Review: ★Forgetting August★ by JL Berg

Review-Forgetting AugustForgetting August
Series: Lost & Found #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.L. Berg
Release Date: December 1, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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She can forgive, but can she forget?

Some days, Everly still thinks she sees him. In the food court at the mall, or in a car speeding past as the light changes. It only lasts a second, but when it happens, she slips back to a time when she was ruled-and nearly ruined-by August Kincaid. And it doesn’t matter that she’s moved on, that she’s about to marry another man. In those moments the only thing she can do to regain control is take a deep breath and remind herself that August can’t hurt her-because he’s in a coma. Except that he’s not anymore.

August is awake. With no memories, he sets out to solve the mystery of his lost life. He unearths a photograph of a beautiful redhead named Everly and knows instinctively that she’s the key. But when he finds her, the August she describes is more monster than man.

Tortured by the thought of having hurt her, August wants only to become the man Everly deserves. As the new August emerges, Everly glimpses the person she first fell in love with. But can she trust that this August is real? When the final secret of their shared past is revealed, one of them will make a choice that changes their future forever

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Review4 starsForgetting August-DGR

Because life really didn’t move on from a person such as August Kincaid.
No, you simply learned to adapt and above all, you survived.

When you read about a book a day, they all sort of begin to blend into each other. So when I stumble upon a book that’s as unique as Forgetting August, it’s a treat. This was unlike anything I’ve read in the past and I was immediately drawn into the story. It was just that good; the writing, the mystery, the angst, the romance, all of it wrapped together into one spellbinding unforgettable read.
Everly is happily engaged and planning a wedding to a wonderful man that loves her fiercely. But with one phone call and three little words, her carefully constructed world crumbles into chaos. He is awake.

August Kincaid awakes from a two year coma that no one expected him to wake up from with absolutely no recollection of who he is or who he was.

My former life was an endless tunnel of oblivion, where there was no beginning or end.

When a gorgeous redhead shows up at his hospital bed, he hopes that her clear knowledge of him may help him piece together the memories that he no longer has. But then only thing he sees in her eyes is pure unadulterated hate. Hate for the man that he once was, and hate for the man that clearly hurt this woman beyond repair.
forgetting August teaser2-DGRAugust took everything from her once; her love and her heart, and then he shattered it. Everly wants nothing to do with the man, even if he doesn’t remember who he is. She’s happy in her life now, but his memory continues to haunt her and she just can’t bring herself to look the other way. August is clearly struggling to put the pieces of his life back together, and if she can give him the missing puzzle pieces, she’ll do that. But she will never give him a piece of her heart.

Maybe sometimes love isn’t pure. Maybe sometimes it’s toxic- so toxic it consumes a person until they would do anything to have it.
Like a drug.

The story is told entirely in the present with quick memory lapses into the past. It’s not a past/present type thing. It’s written in such a way that you feel like you’re experiencing those flashes of memory right along Everly.

But the heart is a fickle thing. You can’t help who you fall for and once upon a time August was her everything. Now in the midst of helping him regain his memory by taking him to places he loved and hoping to ignite at least a spark of something, the one thing is manages to do is re-ignite the flame in her heart for August that never quite burned out.

Could the heart remember what the mind couldn’t?

Forgetting August is full of angst and emotion. It’s wonderfully written that left me wondering how I haven’t read anything by this author before. The mystery of the past and what ultimately led to August going into a coma is something that stretches for the entire book.

While I’m not usually one for love triangles, the one here simply worked for me. I think that had a lot to do with Everly and clearly seeing her struggle of moving on from her past and attempting to face her future. She loves her fiancé, but August was something else for her entirely.

Loving me destroyed you…”
“Loving you brought me back to life.”

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If I gave my heart over to a man who then turned into my worst nightmare…?
Who would be there to pick up the broken pieces?
No one, because there would be nothing left to find.

Forgetting August is sexy but without the need for super gratuitous sex scenes, if that makes sense. I absolutely loved this story and the characters. But most of all, I loved the mystery behind everything. I was just as desperate for those flashes of memory as August was. And when one of the biggest puzzle pieces get revealed, the author hits you with the mother of all cliffhangers that had me howling at the ceiling.

They say time heals all wounds. But can it forgive?

If you’re looking for something different, this duet needs to be on your TBR. I usually avoid cliffhangers like a religion, but in the case here I’m glad I read it. Even as I die a little each day in my wait for the conclusion in Spring.


