Source: the Author

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Second Chance at Happiness – Heather Lire – 5 stars

August 2, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 1

Second Chance at Happiness – Heather Lire – 5 starsSecond Chance at Happiness Series: ,
Published by Desert Breeze Publishing on August 1, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

When Colin MacCaffe’s  personal life comes crashing down around him, he leaves the big city behind for a fresh start in the small town of Holiday Vermont. As the Deputy Chief of Police he spends his time making sure the town he’s come to call his own is safe. The only problem in his peaceful life is the arrival of his next door neighbor’s sister. A woman who threatens to destroy the peace of his new life.

After years of putting one foot in front of the other, acting like she was fine for her family Brynn Sanderson – Jackson is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. All she wants is a couple of weeks of rest and relaxation while she house sits for her sister. What she gets instead  is a trip to the hospital, emergency surgery, and the neighbor next door. A man who makes her feel more than she wants to.

My Thoughts:

I have to start this off by saying I adore Heather and I’m so happy I had a chance to fall in love with both of her amazing heroes and the heroines who hold their hearts.

To see what I thought of Ryan you can click here but this is all about Colin and his lady love Brynn.

Colin and Brynn have always butted heads and snipped at one another but as we all know in romanceland this just means they are fighting an attraction that they feel isn’t appropriate or needed.  When Colin is pushed to go over and check on Brynn by his wonderfully sneaky grandma he discovers Brynn in the midst of a medical emergency.  He’s thankfully able to get her to the hospital in time but this shakes him to the core.  You see he’s started to realize there is something there and maybe just maybe he should pursue it.  Almost losing her before he’s had a chance to explore this growing need for her just makes him determined to find out exactly what they have.  He’s got major scars from his ex-wife and the fact that his idiotic sisters treat him like crap but he knows that there is something about Brynn that calls to him in a way even his ex couldn’t manage.  I adored his willingness to take Brynn in while she recuperated (yeah I know he was sort of ummmmm forced in to it by the manipulation of some clever friends/family) and the fact their relationship has to have a slow build to consummation because of her health.  He just made me sigh as he shows her through his actions how much she means to him and the fact that he accepts her for her and not her wealth just took it over the top. His acceptance of her past was another part that you just can’t help but adore as that could’ve caused a wedge between them but.. *sigh*

Brynn knows she’s lucky to have been found in time but she’s still a bit dodgy about getting involved with anyone no matter what her mind and heart are telling her.  She’s still grieving in her own way for her killed-in-action husband.  They had an amazing love story that was cut off way too quickly at such a young age so you understand why she’s still clinging to that memory.  I loved how she worked through this grief and shared it with Colin so he would know what was holding her back initially.  She’s a very strong character and you feel the love that she shared with both men and the fact that Colin is not a secondary love but is the love of her adult life.  I also liked how her past linked with Colin in a way neither of them knew.  She’s a very lucky woman and stands up for what she loves and believes in.  Her calling out his sisters for their behavior towards him for his treatment of the ex-wife was priceless and if it were possible I would definitely want to give her a huge high five as man oh man did they need to be bitch-slapped.  Her also putting the final nail in the coffin of the ex-wife was another OH YEAH moment that you just have to read.  She’s smart, sneaky and even though she tried to hide how much Colin meant to her initially it did just come off the page.

This is a couple that deserves every bit of happiness they get and I cannot thank Heather enough for being so generous in letting me read this one early.  I adored it and like I asked her yesterday….  WHEN DO WE GET MORE MORE MORE???  Huh Huh Huh…

 

Anyway…  go check out yesterday’s post for a chance to win this wonderful story.  The contest is up until August 9th at Midnight Central so go comment already…  🙂

As a bonus… I’m going to do a giveaway of an ecopy of the first book in this series (Second Chance at Forever) also ending on August 9th at Midnight Central.  All you need to do is tell me do you believe you can have a second chance at true love?

 

five-stars

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Trust In Me – Dee Tenorio – 5 Stars Contest!!!

July 27, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 2

Trust In Me – Dee Tenorio – 5 Stars  Contest!!!Trust In Me Published by Samhain on July 23, 2013
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Sometimes falling in love is the easy part…

 

Rancho del Cielo Romance

Locke Jackman is single, childless…and he has a bad case of empty nest syndrome. For years, as he fought tooth and nail to keep his brothers and sisters together after his parents died, his entire life was focused on his responsibilities.

