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Dear Aaron

 

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
Amazon US 

Synopsis:

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.
The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.
Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.
What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy

Goodreads

Dear Aaron is my first slow burn novel (Honestly I didn’t even know slow burn was a thing) and I enjoyed this book to an extent. I do want to start out saying that at first I LOVED this book, I was so excited and loved where it was going.

Ruby Santos is probably one of the least confident female characters I have ever read about. She has her moments when she sticks up for herself, but for the most part she sits in a corner and lets everyone else run her life. It is actually sad to watch at times. I would catch myself yelling at her to just do something about her damn family running her life.

Ruby regularly signs up with a pen-pal program for soldiers who are deployed. We don’t know much about either characters going into the book, but through their emails you get a feel for who they are. We really don’t learn too much about Aaron outside of the emails, but we do get to experience Ruby with her family (who is crazy) and her life outside these email exchanges (more than half the book is the characters writing back and forth)

I’m not sure slow burn romances are really for me. I think I want to try another one where the characters meet sooner and we get to see them grow together into a couple and maybe see more from both characters. I didn’t really like Ruby so being in her head, it was REALLY annoying at times. I would have liked to get more into Aaron’s head and learn more about him.

By the time these two characters met I was so ready for the storyline to wrap up, which was almost exactly what happened. The characters met, they hung out, they’re a couple, boom story over. I read over 60% of emails between them for that?

All in all the book was enjoyable, I really liked the emails, I got very involved. I just felt that 60% of the book being email exchanges was too much and by the time we did get to the end it was very anti-climatic. I will say the writing was good and the premises was great. If slow burns are your thing then this book just might be for you!

Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey #4) by Sawyer Bennett

4 Star ReviewOrder RYKER on Amazon

The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

Kristys review

4 Star Review

I’m a huge fan of the Cold Fury Hockey Series, every one of these books (and these men) have their own unique stories and I could not wait to read Ryker’s.  I loved Ryker when he was introduced in the previous book, especially his friendship with Zack and Kate and I was looking forward to watching him with his two girls.  And he did not disappoint..

Ryker was so different than I expected in this book.  I thought of him as such a strong, tough character…and he is, but more than any other guy on this team…OMG he is just a giant teddy bear.  He’s just a freaking good guy.  It’s been forever since I was able to find a lead male character that was nice and normal and not emotionally damaged or stunted, but who was still hot and manly and strong.  He’s amazing to his daughters, he’s good to his friends, he’s fair with his ex-wife and he is selfless with Gray….absolutely selfless in the best possible way.

Gray is a fabulous heroine…maybe my favorite of the series (yeah…definitely my favorite).  She is wicked smart and determined, fearless, tough and a definite role model.  More importantly she is smashing through the “glass ceiling” in professional hockey, as the league’s first and only general manager.  But no matter how attracted she is to Ryker,  in a league where almost everyone wants her to fail, even members’ of her own team,  she knows how bad it would be if anyone found out she was dating one of her own players.  Watching her struggle to figure out what’s right for her, what’s right for her man and what’s right for her team is tough.  Watching her figure out what she wants is awesome, watching her finally go after it…spectacular.

This book was the most fun of the entire series for me and Ryker is my favorite Cold Fury man (and actually Gray is my favorite Cold Fury woman). But I’m not going to lie, Zack’s book is still my favorite over all of the series…probably because I really like angst  and that book had it in spades.  This, however,  is certainly my second favorite and definitely the feel good  book of the series.

Exposed by Brighton Walsh Review and Giveaway

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4 Star Review

In this sexy, suspenseful New Adult novel, a young woman hiding from her criminal past is taken captive by her ex-boyfriend, the ultimate bad boy.

Evie is about to embark on the perfect life. Beautiful, poised, and engaged to a rising business star, she fits the part of trophy wife perfectly, except for one thing: her entire identity is a lie.

