Source: the Author

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Beyond Surrender – Kit Rocha – 5 stars

December 13, 2016 Read in 2016, 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.

Beyond Surrender – Kit Rocha – 5 starsBeyond Surrender by Kit Rocha
on December 13, 2016
Source: the Author
five-stars
five-flames

She’s the heart of O’Kane liquor.

For years, Nessa has been focused on work. She keeps the whiskey—and the money—flowing, and life is sweet. Sure, she’s tired of being everyone’s baby sister, and she longs for a man who can stand up to her overprotective O’Kane brothers. But she never thought she’d meet him in the middle of a war.

He’s the brains of the revolution.

War is all Ryder knows. He was raised with one goal: to ensure the sectors’ successful rebellion against Eden. His father and his mentor both died for freedom, and nothing will stop him from securing their legacies with victory. He doesn’t have time for distractions—especially beautiful, impulsive ones like Nessa.

Opposites don’t just attract, they combust. Together, Nessa and Ryder have a chance for something more than the lives they’ve always known. But this is war—deadly, bloody war—and the only way to happily-ever-after is straight through Eden.

I must start this with a caution…. or two..

Don’t read this unless you’ve read the rest…  just trust me, the author and anyone else who has read this already because you need to see the full picture.

Don’t read this where you have no access to tissues… there are a few moments that you’ll need them.

I have been buried with school and life in general so my reading time has been next to nothing because when I had a chance to take a break, I slept the time away.  I’ve needed this reset and I am so happy that this book was my reward for working so hard.  While this is the last of the series *SOBS* it does a great job showing us where we will be going next and gives our beloved gang a great story to go out on.  I am not going to spoil this book because it would be cruel but here is one last O’Kane review list in no particular order…

Characters:

  • Ryder is just YUMMY!!!  He’s very much a man who likes to take his time and do things right.. *wink wink*
  • Ashwin…  this is one scary ass dude and I look forward to his story.
  • Lex shows once again why she is the QUEEN.  I loved her in this story and know we will sense her influence in later stories.  She’s going to have something to say even if it is just because of hearsay in later stories.
  • Dallas proved why he is the KING.  I loved seeing his strengths shine as Ryder finally gets to see behind the scenes.  He’s such a great character.
  • Nessa surprised me but I can’t put my finger on what I actually expected once we got to see behind the facade of the protected princess.  I liked her before but love her now.  She learned so much.
  • Ace/Rachel/Cruz were once again in our sights and seeing how far they have come made me smile.

 

And now the list that I know many of you love when I do it..

  • Tissues…  there are a few moments where you need them and trust me there is one where I had to step away…  it isn’t the one close to the end but a bit earlier and it really sucker-punched me in the gut.
  • Safe space to rock when you are in a spot where all seems bleak.
  • Avoid being around people who can’t understand it when you are talking to the book…  I mean lines like…  NO NO NO NO dammit why did you do that…  wait..  she wouldn’t no… Bree and Donna wouldn’t… nope …  nope… nope…
  • There may also be a moment when you are like “LA LA LA LA LA I AM NOT READING THIS NOW…  NOPE NOPE NOPE”
  • There are also a few moments when you might need a fan… or ice…  or both…
  • There are also moments when you will want to switch places with Nessa… *or is that just me cause DAMN*
  • Make sure you give yourself time to take the break and still finish the book in one long sitting… cause again DAMN
  • Ashwin…. *fans self while being scared as hell*
  • I know I mentioned tissues but yeah…  they are needed.

Ok..  I didn’t do the story justice but it was AMAZING!!!  Thanks to Kit Rocha for bringing me in to this world because even though I know this part is over there are more stories to tell.  I’ll be along for the ride.

five-stars

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The Songbird’s Call – Rachael Herron – 4 stars

August 29, 2016 Read in 2016, 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.

The Songbird’s Call – Rachael Herron – 4 starsThe Songbird's Call Published by HGA Publishing on August 29, 2016
Pages: 271
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

From international bestseller Rachael Herron, comes a book too delightful to put down:

Once Adele, Molly and Lana were The Darling Songbirds, a world-famous country band. Now they're just three sisters who barely speak. But that's about to change.

