Source: the Author

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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
Format: eARC
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 Format: eARC
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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Don’t Walk Away – Vivian Arend/Elle Kennedy – 4 stars

April 30, 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.

Don’t Walk Away – Vivian Arend/Elle Kennedy – 4 starsDon't Walk Away by Vivian ArendElle Kennedy
Published by NLA Digital LLC on 2015-04-21
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Humorous, Romance
Pages: 211
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Book 3 of the DreamMakers. A red-hot collaboration from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors VIVIAN AREND and ELLE KENNEDY.

He wants to rock her world—in bed and out of it

For former Army Ranger Dean Colter, sexual escapades and wild flirtations are the norm—but it wasn’t always that way. Years ago, the DreamMakers co-owner was a one-woman kind of guy until he tore Emma Lee’s heart apart. Yet he’s never forgotten her, and when Emma waltzes back into his life, a second chance is suddenly within his reach…and he’ll be damned if he’ll screw up again.

She wants her world to stop spinning apart

Emma’s no longer the naïve girl she used to be. Now a successful designer in the fashion world, she refuses to let Dean’s killer smile and sweet-talking ways distract her from her goals. But being the target of Dean’s full-out seduction isn’t easy to resist, even as the dynasty she’s built teeters toward disaster. This time she might the one who breaks both their hearts when she has to walk away.

--------------

DreamMakers
All Fired Up (Parker & Lynn)
Love Is A Battlefield (Jack & Pepper)
Don't Walk Away (Dean & Emma)

I have to start this off with the note that I adore Vivian Arend as both an author and a person I have been lucky enough to spend time with in real life.  I am sad that I won’t get to see her this year but I still have her writing to keep me company….

I have been looking forward to seeing our resident Casanova get knocked on his ass by love and this story was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO worth the wait.  He’s down for the count and we get to see a side of him that we had a feeling was there hidden underneath the swagger.  Dean is such a sweet, sensitive man under the talk and OHHHHH BOY can he talk….  I loved seeing his confidence take a back seat to truly wanting something real with Emma.  He shows his vulnerability to her and I enjoyed seeing him struggle with what he wants while not being certain if she is on the same page with him or not.  He’s so willing to show her all that he has to offer her but at the same time acknowledging that he might lose her this time.  I loved his personality and the glimpse of what made him in to the man we adored in the first two books.  He’s deeper than many give him credit for and for this I adored him.

Emma was a surprise to me.  I didn’t always care for her dismissal of him at the start but I understood where it was coming from as we got the story of their younger years.  She’s strong but isn’t always aware of how strong she truly is.  She hides behind a shell but with Dean’s affection and support we see her step out of the shadows to be her own person.  She doesn’t need Dean to carry her but needed the kick in the pants he provides her to show her she really is strong.  I liked seeing her start to open up to those around her and even more enjoyed that she didn’t hesitate to ask Dean for everything he had not just a pretty, soft side of himself.  She’s definitely his match and I enjoyed seeing them surprise each other.

Overall this has been a fun series of books and I hope to see more from this duo of authors….

four-stars

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Moment of Truth – Karen Stivali – 4.5 stars

March 9, 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.

Moment of Truth – Karen Stivali – 4.5 starsMoment of Truth by Karen Stivali
Published by Dreamspinner Press on 2015-03-04
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 113
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Moments in Time: Book Two

Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he's living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being "out" takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

I have to start with the fact that I really tend to enjoy everything Karen Stivali writes and have enjoyed getting to spend time with her in person at a couple of conventions.  I am also looking forward to seeing her in Dallas this year and getting to congratulate her for this wonderfully honest series.  Collin and Tanner do not have an easy road ahead of them but we get to see more of how they really feel about one another without having to hide who they are to one another.  I look forward to the next story in the series but let’s chat about this one first…

We get to see the boys in a wonderful environment where there is no judgment about being gay and they can finally be open in their affection for one another.  I adored seeing Collin start to come out of his shell and be open with his feelings even as he struggles with the loss of his family.  The way that we get to see his struggle with who he is and what he wants is heartbreaking but very honest as not everyone going thru this struggle has a great support system.  His struggle makes it difficult for Tanner to know exactly how he stands with Collin but Tanner is very patient with this and understands.  They do have some conflict but the conflict is handled well and is completely understandable when it comes.

