Release Blitz & Review: ★Hell’s Kitchen★ by @_callie_hart & @LiliStGermain1

 
Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1)
Author: Hart Saint Germain
Release Date: March 3, 2015

*From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City*Hell’s Kitchen
Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy. It’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.

And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.

Zeth Mayfair has traded his life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?

Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.

Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.

Hell’s Kitchen is a serial comprising three volumes: Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca and Bleecker Street. Volume One releases on March 3rd with a limited-time sale price of 99 cents

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Excerpt
 “When he lunges for me, I’m ready. I deflect the hand he was going to grab me with, slapping it downward, and then I grab onto his wrist, pulling him off balance. He seesaws forward but then rips his wrist out of my hand. I don’t expect him to turn his slight fumble to his own advantage, but he does. Dropping to the floor, he rolls and kicks out, landing a solid strike to my leg. I have less than a second to brace myself before I’m hitting the concrete.
Then he’s on top of me. “Oh, this is fun, sweetheart. But I don’t really have time to be playing games with you right now.”
He’s reaching for my arms, about to pin me to the ground, but I jab, landing a solid hit with my extended fingertips right in the base of his throat, in his windpipe. He chokes, his body falling sideways, and then I’m on top of him. Through watering eyes and a clearly sore throat, the guy grins up at me, shaking his head.
“Well, if you wanna fuck me, I guess I could make some time.” Thrusting upward, he tries to unseat me, but I know this is what’s coming and I’m ready again. I compensate, leaning forward, pressing my gun into the guy’s neck.
“Who are you?”
His body goes still, his hands lifting so they’re palm up in front of him. “You know who I am, sweetheart. I’m the enemy.”
“My boss has quite a few enemy camps. Which one do you belong to?”
“The biggest one,” the guy says, smiling. “The Italian one.”
“So you work for Barbieri?”

“I am a Barbieri.” Lightning fast, he snaps his hand out and clamps it around my throat. The move catches me off guard, has me panicking for the first time. My gun is gone, then, knocked to the ground, skittering away across the blacktop. The guy’s hand tightens around the column of my neck, threatening to squeeze even harder. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “Feeling a little lightheaded?”

Review
4.5 stars

We’re kidnapping a teenager. We should be wearing balaclavas and overalls, not fucking Armani suits.”

What happens when the genius minds of Lili Saint Germain and Callie Hart combine? This entertaining as fuck book. These ladies are on my auto buy list with their individual work, but as a team? They’re an absolute powerhouse. I have loved both Blood & Roses and the Gypsy Brothers series. But when these two worlds collide? It’s sure to be one epic fucking ride.

Before I get to my review, allow me to address a few key points if you’re planning on reading this book…
1. If you have not read the Gypsy Brothers series, this book does have several plot spoilers from it that may be lost on you.

2. If you have not read the Blood & Roses series, this book does have several plot spoilers that may also be lost on you.

3. If you haven’t read BOTH of those series, there are quite a few crossovers and plot intricacies that may also be lost on you.
Essentially, what I’m trying to tell you here is that you would enjoy this series a hell of a lot more if you read those 2 series first. While you wouldn’t necessarily be lost, you just wouldn’t have quite as much appreciation for the characters or their connecting stories if you haven’t read them yet.

Hell’s Kitchen has quite a few POVs packed into a little over 100 pages. Where usually I’d find that to be way too much and convoluted, the fact that the authors not only made it work here but it actually added to the story is certainly no small feat. EVERY single POV added something into the story and allowed to tie into the next one. It was so intricately woven together that I never once found myself confused or annoyed but simply enjoying the ride. So who are the key players in Hell’s Kitchen? Let’s do a roll call…

The Barbiery brothers The sons to the current Italian mafioso of New York, Roberto. Roberto is a cold hearted and ruthless kingpin that spares no one in his gain for power and vengeance, not even his sons. When his Irish enemy does him wrong, what best way to get revenge than to kidnap his daughter, Kaitlin, and to charge his two sons with it.

Kaitlin McLaughlin has a very short POV that gives the reader just enough insight into her vapidness and better understanding of her character. This is definitely no 17 year old girl you’ll find yourself sympathizing with. She’s one spoiled and vicious little bitch.

Gracie; Kaitlin’s bodyguard and all around bad bitch. Now you know I love me a snarky and kick-ass heroine, and Gracie was that and so much more. She was taken into the McLaughlin fold at an early age and feels a bond with Kaitlin’s father even though babysitting his spoiled little princess is not what she wants to be wasting her time on. The last thing she expects is to be caught in a chase with the sons of their Italian enemy.

Scarlett Winchester (Oh and I see what you did with her last name there, you clever girls. I love that!) Is a down on her luck actress that is currently attempting to put together the tatters of her previous life. Lost in a constant haze of drugs and alcohol if only to drown out the demons of the past and a mistake from 9 months ago that cost her everything.

In short, the woman is one hot mess. But while she may be broken, she still has a mouth on her and she can use snark as her weapon of choice, which definitely made for some awesome banter.

Zeth motherfucking Mayfair. Does the man even need an introduction. Zeth is trying to move on with his life together with Sloane. While he will never exactly live on the straight and narrow, he certainly has no desires to answer to anyone else now that he is no longer under the thumb of Charlie, his past ’employer’. Too bad that Roberto wants to take over Charlie’s old territory, and he’s very aware of Zeth’s reputation and has no issues trying to get him back into the fold…and when a proposition doesn’t do, a threat will suffice.

Jason Ross. Dealing with the fallout of what happened with his father and the MC, Jason and Juliette are on the run from the Columbian Cartel. Their current hiding place? Non other that New York. And you just KNOW that when all these worlds combine, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. There’s also the mention of Elliot, though he never has a POV here…at least not yet.

So there you have it, the seven key players of Hell’s Kitchen, though I would say that the Barbiery brothers, Scarlett and Gracie are the main focus. I absolutely loved how the authors managed to tie together all of these POVs into one intricately woven story. If you’re looking for the grit of GB, you won’t find that here, but it doesn’t really advertise to be that. What it is, is an entertaining, humorous, action-packed and thrilling ride that combines the worlds of B&R and GB along with some new players to give you another addicting series. I read this in one sitting, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second. I’m already practically salivating for the next installment and can’t wait to see what happens next with all these characters.

About the Author

Callie Hart

 Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and molding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.

Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.