Middle sister Molly arrives in town, and is immediately drawn to the neglected little café where she worked as a teenager. Could she dare to bring it back to life? As lead singer, Molly had always been the voice of the band. But caught between controlling big sister Adele and demanding baby sister Lana, she never felt heard. If she's going to reopen the café, she'll do it on her own terms, no more being bossed.

So the last person she should fall for is the handsome Sheriff Colin McMurty - the man whose job it is to tell people exactly what to do.

When we finished the last book the surprise of Molly’s arrival set us up for this story of the second sister.  She’s at a crossroads in her own life where she needs to figure out what steps to take next and to heal a bit from the mess her life has been.  She’s shocked to see how bad of shape the property is in but even more surprised about her reaction to Colin.  You’ll like her spirit as she really does love her sisters even as they drive her crazy but mainly because she’s a fighter who is finally realizing where she belongs.  I loved how she was willing to put in the work, defend herself and then own when she does make a mistake.  She’s strong, soft, caring, and basically someone that you would love to know as she is very loyal to those around her.  I loved how she didn’t take things for granted and that when things came to a head she owned her actions.  She’s smart and what she makes out of a horrible situation is something to be incredibly proud of.

Colin has his own issues and seeing him finally get to act on his old crush was fun.  I appreciated all that he was willing to do in the name of protecting his family but I did get pissed at him for not understanding the position he put Molly in and assuming that he KNEW best when it came to handling the situation.  He’s such a good man that watching his struggle to realize that he wasn’t his father was a bit disconcerting but his effort to make Molly his was amazing.  I might’ve teared up a little because it took a lot for him to make the gesture he did.  I also enjoyed his controlling behaviors once I understood where they came from and how he worked hard to keep that need at bay.  He wants to be everything his father wasn’t which causes a lot of tension that isn’t needed.

I cannot wait for this trilogy to conclude as I want to see what Lana has been up to and see how they will all come together again.  Molly and Adele have come to a truce but will this last sister be able to reconcile?

Thanks again to Nat for bringing this author and title to my attention.  I now need to go to her backlist and read more…  LOL

four-stars

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The Darling Songbirds – Rachael Herron – 3.5 stars

August 22, 2016 Read in 2016, 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.

The Darling Songbirds by Rachael Herron
Published by HGA Publishing on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 375
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From international bestseller Rachael Herron, comes a book too delightful to put down:

The saloon had always looked old-fashioned, but now it resembled a set in a ghost town. The problem was that Adele wasn't in an old western, or a ghost town. Darling Bay was the sleepy gold-rush town her great-grandfather had given his name to.

The town she'd left for good a long time ago.

The building is a ruin, the business is broke and customers are scarce. Add into the mix Nate Houston - the handsome, guitar-playing bartender who had always believed he would be the next owner - and Adele has one potent cocktail on her hands.

Can a rundown saloon in a sleepy town finally offer Adele a way into love?

Relationships are at the heart of women's fiction, and Herron could teach a master class on creating them. Chicklit Central

This heartwarming, hilarious, and red-hot contemporary romance will leave you wishing for a marina view of your very own. From sisters to second chances, this small-town romance will make you laugh and cry. Herron's characters are grounded and relatable, but her twists and turns leave you satisfied as a reader. For a good time, pack this beach read on your vacation! You'll love this book.

Rachael Herron seamlessly blends romance, friendship, and laughter. Barbara Bretton, USA Today Bestselling Author

A FULL-LENGTH STANDALONE, a great entry into the world of Rachael Herron's sexy and hilarious books.

Occasionally I get review requests from fellow bloggers who also work as author’s assistants, these have consistently been good finds and this trend has continued with a “new-to-me” author.  This particular title is the first one in a new series about a trio of sisters who rose to fame as singers until everything changed when tragedy struck.  The trio split up and now don’t even really talk to one another or see each other.  The bitterness and issues are not ones that will be easily overcome because they have roots in the fundamental differences between the personalities so it will take effort to get past the past.

