Genre: Contemporary

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Take Me – Maisey Yates – 3 stars

June 24, 2014 Harlequin, Purchased, Read in 2014 0

Take Me – Maisey Yates – 3 starsTake Me by Maisey Yates
Published by Mills & Boon Series on 2014-06-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 50
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

In this Fifth Avenue prequel by USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates, enter the exclusive world of New York's scandalous elite...where everything is about to change.Take Me Where it all began...As the son of a high-powered attorney Travis Beringer has never wanted for anything...except the elusive Sydney Davis. But everything changes in an instant with the shocking death of her roommate, Sarah Michaels, and suddenly Sydney is in his arms, desperately seeking oblivion. Encased within a sensual web of desire, Travis and Sydney delight in every erotic touch they've fought for so long. But what will happen when the dust has settled and the harsh light of day ushers in a reality neither is prepared to face?

As a quick start to the Fifth Avenue trilogy this serves as a way to see what happened all those years ago and who the man is that put Austin, Hunter and Alex on the path to taking down a man who committed so many wrongs.

We get a quick story about how a young woman’s death brings about a love that will last the tests of time for her friend and the man who has loved her without telling her for years.  We get a hot interlude with Travis and Sydney but we also see how shaken up two people are by the death of someone they both thought of as a friend who had slowly withdrawn from them as she was caught in her own personal hell on Earth.

Travis and Sydney both needed an outlet for the numbing grief they both felt but this quick tumble actually unlocked both of them from the walls they had built around themselves in order to not get hurt by love.  Sydney thinks she isn’t good enough because of her background but so desperately longs for Travis that you can feel it as they connect physically.  Travis has always wanted Sydney but never thought it was the right time to pursue her plus knows that her drive is such that maybe she won’t be willing to see they both can win.  He isn’t out to change her but to love her.  Both of them manage to work the beginnings of this out in this quick read but as you know with a very short quick read we don’t get the full story or much in the way of feels before the story is over.

If you go in to this one thinking of it as being a long prologue then I think you’ll be ok with the pacing and length.  Make sure you have Avenge Me on deck so you can dive right in to the main stories as three very driven man find a way to make a very evil man pay.

three-stars

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Up to Me – Christi Barth – 4 stars

June 24, 2014 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Up to Me – Christi Barth – 4 starsUp to Me by Christi Barth
Published by Carina Press on 2014-06-23
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.

Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He's always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he's on the verge of axing. And letting the town's residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.Ella's the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he's lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn't save her parents, but it's up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.100,000 words

I loved this small town and the people who we get to see poke their noses in to our pair’s relationship.  I cannot wait to see more and am happy that this story made it possible for us to get such a great view of the town.

Ella loves living on Seneca Lake even as the loss of her parents weighs on her every decision.  She’s happy being the masseuse and being around the manor but there is a part of her that hasn’t moved on with her life.  She’s shocked when she meets a man who flips all of her switches even before she starts to get to know him.  As she starts to branch out and take a chance letting him in she also starts to reclaim the life she put on hold because of misguided guilt.  I really enjoyed watching her journey to becoming a woman not afraid to live and take control of her own destiny even as things seem to fall apart around her.  She’s got such loyal friends that mean the world to her and have stepped up to be there for her as she dealt with some really heavy things.  I especially loved how she found the strength to finally let go of letting the journal make her decisions for her.  While it served its purpose it was time for her to stand on her own two feet to become someone her parents would have been so proud of.

Graydon was such a fun character.  He’s got secrets of his own and when he meets Ella he is so torn between doing what is right with her and what is right by his job that it causes major conflicts and issues for him.  His reaction to the way the town protects Ella was wonderful but he saw that in many respects it was stifling the inner self she needed to let loose.  I also enjoyed his entry in to the journal and found it quite telling how much faith he put in the town when push came to shove.  This is a man who needed to find somewhere he could belong and a life that was filled with things that made him happy.  He was like Ella in that he was so stuck in his past that he wasn’t really living life to the fullest.

