Genre: Contemporary

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You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 Stars

January 2, 2015 Penguin, Read in 2014 0

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

You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 StarsYou Really Got Me by Erika Kelly
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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four-half-stars

The first irresistible novel in a hot new series about a rock star on his way up—and the woman he wants to take all the way... Emmie Valencia has what it takes to be the music industry’s hottest band manager. She just needs to prove it. Determined to discover a killer new band, Emmie is ready to make her move. First stop: Austin, Texas. As a sizzling-hot lead singer, Slater Vaughn has no trouble raising heart rates—but his band’s been flat-lining for years. When Emmie, his bandmate’s sister, crashes with them in exchange for some free management, her industry know-how lands them a spot in the biggest music festival in Texas. But it isn’t just her business acumen that catches Slater’s attention. Emmie is sexy and warm, and—for the first time in his life—he wants more. But as irresistible as Slater is, Emmie is done with musicians. In her experience, a man can’t be a rock star and someone to trust with your heart—but Slater is determined to show her he’s both.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  I know I requested it because the premise sounded interesting but the depth that Ms. Kelly brought to this book with both the characters and the inner workings of the music industry was more that I had expected.

We get to meet our heroine Emmie at a crossroads in her life.  She has been working as the personal assistant for one of the premiere A/R guys in the music business but that isn’t where she thinks she belongs.  You see she wants to be an A/R guy (gal) and after being made aware of her boss not really planning on promoting her to that job she decides that enough is enough.  She embarks on a quest to prove she has the chops and goes to stay with her brother in Austin TX in order to help him out and find the next great thing.  While there she finds out that maybe just maybe she might have found love with the absolute (in her mind) worst fit for her.  She’s driven and very loyal to her brother but what I liked most was her fears were understandable and while I wanted to hurt her for her lack of trust in what they were feeling  I couldn’t blame her for how long it took her to realize she was wrong.  She owns her fears and concerns which is rare but even rarer that I didn’t find it overwhelmingly annoying.  The work that she undertakes in order to find herself was painful but felt fairly real in pace.  The chemistry she shares with Slater leaps off the page and you can’t help but want these two to finally admit what they need and want to one another.

Slater…. *sigh* …  He’s got his own issues but I loved how he works so hard to not seem interested in his bandmate’s sister.  He tries so hard to keep her at an arm’s distance but he can’t help but be drawn to someone that sees him and not just the rock star.  As they spend more and more time around one another they both find many things in common and ways that help both of them heal from damages inflicted by their childhood.  I loved his heart and how you got to see his talent shine thru the eyes of others.  He has a depth to him that I think was part of my favorite surprise to this story.  His embarrassment when she discovers how much work he actually does put in to the writing and composing was priceless.  I also understood his decision to make it up to her as to where they went from the ultimate angst moment in the story was also very well done.

Overall this was a very pleasant read with a hero that will make you wish you were Emmie.  There is something to be said about a man who really falls head over heels for his woman and isn’t afraid to let her see how much he truly needs her.

Thanks to the team at Penguin for giving me a chance to read this…  Ummmmm when can I have book 2?????

four-half-stars

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Revenant – Larissa Ione – 5 stars

December 16, 2014 Grand Central, 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.

Revenant – Larissa Ione – 5 starsRevenant by Larissa Ione
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2014-12-16
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .

For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED

Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she's the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there's no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won't find her . . .

YES!!!! My wish that a certain Archangel gets what he damn well deserves has been fulfilled although I must be honest and admit that I could’ve dealt with seeing a bit more of what is going to completely happen to him.  This was a wonderful story of a hero that isn’t 100% sure of his place and a heroine that has always been in hiding living a life that really isn’t hers.

I loved how we got to see both our beloved Reaver and Harvester in this book but it was definitely about Revenant and his beloved Blaspheme.  These two are so strong that you can’t help but love when they start to let down their walls with each other.  They both have issues from childhood and knowing where they belong as both of them have known nothing but fear and pain in the years that formed them.