Adele has always been the fixer, the people pleaser and the one who makes sure everything goes correctly.  She’s now at a point in her life where everything seems to be working against her but she’s determined to get the bar/hotel/cafe that her uncle left to the sisters sold and start rebuilding her life away from painful memories.  She’s not expecting the place to be in ruins nor the man who runs the bar.  As she starts to clean up the bar and work on her uncle’s apartment, she realizes that perhaps this is where she needs to be for the life she deserves to have.  I loved how she started to open up as she finally embraced the town and Nate.  I enjoyed seeing her fall for a man who has his own secrets but mainly the fact that she owned her mistakes without any fake apologies or excuses.  She’s finally realized what part she played in driving the sisters apart and is working on the personality trait that brought it about.  The estrangement isn’t entirely hers to fix or take blame for but she does make the gesture to repair the rift.

Nate was someone that I quite enjoyed.  He’s not a man to run away from a problem but is a man who has his own demons to slay.  I enjoyed his stubborn streak but also loved the fact that he does so much for so many.  He wants to make a go of the property and attempted to buy it from her uncle so harbors a bit of resentment for the woman he believes is stealing what should be his.  He thinks she’s callous and unfeeling because none of the sisters showed up for their uncle’s funeral but in reality the memories were to painful along with her being off the grid when he passed.  Nate has some major issues he has to work thru and his attraction to Adele isn’t something he ever planned.  He made me laugh, sniffle and then happy as he works thru his issues and in to a life that really is perfect for him.  A good man with a heart of gold describes him well and his naughty side would make me quite happy..  *grin*

So take a chance and start this series..  book 2 releases next week so keep an eye on this page for my review of book 2.

three-half-stars

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Beyond Ecstasy – Kit Rocha – 5 Stars

May 25, 2016 Read in 2016, 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.

Beyond Ecstasy – Kit Rocha – 5 StarsBeyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha
Published by Kit Rocha on May 23, 2016
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

The O’Kanes have a reputation for working hard and playing harder—except for Hawk. He joined the gang with one goal: to ensure his family’s survival through the impending war with Eden. It’s been years since he had the luxury of wanting anything for himself. Now, he wants Jeni. From the first moment he saw her, he’s been obsessed with making her his. Not for a night—forever.

Jeni’s been lusting after the former smuggler for months, but he keeps shutting her down. She’s almost given up on getting him in her bed when he offers her the last thing she ever expected—a collar. Accepting it means belonging to him, body and soul. It’s a reckless gamble, but Jeni can’t resist the chance to slip under Hawk’s armor.

The only thing more shocking than the dark, dangerous pleasure they discover is how right it feels. But falling in love is even more reckless when forever is far from guaranteed. Because they aren’t just at war, they’re out of time—and every breath could be their last.

Excuse me while I go whimper in a corner for a while after reading this book.  There are a couple of reasons for this – this is book 8 of 9… *sobs* …. and I swear Kit Rocha is trying to KILL ME.  I MEAN SERIOUSLY TEAR MY HEART OUT OF MY CHEST AND KILL ME!!!

via GIPHY

I mean seriously…  rip my heart out with a single freaking word then just stomp on it.

I can’t really do this book justice with a review because it was just that wonderful but I am going to do a quick list of supplies for this and just leave you with them and…

READ IT NOW DAMMIT… If you don’t well hell you are missing out on EVERYTHING>>>  ALL THE FEELS!!!

  • Have Kleenex on hand
  • Don’t read in public after the 50% mark (not giving you exact point but let’s just say be safe you should perhaps not read in public at all)
  • Schedule recovery time
  • Find a happy place after the story to reflect and get back to a normal heart rate before you go out in public again
  • Take a moment to have a treat (I personally had a fruit pop to recoup *note that I had no chocolate*)
  • I should put —- HAVE A TREAT READY… so maybe this should be first….
  • Try not to think of how you need to ask a significant other to maybe act out a couple of things.. *hmmmm got distracted for a sec remembering what of the things might be fun*
  • Did I mention Kleenex?  Seriously dude ONE FLIPPING WORD….