Lili Saint Germain

 Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Review: ★Take★ by @nashodarose

Review-Take
Book Title: Take
Series: Scars of the Wraiths #4
Author: Nashoda Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance with Erotic Elements
Release Date: February 25, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-281BHFxnwxHL

MAX

Feelings are a luxury I can’t afford. Hidden behind a shield of quiet placidity, I keep my secret safe from those who’d use it against me. Until him—the tatted up, self-centered Scar assassin hired to protect me.

He takes pleasure in tormenting me, chipping away at my defenses as if I’m a toy to be played with. I hate that he continuously reminds me that I’m nothing more than a job. I hate that my body responds to his touch. I hate him.

JASPER

I’m not a good guy and I don’t pretend to be. Condemn me if you want, I don’t give a fuck. You’re nothing to me. No one is … except her—Max. She’s my target. And I was hired to do a hell of a lot more than protect her … I was hired to kill her.

It should’ve been simple, but it was complicated as hell.

*erotic paranormal romance. Standalone full-length novel. Come meet the Scars.

Scars: Immortal warriors with capabilities derived from the senses: Trackers, Sounders, Healers, Tasters, Visionaries, and the rare Reflectors. They each have what is known as an Ink, a tattoo that can be called life.

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Review
5 stars

…we were all a product of our past; it was just how we lived with what we experienced that shaped us into who we became.

Having read Nashoda’s entire back list, it’s safe to say that she has this incredible ability to completely suck you into her stories in just one short chapter. And then she’ll keep you glued to the pages, at the edge of your seat, with a quick paced plot that’s as sexy as it is entertaining. When I found out that she’ll be releasing a new PNR book, I jumped at the chance to read it, because let’s be honest, I’ll read anything she writes. But I also love PNR; it was the genre that first got me into reading, so I hold a special place in my heart for it. In her other books, Nashoda has given us her dark and gritty effortlessly, and now she can safely scratch PNR off her list, because she has a new fan in me.
The final pieces of me burned into ash then scattered into the sky- disintegrating. Disappearing.
I stared up at the bright stars and they twinkled as if they were laughing at me.
I closed my eyes. Then coldness descended and sank into my heart.

You really don’t get eased into the story at all. Nope. You get thrown right into the deep end. And good luck putting it down after that.
Jasper Kyelin is an asshole. He’s also a ruthless assassin Scar known for his ability to kill first and ask questions later. His past makes sure he drowns out any feeling that may tie him down, and his present is filled with meaningless women and violence.
Max is hiding; hiding from an evil that turned her life upside down when she was just 10 years old and forever left a scar on her body and soul. She’s also hiding behind a shield of placidity. But she’s not quite the shy little mouse that she comes across as being. Beneath her indestructible shield is a woman that has a fierce heart and backbone to boot. Neither one of them know what hit them when Jasper is hired to protect Max from an evil force that’s after her…

I was good at reading people, knowing what they’d do before they did it. Jasper was a broken puzzle piece, one second sexy and flirty, the next dark and scary…

One of the biggest things that will differentiate a great PNR series from a mediocre one is world building. And Scars of Wraith introduces the reader to an incredibly unique word with a rich and vivid world building. At first I felt like I was jumping into a book that read like it should have had a predecessor. I was wondering if perhaps I missed a novella or something that had first introduced us to the Scars. I later learned that this was originally a series that is no longer published and has since been re-written. However, I can tell you that by the end of the book every loose end and question is explained.
Now there’s one thing Nashoda knows how to do, and that’s give us a super sexy asshole. Because let me tell you, Jasper was that in spades. I couldn’t get enough of him. He was mercurial, cocky, and you didn’t know whether he’d insult you one moment or come onto you the next. Gawd. It was delicious.

Looked like I’d have to work a little to sink between her legs. Because that was what this was. A lusty obsession with a girl I shouldn’t take, but I was good at doing the wrong thing. Had done the wrong thing my entire life, now I just accepted it and didn’t make excuses for who I was.

The sexual tension between Jasper and Max was so hot it was almost unbearable. The author really makes it stretch and burn. So that when the two of them come together? It was an explosion of nuclear proportions.

I’m not nice, Max.”
She raised her chin a bit. “I know.”
I looked away for a second and said quietly, “Don’t hate me in the morning.”
I loved the constant banter between Jasper and Max. Max, although with demons of her own, still managed to give as good as she got. She really made Jasper work for it at times. Their relationship was definitely no smooth sailing with the hidden secrets they both had. But it certainly made for one action packed read.
I loved that both of the MC were strong characters but with an endearing vulnerability to them. It just made me fall for them all the more.
The world of the Scars is definitely unlike anything I’ve read before, and I’m so hooked. I loved it from start to finish. It made me laugh, it made me swoon, it made me pant, and it made my heart pound. It was everything I love about a great PNR series and I sincerely hope we’ll get more books in it soon. Especially for Xamien and Guise.
You’re the stars that burn away the darkness, Max. That’s what it feels like when I’m with you. Like I’m all lit up inside with brilliant specks of light. And when I touch you, it’s like I’ve grabbed one out of the sky and I’m holding it in my hand. Flawless. Bright. And fuckin’ beautiful.

If you’re a fan of sexy PNR, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. And if you’ve loved Nashoda’s previous books, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. I can’t recommend it enough. It was a perfect combination of rich world building, sexy romance, and action.

Review: ★You Only Love Twice★ by Lexi Blake

You Only Love Twice
Author: Lexi Blake
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Length: 360 Pages

A woman on a mission

Phoebe Graham is a specialist in deep cover espionage, infiltrating the enemy, observing their practices, and when necessary eliminating the threat. Her latest assignment is McKay-Taggart Security Services, staffed with former military and intelligence operatives. They routinely perform clandestine operations all over the world but it isn’t until Jesse Murdoch joins the team that her radar starts spinning. Unfortunately so does her head. He’s gorgeous and sweet and her instincts tell her to trust him but she’s been burned before, so he’ll stay where he belongs—squarely in her sights.

A man on the run

Since the moment his Army unit was captured by jihadists, Jesse’s life has been a nightmare. Forced to watch as those monsters tortured and killed his friends and the woman he loved, something inside him snapped. When he’s finally rescued, everyone has the same question—why did he alone survive? Clouded in accusations and haunted by the faces of those he failed, Jesse struggles in civilian life until McKay-Taggart takes him in. Spending time with Phoebe, the shy and beautiful accountant, makes him feel human for the first time in forever. If someone so innocent and sweet could accept him, maybe he could truly be redeemed.