Watching them fight what they were feeling for one another was fun and seeing how everyone rallied around them both made me laugh a few times.  There was a good amount of heat but honestly the way that the relationship took its time to fully develop was the best part of it.  If you like small town romances where the town and its residents play a part in the story then this will be right up your alley.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I cannot wait for more of this series!

four-stars

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Untouched – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 24, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Untouched – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUntouched by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2014-01-21
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 313
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

In the Silver Creek romance Unexpected, Cole Mitchell found love in the last place he ever thought to look. Now, in USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates’ newest novel, Cole’s little sister Lark is determined to have her turn... Having never left the family ranch, Lark Mitchell needs a little adventure—or at least a romance that isn’t confined to the internet. Her older brothers Cole and Cade have always been too good at protecting her innocence, but even they can’t stop her from taking a second job—where her boss just so happens to be the kind of bad boy she craves. Too bad he’s also the one guy in Silver Creek she should never touch... When Quinn Parker introduces himself, Lark tries to quit on the spot. Everyone knows Quinn was behind the accident that ended Cade’s rodeo career. But when he holds her to her contract, she can’t help wanting to get even closer. As she begins to see the man behind the gossip, she sees that not all of the things people say about him are true...even if there’s plenty about this bad boy she has yet to discover.

Oh the fun that was had in some respects with this book but the angst…  the sheer angst…

Lark just wants to spread her wings a bit without her well-meaning but over-bearing brothers putting their noses in every bit of her business.  She decides to pursue a job that isn’t family related and ends up working for the man that they believe almost killed her brother Cade.  As she struggles to keep her family out of her job in order to avoid Cade paying her way out of the mess, she also has to struggle with her attraction to the one man she should never get tangled with.  I loved seeing her loyalty to her family but I also appreciated the way that she was willing to actually listen to her intuition when it came to Quinn’s involvement with her brother’s attack.  She was a very sympathetic character in that all she wanted was to be taken seriously by people and to be loved but allowed to be free.  She just needed someone to push her out of her comfort zone in order to actually truly start living life to the fullest.  I enjoyed her quirks and the way that she pushed Quinn to also start believing he deserved to be happy even though his past made him think the worst of himself.  She’s a fun character who put up with a lot more than she should have when it came to both Quinn and her family but I did understand it.

Quinn….  now this man is an asshole but I appreciated that he doesn’t apologize for that.  He knows he is and owns up to this ummmm character flaw.  While he will piss you off with his treatment of Lark you also can see that he even knows it is wrong.  He struggles with wanting to do the right thing by her and believing that he isn’t capable of doing the right thing for anyone.  His actions after their first time say a lot even if he won’t admit it.  He’s such an interesting character in that his past has definitely shaped his present to the point where he isn’t sure of who/what he is any more.  I was pissed at him for a good portion of the book but I think that looking at how he was raised I was able to forgive him much faster than I might any other character in these stories.  He really is a good guy under the asshole exterior and when he falls… he falls so hard.

It was fun watching Lark tie Quinn up in knots but I really liked how she came in to her own decisions that might’ve hurt her family but were right for her even as they seemed so wrong to outsiders.  She’s got a great head on her shoulders and once she learned to trust in that everything else played out as it should.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I truly enjoyed it!

four-stars

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Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 22, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUnexpected by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2013-08-20
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

