Review: ★Louder Than Love★ by Jessica Topper

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

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

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

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

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Review

5 stars

“You’ve got all this…this love – no, it’s louder than love. It’s passion and beauty built up inside you that deserves to burst out.”

So if you’re anything like me, you probably took a look at that book cover and synopsis and thought you’d be getting an angst filled NA story with a somewhat shy and mousy heroine and a tatted and tortured hero, right? Well you, my friend, couldn’t be further from the truth because this book was not that at all. It was so much more. It was a beautiful, lovely, emotional, and captivating story of love lost and learning to move on again. It was in a word, wonderful.

I’ll be honest, this is not my typical read. But I am so glad that I misjudged that cover and read it, because I would have missed out on an amazing book and a fantastic new author. This is NOT a New Adult novel. I’m not really sure why that genre even appears by this book. This is a contemporary romance with grown and mature MCs.

3 years ago Katrina Lewis lost her husband in a devastating train accident, leaving her a widow and a single mother to her young daughter Abbey.
Seeking solace sends her to the one place that still makes sense to her, her childhood home in Lauder Lake.

When a character and song behind her daughter’s beloved cartoon leads Kat to the idea of inviting the singer of the jingle to perform at the library she works in, her life takes a surprising turn. Through a case of mistaken identity, she meets recluse rocker Adrian.
I can’t help it, this is the image that burned itself into my mind when I read about Adrian. Just give him lighter hair and blue eyes, and yup!

To say that I loved Jessica Topper’s writing would be a gross understatement. I adored the realism with which she portrayed both of these characters. Kat and Adrian were written in such an endearing and pragmatic way, it was hard not to fall in love with them. The way their relationship developed was lovely and realistic. There was no insta-lust, insta-love, insta-anything.

Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“Hmmm, no. I don’t. I believe love involves the commitment of many senses, as well as your head and your heart, so I wouldn’t just rely on my eyesight.”

Jessica managed to write a love story for Kat and Adrian without taking away any of Kat’s love for her husband that passed away. It wasn’t downplayed at all. Kat loved her husband and grieved his loss every day. Yet you can completely understand what makes her fall for Adrian.

When I first read the blurb and saw Kat was a librarian, I imagined yet another somewhat awkward, slightly geeky, introverted heroine. She was not that at all.

I wasn’t sheltered. I was orderly.

She was such an endearing heroine, you can’t help but immediately like her.

Adrian was just amazing. He has battled a multitude of demons in his life, drugs being one of the biggest. Yet the way he is with Kat is not at all what you might expect. He was tender and romantic, but it didn’t seem contrived or fake. It was just perfect.

That’s not to say that this book didn’t have it’s level of steam. It did. But it was written in this understated way that it never took away from the romance.
There was no unnecessary angst thrown into the mix. I honestly can’t think of anything I didn’t like in this book. It was so refreshing to read about 2 grown and mature MCs without any unnecessary drama thrown in to take away from their story.

Kat was an amazing heroine. Your heart broke for her and what she went through. Her pain wasn’t sugar coated or glossed over. I particularly loved the way that her relationship with her daughter was written. I know I’ve said it a multitude of times already in my review, but it was so real, you feel everything right along with her. She had her good moments and her bad moments and I found myself tearing up reading about her struggles.

Kat’s daughter Abbey was the perfect addition to the characters. She was the third character that rounded out the book. I particularly loved the way Adrian was with her. Their relationship was adorable; the way Adrian fell in love with her as much as he did with Kat.

I really cannot write enough praise for this book. It’s a must read. A wonderful, romantic story about a second chance at love. I can’t recommend it enough.

Review Tour & Giveaway: Asking for Trouble by Tessa Bailey

Pretending to be in love has never felt so sexy.
Brent Mason and Hayden Winstead can’t stand each other. She plans exclusive parties for her rich family’s charities. He’s a rough and tumble cop who rigs explosives for a living. Could two people be any less suited for conversation? They think not and prefer to keep it that way.
Unfortunately, their two best friends are deeply, disgustingly in love. Forced together, the mutual attraction simmering beneath the surface of Brent and Hayden’s non-relationship grows with every argument until it explodes into a scintillating night of mind-blowing sex. And it won’t be the last, as far as Brent’s concerned.
Hayden has a secret, though. Her father’s company is relying on a merger to save them from financial ruin, and only Hayden’s marriage to the CEO’s wealthy son can secure the deal. If she’s to protect her family, she’ll have to forget Brent. And he has no intention of being forgotten.