A love they never expected

When Phoebe receives the order to eliminate Jesse, she must choose between the job she’s dedicated her life to and the man who’s stolen her heart. Choosing Jesse would mean abandoning everything she believes in, and it might mean sharing his fate because a shadowy killer is dedicated to finishing the job started in Iraq.

He’d fought and fought to live and now he was going to stand here and let her do her worst.
He didn’t want to live in a world where she betrayed him. He simply didn’t.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since the very first book. Now eight books in and it’s still going strong. I think this may have been my favorite of the Masters and Mercenaries. I’ve been curious about Jesse’s story since we first meet him earlier in the series. He’s always been such a broken and tortured soul, that you couldn’t help but crave a HEA for him. This is a man that’s truly known suffering and needed a HEA that was truly worthy of the type of person he is, and boy did Lexi Blake deliver on that. She really gave it justice with this book.

You played me. You played me hard and well. You had me panting after you and then you pointed a bullet straight at my fucking heart. Do you see the irony, Phoebe? I was falling for you and you were there to kill me.

Phoebe has always been the super shy, clumsy and unassuming accountant for Taggart McKay. But looks can be deceiving and it her case, deadly. Having lost the love of her life in a mission gone terribly wrong, Phoebe is determined to bring those responsible for his death to justice…even if it means going deep undercover.

Jesse has been half in love with the quiet and shy Phoebe, but when he finds out who she really is, his world gets flipped. He wants her heart, but her heart belongs to a dead man.

This is probably the most emotional book in the series, or at least it was for me. Having tidbits of Jesse’s problems in the earlier books, you know that his problems run deep. He lives a waking nightmare with the PTSD and the memories of a voice that tortured and almost broke him. He finally thought he found his redemption when he met Phoebe, but he knows that he can never have her.

Every second of every day I want you to remember this…
Remember every second that you could have had a man who worshipped you with his body and soul.”

I really don’t want to give too much away, because this is simply a book you need to experience for yourself without any major details. But I will say that I absolutely loved it. There is nothing better than a kick ass heroine for me, and Phoebe was definitely that. But she also had a broken side to her that balanced out the tough operative persona. She can handle herself in the field, but her soul was broken with the death of her husband that she adored. I appreciated that Lexi Blake never diminished her love for her husband and yet made the reader truly see what her connection to Jesse was and make it real. It didn’t feel like settling, which I was afraid of. The connection between them was tangible…and not to mention super sexy

You won’t be quiet when I fuck you. You’ll give them a show. You’ll let them know just how good it feels to be fucked by me and I will make sure you scream. Don’t even think you can hold out on me. I won’t let it happen. I’ll fuck you so long and so hard, you’ll give me everything I want.

My other concern was how Jesse would come off as a Dom. He’s such a tortured soul that I was afraid he may come off as almost too broken, but that never happened. When he finally got his shit together, the man was truly a top. But he always maintained this vulnerable edge to him which was so incredibly endearing that you couldn’t help but completely fall for him.

I really wouldn’t recommend reading this book as a standalone as there is a story ARC that continues throughout the series. While you wouldn’t necessarily feel lost, you would appreciate this story and all secondary characters and the MCs that much more if you read it in order. Of course it wouldn’t be a Masters and Mercenaries book without Ian and his banter…

This is really the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Well, besides the whole wife-coming-back-from-the-dead and having a baby and shit, but other than that, getting to punch Ten at random is really the best.”

You also finally get a true peak into the enigma that is Tennessee Smith, and you just KNOW that his book is bound to be a fantastic one.

I don’t think there was anything about this book that I didn’t love. It was action-packed, emotional, filled with heart-pounding suspense and oh so sexy. I adored Phoebe and Jesse together. Their story will equal parts break your heart and absolutely melt it.

I think what I’ve figured out is that we don’t have a limited amount of love. It doesn’t get all used up and then there’s nothing left. We choose. We choose who we love and how we love, and how we love, and there is nothing between two consenting adults that brings them connection and pleasure and joy that’s wrong. This is ours, Phoebe.

Of course I also loved all the secondary characters (including some new faces). Did I already mention Ian and Charlie?

Charlie, that’s not a foot. It’s a horn. We’re having a demon. I know it.”
She rolled her pretty eyes and sighed. “They’re your girls so they’re probably slightly demonic.”

I can’t wait to get my hands on Ten’s book next and hopefully Ian’s brothers will be getting theirs soon after. If you like sexy espionage and BDSM all in one action packed book, this series is a definite must read!

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)

Review: ★A View To Thrill★ by Lexi Blake

A View To Thrill
Author: Lexi Blake
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Length: 410 Pages

A Spy without a CountrySimon Weston grew up royal in a place where aristocracy still mattered. Serving Queen and country meant everything to him, until MI6 marked him as damaged goods and he left his home in disgrace. Ian Taggart showed him a better way to serve his fellow man and introduced him to Sanctum, a place to pursue his passion for Dominance and submission. Topping beautiful subs was a lovely distraction until he met Chelsea, and becoming her Master turned into Simon’s most important mission.

A Woman without Hope

Chelsea Dennis grew up a pawn to the Russian mob. Her father’s violent lessons taught her that monsters lurked inside every man and they should never be trusted. Hiding in the shadows, she became something that even the monsters would fear—an information broker who exposed their dirty secrets and toppled their empires. Everything changed when Simon Weston crossed her path. Valiant and faithful, he was everything she needed—and a risk she couldn’t afford to take.

A Force too Strong to Resist

When dark forces from her past threaten her newfound family at Sanctum, Chelsea must turn to Simon, the one man she can trust with her darkest secrets. Their only chance to survive lies in a mystery even Chelsea has been unable to solve. As they race to uncover the truth and stay one step ahead of the assassins on their heels, they will discover a love too powerful to deny. But to stop a killer, Simon just might have to sacrifice himself…

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Review

3.5 stars

From the moment he’d seen her all those months ago, he’d been utterly fascinated. She was a mystery to him. Closed off, with more barricades around her than he could count, she still pulled him in the minute she walked inside a room.

When I think of romantic suspense with some kinky hot BDSM thrown in and some scorching romance and sex, the only series that comes to mind is Masters and Mercenaries. No one does that sexy little combination better than Lexi Blake. While each book can probably be read as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it as each book builds off of each other. The characters of this book (like all the rest) are first introduced in the previous 2 and their story continues until their own book. It just wouldn’t be the same to jump straight into this book without first reading the last 6. Besides, each book has been great, so why miss out? Now on to Simon and Chelsea.