Releasing April 5, 2016

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Review: ★Kaleidoscope Hearts★ by Claire Contreras

Review- KH Kaleidoscope Hearts
Series: Hearts #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Claire Contreras
Release Date: January 20, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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He was my older brother’s best friend.
He was never supposed to be mine.
I thought we would get it out of our system and move on.

One of us did.
One of us left.

Now he’s back, looking at me like he wants to devour me. And all those feelings I’d turned into anger are brewing into something else, something that terrifies me.
He broke my heart last time.
This time he’ll obliterate it.

 

 

 


 

Buy-Links9Amazon / iBooks

Review4.5 starsKH- Dirty Girl Romance

Love is beautiful, shattering, moving, haunting. Love is everything.

This beautifully written and emotional book is everything that I love about second chance romance. Everything. I’m not sure where I’ve been that I’m only discovering this fantastic author and this series now, but boy am I glad that it’s finally on my radar. Everything about this book worked for me; the writing, the secondary characters, the story, the romance, and most especially the H/h. Simply put, I adored it.

Does he make your heart race like I do?
Does he make you feel like you can’t breathe sometimes?”

Oliver has always been Estelle’s older brother’s best friend…until a kiss changed everything. They had a few stolen moments together and then everything changed when Oliver walked away. Estelle may have moved on and got engaged to someone else, but she never got over Oliver.
KH teaser- Dirty Girl RomanceA lot has happened with Estelle since that fateful night with Oliver, she met someone else and fell in love…only to lose him to a tragic accident later. After a year of mourning, Estelle is back in the town she grew up in and living with her brother, and Oliver is now determined to right the mistake of their past.

Your simplicity is maddening. Everything about you drives me crazy.

I loved the alternating flashbacks from past to present in both their POVs. It truly allows the reader to be fully engrossed in their story and fall for both them just as hard. The writing is beautiful and flawless and it gripped me from the first chapter alone. I simply couldn’t put this book down.
KH teaser 2- Dirty Girl RomanceI appreciated how the author managed to show the difference between Estelle’s love for Oliver and her deceased fiance without downplaying what she had with him. That’s no easy feat in my opinion. It’s clear that Estelle loved her fiance but Oliver was always her one. Nothing was ever undermined or belittled. It just flowed.

Shattered or not, if you look carefully enough, you’ll find something beautiful in them, and all beautiful things are a little broken.

If you’re looking for a touching and beautiful second chance romance, this series is an absolute must read. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to dive straight into Paper Hearts because after meeting both Jensen and Mia in this one, I’m practically salivating for their story.

Mini Review: ★Paper Hearts★ by Claire Contreras

Review- Paper HeartsPaper Hearts
Series: Hearts #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Claire Contreras
Release Date: September 9, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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I lost her.

No, I didn’t lose her. I threw her away.

She was my best friend.

I was never supposed to fall in love with her.

I was careless.

She was heartbroken.

I was doing fine until she came back into my life and reminded me what love was supposed to feel like.

When it’s all said and done, she may not want to stay, but this time I’m going to do everything in my power to not let her go.

Buy LinksAmazon / iBooks

Review5 stars

Look, I’m not going to give you a full review here simply because (1) I’m lazy and (2) there’s already so many great reviews that sum up this amazing book perfectly.

What I can tell you is that this was one of my favorite second chance romances I’ve read all year. It was deliciously angsty, heart-breakingly emotional, sexy, sweet and everything in between. Poignantly written, emotionally charged perfection. Truly. See here’s the thing, I’m not a fan of romances where the hero has a child from the other woman and I have yet to read a book where that’s worked for me…until this one. I adored Jensen. Their journey to a HEA was not easy but filled with so many emotions, it brought tears to my eyes with the sheer beauty of it. Torn Hearts shattered me and Paper Hearts slowly put me back together again. I don’t think I’ve loved a hero so much since…well…ever. The things that this man does and says are so swoon worthy, they’re beyond words.

If you’re a fan of second chance romance, this book is not to be missed. Period. Maybe once I get over my feels I can come back and write it the review it deserves, but for now, this is what you get 🙂

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Fighting To Breathe★ by @auroraroseR

fighting to breathe blog tourFighting ToBreathe
Series: Shooting Stars #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 6, 2015
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fighting to breathe cover

Lea Lamb and Austin Wolf were young when they fell in love. They never imagined the future could hold anything other than together-forever.

When Lea’s father dies in a tragic fishing accident, she’s crushed under the weight of her grief and catches a glimpse of another type of future, one she knows she’s not strong enough to face.