Five years ago she created a new identity for herself, but it all crashes back when something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. Now she’s in danger of losing more than her social status.

Determined to protect the careful life she’s built for herself, Evie doesn’t want anything to do with Riley, the criminal for hire who broke her heart years ago. But Riley has other ideas. He’s never forgotten Evie, and to protect her, he steals her away. Hidden from the world, sparks begin to fly as old memories resurface and their passion reignites.

Kristys review

 

I love second chance romances and Brighton Walsh books so this was a win/win for me.  Not to mention I thought Captive was a great book and I was looking forward to Riley’s story.  Once again the clandestine world of Ghost and Riley is phenomenally well crafted.  One of the hardest things for an author to pull off is a believable criminal underworld where the plot makes sense and doesn’t have major holes.  Brighton does this to perfection and watching the story unfold is a wonderful crazy ride in this book.

Riley is perfection, absolute sheer male perfection.  I could not have loved or felt for him more.  Having followed Ghost into a shady, violent business, he excels at providing intimidation and protection, all the while getting revenge for the love he lost as a teen.  But his protective nature and loyalty are swoon worthy and when his world gets turned upside down he rises to the occasion beautifully.

Evie is awesome.  She’s tough as nails in all ways and proficient at living a life under the radar, hiding from a past that is determined to track her down.  She’s hiding more than one secret and has never had a reason to trust anyone…except Riley, the only man that ever made her feel safe.  But now that she’s back in his life and in hiding with him she’s afraid to let him in to her life and her heart…especially since her past is putting them both in danger.  It’s wonderful to see a character that can be so tough and strong while still being vulnerable and insecure.  Oh…did I mention stubborn?  Yep she’s stubborn as hell.

The first 80% of this book was absolute perfection to me.  I cried, I was shocked, I fell in love with the characters, I loved it.  This was firmly a 5 star read for me until the last 20%.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great book and the end is very well done.  For me, however, there were two or three small points at the end that missed the mark for me a little bit, minor things but just enough to move it down to a solid 4 star read.

An ARC was provide in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brighton Walsh is a storyteller at heart. Love is her first love, and writing about it is a dream come true. When she’s not overwhelmed by the incessant chatter in her mind, you can generally find her with her nose buried in a steamy book or partaking in some retail therapy in the Midwest where she lives with her own real life hero and her two energetic kids who (fortunately) know nothing about the naughty things she puts down on paper.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Brighton Walsh

Website: http://www.brightonwalsh.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writeasrain_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brightonwalshwrites

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/brightonwalsh/

Goodreads (Author Page): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6548902.Brighton_Walsh

Goodreads (Book Page): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014703-exposed

 

SMP Romance

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SMPRomance

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/1TJw06w

B&N: http://bit.ly/1HIWPU8

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IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1JKfTni

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1H56lgE

Amazon (Canada): http://amzn.to/1HbQjnm

Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/1Ciolrd

The Shortstop by AM Madden Review

5 1_2 Star Review

Buy The Shortstop on Amazon

Synopsis:

“Quint and Annie sitting in a tree…K.I.S.S.I.N.G.”

Quint Lawson and Annie Weber heard that childhood song over and over and it never bothered them. Even though Quint was only five, Annie wasn’t just his neighbor. She would become his best friend and the love of his life. Annie wasn’t interested in dolls, or girly things when growing up. A tomboy at heart, having a boy as a best friend suited her just fine. That same boy captured her heart.

Quint had two passions, his girl and baseball. From kindergarten to college, Quint tore up every baseball diamond he played on. His position was shortstop. His talent was undeniable. Professional ball was most definitely in his future, and he was ready for it. Annie would be right by his side.

When everything in life is perfect, it’s hard to imagine heartbreak in any form. Quint wasn’t immune to its power. This shortstop had no idea what any form of heartbreak could do to his perfect world. When it hit, there were many casualties left in its wake…the most important one was Annie.

