Review: Ruin (Ruin #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

RuinTitle: Ruin
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

My Review:
I read this a few nights ago when I was in a bit of a funny mood. I had loads of great ARCs to read but for some reason none of them were jumping out and saying ‘read me now’ so I went on a bit of a prowl. This book was on sale and it sounded perfect. Then I did something I don’t normally do – checked out the reviews on Goodreads (I usually only look to see if it has a decent overall rating) and lots of reviewers spoke to the emotion and angst and I was hooked. Perfect.

Gosh, I think I’ve forgotten that this is supposed to be a review. Enough waffling!!

Ruin is beautifully written and the heartfelt note from the author at the start and end of the book was very touching. There is a very personal reason behind this story.

Wes is a reformed player thanks to a nasty ex and an equally nasty false allegation. He hasn’t gone near a woman in months, but all that changes when newly-arrived freshman Kiersten literally falls into his arms. Wes is instantly smitten with the stunning red-head. Kiersten has her own issues and she is still struggling to come to terms with her parents death. Both of them have their secrets and reasons for needing this relationship exactly at that time in their lives.

It’s pretty much a case of insta-lust/love, but they don’t act on it for a few months, as Wes doesn’t want to hurt Kiersten by pulling her into his drama. But he just can’t stay away from her and the inevitable does happen. When they finally succumb to their intense attraction, they both fall head over heels in love. Ah, I loved them as a couple. They were perfect together. And the romantic scenes were swoon-worthy in the extreme. Wes is definitely a new addition to my Book Boyfriend list (that very long list that just keeps on growing. Lol.)

Gabe and Lisa are great side characters though I felt both could have benefitted from some additional development.

The dialogue is funny and romantic and there was great chemistry between the two mains.

I really enjoyed the writing style and loved that we got both POV.

I did have a few minor issues that stopped me rating it higher. Kiersten was very naive when it came to the secret that Wes was hiding. After months in his company, it would have been obvious, so it wasn’t believable that she didn’t discover the truth. The same could be said for the allegation made against Wes – she doesn’t question or challenge him and that was way too trusting for someone she didn’t know. I get that she’s innocent, but she’s not dumb.

However, the main reason why this is a 4-star rather than 5-star read, despite how much I enjoyed reading it, is because I didn’t fully connect emotionally with what the characters were going through. I’ve read a few books recently which focused on illness and death and I was in floods of tears. My eyes didn’t even get moist reading Ruin, it just didn’t resonate with me strongly enough. Perhaps reading the other reviews in advance ruined it for me (no pun intended!)or maybe it lacked depth, or it was just my funny mood; I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, in summary, this is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys well-written NA with a fabulous male lead and heart-stopping romance. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Review: Forever with You (Fixed #3) by Laurelin Paige

Forever with YouTitle: Forever with You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.

But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets—secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.

My Review:
Omg. This book gave me so many feels. Though I was shocked at how quickly Alayna forgave him, there is no way I could rate it less than 5 stars. Emotion drips off the pages and I felt everything. Such dark complex characters. Wow.

FULL REVIEW

Well, that was one hell of a read, and a fantastic way to bring Laynie and Hudson’s story to a close.

Initially, it started off a little slow and I wondered if there was enough of a story to support a third book. I’m happy to have been proven wrong. Once Laynie watched the recording things started accelerating at a manic pace. I knew immediately what Hudson and Celia had done and I was sickened to my stomach. Though I was hoping I was wrong, it turns out I wasn’t. I pretty much hated him a lot of this book as his actions really rocked my faith in him.

This book was so emotive – I felt everything Laynie felt. Explosive passion, scintillating chemistry, and the gut-wrenching angst of betrayal and heartache. I was a basket-case reading this book.

At one point, I wanted to kill Hudson. And don’t even get me started on Celia! Those two were so fucked-up! Alayna looked like a saint next to that pair and that’s saying something.

I was annoyed that Alayna forgave Hudsn so quickly. I would have loved her to have shown some strength of character and to keep him at arms length for a few months, so that when they finally reunited it was on her terms, not his.

But there is no way I could rate this book any less than 5 stars becaue it seriously blew my mind.

Another stomping read from the very talented Laurelin Paige. I wish I could read Hudson straight away but I’ve a ton of ARC’s lined up already so it’ll have to wait for a couple of weeks.

