Jenn’s Review: Disturbing His Peace by Tessa Bailey

DISTURBING HIS PEACE
Series: The Academy #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: April 24, 2018

She’s got probable cause to make her move . . .

Danika Silva can’t stand Lt. Greer Burns. Her roommate’s older brother may be sexy as hell, but he’s also a cold, unfeeling robot. She just wants to graduate and forget about her scowling superior. But when a dangerous mistake lands Danika on probation—under Greer’s watch—she’s forced to interact with the big, hulking jerk. Call him daily to check in? Done. Ride shotgun in his cruiser every night? Done. Try not to climb into his giant, muscular lap and kiss him? Umm…

Greer doesn’t let anything—or anyone—distract him from the job. Except lately, all he can think about is Danika. He’s wanted the beautiful, cocky recruit since the moment he saw her. But she’s reckless and unpredictable, and Greer is painfully aware of what can happen when an officer doesn’t follow the rules. Probation seemed like a good idea, but now Danika’s scent is in his car and he’s replayed her voicemails twenty times. Christ, he’s a goner.

Danika’s melting Greer’s stone-cold exterior one ride-along at a time. Being together could have serious consequences… but breaking a few rules never hurt anybody, right?

AMAZON

I’ve been dying for Greer’s book from the moment I opened the first book in this series, Disorderly Conduct. Of course, I will read Tessa’s grocery lists, so I’m a little biased.


Greer is grumpilicious, which I just made up to mean grumpy and grouchy and growly…..and delicious! This is my favorite type of hero. Greer is the lieutenant in charge of training the up-and-coming officers in the police academy. He is straight-edge and doesn’t give an inch when training. But Greer has been hurt and lost too many people in his past. In his mind, everyone leaves, so he doesn’t get attached to anyone. His kind of brokenness is not for Danika.

Danika is the heroine who helps everyone. She is the glue that keeps everything and everyone together. If any family or friend needs her, she will bend over backwards to help. Which is why she is in the police academy because it is in her blood to automatically help people. Her and Greer are automatically drawn to each other. This also means that no one is there to help her, which is why Greer is perfect for me….I mean her. Danika gets in trouble, and Greer puts her on probation….and punishment is needed. I’d like Greer to punish me a little bit. Too much?

I have 2 words for you, Tessa. Elvis. Stamps. Because this part made me swoon 3 ways to Sunday!!

Tessa, you little sneaky dog, you. I see what you did. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but the bedroomness is yu…mmy. Danika needs to give up…control…in the bedroom, if you know what I mean. Yep, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

And I can’t do a Tessa review without mentioning The Dirty Talk….because if you don’t know already, Tessa Baily is the Queen of The DT!


THE SERIES

DISORDERLY CONDUCT | INDECENT EXPOSURE | DISTURBING HIS PEACE

Geri’s Review: Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

HURTS TO LOVE YOU
Series: Forbidden Hearts #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alisha Rai
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Being bad never felt so good, in the third novel in Alisha Rai’s sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.

Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.

When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 

Hurts to Love You, the final book in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, puts the youngest Chandler and Gabe Hunter. It also ties up some story threads from the previous books in the series. It also gave readers all the answers that we’ve been asking ourselves about one particular event that started the Kane-Chandler fued all those years ago.

Gabe Hunter has secrets. Secrets that he has to keep because it could change everything from his standing among the Kanes and his relationships with Jackson and Livvy. And his attraction to Eve complicate things. So he tried to stay away but with Nicholas and Livvy’s upcoming destination wedding coming up, his plans of staying away from Eve became even more challenging.

Eve is shy, a bit timid but not lacking in courage despite growing up emotionally abused by her father. Her long time crush on Gabe is just that: a crush. She doesn’t think he feels that way for her. But Eve is tired of being held back by her past. She has plans and one of those plans involve Gabe. And her brother’s upcoming wedding is the perfect opportunity for her to convince Gabe that she’s not the little girl he once knew.

I felt for Evie’s unrequited feelings for Gabe. I was rooting for her to get the guy. And it was so satisfying when everything finally lined up for her and for him as well. Alisha Rai took her own sweet time with these two characters but the payoff was well worth it. The romance, once it got going, was hot. Gabe was definitely hiding his growly, dirty talking, alpha self underneath his man-bun. The things he said to Eve during their sexy times will make your toes curl.