Now his siblings have all moved on with their lives, and there’s no one around to distract him from his overpowering attraction to his sister’s best friend. Their mutual desire is stunning…but then again, so are the secrets keeping them apart.

Susie Packard’s nightmarish marriage taught her what happens when she gives in to her weakness for powerful men. Too bad the big, stoic frowner across the street—the one who sets her bells jangling just by breathing—has her in his sights.

Try as she might to keep her emotional distance, Locke is determinedly knocking down all her walls. But as much as she wants to be the woman he needs, she knows better than most—passion may have its rewards, but every secret has its price.

 

Warning: This book contains a hot, modern-day Viking seducing his way to the heart of his woman, a stubborn lingerie designer with a world of secrets and a very deep bathtub… Enjoy!

My Thoughts:

*Sigh* where do I start with this one??  Well I guess I first start with an apology to Dee because I’ve had this for a bit on my Kindle but have been a bit sidetracked on what title released what date.  So Dee I’m extremely sorry that it took me this long to fall in love with Locke but now that I’ve finally read it I’m truly kicking myself for taking so long.  He’s just amazing and the fact you gave him a partner that won’t let him roll all over her is just amazing.

As much as I want to gush about Locke I’m going to start with talking about the woman who was lucky enough to catch his attention and his devotion. Susie owns the local lingerie and other fun items shop but other than this she’s a bit of a mystery to the town.  Sure she’s close to Amanda Jackman but otherwise she’s a bit private in her off-hours and other than one incredible interlude in a remote cabin is not involved with anyone.  Does she harbor thoughts about the big man across the street who can get her revved up with just a look?  Yes…  is she hiding something huge from her past that makes her feel like no matter how badly she craves him she shouldn’t lead him on? Yes.  Is she hiding something more pressing from him than her past?  Oh yes she is but with her history she’s not going to spill the beans on this time bomb until she can have 3 more days to fret and worry.  She’s strong but with her history carries an amazing amount of baggage that will make you truly feel for her as much as you want to yell at her for pushing Locke away.  She just can’t see beyond the past to a future she really does deserve with a man that would do anything to make her happy.

 

Ok …  I can’t hold out on gushing over Locke any more…  I just can’t.  He’s just an amazing character that you wish was waiting around the corner for you to find and have fall in love with you.  He can be a bit overbearing but you can tell it really does come out of a place of love and not out of a need to control every action you make.  He’s put his life on hold to raise and keep together his family after the death of their parents but he really doesn’t feel that he made a huge sacrifice as his family means the world to him.  When he sets eyes on Susie he knows that this woman is the one for him and also senses that she’s not going to make the pursuit of her easy so he just works on being a part of her life until the one day when their mutual lust explodes at his cabin.  Once they get back to town she’s even more determined to keep him out but he’s even more sure that this is the one for him and will do what he can to make her understand.  When her secrets come out he shows an amazing amount of patience and compassion while doing everything he can to prove that she can trust him and trust in them.  I have to say watching such a strong man struggle with his need to protect the woman he loves and her need to prove her own strength was amazing.  I’ve also got to say he broke my heart a few times as we watch him brought to his knees by some of her actions (trust me she means well but man seeing him in pain was just….).

 

Ok Locke love-fest over as man I could continue talking about him for a very very long time.  Thanks to Dee for sharing this story with me with no expectation of a favorable review…  I adored him!!

 

And now for some fun….  At RT Dee was kind enough to sign five of the below postcard so for a chance to win one please enter the contest below…   Note that one lucky postcard winner will also win a eCopy of Trust In Me because who wouldn’t want Locke in their lives….  *sigh*

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

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Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane

July 8, 2013 Guest Post, Read in 2013, Sent 2

Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria KaneOnce Upon a Darkness Published by Entranced Publishing LLC on June 17, 2013
Pages: 141
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint's only skill is war, but he's weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen's team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint's second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is taken, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.

Excerpt:

“Can we try something else?” Clint swung the practice sword in a wide sweep. “I think I got this motion down.”

“When you’re facing a crowd of zombies, there’s no time to think,” a woman’s voice said behind him.