Review: Find Me (The Found Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Find MeTitle: Find Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance/ Suspense
Links:

Blurb:
The Conclusion of Gwen and JC’s Story

Gwen Anders came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of her past. She fit in quickly, becoming good friends with her co-manager, Alayna Withers and the owner of the club, Hudson Pierce. Though the circumstances that brought her here were not the best, she’s never felt more at home.

But starting a new life means letting go. And there are some things she doesn’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught her how to let loose. The man she wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. The man she doesn’t want to lose.

Now, with the reason she ran still a threat, Gwen fears she’ll never be able to move on completely. And if she does, can she still hold out hope that JC loves her enough to come and find her?

My Review:
I downloaded Find Me the minute I finished reading Free Me because I couldn’t wait even one second to find out what was going to happen next.

We finally learn the full story behind JC’s fiancee’s death and the extent of the danger he’s in. JC really wants to protect Gwen, but he can’t stay away from her even though he risks exposing her. Though they are initially a little wary of one another, their relationship pretty much picks up where they left off.

There is the added complication of Chandler who has unfortunately grown attached to Gwen and he hovers around making a nuisance of himself. Gwen feels rotten that she ever indulged him, and she’s also carrying a massive chip on her shoulder over Cory. She very much feels like she’s playing second fiddle, even though JC never treats her like that. It’s pretty much all in her head. JC is still quite controlling, but he’s a real sweetheart too.

This book ticked all the boxes – great plot development, complex characters, superb writing, and lashings of the steamy stuff.

I enjoyed reading about Alayna and Hudson and I’m definitely going to check out their book. I’m totally hooked on this series now, and can’t wait to read more from this author.

All in all, an epic read.

Review: Found in You (Fixed #2) by Laurelin Paige

Found in YouTitle: Found in You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.

With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best—Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far—revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

My Review:
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

Man, oh man does Hudson have a fucked-up family. They were very entertaining to read about though. LOL. I loved Mira and Jack and despised Sophia. She’s such a nasty piece of work.

Hudson and Laynie are together, but there are still so many secrets and lies threatening to tear them apart. Neither of them has any experience with relationships so they are both feeling their way as they go. It was downright painful at times, and there were plenty of gut-wrenching moments. He thinks he isn’t romantic, but he really was – actions speak louder than words.

Alayna needed a swift slap to the head in this book. It was so obvious that Celia was playing games, and Laynie was so stupid to trust her. And yes, I was screaming at my Kindle. It’s pretty ironic that Celia played Laynie so well given her stalker past.

This book was well written, fast-paced, full of drama and intrigue, with tons of the steamy stuff, and plenty of angst-filled love.

I lapped it up.

Excellent author. Excellent series.

Blog Tour: Reid’s Deliverance (The Song #2) by Nina Crespo

RD_BlitzBadge
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Reid’s Deliverance (The Song #2) by Nina Crespo. I’ll share my review with you, there’s an excerpt and a tour wide giveaway.

Reids DeliveranceTitle:Reid’s Deliverance
Author: Nina Crespo
Series: The Song #2
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Romance/ sci-fi/ Time Travel/ mystery/ paranormal romance
Links:

Blurb:
Can their bond withstand the test of time?

Lauren isn’t looking for love when she spends a scintillating night with Reid, the sexy keyboardist of Thane’s Redemption. While their passion may be off the charts, her trust issues–and Reid’s secret life as a time-traveling covert agent–makes any chance for a relationship impossible.

When operatives involved in a mysterious project begin dying, Reid defies orders and travels alone into the future to find the cause. But when things go dangerously awry, it takes all of his strength to get himself back to safety–and directly onto Lauren’s doorstep. While neither of them remembers their night of passion, their intense connection leads Lauren to help him. But as Reid’s memories reignite, will he be forced to sacrifice everything to finish his mission–including the woman he loves?

My Review:
When I read the blurb for this book and saw mention of secret time-travelling agents, I knew I had to read it. I used to love the TV series, Quantum Leap, as a teenager and it made me think of that. So, yeah, I really wanted to read it!

I enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the story, even though I was initially a little confused over certain things ( I haven’t read the first book and assume if I had that it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.) Once I got into the meat of the story, it was more transparent and my confusion cleared.