Austin is angry. For the past fifteen years, he’s believed the woman he loved with every ounce of his soul left him without so much as a backwards glance.

When Lea unexpectedly returns to their hometown, all the years of heartache inside Austin bubbles to the surface and presents itself as blinding rage.

Faced with the truth about the past, a newly discovered secret, these former lovers will learn that if they want to have any chance at the future they’d given up on all those years ago, they will have to rescue one another from drowning in pain so debilitating it will leave them both fighting to breathe.

Buy Links

Amazon US / Amazon UK / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

fighting to breathe teaser 1

Excerpt

“CAN WE STOP by the liquor store on the way to dinner?” Mom asks from the passenger seat of my car.

“Should you be drinking?” I frown then turn onto the main road—well, really the only road in town.

“What’s it going to do, kill me?” she jokes, making me inhale a sharp breath. “Honey,” she says quietly, and I look at her briefly, wondering how the hell she can be so casual about this. “I’m dying. When it will happen, only the good Lord knows, but it is happening, and there is nothing you or I can do about it. I have made my peace with it, and I want you to do the same.” She reaches over to pat my thigh.

“Make peace with it?” I repeat, shaking my head in disbelief.

“Yes, make peace with it. If you think about it, I’m lucky. I know I’m going to die. I know that sooner rather than later God is going to come take me home, and when he does, I will be ready. I will have had a chance to say goodbye to the people I care about and right any wrongs I’ve caused. I’m lucky, honey.”

“What about me?” I wring my hands on the steering wheel, feeling my chest get tight as I fight back tears.

“I love you, honey. I loved you before you were even a sparkle in my eye, and I will always be with you. I know this isn’t easy for you. I know there are going to be a lot of tears shed, but we’re lucky, honey.”

I press my lips together to keep from saying something I might regret. I’m not lucky; in fact, I’m unlucky to the tenth power. How many people have I lost, how many people do I have to loose before it’s enough.

“Oh look! Sheryl!” She yells, pulling me from my thoughts as she reaches over, pressing the horn on my steering wheel while her other hand shoots across me so she can wave out my window. Looking to where she’s waving my heart begins to beat wildly

against my ribcage when I see not Sheryl, but Austin walking into one of the many bars that litter Main Street, only it’s not just Austin—it’s him and a woman with her arm wrapped around the back of his waist as he holds the door open for her.

Even from the distance separating us, my lungs compress at the beauty that is him. The years have been good to him. His hair is still shaggy, only now a little lighter; his face is tan and covered in a beard that makes his crystal blue eyes stand out even more. My eyes travel from his face to his torso, which is covered in a dark green thermal that shows off the muscles of his arms, chest, and tapered waist, then down to his denim-covered thighs. When my gaze sweeps back up, his eyes are on me, and I see them crinkle in confusion then realization that soon turns into anger.

“You missed the liquor store,” my mom complains as I speed up.

Review4 starsFtB-DGR

I wanted her fifteen years ago, and I still fucking want her now. There isn’t a single part of me that doesn’t know she’s my future…

What’s better than a second chance romance? A second chance romance with an Aurora Rose Alpha. *swoon* There’s a reason she’s my go-to author for pure guilty pleasure read, and this book was the perfect fix. At just under 200 pages, it’s on the shorter side, and easily read in one sitting (which I did since I couldn’t put it down). Surprisingly in those short pages Aurora managed to give the readers a true heartfelt romance. It made me cry, it made me swoon, it made me pant. It was that perfect weekend afternoon read that will leave a smile on your face.

Fifteen years have gone by, and in that time, I’ve had more women than I care to admit, but none of them even came close to giving me what she did, and I know that no one ever will.

Fifteen years ago Lea and Austin were high school sweethearts that were planning on spending the rest of their lives together. But then the tragic death of her father leaves Lea shattered and she runs; from her life, from her town, and from Austin. Now she’s recently divorced and back to her childhood town to take care of her dying mother, but coming to terms with her past isn’t quite so easy when the boy that stole her heart those years ago is now the man that still makes it pound.

Sometimes in life, you’re only given the shot at something beautiful once, and when you have it in your grasp, you’ll do anything to keep it, even if you end up crushing it in the process.

To say that Austin isn’t happy to see Lea again is definitely an understatement. When she left, she took what was left of his heart along with her. He’s bitter, angry, and the fact that she still draws him in like she did all those years ago doesn’t make it easier.
Fighting To Breathe1-DGRNow if you know me then you know that I love me my angry lust thing, so of course I gobbled this all up like a starved maniac. It was utterly delicious. Underneath Austin’s anger there was always this undercurrent of lust that practice crackled with electricity.

