galante is the youngest child and only daughter of Primo Galante; the notorious and ruthless head of the Galante crime family. She may be daddy’s little girl, but she’s no innocent. If there’s trouble to cause, she’s in the thick of it. Her life is kept under tight control by her father and older brother who is set to take over the family business. Gemma may be a trouble maker that loves to break rules, but there’s one thing she knows

The only good Barsanti is a dead Barsanti.”

While her family has plenty of enemies, the most dangerous is the rivaling mafia family, the Brasanti’s. A deadly rivalry that began years ago. A rivalry where no one is spared, and Gemma knows the price her family paid that began the ruthless war between the two families.

Gemma longs to escape the rules, the life, the restrictions, the death of it all. Then one night she looks into a pair of the most striking blue eyes she’s ever seen, and is completely captivated by the man that owns them. Matty. But what she doesn’t realize is that the man that captures her heart in just a few short hours happens to be the first born son of her family’s rival.


This is what I want,” he said quietly. “What I get for winning.”
“What?”
“You.”
“You had me,” she whispered, cheeks flushing at the reminder.
“I did,” he agreed. “But the past isn’t what matters. I live in the present, Genna. I live in the NOW. I had you, yeah, but what I want is to HAVE you.”

Sure this had a little insta-something feel to it, but hey, you are reading a Romeo and Juliet-esk romance after all. I loved how the author managed to have that but also stretch it out and truly build up the chemistry between these two characters.


Can I ask you something?”
Matty’s brow furrowed. “Sure.”
“How do you fix your hair so your horns don’t show?”

I was afraid that with Gemma being only 18 years old, she may come off as too naive and annoying for my tastes, but that was never the case. While she may have been young, she had a sensibility to her that was beyond her years and circumstances.

I absolutely adored her and Matty together. It definitely helped that the story is told in alternating POVs (though I did find myself wishing it was in first person, as I felt it may have helped me to connect even more to the characters).


Feels different, doesn’t it?” he asked.
“It does,” she agreed, suddenly queasy as she admitted it out loud. “I feel kind of like Julia Roberts.”
“Pretty Woman?”
“Sleeping with the Enemy.”

The focus of the book was more so on the romance, though you do get bits and pieces of the history of these two families. You get a lot more from Gemma’s family than you do of Matty’s, however. There’s a few hints that are dropped here and there about what began the rivalry and there’s clearly a huge piece of the puzzle that is still missing from Matty’s side, but you won’t be getting much here. This book truly set up the romance aspect, while leaving the reader with plenty of questions to have you burning for the next book.

I loved all the secondary characters, and the plot had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I think I spent the last 30% of the book with my heart in my throat, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. With stories of this nature, you just know that all shit is about to hit the fan sooner rather than later, but you just never know when or how. I was on the edge of my seat until the last page, and after that ending? I’m dying to know how everything concludes.

Review: ★Prick★ by @SabrinaPaigeRom

Prick
Author: Sabrina Paige
Genre: Erotic, New Adult Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Length: 233 pages
(Standalone novel)

I can’t stop thinking about that prick.Caulter Sterling is a prick.

A filthy-mouthed, womanizing, crude, spoiled, arrogant prick.

The tattooed, pierced, panty-melting-hot son of a celebrity.

I hate him.

He’s slept his way through practically every girl at Brighton Academy.

Except for me.

I’m the good girl. The responsible girl. The 4.0, class president, studied-so-much-she-never-lost-the-big-V girl.

And in celebration of graduation and adulthood, I just made the worst decision in the history of ever.

I lost my V-card to the devil himself.

It was just one night. So what if it was mind-blowing? Hit it and quit it.

Except I just found out that my father – the Senator, the Presidential hopeful – is marrying Caulter’s mother. Oh, and this summer? We’re hitting the campaign trail.

One big happy family.

I’m totally f**ked.

*This is a standalone novel with a HEA. Not part of a series.*

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AMAZON

Review

4 stars


He’s a crude, caustic prick who can’t keep his dick in this his pants.
The problem is, I just can’t stop thinking about that prick.

Well spank my ass and color me surprised, I actually really liked this one! Now while I love dark, depraved and taboo usually, Stepbrother romances aren’t really my cuppa. But I have to say, the title of this book totally hooked me. Then I read that blurb…and saw the cover…and I. Was. Sold.