Can a person be prepared for, understand, or even endure a misfortune if they’ve never experienced one before? In Quint Lawson’s case the answer is no.
AM Madden Teaser 9

 

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I’m not quite sure why I went after this ARC….probably because I love sports and friends to lovers stories and I had read one of A.M. Madden’s previous books and I liked it well enough. I wasn’t particularly excited about starting this one but I made a commitment to review and I was going to stick to that. Turns out I should have been REALLY FREAKIN’ EXCITED to be reading this book. I should have been freaking GIDDY that someone was letting me read this book. The book hangover from this one has lasted all week. I’m a damn blogger and I haven’t read a book ALL WEEK because The Shortstop just fulfilled every single thing I need a book to fulfill. It was so damn good.

The first half of the book was sweet in all the best ‘friends to lovers’, ‘high school sweethearts’, ‘next door neighbors’ kind of ways. Annie and Quint are adorable and good to each other. They are likable characters and clearly in love with their future all mapped out for them. What I loved about the first half of this book was as great as their story was….I just felt this tension while I was reading it…not between the characters…but in my gut I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I KNEW the shoe was going to drop. That tension is the kind of thing that makes a book great for me. I was scared to death for them (yep…for fictional characters) and that’s why I read books…to FEEL that fear…to know something is coming and to dread and crave it all at the same time.

Just to prove my point….this is what my FB post looked like while I was reading:

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Want to hear the best part? When that shoe dropped….it was nothing like what I expected…NOTHING. Not only that…it seemed like nothing I had ever read before. I read tons of sports romances and this one had something NEW. My God do I love being surprised by a book. And then this book got painful. For me it was ugly cry, actual pain in my chest, sobbing, angry oh please no kind of crying. Actually…I still cry when I think about. I finished this book a week ago and I’m crying while I write this review because parts of this book will just rip your heart out.

And then

It got more painful. I was thinking about this analogy the other day…it was like A.M. Madden ripped my heart out and then, just when I thought she was done…she threw it on the floor and stomped the hell out of it. The good news? She did eventually pick up all the little pieces, put them back together in the most beautiful way and give it back to me…..and somehow managed to leave me sobbing with joy and grateful for the experience.

Quint is a beautiful boy with such a good heart. You will love him, you will root for him, you will adore his sappy romantic side and the care with which he loves and protects Annie. He is every bit a boy who fell in love at 5 years old and never fell out. But you will hate him and you will be so damn angry with him and you will want to simultaneously beat the hell out of him and hold him.

Annie is sweet, almost too sweet. She is supportive and loving and totally willing to stand on the sidelines to root for her man, She is every bit the girl who fell in love at 5 years old and never fell out. But she can be her own kind of frustrating, the kind where you just want to yell please Annie, have an opinion, stand up for yourself, stop being so meek. You’ll love her, but you’ll want to take her and shake her too. I don’t want to spoil anything…but let me just say a great character evolution absolutely rocks. And Annie’s is one of the best character evolutions, like top three I’ve ever read for a female character. Yep…that good.

I read a lot of books…A LOT of them. Some I wish I hadn’t wasted my time on, some were OK, some I’m really freaking happy I got to read….but this book…THIS book I’m GRATEFUL that I got to read it. Absolutely grateful for the experience of this book and for me…that puts it in a very elite group.

 

Purchase links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1KYEEwr
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Amazon CA: http://ow.ly/P8zpQ
Amazon AU: http://ow.ly/P8zAW

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Author bio:

AM Madden
Amazon Best Selling Author ~
A.M. Madden’s debut novel is Back-up, the first in The Back-Up Series. The series includes Back-Up, Front & Center, Encore, Backstage, and The Devil’s Lair Novella.

A.M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels and now an author. In Back-up she aspired to create a fun, sexy, realistic romantic story. She wanted to create characters that the reader could relate to and feel as if they knew personally. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good book. She also uses every free moment of her time writing, while raising teenage boys.