He spun, sword in hand. She lunged at him. He had enough time to register pale skin and straight white-blonde hair atop a lithe frame before her arms crashed into his shoulders with shocking force. Air rushed painfully from his lungs as his back hit the ground. His sword rattled out of reach. She crouched on top of him, somehow holding him down with not much more than a hundred pounds to her. Eyes the color of ice on an Alaskan glacier stared back at him.

“If I were a zombie, you’d be a three-course meal right now.” The woman, who was maybe a few years younger than him, snapped her jaw and laughed.

“Or a new zombie, yourself,” another male voice said. Clint looked over her shoulder to find the male version of his attacker standing about twenty feet back from the scene. Next to him, a mountain of a man smirked with amusement. All three of them were nuts.

She shaped her hand like a gun and pressed it to his forehead. “No, I’d kill you before I let that happen.” She said it casually, like telling someone lunch was ready.

“Thanks?” Was this some sort of weird initiation?

The woman leapt to her feet and yanked him up after her. She tapped the back of his skull. “When you’re attacked, your lizard brain takes over. You have to do something like a sword swing or a roundhouse kick thousands of times so that it becomes instinctual. Hesitation is fatal.” She punctuated her words with practiced movements; the swinging of an imaginary sword and a roundhouse kick aimed at the practice target.

“Right.” He had known this, of course, but had forgotten it in the absolute boredom of swinging the sword the same way for hours.

The woman stood there with her hands on her hips as if she were waiting for some kind of applause. He didn’t know what else to say that would keep her from jumping him again. Though, now that he got a good look at her, maybe he wouldn’t mind another roll in the dirt. She was tall, with long legs bared by khaki shorts. A tiny white tank top stretched over a black sports bra that definitely earned its keep. Lean muscle stretched along the full length of her arms, torso, and legs. Strapped to her legs and waist were weapon holsters of all varieties that – in his mind, at least – only made her sexier.

“What are you, Zombie Slayer Barbie?”

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Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. She lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. She is the author of ONCE UPON A DARKNESS and A TITAN FOR CHRISTMAS. You can learn more about her at ariakane.com

Website: http://www.ariakane.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/aria_kane
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ariakaneauthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ariakane/

 

Aria is also doing a giveaway as part of her blog tour in support of Once Upon a Darkness so be sure to use the rafflecopter link below to enter for some great prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

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Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 stars

June 29, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 starsEnthralled Published by Penguin on July 2, 2013
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Four authors leave the reader enthralled. Leigh's stubborn Breed meets her match, and can deny neither him nor herself. Day introduces the League of the Black Swan, and a woman cursed to kill the man she loves. In Brook's steampunk Iron Seas world, a man bereft of everything finds his marriage in jeopardy, and sky pirates stealing his wife. Monroe unleashes a werewolf's passions on the body, mind, and soul of his prey, his lover, his lifemate.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Alyssa Day and I cannot thank her enough.  I’m definitely going to need to grab all of the new series her short story introduces because the world intrigues me.  I also enjoyed the other stories in the anthology which should keep fans of those authors happy with views of the worlds they do best.

Devil’s Due – Lora Leigh – 4 stars

Interesting story of the dealer of death, Devil, and his mate, Katie, dealing with not only finding their mate but also people who want her dead.  There is little to no real tension between the two of them as far as sexual.  I mean they do fight the attraction in some respects but there isn’t a drawn out issue with will they end up together… actually it is more the situation that drives them apart a bit rather than denial or fighting the pull of the mating instinct. I enjoyed the little prequel as to how she was rescued as a child and also how they both fill something that is missing in each other.  This is a good pair that will be equals in most ways which you can’t always say about all the Breed pairings…

Curse of the Black Swan – Alyssa Day – 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this story of two lonely people finding love in each other when they had both written off ever finding someone.  We have a fire demon that keeps his nature secret from his fellow firefighters because everyone knows that fire demons are insane and evil.  We have a woman doomed to spend every third night as a swan singing in a fountain to satisfy a family curse and if she ever meets her soulmate she’ll have a daughter who will be doomed to the same fate.  I enjoyed the pacing of this one and the world that we see where things are not always as they seem but humans and Fae exist in a bit of an uneasy half-world.  This has interested me in grabbing the full length story so I can read more of this world.

