Genre: Romance

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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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five-stars

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

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

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

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

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

five-stars

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Hard Time – Cara McKenna – 4.5 Stars

April 21, 2014 Uncategorized 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

four-half-stars

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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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Dangerous Angel – Stacy Gail – 4.5 stars

March 31, 2014 Carina Press, 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.

Dangerous Angel – Stacy Gail – 4.5 starsDangerous Angel by Stacy Gail
Series: Earth Angels #4
Published by Carina Press on 2014-03-31
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 196
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Book four of the Earth Angels series

Miami's best bounty hunter, Nikita Tesoro will do anything to collar a fugitive. Including stepping into a stripper's stilettos for the night. Outsmarting her rival Kyle Beaudecker is just a bonus. Despite the sexual tension sparking between them, Nikita keeps a professional distance from "Hurricane" Kyle. After all, she can't get hurt if she doesn't care.

A descendant of the archangel Barakiel with the power to harness electricity, Kyle should be focusing his energy on tracking down a demon that may be hiding in the human realm. But he's a lover, not a fighter, and he'd much rather use his special talents for pleasure: specifically Nikita's. And teaming up to find a bail jumper means spending lots of time together...

But when their case takes a turn for the demonic, Kyle can no longer hide his true nature from Nikita. He'll do whatever it takes to win her heart--even stop the apocalypse. But he can't do it alone.

As sad as I am to see this series end, I truly loved this last installment.  Honestly the pairing of Kyle and Nikita made me laugh but also had a lot of heart behind the heat that arcs between the two of them.

Nikita doesn’t do relationships.  She’s all for a quick turn between the sheets to scratch an itch but when it comes to any other kind of entanglement she’s the type to run away.  She cares for people but her past makes her wary of believing in love in any way shape or form.  You see her past makes it where she believes everyone will leave her and it is best to not let yourself be weak enough to love someone else.  She does care for her one relative but that is the exception to the rule and even then she’ll tell you she really doesn’t care but does things out of a sense of obligation.  She’s always been attracted to Kyle but as much as she finds herself attracted to him she also finds herself wanting to kill him.  They compete for the same bounties and while he’s definitely someone that would be fun to play with she also senses that he might be someone that could get to her more than she wants.  As things play out during this story we get to see this strong woman finally come to terms with her childhood and open her mind/heart to love.

Kyle is something else.  He plays the fun loving playboy with the best of them but behind this is a man who desperately wants to find someone as much as he also doesn’t want to subject them to his secret.  He’s a lot more complex than people give him credit for but when he finally opens up to Nikita we get to see a man who would do anything to protect those he loves even if it means giving up himself.  I loved how protective he was of her but also enjoyed that when push came to shove he trusted in her abilities and brains even as he wanted to kill her for putting herself in danger.  He’s hot as hell when he gets what he wants but there is always a sense of humor in his interactions that helps cut thru the tension that permeates this book.  I felt for him as he navigates thru his family’s history and finally comes to terms with his unique abilities.

I enjoyed the heart, humor and heat that winds thru this entire series but this installment had the best chemistry in the main pair.  Trust me there will be many times when you can’t help but laugh at Kyle’s antics and the banter between the pair.  They really are a fun read even with the harder moments.

Thanks to Stacy Gail for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’ve enjoyed reading all of the series and while sad to see this one go I’m glad we got a fun one to end on.

four-half-stars

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Bite Me – Shelly Laurenston – 5 stars

March 25, 2014 Kensington, Read in 2014, Sent 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.

Bite Me – Shelly Laurenston – 5 starsBite Me by Shelly Laurenston
Published by Kensington Books on 2014-03-25
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 400
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.

That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…

How much do I love this series?  Well enough that when I thought I had lost Vida’s (Publicist Extrordanaire) business card that I scored at RT in Kansas City I wanted to bawl.  Luckily I found it and she’s got a great amount of patience for when I SQUEE about anything Laurenston.  As much as I love this series and am sad to see it paused until sometime in the future (perhaps) I can understand why Shelly might need a break.  I want more from this group of people she’s been wonderful enough to share with us and I hope a chance to step away will bring her back to them in the future.

This installment focuses on Livy and Vic but there are so many cameos by past characters that you get a great chance to visit with people we all love.  Livy’s family is INSANE but you can’t help but appreciate how they band together when needed in order to avenge their own.  We get to see Ronnie Lee and Bren’s child in this and love the glimpse in to the madness that will come as they navigate parenthood.  We also get to see KYLE!!!  The boy made me laugh so hard so many times that I’m glad I have a no drink policy while reading Laurenston books.  He’s priceless and I hope we get to see more of him in the future.  Also you’ll love Vic’s partner.. NOT HIS PARTNER but ya know his partner… and his lovable ways.  The man made me giggle with his ability to get under Vic’s skin but in a way that makes him lovable.

The love story in this one was very sweet and does take a while to get to the steamy parts but for these two it works.  Livy hates feeling trapped and Vic, well Vic, is just willing to amble along and patiently wait for her to decide what she wants.  He’s very accepting of his feelings for her and seeing how he let’s her be who she is with only slight nudges to compromise as needed to get the end result she needs to feel whole.  He’s just very supportive of her and really does get her more than her own family does.  His gestures to her mean the world to her and I found myself sighing many times at the meaning behind them.  Livy is smart enough to recognize what she has with him even as she denies it but her denials come across as more fighting the inevitable than mean-spirited or cruel.  They both recognize what they have and while they might fight it a bit there is nothing better than when Vic’s wild side comes out.  I love love love his CAT!!!

I have to add that I probably laughed hardest at the interactions of Bo and Vic during the story as I’m sure anyone who reads this will agree.  They are too damn funny and seeing how Lach handles it is just perfect.

Overall this is a wonderful installment in the series that I hope you will go out and grab.  If you haven’t read this series…  GO BUY THEM ALL NOW!!!! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT AT ALL!!!

Special thanks to Vida for sending me a copy of this early and I’m amazed you didn’t hear the SQUEE!! when it came in.  I know you also made many other reviewers happy when you sent them their copies as well.  I so owe you at RT this year!!

five-stars

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