After spending another family wedding fielding questions about her non-existent love life, Kelsey Noble decides she’s tired of waiting around for things she could go out and get herself. What Kelsey wants is a baby, and she doesn’t see any point waiting for a husband she’s not even sure she wants. But a mix-up at the fertility clinic lands her with a hassle she didn’t count on. A big, muscular hassle in a Stetson and cowboy boots. Cole Mitchell is shocked to discover that a grand gesture from years past has come back to haunt him. Now, thanks to a clerical error, a woman he’s never met is having his baby—and there’s no way he’s going to walk away and forget he has a child. Trying to make nice with the unexpected father of her baby lands Kelsey in Silver Creek, Oregon, dealing with the kind of small town life she left behind years ago. Even worse is dealing with the burning attraction she feels for Cole. She knows adding sex to the mix is a very bad idea, but she’s not sure how long she can resist falling for the last man she ever expected... Includes a preview of Maisey Yates’ novella, Unbuttoned. Praise for UNBUTTONED: “I loved Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates in a big way....I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read.... it’s a great start to what looks to be a promising new small-town contemporary series and has introduced me to a new-to-me author who writes enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “Maisey Yates is a very talented author and has created the perfect small-town romance about two people that found love once they learned to take a leap of faith.... I can’t wait to see what is in store for the residents of Silver Creek.”—Books-N-Kisses

Nothing like being late on reading something but….  I really enjoyed reading this story of a woman who is so used to being the odd duck in her family that she is amazed to find a family that accepts her as she is.  It also is a good story for anyone who doesn’t conform to the mold their parents try to put them in and to go for what makes you happy.

Kelsey is stuck at yet another wedding and dealing with relatives that keep asking her when she’s going to get married.  She’s been burned by the man she thought she would marry so is in no hurry to have another relationship even as she wishes for children.  She decides to do something bold and get artificially inseminated so she can have the child she yearns for without the hassle of a relationship.  When the sperm donor shows up at her door with information that the sperm she was impregnated with should not have been in the main donor pool she’s shocked and terrified about what this means.  She agrees to go and spend time with him on his ranch in order to figure things out but winds up with more than she imagined.  I loved her strength and enjoyed seeing her really learn what she needs in her life.  She’s smart but so vulnerable to being hurt by this sexy cowboy that you will root for her to get what she deserves.  I liked that she pushed him to really open up and admit what he wanted/felt.  There was something interesting about seeing a woman who claimed to not need the traditional family realize that she really wanted that connection.

Cole was a bit harder at times.  I understood why he was so adamant about not being willing to be in love with Kelsey but I really wanted to slap him.  He’s so sexy when he finally gives in to their chemistry and also when he is caring for her as she struggles with morning sickness.  He’s unfortunately a bit of a jerk as he deals with what his father left him to clean up and what his ex-wife did to him over their way-to-long marriage.  He’s very loyal to those he loves and seeing him struggle to admit what she actually means to him was at times frustrating but ultimately it was a struggle that left him in a wonderful place.

I hope that you will give this series a chance as I have completely enjoyed each installment and am ready to read more from this wonderful little town…

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’m sorry it took me so long to finally get to it but I really enjoyed the heart of this wonderful town/family.

four-stars

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Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 18, 2014 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 starsRekindled by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-17
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 78
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
four-stars

In USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates’s latest Silver Creek Romance, a rich girl gets the privilege of starting over—and finding true love. Lucy Ryan got everything she thought she wanted, going from high school queen to Manhattan trophy wife. But none of it was worth staying in a loveless marriage. So now she’s back in Silver Creek—with no money and no place to stay, applying for a job cleaning someone else’s house. And her potential employer is the last person she ever expected to see again. Mac Denton can’t believe the mean girl who once tormented him in high school is now his housekeeper. He looks forward to making her squirm for a few days before she runs back to her rich husband. But Lucy has changed, and he is surprised to find himself attracted to the beautiful, courageous woman she has become. Lucy is finally ready to go after what she really wants from life. And what she wants more than anything is Mac. But is Mac ready to truly forget the past and embrace the future? Praise for the Silver Creek Romances by Maisey Yates “I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read....enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “A lot of fun to read.... I look forward to reading the next installment. She provided humor, tension, smexy-times, twisted family dynamics, and a re-enjoyment of life.”—The Book Pushers Maisey Yates is a USA Today bestselling author who divides her time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light, sexy contemporary romances set practically in her backyard. She has written many romances for Harlequin, including The Couple Who Fooled the World, as well as the Silver Creek Romances (Unbuttoned, Unexpected, and Untouched) for InterMix. She lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon.