Overall, I liked how this book brought everything full circle for these two families. After all the betrayals and secrets, it’s nice to see these characters win especially Gabe! His secret was quite obvious to those who have read the previous books, at least to me they are. And that’s quite okay because this book isn’t really about the “secret.” It’s more about the characters and their journey.

Review: Locked Box by Eve Dangerfield

LOCKED BOX
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Eve Dangerfield
Release Date: April 15, 2018

Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day.

Funding for her video game is low, her day job is sucking her dry, and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs.

Max Connor isn’t having a great year.

He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his house, and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting way out of hand.

And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room.

Surrounded by three decades’ worth of drugs, guns, and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny, and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.

AMAZON

Going to punish me, Max? Going to make me suffer?”
“Baby, you are gonna get fucked so hard. Once you’re wet enough, I’m gonna turn you over and drill you ’til that smart mouth can’t say anything but my fucking name.”

Stop what you’re doing!!

Right now!

Do you hear that?

That’s the sound of BOTH of my ovaries exploding. Because sweet baby Jesus this book. THIS BOOK. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Eve Dangerfield never fails to make my ovaries happeh.

She serves up deliciously kinky alpha males and sweat inducing dirty talk, and somehow blends it together with a sizzling story and hooks her readers from beginning to finish.

You wanna play this game, sweetheart? You wanna make my dick hard and turn me into a fucking animal? Then you need to understand I can make pleasure hurt twice as bad as pain and I love making horny little brats beg for mercy, so you need to watch what you say to me. Is that clear?”

What happens when you get accidentally locked in the evidence room with a man you’ve been crushing on for years? A whole lot of sexy times, is what. Julia Bennett has been lusting after Max Connor for longer than she cares to admit. But he’s very much hands off, and also very taken. But what she doesn’t know, is Max is also as taken with her and is about to be very divorced. Forced to finally confront the feelings that have been brewing between them for years, Max and Julia give into the undeniable chemistry between them in what turns out to be some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read in a while. As much as Max tries to reign in his dark desires, they come out full force with Julia and man are they delicious.

But there’s a lot more to their attraction than you’re first led to believe. As you peel back the layers of their history and their connection, puzzle pieces begin to click in place. And what seems like a sizzling office hookup at first, soon turns out to be something much more.

I couldn’t get enough of these two. Julia’s quirkiness was the perfect balance to Max’s intense brooding. Their chemistry was off the charts hot, and the story was addicting. I devoured it in one sitting and then got to enjoy the bonus novella at the end as the icing on top.

Excerpt & Review: Lexi Blake Crossover Collection

Discover the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection
Release Date: April 10, 2018

CLOSE COVER by Lexi Blake

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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You look perfect with my rope your only clothing, nothing between us. Do you want to fly, ma chèrie? Because I will take you there.” 

I’m a sucker for a sexy Cajun, and it just doesn’t get any sexier than Remy Guidry. Remy is a great friend, and an even better Dom, but when it comes to affairs of the heart, jaded is an understatement. He doesn’t believe in forever anymore and relationships are most definitely a no go. It also doesn’t matter that he’s unbelievably attracted to Lisa Daley, a previous Sanctum trainee. She’s hands off. He doesn’t do shy little rich girls. He’s had more than his fill of her type in his life.

But when Lisa’s life is in danger, he knows no other man can protect her except for him. And it doesn’t take him long to realize that Lisa is not at all who he thought she was and just how much he misjudged the little spitfire.

Freaking Lisa Daley, with the doe eyes and the slender feminine curves that made his mouth water every time she walked into a room. Lisa Daley, the good girl he couldn’t have because he didn’t do good girls.

I loved the back and forth dance that these two go through in the beginning. I was just waiting for Remy to finally figure out his mistake and watch that grovel happen. Lisa may be sweet and caring, but she certainly isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. I loved that she gave as good as she got with Remy. Unbeknownst to her, the man that she’s been lusting after for months that suddenly becomes her neighbor has an ulterior motive for being there. He’s actually secretly protecting her from a danger that they’re still trying to get to the bottom of.

Of course what would a Masters and Mercenaries book be without a cameo from my ultimate favorite character from the series, Ian freaking Taggard. I will never, ever, get enough of this man and his cutting humor and sarcastic barbs at the expense of his men.