Hmmmmm….. also where did I put the flogger???  LMAO

But honestly, Kit Rocha once again managed to both rip my heart out and give me the story that made me happy sigh at the end.  Hawk and Jeni were such a wonderful pair to get to know even as the world as we know it rips apart.

And ummmmmm… when a certain someone gets his story (no not book 9 but trust me this one’ll be AWESOME) I need to have it ASAP but also need to make sure to take the day off so I can read/recover without interruption from real life.  He’s going to be AMAZING.

five-stars

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House of Payne: Steele – Stacy Gail – 4.5 Stars

May 24, 2016 Read in 2016, Sent 2

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

House of Payne: Steele – Stacy Gail – 4.5 StarsHouse of Payne: Steele by Stacy Gail
on May 1, 2016
Pages: 348
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subjects of surviving rape, trauma suffered during combat, child abuse, and possible sterility. If you have issues with these elements, this book might not be for you.

Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.

When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.

123,000 words

***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a dirty-talking Alpha with a penchant for having sex in public places. No cheating, no love triangles and no cliffhangers. Fairy tale HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of 18***

 

If you haven’t picked up this series yet I would advise you…  GET MOVING..  BUY BUY BUY!!  Ok now that this little bit of business has been completed let’s look at this story.

This was not an easy story in some respects as Essie has a lot to work thru after her attack when she was just a teenager.  She’s so strong though and seeing her let down the walls with a man who is anything but easy to handle was wonderful to watch.  She’s thinking she’s made a mistake coming back to her hometown but what she finds as she struggles thru a competition that could make her fashion career is the life she never thought she’d have.  I loved her strength, her weakness and the fact that even as broken as she believes she is she’s not willing to accept anything but what she deserves.  She’s not a person who will accept less than everything and this causes some moments where, once again, I wanted to hurt a Stacy Gail hero *she does this on purpose I just know it* .  Essie will have you laughing with her, cheering for her and crying at times as you see her finally emerge from the shadows to become exactly who she should be.  I loved seeing her transformation in this book.

Steele was something else.  He’s got demons of his own to exorcise and dammit if I didn’t want to strangle him as much as I wanted to cuddle him.  He’s drawn to Essie in a way I won’t spoil but they are perfect for one another.  There is something gentle about the man even as he is not someone to be trifled with.  You’ll melt as he works his magic on Essie and really wish you were in her shoes.  I have to admit there are some things he does that makes me think about a man currently in my life who has helped me open up more than I ever have been able to before.  There is something freeing about having someone that really does seem to see you… not the persona… but the real you and pushes you to let that side free.  Steele is this person for Essie and it turns out Essie is this person for Steele.

This was not an easy read but it is worth getting to see two damaged people finally find what they need to truly live life again.  You’ll definitely be cheering for them to figure things out so run away and pick this up.

Thanks again to Stacy for sending this my way…  I’m sorry I ran so late on getting this up but you know I love ya!

four-half-stars

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Beyond Ruin – Kit Rocha – 5 Stars

March 7, 2016 Read in 2016, Self Published, 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.

Beyond Ruin – Kit Rocha – 5 StarsBeyond Ruin by Kit Rocha
Published by NLA Digital Books LLC on 2016-02-23
Genres: Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 334
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

The explosive 7th book in the bestselling BEYOND series. The sectors will never be the same.

Adrian Maddox fled his royal life--and tragic past--in Sector One, choosing instead to join up with the O'Kanes. For years, he's lived by one rule: love fast, love hard, and always be willing to walk away. He's managed to guard his heart, keep it whole and untouched--until now.

They couldn't be more different--Dylan, the brilliant, burned-out doctor from Eden who drowns his pain with drugs and self-destruction. Scarlet, the sensuous, sexy rocker from Three, a woman unafraid to embrace the world. And Jade, the whore turned spy from Sector Two, who battled addiction and came out stronger than anyone he's ever met.