Salvage – Meljean Brook – 4 stars

What if the husband who ran from you for years washes up on shore at the brink of death from a bullet wound?  How would you cope with asking for a divorce while you still acknowledge that you want him with all your soul but you need the closeness that he can’t seem to provide?  This is what we see in this well done short story.  They really do love one another but due to something her father said when they were first married he has always felt like he had to be out at sea to provide her with everything she deserved but he missed that all she needed was him.  While he has been out at sea he’s been missing the amazing woman his wife has become, she’s built a business from the ground up and is standing on her own.  They both do truly love one another and when his recent salvage find brings an insane man to kidnap and force them to reacquire the salvaged treasure they realize exactly what they mean to one another and what drove them apart was a series of misunderstandings.  We are left with a couple that is in such a strong place that you can’t help but cheer their reunion.

Ecstasy Under the Moon – Lucy Monroe – 3.5 stars

This was a story of two cultures and how individuals look beyond the distrust that they have for one another to build a union that bodes well for the rest of the reconciliation process that is in progress.  Our hero is such an amazingly patient man with his heroine and watching how he works to earn both her trust and her family’s respect was beautiful to see.  I loved how she slowly came out of her shell and I really adored how she didn’t completely judge him just based on his species but felt comfortable enough around him to override her well-deserved fears.  She’s been damaged and the cost to her and her people was grave but his ability to be patient with her made it possible for there to be a happy ending and shows how love can heal deep wounds.

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YA Review – Autumn – Sierra Dean – 5 Stars

June 22, 2013 M Reads, Read in 2013, Sent, Young Adult 0

YA Review – Autumn – Sierra Dean – 5 StarsAutumn on June 11, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Cooper Reynolds’s life is going to the dogs… literally.

As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn’t hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he’ll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever.

The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise “Lou” Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She’s grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse.

The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he’s willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it’s too late.

My Opinion:

I know 5 stars always seems suspicious, but this book is just that good! I had to read it all the first night I got it. Told from both Cooper’s point of view and Lou’s, it lets you in on the thoughts of both. I love Cooper and his cute depression and acceptance of his situation. Most of the conversations he has with Lou (especially the first one) often complicate hilariously due to his isolation. He only has till summer to live as a human, and he has already starting showing his inner doggie.

Lou is from California, and hates everything about her situation in Texas, greatly due to the fact that she’s there because someone died. It doesn’t help that that person, along with disturbing nightmares, continues to haunt her. A new room and Cooper look to be about the only things to make her new life bearable. And while Cooper is able to answer a few of her questions, his existence raises far more. The most prominent is that the whole town is out to keep them apart no matter the cost.

Finally, since this book is “Autumn,” and Cooper turns in spring, I am predicting a four book series (so, I know it’s hard, but please don’t get upset at the ending and wait for the next book), I myself can’t wait for the release of Winter!

Special thanks to Sierra Dean for sending me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

 

 

five-stars

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Florida Heat – Jody Vitek – 3.5 Stars

June 22, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Florida Heat – Jody Vitek – 3.5 StarsFlorida Heat Published by Melange Books LLC on July 22, 2012
Pages: 178
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
three-half-stars

Scarred by her ordeal, Maggie Carlisle leaves her ex-husband's drug life back in Texas. A man from her past seeks revenge, just as she meets and falls in love with Trent Randall. Trent Randall, owner of a horse ranch and powerboat driver, loses focus of his life when Maggie shows up. After an accident, he wonders if she's worth the danger. However, his heart leads the way when he finds out she's in trouble.

I got to meet Jody at the insanity that was the RT Convention in Kansas City. I know her time there had to have been as crazy as mine but she was a nice person to meet and I really was happy to get an email from her shortly after we both arrived home. She was nice enough to give me the chance to read Florida Heat with the hope of a review and didn’t expect me to be anything less than honest with my thoughts.

What would you do if the life you thought you were living had a major secret behind it? What if the man you pledged your life, loyalty and love to had done something horrible that resulted in your losing faith in him and trust in many others? This is what Maggie is dealing with from the moment we step in to this book. She’s attacked at home and has a scar to remind her of the attack every time she looks in the mirror. She’s moved from Texas to Florida to get a new, fresh start but instead ends up running in to the man who played a part in what happened to her. She also runs in to a good man that helps her heal and inspires feelings in her even her ex-husband didn’t do. She’s wary, scarred and smart but also does a couple of really stupid things in this story that had me ready to scream in frustration with her. I understood where she was coming from but at the same time did want to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense in to her.