Maybe you’re the one I should be talking to,” Tag replied, obviously relishing the gossip he would share the minute he got into the office. Hell, he wouldn’t wait that long. He’d call Charlotte the minute he walked out the door. “Sub, you have to feed your Dom. He gets cranky and starts speaking French and shit when he’s hangry. When he starts speaking French, I get nauseous because it’s way too French.”

Nothing was more satisfying than watching Remy and Lisa fall harder and harder for each other in the midst of figuring out just who wants her dead. Close Cover offers just the right amount of romance wrapped around a high octane story full of action and suspense. I highly recommend reading the entire Crossover Collection because it was wholly addicting. But nothing hit the spot quite like Remy and Lisa’s book.

He knew what lust felt like, what pure molten sex felt like when it rolled through his body in a volcanic state. This was something more.


HER GUARDIAN ANGEL by Larissa Ione

After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed.

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch.

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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You deserve to be worshipped.”
“Because I’m an angel?”
“No,” he murmured. “Because you’re Suzanne.”

Two of my favorite authors combining their world and their words into one amazing novella? Could it get any better?! If you’ve read At Your Service, then you’ll recall the mysterious Suzanne. And if you’ve read Nobody Does It Better, then you’d already be salivating for Declan’s story. Hello! A former Air Force Pararescueman turned elite bodyguard for McKay-Taggard? Sign me up!

These previously introduced Masters & Mercenaries characters are deliciously interwoven into Larissa Ione’s Demonica world, and flawlessly so. Suzanne’s mysterious nature is explained once you find out that she’s actually a Memitim, an earthbound angel with a mission to protect their Primori. And the Primori she’s assigned to protect? None other than Declan himself. With Declan completely oblivious to the world that exists alongside the human one, she’s forced to play the part of a spoiled heiress who hires him to protect her from a stalker. When the truth is Declan’s life in a lot more danger from a ruthless demon hunting for his head.

Her Guardian Angel was perfectly paced. So much so, that at times I forgot that I was reading a 120+ novella, but instead felt like I was reading a full length novel. The romance was a slow and sizzling build and the chemistry between Dec and Suzanne was incendiary. There’s plenty of action and a delicious mixing of the two authors worlds, with plenty of Ian cameos. I loved this installment and can’t recommend it enough for any Larissa Ione fan. And if you’re new to PNR, this is the perfect book to whet your appetite with. It was fantastic!


JUSTIFY ME by J. Kenner

McKay-Taggart operative Riley Blade has no intention of returning to Los Angeles after his brief stint as a consultant on mega-star Lyle Tarpin’s latest action flick.

Not even for Natasha Black, Tarpin’s sexy personal assistant who’d gotten under his skin.

Why would he, when Tasha made it absolutely clear that—attraction or not—she wasn’t interested in a fling, much less a relationship.

But when Riley learns that someone is stalking her, he races to her side.

Determined to not only protect her, but to convince her that—no matter what has hurt her in the past—he’s not only going to fight for her, he’s going to win her heart. Forever.

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Justify Me by J. Kenner

Riley sits up and leans forward, his elbows on his knees. “Dammit, Natasha, you know I’m good at what I do—and with all the work I’ve been doing with McKay-Taggart, I’m even better at the bodyguard gig than I was before. I can keep you safe. Don’t be an idiot and turn down my offer.”

He aims those dark eyes at me, and I swallow. With that piercing gaze and his sexy swath of five-o’clock shadow over a strong, rugged jaw, the man really does ooze sensuality. More than that, though, he gives the impression of strength. Of solidity.

Of safety, pure and simple.

And, yeah, some part of me wants to know that he has my back.

I’m going to cave—I know it. I’m not stupid, and now that I’ve seen Riley again, up close and personal, I don’t want Lyle to give in and hire me a rent-a-cop.

I want Riley. I just don’t want Riley.

But I’m damn sure not going to admit it just yet. Do that, and I’ll never manage to erase his smug expression.

He says he wants the job? Fine. He can work to convince me. At least then we’ll be on somewhat even footing.

Not that I’ve ever felt like I’m on even ground around Riley. I’m far too attracted to the man, and always have been.

I’ll let Riley watch over me. But that’s as far as things will go between us. I’ll tell him the same thing I told him when he consulted with Lyle. No passes. No flirting. Business only, or else I’ll shut it down and find my own damn bodyguard.

I don’t say a word, but he must have picked up on my acquiescence, because he looks between Lyle and me and then says, “So fill me in, and we can talk about the best approach.”