Social media links:
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorammadden?fref=ts
Goodreads Fan Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/162877-a-m-madden-books
Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7203641.A_M_Madden
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ammadden1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ammadden1
Newsletter sign-up link: http://eepurl.com/bjqE1r

I Want You to Want Me by Erika Kelly

                        Buy I Want You to Want Me (Rock Star Romance, A Book 2) on Amazon

5 Star Review Derek Valencia finally has the success he’s worked so hard for. His band is touring its debut album and great reviews are rolling in. But when pictures of him tossing naked groupies off a balcony go viral, it’s damage-control time. He’s assigned a “babysitter” whose sole job is to keep him out of trouble. Violet Davis swore she’d never work in the music industry again, but being a minder for a rock star will earn her enough to pay off the mortgage on her wildflower farm. And for a girl brought up in the foster care system, owning her own home means more to her than anything. Though at first the two bang heads, the rocker and the farm girl soon grow close and realize that they make sweet music together. But can a girl who craves the stability of life on a farm really make it work with a man whose life is spent on the road with his band? Feature Review Icon I was desperate to read this book, so desperate I BEGGED the author for an ARC and she was generous enough to send me one.  But then I got nervous…what if it didn’t live up to my very high expectations?  Erika Kelly..YOU ROCK rockstar romances because it totally lived up…maybe even exceeded my expectations.  Did I mention they were high?

So…here’s the thing…I adored Slater Vaughn…ADORED him, so I knew I would like Derek but what I didn’t expect was to love him more than Slater Vaughn.  But I DID.  Now, I have to admit I have a thing for emotionally damaged bad boys.  What made Derek different and so much better than most book boyfriends was he was an emotionally damaged good guy.  I loved that.  He was strong and business oriented and in the music business for all of the right reasons, a born leader.  But after a lifetime of rejection from the dad he idolized, he knows better than to let anyone get to close because risking more rejection is not worth the risk.  So imagine his surprise when the woman sent to keep him and his band in line becomes the first one with the potential to  break through his barriers.

Violet Davis has had her own share of rejection and in a job that requires her to fake relationships, she has no idea how to determine what’s real and what’s just pretend.  But as she starts to fall for Derek, she realizes that there just may be no way to make a relationship work when their jobs are going to take them in opposite directions.  Not to mention she has no way of knowing if Derek’s feelings are the real thing or if she’s just another in a long line of woman he works with and then dates.

Erika Kelly does angst better than any author I have ever read.  The emotions of her characters are so believable, so real, so damn relatable that I spend a third of the book sick to my stomach (in the best possible way), a third of the book almost in tears and a third of the book overwhelmed with sheer joy.  Even when her characters do something that makes you want to scream or hit them upside the head, you still understand exactly where they are coming from and how they got there.  Just amazing. I can not BELIEVE how excruciating the wait for book three is going to be.

Find I Want You to Want Me on Goodreads

Cale (Walk of Shame #3) by Victoria Ashley

Buy Cale on Amazon                          Find Cale on Goodreads

My name is Cale Kinley and I’m a fucking Virgin…

Well, with the exception of my tongue. The countless things I can do with my tongue are bound to leave you breathless and begging for more, but more… is something that I can’t give. It’s a choice. My choice.

There’s a reason for that. A very good reason, and that reason is her.
Riley.

She’s the only woman that I want to bury myself deep in. The one woman I have wanted since I was old enough to fuck.

I never got my chance though, because she left. She had no choice and it stung like hell. But I couldn’t let her leave without telling her how I felt. I wanted her to be my first and I didn’t give a shit how long I’d have to wait.

It’s been six years and now she’s back and sexier than all hell. Just the sight of her stops my damn heart from beating. I want her and for more than just having her as my first.

I’m determined to have her in every way possible. She thinks this is still a game; that I’ve already given myself to countless women. What she doesn’t know is that I have a lot of willpower.