Let’s be honest here, the very second I even hear the word “asshole” in a book, my ovaries are all…

Add into that mix a super prissy heroine and a delicious hate-to-love trope? And now they’re practically screaming

OK, so let’s call a spade a spade here. I’m easy. So sue me. But when my friend Geri turned me onto this book, I knew I’d be all over it like a porn star on cock. True story.


She looks at me with contempt. She despises me. But when she kisses me…she kisses me like she hates me and wants me more than anything.

Let me adress a very critical point here, this is not a taboo romance. So if that’s a reason that you haven’t picked it up, you shouldn’t be concerned. The MCs are not related through any part of the book. Their parents are engaged, but that’s about the extent of it, so it never went to that taboo place that may make some uncomfortable. Me, on the other hand? It would have been right up my pervy little alley. But I figure I’d set some minds at ease 😉
Now as for the book; it was entertaining as hell. The MCs were as polar opposite as you can get. You have the bad boy, manwhoring, asshole son of a famous celebrity. Then in the other corner, you have a super prissy, goody goody, straight A student that will never disobey her politician daddy heroine.

When Katherine thinks that she’s about to go off to college, the last thing she wants to take with her as a memento is her virginity. And who better to punch that pesky V-card than the resident manwhore and king of one-night-stands, Caulter. One extremely hot night that she still can’t stop thinking about satisfied, she sneaks away like a thief in the night before Caulter wakes up…full expecting not to see him again. So color her surprised when said man all of a sudden turns out in her house and her father is introducing him as her future stepbrother because he’s engaged to Caulter’s mom. Do they know each other, he asks? Of course, they do, in the biblical sense no less. Can her father tell the truth behind her lie of just going to the same school as him?

I loved the banter between the two of them. Katherine is as uptight as they come and Caulter pretty much does and says everything that he knows is guaranteed to make the prissy little Princess snap.


I mean the coffee substitute.”
“Yeah, some herbal thing?” I ask.
He laughs. “It’ll make you shit something fierce. Don’t do it.” Then he looks up at me. “Of course, it might help with that stick up your ass.”

Of course there’s also the sizzling hot chemistry that flows between their every snarky insult and barb.


You want me, Katherine. You want me to plunge my cock into that sweet pussy of yours. I will, Princess. All you have to do is say it. Say you want me to leave you panting, the same way you did that night.”

Katherine was the type of heroine that would usually drive me nuts with her uptight good girl ways. But something about this book and her just worked for me. Maybe because she was the perfect extreme to offset Caulter’s asshole ways? For whatever reason, it just worked.


I hate you you.” She has the most faceable mouth I’ve ever seen.
“The feeling is completely mutual,” I say, before I bring my mouth down on hers, crushing her lips against mine.

This was my first book by this author and I was so pleasantly surprised that I can tell you it definitely won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a super sexy NA romance with lots of snark, hot sex, even hotter asshole hero, and the prissy princess that brings him to his knees, then you’ve definitely found your next book.

Review: ★Verum★ by @Court_Writes

Verum 
Author: Courtney Cole
Genre: New Adult; Dark Romantic Psychological Suspense
Release: February 2, 2015

The truth shall set you free.
My name is Calla Price and I’m drowning.

My new world is a dark, dark ocean and I’m being pulled under by secrets.

Can I trust anyone? I don’t know anymore.
The lies are spirals. They twist and turn, binding me with their thorns and serpentine tongues. And just when I think I have it figured out, everything is pulled out from under me.
I’m entangled in the darkness.
But the truth will set me free.
It’s just ahead of me, so close I can touch it. But even though it shines and glimmers, it has glistening fangs and I know it will shred me.
Are you scared?
I am.
Buy LinksAmazon / B&NiTunes / Kobo

 Review5 stars

I’m unsafe.
And he has found me.
What a strange thought.
But then again, I’m a strange girl

I um stunned stupid. Utterly speechless. Blown the fuck away by this book. I can’t even describe to you what it did to me.

I was a fan of Courtney Cole before this series, but now? I’m convinced that the woman is an evil genius. I don’t even want to know what went on inside her head as she was writing it. But I can definitely tell you what went on inside mine…a whole lot of crazy.
Let’s touch on the biggest thing here: the writing. It is out of this world phenomenal. The way that Courtney paints a picture through her words makes you think you’re going crazy right along Calla. No joke. The utter vividness of the madness is something that jumps right out of the pages at you. I had goosebumps the entire second half of this book as I was reading it.
The truth is stark. 
The truth is hurtful.
I lay it out there, like flesh flayed open, like pink muscle, like blood.

