Source: the Author

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Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!

August 18, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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 Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!Living in Shadow by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-08-12
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 232
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In..., Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student...and the scars remain eight years after it ended.Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

So…. imagine you’ve finally managed to move on with your life after years of being in an abusive relationship that makes you suppress your inner desires as they’d been used to hold you captive for so long.  They’d been twisted and torn but in your deepest self you need this in order to feel whole…. Well if you can imagine this then you know our heroine, Eleanor, and can see why she finds the young man at the front of the class she is teaching to be such a threat.  She’s not ready to let go again and trust in someone but he calls to her and she finds that the more she tries to control the situation by pushing him away the less control she actually has.  She’s such a strong character but  her need to submit is something that is core to her mental health that she is finding harder and harder to keep buried.  As she begins to trust this younger man she also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex and even more surprisingly finds that she is healing a younger man with an old soul who needs this bond they share to finally put his own demons to rest.

I’m going to keep Lucien’s story to myself and let you get to know him the way Eleanor does.  I will say he is amazingly hot and oh soooo yummy but his struggle with control will make you want to heal him.  He needs a strong woman who will push him to his limits but one that will yield to him, trust in him and love him enough to stand by him when the truth of his past comes out.  He’s so good at keeping others out that watching him let her in was oh so good.

I always love Jackie’s tortured heroes and heroines so this one was no exception.  They both have such an amazing amount of healing to do and seeing them find their way was very enjoyable.  As always Jackie’s very generous with me and my known grabby hands for all her stories so I can’t help but thank her for this story and the many others she’s sent my way.

 

So …  how about a quick giveaway???  Two Nook or Kindle copies up for grabs just tell me…  do you love tortured heroes/heroines as much as I do??  I’ll draw the winners on 8/22/14 at Noon Central so get your comments in before then!!!

five-stars

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Unbroken – Maisey Yates – 5 stars

August 1, 2014 Intermix, 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.

Unbroken – Maisey Yates – 5 starsUnbroken by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on 2014-08-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

In the latest Silver Creek romance from USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates, former rodeo star Cade Mitchell may never ride again, but there are still a few things he can do—like care for the woman he loves.   Amber Johnson has always thought of her best friend Cade as an older brother. A really hot older brother. But growing up in foster care, she learned to rely only on herself. As much as she likes stealing glances at Cade’s chiseled jaw and painted-on jeans, she resents the way he swoops in like a superhero to fix things for her.   When former rodeo rival Jim Davis starts harassing Amber to sell her grandfather’s failing ranch, Cade swoops in once again. To send Jim on his way, Cade pretends to be Amber’s boyfriend, moving in to help fix the place up. With her grandfather behind the idea, Amber and Cade have to keep the charade going—whether she likes it or not.   But as their make-believe romance starts to heat up, maybe Cade and Amber will learn to admit that they both could use a little saving…

I received this copy from Maisey while at the RT Convention in New Orleans.  I hadn’t read any of this series yet even though I had all of them and I am kicking myself for that.  I have since read every single one in a fast glom of the series and I can say ….  GIVE ME MORE!!  I loved this town and this family with all of its secrets.

Cade is still struggling to figure out who he is without rodeo.  He’s tired of feeling like nothing he does is worthwhile and feeling like a second wheel around his family ranch.  Cole is so set on what he wants to do with the place that even though Cade is a partner nothing will get done unless it is Cole’s way.  As someone starts making a move on his best friend Amber’s ranch he decides to step in to help in any way he can.  In this case it means pretending to be more than just friends but as the two of them start to live in the same house maybe just maybe they could burn off this sudden chemistry.  He’s such a complex character in the other stories but seeing him struggle with the mystery of who caused the incident that ended his rodeo career, his family dynamics, what he really wants from Amber and what he wants for his future was painful as hell.  I loved him when he finally said what he had needed to say to Cole for years but loved it more when he finally admitted what Amber meant to him.  They were so perfect together and seeing him truly embrace his best friend as his partner was amazing.

Amber was a perfect match for Cade.  She doesn’t put up with his crap and calls him on his behavior if he steps across boundaries.  I felt for her as she struggled to feel like she belonged even as she yearned for it with all of her heart.  She’s so guarded and prickly but with her past you can understand why it was so hard for her to realize what had been in front of her all these years.  I’m not just talking about her relationship with Cade but her relationship with her grandfather and the whole town.  She really wasn’t as alone as she thought she was but mainly she finally was able to admit that she truly did belong and wasn’t going to be sent away.  I think I loved how much she really tried to do the right thing for everyone even though it was misguided and seeing her finally admit her own weakness when it came to Cade was a wonderful moment.