There is also a side story with a woman from Tanner’s father’s past and someone extremely close to our boys…  I am going to be honest here and say that I hope this person realizes the major mistake they’ve made sooner rather than later as to lose someone that truly is a friend is a very sad price to pay for someone that doesn’t deserve it.  I do admit that it would’ve been nice for something to have been said earlier in the summer but I did understand why they kept their suspicions to themselves even as I wanted them to spill the secret.

If you want to see a story that builds at a realistic pace and that also shows how much pain being narrow-minded can cause someone who doesn’t fit the “traditional” mold then please read this.  It is a struggle too many people go thru in the world where in some places being gay can be a death penalty.  I have enjoyed watching their relationship build and look forward to seeing what happens when they get back to school.

four-half-stars

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Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

March 2, 2015 Read in 2015, Samhain, 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.

Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsLiving in Secret Published by Samhain Publishing on February 24, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

She always tried to be good, but now he needs her to be bad…

Living In…, Book 3

Lawyers Connor and Victoria Blake had a high-powered marriage to match their meteoric careers—until a secret from Victoria’s past came back to haunt her. A year after it all fell apart, Victoria is ready for a new job, a new town.

Instead of signing the divorce papers, though, her husband has a tempting proposal—one week of no holds barred before moving on with their lives. She’s never stopped wanting him, but he’s always kept the deepest part of himself locked away.

Connor already endured one brutal betrayal in his life, and Victoria’s cut him to the core. But during a naughty game of one-upmanship with a sexy stranger, he sees a different woman, whose warmth and passion he craves like a drug.

In one week they expose dark passions that set them both free. But amidst searing desire that should fuse them together, Connor is coming to the brink of a decision to choose what’s more important. The last secret he’s holding inside, or the woman he can’t let go.

Warning: Contains a man coming to terms with his inner darkness, a woman ready to match him kink for kink, secrets, lies, and a marriage getting its sexy back. Could take readers on a one-way ticket to WTF city.

Where to begin…

Jackie always brings the angsty heroes which I adore even as I cry because of the way they hit my buttons.  I also like her heroine’s strength and the way they won’t take crap from the hero.

Victoria just wants one thing…. her estranged husband’s signature on their divorce papers.  She is getting ready to uproot her life and head to London to begin again but she needs those pesky papers signed.  She’s repressed and seemingly always in control but she hides a deep need to be accepted for who she is and not what people expect from her.  I liked her drive and also enjoyed how she was able to get under our hero’s skin but didn’t like how she expected him to bare his soul but wasn’t willing to do so in return.  She’s at her best when she finally admits what she wants and needs which doesn’t happen completely until the very end of the story.

Connor is intense.  This is the best way to describe him and when you read this story I think you’ll agree.  He’s very driven to be perfect and in control.  He’s also driven to prosecute the lawbreakers and make sure that justice is done but is very passionless when it came to his marriage.  This is a part of his extreme control and hides a man that is very good at being bad.  He craves a chance to let loose and sees using what Victoria needs to get her out of his system.  As he breaks down and gives in to his baser needs he ends up finding out that what is best for him might be to finally tell the story of his past.  I hated what he went thru as a child but liked that Victoria saw the truth behind his actions and didn’t believe the same way that Connor did.

The sex scenes are intense as both of them are so repressed that when the control is gone…. when they finally let their bodies take what they crave and need… *fans self*  LOVED.

 

four-half-stars

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Rocky Retreat – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars – Contest

January 30, 2015 Contest, 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.