This was a really quick story with characters that showed how things can be if you let go of the past.

Lucy was the spoiled rich kid who used to look down her nose and be mean to those that weren’t of her social class.  As a result when she comes back to Silver Creek after an abusive marriage she expects to be the butt of many jokes and revenge.  Her parents have let their displeasure with her leaving her wealthy husband rule their decision to not help her get her feet back beneath her so she is forced to seek a job as a housekeeper for the son of their former maid.  She’s been beaten down by the words her ex used to undermine her so when she finds someone that champions her and wants to do harm to him she melts a bit.  I liked how she acknowledged that she was wrong in her treatment of others all those years ago but I really loved that when she finally woke up to who she really was inside that she demanded to be treated the way she truly deserved.  She wants to be treated and seen as an equal partner and deserves nothing less.

Mac was swoony even as he had his head in his ass.  I loved how even though she treated him like garbage when they were younger he didn’t treat her that way.  I appreciated how much he was willing to tolerate her attempts at cooking and encourage her to spread her wings.  He really was supportive of her finding out who she really was and seeing his acceptance made her so much stronger.  I didn’t like how he was unwilling to open his eyes to what they were building but I understood why he struggled.  He really is a great guy under the stupidity and seeing him fall for her was wonderful.  He’s no slouch when it comes to sexy times and I found myself a bit jealous of Lucy getting such a sweet man who knows how to steam things up.

Overall a sweet story with a good message that some of us need to hear.  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin Publishing for the chance to read this. I’m working my way thru the rest of the series now so I can read the upcoming one that Maisey was kind enough to give me at RT.

four-stars

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Four Weddings and a Break Up – Elyssa Patrick – 4 stars

May 12, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Four Weddings and a Break Up – Elyssa Patrick – 4 starsFour Weddings and a Break Up by Elyssa Patrick
Published by Elyssa Patrick on 2014-05-12
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 370
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-stars

**NEW RELEASE SPECIAL! $2.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME!**From Elyssa Patrick comes a light, sexy, emotional contemporary romance perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Bella Andre, about what happens when a fake relationship becomes all too real.One fake relationship . . .Ginny Michaels has always been a good girl and—ever since surviving a school shooting a little over a year ago—hailed a hero. Except she doesn’t feel like a hero. She can’t even have a one-night stand with sexy Wes Dalton properly. When her big city fling resurfaces in her hometown with an intriguing proposition, she’s powerless to resist. A fake relationship is exactly what’s needed to keep her small town’s matchmakers at bay during the upcoming wedding season. If only her attraction to Wes were as easy to ignore.Too many real kisses . . .Wes Dalton doesn’t have many regrets, and that includes his night with Ginny. But he’s always hoped to strengthen his relationship with his estranged family. When his father’s health takes a bad turn, Wes puts his life on hold and moves to the meddling seaside town of Cape Hope. With his barriers in place—and a beautiful woman to help him hold them up—he’s prepared for anything. Or so he thinks. Despite his determination to leave as soon as the summer is over, those fake kisses are starting to feel an awful lot like the real thing.

Wonderful story about a woman finding out that she’s worth and deserves everything in the world while finding a man who finally learns what love is.  I enjoyed seeing the couple find themselves as they navigated a fake relationship that became something more than they ever dreamed.

After a dare from her sister and sister’s friends Ginny finds herself approaching the man that she nicknamed Mr. Dangerous with the intent of giving him her phone number, getting a kiss and asking him out on a date.  She ends up doing something even more unexpected when they have a very quick encounter on the wall outside the bar which is quickly doused by his comments post-coitus.  She has always seen herself as invisible and undesirable but for a very brief moment a gorgeous man seemed to want her and no one else.  When she runs in to him again in her small hometown she finds herself incredibly hurt when he doesn’t even seem to remember her at all which just serves to reinforce her personal feelings of being nothing.  I liked her strength but at the same time you will want to shake her when she seems to be willing to accept the crumbs she is given but is unable to push for her voice to really be heard.  I was very happy when she finally realizes that she is worth more and needs to quit settling for being in the shadows.  She’s smart and with everything she has gone thru recently she deserves something that will make her happy.

