Source: NetGalley.com

Divider

Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 22, 2014 Intermix, 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.

Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUnexpected by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2013-08-20
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

After spending another family wedding fielding questions about her non-existent love life, Kelsey Noble decides she’s tired of waiting around for things she could go out and get herself. What Kelsey wants is a baby, and she doesn’t see any point waiting for a husband she’s not even sure she wants. But a mix-up at the fertility clinic lands her with a hassle she didn’t count on. A big, muscular hassle in a Stetson and cowboy boots. Cole Mitchell is shocked to discover that a grand gesture from years past has come back to haunt him. Now, thanks to a clerical error, a woman he’s never met is having his baby—and there’s no way he’s going to walk away and forget he has a child. Trying to make nice with the unexpected father of her baby lands Kelsey in Silver Creek, Oregon, dealing with the kind of small town life she left behind years ago. Even worse is dealing with the burning attraction she feels for Cole. She knows adding sex to the mix is a very bad idea, but she’s not sure how long she can resist falling for the last man she ever expected... Includes a preview of Maisey Yates’ novella, Unbuttoned. Praise for UNBUTTONED: “I loved Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates in a big way....I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read.... it’s a great start to what looks to be a promising new small-town contemporary series and has introduced me to a new-to-me author who writes enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “Maisey Yates is a very talented author and has created the perfect small-town romance about two people that found love once they learned to take a leap of faith.... I can’t wait to see what is in store for the residents of Silver Creek.”—Books-N-Kisses

Nothing like being late on reading something but….  I really enjoyed reading this story of a woman who is so used to being the odd duck in her family that she is amazed to find a family that accepts her as she is.  It also is a good story for anyone who doesn’t conform to the mold their parents try to put them in and to go for what makes you happy.

Kelsey is stuck at yet another wedding and dealing with relatives that keep asking her when she’s going to get married.  She’s been burned by the man she thought she would marry so is in no hurry to have another relationship even as she wishes for children.  She decides to do something bold and get artificially inseminated so she can have the child she yearns for without the hassle of a relationship.  When the sperm donor shows up at her door with information that the sperm she was impregnated with should not have been in the main donor pool she’s shocked and terrified about what this means.  She agrees to go and spend time with him on his ranch in order to figure things out but winds up with more than she imagined.  I loved her strength and enjoyed seeing her really learn what she needs in her life.  She’s smart but so vulnerable to being hurt by this sexy cowboy that you will root for her to get what she deserves.  I liked that she pushed him to really open up and admit what he wanted/felt.  There was something interesting about seeing a woman who claimed to not need the traditional family realize that she really wanted that connection.

Cole was a bit harder at times.  I understood why he was so adamant about not being willing to be in love with Kelsey but I really wanted to slap him.  He’s so sexy when he finally gives in to their chemistry and also when he is caring for her as she struggles with morning sickness.  He’s unfortunately a bit of a jerk as he deals with what his father left him to clean up and what his ex-wife did to him over their way-to-long marriage.  He’s very loyal to those he loves and seeing him struggle to admit what she actually means to him was at times frustrating but ultimately it was a struggle that left him in a wonderful place.

I hope that you will give this series a chance as I have completely enjoyed each installment and am ready to read more from this wonderful little town…

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’m sorry it took me so long to finally get to it but I really enjoyed the heart of this wonderful town/family.

four-stars

Divider

Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 18, 2014 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 starsRekindled by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-17
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 78
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
four-stars

In USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates’s latest Silver Creek Romance, a rich girl gets the privilege of starting over—and finding true love. Lucy Ryan got everything she thought she wanted, going from high school queen to Manhattan trophy wife. But none of it was worth staying in a loveless marriage. So now she’s back in Silver Creek—with no money and no place to stay, applying for a job cleaning someone else’s house. And her potential employer is the last person she ever expected to see again. Mac Denton can’t believe the mean girl who once tormented him in high school is now his housekeeper. He looks forward to making her squirm for a few days before she runs back to her rich husband. But Lucy has changed, and he is surprised to find himself attracted to the beautiful, courageous woman she has become. Lucy is finally ready to go after what she really wants from life. And what she wants more than anything is Mac. But is Mac ready to truly forget the past and embrace the future? Praise for the Silver Creek Romances by Maisey Yates “I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read....enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “A lot of fun to read.... I look forward to reading the next installment. She provided humor, tension, smexy-times, twisted family dynamics, and a re-enjoyment of life.”—The Book Pushers Maisey Yates is a USA Today bestselling author who divides her time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light, sexy contemporary romances set practically in her backyard. She has written many romances for Harlequin, including The Couple Who Fooled the World, as well as the Silver Creek Romances (Unbuttoned, Unexpected, and Untouched) for InterMix. She lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon.

This was a really quick story with characters that showed how things can be if you let go of the past.

Lucy was the spoiled rich kid who used to look down her nose and be mean to those that weren’t of her social class.  As a result when she comes back to Silver Creek after an abusive marriage she expects to be the butt of many jokes and revenge.  Her parents have let their displeasure with her leaving her wealthy husband rule their decision to not help her get her feet back beneath her so she is forced to seek a job as a housekeeper for the son of their former maid.  She’s been beaten down by the words her ex used to undermine her so when she finds someone that champions her and wants to do harm to him she melts a bit.  I liked how she acknowledged that she was wrong in her treatment of others all those years ago but I really loved that when she finally woke up to who she really was inside that she demanded to be treated the way she truly deserved.  She wants to be treated and seen as an equal partner and deserves nothing less.

Mac was swoony even as he had his head in his ass.  I loved how even though she treated him like garbage when they were younger he didn’t treat her that way.  I appreciated how much he was willing to tolerate her attempts at cooking and encourage her to spread her wings.  He really was supportive of her finding out who she really was and seeing his acceptance made her so much stronger.  I didn’t like how he was unwilling to open his eyes to what they were building but I understood why he struggled.  He really is a great guy under the stupidity and seeing him fall for her was wonderful.  He’s no slouch when it comes to sexy times and I found myself a bit jealous of Lucy getting such a sweet man who knows how to steam things up.

Overall a sweet story with a good message that some of us need to hear.  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin Publishing for the chance to read this. I’m working my way thru the rest of the series now so I can read the upcoming one that Maisey was kind enough to give me at RT.

four-stars

Divider

The Mark of the Tala – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 stars

May 29, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

five-stars

Divider

Salvation – Stephanie Tyler – 5 stars

May 14, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

five-stars

Divider

Long For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars

May 13, 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.

Long For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 StarsLong For Me Published by Macmillan on May 13, 2014
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Christina Bell remembers what it was like to be part of a loving family. The youngest of the Bell children, she simply cannot believe that her dad, or anyone else she loves, had a hand in her mother’s disappearance. She’s looking forward to moving on and spending more time with her sexy best friend, Guy Miller, who she is starting to see in a whole new light.

Their attraction sizzling and love deepening, Christina feels confident in her life and ability to handle what comes her way...But when Nichole’s body is found—and the mystery of her death slowly reveals itself—Christina is left not knowing who to trust. What if Guy, her one true desire, proves to be her biggest danger?

Loved this one in so many ways except…. I wanted more at the end… Greedy I know but damn damn damn..

Guy has always been in love with Christina (Tink) but other than one stolen weekend has kept those feelings from her no matter how much it cost him.  As information comes to light about the trauma from her past can he really still hope to have a future with the woman who means everything to him?  I loved Guy in all the glimpses we’ve seen of him as the stories of the siblings were told.  He’s such a great friend to all of them but his constant presence in Tink’s life was the most beautiful thing.  You see his struggle with remaining only friends with her as she struggles with her own issues but there was something amazing as they spent more time together in an intimate fashion.  You see his feelings in everything he does to get her the answers she needs even as the answers destroy him.  He’s such an amazing man and the strength he shows was mind-blowing.