Even though I wanted to hate Lea for the way she walked away from everything those years ago, it was hard to do with the person she grew into. Surprisingly, she was a very endearing character if not a little broken. Though I gotta say, I did love the way that Austin began to build her back up piece by piece.

Fighting to Breathe was just one of those extremely satisfying and swoony second chance romances that I love to read about. While it may not have been that all encompassing 5 star read, it was a solid 4. Aurora introduced several secondary characters that I’m already curious to read about (especially Ben, even if he already got his HEA). This is definitely a series that is going to my auto-buy list and one I highly recommend to all fans of this author.

This is us, baby. This is where we were meant to be..

About the Author

 

aurora new bio

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

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Giveaway

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Author Interview, Review & #Giveaway: ★Toxic★ by @authorkimkarr

Interview & Giveaway

Last week I read this book that made me want to rip my hair out and throw my kindle at the wall. If I could have done both at the same time, I’m pretty sure I would have. I was enraged…and I was entranced. Phoebe and Jeremy together was a train wreck that you just couldn’t tear your eyes away from. I loved each agonizing, made me want to curl into a ball of rage and scream to the ceiling second. I have the super fabulous Kim Karr on the blog today for an interview where I got to pick her brain about all things Toxic. Read on to read that along with my full review below. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a paperback of Toxic!
About The Book
TOXIC
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Connections novels turns up the heat in a sexy new romance about money, power, danger, and passion…

Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is just too good to be true.
Is it real or just an illusion?
Does the man lying beside you really love you like he says he does?
If the answer is yes, you’re meant to live happily ever after.
If the answer is no, you’re living my life…
and nothing will ever be the same.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t.

I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as it lasts.
I know when it’s over…
I’ll never find another man like him.

Buy Links

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / BAM / IndieBound / Google / Kobo 

Author Interview

If you haven’t added this deliciously angsty book to your TBR yet, I’m pretty sure this interview just may convince you 😉

DGR: Can we start out with a quick introduction for any readers out there that haven’t heard of you yet (if those even exist?)

KK: I’ll be 49 soon and can’t believe I’m one year away from 50. I don’t feel old at all and I hope to stay that way. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I have always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I write romance books because I love to watch love blossom.

DGR: I’m a HUGE fan of the second chance romance. Do you have a favorite trope to write? Or is it more about when inspiration strikes you?
KK: I love second chance romances as well. That feeling you get in your stomach when it flips the first time they see each other again—it’s priceless.

DGR: Did you have any inspiration behind the story and/or the characters of Toxic?

KK: I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

DGR: Jeremy McQueen. The blurb describes him as a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur that goes after what he wants. I have to admit I was sold on the book from that alone. What else can you tell us about the brooding Jeremy?

KK: He was always the hired help’s son. A guy from the wrong side of the tracks so to say that turned his life into something good. He, like everyone, has issues and his stem from his childhood, from believing he was a bastard and then learning that wasn’t the case. All he wants is for someone to believe in him. However, sometimes his darkside makes it hard to do that. I just love him. Can you tell?

DGR: If you had to describe Phoebe St. Claire in 6 words or less, what would they be?

KK: As bold and delicate as a rose. I think that’s 7, oops.

DGR: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

KK: The intensity these two characters felt for each other. I felt it on every page. They were meant to be together.

DGR: Now without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes from Toxic?

KK: When Phoebe sees Jeremy after 5 long years. Here’s a peek: “Someone stepped between us. The distressed leather was the first thing my eyes were focused on when my skin started to tingle with a sense of familiarity. The tingling quickly turned into trembling as my gaze lifted and I saw the bluest of blue eyes.”

DGR:  If you had to describe the book to us in a twitter size type sum-up, what would you say?

KK: #Toxiclove I’m so not good at twitter. Sorry.

DGR: Any little teasers or excerpts you can entice us with? Pretty please?

Phoebe St. Claire
————————
Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.
I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.
A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.
I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.
He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.
He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.
Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.
I loved the idea of that.
So I smiled at him.
He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.
I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.
It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.
“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.
He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.
I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.
I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to get dressed in mixed company?”
He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”
And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.
Hot. Totally and completely hot.
I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.
I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”
He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”
He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.
Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”
He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”
I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”
A bad boy.
The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”
He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”
I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.
Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.
When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.
Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.
That mouth.
It was almost too much.
Almost.