Rocky Retreat – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars – ContestRocky Retreat Published by VIvian Arend on January 13, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

Finding white-hot love in a white-out…

Eight months ago, Lee Coleman met the woman of his dreams…then lost her to another man. He buried his disappointment by throwing himself into work on the family ranch, but when a winter storm leaves him stranded, Lee finds more than shelter in the rustic safety of a hunter’s cabin—he finds a second shot at love.

Rachel Malone’s heart has been broken and stomped on by her cheating ex, and she’s determined to never fall in love again. But a rebound fling? Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, especially when she’s snowed-in with a gorgeous, sweet-talking Coleman.

Despite their off-the-charts chemistry, Lee makes it clear he wants more than a temporary romp. In fact, he’s made it his mission to put a smile back on her face, even if it means taking it slow and resisting the scorching heat between them. This time around, he wants forever, while Rachel is positive that forever is a fool’s dream.

Lee can’t wait to prove her wrong…

This story is a part of a box set – Cowboys Last All Night – that is available now and are the links on the site at this time.  This title will be released on its own on February 17th but hey multiple stories for 99 cents..  YAY!!!  I haven’t read the others yet but grabbed my own copy of the box set for later consumption.

 

Once again Viv gives us a story with heart and heat where a yummy cowboy finally has a chance to get the woman he thought could never be his.

I loved this chance for a younger man to show an older woman that not only is he the man for her but he isn’t just a rebound.  He wants all she is not just a chance at having her in his bed.  I truly enjoyed seeing Lee manage to control his need for Rachel by taking things slow.  He was the one to put a stop on their scorching interlude in the cabin but it definitely isn’t because he doesn’t want her.  He wants her to truly understand that he’s playing for keeps no matter how badly she wants this to just be a recover from the asshole ex sort of thing.

I enjoyed seeing him show Rachel how much he cared for her by just being there for her at every chance he got.  He’s trying to take it slow since she just had a disastrous marriage but his taking it slow gives her time to second guess everything.  She’s conflicted as she struggles to come to terms with falling for a man who cheated on her before the ink was even down on their marriage license and now a man that is much younger than her seems to want her?  I understood her struggle with body issues and the whole age thing as it impacts many of us.  I was happy that Lee showed her repeatedly that he wanted her …  just her… and age, body type and other things just weren’t a big deal to him.

This is a warm yet sexy story about a strong woman finding her real partner with a man that she not only deserves but needs.  Both characters show their connection in not only words but in actions in and outside of the bedroom.  I enjoyed this installment in the series and look forward to more!

Ok…  I am starting a new Friday tradition here at the blog…  On each Friday I will do a review or post that will have a giveaway that will be mainly paper copies but at times could be e-copies or other items that just strike my fancy.  This first giveaway is a signed paperback copy of Vivian Arend’s High Seduction and some miscellaneous swag including lip balm and a bottle opener.  To enter just comment if you’ve ever read one of her stories or if you’ve ever been invisible to someone you have crushed on.  Entries must be received by Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 11:59 pm US Central.  I will draw a winner then so GOOD LUCK!!!

four-half-stars

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Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

January 15, 2015 Read in 2015, 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.

Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsRocky Mountain Romance by Vivian Arend
on 2014-10-21
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Western
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Rocky Mountain Romance (Six Pack Ranch Book 7)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MS7HIQ2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

~~**From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Vivian Arend.**~~

Second chances are the sweetest—and the hottest.

It took a spectacularly embarrassing break-up to knock Steve Moonshine Coleman off his lazy butt. In the ten months since that night, he’s changed his ways. Now that Melody’s back in town, it’s time for this sweet-talking cowboy to convince her to get back in the saddle with him.

A return to her veterinary position in Rocky Mountain House was always in the cards for Melody Langley. Getting back together with Steve? Never part of the plan. He had lots of potential but zero ambition, and there’s no way she’ll accept anything less than a man who can keep up with her, in and out of bed.