Blaspheme has lived her entire life afraid that if anyone ever found out what she truly was that she’d be hunted and killed.  She’s understandably upset when Revenant starts to notice her and while she finds she’s drawn to him she knows it can go nowhere.  She’s got a lot of heart and loves her job at Underworld General but she’s always on guard and as her spell starts to wear off she is forced to start to deal with what to do now.  She’s also put in the position to potentially do something about Gethel but at her core she isn’t a warrior who can kill but a healer who wants nothing more than to help those in need.  I loved how she let people in even as it meant that she could be betrayed at any second.  She truly wants to belong even as she knows that her secret not only is her death warrant but it could kill those closest to her.

Revenant… nummy nummy Revenant.  I adored this cocky, broken soul even as I wanted to slap him for being such an ass.  He’s something else and as you get to know more about him you will want nothing more than to cuddle and protect him (well and ummmmmm  spend some quality time getting to know him in a “biblical” fashion *heh*) as he wasn’t given the best upbringing in the world.  He’s at his core a good man and seeing him realize this with the help of Blaspheme was wonderful.  He really did get the short end of the stick in many ways but as he discovers he got something his brother didn’t, time with their mother even as painful as it was.

This story was not an easy one and you really do need to have the backstory to fully appreciate it but I adored seeing everyone again even in the midst of this drama.  There is something about seeing the love story develop but also seeing the relationship between a family start to click in place that makes me very happy.  Revenant and Reaver may not ever be completely able to not fight each other but there is a bonding that happens in this book that makes it distinctly less volatile and healthier.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Grand Central Publishing for the chance to read this book.

five-stars

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The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 stars

December 10, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2014 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.

The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 starsThe Masseuse by Sierra Kincade
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
three-stars

First in the sexy and suspenseful Body Work Trilogy

Anna Rossi lives by one simple rule: don’t get attached, don’t get hurt. But Alec Flynn doesn’t play by the rules...Anna never takes on a massage client without screening him first, but the paycheck offered by billionaire Maxim Stein is too good to turn down. Stein is the richest man she’s ever laid her hands on, and despite the risks, she trusts that she can take care of herself. After all, she’s handled difficult clients in the past. What she isn’t prepared for is getting caught in a compromising situation by Maxim’s tall, dark, and gorgeous bodyguard—or the desperate desires he awakens in her...Alec is dangerous. The mysterious, hard-bodied man is completely irresistible and won’t be refused, no matter what walls Anna puts up to protect herself. But as Anna falls fast for his careful ministrations and mind-blowing skills, she begins to realize that giving herself over to a man with so many secrets isn’t just putting her heart at risk—it’s endangering her life...

I struggled with how to rate this and review it.  There are a few issues that I had with this book but in the end I did enjoy the read and will want to see what happens to Anna and Alec in the future.

Anna is bending the rules she has regarding meeting a new massage client.  She bends these rules because of the money that it entails and her need to see her dad.  No the rule she is bending isn’t one that involves sleeping with a client but is more a safety issue with requiring a visit at the spa before she will do a home visit.  She ends up getting there really early so is sitting in her car out on the street in a very upper class neighborhood when she meets a man she’d love to sink her teeth in.  As she discovers this man will end up meaning more to her than she ever expected but is he worth it?  I liked her but I think some of my major problems were due to how she comes across.  She’s supposedly a cop’s daughter and big on safety but she lets Alec in way too easily and is way too willing to put aside getting to know him in favor of being with him.  I also didn’t like that she would run away from town the second trouble hits between them instead of finally growing up and putting down roots somewhere.  I get that she has issues remaining from childhood but she ended up with a family that really was there for her and to continue to hang on to the hurt just didn’t completely ring true to me.  I enjoyed her BFF and how she really did provide a grounding influence on Anna.  She really helped Anna realize that some times you need to just let the crap go and make a stand.

Alec… I adored Alec or what we saw of him.  I at times was frustrated with his lack of communication with Anna but when you finally got his story and what was going on it made sense even as it frustrated you.  He’s growly and possessive but it worked for me even as it wouldn’t in real life.  He’s almost stalkery but again when you get the full story it made sense even as it set off alarm bells in my head.  He’s also extremely vulnerable to Anna and even as he tries to push her away he is also wanting to keep her as HIS.  I felt for him as we found out more about his childhood and melted when we got to see him with his dad and Anna’s father.  He’s a good man who made some mistakes but is honestly at his core just a wounded man wanting to have something real and normal.