Trent is living a nice life in Florida where he has a really gorgeous ranch and fun in the form of racing boats. The one thing he is missing is a woman to share his life with but he’s been burned in the past so isn’t really looking. When he meets Maggie he is instantly attracted to the mysterious person behind the scar. He doesn’t push her in to revealing her past at any pace more than what she’s willing to go at but her personality and the way she moves just calls to him in a way no one has in a long time. He spends time with her getting to know her and finds that what he sees at her core is something that he wants to keep with him forever provided she’ll trust in him. When he finds out what is happening and what happened in her past he does step a bit over the line (good way though) with his actions but they are truly what she needs even if she doesn’t want to trust that they are. I’d love to have someone like him in my life as he does seem to truly cherish those he cares for and is incredibly caring/sexy.

My one quibble with this title was the rushed I Love Yous but with the page length it is understandable and the nice epilogue helped make the quick ILYs balance out with a peek at a longer courtship than what the main story gave us. It was a nice read with a great hero.

Thanks again Jody and I hope to run in to you at another convention one day… Maybe RT in New Orleans?? 😉

three-half-stars

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Fixed On You – Laurelin Paige – 4 stars

June 19, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Fixed On You – Laurelin Paige – 4 starsFixed On You Published by Mandevilla Press on June 24, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
four-stars

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Pierce’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out—move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous—the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Author’s website:

http://www.laurelinpaige.com

My Thoughts:

When Laurelin first approached me to read her new book I was in the middle of recovering from the RT Convention in Kansas City which was then followed a month later by going to the Lori Foster Reader and Author’s Get Together.  So you can imagine that my time has been a bit full with packing, recovering, cataloguing the hundreds (yes hundreds) of books from both conventions that have made their way in to my library.  The good news is she didn’t expect it to be done and reviewed in a week but almost made me panic this past week when she mentioned I was up to bat for her soon.  The even better news??  I had read it but just hadn’t managed to sit down and write up what you are reading now.  I’m definitely thankful she asked me to read/review this title as it was very well done and the issues both main characters have are interesting to say the least.

Alayna is at a crossroads in her life where she’s happy working at the club but is being pressured by her brother to put the soon to be granted MBA to better use than just working at a club.  She loves what she does and knows that unless the new owner has different plans she might just be getting her chance to become a manager at the place she thinks of as home.  She’s very shy about getting involved with any man other than for a purely sexual, non-feeling arrangement but when she serves a man at the bar she’s incredibly drawn to his sexuality and amazing looks.  She knows this is dangerous as her past has made her aware that she is a bit obsessive when it comes to anyone she’s severely drawn to but something about him calls to her.  She later finds out he’s the bar’s new owner and he wants to propose a purely superficial relationship but with some spectacular sex.  As much as she knows this isn’t a good idea for her… she’s forced to make a decision that could either be the best one she’s ever made or a failure of epic proportions.

Hudson is the man every woman wants to catch but are you sure he’s really what you want?  He’s rich but is also damaged in that he believes he will never love someone so uses women purely for sex and nothing more.  He’s also drawn to Alayna and knows he will have her but also needs to use her to get his mother and friend of the family off his back by pretending to have a new girlfriend that he is madly in love with.  He believes that this charade will help free him from the arranged marriage their families want but isn’t thinking of anything other than this single goal.  His family is a bit (being nice) messed up but I liked his dad and his sister even though the family dynamic was so off-kilter.  He’s obsessive as well and as you find out what drives him he turns out to not only be a bit scary but very compelling.

Both characters are very messed up and have unhealthy views of relationships and boundaries but for these two maybe this combination will work for the best.  They may just heal each other and build an amazing relationship but we will need to continue with the next one in this series to see is this the beginning of a major transformation in their lives or will they both succumb to the madness that has been their lives up to this point.  I know I will keep an eye out for more by Laurelin as I found myself drawn to the characters she gave us and the insights they provide on obsession and the associated behaviors.

Thanks again to her for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.  I really enjoyed it!

 

Laurelin is doing a couple of giveaways via her site which is linked up above but I have included the link to her contest for some really nice prizes..

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

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