DGR: Anything else you’d like to leave the readers with?

KK: I hope you read Toxic and fall in love with Jeremy and Phoebe’s world. Enjoy!

Review

4 stars

Toxic-DGR

Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

It’s been over a week since I read Toxic and it’s taken me this long to be able to sum my feelings and clear my head enough to rate it. If I can describe this book for you in one word, it would be exhausting. I was absolutely emotionally spent when I finished it. I spent a good 40% of it feeling like I want to rip my hair out. And this is coming from a self-professed angst whore, mind you.
But then here’s the thing; I liked it. Even though the constant back and forth between Phoebe and Jeremy left me feeling like they’re going to give me whiplash, I still liked it and gobbled it up like the angst starved junky that I am. Was it delicious? Heck no! I thought I may choke on it. But god help me, I still liked it. My favorite trope is the second chance romance and Toxic delivers it in spades.

It was emotionally draining, erotic, touching, and rage inducing all at once. Yeah. Try wrapping your head around that.

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

Toxic1-DGRPhoebe and Jeremy first met as teenagers years ago. Phoebe was the rich girl with the golden spoon in her mouth and Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Their connection was instantaneous and burned hot and bright, but then lies tore them apart. While Phoebe never got over the boy that once made her entire body and heart burn, she moved on. Now years later fate brings them together again, but he’s no longer the boy she once knew. He’s successful and rich but still invites everything in her like they never spent any years apart.

He took all my air away. I didn’t care- I didn’t need to breathe.

While both Phoebe and Jeremy know they may be toxic together, they can’t stay away from each other. Their chemistry practically crackles in electricity. There’s one thing that’s certain, Kim Karr can write some scorching sex scenes. But the lies between them are like poison that won’t leave. Much as they try to purge it from their relationship it remains that one toxic factor that brews the way for mistrust and mistakes. I think it would be safe to say that neither of these characters are perfect, far from it in fact. These two fuck up so many times it made me want to throttle them and chuck my kindle at the wall. It was rage inducing.

That’s the thing with jealousy- it festers and builds until there is nothing left.

There’s a wealth of secondary characters that were introduced that added to the story in a very significant way. Maybe that’s what helped dilute the angst between Jeremy and Phoebe? It made the book evolve like a movie in front of my eyes and it made me really connect to the characters’ lives. I’m not sure I’d be able to say the same thing if this happened in any other book, but in this one it just worked.

The focus of the story of course are Jeremy and Phoebe and their romance and road to forgiveness and maturity.

We were frantic for each other- time hadn’t done anything to quash what we felt physically for each other. In fact, it only fanned the flames and the fire was bigger than ever.

Toxic2-DGRI think I felt every emotion along with them and that really helped connecting with them. Kim Karr did an amazing job creating two imperfect characters that were imperfectly perfect together. Does that even make sense? In my head it does, but then again I’m still getting over this book. As much as I wanted to rip my hair out for the last 40% of the book, I also secretly loved it. I guess I’m just a masochist that way.

With my eyes closed, I felt the earth move and the sky shift. In my own darkness, I felt a million different things but I didn’t feel lost in him. I knew then for certain, I wouldn’t get lost in him. There was no way I could. Not when I had found myself in him.

If you’re looking for a book that will enrage you and enrapture you all in one, Toxic is that. It’s a make you want to rip your hair out while still rooting for the characters kind of second chance romance. It was far from perfect, but yet it worked. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re a reader that enjoys your angst in rage inducing proportions while getting an unforgettable second chance romance, Toxic is definitely a must read.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Review: ★A Beautiful Kind of Love★ by Ellie Wade

A Beautiful Kind of Love (Choices #1)
Author: Ellie Wade
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 11, 2015

Every choice has a consequence.

I believe in soul mates. Why? Because I have one and his name is Jax Porter.

I have known Jax my whole life and I have loved him with every breath I’ve ever taken. The fact that we were born a mere month apart to mothers that are best friends has made us inseparable since birth.

What we have is so rare, one would think our story would be written, our fate sealed. But, unfortunately that’s not how life works. Life offers us many choices that can turn destiny into chance.

I now find myself heading toward a destination that I could have never imagined and I have to figure out where to go from here.
Will the choices that have been made change our path forever or will fate find its way?

Being the absolute angst whore that I am and after seeing many friends rave about this book and how emotional and angsty it was and seeing it all over my Goodreads feed, reading it was a no brainer for me. I was practically salivating after the synopsis alone.