Christina is used to being different.  She’s always struggled with finding her place in the world and quieting her mind.  When she finally got the diagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia things started to make sense but then in a moment her world was shattered.  She’s always had Guy to center her but wouldn’t let it become anything more because nothing stays.  She’s not afraid to speak her mind but the sheer amount of fear she hides behind a devil-may-care attitude broke me a bit.  As she struggles with the answers to the tragedy of her past she also struggles with her feelings for the man who is her rock.  She wants to shut down and ignore everything but as others force her to confront the truth behind her own issues outside of the family tragedy she realizes that she could lose something much more precious…

They have some really steamy times but to be honest the conversations they have and the feelings they share with one another were so powerful that I really didn’t want to see the story end…  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

five-stars

Divider

Poster Boy – Anne Tenino – 4 Stars

April 27, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, Riptide Publishing 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.

Poster Boy – Anne Tenino – 4 StarsPoster Boy Published by Riptide Publishing on April 21, 2014
Pages: 375
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

It's all fun and games until someone puts his heart out.

After being outed to his hockey team and then changing schools, Jock figures he’s due for something good—like the sex he missed out on in the closet. Toby, the hot grad student he meets at a frat party, seems like a great place to start, and their night together is an awesome introduction to the fine art of hooking up.

Toby’s heart takes a bruising after the near-perfect experience with Jock leads to . . . nothing. He’s been left on the outside as his friends pair up into blissful coupledom, and he’s in danger of never completing (or starting) his thesis. Can’t something go right?

Then Toby’s coerced into chaperoning a Theta Alpha Gamma trip to France. Not that he’s complaining. What better place to finish his thesis and get over that frat boy? Except Jock’s outing is leaked to the press, turning him into an unwilling gay rights martyr, and he decides France would be a great escape, too. It’s a break from reality for both guys, but they soon find their connection is as real as it gets.

Really nice story about a man coming to terms with his sexuality and another man realizing that maybe love is for him after all.

Toby is at a crossroads in his life.  He’s trying to finish a thesis his heart really isn’t in but also has to watch as all the people around him find their other halves.  He scoffs at the idea of being paired up and in love but you sense that it is more jealousy talking rather than a true scoffing at love.  When he sees Jock at a party he’s interested in the man’s obvious innocence but being the good guy he is he backs off when he senses the obvious reluctance.  When they meet later and the sparks fly again he’s happy that he finally gets to have Jock in bed but when Jock’s fears push him away Toby retreats in to a shell that causes him to have to accept a job in France as the RA for Jock’s frat brothers doing an international studies program.  He figures he can get over Jock and work on his thesis.

Jock is still traumatized by the way he came out.  He is intensely drawn to Toby but honestly is so conflicted by his own sexuality that it causes him to withdraw from their amazing moment.  When the heat gets to be too much he decides last minute to join the international program and ends up having to spend more time with Toby.  I liked watching his struggle with who he was and what he really wanted but did get upset a few times at the way he didn’t always take Toby’s feelings in to consideration.  I understood it and so did Toby but it still made me mad at him.  He really did a lot of growing up and I think his struggles are potentially what others go thru in real life.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Riptide Publishing for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

Divider

Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 0

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

Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 StarsBreak For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-22
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Jensen Bell had twelve happy years before her mother disappeared and her whole world went to pieces. Since then, she's become a cop—one who takes great pride in her work, and in helping keep others safe. The saving grace in her own life has been Dean West, the only man who can make her burn with desire and help her through her burdens. But when a shocking discovery turns her life upside-down, even being wrapped in Dean’s arms might not be enough to keep her out of harm's way, in Break for Me by Shiloh Walker.