I meet Lyle’s eyes, and when my cheeks start to heat with a rising blush, I nod, silently urging him to tell the story.


SAY YOU WON’T LET GO by Corinne Michaels

I’ve had two goals my entire life:
1. Make it big in country music.
2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas.

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away.

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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HIS TO PROTECT by Carly Phillips

Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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RESCUING SADIE by Susan Stoker

Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

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Review: Fast Burn by Lori Foster

FAST BURN
Series: Body Armor #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lori Foster
Release Date: March 20, 2018

For the woman who’s his perfect match, he’s willing to break the rules…

The moment Brand Berry meets beautiful, driven Sahara Silver, the connection between them is electric. It’s also something he can’t pursue. Sahara wants him, sure—to join Body Armor, where his MMA skills, size and cocky attitude make him perfect for her elite crew of bodyguards. For Sahara, the agency always comes first, and Brand needs more. Yet when she’s kidnapped by men searching for her missing brother, he doesn’t hesitate.

Somewhere along the way, flirting with Brand for the sake of business turned very personal. Despite his refusal to join Body Armor, it’s Brand who steps up when Sahara needs him most. Now there’s no more time for games, and no point denying the hunger they both feel. They’ll escape together or not at all. But if they survive, can Sahara finally surrender control to claim this blazing passion?

AMAZON

Yes, Sahara amused him. She also kept him on a keen edge of lust. And when she smiled in that certain way, he had no idea what to expect…but he knew he had to be ready.

It’s been entirely too long since I read a Lori Foster book. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even bother to read the blurb before adding this book. When I’m in the mood for a steamy contemporary romance with a dash of suspense, Foster always hits the spot. Now here’s my confession…
And I’ll warn the reading order OCD squad to look away right now for fear of your head exploding…
Because this was the first book I read in this series.
*pause for dramatic effect*

What can I say? I love to live dangerously.

But you know what? I had absolutely no trouble getting right into the thick of it and fully invested in the Body Armor series.

If you know me at all, then you already know that I love me a strong and kick-*ass heroine. And Sahara Silver was the epitome of it! Running an elite bodyguard agency, Sahara is no slouch herself. She’s sassy, determined, a wiz with a firearm, and tenacious when it comes to what she wants. And what she wants is the sinfully sexy MMA fighter, Brand, to join her agency. But Brand isn’t one to mix business with pleasure, and he knows that the fiery chemistry between Sahara and him will prevent any business relationship she hopes to have. He won’t sign with her agency, but he will give into her other advances.

I loved the way Sahara is a boss lady at work, but she lets Brand take the control in the bedroom without losing any of her spark. I loved Brand’s sweet, protective, and deliciously sexy nature. And I absolutely loved the two of them together.

The romance takes place in the middle of the mystery of Sahara’s missing brother finally coming to a head. Everyone believes the man dead, but Sahara knows it can’t be true. With plenty of baddies jumping out of the shadows, Brand and Sahara never see a dull moment. And with a sizzling romance tying it all together, Fast Burn was certainly one delicious burn. It was well paced, with great characters, and plenty of steam. It hit the spot just right for me and satisfied my Lori Foster craving.

Review: The Boy & His Ribbon by Pepper Winters

THE BOY AND HIS RIBBON
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance, Contemporary
Series: The Ribbon Duet #1
Author: Pepper Winters
Release Date: April 1, 2018

“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret?
I’ll tell you what you do.
You lie.”

REN

Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth.
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror.
But then…he ran.
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed.

DELLA

I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything.
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it.
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end…he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.

AMAZON

He touched you deeper than any hand could reach. He affected you harder than any spoken word ever could.
He cared with his entire soul and committed with entire being.

Before I get into all the fantastic things about this book, I want to address the one negative piece. I’d like to get it out of the way with, because if I’m being perfectly honest, something that I thought could ruin the story for me actually ended up being nothing but a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things. So confession time. I actually DNFd this book originally. Twice. Now, now, stow away those pitch forks and tomatoes and allow me to explain. See originally, I stopped reading at 20%. I felt compelled to push myself and ended up getting to 37%, only to stop again. As beautifully lyrical as the writing was and as unique as the story itself was, the amount of detail and the somewhat verbose nature of the first half of this book was difficult for this picky reader to get past. The story follows the main characters over the span of 18 years. And the reader is privy to every minute detail of their life. While it sets the stage and truly allows you to get to the heart of who these characters are, for this reader that has a penchant for instant gratification, it was a struggle. So what I’m telling you is, it’s definitely a me thing. If this level of detail and description doesn’t bother you, you won’t bat an eyelash at this. But for me, I felt like a good 20% of the overall book could have been trimmed and not lost anything in the process. But again, that’s a ME thing.