But the new-and-improved cowboy is impossible to resist, so Melody issues a challenge. Three months to prove he’s reformed. Three months of Steve orchestrating one sexual indulgence after another—‪wicked distractions from the old boys’ club Melody faces at work and Steve's growing responsibilities‬.

He’s got one shot to prove with more than words what’s in his heart and soul.

Warning: Fifty percent less angst, twice as much filthy-talking, dirty-daring cowboy. Get ready for a whole lot of make-your-knees-weak wooing from a man intent on proving he’s got what it takes, and the woman ready to push him way past his limits.

I hate that it took me so long to read this book but when I did…  as usual..  I loved it.  Vivian has a way with making you love her cowboys and appreciate the strength that her heroines have.  Both of the characters have vulnerabilities and the way you get to know them as the story progresses makes you cheer louder when they finally get everything together.

Melody is back where she considers home and doing what she loves best, taking care of animals, but she also is back where she had her heart broken.  Well maybe not broken but hurt by someone that meant more to her than he knew or seemed to feel about her.  She’s determined to not let him mean anything to her now so why is she driving in to town via roads that are on his family’s land?  She gets to see him much sooner than she expected and is trying to convince herself that he doesn’t make her want to do all sorts of things with him (which I heartily agree with) but she’s surprised by his more mature behavior.  I liked that she was cautious with him but that she also let him in even as other things were getting crazy.  She’s strong but open to letting things fall where they may and doesn’t tend to let the little things throw her.  I also appreciated that she wasn’t willing to be a doormat but also didn’t immediately fly off the handle at situations she was placed in.  She takes her time and evaluates the situation then tries to take the path that will support change but not offend and allow everyone to save face.  She also is willing to admit to her own shortcomings when push comes to shove and that was appreciated.

Steve admits he was a bit of a child when he and Melody imploded.  He didn’t take things too seriously but now he’s changed and realized that he may have lost the one woman who was/is his world.  He’s not too proud to admit that he made mistakes but he wants a chance to prove he’s not the same boy that she knew.  He’s grown up and is all man now but he’s a man who wants a partner.  He doesn’t want it to be all about him but all about them and what they can build.  He is extremely happy when Melody returns and starts his campaign to get her to give them another chance as soon as he sees her.  What we get to see is a hero that will do all in his power to prove to his heroine that he is it for her.  I loved his family and their “assistance” but mainly that he was willing to listen to those around him to really figure out what Melody needed and wanted from him.  He listens to her but at times it does take a third party to open his eyes to what it could look like to her.  I liked how willing he was to admit to his mistakes and try to fix them by opening his mind up to other opinions but mainly that he listened to her when he was making plans for them.

I hope you will give this series a shot as it has been such a wonderful set of stories centered around a family that truly knows what it means to work, love and enjoy life.

four-half-stars

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Moment of Impact – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

January 6, 2015 Read in 2014, Sent 0

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

Moment of Impact – Karen Stivali – 5 starsMoment of Impact Published by Dreamspinner on January 7, 2015
Genres: Coming of Age
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Moment of Impact (Moments in Time Book 1)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00RO1Z6ZC" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who'd disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner's not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

I admit to being a fan of Karen Stivali’s work and of her as a person.  I have had the chance to spend time with her at both RT and RAGT which makes me even happier to read the work she produces.  She’s a lovely lady with a matching introvert’s soul that means we both love to hide rather than be out in large groups.  She’s starting something new and I’ve been lucky enough to read this before it hits the rest of you…

This is a very honest read about a young man finally being able to have something he craved but was (is) afraid to completely embrace.  You see Collin is gay and in his very traditional Catholic family this is the highest level of sin you could ever commit.  He struggles with trying to be the straight guy everyone expects but wanting to find love with his roommate, Tanner.  He thinks that Tanner is straight I mean he’s all over his girlfriend so why would he be bi or gay???  When he discovers that Tanner wants him we don’t see an instant “I’m here and I’m queer” moment but we get a true struggle as he opens up to his needs.  He’s so wound up and repressed it was heartbreaking to read but I loved how we saw him struggle to express his needs and be ok with them.  He’s got a lot to learn about life but seeing him try was powerful.