Now that I finished?

And not for the reasons that you’d think. In all honesty, I found absolutely nothing angsty about this book. Nothing. Even when there was an “angsty” situation, there was just not enough backstory or development given with it to make me even slightly care about the character or their plight. None.

It started out great. There’s only one thing that I love more than a friends to lovers romance, and that’s a second chance romance. Unfortunately, I never clicked with either characters or their romance.

So what exactly didn’t work for me? Almost everything….

The writing
The lack of contractions in this book drove me up the wall crazy. I’m talking eye-twitching, hand itching to reach through my kindle and add an apostrophe myself sort of crazy. It got to the point that every time I saw it, I began to channel my inner Austin Powers.

I do not know of any teenagers that talk this way. It is highly annoying. I do not like it.

Weird timeline
The book starts off with both Jax and Lily at age twelve, but it doesn’t give a year. It refers to The Bodyguard as being one of Lily’s mom’s old movies. How old was her mom when she had her? Twelve? It was made in 1992. If this is based a number of years ago (considering at the end of the book Jax and Lily are 21 going on 22), then by method of deduction it would be 2005 when they’re 12 and a 1992 movie would NOT be old. Then when they’re 17, kindles and iPods are referenced. Then Katy Perry just a little later. It just didn’t add up. Perhaps if the author dated the time frames and put a year with the chapters it would have helped.

Miscommunication
Considering that these two are supposed to be best friends, they had so much miscommunication between them it was like they were playing a game of broken telephone. The amount of stupid decisions that were made that could have easily been avoided with a question or simple talk was ridiculous. Yes, I get that they’re teenagers but c’mon. They’re supposed to be BFFs. And it’s like they spent the entire book misreading this or assuming that…

Jax
Here’s an MC I’m supposed to be swooning over and falling for. Yet the only thing I felt for him was….rage. Pure frustrated rage.

There’s a decision that Jax makes that is the catalyst for all the fuckery that takes place in this book. But here’s the thing…I didn’t get it. Why? How? And most importantly, WHY? There was a reason given, but it was weak. Oh so weak. It was almost like it was thrown in there as a ‘by the way’ sort of thing, just to explain it. Or try to explain it anyway. But it didn’t explain it. At all. If anything, it just frustrated me more. Perhaps if there was more background, more backstory and more development with it, I could have understood. But as it was, I found the reason to be stupid. So stupid it actually made me dislike him as a character.

Secondary characters
You know what I love in my books? Unpredictability. Nothing better than a good plot twist. I found the set up with the secondary characters so predictable, it was eye roll inducing. I knew from the very second that a particular secondary character was introduced, what would happen. And I was right. I don’t think it could have been made any more obvious. Perhaps that was the point? But as it was…

Lily
I’m a picky bitch when it comes to my heroines, it’s true. But could Lily have been more of a wet blanket? Gawd. I really felt for her at first, but then her constant back and forth and forgiving of Jax’s douchebaggary made me completely lose respect for her. And then that ending? Are you freaking kidding me?!!! No really. Are you FREAKING kidding me? OMG!

I had to take a day to sleep on my thoughts after finishing this book because had I posted a review immediately after, it probably would have been a 2 page rant. I hate leaving bad reviews, especially when I seem to be one of the VERY few that doesn’t connect with the story, but I couldn’t think of one thing I liked about this book. Not one. And that seriously hurts my heart because I had such high hopes for it. Will I read the second book? Probably not. I just don’t care enough for the characters to want to know where the journey takes them. Unless I’m hit by some masochistic curious urge, I doubt I’ll continue.

I realize I’m in the extreme minority with my thoughts, but before you throw stones and rotten tomatoes, just remember

So don’t let my asshole opinion deter you from reading it. Try it yourself and see. Who knows? You just may love it.

Review: ★Fisher’s Light★ by @TaraSivec

Fisher’s Light
Author: Tara Sivec
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Second Chance Romance)
Release Date: March 24, 2015

Fisher,I guess this is it, huh? After fourteen years together, starting a life of our own on this island, five deployments and countless letters I’ve written you through it all, I finally go out to the mailbox and see something I’ve always dreamed of: an envelope with your handwriting on it. For one moment, I actually thought you’d changed your mind, that all the awful things you said to me were just your way of coping after everything you’d been through. I was still here, Fisher. I was still here, holding my breath, waiting for you to come back even though you told me you never would. You always said you’d find your way back to me. Out of all the lies you’ve told me, this one hurts the most.
Enclosed you will find the signed divorce papers, as requested.
I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry it wasn’t me.
Lucy

To get the ending they want, Lucy and Fisher will have to go back to the beginning. Through the good and the bad, they’ll be reminded of why they always made their way back to each other, and why this time, one way or another, it will be the last time.