Separately, they make Mad long to open his heart, to tumble head-first into a sea of possibilities and wild love. Together, they make him burn, inside and out, with lust and unbearable, unimaginable pleasure.

Then one fateful moment shakes their world to its foundations--and leaves the sectors on the verge of all-out war with Eden. It's the biggest fight the O'Kanes have ever faced, and Mad and his lovers are at the dead center of it. They could end up with everything they never knew they wanted--or lose it all. Including their lives.

Ok…  I don’t know if I can adequately state how awesome this book is and where it is taking us in the future!  I can’t give away spoilers but let’s see if I can come up with a list of my top 10 things (no particular order) that made me love this story so much:

 

  1. Glimpses of Dallas and Lex that show how much they really care about everyone and solidify them as my favorite in power couple.  The heart is what keeps the sector going and is shown here as they face major changes.
  2. The views of Sector One and how Mad became the man we all love.  He’s something else but seeing the powerful moments that made him who he is were heartbreaking.
  3. Seeing Jade become who she really is and watching her kick-ass as she gains back her core self.  She’s powerful and needs people around her that let her live as her true self.
  4. Dylan… oh dear lord…  I knew he would be something else but the depth to him surprised me as he finally understood who he was and what he wanted to be.
  5. Scarlet made me quite happy as I saw her finally realize her own self-worth.  She’s got such an amazing heart but has a difficult time realizing that she is worth everything.  I really enjoyed watching her gain confidence from partners that made her finally realize she mattered.
  6. Sector 2… This was something else to read about and will make everyone think thru the future for those we care about.
  7. Gideon and Mad’s family….  I enjoyed seeing them and understanding what they feel for Mad.  He’s something important to them but they truly do love him even if they struggle to understand why he walked away.
  8. Hints of Ashwin… Dude… I CANNOT WAIT FOR HIS STORY!!!!!!
  9. Glimpses of Cruz, Rachel and Ace… *happy sigh* we don’t see them much but dammit if it isn’t powerful as hell.  Love my trio!!!
  10. Hawk and Jeni will be AMAZING to see navigate thru the changing world as they find their path to each other.  Loved the hints of this story…

So I know I kept my hints short on this but you really need to read this story so you can see how this all played out.  I loved seeing the heat between them all but most of all the heart that is core to making this foursome such a powerful thing to watch.

five-stars

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Anything But Broken – Joelle Knox – 4 stars

August 27, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 2

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

Anything But Broken – Joelle Knox – 4 starsAnything But Broken Published by Joelle Knox on August 25, 2015
Pages: 237
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

The first in a New Adult series about small towns, fast cars, bad boys and the girls who keep falling for them.

After five years, tragedy brings Hannah Casey back to Hurricane Creek to bury what's left of her family. She's flunking out of college, haunted by scandal, and the only person who cares is Sean Whitlow, an irresistible bad boy with a soft spot for her. The problem? He's her dead sister's ex.

Sean doesn't bleed red, he bleeds motor oil. During the week, he struggles to turn his auto repair shop into a profitable business. But when Saturday night rolls around, he's the reigning stock-car king of the local race track. He doesn't know how to lose-or how to walk away and leave Hannah alone with her grief.

Between her grades and her wealthy family's dark secrets, Hannah's barely holding her life together. And the last thing Sean needs is to get tangled up with another Casey girl. As the attraction between them spins out of control, they'll either find a love with no limits-or go up in flames.

This is a story about a scarred girl becoming the woman she was meant to be in spite of her family’s chaos and destruction.  This is not the same writing that we see from Kit Rocha or Moira Rogers but  a new voice and outlet for the amazing pair we know and love.