I really hope to see more from this town and family because you know Cade/Cole/Lark/Nicole have potentially many more siblings out there so we have more fodder for stories in the future.. 😉

I think you will also like seeing Cade get some closure on who sabotaged him and I hope to see more of that character in order to see him get closure as well.  I’m not fond of him but …..

five-stars

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Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 Stars

July 1, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 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.

Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 StarsRiding the Wave by Lorelie Brown
Published by Penguin on 2014-07-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden. The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree. Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer...without getting burned?

Once again I have to applaud the hot read from Lorelie…  She has a winner on her hands with this one in that Tanner and Avalon not only have heat but there is such a wonderful love story in the way they finally found each other.

Tanner has been away for many years in order to spare his mom and sister the pain of his dad’s secret life.  He’s arrogant but at the same time hiding so much pain that it will take your breath away to read.  His arrogance leads him to do something that he believes is best but by doing so will it cause him to not only lose the family he loves but the woman who becomes everything to him.  I liked his intense love of his family but also agreed with something said by his mom in the book.  He needs to learn to let go and as much as it hurts not try to play God even if it is with the best of intentions.  As you watch him work thru this issue you are also treated to seeing the heat that sparks between he and Avalon but what I loved most was seeing the feelings that develop as they discover one another.

Avalon was a treat.  She is strong, sarcastic and has so much love to share with the world that you can’t help but want anything to make her happy.  As she opens her heart to the man that has always held it you see someone who struggles with not believing in herself enough to stand up for what she deserves.  She keeps secrets but I understood why even as I knew it would cause her so much pain when it was discovered.  I loved her ability to sacrifice something vital in order to try to heal a family that means more than everything to her.  Her willingness to push Tanner was refreshing even as we know it hurts her to do.  As she finds out everything about the secret he was hiding you feel her pain in the betrayal of the man she thought of as a surrogate father but more you feel the pain as she struggles to understand how she might be able to help everyone heal.

I loved this story and am looking forward to more from this series…  My guess as to who Sage is going to end up with will hopefully prove true as watching that fight should prove fun.  If my guess proves out the reactions will prove to be priceless…

Thanks to Lorelie for sending me a copy of this with no expectations of review let alone expectations of a good one.

five-stars

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One Sexy Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 stars

June 23, 2014 Read in 2014, 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.

One Sexy Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 starsOne Sexy Ride on June 24, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

His goal is to stand firm

As the middle child in a big family, Len Thompson has found it easy to slip under the radar. His relationships outside the family-run garage tend to run a mile wide but only an inch deep as he keeps his heart, body and soul protected. But when the one woman he’s always wanted makes it known she’ll soon be leaving town, he can’t resist letting her into his carefully constructed fortress.

Her gift is rocking his world

Chasing her best friend’s big brother has both entertained and frustrated Janey for years. She’s not sure what triggered his change of heart, but hell, yeah, she’ll accept it. All of it. Every kiss, every touch, every bit of body-shaking pleasure. Working to meet her renovation deadline is suddenly not nearly as interesting as the mind-blowing escapades she’s enjoying with the big sexy mechanic.

When old fears threaten, Len must finally choose—face his past or let their future crumble.

Len… Len… Len… Now once again Vivian is a master at torturing me by letting me see the blurb at RT but… not letting me see the book until I whined on Twitter when I saw another reviewer had read it.  The great news is this was an AWESOME read to come back from RAGT with so YAY!

Ok..  here is one major reason you should grab this one:

Ready??

You sure???

*deep breath*

VIRGIN HERO!!!!!!!!!

Yes I said:

VIRGIN HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As many of us know these are rare in romance land but Len is a virgin and is so damn sexy he’ll make you melt.  He’s such a goner for Janey and has been for years so when he thinks she is leaving town he decides to finally go after what he has always wanted.  In his mind since she is leaving he can safely keep her away from all the hurt he thinks he is only capable of giving her.  His thinking is she won’t be invested in long-term with him and they can both indulge in a quick affair that will hurt neither of them but provide them both with closure and fond memories.  I loved Len even as he made me cry but in the end all the pain was worth it.  I adored watching him finally have the one thing he’s always wanted but kept himself away from because of his deep dark issues.  They are something else when they finally indulge in their chemistry but seeing how they both struggle with what they want in life was the best part of this story.

