Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 stars

March 29, 2017 Grand Central, NetGalley, Read in 2017 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.

Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 starsForever Mine by Erin Nicholas
Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars
three-flames

Maya Goodwin doesn't believe in holding back. Ever. As a cop, she never hesitated to throw herself into harm's way to save someone. Even after an injury on the job forces her to retire, she's not afraid to keep risking it all to get the life she wants. With a new career teaching martial arts to kids already underway, she's looking forward to the future - and taking a chance on the unbelievably hot Dr. Alex Nolan.

Maya - daring and spontaneous - is the exact opposite of what Alex always thought he wanted. But when a nine-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up on his doorstep, Maya is the one who helps them hold it together. With love on the line, will the guy who's always played it safe be willing to take the biggest risk of all?

I enjoyed this title but I wasn’t happy with the hero in many ways.  I liked him… I just didn’t like him…  yeah I know this is a direct contradiction but you’ll see…

Alex is trying to make up for not being in his daughter’s life for her first 9 years through no fault of his own.  He had a one night stand and the mom didn’t tell him until she needed help managing the disease that both he and his daughter have, hemophilia.  He’s reeling by this intense attraction he feels for the woman who might be able to help him understand the superhero universe his daughter loves.  He wants to be there for his daughter and perhaps try for something with his former fling but this attraction to this woman is hard to ignore.

Maya is just as thrown by her instant attraction and connection to Alex.  This attraction allows her to get distracted in the oddest moments but as with everything else she does…  she rolls with it and jumps in.  She’s not afraid to take risks but is also confused by his hot/cold routine.  I liked her and her openness as it was refreshing compared to Alex’s tendency to keep things compartmentalized.  She also has a wake-up call in this story as she has to confront her own tendency to do things without regard to long term consequences.  You’ll enjoy her personality and what she does for those she cares for.  I really liked her so the way Alex behaved pissed me off even as I liked him.

Alex has a lot to learn about life as he doesn’t share his own diagnosis of hemophilia and this hinders him in so many ways he didn’t realize.  He almost lost something important to him because he is so damn shut down.  This is why I say I liked him but…  I just didn’t like him…  I got it… I really did but I wanted to just hurt him many times in this book.  Maya deserved better than the way he treated her but as always the hero does wake up and I think the epilogue helped me come to terms with him.  He did try but dammit he made me mad…  LOL

I need to go back and read more by Erin as I enjoyed this one plus…  she’s sort of local for me.  Gotta try to support NE/IA writers as much as I can…  😉

three-half-stars

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Too Wild to Tame – Tessa Bailey – 4.5 stars

September 7, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 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.

Too Wild to Tame – Tessa Bailey – 4.5 starsToo Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars
four-half-flames

Sometimes you just can't resist playing with fire . . .

By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country's most powerful senator, he'll have to keep his eye on the prize. That's easier said than done when he meets the senator's daughter, who's wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.

Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron's presence reminds her of a past she'd rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it's the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it's because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle . . .

So… If  you’ve never read anything by Tessa Bailey…

WHY THE HELL NOT… & …. BE READY FOR SERIOUSLY DIRTY TALKING HEROES!!!!

Now back to normal programming but damn if our hero, Aaron, isn’t a buttoned up, seething, cold, annoyingly conflicted, dirty as hell talking man.  His heroine, Grace, isn’t exactly the first person you’d expect would not only love this man but give him back as much heat as he provides her.  As you get to know Aaron you will see what Grace sees in him even as he struggles to see something other than what his ^%#^$&^%&$ biological sperm donor so effectively pounded in to his brain.  I found myself cheering for him as we got glimpses of who he really is and yet appreciated that Tessa did not give us an easy ride with him.  I enjoyed seeing how he was doing the right thing even as he claimed to be doing anything but good.  I have to say though the man had a way with words and admittedly needed a cold drink at times.

Grace is a heroine that will surprise you as you really get to know her.  The first impression is not what you’d expect but, like Aaron, there is something deeper that everyone needs to acknowledge… She’s in some ways fragile but there is a steel spine hidden in the depths which gets tested repeatedly by the men in her life.  I loved the scene in the field with the rest of the girls and laughed like crazy as she lets Aaron in on what transpired.  Her willingness to put herself out there for Aaron made me wonder if I had that same strength in me to put myself out there for someone.  There is such a huge amount of work that she does to become who she is in the end and I appreciated that this was handled with a deft hand even as fast-paced as this book was.  She’s definitely his match and this shines in their moments together.

I need to go back and read the first story in this series but CANNOT WAIT FOR BELMONT & SAGE!!!!  They are going to probably do a combination of break my heart and make me have to break out a fan… there is some amazing chemistry happening that leaps off the page as you see them together.  So join me for the ride to their story…

four-half-stars

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The Protector – Jodi Ellen Malpas – 4 Stars

September 6, 2016 NetGalley 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 Protector – Jodi Ellen Malpas – 4 StarsThe Protector by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 6th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Erotica, General
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars
four-flames

THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE THIS MAN TRILOGY AND ONE NIGHT TRILOGY!
People think they have Camille Logan nailed: daddy's girl; beautiful, spoiled young woman with her father's bank balance to fund her lifestyle. But Camille is determined to have a life free from his strings. Out on her own, she's made mistakes, including one that found her clawing her way back after a stint in rehab and plenty of bad press. Now, after fighting so hard to be independent and happy, she finds her life threatened as a result of her father's ruthless business dealings. Caught between resentment and fear, Camille prepares herself for the measures her father will take to protect her. But nothing could prepare her for the ex-SAS sniper who crashes into her life.
Jake Sharp resides in his own personal hell. He was distracted from duty once before, and the consequences were devastating--both personally and professionally. He vowed never to let that happen again. Accepting the job of bodyguard to Camille Logan isn't the kind of distraction from his demons he should take. Women and Jake don't mix well, yet protecting the heiress seems the lesser of two evils. But Jake soon discovers that she isn't the woman she's perceived to be. She's warm, compassionate, her presence settling, and his duty to protect her soon goes deeper than a well-paid job, no matter how hard he fights it. He needs absolution. He comes to need Camille. But he knows he can't have both.