 

There are definitely times when I was frustrated while reading but overall I did like the main pair which is why I will grab book 2 when it comes out.

three-stars

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Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 stars

December 8, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, 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.

Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 starsRazed by Shiloh Walker
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
Razed<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JJXTOP6" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options... Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness. As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother's wedding have him thinking maybe there's a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist...for her.

*happy sigh*

Yes I adored this one…  I loved how much Zane desired the real Keelie and how much Keelie needed Zane even as she tried to hide it.

Keelie is reeling from realizing that she had been mistaken about her feelings for Zach, her business partner and friend, but mainly trying to figure out how to heal what her actions did to them.  She’s shocked when the man who has been the bane of her existence (not really but…) suddenly begins to appear like the man she thought she’d never find.  When he physically touches her she realizes she’s in trouble and when he kisses her…  well…  all bets are off.  She does what she’s good at though and works hard to deny what she feels for him even as things begin to crumble around her.  Her past is catching up with her and this time she can only hope to survive it or maybe she can finally put the demons to rest by facing up to things that she couldn’t control then.  I loved her strength and once she finally made a decision how she took control of what she needed to do but didn’t like her not always including Zane.  I understood it, I really did but a part of me had wished that she would have let him in a bit more.  She’s a hard one to get to understand as she’s great at putting up walls but I did love her loyalty to those she loves and what she was willing to do to make things right even though nothing was her fault.

Zane was just *sigh*  He’s so willing to go to the bat for Keelie but he’s also aware enough to know that even as she pulls away from him that it isn’t 100% about him.  He was so patient with her need to stand on her own to fight this battle that I couldn’t help but love him.  He’s always appeared to be the one that just settles and deals with things but in reality he’s just a very patient man who wants to get his ducks in a row before he makes his move.  He’s known for years that she was the one for him but now he’s tired of waiting for his moment and decides to go for it.  I loved his story and how much he’s done for others that people aren’t aware of.  I hope Shiloh writes about him telling his mom about his secret…  That will be a fun moment *winces* as he is soooooo going to get grief.  Overall he’s a great guy who wants nothing more than to have his Keelie be happy, healthy and his.

 

This is not a pretty story in many ways because of the topics it hits on but I enjoy that Shiloh doesn’t run away from tough material.  She builds strong heroes and heroines with stories that aren’t perfect but in many ways shed light on things that many people are lucky enough to never experience.  As someone who lived through some things that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else and yet still didn’t live a life that was as horrible as many others have had to deal with I love these sorts of tales.  Zane and Keelie are definitely a perfect match for one another and hopefully you’ll go check them out as well.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin for providing me a copy of this to read in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-half-stars

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Broken – Laura Wright – 4 stars

October 7, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 1

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

Broken – Laura Wright – 4 starsBroken by Laura Wright
Published by Penguin on 2014-10-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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four-stars

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder... For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls... Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed....

I loved this story of a man who has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to have love and a woman who has convinced herself that opening herself to a relationship would be akin to disaster.

Sheridan is lonely…  she chooses to keep herself at a distance from relationships of any kind because of watching the destruction that was her parent’s marriage.  She’s smart but she just has so many walls up at the beginning of this story you aren’t sure if they will ever come down.  As she starts to open up to having friendships we get to see a woman that is very wounded and passionate who needs someone to cherish this with all of his heart.  I loved seeing her build friendships and let people get close to her outside of the office.  I also loved that when she decided to take what she wanted she went full in.  There are no partial measures with her when it comes to James and I found that I loved that.  She also wasn’t willing to settle for nothing less than everything from him and even though it killed me to see her do what she did it was the right choice.  She deserved everything from her partner and it took a very strong will to not be willing to take anything less.

James… *fans self*…  he’s definitely easy on the eyes and when he lets himself have what he “knows” isn’t for him you see a man that loves deeply but is still so haunted by his past that he almost loses the one thing that means everything.  He’s a good man struggling with a massive load of guilt from his sister’s death and an incident with an ex that he doesn’t believe he deserves love.  He is so afraid of losing another person he loves or them being hurt because of him that he pushes everything away.  He’s got a lot of heart and dear lord is the man sexy as hell when he gives in to what he wants.  I loved his sense of right and wrong even as I wanted to slap him for keeping people at a distance.  When he finally lets people in we get to see what most of us would love to have..  a man that is devoted to his partner and his family.