Wes is an ass at the beginning.  Well actually I can’t completely call him an ass even as he behaves like one because you do see that he instantly realizes his behavior and while not wanting to completely admit why he is reacting the way he does he owns his mistakes.  He’s had his own demons to slay over the years and they have left him very unwilling to consider anything other than flings so when he sees Ginny he decides to resolve an annoyance and proposes a fake relationship while he is in town dealing with family issues.  They put down rules for each other and even have a safe word that made me laugh but results in a wonderful gesture at the end.  Wes takes a lot to start to love but you do fall for his endearing ways even as he tries so hard to not admit what she means to him.  He’s strong, stubborn and such an amazingly caring man that he’d make anyone soften towards him once you see behind the facade of arrogance.  I loved watching him struggle to find his place even as he was trying to fix everything.

I want to see more of this town and both families as you start to fall for each of them as the story progresses.  Special thanks to Elyssa for sending me this story in hopes of a review of any kind.  I loved the town, families and pair that made up this story.

four-stars

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Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 stars

April 29, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 starsBlue Notes by Carrie Lofty
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Carrie Lofty brings her “exciting, sensual” (RT Book Reviews ) romantic storytelling to a sizzling new adult novel of a gifted pianist with a troubled past, the enigmatic stranger who unlocks her secrets, and sultry nights of passion in the Big Easy. A piano prodigy on a scholarship to a prestigious New Orleans university, Keeley Chambers is finally striking out on her own after a roving life dictated by her criminal parents. Her soulful, brilliant, fiery improvisations tear through her like a storm but are played for an audience of one: herself. However, sinfully handsome Jude Villars refuses to abandon Keeley to her private world and calls her out on her fear of performing in public. The irreverent, seductive billionaire playboy awakens Keeley to the blissful pleasures of letting go as he tempts her into the spotlight of the city’s hottest clubs. Yet Jude has secrets of his own and pain that no one but Keeley recognizes. Will revealing themselves as they really are be too great a risk? Or will the truth make their tumultuous connection hotter and more irresistible than ever?

BLUE NOTES is Carrie Lofty’s first New Adult romance, and it’s currently on sale for $1.99 in all digital formats through May 5.

I have to admit that when I was approached about this one I jumped on it because I’ve enjoyed her writing as part of Katie Porter.  I haven’t read her on her own yet although I do have some titles they are just buried in my TBR.  I will definitely have to dig them out and move them up on the list because reading this one makes me want more.

We start this book with a bit of a history lesson in the life of Keely Chambers our heroine.  Her history isn’t a pleasant one and it plays a major factor in how this book plays out so seeing the pain is vital to understanding why she does what she does as we get deeper in to the story.  She has an amazing gift for the piano and music but isn’t comfortable on the stage nor is she comfortable with letting anyone really get close to her.  She’s intrigued and oh so out of her comfort zone when an arrogant man pushes her buttons and gets her to do something she never thought she’d like, perform on stage!  As she gets to know this man she finds that love is something she deserves but that it is worth fighting for even if you feel like you aren’t worthy.  She finds her worth not in this relationship but it pushes her to face her fears and really reach for what she deserves not what she’s always thought she deserved.  I loved her strength and ability to see where she was floundering but admittedly got frustrated when she kept her secret for so long.  I understood it but it was a struggle to not yell “Tell him dammit!!” at the Kindle.