Chelsea is many things; she’s Charlotte’s younger sister, Ian’s (or as she calls him The Satan) sister in law, the daughter of the head of the biggest mob syndicate in Moscow, and The Broker. She’s one of the best hackers in the world and she’s definitely made quite the name for herself since her and her sister escaped their father’s brutal and sadistic hold. Now she uses her powers for good…mostly. Weary of men in general due to her history, she’s not looking for any entanglements. Especially not with a certain British Dom and past MI6 agent in a 3 piece suit that now works for Ian’s firm.

But when Chelsea’s life is on the line, no matter how hard she’s avoided Simon in the past, he’s the only one she can turn to for help. But he’s not going to be easy on her. He has a requirement of his own, one he’s been waiting for the right opportunity to take.

What?”
“That’s my requirement for protecting you. I don’t want money. You’ll sign a contract making me your Master or I can call your brother-in-law back. How is the broccoli beef? I’ve never tried it before. Would you like some wine?”

Simon’s combination of protective and demanding definitely worked for me. He was very sweet and understanding with what Chelsea needed. He’s been halfway in love with her since he first met her and now he just needs to convince her that they’ll be good together.


…I’m not going to take your virginity because you’re curious. I’ll take it when you can’t think about anything but me. I’ll take it when you cry out my name and tell me there’s no other man you’ll ever love the way you love me. Then and only then will I take what belongs to me.

This book wasn’t as heavy on the BDSM or the sex either to be honest. The suspense and the emotional relationship development between the H/h took center stage. The romance was still in the center of the story, of course, but it wasn’t quite as steamy as the previous books in the series. But don’t get me wrong, while it may not have been as frequent, when it did happen it was definitely HOT.

Oh, my god.”
“No. You say my name when I’m fucking you, love. Say it. Say ‘fuck me hard, Simon.”

In usual Lexi Blake fashion there were lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end, plenty of action, and lots more Ian and the rest of the team.

Unfortunately there was just something about the romance between Simon and Chelsea I never fully connected with. I can’t even put my finger on what it was exactly, but it was probably my least favorite in the series. There was almost too much of a focus on their emotional issues and triggers than there was on the actual romance, at times even during the sex scenes.

I would still recommend this book for fans of the series. And if you’ve been curious about Jesse’s story, you’re definitely in for a treat here. That last chapter? Oh my GAWD. I don’t think I’ve been that excited to read a book since Ian’s story. This book really introduces Jesse and all his fucked up glory and I can’t wait to get my hands on his book in February.

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)

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Fighting Silence★ by @AlyMartinezAuth

Meet Till & Eliza in Aly Martinez’s newest fighter series!
It’s no secret that I adored this book. I’ve been singing it’s praises all over the place. Now you get to see exactly why. Scroll down to read my review and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
About The Book

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.

Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.

Review
5 stars

I’d never had anything I could call my own, but Eliza Reynolds would always be mine.

If ever there was a book that everyone has to add to their TBR, this is that book. This incredible, emotional, beautiful, simply unforgettable book. This is Aly Martinez’s best book to date and quite honestly one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It was also probably my favorite friends-to-lovers romance I’ve ever read. Period.

…I had already been drowning in the ocean of life. Every gasp of air was a struggle. Just as I would breach the surface, filling my lungs with hope and determination to make it through another day, I was forced back under- harder every time.

Till Page met Eliza Reynolds when they were just 13 years old, and they each became an escape for the other. An escape from their glum reality. An escape from their problems. An escape from the real world. A fantasy built from the innocence of young hearts that built into an indescribably love as they got older.

Till’s life has never been easy. Forced to raise his two younger brothers from the time he was just a child himself because their parents couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves. Till struggles to make ends meet, all the while knowing that he’s facing a future of silence. A future in which a genetic condition may cause him to lose his hearing. A future that’s he’s absolutely terrified to face. When he climbs though a window of an abandoned apartment, looking to escape his reality, he comes crashing into a pair of blue eyes that irrevocably changes his life forever.

Eliza Reynolds grew up always fending for herself and never knowing the warmth of the love of her parents. But when a scrawny boy with tears in his captivating hazel eyes comes into her life, nothing is ever the same. She knows exactly who Till is, they go to school together after all. But he’s never acknowledged her, and that doesn’t change after they meet. But under the shadow of the night, in that abandoned apartment, they became the world for each other.

It was more than a friendship, but there wasn’t romance or sex. There was definitely love though. Immeasurable amounts of it. I knew Till had this grand fantasy about me. But what he didn’t realize was all that he gave me in return. He was the only thing I’d ever had that I honestly thought I couldn’t live without.

As they grow older, their friendship begins to turn into something much stronger. Something that Eliza knows is love unlike any she’ll ever feel for any other man, and a love that Till is absolutely terrified to acknowledge as more than that for a friend in fear of losing Eliza.

Turning his head, Till Page spoke words that solidified his claim on me for all eternity.
“I love you, Eliza.”

The book spans from the time Till and Eliza are 13 until they are 21, but it’s such a perfect progression that you can’t help but fall harder for them with every chapter. The author did such an incredible job infusing their romance with just that right amount of angst and emotion. It was absolute perfection.

There was nothing, NOTHING that I didn’t like about this book, and that’s a rare thing to happen to me. You feel everything right along the characters; their struggles, their pain, their love. I was an emotional wreck reading the second half of this book. And then that last 30%? Forget about it! I down right ugly cried.

I absolutely loved how Aly Martines was able to tie in characters from her previous books (Leo, Slate and Caleb make an appearance). But she does this giving readers that have read her previous books a little bonus, but allowing new readers to get to know these characters without ever feeling lost.

This book was so much more than just a romance though. It was also more that a fighter romance. It was a story or perseverance, of strength in the truest meaning of the word. Till’s story will absolutely break your heart. His relationship with his two brothers will also melt it. And his love for Eliza? It will warm it.

Eliza was a fantastic heroine. She was the perfect match for Till. Her strength, her maturity that’s well beyond her young years was so refreshing to read. This book truly had everything. It was emotional, it was a little angsty, and of course it was oh so sexy.

I may’ve been the first, but this time when I make you come I want to know I’ll be the last. Now,  fucking tell me it’s forever.

God, I just loved it so much. I don’t want to give you more of the plot because I don’t want to ruin the experience of reading it for yourself. Take my advice and go into this book without reading many reviews. You’ll just enjoy it that much more.