I liked seeing more of what happened in the family’s past and am looking forward to finding out who killed their sister.  I think this family deserves that closure after the hell they lived thru after the murder.

Special thanks to the team at Signet Eclipse for letting me have this book early.  I am ready for Cole’s story now..

four-stars

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Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

October 6, 2014 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.

Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsSweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-30
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

CAN’T FORGET THE PAINIt took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURENothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.

I’m loving this series so much and this entry has an amazing balance of suspense and romance.  I loved the fact that we have two people who really have always felt something for one another even though one of them wasn’t really aware of what the other one meant to them even back then.

Adam has buried himself in alcohol and women to dull the pain of not being there for the woman who meant everything to him when she needed him.  As his town starts to unbury the past he is forced to recall the horrifying details of what happened that long ago night and is confronted with someone that he never expected.  I loved how damaged he is and how aware of his own weaknesses but still making the effort to not slip back to addiction.  He’s so strong but shows such a weakness when it comes to his heroine.  I loved watching him work so hard to stay within boundaries with her and truly respect her even as he wants to get the answers he so desperately needs.  His need for her leaps from the pages and you’ll probably want him for your very own….  I have to admit to sighing a few times as his need shines thru.

The one thing I am not going to do is give the heroine completely away.  Her journey is part of the story I wouldn’t trade because as you see her work thru her issues you get to see how much she needs Adam.  She’s got so much guilt and so many secrets that you want to help her but know that she needs to do this by her own terms otherwise she won’t be able to move forward.  She’s very strong and my hope is Shiloh will give us more time with her as she gets on with the life that has been in limbo for so long.  She’s got a strong soul and it shines as it lets go of the secrets and embraces a future with a man that is everything to her.

The story told about this town is not a pretty one or an easy one to read.  As someone who has lived with an abuser as a child it hit me a bit harder than some but I loved that Shiloh went there.  I think while it is something that is disquieting and honestly disgusting in nature it is something that happens every day all over the world.  Only by bringing stories to the public, even fictional in nature, it hopefully will make some people do more research to see what they can do to help victims of these horrible crimes and also bring those perpetrators to justice.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-stars

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Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 Stars

September 16, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 StarsAfternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-16
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 110
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“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each...

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided.

Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah....

INCLUDES A BONUS EXCERPT OF ANNE CALHOUN’S THE LIST, AVAILABLE IN 2015 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PRINT

Praise for Anne Calhoun

“Anne Calhoun...tugs at your heart.”—Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

“Uncommonly good storytelling.”—Beth Kery, New York Times bestselling author

“Scintillating sexual chemistry.”—Lauren Dane, New York Times bestselling author *Alison Kent

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne Calhoun, national bestselling author of numerous novels including Jaded, Unforgiven, and Uncommon Pleasure, landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.

This is a very quick read but an amazing journey thru New York and food.  Oh and it doesn’t hurt that it is also very very sexy!

Tim approaches everything as yet another task to get thru.  He works quickly and does everything in a frenzy.  His reasons for living this way are made apparent but when he meets Sarah he is surprised how easy it is to just be with her.  He actually starts to live in the moment and slow down to savor things as he spends more time with a woman that captivates him with her ways and makes him crazy in the bedroom.  I enjoyed seeing him brought to his senses and really start to live again after so much time just surviving.  He was sexy as hell but seeing him take the time to show her something new and finally appreciate things around him was my favorite part of this read.

Sarah is intrigued by the man who seems to be going at life like it is something to be sped thru with no appreciation for the gift it really is.  She’s experienced the heartbreak of watching someone she loved die from cancer and this has made her much more appreciative of everything it has to offer.  She savors experiences but is much more mellow than she was before this tragedy.  It isn’t that she isn’t willing to live life it is that she needed time to grieve and now she finds that she wants this compelling man.  She isn’t asking for anything more than time with him and while their time together includes moments of sexual heat there was a huge sense of something bigger that just needs time to firm up.