 

If you have any doubt about my ability to fuck the ever-loving sarcasm right out of you, I’ll be more than happy to clear it up.”
No one, and I mean no one can write a dirty talker quite like Tessa Bailey. The woman is the queen of dirty talk and I bow down to her awesomeness. It’s not secret that I have been a huge fan of this series from the very first book, Protecting What’s His, and I swear the series just keeps getting better and better.
I didn’t think anyone could replace my beloved playboy Daniel, but Brent gave him a run for his money. Nothing like a rough and tumble explosives expert with a sense of humor and dirty mouth to make my pervy little heart go all pitter patter.
I knew from the very first chapter that I would love this book. Nothing I love more than the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope. And when it came to Brent and Hayden, you could just feel the sexual tension behind every insult. It was absolutely delicious!
For Hayden and Brent, it was hate at first sight. While they may have to tolerate each other since their best friends are dating, it doesn’t mean they have to like it. But beneath the barbs and insults that they’re constantly throwing at each other, there’s a strong undercurrent of something else: lust.
(In case you’re wondering, YES, Brent reminded me of Ryan Reynolds. It’s the dirty blonde hair, green eyes, sexy with a splash of dirty humor that sealed this particular delicious image for me)

I knew I would love Brent when we first met him in Officer Off Limits. He’s crude, funny, always has a snarky comment, and did I also mention sexy as hell? The man is 6 foot 5 of complete and utter deliciousness. But beneath all the crude jokes, there’s a fantastic man. He works 2 jobs in order to help support his family. So is it any wonder that rick girl Hayden seems to hit his every nerve?
Hayden is not quite the spoiled little rich girl that Brent sees her as. It’s just that that Brent manages to hit all her buttons, and she can’t help but lash out with the only means she has. Right?
But what happens when a dare between two people that are supposed to hate each other, goes a little bit too far?
While Brent never minced his words, I loved that Hayden gave as good as she got. She really gave the poor guy a run for his money. I swear, you could feel the sexual tension beneath all their bickering. 

Aw, what’s wrong, Brent? Jealous? After all, if ever there was someone who deserved to have a jackass named after him, it’s you.”
“Yeah? And what would they name it? How about…Spanky?”
“How about Oversized Dickhead?”
He shrugged. “Didn’t hear you complaining about
my oversized—”
She shot to her feet, jostling the table. “Can I speak with you in private?”
“You need it right now?” He feigned exasperation.“We’re in the middle of dinner, woman. You’re insatiable.”

As much as I enjoyed Hayden’s character, at times I did get irritated with the way she seemed to hit below the belt with her insults. I understood the why’s of it, but it did still grate with me a bit. I felt that there were times that she should have been going after Bret and smoothing things over, not the other way around.

But Brent, my delicious dirty talking Brent, he just made the book for me. I was a highlight whore every time the man opened his mouth. I highlighted everything he said. The man was the Midas of dirty talk. Everything that came out of his mouth was pure gold.

Spread your thighs wide for me. I’m gonna fuck you until my next thrust is the only thing keeping you sane.


I’m going to cram your tight pussy full over and over again,” he growled. “I’m going to fuck you until your ears ring. I’m going to bite you hard. Mark you. Ruin you.”

I know, right? Might I suggest keeping some ice on hand, and maybe a fan while you’re reading this? My ovaries were doing a pervy little happy dance throughout the entire book.

Jesus, baby.” He groaned loudly, shifted. “Been a while?”
Yes. “No. It’s just you…you’re…”
Brent sat up, putting his face right in front of hers.He bit her bottom lip and tugged. “I’m what?”
When she tried to kiss him, he dodged her mouth. “Say it. What am I?”
“Huge,” she whispered.
“That’s right.” His hands slipped up her back and gripped her shoulders. “And you’re going to take it.”

This series has become a guilty pleasure of mine. Whenever I’m in the mood for a super steamy romance with a sassy heroine,a sinfully sexy hero, lots of dirty talk, and a light but engaging plot, I know I can never go wrong with these books. They always hit JUST the right spot.
Now I am sitting on pins and needles in pervy anticipation of the broodingly quiet Matt to get his book. I can already tell it’s going to be a good one.
Now that is all the gushing you’ll be getting from this girl. Go make your ovaries happy and read this book. And I thank you.