When I want something as badly as I want her, I don’t let shit stand in my way. I’m going to prove that to her. There’s just one little problem I need to take care of…
Him. 

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I was really anticipating the release of Cale…Slade is one of my very favorite novellas and, while I thought Hemy was OK, I was hopeful Cale would close out the Walk of Shame series in the same manner in which Slade started it…spectacularly.  I’m not sure I would call Cale spectacular…but it was certainly a great read and a wonderful ending to a sweet (and DIRTY) little series.

We all remember Cale from Slade and Hemy…he was the third stripper and bartender at the Walk of Shame bar and despite bringing home plenty of one night stands and pleasuring woman in all kinds of interesting ways (usually involving his tongue) he refused to have intercourse, saving his virginity for some unknown woman from his past.  In Cale we get to meet said unknown woman as Riley (Aspen’s sister) comes home to Chicago after 6 years in Mexico looking after her elderly grandmother.  Through a series of fairly awesome flashbacks, we learn that Cale and Riley were best friends from childhood through High School and that they are both ecstatic about their pending reunion.

Cale is the same sweet, fun loving, gorgeous man we met in the previous books.  He’s so different from the other Walk of Shame boys in that he’s just a good, nice guy with no major issues.  It’s actually refreshing to read a male alpha who’s not damaged and brooding, I loved that about Cale.  Riley’s friendship with Cale is adorable and believable and her character is cute, if not overly memorable.  Their relationship of course, hits a couple of snags along the way and it was nice to see a couple kind of handle adversity like grown ups, no temper tantrums…it was nice.

The rest of the Walk of Shame crew make a few appearances and it’s always great to revisit old favorites.   Cale is a great short read…exactly what the final novella of and series should be cute, romantic, sexy, hot and happy.  This book isn’t going to rock your world….but it a great way to spend a couple of hours and the perfect swan song for the Walk of Shame boys.

**REVIEW** Beneath the Cape—The Superhero Anthology

by Angela McPherson (Goodreads Author), Cheryl McIntyre (Goodreads Author), Christine Zolendz (Goodreads Author), D. Nichole King (Goodreads Author), Laura Thalassa (Goodreads Author), Lynn Vroman (Goodreads Author), Magan Vernon (Goodreads Author), Sunniva Dee (Goodreads Author)

Find Beneath the Cape on Goodreads            Buy Beneath the Cape: The Superhero Anthology on Amazon

Created with the sole purpose of benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Only available July 1st – October 1st.

The world is full of heroes. Every-day men and women who risk their lives for the sake of others—for life, liberty, freedom, and justice. Often these men and women are wounded—physically or mentally—in the line of duty. Therefore, we have created this anthology with the sole purpose of benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.

Because heroes should never be forgotten.

4 Star Review5 Star Review

Superheroes.  Save the world and protect mankind.
But what’s beneath the cape? Behind the mask? Under the steel-plated façade?

Eight bestselling New Adult romance authors have come together to bring you seven stories about superheroes and what it takes to win their hearts. From the skies, to the cities, to the ocean, our superheroes face death, fight villains, conquer evil and—Find love.


Reaping Angels by Laura Thalassa:
The Executioner’s touch can kill.
Angel’s can heal.
A villain and a hero. One who stood for death, and the other for life. Mortal enemies until the impossible happened.
A touch.
A kiss.
And now, a manhunt.

Cat Love by Sunniva Dee:
A sexy thriller about the animal in all of us.

Aidan uses his superpower to stabilize minds at the Hollyreed Specialist Hospital. Ulani uses hers to chase rats on rooftops. Until she’s caught and deposited in Aidan’s care.
At the hospital, Aidan finds Ulani’s room empty—save for a cat, whose fur retracts in favor of silky skin and a vamp-gorgeous femme fatale.
Aidan’s obsession with Ulani grows, while patients go missing.
Making the couple use their powers to bring criminals to justice.