So getting to the good. For the first time in all of my reading history, I felt compelled to finish. There was just something so unique and gripping about this story, that I simply couldn’t bear not knowing how it all comes together. And I have never been more grateful for pushing myself through. Because that final 60%? It turned everything around. It made me fall in love with this captivating, emotional, and unforgettable story. It made me connect with this wonderfully unique, multi-layered characters. It had me eager to reveal layer after layer of detail that the story offered. And it had me riveted to the pages from that point on.

I was never lacking for love. I never felt unwanted or hurt or scared. He was my entire universe, and he treated me like I was his in return.

The author warned that this is completely different from her usual dark romance. And it totally was. Though I will say, it did have that touch of the signature dark undercurrent that Winters carries in her writing style.

You get introduced to the main characters as just children. With the heroine being just a baby at one years old, and the hero being a mere boy of ten. It takes them on an unforgettable journey of struggle and nightmares, wrapped in a unique sort of bond that ultimately shifts into a love unlike any other. Over the course of the next eighteen years, you get a peek inside adult Della’s head through a letter that she pens for her school. You get glimpses of how she saw their truth and the life they led. And you see a child’s bond that slowly, naturally, and surely begins to morph into a woman’s adoration and love.

I will always love you, Della Ribbon. Until the day I die and even past that.

This is not a romance, though it carries undercurrents of one. This is the set up of what’s truly looking to be one epic romance in the second part of the duet. But what this book does is set that stage. It builds the blocks of the foundation that their feelings are based one. It takes you into the dark underbelly of the horrors that these characters survived and came out stronger from. It spares no detail. It leaves no stone unturned. And it’s not afraid to give the gritty, emotional, and painful detail of the mistakes that both Della and Ren make along the way.

If you’re looking for something different, unique and compelling, this book is certainly that. Will I be reading the next one? Absolutely! And if you’re anything like me, don’t judge it but the somewhat slower pace of the beginning. Because the hook of this unique story is so unsuspecting, you’ll never see it coming. And before you know it, you’re glued to your kindle, incapable of setting it down until the very last page.

Review: Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: April 10, 2018

The heart may hide, but it never forgets.

The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Other people have a falling-out. What we had felt like a rupture.

I don’t typically read women’s fiction, unless of course it’s penned by the talented duo that is Christina Lauren. Then I don’t even think twice about jumping into the story. Though truth be told, while the story encompasses friendship, life and loss, the romantic element is very much at the heart of everything. So even though it wasn’t the steamy romance that I’m used to from theses authors, the emotional connection that I developed to these characters and their story was more than enough to make up for it.

Macy Sorensen is a woman that seemingly has her life together with a loving finance and a budding medical career. But then everything comes to a screeching halt when she bumps into the one man that she never forgot or gotten over; Elliot Petropoulos. The boy that was once her everything, her confidant, her best friend, her escape, is now a man. And while it’s clear there’s a reason for their ultimate rift, the reader is left to wander what could possibly happen to tear apart such a strong bond. The story is told in alternate parts past and present, truly engrossing the readers into the connection that these two develop and share from the time they’re just children. You get to experience them becoming friends, to developing feelings, and ultimately falling for one another. Christina Lauren did such a phenomenal job with the development of these characters and their sweet and budding love. You don’t feel like you’re just reading it, you truly feel engrossed in their experience. It’s beautiful, emotional, and so incredibly real. It’s a coming of age sort of feel with the addition of true adult feelings in the aftermath. It was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.

Elliot clearly never got over Macy, and Macy clearly never got over whatever it was that made her turn away from him. Years apart did nothing to heal the wounds or dim the love they had for each other. The story is brimming with emotion and overrunning with the rawness of their love for each other and pain of their past. It was magnificent and almost painful to read at times. It had me riveted to the pages, eager for just one more morsel to truly understand what could possibly go wrong to tear them apart.