One of the most touching and unforgettable romances I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I absolutely cannot wait for Flint’s book next. Aly Martinez has given me a fighter romance that is a not only an auto-buy, it’s a MUST buy. I simply can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve loved her previous books, you will flat out adore this one. And if you haven’t discovered this phenomenal author yet, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll become a fan after reading Fighting Silence.

About the Author

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Touch & Go★ by @MiraLynKelly

Touch & Go
Dare to Love # 2
Author: Mira Lyn Kelly
Releasing: February 17th, 2015
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USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly cranks up the heat for two lifelong friends whose most secret longings come true in every delectable way.Vivacious and successful, Ava Meyers is living her dream life, except for one thing: Ever since childhood, she’s been in love with her best friend . . . and she’s never admitted it. Back then, Sam Farrow was a damaged young man with a tough past. Now he’s supremely confident, super-sexy, and totally untouchable—until the night when Sam pretends to be Ava’s boyfriend to save her from some unwanted attention. In a moment of weakness, Ava finds out that a long friendship is no match for blistering sexual chemistry.

After years of denying his own feelings, Sam finds that one amazing night with Ava isn’t enough to chase away all the pent-up fantasies. So he proposes they spend a few weeks driving each other wild, exhausting their every desire, and then return to their perfect platonic relationship like nothing ever happened. But Sam’s plan has one fatal flaw: the part where they give each other up. Because the more they let go of their inhibitions, the more they’re tempted to never go back.

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Excerpt

The arm that slid around her shoulders was notably tense. And Ava moved to step back so she could see Sam fold.Only instead of giving her space, Sam pulled her in closer, shifting so it was his mouth against her ear.

Oh no.

One breath, warm and wet, and a tremor sliced through her.

A shift of his head, and the slight scrape of his jaw skimmed along the column of her neck, waking the sensitive stretch of skin with a prickly awareness that stole the air from her lungs.

His words washed over her in a low rumble. “You only win because I always let you. But not tonight.” Oh God, she was done for. He was right. Of course in this case it probably had more to do with the handicap she was playing with, but whatever her excuse, Sam had her.

Literally. She wasn’t sure her legs would hold her if she didn’t have that hard, solid arm pinning her in so close to his body.

And right then Ava was wishing like hell she were one of those women with enough confidence in the sanctity of their personal space to keep a vibrator on hand. But Sam Farrow had been burrowing through her crap for two decades, so anything she didn’t want him to find, she didn’t keep at home. And secure as her lockbox was at the bank . . . well, a vibrator wasn’t happening there either. Which sucked, because she was in a sorry state and something told her taking the edge off tonight was going to be a monumental undertaking.

Stupid Stalker Guy. This was all his fault.

Even as she thought it, she caught sight of him from across the room. Eyes locked on her like he didn’t believe a second of what he was seeing. Which was pretty ironic, actually, considering the last moments were probably the most honest Ava had allowed in too many years to remember.

But whatever.

“Jesus, this guy doesn’t give up,” Sam growled, following her eyes with his own. “How bad do you want to get him off your back, Ave?”

An entire evening of seeing her with someone else and he was still watching? “Bad.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figured. Here, come with me a second.” Smoothly, Sam guided her over to the terrace door and stepped outside.

The wind had picked up and despite the half-dozen strategically positioned heaters, it was cold enough that they were alone. Ava shivered and without missing a beat, Sam slipped off his suit jacket and draped it across her shoulders, pulling her toward a remote corner.

Suddenly Ava was wondering if she’d made a serious mistake.

“Sam, okay, you know I want to lose this guy. But whatever you’re planning out here is making me nervous. You can’t threaten him or try to scare him away. The whole point was to be passive. If I need to be direct, I’ll do it myself.”

She felt bad even saying it, because that was so not who Sam was. Not anymore. But—

“Whatever you’re thinking, you’re wrong. I’m not even going to talk to the guy.”

Ava breathed a sigh of relief.

“Good.” Only there was still a tension in the air. In Sam, who hadn’t taken his eyes off the doorway since they’d gotten out there. “So what are you going to do?”

Sam squinted down at her with a look she recognized as typically preempting some fool move sure to torque her off. Only instead of the usual, “Don’t be mad,” this time he said, “Don’t freak out.”

Steven stepped through the door and Sam kissed her.

Review

4.5 stars


What do you say, Ave,” he asked, searching her eyes. “Feel like making a really bad decision with me?”

If you’re looking for a sexy and feel-good friends-to-lovers romance, then this book is an absolutely must read. It had it all; humor, steam, MCs that you will root for from the very beginning, fantastic secondary characters, and a great plot. In short? I absolutely loved it!


Aww, Muffin-top, you know you like my special pet names for you. We’re in love. It’s what we do.”
“You’re right,” she agreed, going up on her toes to murmur at him. “It IS what we do, my little Dippin’ Dot. My sweet gherkin. My darling TIC-TAC.”

Sam and Ava have been friends for over 20 years. Ever since nine year old Sam stumbled on eight year old Ava begging her older brother to play hide and seek with her while escaping his tumultuous and violent home life. Sam envied Ava and Ford’s life and dreamed to be a part of it. Being abandoned by his own mother and having a drunk for a father, he was welcomed into the Meyers’s fold and treated as one of their own. While young Sam dreamed of marrying Ava when he’s older just so he can truly be a part of their family. But the Sam of the now is much too terrified to cross any lines with Ava beyond friendship for fear of losing her. He knows the risks of taking it further, and the last thing he wants to do is take the chance and lose his best friend forever.


Because still, after all these years, she felt guilt over her lack of action when the truth was, she’d been the one to save him. In a thousand different ways, she’d saved his life.

Ava has been in love with Sam since she was just a little girl, but she’s become great at hiding it. They live in the same building and share every aspect of each other’s life. She knows Sam’s reputation with women, and they’re definitely been enough of them. But desperate times call for desperate measures and when a co-worker of hers decides to be even pushier in his advances, she knows she needs help. What better way then to pretend she has a boyfriend and bring him to the party? And when everyone backs out on her at the last minute, Sam is there to save the day. Sam is not one to back away from a challenge, and when they really have to sell their lie, what’s a kiss between friends?

One kiss soon turns into something that begins to burn hot and out of control. What’s a few fantasies shared between friends? They can keep their feelings out of it and not ruin their friendship. They’re adults after all, right?