Lauren’s impulsiveness irritated me a little. She has a list she ranks men by yet she seems more than ready to throw it out the window once she meets Reid. There were a few occasions where she would say one thing only to immediately contradict herself, and that grated on me a little. She doesn’t want to go out with a guy in the military because of her daddy issues. I could understand that, but again she only gives that fleeting consideration with Reid, even though he’s ex-military and then she discovers the whole time-travelling complication.

I loved Reid, and I could understand why he kept himself detached. It made more sense than a list. I liked how the guys were all in a band (Thane’s Redemption) and it was a kinda funny mix, but it works.

They both try to avoid the burgeoning chemistry between them but inevitably give into it. The romantic/sex scenes are well written, and I bought into them as a couple.

There is a sub-plot going on in the background with the time-travelling aspect that was decent, but I felt it could have been further developed.

The balance of action and romance was well-paced, the writing was good, and the book flowed well.

Overall, this was a good paranormal romance, and if you like time-travelling stories then you should definitely pick it up.

Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Barclay Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
Excerpt:
Reid hustled into his jeans and grabbed the fire poker. Just his luck to have a gun in the loft, but no bullets. He’d take his chances. He wanted this perverted, dysfunctional motherfucker.

The French doors rattled as he flung them open. He took the stairs by twos and threes from the deck. At a flat-out run, he hauled it to the side of the house. The full moon illuminated the night. A shadow popped out from behind the covered woodpile. He swung the poker.

The guy ducked and blocked every swing as if he anticipated it. Then he charged.

Reid connected with an elbow to the head.

His opponent retaliated with a swift punch near the ribs.

Reid’s breath hitched. More punches connected for both of them.

“Damn it, Reid, stop. It’s me.”

This asshole knew his name? “Who are you?” Reid felt the opening, and he went for a headlock.

His opponent slipped out of his hold.

“Thane?” Lauren approached with a flashlight.

The beam momentarily blinded Reid. He blocked it with his hand. “Lauren, go inside.”

“No.” She pointed the light and the gun at Thane. “How do you know Reid?”

As Thane sat up, he gave Reid a quizzical look. Thane spat on the ground. “We were in the same band.”
****
In the kitchen, Lauren dabbed at Reid’s bleeding lip with a cloth. “It’s not as bad as I thought. I don’t think you’ll need stitches. What about your ribs? They’re bruised. Are you sure it doesn’t hurt when you breathe?”

“I’m fine. Take a look.” He lifted his shirt. “It looked worse than it really was.” Funny. It didn’t hurt like earlier.
“Looks like you’re a fast healer.” Her gentle swipes grew harder. The sting zipped into him. “I can’t believe you ran out there like that.”

He took the cloth from her hand. “I can’t believe you didn’t do what I told you.” He suppressed the hint of pride welling up. She hadn’t listened to him, but she also hadn’t shown fear.

“You knowing Thane is a weird coincidence. At least he can help you fill in the blanks.” Her gaze drifted to the living room. Thane was on the phone with Celine. “Do you think you two can talk without wailing on each other again?”

“Looks like we have to.” How were Thane and Lauren connected? Why did the two of them in the same room seem wrong? “You mind giving us time alone?”

“Of course not. I need to call Celine after Thane is finished. Just remember to keep it civil. I don’t like seeing you bruised and bloody.”

A frisson of irritation kicked up. “You make it sound like I got my ass kicked.”

She huffed in exasperation. “Give this to Thane.”

Check out the first book in The Song series, Thane’s Redemption
Thane's Redemption

Blurb:
The one night she’ll want to remember, she’ll be forced to forget.

It’s been almost a year since Celine’s fiancé’s death and she’s still struggling to move on. But when she meets Thane, the super hot lead singer of Thane’s Redemption, she finds her desire reawakening, and her heart opening. Soon one kiss leads them straight into a night of heated passion…

Thane’s unexpected connection with Celine only leaves him wanting more of her—but his life makes it impossible. For Thane’s Redemption is just a cover for a deeper secret: A former Army Ranger presumed dead, Thane is really a time-traveling, covert operative charged with saving the world from disaster. Each jump through time forces those around him to forget he ever existed—and Celine would be no exception. But can time work in their favor to give them a second chance at love? Or will a choice Thane makes in the future put Celine in mortal danger?