This had all the makings of an epic 5 star read for me, until the big reveal happens. Man did I struggle with my feelings about it. And while I can understand how something like that could happen in the circumstances they had, it still felt like a betrayal to everything I had learned about these characters. I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t absolutely hate it. Because I did. I hated it and it ripped my heart apart at the same time. But after sitting on my rating and review for over a week, I decided that I can’t discount everything else this book made me feel, including the ultimate reveal of the truth. I may have hated it, but it also made me feel. It made me feel right along with the characters, and even though a part of me can’t help but still feel like it was in part unnecessarily OTT, I get it. I truly do.

Love and Other Words was a beautifully crafted coming of age story and second chance romance. It was emotional and all encompassing. It made you feel everything. So much of it. And it left a bit of a gaping hole in your heart at the end, even while mending bits and pieces of it. I hated it and I loved it, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

New Release & Review: Hurts To Love You by Alisha Rai

HURTS TO LOVE YOU
Series: Forbidden Hearts #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Alisha Rai
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Being bad never felt so good, in the third novel in Alisha Rai’s sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.

Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.

When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

I immediately fell hard for Alisha Rai’s writing when I first read Wrong to Need You. Her slow paced, character driven stories are not my usual cuppa, but they never to fail to have me glued to the pages. Her characters are unique without any of the typical OTT flare that you’d find in most romance novels these days. They don’t need it. They’re raw, and real, and feel like someone you know or would meet in real life. There’s something just so refreshing about that, that it immediately clicked with me.

Hurts To Love You is the third and final book in the Forbidden Hearts series, and while it’s a standalone with a different couple, I still highly recommend reading the rest of the series first. There’s so much history with these families that may be lost on a new reader and not enjoyed as thoroughly having read the rest of the books. Evangeline is the youngest Chandler sibling and sister to Nicholas from Hate to Want You. She’s the shy, soft-spoken and unassuming one. But still waters certainly run deep with her, because this a woman that harbors plenty of secrets and desires. Her biggest? Her unrequited love for Nicholas’s friend, Gabriel Hunter. Gabriel is rough around the edges, tatted, and completely off limits to her. Even if he didn’t make it clear to her all those years ago that he’s not interested in her, she can’t help how she feels.

Gabriel is a man with secrets of his own. One, are his own lustful feelings towards the beautiful Evangeline. The other is so scandalous, it can ultimately cost him everything.

Forced together for Nicholas’s wedding, Gabriel and Evangeline are forced to acknowledge their secrets, their demons, and their feelings in a slow building yet deeply emotional romance that was impossible to put down.

I adored Gabe’s dirty side underneath that quiet and unassuming exterior. He fights his feelings for Eve, but a man can only resist so much. And when Eve decides that she’s tired of waiting for things to happen and takes matters into her own hands, there’s only so much a man can take. I loved watching Eve finally find her voice and inner core of steel. She may be shy and introverted, but she’s also no pushover. Her and Gabe were the perfect balance to each other.

Between the continuing family drama, the disastrous wedding that seems to have one thing go wrong after another, and their own internal struggles, there was plenty of things driving the plot forward. It wasn’t full of OTT drama but it had just the right amount of angst with plenty of sizzle. I think this was my favorite book in the series. If you’re looking for a romance brimming with feels and overflowing with passion, I definitely recommend you check this one out.

Review: Three To Ride by Lexi Blake

THREE TO RIDE
Series: Nights In Bliss, Colorado #1
Genre: Erotic Romance, Menage
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: March 20, 2018

Re-released in a second edition with two new chapters and additional new content.

Rachel Swift is a woman on the run.

A stalker sent Rachel’s world reeling. Now she’s running for her life, and Bliss, CO, seems like the perfect place to hide. Bliss is a strange little town, filled with artists, nudists, and the occasional conspiracy nut. It’s a good place to start over.

Max and Rye are just the men to catch her.

Horse trainer Max and Sheriff Rye gave up on their dream of finding one perfect woman to share long ago. Rachel walks in, and they’re both in love and fighting their true natures.

A town like no other….

When Rachel’s past catches up with her, all of Bliss is in danger. Rachel knows she should run, but how can she leave behind the love she’s found with Max and Rye and the home she’s built in Bliss? With her whole town behind her, Rachel is ready to make her stand. It’s time for her to get back in the saddle and ride.

AMAZON

This man tore away all her defenses and inhibitions.

A litte suspense with a whole lot of sexy makes Three To Ride one titillating read! I first got curious about Lexi’s Bliss series when she hinted at it in Nobody Does It Better. As I hadn’t yet read this series that she initially released under her Sophie Oak pen name yet, I was instantly intrigued.