This book was a slow build for me but overall the main characters kept me interested with the heat between them palpable and honest.  There is something about two people who don’t completely match what is expected of them.  I also enjoyed that there isn’t a single moment that brings them together but is more a series of things that force them outside the boundaries they attempt to set on themselves.

Camile was a fun character as she doesn’t back down easily but isn’t completely stupid when it comes to her own safety.  She does some stupid stuff at first but I can completely understand this as she’s fighting back at the restrictions from her father without the full picture of the threat.  She’s very independent while still remaining close to family and her true friends.  I loved seeing her make decisions based on loyalty vs money which is unexpected given her family ties.  She’s also very drawn to our hero even as she tries to ignore it.  As she gets to know him she realizes that he is hiding a lot of secrets which she’s willing to wait to uncover but…  She won’t wait forever for him to fully let her in.  Cami made me happy as she fought for what she wanted and wasn’t willing to accept anything less than all of him.

Jake was a mess… understandable as you get to uncover the secrets he hides from everyone…  but a mess all the same.  He’s hired to protect a woman that he believes will be a insufferable princess but when he meets her there is something that draws him to her.  He’s drawn to her in a way that he fights against but as we all know this can’t stay unrequited for long.  He’s going to break and when he does it was so hot.  There are quite a few scenes where we see the build-up but those scenes were fun to read and react to.  Cami tortures him as much as she can but he gets his own version of torture in against her.  This sexy play back and forth made me happy as it showed that both of them were feeling the same things which led to some great tension.  I adored the end of the book and while I did have issues staying with it at the beginning but I’m glad I stuck with it.

You’ll enjoy the tension while still trying to figure out what the exact threat is and when it comes out you will want to KILL someone.  They are a piece of work who deserves more than what they got but hey …. what they got was bad enough.

four-stars

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Before the Fall – Noah Hawley – 4 stars

June 4, 2016 Grand Central, Read in 2016 1

Before the Fall – Noah Hawley – 4 starsBefore the Fall - FREE PREVIEW (Prologue and Chapter 1) by Noah Hawley
Published by Grand Central Publishing on January 19th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Thrillers, Suspense
Pages: 34
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four-stars

From the Emmy, PEN, Peabody, Critics' Choice, and Golden Globe Award-winning creator of the TV show Fargo comes the thriller of the year.

On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members-including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot-the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

This was an interesting book showing how things can change in a blink of an eye and what you think was true maybe wasn’t so true after all.

We have one couple that seem to love one another but his drive keeps him away from them most of the time.  They’ve stood the test of a child abduction but perhaps things aren’t as happy as they seem.  The glimpses we get of this couple and their daughter were moving in many ways as we get to see a sense of what might’ve been if the plane hadn’t gone down.  You also feel a huge sense of sadness that JJ doesn’t get to have more time with his mom.  I liked what we got to see of her and how much she truly loved her kids but still seemed to not be comfortable in the world she stumbled in to.  Her husband also seemed to be a good man under the drive and seeing what happened after the crash while knowing what happened on his last day in his office made me wonder what if…

We have a couple that to me never seemed to be in synch even in the glimpses we got of them from before the crash.  The tidbits made me wonder what made them get together in the first place?  What kept them together other than appearances?  At the same time we see how they lived just before the crash and this makes you wonder what really plays out behind closed doors both on a professional level and a personal one?  I wanted to know more about how he got started on the path he was on…  what might’ve come out if the crash didn’t happen… wanted to know more about the others who had a hand in it… I just wanted more.

We have the man who just happened to barely make the plane and wasn’t really supposed to be on there.  How he used a memory from childhood to save himself and JJ.  How this accident and quirk of fate took him down a path he couldn’t imagine but one that he was uniquely suited for.  I liked Scott.  I truly liked him and appreciated how he moved thru this event while not letting others dictate his path.  I loved how he seemed to be more present than anyone else in the story and didn’t hide away from the truth as it was presented to him.  I appreciated how he saw things others didn’t see but also didn’t claim to know all the answers.  He just was….. I’d love to see where he goes and how JJ grows up….

There are other characters that weave around this story and seeing their parts play out made this an interesting read.  You are pulled in various directions, across various time periods but it all makes sense as the acts play out.  I appreciated this as we got to see the lives interrupted… lives cut short because..

Yeah you thought I would give away the details of what happens but honestly that would wreck it.  Take a chance and read this…  I know I’m glad I grabbed it while at BEA as it kept me entranced as these stories played out.

four-stars

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Revenant – Larissa Ione – 5 stars

December 16, 2014 Grand Central, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

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

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .

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

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

five-stars

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