Gypsy Love by Angela McPherson & Lynn Vroman:
For two hundred years, Adrian vowed to seek revenge against the Gypsy woman who bound his spirit for eternity.
Until her.
The one man Mia wants only exists in dreams.
Until he doesn’t.
The curse may be broken, but not without a price.
One love must end for another to begin.

The Only Difference by Magan Vernon:
The Only Difference between a hero and a villain is what they do with their power.
Leonel “Short Stack” Garcia-Shapiro’s life changed the night he decided to stop one of his fraternity brothers from taking advantage of a girl. Now he can’t stop thinking of that girl and how he can save her.

Heroes by Christine Zolendz:
Kelly Black can’t believe she’ll be the new teaching assistant to Alexander Masters. The Alexander Masters—the head of the entire biology department. As soon as they begin to work together sparks fly and danger swirls around them.

Breaking Through by D. Nichole King:
Two years after her brother Nate died during a Navy operation, aquator Nautia Olson’s nightmares began, and her ability to manipulate water became erratic. Anger, fear, joy, desire—they all trigger disaster.
Now, the Navy wants her for a top-secret mission, but Captain Riley Barton has his reservations. He’s read her file. He knows the damage she’s capable of, and yet—
If he can harness her ability—break through her walls—
She’ll be unstoppable.

Villain by Cheryl McIntyre:
How can you tell a hero from a villain?
If you’re Ember Willis and the villain is Lanely Frost, you can’t.
How can you tell a superhero from a delusional young woman?
If you’re Lanely Frost and the woman is Ember Willis, you don’t care.
For both, finding the balance between right and wrong and love and lust are not the only battles they’ll face.

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I was excited about this book for two reasons…several of my favorite authors were participating and my recent addiction to the TV shows Arrow and The Flash had me searching for some good Superhero romance and guess what??? I FOUND IT.  This book delivers great stories, strong heroines, hot heroes and lots of action.  And the stories are fabulously diverse…some are straight up Superheroes with costumes and special powers, some are interesting variations on superpowers you may or may not have seen before, some border on supernatural and some are just straight up everyday heroes.  These stories also run the gamut from completed novellas to cliff hangers (but don’t worry… all of the cliffhangers will be resolved when the authors released them as completed stories after the Anthology’s sales period is complete).

Every story here is great, there wasn’t one that I didn’t enjoy…and of course everyone will have their own favorites.  What shocked me was how easily I was sucked into each and every story,  I’ve been making teasers all week because I can’t stop thinking about these characters.  As always with romance novels, the heroes are swoon-worthy but I was especially excited by the female characters.  There are some bad a$$ chicks in here (no I’m not talking about the authors although they are pretty bad a$$ too.)  I’m talking about chicks that catch bad guys, solve mysteries, fight crime and help the less fortunate…you know Superheroes.

And lets not forget that thanks to these wonderful authors, not only are you getting an amazing book, but all of their income from the book is going to the Wounded Warrior Foundation to help actual real life heroes!! It really doesn’t get any better than that.  Visit Amazon and GET THIS BOOK.

An ARC was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

 

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The Love Always Series by D.Nichole King

6 Stars

Buy Love Always, Kate on Amazon (Kate is FREE!!)

Love Always, Damian (Love Always Series Book 2)

Find them on Goodreads   Visit D. Nichole King’s Website

Love Always, Kate (Love Always #1)

Dear Diary,
Leukemia’s been my life since I was eleven. Now, six years later, I want my life back. Only I’m not sure what that is. The test results came back today. 22,000. Which means I’m officially out of remission—again. I have three options:

1) Another round of chemo.
2) A super-new experimental drug.
3) Dump it all— forget the meds and treatments and enjoy the time I have left.