Connect with Tessa Bailey

Giveaway

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of Tessa’s first two books Protecting What’s His & Officer Off Limits? It’s the first time they’ve ever been in print!
She’ll be giving away 3 sets. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/1.  Limited to US residents only.
Increase your chances of winning by visiting the rest of the tour HERE

Review: ★Love and Let Die★ by Lexi Blake

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A Tragic Love Story
Charlotte Dennis’s mission was clear: distract and misdirect CIA operative Ian Taggart by any means necessary. If she failed, she would never see her sister again. With her training, it should have been simple, but after one night in Ian’s arms, she knew that saving her sister would mean losing the man of her dreams.
Ian was tracking a terrorist when he met the beautiful American daughter of a Russian mobster. His instincts told him Charlotte was trouble, but his body craved her like a drug and his heart would not be denied. She took his ring and his collar. For once he was truly happy. But as he closed in on his target, her betrayal cost him his mission while her sacrifice saved his life. As she died in his arms, Ian vowed he would never love again.
A Dangerous Reunion
For six years, Charlotte has thought of nothing but returning to her husband, her Master. Working in the shadows, she has devoted herself to earning a chance to reclaim her place in Ian’s life. But forgiveness isn’t a part of Ian’s vocabulary.
Nothing is more important to Ian Taggart than his new mission. But the information he needs is firmly in the hands of the woman who betrayed him. To catch his most dangerous prey, Ian will have to let Charlotte back into his life. As the hunt takes them to some of the world’s most exotic locations, the danger grows and their passion reignites.
Will Ian forgive his wayward submissive…or lose her again?
Review
4 stars
He’d been a different man with Charlotte, a softer man, a man who might have had a future.


If there was one thing she’d learned in her lifetime, it was that the world was a game. She would win or she would die.When I read the first book in the Masters and Mercenaries book, I knew, I just knew that I had to, I needed, I had to have Ian’s book.

I’m pretty sure I got to a point where all I had to do was think of Ian’s name and my mind was all

So needless to say, my anticipation and my hopes have gotten quite high in 5 books’ span. I don’t remember the last time I pre-ordered a book and then spent hours staring at my Kindle willing it to come in. Did this book meet my expectations? Not quite…IAN

The bigger they are, the bigger they fall. That’s kind of the idea I had built up in my mind for Ian. He was always so cynical with love with all his friends. I was waiting for a woman to come in to knock him on his ass. So when 5 years later his dead wife shows up at his office, he gets thrown for a bit of a loop.

Charlie

I absolutely loved Charlie’s personality from the last book. She was spunky, tough, and kick-ass. I just knew that she was going to be even better in her own book. She had been through so much in her life and at the hands of her father. And when she was forced to betray Ian five years ago in order to save herself and her sister, she has spent those years apart trying to atone for her actions.

A girl had to have a hobby. Hers just happened to be causing chaos for some of the world’s worst terrorists and criminals. It was fun.

She made plenty of sacrifices, and even stood in front of a bullet for a member of Ian’s team in the previous book. All in hopes for earning the right to be back in his life.

When Ian is force to work with Charlotte since she holds the key information he needs in order to finally get to the rogue agent responsible so much of his past turmoil, he finds it hard to fight his attraction to her. Even though he should hate her for what she did to him, he can’t help but still feel the pull between them.

He was going to kill her. He was going to wrap his hands around her pretty throat and squeeze. Except the minute he had the vision of killing his back-from-the-dead wife, she was suddenly naked and he wasn’t thinking about throttling her anymore. Maybe he could fuck her to death. That would be a better way to go.

The one thing that I have loved in Lexi Blake’s books in the past was the super steamy love scenes. You could just feel the burning passion between the couples when you read it. I couldn’t seem to get the same thing here. The sex scenes between Ian and Charlie read almost mechanical to me at times. Like insert slot B into slot A, moan, breath, *insert dirty words here*, rinse and repeat. It took Ian pretty much the entire book to finally open up some. So maybe that was what was missing for me? I’m not even sure. Then again, this also might have been the case of my high expectations just being too high? Who knows. What I do know that is that in all the build up to Ian’s book, it didn’t quite meet my expectations in that.

