Genre: Fiction

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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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Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

May 29, 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.

Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsMoon Shine by Vivian Arend
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-05-27
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 276
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

When the past hurts, it bites. Takhini Wolves, Book 4Meet Evan Stone. Laid-back, in-control Alpha of the Takhini Wolves. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got a good handle on his world. At least, he did—until the night he ends up in jail, soaking wet and wondering what the hell just happened. The “what” is Amy Ryba, a vengeful female who’s decided it’s long past time to make Evan pay for his sins. Amy has spent years tracking him down, and the last nine months working in secret to destroy him. She’s ready for anything—except discovering the shifter she hates is her mate. Suddenly, Evan’s not so very in control, of himself or his pack. And unless Amy can learn to forgive and forget, she’ll have to do the unthinkable: reject her mate. With two packs watching, one thing is certain. Their personal issues won’t stay personal for long. If Amy and Evan can’t find a way to work together, there won’t be a happily-ever-after for them...or any of the wolves of Whitehorse. Warning: Contains angsty wolves. Lots of angsty wolves causing explosions of all sorts, playing bad pranks, hacking computers, and having angry sex against a wall or two. Not all at the same time, though, because that would be silly.

This review is very hard for me to write as I don’t want to give away everything but at the same time that is the only way I can get across how much I loved this story.

I’m going to try to summarize why this was an awesome read and not give away too much but I will ask that everyone reading this story –  KEEP AN OPEN MIND ABOUT AMY!!!  I know many are disappointed in the fact that Evan is not ending up with Caroline but believe me if you truly keep an open mind about Amy you will understand why she is the only one that could make our precious Evan happy and whole.  She really does match him so well even when you have moments of doubt while reading this please step back and think about both of their actions over the series…  even when we didn’t know who she was…

My niggle with this story and the only thing that bothered me was Evan isn’t his normal man-child self during it but this is what made it real to me and to the characters…  He needed to be pushed out of his comfort zone in order to become the man he is by the end of the book.  I wish we had a bit more time to see the two of them settled so maybe Vivian will give that to us later…  *HINT HINT*  He’s off-kilter most of this story as his long-term plans for his pack and the other in town become more complicated than he ever imagined.  He also has to deal with a series of catastrophes without his trusty Caroline to handle them and this throws him even more off his normal game than even knowing his mate is out there somewhere.  When he meets Amy and discovers she is his mate he has to scramble to figure out what he needs to do in order to be who she needs him to be.  I loved the honor that is innate in him and wanted to shake him at times as his stubborn ways would not see what she was trying to tell him.  As he loses control of his pack and self you feel the pain but if you keep yourself open to what is going on around him you can see why this had to be so painful for him and her.  He takes what she is willing to give him but he is in pain with the need for her driving him to make major changes in his life.  The outcome of this pain is so beyond wonderful and the Evan that emerges from it is more amazing than the one that went in to it which made me very happy!

Amy is extremely complicated and as much as I know many will be wanting her blood because of the pain she puts Evan thru I also know that she was hurting just as badly.  She has reasons behind her actions and those aren’t perfect but are understandable.  You’ll love her heart and soul as she works so hard to take care of those in her pack while at the same time coming to terms with Evan.  She’s just as shocked by finding him to be her mate and watching her heart struggle with this news was just as painful.  She makes very valid points to him about life in general and just wants him to be open to her ideas.  She aches for love and acceptance which makes her willing to potentially do the unthinkable thing of rejecting her mate.  Vivian does a great job showing her struggles which helped me soften towards this complicated woman with her own wily ways that are in many respects Evan times 1000…  LOL  Add to this her own past that intersects our beloved Evan’s and we get a very complex, strong woman who is his match in ways that Caroline couldn’t be.  This is a great story of two very complicated people finding out what they need is the last person they ever expected it with.

I hated seeing the struggles these two had and the repercussions for their packs but in the end it is what was needed to give two amazing people their HEA.  I am sad to see this series come to an end but know that Evan and Amy are in a strong place to allow their people to grow, be happy and live wonderful lives!

Special thanks to Vivian Arend for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Now…  when do we get more BEARS????  Oh… and DRAGONS!!!!!

four-half-stars

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The Mark of the Tala – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 stars

May 29, 2014 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.

