Genre: General

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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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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
Format: eARC
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
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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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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Love Bites – Angela Knight – 3 stars

September 17, 2014 Penguin, Read in 2014, Sent 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.

Love Bites – Angela Knight – 3 starsLove Bites by Angela Knight
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-02
Genres: Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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three-stars

The New York Times bestselling author explores her most daring side yet in three tales of seductive vampires and the women who love them. In the brand-new “Oath of Service,” Angela Knight introduces the Doms of the Round Table and a kinky circle of pleasure, pain, and power as she returns to her “sexy as hell” (Heroes and Heartbreakers) Mageverse world for a new twist on the Arthurian legend. Morgana le Fay finally gets what’s coming to her in this novel-length story. After a fight with a dragon goes wrong, Morgana takes an Oath of Service to Percival, vampire Knight of the Round Table. Percival and his partners, Cador and Marrok, decide to give Morgana a taste of bondages and submission she’ll never forget. What they don’t know is that the lovely witch is keeping secrets that could destroy them all. To make matters worse, the dragon is plotting a deadly revenge.... In “Be Careful What You Wish For,” a beautiful vampire and her two vamp lovers lock horns with a wizard with the ugly habit of refusing to take no for an answer. When he casts a spell on Beau and Decker, Amanda finds herself the object of both men’s lust. She’s had some yummy threesome fantasies along the same lines, but since the men hate each other, she figured it was never going to happen. But when it does, things get a lot more kinky than Amanda expects. In “The Bloodslave,” Angela Knight’s classic “must read...highly erotic” (*The Best Reviews) novella, a female mercenary comes under fire during a hunt. The beautiful, virginal, and very human Verica is captured by three hungry alpha vampires driven deliriously feral by her purity. But they desire more than her warm blood. They want her body, leaving Verica more vulnerable than ever before—and loving every minute of it.

Overall this set of stories has definitely got plenty of sex and heat covered but if you are looking for a story with your sex the only one of the novellas that delivers is the first one…  I didn’t mind any of the other stories included but they really weren’t memorable and the issue of consent in the third story left me a bit uncomfortable in many respects.  While the second story had questionable consent as well there was a reason behind that which made it acceptable where the third story really didn’t have that for me personally.

My favorite of the stories was Oath of Service where we get yumminess in the form of Percival.. yes for those of you who are fans of Arthurian legend…  that Percival.  In this story he is personified in a vampire/shapeshifter who is a Dom down to his soul.  He has been getting driven crazy by Morgana for centuries and finally has a chance to get her out of his system by virtue of her behavior in their last mission.  I enjoyed his struggle to keep her at arm’s length and his attempts to ignore that she means more to him than just an itch.  He’s strong, protective and I would not mind spending some time with him other than his enjoyment of inflicting pain…. although… hmmmmm maybe *snickers*

I enjoyed how the story of Morgana Le Fey gets a workover in this tale as it made her much more acceptable as a heroine.  Once again an author turns what we know from previously recorded legends and gives us a different view of a character we all thought we knew.  I liked her willingness to do what it takes to keep people safe even as it comes at a massive cost to herself.  She needs Percival and his team more than he knows but she also craves this man who has held a part of her since their one incredible encounter centuries ago.  She’s always kept him at arm’s length and plans to again but due to circumstances around them is unable to keep her guard completely up.  I enjoyed her spunk and really loved when she finally was honest with herself and him.

While I did enjoy the times with her, Percival and the other knights together to me the story was more enjoyable when you got just the two of them.  They truly have a connection that lept off the page even as it was incredibly brutal initially the love and true feelings they had for one another shone thru the brutality.  They really had to push each other fully in order to get to where the story ended.  Two very strong people coming together should not have a sweet, gushy story and we got it in this tale.

 

Ok..  quick thoughts on the other 2 stories…

Be Careful What You Wish For – Quick, hot and edgy but I think it suffered a bit for its brevity.  While you are told that there is a history between the characters the fact that they were put in to a bad situation didn’t help me get connected to them.  I did not like that she was basically forced to do something she didn’t completely want to do in order to keep her men sane but I understood it and it didn’t make me as uncomfortable as it could’ve.  I think I would’ve enjoyed a longer treatment of this as I’d like to see her relationships with both heros not to mention more of them post this incident.  I’d like to see if they could come to a long term triad after this…

The Bloodslave – This one gave me a very hard time to like.  In all honesty it made me very uncomfortable as the heroine was forced into the liaison and had no real say in what happened to her.  Granted she might have agreed to what happened had she been given time with the men but this one just didn’t work for me because I couldn’t get past the consent issue….