Janey isn’t looking a gift horse in the mouth once Len makes his move.  She’s torn because she really isn’t sure if this is real and even worse if she can manage to stay in town once she’s finished her childhood home’s renovation.  She has loved Len for years but he’s never seemed to notice her and she had just finally decided to let her dreams of him go.  I adored how she handled finding out he was a virgin and that she really let him take the lead in when they finally would consummate their relationship.  Her willingness to let Len be his silent, broody self when he needed to be but to push him when his silent ways put a major obstacle in their path.  My heart broke with her as yours will but trust me the payoff is so worth it.

Like usual I enjoyed this sexy, sweet and yet sob inducing read from Vivian and I cannot thank her enough for being willing to send it to me in exchange for my honest review.  While I may sob and shake my fists at her when she is torturing me I know that she won’t leave me hanging too long plus the reward is worth the torture.

By the way —  Make sure to have a box of tissues by you when you read this…  you will need them!!!!!

 

five-stars

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Go With Me – Elyssa Patrick – 4.5 stars

June 17, 2014 Read in 2014, 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.

Go With Me – Elyssa Patrick – 4.5 starsGo With Me on June 19, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
four-half-stars

I, Daphne Fox, have a few things to confess:

1. I hate Nick Brady. Loathe. Abhor. Can’t stand him 95% of the time.
2. That other 5%? I’m not talking about that at all.
3. People think I’m lucky for surviving the car crash. I disagree.
4. Nick is the only guy who makes my nightmares go away.
5. I won’t love him, though. Love is not worth the pain.

I, Nick Brady, have a few confessions of my own:

1. I don’t hate Daphne Fox. At all.
2. I find her scar sexy. Just like the rest of her.
3. I may be her older brother’s best friend, but that’s not going to stop me.
4. I love her.
5. And I’m going to do everything I can to have her.

Nick “Fucking” Brady…. I loved seeing this pop-up in Stay With Me and adored this hero with a giddy passion.  He’s so sure of what he wants even as he tolerates his heroine not recognizing his interest.  Well when he finally decides to make his move and let her know he’s no longer going to sit back and wait for her to wake up it is just intense.  He’s got his moments when you want to slap him but overall he just lights up the pages when you get to see him be so willing to wait until she finally accepts what they have together.  There are more times when I wanted to yell at Daphne to quit being so scared to let him in than when I wanted to slap Nick for being an idiot but I think you will fall in love with his sincere adoration of everything that she is.  He really does know her and see her but demands that she also see him to let him in and trust him.  Can you tell I adored him???

Daphne was a bit harder of a sell at times.  I loved that she was so loyal to her family and friends but at the same time was frustrated by the fact that she didn’t always see how badly she was hurting Nick by being so stubbornly afraid to let him in.  I understood it because of what happened to her in the past but at the same time I just wanted her to really give him what he deserved which was all of her.  She’s strong as hell and when she finally comes to terms with everything that happened to her and what she really wanted from Nick it was wonderful.  I still got frustrated with her regarding Caleb but I did understand it and was happy that Jamie managed to get her to really see what she was doing.  She’s got such a wonderful heart behind her smart-alec ways and seeing how much care Nick took to push her to open herself back up really was touching.

If you haven’t read Stay With Me please go out and grab that one so you can see how everything plays out and lines up.  I personally cannot wait for more from this series and am ready to see Jamie meet his match in Zelda.

Special thanks to Elyssa Patrick for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I really did enjoy this and look forward to seeing the rest of them fall hard for their heroines.

four-half-stars

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Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

May 29, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 1

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

Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsMoon Shine by Vivian Arend
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-05-27
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 276
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

When the past hurts, it bites. Takhini Wolves, Book 4Meet Evan Stone. Laid-back, in-control Alpha of the Takhini Wolves. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got a good handle on his world. At least, he did—until the night he ends up in jail, soaking wet and wondering what the hell just happened. The “what” is Amy Ryba, a vengeful female who’s decided it’s long past time to make Evan pay for his sins. Amy has spent years tracking him down, and the last nine months working in secret to destroy him. She’s ready for anything—except discovering the shifter she hates is her mate. Suddenly, Evan’s not so very in control, of himself or his pack. And unless Amy can learn to forgive and forget, she’ll have to do the unthinkable: reject her mate. With two packs watching, one thing is certain. Their personal issues won’t stay personal for long. If Amy and Evan can’t find a way to work together, there won’t be a happily-ever-after for them...or any of the wolves of Whitehorse. Warning: Contains angsty wolves. Lots of angsty wolves causing explosions of all sorts, playing bad pranks, hacking computers, and having angry sex against a wall or two. Not all at the same time, though, because that would be silly.