Calla agrees to allow Dare to take her back to where it all started; Whitley. A place where Calla’s grandmother lives. A place where secrets are buried deep but are also bubbling to the surface of Calla’s mind. Confused? You should be.
They can’t get to me.
I won’t let them.
I don’t know them.
And I don’t want to.
While Nocte answered one question, only to leave us with a million worse, Verum is five times worse. There’s a secret that Calla is struggling to unearth from her mind. But her mind is still a fragile and broken thing. She knows that she’s in danger, but she doesn’t know from what…or from whom.

Dare is my heart, but Dare isn’t a light. He’s my darkness.

The entire book Courtney dangles this secret in front of you like a carrot. It was absolutely maddening. You’re left almost salivating and twitching to know what it is.

The truth will set us all free.

I know it feels like I’m giving you absolutely nothing, and that’s the only way to go into this book. Absolutely blind. You simply have to experience this madness right along with Calla.

He’s a weapon, armed for obliteration. And if I’m not careful the obliteration will be my own.
While Verum unearths quite a few dark secrets from the past, it will leave you with a thousand more questions.
I tend to be a very analytical reader. I will pick apart every detail trying to figure out a plot twist or a mystery as I read, and most often than not, I’m usually on point. It’s a rare thing where a book manages to take me by complete surprise. And Verum managed to do just that. I read it in one sitting. It’s just not a book you’ll be able to put down. You’ll be reading it with your heart in your throat feeling like you’re going mad until the very last page. And that, my friends, is where Courtney Cole manages to throw in a mother of all plot twists. As a matter of fact, I have a pretty good mental image of what I’m assuming she looked like as she was writing it…

Yeah. It was killer.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the conclusion of this mind-blowing trilogy.

Don’t miss the first book in the Nocte Trilogy…

 

Release Day Blast, Review & #Giveaway: ☆Be My Hero☆ by @lindakage and ☆Surviving Love☆ by Ada Frost

Enter to Win $25.00 Amazon Gift Card or Ebook Copy of EACH Release

Eva Mercer’s a mess. She’s single, nineteen, seven
months pregnant, and living off the good graces of her cousin. In the midst of a complete attitude overhaul—or at least trying to change—the last thing she wants to think about is men. She’s done with them. For good. Or at least she was until Pick.

For ten years, Pick Ryan has dreamed about this girl. He knows how she smells, what it’s like to hold her in his arms, how she tastes when he kisses her. But he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the one. It’s his brand of luck that she would walk into the bar where he works on the very day he gets married to someone else.

Pick and Eva come from completely different worlds,
and yet the connection they share draws them together too tightly to matter. Nothing can keep them apart—except maybe a three-month-old boy whose life depends on just that. And so, their love becomes forbidden.
Buy Links
Review
5 stars
You don’t even know what your mere presence does to me. You’re my sanity.

If you’ve read To Professor, with Love then just like me you’ve been dying to get your hands on Pick’s book ever since. I’m a huge fan of Linda Kage’s writing and this book further proves why. While some may not like the particular twist that was added here, I absolutely adored it. It spoke to a hopeless romantic part of me that I never even knew I had.

My favorite part? Patrick “Pick” Ryan. How do you not instantly fall for everything that he is?

He appeared to be a bad boy straight from the wrong side of town. But there was something NOT bad boy about him. He simply didn’t look like the type who didn’t give a damn about life. His deep brown eyes held too much compassion and vivacity.

If ever there was a perfect sump up of who he was, that was it. Sure he’s tatted up and pierced, but this is no bad boy asshole. Pick had a gentle heart and an even gentler soul. A protector. He was THE perfect match for Eva.

Eva is not quite the spoiled rich girl that she had appeared to be at first. This is a girl that is truly broken. Just how broken? Well you certainly don’t get eased into her history. The very first few pages offer you a very harsh glimpse into the reality that is her life.

Eva has very good reason to distrust men and shy away from relationships. With her history, it’s no wonder that she believes even the nicest of men hide a bastard beneath the good looking surface, even her cousin’s boyfriend, Mason.

Pick couldn’t be more different. This is a man that not only believes in true love, he yearns for it. Years ago he got a “glimpse” of what his life could be when he met his soul mate, and he’s been looking for her since. So when his “vision” walks into the bar where he works, he knows he’ll stop at nothing to be with her.

I knew exactly what it felt like to thrust inside this woman. I knew exactly how she looked when she bit her bottom lip when she came, how her muscles clenched around my cock and her breasts arched against my chest. Yet I’d never had sex with her, never actually seen her naked, never even kissed her.