I think I know what I want. Then, in walks Damian, changing everything.
I mean, everything…

He’s got his own set of issues. It binds us together, you know? We understand what it’s like to lose what matters most in seconds. Still, the last thing I need is to have someone else to crush if I can’t fight hard enough. And the last thing he needs is someone else to grieve.

Never mind. I’m down to two options now.

Somehow I know that whichever one I choose, the result will be the same. With the sand in my hourglass seeping to the bottom, I hope there’s enough left to show Damian that life’s worth living.

Worth fighting for. Worth dying for.

Love Always, Kate

Love Always, Damian (Love Always #2)

They say time heals all wounds.
What a load of bull. It’s been four years, and Kate’s voice still echoes in my mind.
Every. Damn. Day.
I numb her memory when it taunts me. In college, I drown her out with booze and easy lays. I can’t do what she asked.
I can’t let her go.

Not even when Lia shows up, freaking ripping what’s left of me to shreds. Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone. I didn’t ask for this. Didn’t ask for her.

And I sure as hell didn’t plan to miss her when she walked out of my front door.
Now, if I want to keep her, I have to straighten myself out and earn her. I can’t screw this up.
Because if I do, I’ll lose more than just Lia.  I’ll lose my life.

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I’m going to start this review with a bold statement…..These are two of the best books I have EVER read, easily in my top 5.  I have NEVER cried so hard, so consistently while reading.  And let me be clear…I cried because I was incredibly sad AND I cried because I was so damn happy.

I knew the first book was going to be sad, anyone who reads the back of Kate’s book knows that and I thought I was ready for it….I was so not ready.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.  Then I decided I needed to read the second book right away because I needed some sort of resolution, some kind of happy ending to make all of the crying worth it.  I expected it to be more uplifting (and eventually it was) but in all honesty…I cried more consistently and much harder during this book.  My throat hurts from crying, my eyes will probably be puffy for the next two days and I think I went through an entire roll of toilet paper blowing my nose.  And, in case I haven’t mentioned it, I adored every single second of it.

These books are gorgeously written, incredible intelligent, wonderfully emotional and perfectly crafted.  The intricacies of the story are amazing, every word has a purpose, every action has a result, every loose end has a beautiful resolution.   God I can’t remember ever loving a story this much.  I can’t remember ever loving and understand and CARING about characters this much.  And not just one character, not just the main characters….every single character!!!  The author’s ability to put us inside the character’s head and let us understand exactly where they are coming from is amazing and it’s done without endless monologues which is wonderful.

Just a couple more things and then I’m done gushing.

I think what really made these two books easily some of the best I’ve ever read was the author’s willingness to show the ugly as well as the beautiful.  Most authors are too worried about readers disliking their characters to really show the ugly stuff…but not De.  Her willingness to be brave as an author was so rewarding to me as a reader and her ability to zig when every author out there would have zagged made these two books unforgettable.  I was constantly surprised, that never happens to me any more.  These characters will live with me for a long time and I have no doubt I will read these books over and over.

READ THESE BOOKS.  It will be kind of like rough sex…you’ll hate me through 3/4 of it and LOVE me when it’s over!! Hehe

Last First Kiss (Brightwater #1) by Lia Riley

3 1_2 Star Review

A kiss is only the beginning…

Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is… messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs t A kiss is only the beginning…

Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is… messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs the summer to spruce up and sell her family’s farm so she and her young son can start a new life in the big city. Simple, easy, perfect.

Sawyer has always regretted letting the first girl he loved slip away. He won’t make the same mistake twice, but can he convince beautiful, wary Annie to trust her heart again when she’s been given every reason not to? And as a single kiss turns to so much more, can Annie give up her idea of perfect for a forever that’s blissfully real.

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This review was a hard one for me to write and I’m not sure why.  I’m a huge fan of the  second chance trope and Last First Kiss is definitely one of those. Plus, This is my first Lia Riley book so I was really excited about it.  So the easy thing to say is that I liked the book, I did… I really liked it.