This review is very hard for me to write as I don’t want to give away everything but at the same time that is the only way I can get across how much I loved this story.

I’m going to try to summarize why this was an awesome read and not give away too much but I will ask that everyone reading this story –  KEEP AN OPEN MIND ABOUT AMY!!!  I know many are disappointed in the fact that Evan is not ending up with Caroline but believe me if you truly keep an open mind about Amy you will understand why she is the only one that could make our precious Evan happy and whole.  She really does match him so well even when you have moments of doubt while reading this please step back and think about both of their actions over the series…  even when we didn’t know who she was…

My niggle with this story and the only thing that bothered me was Evan isn’t his normal man-child self during it but this is what made it real to me and to the characters…  He needed to be pushed out of his comfort zone in order to become the man he is by the end of the book.  I wish we had a bit more time to see the two of them settled so maybe Vivian will give that to us later…  *HINT HINT*  He’s off-kilter most of this story as his long-term plans for his pack and the other in town become more complicated than he ever imagined.  He also has to deal with a series of catastrophes without his trusty Caroline to handle them and this throws him even more off his normal game than even knowing his mate is out there somewhere.  When he meets Amy and discovers she is his mate he has to scramble to figure out what he needs to do in order to be who she needs him to be.  I loved the honor that is innate in him and wanted to shake him at times as his stubborn ways would not see what she was trying to tell him.  As he loses control of his pack and self you feel the pain but if you keep yourself open to what is going on around him you can see why this had to be so painful for him and her.  He takes what she is willing to give him but he is in pain with the need for her driving him to make major changes in his life.  The outcome of this pain is so beyond wonderful and the Evan that emerges from it is more amazing than the one that went in to it which made me very happy!

Amy is extremely complicated and as much as I know many will be wanting her blood because of the pain she puts Evan thru I also know that she was hurting just as badly.  She has reasons behind her actions and those aren’t perfect but are understandable.  You’ll love her heart and soul as she works so hard to take care of those in her pack while at the same time coming to terms with Evan.  She’s just as shocked by finding him to be her mate and watching her heart struggle with this news was just as painful.  She makes very valid points to him about life in general and just wants him to be open to her ideas.  She aches for love and acceptance which makes her willing to potentially do the unthinkable thing of rejecting her mate.  Vivian does a great job showing her struggles which helped me soften towards this complicated woman with her own wily ways that are in many respects Evan times 1000…  LOL  Add to this her own past that intersects our beloved Evan’s and we get a very complex, strong woman who is his match in ways that Caroline couldn’t be.  This is a great story of two very complicated people finding out what they need is the last person they ever expected it with.

I hated seeing the struggles these two had and the repercussions for their packs but in the end it is what was needed to give two amazing people their HEA.  I am sad to see this series come to an end but know that Evan and Amy are in a strong place to allow their people to grow, be happy and live wonderful lives!

Special thanks to Vivian Arend for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Now…  when do we get more BEARS????  Oh… and DRAGONS!!!!!

four-half-stars

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Four Weddings and a Break Up – Elyssa Patrick – 4 stars

May 12, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 1

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

Four Weddings and a Break Up – Elyssa Patrick – 4 starsFour Weddings and a Break Up by Elyssa Patrick
Published by Elyssa Patrick on 2014-05-12
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 370
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-stars

**NEW RELEASE SPECIAL! $2.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME!**From Elyssa Patrick comes a light, sexy, emotional contemporary romance perfect for fans of Jill Shalvis, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Bella Andre, about what happens when a fake relationship becomes all too real.One fake relationship . . .Ginny Michaels has always been a good girl and—ever since surviving a school shooting a little over a year ago—hailed a hero. Except she doesn’t feel like a hero. She can’t even have a one-night stand with sexy Wes Dalton properly. When her big city fling resurfaces in her hometown with an intriguing proposition, she’s powerless to resist. A fake relationship is exactly what’s needed to keep her small town’s matchmakers at bay during the upcoming wedding season. If only her attraction to Wes were as easy to ignore.Too many real kisses . . .Wes Dalton doesn’t have many regrets, and that includes his night with Ginny. But he’s always hoped to strengthen his relationship with his estranged family. When his father’s health takes a bad turn, Wes puts his life on hold and moves to the meddling seaside town of Cape Hope. With his barriers in place—and a beautiful woman to help him hold them up—he’s prepared for anything. Or so he thinks. Despite his determination to leave as soon as the summer is over, those fake kisses are starting to feel an awful lot like the real thing.