 

three-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
Format: eARC
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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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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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Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 stars

August 25, 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.

Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 starsVirgin by Radhika Sanghani
Published by Penguin on 2014-08-05
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

For those who grew up on Judy Blume—and graduated to Lena Dunham—a “hilarious”* debut... “Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina obsessed match. Sanghani's debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-concious, 21-year-old Ellie's relentless mission to rectify a disasterous first attempt at performing oral sex, get deflowered, find the perfect Brazilian wax, avoid her tradition-bound Greek mother's nagging, graduate summa cum laude, be a writer, and fit in...This story for millennials is a wonderful blend of modern agnst with old-fashioned sweetness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.

I really struggled to get to the halfway point in this book but that is where I started to actually like it so please be prepared for a very, very slow start.

Ellie is obsessed with the fact that she hasn’t turned in her V-plates and yet others around her seem to have had no issues with losing theirs.  She’s now 21 and convinced that if she just got rid of that pesky virginity she would magically fit in.  I found myself getting frustrated with her whining at the beginning of this book about how out of place she was and how much of her sex life, or lack of one, was due to an incident when she was 17.  I admit to cheering her BFF on when she finally let loose on Ellie with stop the whole “wah wah wah” thing and live your life.  I got that she was awkward but as someone who didn’t lose hers until she was 19 I couldn’t seem to be that sympathetic to this obsession.

Where the story made me enjoy it was with the many insane circumstances she ends up in as she tries to figure things out…

  1. The slipping in her BFFs one night stand’s cum in the tub… *snort*
  2. The experience with shaving down there and getting nicks that ummmmmm aren’t too comfy later… *giggles*
  3. The experience with getting waxed..  *I admit to smothering laughter here as damn that was funny*
  4. The experience with when she finally loses her V plates..  *yeah all of us have been there and had the momentary this is what people crave??? Really???*
  5. The experience buying condoms for the first time… *truly this can be embarrassing if you happen to work for the main drug store in town and it is the only place within walking distance of your apartment plus you don’t have a car*
  6. Computer volume getting stuck when watching a porno so she could learn how to give a BJ and handjob… *seriously this is what headphones are for*
  7. And this was my favorite part…. Mom walking in on Ellie using her computer to check out down there post wax…. *almost choked on the Diet Dew I was drinking*

Overall this is a slow story but the moments above made me laugh and while it was a tough read I’m glad I stuck with it.  I think there are some decent things to take away from this story and the main one to me is…

Be yourself!!!  Until you finally get comfortable with yourself and who you are (flaws and all) you’ll never be happy!  It doesn’t take a man, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect body, etc to have a great life…  It takes a sense of self and accepting that you might not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are just fine on your own two feet!

 

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the team at Penguin for giving me the chance to read this.  I’m glad I did even if it took me so long to do so!

three-stars

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Carrier – Anne Tibbets – 4 stars

July 15, 2014 Carina Press, Contest, Read in 2014, Sent, Tours 1

Carrier – Anne Tibbets – 4 starsThe Line Book One: Carrier by Anne Tibbets
Published by Carina Press on 2014-06-16
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 203
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Twenty-two -year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. Excommunicated after getting pregnant with twins, she's left with no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her at the institution by the time she gives birth, or have her babies taken in her stead.Ric Bennett wants to help. A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, he runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya's records, prevent her from having to make an impossible choice, and free her forever. But when his plan is sniffed out, things get bloody, fast. The Line wants them back. The organization has discovered information about Naya and her twins that make them more valuable than just sex slaves. It makes them dangerous—and part of the The Line's larger plan.As they hide from government search parties, Ric comes to admire Naya's quiet strength. And Naya realizes Ric might be a man she can trust. If they make it off the grid, they could build a new life. But first they'll have to survive the long, vicious reach of The Line.Book one of two77,000 words

What if corporations seized territory and created their own countries?  What if these corporations decided that they wanted more and to do so they were willing to go to extremes in genetic warfare?  This is some of what is at stake in this new series from Anne Tibbets.  We get a brutal introduction via a woman who has lived thru hell for nine years as a sex slave only to be let go when it is discovered that she is pregnant.