I appreciated that this story doesn’t have the whole insta-love thing that happens in a lot of shorter reads but that you get a sense that while the words might not be there yet they are definitely on their way.  These two will be a pair that will be long-term and I hope that Anne will show us more of them in future stories.  I loved the pair of them and what they really gave each other that meant more than 3 little words.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful team at Penguin that gave me access to this title in exchange for my honest opinion.  Lovely story with a bit of heat but mainly the heart and views of New York made it beautiful.

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Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored Contest

September 4, 2014 Contest, Read in 2014, Tours 2

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

Hard To Hold On To – Laura Kaye – 4.5 Stars – Sponsored ContestHard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-08-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 200
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

Buy at Amazon | Amazon.ca | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

My thoughts:

I adored this entry in the series because of how much both of our pair have to lose but also how much they have to gain if they give in to what they want.

Jenna has just made it thru an ordeal that no one should ever have to experience.  She’s coming out from under the drugs that her kidnappers gave her and dealing with the nightmare of what happened while in their custody.  She finds herself drawn to a soldier that should be frightening to her but he gives her peace.  As she spends more time around him she finds herself wanting to be more to him than just a friend but is unsure of herself.  She’s felt like such a burden to her sister for so many years so doubts if the connection she feels for him and that he seems to have for her is anything more than an illusion.  I loved her strength and especially adored how much she helped our hero by just being there and not running when he shares his burden.

Easy… my dear sweet, strong soul….  He’s in so much pain all the time since the loss of his best friend but amazingly finds a sense of peace when he is around Jenna.  He’s so convinced that he isn’t the right man for anyone and is struggling with PTSD/depression as a result of the incident that resulted in the death of his friend and others in his unit.  Being kicked out of the military was the final straw and since then he’s just been going thru the motions pretending to live.  You see our Easy has a secret that he’s keeping from his team and that secret is devastating.  I was happy that he found someone who wanted him for him even with his secret.  His struggle is palpable and realistic as you don’t want him to become one of the 22.  He deserves so much happiness and seeing him work so hard to protect Jenna and himself from his demons were amazing.

This story does get under your skin but I appreciate that Laura didn’t whitewash what he was dealing with and I hope that his struggles will result in some additional awareness of the struggles faced by those who witness or are part of violent acts or the stressors of combat.  The struggles result in an unacceptable body count as these people struggle with the demons in their heads and should be treated with all the resources we can muster.  While we can’t save all of them it is unacceptable to not try as 22 is not a count that should be considered an acceptable cost of these actions.

Please take the time to read this wonderful story with a powerful message even with the sparks that fly between our pair.  It is worth it!

 

Special thanks to the team at HarperCollins for giving me access to this title as part of a tour.  I really love this entire series and am looking forward to all of them still to come.  I do have a special request —- Can we get more of Easy and Jenna??????

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-half-stars

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Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 stars

September 3, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 2

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

Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 starsLinger by Lauren Jameson
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

From the author of Breathe and Blush comes a blisteringly hot new novel about baring it all.... On her last night in Nevada before embarking on a yearlong veterinary internship, Scarlett Malone is celebrating—and looking for one night of incredible pleasure. But the man who draws her eye is not her usual type: He’s a cowboy whose alpha-male tendencies tempt her beyond belief. Scarlett can’t understand why she wants this man and no one else, but she’s determined to entice him to submit.... Dr. Logan Brody lives an isolated life in rural Montana, running a ranch and suppressing his submissive tendencies. Only on his occasional trips does he give into his hidden urges. He can’t deny his scorching attraction to Scarlett or that she makes him want more, but he never lets anyone break him down fully. He’s hers for one night and one night only. But when Scarlett shows up at Logan’s door as his intern for the year, he realizes that the walls around his heart are about to crumble—and that this sexy dominant woman has no intention of letting him keep control....

This was so much more than I had expected but so worth the ride.

Scarlett is hitting her favorite club one last time before she leaves Vegas for an internship in Montana.  She’s a Domme and will miss the club where she can fulfil her sexual needs but is going to enjoy this one last evening to the fullest.  What she doesn’t expect is to meet her match in a submissive that is her match in every way.  As she feels this intense connection with a man who exudes Alpha until you reach his core that craves submission in the bedroom, she struggles with knowing that this is only a single night.  After their intense scene she tries to forget him until he appears in front of her again as her boss for this internship.  I loved her strength and willingness to push him as they struggle to figure out a balance.  She really epitomizes what a Dominant should be in that while she wants nothing more than to be with him in every way she denies her own sexual need for him in order to push him to open up and let down his walls to her.  She really does want to heal him in more ways than one and to do so has to force him to acknowledge his part in the relationship and be honest with both of them.  Her pain as she has to deny them both what they crave screams from the page but is honestly the only way this would have worked long term.