Annie, a recently divorced mom and at home blogger, moves back to the hometown she ran away from 10 years before. She hated her home town and never felt like she fit in, except with one person, her only and best friend Sawyer Kane. But, at a graduation party senior year, Sawyer broke her heart and Annie hit the road, never intending to come back.

Reluctantly back home, Annie realizes that her feelings for Sawyer might not be buried as deep as she once thought.  Her confusion only mounts as Sawyer makes it clear that he wasn’t done with their relationship when Annie left.

This book was sweet and cute and kind of romantic.  And Brightwater is quaint and small and full of busy bodies just like you’d expect.  I liked the book, I did.

The thing that’s harder to say is that I liked it, but I only liked it.  I didn’t love it.  It was cute but it didn’t inspire any real emotion in me.  It was sweet, but I think I like my books with a little more edge.  Even Sawyer, who was cute and romantic, didn’t really do anything for me.

I think the series had promise and truthfully I’m really looking forward to Archer’s story.  As I said, I like a little more edge and I’m pretty sure Archer has it.

Find Last First Kiss on Goodreads       Buy Last First Kiss on Amazon

 

 

Cover Reveal

The Reason I Breathe 

Bite and Release 2

By Cory Cyr

Add The Reason I Breathe to you Goodreads

I can’t wait for this book to come out.  Bite and Release was one of my favorite reads of 2014 and this is Shea’s POV.  This is not a standalone and should be read after Bite and Release.  You can pick up Bite and Release here on Amazon for $.99 right now….that is a steal!!!  And how hot is this cover :

Bite and Release and The Reason I Breathe

Bite and Release

Ryan Chase left Fairbanks, Alaska, when she was 21 years old to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Somewhere along the way her dreams of stardom crashed and burned, along with her life.

Thirteen years later she is forced to return to Fairbanks because her unforgiving and emotionally-distant father has suddenly died. Ryan seizes the opportunity to not only escape her abusive husband but to be able to attend her best friend’s wedding. What could go wrong? It’s only Fairbanks, Alaska…
While wishing she was anywhere but her father’s funeral and wake, Ryan is struck senseless by a stunning, drop-dead gorgeous man. Her thoughts turn carnal and she desperately wants to know him in every way—and position—possible. There’s only one problem…

He’s the devil’s spawn.
He’s the one who marked her for life.
He’s the kid she used to baby-sit.
And he’s hotter than hell!

Shea Michaels has loved Ryan Chase for most of his life. After surviving an unspeakable childhood, he became a man of whom she could be proud of…if she ever came back.
Now that she’s returned, Shea pursues her with a vengeance, undaunted by the thirteen year age difference that Ryan uses as the shield between them.

Confusion, guilt and lust bombard Ryan as she battles the memories of the little boy she used to know while still being drawn to the heart-stopping man he has become.

***18+ due to explicit sexual situations, graphic language and intense adult themes.

The Reason I Breathe

(Bite and Release 2)

**Strong Language**Explicit Sex**Intense situations
*This is Shea’s POV. CANNOT BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE!
I waited my entire life for one singular moment.
Everything I had endured—all the pain and suffering—I would go through it all again,
if I knew she was waiting for me.

Ryan Chase was the only woman I ever loved.
My obsession. My desire.

When she came home . . . loving her hadn’t been easy.
The road to our particular happiness was paved with boulders.
I became who she needed me to be. Who she wanted.
Marriage and children— they were a dream we both shared.
Until a nightmare threatened to take it all away.

Is love supposed to be this hard?
How long before the person I’m pretending to be begins to crack?
I’m a liar. A fraud.
He is surfacing.

She’s the only reason I survived. I lived.
She is the reason I breathe.
Now, when she needs me the most—I’m transforming into the person
I thought I’d buried years before.

I can’t be without her. She gives me purpose and makes me whole.
Nevertheless, the universe chose a different route. God had a different plan.
And right now, I’m pissed at them both.