Hannah has always tried to be the perfect good girl.  The one who does what is right and keeps up the perfect appearances expected of her by her image obsessed parents.  She is struggling with the loss of her father and still coming to terms with her sister’s death many years earlier but also having to deal with a decision noone ever wants to have to make.  She finds herself struggling with everything but finds a lifeline and anchor in someone from her past… Sean… her sister’s ex boyfriend.  The man she shouldn’t be attracted to… the man who she has a secret that she knows would hurt him… the man who truly sees her and not another Casey fuck-up.  We see her struggle to be human and to let people in but I liked her strength behind the fear plus saw how badly she just needs to be held/told she matters.

Sean was someone I would soooooooooooo love to have in my life.  He’s a good guy who knows what he is capable of.  He’s very strong but has such a good heart that you just want him to be happy.  He knows that Hannah can’t be his but dammit if he doesn’t want to do everything in his power to help her.  He sees how badly she needs affection but doesn’t make it seem like he sees her as a charity case but that he sees her as a woman who was badly damaged by a family more concerned with appearances than love.  He fights for her to be herself and even pushes his best friend, Gibb, to give her a chance.  He does see her as someone different from her sister and ends up finding out what exactly she means to him in the end.

Now…  I know I am not alone but can we please PLEASE PLEASE have Gibb and Evie’s story…  NOW!!!!!  Their story promises to be an incredible one and I cannot wait for it to come out!

four-stars

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Let It Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 stars

May 26, 2015 Read in 2015, 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.

Let It Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 starsLet It Ride by Vivian Arend
Published by NLA Digital LLC on 2015-05-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 187
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

He’s her rock in the midst of the storm

When Maggie Ward’s world is torn apart by sudden tragedy, the only thing that makes her days bearable is Clay Thompson’s unwavering presence. He’s protective, caring, and everything she could ask for in a friend. But when she finds herself longing for more than friendship, it will take a little seduction to convince the stubborn mechanic she’s ready to start living again.

She’s his heart, whether he knows it or not

Clay Thompson’s got the taking-care-of-others business down pat, only he’s never faced this particular challenge before—the one woman he’s always wanted is unexpectedly his to care for. Suddenly it's not just responsibility driving him, but a wild desire to make Maggie truly his. But following his heart might mean sacrificing the family he’s held together for years.

Tissue Warning on this one!!!

I have to say you will need them at the beginning and again as things come to a head but…  this story is so worth the pain.  There is something about the pair and how they truly do find a match in one another which honestly is true to what some people experience in their lives.  While the beginning was a bit brutal the love that they share made up for the pain.

Maggie has had everything collapse around her but the one thing she counts on is her friendship with Clay.  She’s strong and definitely hurting but I loved her dedication to living life and not hiding from everything that has happened.  You’ll love her willingness to admit when she needs help but also love that she doesn’t always need it.  She is strong and she’ll need to be in order to prove to everyone that she’s the best match for a strong man.  While not everyone will approve of their relationship I think that it was perfect and quite honestly where she needed to be.  Her willingness to open her heart back up to a man who meant so much to her and her past was wonderful to see but also to see that she truly saw him as his own person made me happiest.  She isn’t trying to replace what she had but is reaching for life again where she’s happy and whole.

Clay was amazing.  He’s so strong and caring that you’ll adore him as he struggles with doing what he thinks is right and taking what he wants.  Once he makes his mind up well….  actually hmmmmmm Maggie made it damn hard for him to stay “honorable” which is what he needed in order to be hers.  He’s also very family driven and what happens in this story made me mad for him and had my heart break a bit.  This moment doesn’t diminish the story in any way but makes it very clear what he wants and needs.  I enjoyed seeing his care and concern for Maggie with regards to sentiment in town but honestly she’s strong enough and to see her call him on his ways made me smile.  I also enjoyed that the one thing that could’ve kept them apart is what made them strong enough to reach for what was in front of them.

You get two strong people who have been brought to their knees by tragedy but where they end up is a beautiful place with a bit of trouble along the way…  I loved this story and can’t wait for more….

five-stars

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Moment of Clarity – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

May 6, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, 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.

Moment of Clarity – Karen Stivali – 5 starsPublished by Dreamspinner Press Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Moments in Time: Book Three

Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.