…she knew, KNEW, all he really wanted was sex. A physical release that was just a step up from what his right had had to offer. And what she wanted was EVERYTHING.

I love a good friends-to-lovers trope, and this was definitely one of the best ones I’ve read. I loved the banter between Sam and Ava. They were such endearing and fantastic characters. Sure they had their stubborn moments, but it just worked. And when they’re together? They absolutely burn up the pages together. The chemistry between them is pure sizzling.

I also really loved all the secondary characters; Maggie and Tyler from Truth or Dare, Ford, Tony, they were all the icing on an already great cake, and I really hope to see this series continue with Ford or Tony next.

I loved this book from beginning to finish. It was humorous, sexy, and entertaining as hell. Pure indulgence.

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly grew up in the Chicago area and earned her degree in Fine Arts from Loyola University. She met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome, Italy, only to discover he’d been living right around the corner from her back home. Having spent her twenties working and playing in the Windy City, she’s now settled with her husband in rural Minnesota, where their four beautiful children and naughty dog provide an excess of action and entertainment. When she isn’t reading, writing, or running to keep up with the family, she loves watching movies, blabbing with the girls, and cooking with her husband and friends.

 

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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.

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Floored★ by @MelanieHarlow2

Title: Floored (Frenched Series Book #3)
Author: Melanie Harlow
Genre: NA, Contemporary Romance, Humor
Release Date: February 5, 2015

Erin Upton is too embarrassed to tell the cops what she was really doing while her townhouse was burglarized, especially since the first officer on the scene is former nuisance next door Charlie Dwyer. Where’s the justice in the world when a neighborhood know-it-all grows up to be six-foot-three inches of solid muscle with gorgeous green eyes and a slow, sexy please-arrest-me-now-officer smile? It’s bad enough she’s wearing her robe and slippers—did he have to notice her fuzzy hand cuffs on the bathroom sink?

He’s arrogant as he ever was, which is fine by her—she’s too busy with her dance studio’s grand opening to make time for a man. But they keep crossing paths, and when Charlie offers to help her put in new flooring at the studio one night, things go from hammering nails to hammering each other in a hurry. And about those hand cuffs…

They agree it’s a one-time thing. But when that becomes a two-time thing, then a three-time thing, Erin starts to wonder if maybe she and Charlie could be a life-time thing. Her best friends Mia and Coco found love in unexpected places. Is it finally her turn?

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Review
5 stars
This is wrong.
Please. Can you not?
You need to stop.
No fucking way. This is happening.
Tell him to leave.
I can’t talk right now.
Tell him you don’t want this. You’re not like this.
But I do. I am.

If you’re looking for a feel good, laugh out loud, and super sexy contemporary romance, meet your holy grail. This book was fantastic! I’m pretty sure I had a goofy smile on my face the entire time reading it. I don’t think there was one thing about it that I didn’t like. If that synopsis doesn’t hook you, the first chapter will surely seal the deal.

What’s worse than realizing that you have an uninvited visitor while you’re in the shower?

Having said visitor be a burglar and your shower be a very VERY dirty fantasy reenactment with Brad Pitt in a starring role. As if Erin’s night couldn’t possibly get any worse, the cop that shows up on her doorstep is her childhood tormentor. The boy that held up her lemonade stand with a water gun. The boy that kidnapped her hamster and held him for ransom. The bane of her childhood existence. But boy oh boy has Charlie grown into one sexy specimen. Damn him!

There is nothing more I love than a hate to love trope, and combine that with a quirky heroine and a dirty talking cop and I am putty in your hands. I’m pretty sure Erin’s inner monologue alone deserves 5 stars. She was hilarious. I found myself laughing like a loon at some of the things that would come out of her mouth.

…I was irritated. It wasn’t the note, either. It was the fact that Charlie had come over here, tempted me with his whiskey and his cologne and his cuddling, and then kept his word not to touch me. How dare he!

The chemistry between them is instantaneous and absolutely sizzling. But that’s not to say there was insta lust here because Erin fights her attraction to him with everything she’s got. Charlie isn’t exactly the settling down type, and she’s only dated good guys (boring as they may have been). But Charlie is like a magnet that Erin gravitates to…or maybe it’s all the orgasms that he seems so skilled at wringing from her?

Charlie is absolute sex on a stick; a dirty talker and take charge in bed…and when those handcuffs come out? Ho boy! Panties will be melting everywhere.

I simply adored this book. It was such a light and steamy read with no stupid drama or manufactured angst in sight. Sure Charlie fights his connection to Erin and it becomes obvious that he’s hiding something from her. But Erin has a few tricks up her sleeve too…

Confession: I actually said a little prayer here, something along the lines of Dear God, I hope you’re not watching this but I’d really, really be grateful if I could get through this without gagging or choking, and also it would be great if this was the best blowjob he ever gets in his entire life. OK thanks, go away now.

I was hoping that the reason for Charlie’s behavior would be good enough to truly get why he is the way he is, and it was that. Melanie Harlow truly delivered a hero that’s perfectly imperfect. I loved it!

Then there was that epilogue and an extended sneak peak at the rest of the couples. It was absolutely adorable!I can gush to you on and on just how much I loved this book, but you simply must experience it for yourself. If you’re hesitant after the last 2 books and don’t like too much drama, worry not, there’s none of that here. It was a perfect light read and exactly what I needed to spend a Saturday afternoon with. A highly recommended read to all lovers of humorous contemporary romance!

Don’t miss the rest of the FRENCHED series

Frenched (Frenched Series Book #1)

When Tucker Branch, playboy heir to Branch Bolt and Screw, screws and bolts a week before their wedding, Mia Devine wants nothing more than to crawl under her newly monogrammed sheets and plan a funeral for her dignity. But her friends convince her that bitter tastes better when it’s drowned in Bordeaux, so Mia grits her teeth and packs her bags, determined to make the best of her luxurious Paris honeymoon—alone.She never planned on meeting Lucas Fournier.

The easygoing bartender’s scruffy good looks and less-than-sympathetic ear annoy her at first, but when she takes him up on his offer to show her around the city, she discovers that the romance of Paris isn’t just a myth.

Nor is the simultaneous O.

The last thing Mia needs is another doomed love affair, but since she only has a week, she figures she might as well enjoy la vie en O with Lucas while she can. But each day—and night—with Lucas is better than the last, and suddenly her heart is telling her this is more than a rebound fling.