What follows is a touching and beautiful love story between two very unlikely people. While Evan and Pick couldn’t have been more different, they are more similar that they realize.

I couldn’t get enough of them. What could have been a story that was insta-everything, truly wasn’t. Linda managed to paint a believable and truly heartwarming connection between two people that were the perfect addition to feed the other’s void. It was in a word; perfect.

Readers that want more of Mason and Reese will get that here IN SPADES. But the focus was on the love story of Pick and Eva. I can’t begin to describe to you how much I loved it. And this is coming from someone that rarely enjoys “sweet”. Yet this is what it was. It was a sweet romance with a touch of steam and a little angst with some WTF twists thrown in that you’ll never see coming. It will keep you glued to the book from beginning to finish. I’m head over heals in love with this series.

I’m really looking forward to Quinn and Ten’s books next. Linda Kage is definitely now one of my go-to authors when I want a NA book that I’m pretty much guaranteed to love. I simply can’t recommend this book enough. Read it and see what all my gushing about. Trust me. You’ll love Pick as much if not more than I did.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review**

About the Author
I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks. My life’s been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing’s always been a major part my world, and I’m so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers.

What do you do when you find out you’re pregnant,
your boyfriend rejects you, your sister is beaten half to death and the most annoyingly gorgeous man takes up residence in your house? Well ladies, there is only one thing to do, pull up your big girl knickers and show the world your middle finger.

Louise Beaumont is renowned for her sharp wit, smart mouth and sassy personality. She comes out swinging in an argument, even when she’s wrong. But even some events in life can knock her on her arse. And fighting through the sludge of emotional pressure she’s had poured over her is taking its toll.

Johan Senior is broken. A man with a deeply
traumatic past, shadows and monsters haunt his every waking hour. That is until a heavenly angel is sent in the form of a loud mouthed chestnut haired vixen, who threatens his manhood countless times. But his heart grabs onto her and refuses to let her go. The only problem is, his mind needs to allow him the pleasure of human touch, and to take that terrifying step of allowing someone into his heart.Part of the Surviving series but can be read as a standalone novel.
About the Author
Hi! What to say about myself…I don’t really have anything interesting to offer other than I love to read, and create stories for others to enjoy. I’ve always been told I have a vivid imagination, I just lacked the confidence to pursue putting it onto the the written page. But finally I embarked on making a single dream come true.
I love to read, and write. I only read romance, any genre really, but it has to have a beautiful romance. I also demand a HEA, even if it takes two or three books to get there. Reality is too broken and jaded without having to live through the trauma and angst in a book for it to end unhappily.
Giveaway

Review, Guest Post Character Interview & #Giveaway: ☆Until Alex☆ by J. Nathan

On the outside, Hayden is every girl’s living breathing fantasy, brooding and devastatingly gorgeous. He spends his nights losing himself in alcohol and faceless girls, but it’s all just a facade. An elaborate cover for the emotionless shell of a man he is. One who harbors too many secrets and destroys lives the way his was destroyed. It’s the reason he avoids relationships and keeps everyone at arm’s length…

Until Alex

Alex’s life just shattered into a million pieces, leaving her with more grief than she knows what to do with and guilt so deep it’s destroyed the carefree girl she once was. Now she’s hundreds of miles from home, living with an aunt she doesn’t know, finishing senior year at a college she’s never been to, and trying desperately to get through a single day without breaking down. She’s never felt more alone in her life…

Until Hayden

The trouble with Hayden is who he wants to be and who he is are in constant flux. And though he’d die before letting Alex learn the truth about him, he can’t be sure he’s strong enough to let her in…or push her away. She’s the one person who just might see the real him.

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Sometimes a book comes along that equal parts takes you by surprise and captivates you. This was one of those books to me. I want everyone to know about the pure awesome that is the writing of J. Nathan, so read below and see for yourself 😉
Review4.5 stars

I never thought that would happen for me. I always thought I deserved what no one else wanted.
Until Alex.

When I finished this book, I had to go back and make sure that I read it right because I couldn’t believe this amazing story was a debut novel. Wow. Just wow. If you’re looking for an incredibly emotional and angsty NA book with endearingly broken characters, a heartbreaking and heart-melting love story, and fantastic writing…You. Need. To. Read. This. Book. You will be hooked from the epilogue alone.