Tanner is the perfect offset to Collin’s uptight and scared persona.  He’s open and yet not blatant about his sexuality but he was lucky enough to have family that is more open to other lifestyles so it made it a bit easier for him.  He also is very patient with Collin as he understands that not only are we dealing with a virgin to most sexual activities but we are also dealing with a man who has been taught his whole life that who he is at his core is vile and disgusting.  I appreciated that he was patient but I also adored him for pushing to have something real with Collin that isn’t hidden.  He’s a good guy who really does adore his Collin but is not willing to be completely hidden from those around them.

This is not an easy read in a lot of respects and seeing the confrontation with Collin’s mom was heartbreaking but needed.  I liked that Karen didn’t make this one easy but kept it honest in the way the struggle plays out.  I look forward to seeing more of this pair and watching as both men work towards each other.

 

In honor of this start to a new series I am going to give away two Nook or Kindle copies to readers of this post.  To enter just tell me the last great book you’ve read or just say “Hi” to Karen.  Also please tell me Nook or Kindle.

This contest is not sponsored by Karen but by me to support this new series.  Entries must be in by January 9, 2015 at 11:59 pm CT.

five-stars

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Clarence – Sarah M Anderson – 4 stars

December 22, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

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

Clarence – Sarah M Anderson – 4 starsClarence on December 25, 2014
Pages: 94
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Clarence (Men of the White Sandy Book 4)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00R80J0A6" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Clarence Thunder may not be as young as he once was . . .

But is he as good once as he ever was? He hopes so. He’s been watching Tammy Tall Trees, the young single mother who works next door in the Child Care Center. He wants to show Tammy he can take care of her and her young son—but can he compete with the boy’s real father?

Tammy was crushed when her old boyfriend abandoned her after she got pregnant. Since then, she’s put her son first—which means no dating. Who would want a broke single mother, anyway? Certainly not Clarence—one of the best men on the White Sandy. Until one day, the older man starts making her coffee—and bringing her son toys. Can she put herself first—or will her past catch up to them both?

This was another sweet entry in the Men of White Sandy series and focuses on our favorite male nurse.  I enjoyed this glimpse of the reservation and especially loved seeing Nobody again in a much healthier place.

Clarence is happy being a nurse even as others have given him grief about being a man in a woman’s job.  He only needs one more thing that he hasn’t held out hope for, a woman to love and care for.  He’s a good guy who can be scary if needed but mainly has a very sweet heart that has now found someone he thinks is his match.  He does so many sweet things in this story even as he does one sort of stupid growly caveman move.  I enjoyed seeing him work out how to spend time with his lady love and not frighten her off as she’s been burned in the past.  He’s so unsure of himself and her feelings towards him which made it sweet to see his efforts pay off with a woman who will treat him as a treasure.

Tammy Tall Trees loves her son and does enjoy her job but finds herself intrigued by the nurse of the reservation clinic.  Sure he’s older but she can’t help but be interested in this man even as she is afraid of letting herself want something of her very own.  She was abandoned by the father of her son and while she adores her child she also finds herself wanting something more than she thinks she deserves.  She tries to put up roadblocks at every turn but Clarence just sneaks under her walls and becomes a part of her life in ways that make her happier than she thought she could ever be.  I liked her vulnerability and honesty with him but I did get a bit pissed about her not really showing or telling Clarence what she felt for him.  She’s torn when her ex comes back in town but she believes that she has to give him a shot with his kid.  I understood why she did what she did but dammit….  The great thing is she was honest with herself about what she needed and I could appreciate that.

This is a very quick read but a sweet one.  If you’ve read the rest in the series you definitely want to grab this one and if you haven’t read the series..  well…. get moving…

Special thanks to Sarah M. Anderson for giving me the chance to read this.  She knows I love this series and has always been generous with getting them in my greedy little hands as fast as possible.

four-stars

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