Wonderful story about a woman finding out that she’s worth and deserves everything in the world while finding a man who finally learns what love is.  I enjoyed seeing the couple find themselves as they navigated a fake relationship that became something more than they ever dreamed.

After a dare from her sister and sister’s friends Ginny finds herself approaching the man that she nicknamed Mr. Dangerous with the intent of giving him her phone number, getting a kiss and asking him out on a date.  She ends up doing something even more unexpected when they have a very quick encounter on the wall outside the bar which is quickly doused by his comments post-coitus.  She has always seen herself as invisible and undesirable but for a very brief moment a gorgeous man seemed to want her and no one else.  When she runs in to him again in her small hometown she finds herself incredibly hurt when he doesn’t even seem to remember her at all which just serves to reinforce her personal feelings of being nothing.  I liked her strength but at the same time you will want to shake her when she seems to be willing to accept the crumbs she is given but is unable to push for her voice to really be heard.  I was very happy when she finally realizes that she is worth more and needs to quit settling for being in the shadows.  She’s smart and with everything she has gone thru recently she deserves something that will make her happy.

Wes is an ass at the beginning.  Well actually I can’t completely call him an ass even as he behaves like one because you do see that he instantly realizes his behavior and while not wanting to completely admit why he is reacting the way he does he owns his mistakes.  He’s had his own demons to slay over the years and they have left him very unwilling to consider anything other than flings so when he sees Ginny he decides to resolve an annoyance and proposes a fake relationship while he is in town dealing with family issues.  They put down rules for each other and even have a safe word that made me laugh but results in a wonderful gesture at the end.  Wes takes a lot to start to love but you do fall for his endearing ways even as he tries so hard to not admit what she means to him.  He’s strong, stubborn and such an amazingly caring man that he’d make anyone soften towards him once you see behind the facade of arrogance.  I loved watching him struggle to find his place even as he was trying to fix everything.

I want to see more of this town and both families as you start to fall for each of them as the story progresses.  Special thanks to Elyssa for sending me this story in hopes of a review of any kind.  I loved the town, families and pair that made up this story.

four-stars

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Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 stars

April 29, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

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

Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 starsBlue Notes by Carrie Lofty
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Carrie Lofty brings her “exciting, sensual” (RT Book Reviews ) romantic storytelling to a sizzling new adult novel of a gifted pianist with a troubled past, the enigmatic stranger who unlocks her secrets, and sultry nights of passion in the Big Easy. A piano prodigy on a scholarship to a prestigious New Orleans university, Keeley Chambers is finally striking out on her own after a roving life dictated by her criminal parents. Her soulful, brilliant, fiery improvisations tear through her like a storm but are played for an audience of one: herself. However, sinfully handsome Jude Villars refuses to abandon Keeley to her private world and calls her out on her fear of performing in public. The irreverent, seductive billionaire playboy awakens Keeley to the blissful pleasures of letting go as he tempts her into the spotlight of the city’s hottest clubs. Yet Jude has secrets of his own and pain that no one but Keeley recognizes. Will revealing themselves as they really are be too great a risk? Or will the truth make their tumultuous connection hotter and more irresistible than ever?

BLUE NOTES is Carrie Lofty’s first New Adult romance, and it’s currently on sale for $1.99 in all digital formats through May 5.

I have to admit that when I was approached about this one I jumped on it because I’ve enjoyed her writing as part of Katie Porter.  I haven’t read her on her own yet although I do have some titles they are just buried in my TBR.  I will definitely have to dig them out and move them up on the list because reading this one makes me want more.