The Mark of the Tala – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 starsThe Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy
Published by Kensington Books on 2014-05-27
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Queen Of The UnknownThe tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one. Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen. In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel. For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .

I have to say I adored this book and love that it is the first in a trilogy.  The world that was built was fascinating in its complexity and beauty yet harsh in its way of dealing with the the differences between races.  There is a lesson embedded in this story about tolerance and understanding needing to take the place of fear and the unknown.

We meet three sisters who are as different from one another as they can be but this story focuses on the middle child who has spent her life invisible to those around the throne until a fateful day when her life changes and she becomes something/someone to notice and either fear or love.  Andromeda is content in many ways to stay in the shadows but when she happens upon a man who says strange things to her about being his and more than she knows she is… her life will never be the same.  She’s surprisingly strong and while her nature is to be out exploring and in the wilds around the castle her father and sisters keep her grounded to the castle and try to make her in to something.  She never feels like she is good enough but when she does choose to actually come out of her shell the things she decides are ultimately the best course of action.  I liked her strength and the way she fought against the thoughts of others to ultimately make her own path in life even as it felt to her like she was betraying everyone in her family.  She really was being true to not only herself but to her family and those she loves with all of her heart.  Watching her come in to her own and truly embrace her unique heritage was beautiful and I look forward to seeing how this plays out in the other two stories.

Rayfe.. *sigh* such a wonderful man to get to know as slowly yet quickly as Andi gets to.  I loved seeing this strong man not only be patient with Andi but also watch him be so tender with her at times when she really didn’t seem to appreciate it.  He didn’t know when he first approached how little she actually knew about her heritage but also didn’t have all the time to make sure she didn’t feel rushed in accepting her new role in life.  He’s sexy as hell and while Andi put up a good front with others we knew she’d fallen for him the moment she met this incredible man.  He’s suffered for years in order to do what was best for his people and seeing him finally get the happiness he deserved made me smile.  He’s highly intelligent and driven to restore his people to their former strength and give them the safe haven they deserve but luckily for him he found his true mate in Andi.

My interest is piqued by how Jeffe is going to manage to get me to love the youngest spoiled brat of a sister but I trust her to open her up and let us see something other than a brat in her story.  I loved the older sister even as I scowled at her because as you’ll see she is hiding a lot from the world which means peeling back the layers will prove to be highly entertaining.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Kensington for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I loved it!!  Also thanks to Jeffe for saving me a copy at RT…  It is on my keeper shelf along with a beautiful snow globe of the title.

five-stars

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Salvation – Stephanie Tyler – 5 stars

May 14, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, 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.

Salvation – Stephanie Tyler – 5 starsSalvation: A Defiance Novel by Stephanie Tyler
Published by Carina Press on 2014-05-12
Genres: Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 187
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Book three of The Defiance SeriesLuna is headed for trouble. She knows exactly what the men who run motorcycle clubs are capable of—the ruthless violence, the grabs for power, the brutal treatment of women. The one bright spot in her dark world is being held against his will by a rival gang after sacrificing himself for the sake of the club—without saying goodbye first. She needs to bring Bishop home to Defiance, both for the good of the MC and for herself.Keller's mafia has thrived in the fallout from the Chaos and their compound is a city of sin, a world of depraved excess where people live in fear with nowhere else to go. When Luna is taken prisoner, Bishop has no choice but to lie. As far as the enemy knows, she's his. It's the one thing that will keep her safe.Caught off guard, Luna follows Bishop's lead. And that's where the lines begin to blur, because what's been building between them for real is undeniable. But what Keller's protecting is something he'll kill to keep under wraps and with Defiance unable to come to their rescue, and only each other to turn to, Luna and Bishop may be facing their final goodbye.57,000 words

So happy this one continues the winning streak of the Defiance series by Stephanie Tyler.  I was looking forward to it but at the same time concerned that my luck would run out and something wouldn’t make me happy…  Should have known better…  🙂

Luna is taking a huge risk heading out to Keller’s compound to see Bishop.  She doesn’t truly understand the full risk when she heads out all she knows is she has to be with him.  She’s been thru so much in her life and even though she pushed him away as much as she could in order to keep the safety of herself and Rebel she just can’t escape what Bishop meant to her.  She makes the mistake of getting in to something that truly is deeper than she could ever know but she also brings a light in the dark to Bishop and what they build because of this was amazing to read.  I liked her willingness to trust in a man she really didn’t know but I especially loved that she wasn’t stupidly following something just to be included and safe.  She’s stronger than she realizes but watching her melt for Bishop made me smile.  I think she’ll go far in this new arrangement but only if she has the man who really sees her behind her catching her when she needs it.