I really liked Charlie. The way that she fought for her sister, and then fought her way back to Ian melted my heart. She took on so much abuse, and she took it all from Ian too, in order to make up for her mistakes. She was understanding, and sweet, yet at the same time maintained a lot of her strength.

The other thing that I found lacking was the romance. At times I found that the romance took a backseat to the suspense. Don’t get me wrong, the story was action packed and entertaining. I guess I just wanted something…more. I was even able to look past a few details that irked the Russian in me. A few stereo types here and there, and the name Dusan Denisovitch. (Dusan? Not a Russian name. At least none I’ve ever heard.) But I suppose that’s just me being picky.

There is a HEA at the end, but a hell of a cliffhanger introduction into the next book. I was really hoping to get Simon’s book next, but looks like we will be getting a different sexy Brit, Damon Knight.

Don’t Miss The Rest of The Series!

The Dom Who Loved Me (Masters & Mercenaries #1)
The Men With The Golden Cuffs (Masters and Mercenaries #2)
A View to a Thrill (Masters and Mercenaries #7)

ARC Review: Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

Bound by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampires, #1)

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.


She was a human among vampires, but she felt far less alone than she had as a human among humans

I have been a HUGE Larissa Ione fan ever since I read the very first Demonica book, Pleasure Unbound. With her unique and rich world building, amazing characters, and incredibly steamy love scenes, she has quickly become one of my favorite PNR authors.

So when I saw that she plans on coming out with a new series, I didn’t even think before adding it to my auto-buy list. Now that I’ve read it, I’m at a little bit of a loss as to how to rate it. For those that have never read a book by Larissa Ione, I would not suggest starting with this one. I feel like her previous books were much stronger than this one, and you might get the wrong impression of this very talented author.

Bound by Night offers a very unique and different take on your typical vampire fiction. In this world humans have captured vampires for slaves. The vampires go through “reconditioning” and some even have their fangs removed. The non-captured, rebel vampires live in clans.

Nicole Martin’s family’s company is at the top of this particular hierarchy. Her farther owns the company that sells vampires. Until the day where everything in Nicole’s world changes when she is only 8 years old, her family is killed by the very vampires that have served them, and Nicole herself is brutally attacked and barely survives. Now Nicole lives in Paris, and devotes her life for finding a vaccinne against vampirism. She hates vampires with a passion, and her dreams are still haunted by a particular vampire that she has every reason to hate, yet still feels undeniable attraction to.
Riker is a member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clad. Despising all humans, Riker is haunted by nightmares of his own past. When a mission to rescue a captured vampire brings him face to face with the woman whose family he holds responsible for taking everything he loved, all he wants in revenge.

The book had a bit of a slow start for me. I didn’t really connect with it until past the 50% mark. I really liked Nicole’s character, and Riker was a tortured soul. It took him quite a bit of time to get over his particular biases, where Nicole realized hers pretty early on.

I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. Now is it just me or did Myne also remind anyone else of Wrath from the Demonica series? I loved that! I can’t wait for his book.

I enjoyed the world building and the unique take on vampire lore in this. There is one thing that Ione knows how to do well, and that is giving us rich world building.

Although I did not find this to be as strong as her previous books, this was a good start to what I think will be a great series.

I’m also very intrigued by the sneak peak we get into Hunter’s book. I can already tell I’m going to enjoy his book. The set up sounds interesting, and I already love the heroine.

So while I can’t say this was my favorite book by her, it was still a good one.

P.S
The sexy blue eyed hottie in my casting? That’s the actual cover model from the book. As you can see, I completely agree with that choice 🙂

 

Review: Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander

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A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and an obsession that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.
Austin Glass seems to have it all, A loving fiancee, a future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. At least on the surface. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to the world hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember, and his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled—until he meets a redhead in a pair of bunny slippers.

As events unfold in the biggest case of his life, Austin’s carefully planned future unravels, and he finds himself pushed into making quick, life-changing decisions. But can he trust himself or anything he feels, when each event seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?

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AMAZON

Review5 stars

Being gay wasn’t like changing eye colors; you couldn’t just get contacts and “Whammo!”— gayness.

“I like you. Even though you’re probably a criminal and are going to get me thrown off the force. And you kicked me. Broke my nose. Made me gay and refused to kiss me.”