Hayden is the ultimate bad boy. He has the looks and the attitude that attracts women to him like no other. But beneath the surface of the womanizing, brooding and cocky playboy, is a dark secret and a past that plagues his every thought and makes him keep everyone at arms length. He’s not looking for a relationship or anything lasting. Just alcohol and countless of faceless girls that he can lose himself in for a few moments to drown out the memories.

If I learned one thing from my messed up life, it was that you didn’t let people in, and you didn’t let your emotions out. You couldn’t. I wondered if I even had any. Emotions that is. Because if you asked me, life had hardened me beyond repair.

But then she moves in down the hall. A girl who cries quietly every day outside. A girl he has no business paying attention to. Alex.

But just like Hayden, Alex is not what she seems to be beneath the surface. She’s running. Running from a devastating event that forever changed the course of her life. She’s running for the memories and the constant reminders of her pain.

How ironic that the one person that manages to drown out the memories for her is the brooding and mysterious Hayden.

But as much as Alex is determined to get to know Hayden, Hayden is just as determined to keep her at arm’s length.

I hated myself in that moment for not being able to control that part of me. The fucked-up part that kept people at a distance. It was a defense mechanism. My very own alarm system that kicked in when things got too uncomfortable, or in this case, too close to being normal.

The relationship between them is a very slow burn. But it’s also perfectly written, in my opinion, as it gives you the time to truly get invested in both the MCs AND their relationship. It gives you the time to really understand them. It gives you the time to really fall for them.

With each details of Hayden’s past coming to light, your heart just breaks for him all the more. As hard as he tries to stay away from Alex, his fight is already lost the second he lays eyes on her. But don’t get me wrong, this was no insta-love…or insta-anything. Their road to being together is filled with angst filled bumps that will tear at every heart string you have.

I don’t know what this is. This thing between us. But I really need it.

Even at times when Hayden truly fucks up and you want to throttle him for his decisions, you still can’t help but love him.

I will do whatever it takes to make you forget. I’ll say whatever you need me to say. Go wherever you need me to go. And I’ll be whoever you need me to be.

This is definitely more PG13, so don’t expect a lot of steam here. Now typically I am NOT a reader that reads PG13 anything, but the story here just captivated me. The little steam that there was was satisfying while still leaving you wanting more…but in a good way.

He kissed me like he needed me to breathe.

This is not just a NA Romance novel, it’s so much more than that. It’s about second chances, finding your inner strength, and facing your darkest demons. I was glued to my kindle until the very last page. I eagerly anticipate ANY future books by this author. J. Nathan is going straight to my auto-buy list.



Guest Post

MOTIVATION FOR UNTIL ALEX

When I was in my early twenties, I wrote a screenplay. I worked on it relentlessly, confident that if it just got into the right hands, it could go somewhere. Then, somehow, the fates aligned. Drew Barrymore read it! I know, dream come true, right? And wait for it…she actually liked it! Unfortunately, her production company partner, who just so happens to be Jimmy Fallon’s wife, gave me a painful dose of reality and passed on it. Ten years and plenty of rejection letters later, the screenplay remains on a flash drive in my desk drawer.

Needless to say, I lost the motivation to write. It seemed like a losing battle. Too much time and effort spent on something no one would ever see…

Then, a year and a half ago, I had one of the most vivid dreams I’d ever had. It was about a girl who moved in with her aunt after suffering a horrific tragedy. She befriended a standoffish neighbor, who for some reason put her at ease, and they grew close—until others threatened their friendship. That’s when he intentionally hurt her to keep her safe. But, as hard as he tried to stay away, there was an undeniable connection between them, one that could not be ignored. From there, a slow, yet well-deserved romance ensued.

Upon waking up from that dream, I immediately wrote down everything I could remember (while still in bed). I ended up with three pages of sloppy handwritten notes. Throughout the day, I couldn’t stop thinking about those two broken souls and their story, so I added three more pages of notes. If you check out my website under About Self Publishing, you can see them.

Those sloppy notes served as the perfect outline for my first novel. After a year and a half—and many tweaks later—Until Alex was completed. My husband forced me to do something with it so it didn’t end up like my screenplay tucked away in some drawer. Thank goodness for self-publishing because I would have never been able to endure another set of rejection letters!

Tweaks I made to Until Alex worth noting:

Hayden: His original name was Aiden, but having two main characters with a name starting with A, especially when Alex’s name could be a guy’s name, seemed like it could get confusing.

The Title: The not-so-original, original title was Aiden and Alex. I know, I know. Then I got creative and changed it to Alex and Hayden. Yup. I’m very clever. I came up with Until Alex right before I started sending out ARC’s.