Links:

Author PhotoAbout the Author:
Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions—the beach, kickboxing, a good glass of wine, and dancing. Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel. Curiosity about people and places, including what’s beyond the stars, fuels her writer’s imagination. Indulge in her sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales to feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Cowboy Resurrection by Mia Hopkins

Cowboy Resurrection banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Cowboy Resurrection (Cowboy Cocktail #2) by Mia Hopkins. I’ll share my review with you, there’s an excerpt of the book and a tour wide giveaway.

Cowboy ResurrectionTitle: Cowboy Resurrection
Author: Mia Hopkins
Series: Cowboy Cocktail #2
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Marketing hotshot Monica Kaur has put her big-city life on hold to help bail out her brother’s failing business. Now she’s got three months to plan and promote a rodeo, the first her tiny hometown has ever seen.

To ensure the rodeo’s success, Monica enlists a local hero, a rancher’s son who’s made a name for himself on the bull-riding circuit. Problem? She can’t stop daydreaming about the cocky bastard—and all the things she longs to do to him out behind the chutes.

Professional bullfighter Dean MacKinnon is home helping his family while his father fights cancer. Haunted by bad memories, jaded by love, Dean finds escape in a no-strings-attached go-round with brainy, sexy Monica, whose close-knit Sikh-American family would sooner run him out of town than see her with a notorious rodeo Romeo.
In private, Monica and Dean play as hard as they work. But as the rodeo draws near, that clean break they promised each other is getting more and more hung up in the rigging.

Warning: Contains rope play, motel nooners, a blue-eyed charmer with a taste for kink, and a brown-eyed princess with a taste for cowboys.

My Review:
Another show-stopper from the wonderful Mia Hopkins. A truly great short read.

This book had it all:

*Well developed, intriguing main characters
*Sublime writing
*Fast-paced plot
*Scorching chemistry and tons of the sexy stuff
*Interesting world building

AND

*Cowboys (’nuff said)
*An interracial relationship (and the challenges that invoked)
*Cultural introduction to the American-Sikh community which I found completely absorbing and thoroughly refreshing and original.

I read Cowboy Valentine last year, and enjoyed it, so when the opportunity arose to read the next book in the series, I jumped at it. This was an even better read, and Mia has managed to accomplish what most writers haven’t accomplished for me – hook me on a book of this length. Most times I read shorter novels, I am left feeling disappointed in the character development. Mia delivered in this regard, on this occasion. I adore her writing too; it’s beautiful.

Dean and Monica fall into insta-lust pretty much straight away, but their relationship develops more naturally as the book progresses. I was left fanning my face in several places at their sexy shenanigans, and their chemistry was off the charts. I loved the risque nature of their relationship, and the fact they had to sneak around behind her family’s back.

It was in equal parts fascinating and abhorrent to witness Monica’s transformation from super-intelligent highly-successful career woman into a meek, cringing shell of herself whenever her family were around. To think this is the reality for many women in the modern day is shocking and saddening. Though, I could relate to her father’s sentiment when he told Dean they had to protect their minority community and ensure their traditions and culture didn’t die out. I can understand that on one level, but on another level if you are living in a different country you also have to adapt your culture to align to the culture of the country you are now a resident of. The balance/marriage has to be correct, and I don’t believe it’s right for any grown woman to be basically forced into marrying against her will (though it has to be said they weren’t picking the guy or actually forcing her into an arranged marriage but the effect was going to be pretty much the same.)

I loved the diversity and all the little Sikh influences. One thing I wish had been shown was exactly how Dean managed to change her family’s minds. I felt that part was too rushed, and it seemed too convenient. That’s the only reason I knocked off a half star, otherwise, the book was perfection on a page.

In summary, this is a superb read, and if you are looking for a quick read that is refreshingly different then you should pick up a copy.

Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

Thanks to Barclay Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
“Careful,” he said softly. With sure, swift movements, he hooked one arm around her waist and rested his other hand flat against her back, helping her gain her center of balance at once. She wavered a little bit, but his stance was solid, as though his legs were rooted in the earth like trees. Her skirt had ridden up just a little and she was straddling his thigh.

Sudden heat flared up wherever her body was touching his—her chest, her back, her waist, her hands. A powerful, greedy ache grabbed hold of her between her legs. She didn’t move.
Neither did he.