We start this book with a bit of a history lesson in the life of Keely Chambers our heroine.  Her history isn’t a pleasant one and it plays a major factor in how this book plays out so seeing the pain is vital to understanding why she does what she does as we get deeper in to the story.  She has an amazing gift for the piano and music but isn’t comfortable on the stage nor is she comfortable with letting anyone really get close to her.  She’s intrigued and oh so out of her comfort zone when an arrogant man pushes her buttons and gets her to do something she never thought she’d like, perform on stage!  As she gets to know this man she finds that love is something she deserves but that it is worth fighting for even if you feel like you aren’t worthy.  She finds her worth not in this relationship but it pushes her to face her fears and really reach for what she deserves not what she’s always thought she deserved.  I loved her strength and ability to see where she was floundering but admittedly got frustrated when she kept her secret for so long.  I understood it but it was a struggle to not yell “Tell him dammit!!” at the Kindle.

Jude…  now he pissed me off at one point and trust me he’ll piss you off as well but there is so much pain behind this man who appears to have the world at his feet.  While he does have the world at his feet he needs someone who will call him on his behavior and push him to have to work for her.  He’s very closed off at the beginning of the story but as he spends more time around Keely he becomes something more than just a wealthy man keeping his only remaining family stable, he becomes a man you can admire for his strength but also one you can admire for letting his walls down to show the wounded soul behind the facade.  I was so pissed at him because of one moment but once we got past that and saw how much he let her in finally I found him delectable.  He’s sexy as hell and everything he does to try to make her comfortable speaks volumes about how much he cared for her even as he was denying it.  There’s something about a man who will move everything to make you happy even when you don’t know what you want/need that is sexy as hell.

Overall there will be moments when you want to slap both of them but the story is powerful in that both main characters truly learned something from one another and really developed the ability to stand on their own but more powerfully learned how to trust one another enough to let the other in.  While they both could’ve stood on their own they really do understand the value of having a partner to weather the storms and rely on but it definitely took time.

Special thanks to Carrie Lofty (actually her partner in crime, Lorelie Brown) for sending me a copy of this with no pressure or expectation of review.  I really enjoyed this and would love to see her roomie and his sister also find love.

 

four-stars

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Bodyguard – Jennifer Ashley – 4 Stars – Dark & Deadly Box Set Reviews #1

April 15, 2014 Read in 2014, Tours 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.

Bodyguard – Jennifer Ashley – 4 Stars – Dark & Deadly Box Set Reviews #1Body Guard by Jennifer Ashley
on 2014
Pages: 223
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-stars

Elizabeth Chapman is saved from an armed robber by a giant Kodiak bear who shifts into a large, well-muscled, and fully bare human. But when it's revealed that the robber is the brother of a dangerous criminal, Elizabeth finds herself the target of a vendetta.

Ronan, the Bear Shifter, takes her to Shiftertown, where she finds that mateless Ronan takes care of Shifters who have no families or clans of their own. Having grown up in foster care herself, Elizabeth can only admire how protective Ronan is, even while she chafes at the confinement.

But Ronan will only let her leave the safety of Shiftertown if he becomes her 24/7 bodyguard. Elizabeth finally agrees. The trouble is, the sassy human Elizabeth is triggering Ronan's long-buried need to find himself a mate.

Yesterday I posted a look at the full box set and promised to follow up with individual reviews of each story – Today is Bodyguard by Jennifer Ashley.

I really enjoyed this installment of the Shifters Unbound series and can’t believe I didn’t read it when it was first published.  The pair are of course well matched but I really appreciated that they both were able to get a real home as a part of this story.

Elizabeth is used to taking care of everything around her and trying to take care of herself.  She’s got a past that I wouldn’t wish on anyone but she has emerged from it as a very strong willed woman.  She’s taking care of her younger sister and the pressure of making sure their lives are safe and happy have made her tired but aching for someone to share it with.  She’s lonely…  I know hard to think but she’s been burned by so many things that when she’s confronted with an armed robber she isn’t 100% willing to back down but is trying to figure out how to get out of the situation alive when out of nowhere a bear comes to save her.  As she gets drawn in to a mess caused by her being willing to do the right thing to defend him she’s going to end up with a man who will do everything he can to make her happy even if it means letting her go.

Ronan just wanted to protect Elizabeth since she’s been nothing but kind to the shifters who frequent her store.  When he saves her from the robber he ends up having to take her into his protection in Shiftertown.  Unfortunately she isn’t willing to back down even when it is uncovered that she’s managed to catch the attention of one of the drug lords in Austin.  As he fights to protect this strong woman he discovers that she has a lot of secrets and is also at her core lonely like him.  He’s such a great character and seeing him interact with his wards will make you smile.  This is a man who has such a deep heart and sense of what should be done even at sacrifice to himself that you will smile as he finds the perfect mate.  I loved how willing he was to fight for what was right and to be willing to do anything that Elizabeth needed without pressuring her even though it would cost him dearly if she left.