Logan.. my dear damaged man… he knows at his core he needs to be mastered in the bedroom although every single other part of his life he is Alpha thru and thru.  When he meets Scarlet at the club in Vegas he’s shocked by how much she makes him want to let her in completely.  Of course Logan being who he is knows he can’t let her do that so puts up walls every single time she gets close to his core.  As he starts to work with her on his ranch he craves her in a way that he can’t explain but is so caught up in keeping the nightmare he lived thru bottled up that he almost drives her away.  He’s so stubborn in his battle to be strong that you want to hurt him but little by little he begins to understand what both of them need.  He’s such a good man that you really want him to finally break down because he deserves happiness.  I will admit to being a bit jealous of Scarlet because who wouldn’t want to be served in every way by such a beautiful male.  He’s rough, dirty and oh so meltingly sweet in his adoration of this woman who wants nothing more than to be his Mistress and partner.

I will definitely have to pick up the rest of this series and keep my eye out for more entries as this one had kept me from not just a heat level but a deeply loving place of healing for both our hero and heroine.

Special thanks to the team at Penguin/Berkeley for giving me a chance to read this.  I adored this new-to-me author and look forward to more.

 

five-stars

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Convicted – Dee Tenorio – 4 Stars

September 2, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

Convicted – Dee Tenorio – 4 StarsConvicted by Dee Tenorio
Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-18
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 241
Goodreads

A thrilling suspense from Entangled’s Ignite imprint…The only thing more dangerous than passion is the truth.Former Marine and new Sheriff’s Deputy Cade Evigan is hanging onto his damaged soul—and his personal code—by a thread. His current mission? Weed out a violent motorcycle crew from a small mountain town. The problem? Katrina Killian, a woman standing firmly on the other side of the law, smack in the middle of the gang he’s there to destroy. She may get under his skin, but the sultry biker has criminal written all over her. So why can't he see her like any other convict?For two years, Katrina has been a DEA agent hiding in plain sight amidst a pack of killers, working to put an end to the gang that has terrorized her hometown. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with a man who could blow her cover—and her heart—to pieces, but Cade’s become an addiction she can’t break. Unable to risk either of their lives with the truth, she plays both ends against the middle to keep him safe. But lies can only last so long, and Katrina’s time has just run out…

I must say what made me happiest about this story was the fact that neither of our lead pair knew what hit them when they met each other.  Both of them have every reason to not want to have a relationship at all but the chemistry between them will not be denied!

Cade is damaged due to his military service and while he is keeping it together he gives off this vibe that anyone else senses as bad news.  Sure, he’s a deputy and should be someone that the town can count on but this town has been under the control of a motorcycle gang that seems to be getting more and more violent with the jailing of their leader.  He’s in town as a favor to a friend but would be much happier up at his secluded cabin where his past doesn’t overwhelm him.  As he gets to spend time around our heroine the walls start to tumble down and he starts to actually live again.  He’s still rough as hell around the edges but people start to warm up to him as the walls fall.

Katrina…  now she made me laugh at some of her antics… Talk about a heroine who says some of the most outrageous things just to get a rise out of Cade.  She is balancing her need to help the warrior she sees so wounded by his past and her job of being undercover to bring down the gang terrorizing this small town.  She’s the best one for the job with her family ties to the organization but how far will the man who is running things while the leader is in prison go in order to consolidate power?  She’s so conflicted during this story with her overwhelming need for Cade and her duty to serve and protect that we see a couple spending much time apart because of secrets.  She wants to tell him but needs to finish this in order to make people safe.

The scenes with them are hot as hell and they burn brightly but I enjoyed the storyline of a MC gone mad and a town dealing with the consequences.  I cannot wait for the next story as I’m sure it will provide some intense moments.

Special thanks to Dee for giving me a

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