The competition: Alex originally tried out for the musical Legally Blonde instead of a singing competition. But it ruined the timeline of the story since play preparations take months, and I didn’t want to jump weeks. I hate stories that do that. I don’t want to miss time with the characters. I want to live every moment with them.

YA versus NA: Initially, this story was about seniors in high school. But because I primarily read new adult novels, I wanted to write something my friends and I would be more apt to read.

The Prologue: Thanks to my wonderful editor Stephanie Elliot, I changed the initial prologue. I only wrote the scene with Hayden’s father a couple months ago. Originally, I had the flashback of what happened in the alley as the prologue (instead of spreading it throughout the first few chapters). But Stephanie pointed out that she hated Hayden in the beginning because of the prologue. I knew I needed to find something that would make people feel compassion for him, understand his distance from others, and love him as much as I did. Hence, the new prologue, which so many readers have noted is what made them read the book. To think it almost didn’t exist…

DREAM CAST

When I read, I don’t really see a character in my mind. It’s more of the idea of them. Their qualities, flaws, maybe their eyes. But usually they’re “faceless.” So trying to cast my characters is really tough.

I love your casting on Goodreads for the leads! Those models definitely fit what I was going for. I particularly like the Hayden with the words “I would’ve given anything…” on it. My fave! Sooo Hayden!

I used to watch E! News religiously. But being a mom to a four year old, a high school English teacher, an avid reader, and a when-I-have-time writer, I’m totally out of the hot actors and actresses under 25 loop. But if I had to choose actors and actresses to bring my characters to life, these are some I may consider (knowing their ages are a little off).

Interview with Hayden

What’s your greatest flaw?

My anger. I normally can’t control it which makes me volatile. My “friends” understand when I go quiet and need to excuse myself from a situation. They don’t know the true cause of it, where it stems from, but they respect my mood swings and my privacy. Remy’s the only one who really gets me. 

What do you think others think of you?

Girls want to sleep with me, guys want to be me, and this girl who just moved into my building thinks I’m some kind of miracle worker. For the record, she’s fucking delusional.

Would you consider yourself a lucky guy?

On the outside? Yes. Different girls all the time, a friend who’d stand by me no matter what, my own apartment and truck, good looks—I’m not conceited, but when you hear it enough, you’ve got to believe it, right? But all that shit’s just superficial. If people really knew me, knew the truth about me and what I’d been through, they’d know I have shit for luck. No one, and I mean no one(except Remy of course), looks out for me but me. Anything that happens is because I make it happen. Fuck luck.

You mention you’ve been through some stuff. What in your past would you most want to forget?

All. Of. It. 

Do you consider yourself a romantic guy?

(His narrowed eyes and creased forehead answer for him) 

I’m sure the ladies are curious; do you have a preference, blondes, redheads, or brunettes? 

For a long time, it didn’t matter. If she was a willing female, she was for me. But lately, I’m more into brunettes.

Colors say a lot about a person. Do you have a favorite?

Green. Like the color of tropical fish.

Care to elaborate?

Nope.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

One word. Jake’s.

If you could be stranded on a deserted island with one person, who would it be and why?

(He considers the question for a long time before answering) 

My neighbor Alex. For some strange reason, I want to be the guy she thinks I am. In a situation where I’d normally flip the fuck out, she calms me down. It’s inexplicable, but this girl I barely know brings out the best in me. I would do whatever it took to help her survive and get her off that island.(His brows squished together) Would we have clothes? Because if not, that would make this situation a whole lot more interesting. (His dimples popped)

If someone were to write your life story, what are two things you’d want them to make clear?

I’m not this bad boy people think I am. I got the reputation because I hang with Remy. Now I can’t seem to shake it. I guess I’ve never really done anything to try because it keeps people away.

Some might say I’ve got daddy issues. Damn straight I do. I mean, how could I not? Mine screwed me up beyond repair. But I don’t blame anything I say or do on him. I make my own choices, pave my own path. Yeah, I chose my job which was a dumbass decision, but it was mine to make.

I am who I am. Love me or hate me.

 
About the Author

I’m an avid reader of all things romance-especially those with alpha males. The more unlikable they are in the beginning, the better. Happy endings are a must. Don’t leave me with an unexpected cliffhanger or someone dying in the end. I’ll mope around and be too embarrassed to explain why. Love triangles and negative people are the bane of my existence. My family, friends, sangria, and watermelon margaritas are the light…

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