Jude…  now he pissed me off at one point and trust me he’ll piss you off as well but there is so much pain behind this man who appears to have the world at his feet.  While he does have the world at his feet he needs someone who will call him on his behavior and push him to have to work for her.  He’s very closed off at the beginning of the story but as he spends more time around Keely he becomes something more than just a wealthy man keeping his only remaining family stable, he becomes a man you can admire for his strength but also one you can admire for letting his walls down to show the wounded soul behind the facade.  I was so pissed at him because of one moment but once we got past that and saw how much he let her in finally I found him delectable.  He’s sexy as hell and everything he does to try to make her comfortable speaks volumes about how much he cared for her even as he was denying it.  There’s something about a man who will move everything to make you happy even when you don’t know what you want/need that is sexy as hell.

Overall there will be moments when you want to slap both of them but the story is powerful in that both main characters truly learned something from one another and really developed the ability to stand on their own but more powerfully learned how to trust one another enough to let the other in.  While they both could’ve stood on their own they really do understand the value of having a partner to weather the storms and rely on but it definitely took time.

Special thanks to Carrie Lofty (actually her partner in crime, Lorelie Brown) for sending me a copy of this with no pressure or expectation of review.  I really enjoyed this and would love to see her roomie and his sister also find love.

 

four-stars

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Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 StarsBreak For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-22
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Jensen Bell had twelve happy years before her mother disappeared and her whole world went to pieces. Since then, she's become a cop—one who takes great pride in her work, and in helping keep others safe. The saving grace in her own life has been Dean West, the only man who can make her burn with desire and help her through her burdens. But when a shocking discovery turns her life upside-down, even being wrapped in Dean’s arms might not be enough to keep her out of harm's way, in Break for Me by Shiloh Walker.

More to the story of a missing woman and the mess that it left behind with her family…

Dean has been lusting after Jensen since he met her but he’s never made his move.  He senses that she wouldn’t handle him moving in on her so has been watching and waiting for a chance.  He’d walk away if it wasn’t for the fact that he has seen the same longing reflected in her eyes at rare moments so he just can’t give up on the one woman who has really sparked his interest in years.  Once he finds out her history he finds a kindred soul in more ways than one as he has a massive source of pain in his own past.  Different but still as life-changing to him as hers was to her path in life.  I loved how he stood for her as she gets the news that part of her needed but the other part of her always dreaded hearing.  He worked so hard to keep strong for her and watching him struggle with what he wanted from her but wasn’t willing to risk what he finally managed to get from her was a bit heartbreaking.  He’s an amazing man and I hope that we get to see more of them together as the other stories release.

Jensen is the strong one.  She channeled the pain of her past in to the career she loves but she’s lonely.  When she sees Dean she’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame but can’t seem to let her guard down enough to take a chance.  As things start to flare between them she gets word that something has come to light which throws her for a loop.  As she struggles with this information she also struggles with the intense passion that Dean has unlocked within her and seeing this strong woman come to terms with this intense need was interesting to read.  She’s strong but I liked that she let herself feel when with Dean even as she wanted to retreat.  She’s good with everyone around her but seeing her get someone who will truly cherish her as much as she deserves made me happy.

A good second part to the story arc which will continue in Long For Me….  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St.Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

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Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 StarsBurn For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-01
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

Scarred long ago by the disappearance of his mother, Nichole, Tate Bell aches to spend his days and nights with Ali Holmes, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart pines to be with Tate, her head has reservations... Ali knows that Tate has never forgiven his father for the fight he had with Nichole right before she left the house—and was never heard from again. Ali thinks that Tate's unresolved anger is a force to be reckoned with...even though the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all? Get lost in a world of secrets and shadows in Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker.

Smoking hot with a hero that really believes himself so damaged and likely to be a monster because of his past.

Ali loves Tate with all her heart but knows this isn’t what he wants to hear.  She’s been willing to be his lover in private but an acquaintance during the day.  I use acquaintance instead of friend because in a lot of respects that is what it felt like.  Did they spend some time together in public?  Yes..  but… there is always a wall up and in many respects that sort of wall would make it seem like a lesser relationship than a friendship would have.  She’s aware of the trauma of his past but if he won’t let her in why should she keep hurting herself by letting him give her so little of himself?  I liked her willingness to push him away even as it hurt her but I loved the fact that when push comes to shove she really does open her arms to help him heal.  She’s smart and someone that I would potentially love to know in real life as she has had a hard time in life but doesn’t let it break her.