Is it just the seduction of Paris…or could this be the real thing?

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Yanked (Frenched Series Book #1.5)

Mia Devine fell hard for Lucas Fournier after their magical week in Paris. But eight months later, the free-spirited half-French musician still hasn’t made any promises about their future. And as magnifique as long-distance phone sex is, nothing compares to the real thing.Fed up with stolen weekends and lonely nights, Mia flies to New York armed with a list of reasons why they should take the next step, but an unexpected guest in Lucas’s apartment derails her plans. He’s been keeping secrets–worse, he claims he’s happy with the way things are.

Without the magic of Paris, can their mismatched love survive?

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Forked (Frenched Series Book #2)

Twenty-eight year old Coco Thomas knows the recipe for disaster:1) Agree to plan last-minute engagement blowout for spoiled Mafia princess before you realize her choice of caterer is Nick Lupo, a despicably gorgeous young chef with a hot new restaurant in town, a reality TV show victory, and a romantic past with you—one that did not end well.

2) Strike a deal with Nick in which you agree to spend a weekend with him in exchange for his services, under the strict conditions there will be no talking about the past, no second chances, and definitely no sex.

3) Violate all three conditions within 24 hours and spend two glorious days remembering what made you fall for the sexy, egotistical bastard in the first place, and why it hurt so much when he broke your heart.

Add one road trip, plenty of good scotch, and endless spoonfuls of chocolate cake batter drizzled over your body and licked off inch by oh-my-God-yes-right-there inch, then just admit it.

You’re totally FORKED.

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About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her lipstick red, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She lifts her glass to readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI.

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★A Desperate Man: Volume 2★ by @EllaFrank2012 & @BrookeBlaine1

A Desperate Man: Volume 2
Authors: Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Illusions — we all create them.
For some it’s to project an impressive image to a prospective employer; for others it’s to attract the eye of another.
My illusion is a bit more…complicated.
Years in the making, my secret has the potential to bite me in the ass. And not in the way I typically enjoy. Sex.
As women, we’re judged for reveling in the same carnal pleasures that men do, but I’ve never been shy about my voracious appetite.
Now, I’m under no illusions that I’ll find love with any of my one night stands.
After all, I have one rule — no repeats — but it’s a rule that’s becoming harder to follow since Evan James came back into my life.
Did I say back into my life?

My name is Reagan Spencer, and you may think you know me, but…
How well do we really know anyone?

Excerpt

“Walk with me?” Evan asked.

She gave him a small smile and nodded. “Sure.”

Pushing off the rail, she fell in step with him as they walked along the river’s edge.

“I’d be scared of what you’d see if you looked at me through your lens,” he admitted.

“You shouldn’t.”

Evan scoffed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I can’t imagine there’s much good there…”

“You’d be surprised at what I see.”

That comment had him coming to a standstill. “Would I?”

“Yes.”

“Okay,” he said, and started walking again. “Tell me what you see.”

Reagan slid her thumbs down the straps of her camera and cocked her head, looking him over.

“I see a successful man. One who dresses well, even on a Saturday morning. So that would indicate to me that he takes pride in his appearance. Maybe cares about what others think also. The fact that you were leaving a therapist’s office makes me think you’re a man with some issues, but also a man who is willing to work through them. Again, that comes back to pride. You seem to be able to swallow yours when need be.”

Evan’s brow furrowed, but he said nothing as she continued.

“You also have a certain…air about you. It’s in the way you move. You’re confident, but at the same time, when you flash that smile, the arrogance disappears, and you look like the boy you used to be.”

The smile under discussion appeared, and Evan asked, “How do you know what kind of boy I used to be?”

“Hey? This is my story,” Reagan reminded him before he continued asking questions she wasn’t willing to answer.

“Oh, my apologies, I somehow thought it involved me.”

“It does, but you’re on the outside listening, so shh. You asked, remember?”

With a serious face, he nodded. “You would be right.”

“Okay. Now I lost my train of thought.”

Evan chuckled. “Well, it’s probably for the best that you didn’t mention any of my unappealing attributes.”

“Speaking of…” she said, and turned to walk backward, facing him. “How did the therapy session go today?”

“Really great. There was an orgy, a sampling of sex toys, and a dessert buffet afterward. Very satisfying.”

“Evan…”He blew out a breath and rubbed the back of his neck. “It was fine. It’s always fine. Today, Dr. Glover brought up behavior triggers, and it helped to figure out where this whole mess started.”Curious, she asked, “And where was that?”

“It wasn’t any one event. It was the high off the power I got from my job, it was being in an unhealthy relationship…my grandparents passing…the worry about following in my parents’ footsteps. The further things spiraled out of my control, the more I craved that control in other parts of my life. Well, a very specific part of my life.”

He glanced over at her before continuing. “Obviously that’s the condensed version, but…I think it helps. Knowing those things and hopefully being able to stop them in the future.”

“But the urge isn’t gone?”

The look in his eyes was haunted as he replied, “No. No, it isn’t gone.”

Review
4 stars

Within the stirrings of lust she felt every time even his name was mentioned, there was the twinge of something more…something dangerous, and the more she felt herself falling, the more she couldn’t stop herself.

A Desperate Man: Volume 1 introduced us to Evan James, a man deep in the throws of his addiction. A man that’s hit his rock bottom and is now trying to find his way out. Ella and Brooke spared no detail in their introduction of Evan and you certainly get a taste of the man that he is, the man that was, and the man that he desperately wants to find again. A man that has a one night stand with a mysterious gorgeous blonde that turns out to be more. A man that soon realizes that his addiction has now twisted into something else, something different, something more to do with her.

In this book, you get to get to know her, Reagan Spencer, a woman with plenty of her own secrets. Volume 2 is told exclusively in Reagan’s POV and many of the missing puzzle pieces that you may have had in Volume 1 will all begin to cleverly click together.

You do HAVE feelings, don’t you, Evan?
“I’m having a very strong feeling right now.”
“Well, you should make sure to tell that to the first young lady you sit down with.”
“If she’s a lady, I’m thinking she won’t appreciate that particular feeling.”
“The what does that make me?”
“That makes you fucking dangerous.”

What I really appreciated about this book was the additional depth it added to the story of Evan and Reagan. If you though that it was just a story of a man that has a sex addiction who meets a woman that tempts him to be something better, think again. It’s so much more than that. The authors certainly add a few twists your way that has the plot thickening that much more. I can definitely tell you I did not see any of it coming, but it makes me only that much more anxious for the final installment of this series.