Naya/Natalia has been in this hell where she has 10 hour-long appointments a day, 7 days a week with no holidays or rest days.  Imagine being forced to have sex or do whatever you are told by the person who bought time with you that many days in a row.  She’s not used to having clothes or being treated with any sort of kindness but when she’s kicked out of the Line she ends up making the best of a horrible situation.  She’s overwhelmed many times in this story with any human kindness and touch is something she is terrified of but you get glimpses of how badly she desires it.  I loved seeing her really start to come in to her own as the book progressed and while she has a long way to go you get to see that she’s an incredible survivor who will do well as she gets used to being “free”.  Her flashbacks are horrific and serve to provide more information on how this came to be while also showing you more about how strong she really is even at a young age.  I really loved how much she was willing to do to protect her babies from the hell she lived thru but I really loved how she was willing to sacrifice herself to save people she didn’t know.

Ric is someone I am looking forward to getting to know better as the series progresses.  He’s a tower of strength even as he crumbles because of the costs that this operation places upon him.  He’s got an amazing heart and seeing him work with Natalia was painful but still made me smile at times.  He wants to help but from the beginning you can sense a deeper connection to her and the need he has to keep her safe plus let her spread her wings.  He’s very dedicated to destroying this evil but also very practical in that he knows it can’t be done overnight but needs to be accomplished over time even as it hurts him to know the Line still operates.  As he finds out what the Line is really for you can sense that nothing will ever be the same for the residents of this corporate hell and that hopefully the start of a revolution will be forthcoming.

I look forward to learning more about this world and hope that Natalia and Ric get to find true happiness not only with one another but with the society that so desperately needs change.  Special thanks to the team at Expresso Book Tours for giving me the chance to spread the word about this book and by giving me the chance to host a stop on the tour where I get to share with my readers the awesome tour contest….

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Anne

AUTHOR BIO:

Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Smashwords.com Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.

Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AnneTibbetsAuthor or on Twitter @WriteforCoffee. To contact Anne, visit www.annetibbets.com and click the ‘CONTACT’ tab.

Author Links:

four-stars

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Mercy – HelenKay Dimon – 5 stars

June 26, 2014 Berkley Trade, Read in 2014, Snagged at RT 2014 0

Mercy – HelenKay Dimon – 5 starsMercy by HelenKay Dimon
Published by Penguin on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

After she infiltrated his business and betrayed his trust, a disavowed CIA agent must seek sanctuary in the bedroom of a man who will either help her, kill her, or bring her to her knees... Becca Ford is on her own. Eight months after she headed up a sting operation to take down millionaire club owner Jarrett Holt, the other agents in her special ops team have been eliminated under odd circumstances, and she needs a place to hide. Jarrett is a man who prefers darkness to light. He deals in the only truly valuable currency—information—and his supper club caters to an exclusive clientele. It was an uncharacteristic moment of weakness when he let a woman into his life. But it’s not luck that the criminal charges disappeared . . . as did the evidence. When Becca returns to the club seeking his help, Jarrett doesn’t want to hear her story. But he does want her body, and demands that she give it to him. He’ll keep her safe—for now—but it’ll be in his bed and on his terms, until he says they’re done.

When I saw this sitting on a table at RT after the Bad Boy Bingo game I was excited.  It made my day when I asked HelenKay if I could perhaps steal it for my very own and she let me!  I had heard about this title from many of the people I follow on Twitter but hadn’t snapped it up yet so this was such a WIN.

Becca and Jarrett have a chemistry that will grab you from the first time you see them together until the end of the story.  They have a long way to go before they admit exactly what the other one means to them but considering how they met, how it ended and their own screwed up pasts it makes a lot of sense.  These are two people who do not trust easily and cannot let go of the crap that screwed everything up until they get an answer.  While they do play games with one another in order to protect themselves you can see behind that to the fact that they are truly mean to be once they get done with all of this surface crap.  I loved seeing that even as they were trying so hard to hurt one another there was a deeper core of caring that ran under it.  They just couldn’t keep their hearts out of everything they did even at their cruelest moments.

There is a bit of a mystery as to who exactly has been pulling the strings that caused the operation that Becca was on to implode so badly and all signs point to only a couple of people being the reason behind the op and the staging which is the root of why Jarrett has such a hard time trusting Becca again but as she works to uncover the secrets she also realizes that he was set up and finally completely believes in his innocence as far as drugs and such go.  When she puts herself in a position to protect him even as she lies to herself about what he means to her all of her secrets finally come to the surface and we get the heart we were looking for from both of them.

Add a heartbreaking side story with Jarrett’s second-in-command and a man who has a major problem being human or having any feelings other than anger….  which by the way I can’t wait to see more of them cause ya know..  HOT!!!  What you get with this book is characters that do some majorly dirty things to one another both in and out of the bedroom and a story that I personally want to see continue.  I want to know more about all of them and am looking forward to BAST!!!!!  He’s going to be something I just know it…  😉

five-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
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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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