Rachel Swift is a heroine that I clicked with right away. This is a woman that’s trying everything to escape a dangerously obsessed stalker that has the resources of being a cop behind him. Forced on the run with nothing to her but her few meager belongings, she’s about to give up hope when she stumbles into the small town of Bliss, Colorado and instantly falls in love. What she doesn’t expect is to fall for a sweet yet brooding man while also harboring feelings for his twin brother and town sheriff.

I absolutely loved the way that Rachel took no sh*t from either man. She was quick to shut down Rye’s advances since she was dating his twin, and she was quick to put Max in his place any time he let his unreasonable jealousy get the best of him.

You will treat me like a lady, Maxwell Harper. You will politely ask me questions, and you will not accuse me of anything again unless you’re damn sure I’ve done something to deserve it. You will not walk into my place of business and tell the town I’m some sort of harlot. Is that understood?”

While her relationship with Max starts when he pursues her, it’s still a bit of a slow burn. All the while, she’s fighting her attraction to his twin, even though rumors in town is that the men like to share everything…and I do mean everything.

The road to the menage is a slow and sizzling burn. It also had the added element of suspense from Rachel’s stalker which I enjoyed thoroughly. The pacing was perfect and I really liked how everything wrapped up in the end. I can’t wait for more in this deliciously kinky series!

Review: Sinner by Sierra Simone

SINNER
Series: Priest #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Sierra Simone
Release Date: March 15, 2018

I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be.

I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.

What do I believe in?

Money.

Sex.

Macallan 18.

They have words for men like me—playboy.

Womanizer.

Skirt chaser.

My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.

Sinner.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO | B&N

“Zenny,” I mumble against her lips, some valiant part of me recognizing that this is far, far beyond the kiss she asked for, and also recognizing that I’m going to come all over the inside of my Hugo Boss suit pants if she keeps it up. Even through the clothes, I can feel her heat, her shameless rolls hinting at where she goes soft and wet between her legs.

Fuck, I want to see it. I want to see her pussy. It’s suddenly all I can think about, all I can want or crave, just one glimpse, just a peek.

“I want to see your cunt,” I say hoarsely, lifting my head.

“My…cunt?” She says the word like she’s never said it out loud before.

“Yeah.” My voice is so ragged right now, so desperate, and fuck, I’ve never felt this frantic before. Like I’ll actually combust if I don’t get this one thing, this one small sight of her secret place.

She lets out a shaky breath, her hand dropping from my lapel to her skirt, which she slowly rucks up to her waist as I devour her lips once more, as I bury my face in her neck and kiss every sliver of skin exposed above her collar. I bite at her ear, at her jaw, my hand finding hers as it pulls her skirt up, so that I’m helping her do it, that we’re doing it together, this forbidden act, this forbidden revelation.

Her forbidden body. 

That word, forbidden, spikes through my mind, bringing with it equal spikes of lust and fear. Because yes, it’s fucking hot that I shouldn’t be kissing her, I shouldn’t be begging to see her most secret place, my hand shouldn’t be covering hers as it slides up her thigh—but it’s also bad. Bad even for Sean Bell.

Bad, bad, bad.

They have words for men like me—playboy. Womanizer. Skirt chaser.
My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.
Sinner.

So, erm, if anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here in the corner icing my ovaries. Because this book? Set those suckers on FIRE! I mean, sweet baby jesus. Pun intended. But seriously though. Hot damn. Just…hot damn.

As with everything, she is a contradiction. Artless and deliberate, embarrassed but driven past caring.

First of all, that blurb is vague as hell. And if you truly want to enjoy this book to its fullest, keep it that way. You do NOT want to know who the heroine is, or what exactly the taboo element of the story is. It’s so much better to have it unravel for you as you read. That much more delicious too. And let me tell you, it’s SO delicious.

Sierra Simone wrote one emotionally packed and erotically charged forbidden romance, and this girl loved every sizzling page of it. It was so much more than just smoking’ hot. It was brimming with passion and emotion with a perfect amount of feels to make you completely invested in everything happening to the characters. It was multi-layered, perfectly paced, and hot enough to singe your kindle. It was nothing like what I expected and yet it hit the spot SO right.

Jesus Christ. And I am shaking. I’m shaking because I need to fuck, I’m shaking because the woman I need to fuck is a woman I’m feeling insane things for

If you loved Priest, you need to read Sinner.

Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City

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