Right then she knew that, regardless of what her mind had been telling her, she’d continue to push those warnings aside to indulge in Evan James- her own guilty pleasure.

Reagan was a true mystery in the previous book. You really don’t know much about her aside from the fact that her sexual appetite is almost as voracious as Evan’s. She’s no blushing ingenue and she owns her sexuality and makes no excuses about it. Here you’ll get to know the reasoning behind a lot of her actions and let me just tell you…you will not see any of it coming…or at least I didn’t.

While the first 30% of the book was a bit slower paced, when the secrets began to unravel and be revealed, I was thoroughly sucked in. The continuing sexual chemistry between her and Evan certainly didn’t hurt matters either.

I’m going to fuck you so hard, Ms. Spencer, that come Monday, you’ll have no problem remembering that I have it to you WITHOUT any expectation of receiving in return.

I really enjoyed the banter between them here, and the exchanges with the coffee cups was so fun to read too.

If you were unsure of how you felt about Evan in the previous book, I can assure you that you will absolutely fall for him here.

I really can’t wait to see where the final installment brings these two, especially with that ending.

About the Author

About Brooke

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas. Her first solo novel, a romantic comedy, is due out in early 2015, but first, she thought she’d write a raunchy story with her best friend that would scar her conservative southern family for life. If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Instagram: @brookeblaine1

About Ella

Ella Frank is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author. She writes both contemporary and erotic fiction and is best known for her Exquisite Series, and Temptation Series. The minute she began her love affair with reading, she became and avid supporter of the romance genre and has never looked back. Ella is Australian born and bred but currently resides in Houston, Texas with her husband.

Instagram: @Ellafrank1

 


Don’t miss A Desperate Man: Volume 1, on sale for just $.99 for a LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Chasing Desire★ @joyaryanauthor

Chasing Desire (Chasing Love #3)
Author: Joya Ryan
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release: February 16, 2015
Publisher: Brazen/Entangled Publishing

It’s her best friend’s wedding, and Autumn Lane is trussed up in a pink bridesmaid dress with a big “everything is great” smile plastered across her face. She’s not going think about her life imploding, or spending the next two weeks housesitting in the ridiculously small town of Diamond. No, she’d rather think about the tattooed hottie in the wedding party…and how to turn the wicked way he’s looking at her into a night of intense pleasure.

Huck Galvin is fiercely attracted to his mystery woman’s no-BS attitude, but their one-night-no-strings plan backfires when Huck discovers that Autumn is the out-of-towner he’s “chaperoning” for the next two weeks. Outside the bedroom, the two can’t stand each other, yet Huck can’t deny how much he wants one more night with her. But Autumn isn’t going to make it easy for Huck. Not by a long shot…

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Lost.
This was the lost she was looking for. A lost she’d never felt, because somewhere in her foggy mind, she realized she was losing herself TO a man. That had never really happened. She’d never clung so hard to anyone. In any sense.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since the very first book, and Joya continues to hold the mark with her swoon worthy and sexy heroes, fantastic heroines, and sizzling hot sex. Every book she seems to give one unforgettable scene to the readers. In Chasing Trouble there was the forest scene, Chasing Temptation was pretty much every scene with Bass. And after reading this book, you’ll never look at mechanic’s shop the same again. Trust me on this.

You like it hard, woman?” he said between gritted teeth, fucking her with- she was sure– all his strength. And she gave all her strength back, taking everything he had.
“Yes. Hard. Deep. Don’t hold back.”

While I can’t say this was my favorite in the series, it was still a fun and sexy read that enjoyed from beginning to finish.

Autumn is down on her luck. Her father’s gambling habit lost her her beloved shop, and her boyfriend just broke up with her because she wasn’t ‘doing it for him.’ She knows that she’s not a girly girl and she’s usually not self conscious about the fact that she’d rather spend her time under a car then in front of a mirror preening. She’s no longer looking for forever. And sitting at her best friend’s wedding, surrounded by so much happy, she needs something to take her mind off her own misery…or someone.

Huck, the tatted and pierced bad boy with the good ol’ boy souther charm is just the distraction she was looking for. But what she thought would be one night of nameless and sizzling hot sex, turns out to be so much more when Autumn realizes that Huck is also a groomsman in her friend’s wedding.

Autumn was just the type of heroine I love to read about. She had just that right amount of confidence and vulnerability to her that made her extremely endearing. She’s a tough girl but with a soft center that hasn’t had the luxury of being able to rely on anyone but herself since she lost her mother all those years ago.

Huck is taken with the dark haired beauty right away. But he’s also a man that suffers from his own demons. When his finance broke his heart by walking out on him 3 years ago, he swore never to be the one left again. The last thing he wants is to get attached to any woman and give her the power to break him again, but there’s no harm in spending hot and sweaty nights between the sheets with a woman that tempts him like no other, especially since she plans on leaving in two weeks anyway.

Only Autumn WAS the wind. No, she was the storm. The one that came out of nowhere, kicked his ass, and then left soft little rays of sunshine behind in her wake.

But it’s not long before the sizzling hot passion between them begins to turn into something so much…more.

This book, much like the first 2 in the series, was incredibly sexy. Huck and Autumn definitely burn up the pages together.

He didn’t give her false hope. He just owned what he wanted. Admitted it. And let her accept or push away.
“Who do I want, Autumn?” he rasped.
“Me,” she whispered.
He slapped her ass with his free hand and thrust hard again. “I couldn’t hear you.”
“Me, you want me.”

My only complaint is how quickly things progressed with them in the 2 weeks. But then again, it did fit the characters and their story.

I’m really looking forward to Ryder’s book next and can’t wait to see more from Joya. She’s quickly become an auto buy author for me, and deservedly so.

About the Author

National and International Bestselling Author.
Break Me Slowly: #1 Bestselling book in Contemporary Fiction and Women’s Fiction! by a long shot…

 

About Brazen/Entangled

If you like your heroes hot, the sex hotter, and a swoon-worthy romance to swoop in and save your happily ever after, Brazen has the story for you. Sinfully sexy soldiers. Alpha cops who demand control. Sweet guys with a naughty side in the bedroom. At Brazen, we’ve got the hero destined to melt your… heart.

STALK US HERE: Facebook / @BrazenBooks / Pinterest

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(1) Color changing Brazen Mug and (1) Print copy of CHASING TEMPTATION and CHASING TROUBLE

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