More to the story of a missing woman and the mess that it left behind with her family…

Dean has been lusting after Jensen since he met her but he’s never made his move.  He senses that she wouldn’t handle him moving in on her so has been watching and waiting for a chance.  He’d walk away if it wasn’t for the fact that he has seen the same longing reflected in her eyes at rare moments so he just can’t give up on the one woman who has really sparked his interest in years.  Once he finds out her history he finds a kindred soul in more ways than one as he has a massive source of pain in his own past.  Different but still as life-changing to him as hers was to her path in life.  I loved how he stood for her as she gets the news that part of her needed but the other part of her always dreaded hearing.  He worked so hard to keep strong for her and watching him struggle with what he wanted from her but wasn’t willing to risk what he finally managed to get from her was a bit heartbreaking.  He’s an amazing man and I hope that we get to see more of them together as the other stories release.

Jensen is the strong one.  She channeled the pain of her past in to the career she loves but she’s lonely.  When she sees Dean she’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame but can’t seem to let her guard down enough to take a chance.  As things start to flare between them she gets word that something has come to light which throws her for a loop.  As she struggles with this information she also struggles with the intense passion that Dean has unlocked within her and seeing this strong woman come to terms with this intense need was interesting to read.  She’s strong but I liked that she let herself feel when with Dean even as she wanted to retreat.  She’s good with everyone around her but seeing her get someone who will truly cherish her as much as she deserves made me happy.

A good second part to the story arc which will continue in Long For Me….  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St.Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

Divider

Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 1

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

Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 StarsBurn For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-01
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

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

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

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

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

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

five-stars

Divider

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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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

Divider

Taken With You – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 Stars

March 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.

Taken With You – Shannon Stacey – 4.5 StarsTaken with You by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on 2014-03-25
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 185
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she's happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She's spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn't found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she's probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett's idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety—a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can't resist pushing her buttons, even though she's made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn't for her.Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she's determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that's easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he's renting the house right next door….74,000 words

What if what you needed in a partner wasn’t what you thought you needed?  This is what both Hailey and Matt find out in this heartwarming story.

Hailey is really starting to feel left out as her friends all seem to be finding the men of their dreams and while she still gets to see them it just reminds her of what she doesn’t have.  She’s agreed to go on an outing with another single lady but she’s not in her element in the great outdoors and when they get rescued by a man with all the qualities she doesn’t want but damn is he hot, other than the beard, old clothes and sloppy presentation, she starts to wonder if she’ll need to move away to find the professional, yuppie man she thinks she needs.  I liked her spirit and spunk but did get frustrated with her inability to see what was right in front of her until it was almost too late.  She’s so set in her attitudes that I wanted to slap her a few times because he was trying except for one instance where he did the same thing to her that she did to him.

Matt is hot hot hot.  He’s always loved being outdoors and in nature so having a job that requires him to be outside and protect the nature he loves is just perfection.  Now if he could find a woman that would be able to tolerate his odd work schedule, smelly clothes and  love of being one with nature he’d be all set.  He’s been burned by a city girl before so he does things to test all of his girlfriends that have driven them all away but he’s drawn to Hailey.  There is something about her that calls to him even though he’s convinced she’ll be like all the rest and want him to change.  When he pulls his stunt with her I wanted to kill him for not being willing to compromise but instead he has his head so messed up from past experiences that he ruins the evening for both of them.  Once he wakes up and finally realizes what he might lose if he doesn’t grow up…. well then we get a sigh-worthy hero.  He’s sigh-worthy during most of the book so the one moment didn’t ruin it for me but when he realizes it he does own his mistake.

They both do a little compromising in this book which is what makes it work.  She opens her eyes to the fact that her heart may know best and he opens up to not every female is the same.  While we all like our men to clean up nice to go out every once in a while most of us just want a partner to share our lives with.  I think the best thing about this story is that both grew up and compromised to make something that was special work.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-half-stars

Divider