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Review5 stars

I’m going to fix this. I have to fix this… I hate every moment that I’m away from her, but I will do whatever it takes to find the man she once loved and bring him back to her.”

When I first read that blurb, I knew that this was going to be one of those books for me. The soul crushing, gut wrenching, make you hurt so good just to put you back together kind of books. And you know what? I wasn’t even a tiny bit wrong. Just 5 percent into this story, I was completely captivated and totally enraptured in the story of Fisher and Lucy. I think the only thing I love more than an amazing second chance romance, is a tortured hero and this book gave me both.

How do I get that back when the darkness is hell bent on taking over, holding me in its clutches and making sure I never see the sunshine again?

Fisher’s Light is told in alternating first person POV and flips back and forth between past and present in the form of Fisher’s journal entries in past and alternating POVs in the present. It’s done in such an incredible way that it read like two sides of a coin. It gave you the dark, ugly parts of their relationship only to turn around and through Fisher’s journal to give you that light at the end of the tunnel. Where one part you’ll find yourself hating him and the way he treats Lucy, in the other part your heart will break for him and his internal struggle. These two sides were balances out so well, that the story was made that much better.

Fisher and Lucy are high school sweethearts. Their love for each other flows right off of the pages and deep into your soul. It’s one of those couples that will really stay with me for years to come. Fisher is the son of the founding family of Fisher’s Island. He’s the popular rich boy that every boy wants to be and every girl wants to be with. But the second Fisher first lays eyes on Lucy, no one else exists for him.

Fisher joins the Marines when he’s 18. Their marriage of 14 years survives 5 of his tours overseas. Every time he comes back, he comes back a little more broken, a little more haunted, and a little more tortured.

Suffering from debilitating PTSD, Fisher begins to slowly lose touch between his reality and his memories but Lucy stands by him through it all

There might be a few cracks, but nothing is ever perfect. Anything that’s worth living for, worth dying for, has a few cracks

But unfortunately, no matter how hard she fights for him, with each and every day that passes, Fisher slips further and further away from her. Until the one day where he breaks her so completely that there is absolutely no coming back from it.

I don’t deserve her forgiveness. I never deserved her to begin with, so now she’ll be free to find security and happiness without having to worry about the broken man she married who can never be fixed.

This book hurt so good, I can’t even begin to describe to you the feels of it all. I was a slobbering, sniveling mess for a good chunk of it and I loved every tearful second of it. It was such a beautiful and emotional story.

Lucy is ones of those heroines that you will fall in love with from the very beginning. She’s strong but with insecurities, yet her love for Fisher is so fierce and unconditional. When he left her a year ago, she didn’t know if she could come back from it. But she picked up the scattered pieces of her life and she’s trying to move on.

To get to the good, sometimes you have to live through the bad.

Fisher never stopped loving Lucy. He knows that his actions hurt her immeasurably, but he’s determined to atone for his sins and get his wife back. There is no one else for him.

You’re my light, Lucy…
You are always the light in my darkness. You’re the reason I’m alive, you’re the reason I’m here and you’re the reason I breathe, every day.”

Lucy is no longer the insecure and meek little girl from their childhood or the quiet wife he left behind, and she definitely doesn’t make things easy for him. Watching him really work to get back into her life was one of my favorite parts of this book. Having only read Tara’s Chocolate Lovers series, I was honestly shocked at how she was able to flip from humorous and fluffy to something so emotional and poignant. It speaks volumes of her talent as an author.

I will ALWAYS fucking fight for you, Lucy,” I promise as I dig my fingers deeper into her hips and pull her body down a little more on my cock…
“It’s always been you. It will ALWAYS, only be you.” I whisper as I shift my hips and slide in and out of her as fast as I can in the water.

I adored this book from beginning to finish. It ripped my heart to shreds and then melded it all back together with a romance that I’ll compare all others to. It was just THAT good.

I recommend this book for any romance readers. This is simply a must read and it’s going straight to the very top of my all time favorites.