Bishop…. sigh… I knew I’d love reading your story.  You are such a smart man even when you cross lines to save/protect those you love.  He’s a lot smarter than people make him out to be and even when getting what to outsiders is a cushy position his mind never stops working.  He always keeps an eye out for the story behind the scenes and has an uncanny way of reading people.  I love your willingness to give Luna the illusion of control in order to put her at ease but when needed to push her to do what needed to be done in order to keep her safe.  You don’t completely hide things from her but you also gave her the chance to see things on her own which gives her so much more confidence and the power she needs to feel free.  You are sexy and hot but so giving it was beautiful to watch.

I can’t wait for more of this series and please tell me…  Declan and Rebel are next??  Huh Huh Huh..  Come on Stephanie or Angela..  you know you want to accidentally send the next one to me… 😉  Oh and be prepared for a bit of stalking since I know Angela will be at RT with me..  *snicker*

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

five-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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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Play – Kylie Scott – 5 Stars

April 8, 2014 Purchased 0

Play – Kylie Scott – 5 StarsPlay by Kylie Scott
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2014-03-25
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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five-stars

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl. Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

Be prepared to laugh when you read this story as Mal has some of the funniest lines and most outrageous thoughts that just spill forth from his lips at the most inappropriate moments.  All is not rosy on his path to love but he lucks out and finds the perfect woman for his insanity which in turn leads to the most stable relationship his unexpected lover has ever had.

We meet Anne in a really bad place with a roommate that has taken off with not only furniture but without bothering to pay back past due rent or providing any sort of notice.  As Anne lives paycheck to paycheck it hits her rather hard and this is a woman who is used to everything being difficult but she always soldiers on to make the best of a bad situation.  Her only constant is her love for her sister and her male friend who she wouldn’t mind having as something more if he wasn’t such a man whore.  She’s basically allowed herself to become a doormat because of her innate need to please and help people but a chance encounter at a party she’s persuaded to go to puts her in the path of Mal.  He pushes her buttons and she ends up not only finding her inner strength she also finds her sense of self again. As she gets pulled in to his orbit she discovers the man behind the image and finds out that they are a lot alike in their tendency to push people away to handle things on their own.  I loved how she didn’t put up with his crap and while she didn’t have a backbone before they met she found one rather quickly where he was concerned.  She is a great counter to his manic personality but he pushes her to expand her horizons and not take being second best.  He pushes her to finally believe in herself and her own worth which was painful but needed.

Mal… sweet adorably inappropriate Mal… I loved him in the last book but seeing him on his own made me laugh but also made me cry for him.  He meets Anne and decides without telling her that he’s moving in.  He’s overheard her troubles and he needs help from her to show that he’s in a relationship.  The reasons he needs this aren’t explained until later in the book and he’s pretty adamant that this is to be a surface thing only but as he spends more time with Anne things don’t work out the way he thought.  He’s pushed to be more open with her but even as he fights her we see that he really does want her but his secret is eating him alive.  I won’t reveal the secret but as you see more of his interactions with Anne and the band you get to see a man that really is hurting but covers everything with jokes and antics.  His moments with Anne in both the bedroom and outside of it were not only humorous but heartwarming as his inner sweetness is exposed.  He’s vulnerable with her as neither expected to find love or home in this faux relationship but when push comes to shove the heart speaks volumes.  My heart broke with him as things began to unravel and come out but where he ends up was worth the journey.

I can’t wait to see more of this series and hope that Ben’s HEA is who I think it is… (not saying but would be awesome in a lot of respects).  Jimmy is next and dude he and Lena should definitely spark!!

five-stars

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