Tate…  my dear broody, stubborn as hell Tate.. I loved your depths and wish that you had woken up before you put Ali thru such pain.  Well and put yourself thru the wringer as well as you work thru the pain of your past.  I loved your strength and once you were confronted with the truth that you were honest about what you needed/wanted.  I loved watching you struggle with what you believed was right even as others knew what you were doing to keep yourself hurting.  You will love watching how sexy he is but I think the fact that he’s held on to what he had to in order to function was amazing.  Was he right?  No…  but as you’ll see in the story it made sense even as much as it didn’t.

Overall a very good start to the series and I can’t wait to see more.

five-stars

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Hard Time – Cara McKenna – 4.5 Stars

April 21, 2014 Uncategorized 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hard Time – Cara McKenna – 4.5 StarsHard Time by Cara McKenna
Published by Penguin on 2014-04-15
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 191
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

In this all-new novel from the author of After Hours and Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect... Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier. Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more. When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real...until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny. Praise for Cara McKenna and her novels “Cara McKenna is my go-to author for gritty, hot love stories full of honest emotion.”—Victoria Dahl, USA Today bestselling author “McKenna writes dark, lush, erotic romance.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers “Sweet, smoking hot, standout erotic romance.”—Beth Kery, New York Times bestselling author Before becoming a purveyor of smart erotic romance, Cara McKenna worked as a lousy barista, a decent designer, and an over-enthusiastic penguin handler. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes...and bring one another to their knees. Cara now writes full-time and lives north of Boston with her bearded husband. When she’s not trapped in her own head, she can usually be found in the kitchen, the coffee shop, or jogging around the nearest duck-filled pond.

This book was not 100% comfortable and it isn’t meant to be.  It was raw, thought provoking and sensual as hell.  I found myself torn about how to rate this but I found that while I wasn’t completely comfortable with everything in the story I found it to be honest and made me think about my own prejudices about felons even as I know I personally would gladly commit a felony should I ever meet up with someone from my past that still has an impact on my life more than 20 years later.  I’m going to make this review fairly short and try to keep things as general as possible because I think if one spills to much about the story it ruins some of what made me think hard not only as I read this story but after I read it.

Annie is in many ways a truly naive, innocent woman.  Sure she’s had a relationship or two but even with the abusive last boyfriend she’s still incredibly sheltered.  As she starts to work around inmates once a week the blinders begin to come off but she still falls in to a secretive relationship with an inmate that pushes her boundaries and makes her want something that she isn’t completely prepared for.  I liked her strength but also found her to be a bit too wet behind the ears for me.  I understood her motivation but at the same time there is a part of me that was screaming “WAKE UP GIRLIE!!!!  Grow up and live outside your head!”  Luckily for her she ends up with someone that has good intentions and really does feel something for her.  I think her strongest point in this story is her belief in him and need to see him safe.

Eric was an intriguing character that weaves a masterful spell with his words as raw as they are.  I found myself incredibly drawn to him as we find out more about him but finding out why he was in prison and the details surrounding his crime definitely cemented my understanding of this strong yet sensitive soul.  He’s raw, dirty and at the same time has such a strong sense of duty to people that he really sacrifices everything for.  I appreciated his ownership of what he did but I also wanted to scream at him for putting himself in jeopardy out of a sense of duty to someone who really didn’t comprehend the cost he would endure.  He’s very compelling and you will find yourself drawn to learn more about this complicated man from not only his writings but his choices after he gets out for parole.

Again this isn’t an easy read but I’m glad I took the chance on it.  I was pushed a bit with some of the themes in the story but ultimately it made me think and perhaps look at some things a bit differently.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this one in exchange for my honest review.  I now have a new author to glom so….  😉

four-half-stars

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