This was such a sweet story and I’m glad that I was able to get my hands on this box set so I could enjoy it.

four-stars

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Nobody – Sarah M. Anderson – 5 Stars

April 6, 2014 Read in 2014, 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.

Nobody – Sarah M. Anderson – 5 StarsNobody on March 31, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Nobody Bodine came from a nobody and will always be a nobody. He can disappear into the shadows—no one can see him if he doesn’t want them to. He exists on the edge, in neither the white man’s world nor the tribe’s, dispensing vigilante justice when he sees fit. There’s no other place for a man like him in this world.

 

Until Melinda Mitchell shows up on the rez. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, he can tell there’s something different about her. For starters, she’s not afraid of him. She asks where his scars came from, and why he has so many. But more than that, she sees him. For the first time in his life, Nobody feels like a somebody in her eyes.

 

Melinda has come west to run the new day care on the White Sandy Reservation. She’s intrigued by this strange man and his tattered skin, and when she discovers that he’s a self-appointed guardian angel for the boy in her care, she realizes that there’s more to Nobody than meets the eyes. But how far will he go to keep the boy safe? And will she be able to draw him into the light?

NOBODYYYYYYYY!!!!!! Ok I’ve been wanting this story since he first appeared on the page in Mystic Cowboy and while Sarah made us all wait I’m actually glad in a way.  We get so much from this story and having her wait until the time was right was difficult but ohhhhhhh soooooo worth it!

Melinda has always been the odd person out in her family.  She’s always just lived life and while it hasn’t taken her down the same “respectable” path that her sister has gone down she has been semi-content with it.  She comes to the reservation after yet another disastrous relationship but this time she’s convinced that she’ll get her head on straight and do some good.  She’s unsettled by what she discovers as she spends time on the reservation but decides to roll up her sleeves and work on the new center but also finds herself wanting what she sees her sister has with Rebel.  The only man she’s met that stirs her blood is the man no one sees or if they see him they see him as a threat and not a human being.  While she is scared of this man at first she decides to confront those fears and recognizes that in this man there is something special that she should hang on to.  I have to admit that there are times when I wanted to yell at her for the way she was behaving but a bigger part of me saw what the big picture was and how much hurting him hurt her as deeply.  She’s a bit flighty but when she decides something is worth fighting for she does it even as it scares her to death.

Now…  I have to talk about the man who stole my heart in Mystic Cowboy…. continued to perk my interest in Masked Cowboy… I just don’t know why I wanted his story so badly but there is something about this man that just called to me and now knowing his story I just…  *melts*

Nobody is the hero that we as romance readers all want to read about.  Well, we want to have him for our very own even as he rips our hearts to shreds.  He’s such a damaged man who has convinced himself (actually been told by those who should’ve shielded him) that he is nothing.  Actually he’s convinced himself that he is beneath nothing and there is nothing that he deserves more than being scorned or mistreated.  He’s always lived outside the tribe and the law but yearns for something he just can’t put a name to.  This is a man who does nothing but protect the land and people he loves in his own way but others don’t see him as anything other than trouble until he meets a woman who actually sees him.  I just wanted to take him in my arms and try to take away all the pain he has ever felt…  well and do all sorts of naughty things with him as damn the man is sexy!!!  Yes in real life a man like him would scare me to death because of all of his scars but in a book I can get my fill of finding out what makes this scarred, damaged hero tick.

Get ready to have your heart broken over and over watching him struggle with the idea that someone really does see him, wants him and trusts him to be the man that he’s never seen himself as… a lover, partner and ,best of all, human.  The struggle he goes through to understand that he is worth loving and trusting is heartbreaking but so worth the journey that I’m honored to have had the chance to read it and gush over it to anyone who will listen.  You want this story!!!  You really do…  It is worth every tissue you will use as you read it!

I can’t thank Sarah enough for letting me get my eyes on his book early and while I am sad in some respects that his story has been told I am happy that it lived up to every single expectation I had for it.  He’s a hero that you want to cuddle and make everything perfect for then do all sorts of naughty things with.

five-stars

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