As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin's brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin's relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother's custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.

In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.

This series has been a very enlightening one with realistic stressors on our heroes and a chance for some to see the varied reactions that can happen when someone comes out.  I found Karen’s treatment of Collin and Tanner to be handled with a deft hand as not everything will be perfect but love can truly overcome all.

Tanner and Collin have gone thru a lot of things and of course we can’t have their lives be completely drama-free.  They are looking forward to getting back in the dorms but unfortunately there has been a small incident that means they can’t check in.  They end up bunking temporarily with Collin’s brother who is going thru his own drama with a wife that has abandoned him and the kids.  They have a good life and routine going while they wait for the dorms to complete but still can’t completely be together which is driving them insane.  A moment of weakness results in a disaster that runs them over to a friend until their dorm becomes available.

Life in the dorms is going well… School is going well…. and then disaster strikes in the form of homophobic behavior and the boys are trying to deal with the fall out when a true friend gives them a chance to have a home without fear or having to hide who they are to one another.  They are starting to be happy and then yet another strike comes at Collin which makes him do something that I truly wanted to slap him for being so dense but I did get why he thought what he thought.  I loved Tanner’s mother and what she does even as Collin tries to separate himself from everyone.

My favorite moment has to be the ending as we finally get Collin to be accepted by those around him and get the support he so desperately needed.  He’s finally grown in to his skin which shines thru to those around him.  The moments at the end give you hope and a great feeling for their future.

five-stars

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The Tears of the Rose – Jeffe Kennedy – 4 stars

May 4, 2015 Kensington, Read in 2015, 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.

The Tears of the Rose – Jeffe Kennedy – 4 starsThe Twelve Kingdoms: The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy
Published by Kensington Books on 2014-11-25
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 336
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs--and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive. . .

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn--or a queen?

For a chance to win a paper copy of The Talon of the Hawk please go here.

I am going to admit something…  This is my least favorite sister of the series but her book is well done.  I didn’t dislike her as strongly after this as I did by the end of the last book but she still isn’t the favorite one of the trio.  I also found the way this story unfolds to be intriguing and it left me ready for MORE.

We know Ami as the spoiled one… the favorite daughter of the High King who has always gotten what she wanted.  She’s managed to find a man who adores her but then has her perfect life ruined by his death.  She’s driven to find out who killed her precious true love and when she finds out it was her sister…  well then her sister is evil.  I got why she was upset but her refusal to even listen to those around her trying to get her to understand what happened just served to enforce the spoiled rotten view of her.  Her adoration and devotion to being the spoiled princess devoted only to her Goddess and her now-deceased love takes a bit of a beating as she starts to be intrigued by a monk in white that seems to push her to be more than just a pretty face.  As she finally starts to open her eyes to the world around her we finally get to see a woman emerge that may prove to be a formidable foe for the challenges that lie ahead.  I enjoyed seeing her finally realize that her actions have true consequences and that she needs to make her own mind up in order to truly see what is waiting for her in her future.  She’s stronger than I expected once the worst of the bratty child goes away.

Ash…  I enjoyed this scarred man who wasn’t swayed by the bratty princess but pushed her to be something more.  He’s such a sweet man under the scars and attitude but mainly his heart shines thru to show a man driven by duty and love.  His strength and unique talents serve this tale well plus set up some action we see in the next book.  I loved how he didn’t accept her originally and actually wasn’t afraid to show her how badly she has acted over the years.  He shows her that life didn’t end when Hugh was killed but that she not only could live again… she could find a love that in most respects is truer than the one she thought was perfect.  He wants her not the avatar… not the beautiful princess..  not a woman to be spoiled and worshipped but…  a woman with flaws and all that is true to herself and not a puppet on a string.  His sacrifices for her were amazing and beautiful.

Overall this is a good story with a few surprises but mainly I found this to be a big redemption for a character I wasn’t fond of in any way, shape, or form from the last book.  I liked how she was changing and was very glad to see her come out of her spoiled background.

four-stars

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