I have to warn you in advance, when I get excited about something, I tend to swear like a sailor with tourette’s syndrome. You’ve been warned… FUCKITY FUCKING FUCK but this book was awesome! I don’t even have the words to describe how much I loved it. I’m pretty sure I highlighted every single word that came out of Austin’s mouth. I couldn’t stop myself. He was like a lingual Midas. Everything that came out of the man’s mouth was pure gold.

I wasn’t gay. You don’t go twenty-six years before the gay gene suddenly just kicks in. It didn’t work like that. I was sure of it. Not that I knew that much about being gay. I had one friend with same-sex orientation, and Dana hadn’t spoken to me since I asked her to describe her honeymoon in graphic detail— and then made vibrator noises.

Awww, Austin, don’t fret

Fuck it, I’m not gay. Goddammit. I’m bunny-slipper-sexual?

Really? Done and DONE!

Now come to mama Austin!

This book was like the perfect set up for a joke: A detective, a whore, and a demonic looking cat walk into a diner…

But I digress, so let’s get to the review shall we?

Austin Glass seemingly has it all, a great job as a detective with the FBI lined up, a more than healthy trust fund that keeps him in $2000 suits for work, a charming personality that seems to get him whatever he wants, a wise crack for every occasion, and a loving fiance. There’s just one problem that he seems to have now. After seeing a certain redheaded busboy in bunny slippers, Austin can’t seem to stop thinking about him. Which proves to be a bit of a problem. How does a man that has been engaged 4 times, and cheated on each woman with the next one, all of a sudden find himself fantasizing about

I’m not gay.”“Congratulations. Would you like a medal?” Bunny Slippers asked.
“I already have a medal. For bravery, not for being gay. I think you made me gay.”
“I made you gay? Is that better or worse than the person who made you stupid?”

That is quite the conundrum you got yourself there Austin. Perhaps there’s a book you can read that might help you out?

Hmmm….well maybe you can talk to a gay friend or something? Maybe talk to your partner’s gay daughter? I think he offered…

I don’t give a shit if your daughter is gay or your whole fucking lineage is taking it up the ass. They’re not me. Unless you have some unique perspective on why I’m suddenly checking out guys’ asses, then I’m just going to go with the redhead that takes it up the ass and hope he has a shitfucking answer.” Or a goddamn roadmap of how to deal with a sudden attraction to penises might be helpful, too.

Well sure, I guess you could do that too.

I think I read this entire book with a big goofy grin on my face. I don’t think there was one thing about it I disliked. Everything was just fucking awesome!

Austin’s internal musings

Dear God, he’d broken my nose, charged me for sex, kicked me, made me look like an idiot, and all I wanted to do is bang the sense out of him with my dick.

Austin’s banter with his partner

“Today is hump day, Luis.” I lolled my head to the side and blinked prettily at my partner.
“Don’t make me lock you in a cell, Glass.”
“What kind of gifts do people give their partner on hump day? Lube? Vibrators? Issues of Bazooms with a box of tissues?”

And most especially, Austin’s banter with Peter

You’re frustrating.”
“I’m adorable.”
“From a distance,” Peter admitted— grudgingly.“Up close, I’m sexy as hell.”
“You’re rich, spoiled and used to getting your way,” he said stubbornly. “Not true. If I had my way you would have kissed me and ridden me like cowboy while screaming ‘yeehaw’.”

This book had everything; humor, suspense, mystery, action. And when we finally have some action between Peter and Austin…

Major swoon!

How the fuckidy fuck did I go so long without reading this book? What is wrong with me? Wait! Don’t answer that. But in all seriousness, this book was simply the best. Thank you my PPE, Pervy, for giving me the friendly shove to read this one. You are the bestest! *muah*

Now I could probably keep sitting here and ramble on and on about how much I loved this, and quite possibly put in like 50 other quotes I like. But that is all you will be getting from me. Stop reading my review and go read this book!!!

And I thank you

P.S.

I need the next book like yesterday! Cai! I want it! I need it! Gimme gimme gimme!
Dear Dani Alexander, what do I have to promise you to get this book? My first born? A kidney? An ovary? For the love of Jebus, WHAT?!

Ok…I think my manic episode is done now. Really. Don’t judge me!

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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