Review: ★This Heart Of Mine★ by @Brenda_Novak

This Heart of Mine (Whiskey Creek #8)
Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: March 31, 2015

First love. Second chance?
As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next!
Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob’s father isn’t exactly welcoming.
Riley doesn’t trust Phoenix, doesn’t want her in Jacob’s life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he’s about to find both—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…

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Review

5 stars

She’d wanted him so badly seventeen years ago. And now that he wanted her, regardless of what anyone said, she wouldn’t come near him.

This book. This wonderfully written, poignant, emotional and beautiful book. This Heart Of Mine reminded me exactly what made me fall in love with contemporary romance in the first place. I cannot believe that I am just not discovering this fantastic author and 8 books into a series no less. And I’m sure some of my OCD friends are twitching right now over the fact that I started with book 8 in a series. But breathe easy, concerned friends, because this book was easily read as a standalone and I am not planning on going back and reading the 7 books that came before it.

Phoenix Fuller grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. A daughter to an overweight hoarder, she’s never had an easy life, so when handsome and popular Riley Stinson becomes her boyfriend, she thought her life was finally starting to look up…until he broke up with her. Being young and having no support, she didn’t know how to deal with her heartbreak. Her extreme behavior after the breakup led her to be incarcerated for a crime she was innocent of simply because she was the most likely suspect.

Now after spending the past 17 years in prison, Phoenix is back to the small town of Whiskey Creek with a new outlook on life. She wants to help take care of her mother and she wants to get to know her son, a son she had with the boy that stole her heart all those years ago and then ripped it to shreds.

Don’t let your pride stand between you and the things you need, Phoenix.”
“Pride? All I have left is my self-respect. You want to take that away, too?”

I think that Phoenix was probably one of the best heroines I have read in quite a long while. You would think that going through what she’s gone through, she’d be angry at the world, cynical and bitter. But she was none of those things. She had this charmingly unassuming quality to her that made her both vulnerable and yet strong. She’s broken in a way that she no longer believes herself worthy of love or kindness of others. She’s accepted that about herself and she doesn’t blame anyone or holds any animosity towards the people that have done her wrong. She simply takes it for what it is and tries to live her life and provide for her son even if his father isn’t exactly welcoming and she has to live on her last cents just so she can go to bed at night knowing that she gave something to him.

Riley is still trying to set his feelings in order now that Phoenix is back. He loved her when he was 18, but he was too immature to truly recognize it for what it was and not give into the pressure of his family about being too good for the town’s trailer trash. The unanswered questions still burn between Riley and Phoenix, as well as the lack of closure for their failed relationship makes for some angst. The author did such an incredible job writing these two characters that you can’t help but feel every emotion they feel. Riley is definitely a man that feels guilt and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He knows that he’s one of the many that has wronged Phoenix, but as much as he wants to right it he also knows he may never get her forgiveness. This was just so incredibly palpable the story practically vibrated with it. I can’t even begin to describe in words all the feels that this book brought out in me.

It’s not fair, I know. I don’t understand why everything went the way it did. But since you came home it feels…it feels as if you’re what I’ve been waiting for.

Phoenix was by all accounts a heroine that I probably would have hated in any other book. Her insecurities and her experiences truly made for a broken woman, and yet…she wasn’t. There was always just something so endearing about her that you can’t help but have your heart break for her and everything that she’s been through.

I fell in love with Riley and Phoenix, and even more so with their son Jake. This was not the typical teenager that you’d expect to read about. He was wise beyond his years, so down to earth and kind. I just adored him and how he was always this part that kind of filled in the holes between Riley and Phoenix and made them whole. I loved all the secondary characters as well.

While this book wasn’t very steamy, I never even found myself missing it. I loved the story so much that I think anything more than what it had would have been too much. The budding relationship between Riley and Phoenix was realistic. Brenda Novak did a great job building it around everything that they’ve been through and giving both their experiences justice without taking anything away.

I’m happy to do all the fighting, for both of us. But I have to have YOU on my side. I have to know I’m fighting for something I can actually win.”

My only minor complaint is how a few things wrapped up. I guess I wanted apologies and repercussions. But at the same time, it was realistic and played true to the story and the characters. So as much as I would have loved to have something…more, I understood why it was the way it was. I also would have loved an extended epilogue, but again, the ending was satisfying enough that I didn’t focus on that too much.

The mere fact that I was so thoroughly engrossed in the story I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. If that’s not a 5 star read, I don’t know what is. If you’re a fan of chick lit, second chance romance, and amazingly written characters with a poignant story, this book is an absolute must read. I can’t recommend it enough.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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