“Miss Kaur,” he whispered. “Are you all right?”

They were standing so close together that Monica could see the faint brown freckles on his cheeks, the crinkles that formed at the corners of his blue eyes when he smiled.

“Call me Monica,” she said.

“Monica,” he murmured, “are you all right?” His mouth, framed by that short, dark beard, was wide and luscious, as tempting to her as an oasis in the heat.

Monica wasn’t a fool. She’d watched videos of him in the ring. Dressed in his gear and cowboy hat, Dean was fast as a cat and completely fearless, putting himself between angry bulls and fallen riders again and again and again. In the most famous incident, a rider had gotten hung up in his rope and Dean had taken a hoof to the femur while cutting the man free. Dean was fearless.

His local legend went back much further. Back in high school, he’d been Oleander’s very own cowboy Casanova, a football player and weekend bullfighter more handsome than a movie star. Some of the women who’d known him in school had told her stories about him that had left her blushing. When he’d gotten married, they’d cried enough tears to fill the aqueduct. Mystery shrouded his eventual divorce. Monica couldn’t dig up the dirt even though she tried.

And there were dozens of fan sites dedicated to the hotness of Dean MacKinnon. From Dean’s Queens, a group of gay cowboys in San Francisco, to Jailbait No More, a small army of young women who showed up at his events wearing T-shirts that said Hey, Dean, I’m Finally 18. Dean MacKinnon lived in an all-you-can-eat buffet of willing sexual partners.

Up close, Monica saw the truth. Those fans weren’t wrong. The man was a bona-fide sex god.

He grinned as though he could read her mind. “Are you all right, princess?”

Temporary insanity was her only excuse. Months without sex, and her body was like a bull bucking in its chute. No brain. No logic. No words. All go.

“Don’t…call me that,” she whispered, staring at his mouth.

She leaned forward, tipped her head and, eyes open, pressed her lips against his.

Check out the first book in the Cowboy Cocktail series by Mia Hopkins!

CowboyValentine_300finalAbout Cowboy Valentine:

Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?
The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.
After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.
From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

Links:

HEADSHOTAbout the Author:
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.”

She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: Free Me (The Found Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Free MeTitle: Free Me
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: The Found Duet #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Her story started long before she started working at The Sky Launch…

Screw fairytales. The only reward Gwen Anders got from her rough childhood was a thick skin and hard heart. She’s content with her daily grind managing a top NYC nightclub—Eighty-Eighth Floor. So hers isn’t a happily ever after. She doesn’t believe in those anyway.

Then she meets J.C.

The rich, smooth talking playboy is the sexiest thing that Gwen has ever encountered, but she’s not interested in a night-in-shining latex. But when a family tragedy pushes her to the brink, it’s J.C. who’s there to teach her a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires. His no-strings-attached lessons require her to abandon her constant need for control. Her carefully built walls are obliterated.

Gwen discovers there’s a beautiful world outside her prison. Freedom is exhilarating—and terrifying. When she starts to feel something for J.C., she fears for her heart. Especially as she realizes that he has secrets of his own. Secrets that don’t want to set him free.

This series can be read alone or with the Fixed Trilogy.

My Review:
This was an amazing read and I loved it from the first page until the last.

Gwen has had a fairly traumatic family life and it’s shaped the course of her life to date. She is a workaholic and devoted sibling, but apart from that her life is pretty empty.

JC has had his fair share of heartache too, and he has barely been surviving these last few years.

Their lives crash together one night in the club where Gwen works. JC recognises a lot of himself in her and sets out to help her relax. Gwen, of course, wants nothing to do with him. Everything changes when circumstances conspire to pull them together. They embark on a steamy sex affair that set my Kindle on fire!

Both of them are complete control freaks who together learn to let go. JC has no intention of falling in love or getting attached to Gwen, but you know what they say about best laid plans.

Despite the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, he continues to push her away. When we find out the reason why, my heart bled for him.

The twist at the end was completely unexpected and I immediately downloaded the second book as I couldn’t wait to continue the story.

Absolutely everything about this book was top-notch. The writing, the spot-on pacing, great mix of sex, romance, and mystery, fantastic character development and strong worldbuilding. This is my first Laurelin Paige book, though I read Miss Match earlier on in the year (co-written by Laurelin) and I was pretty sure I’d like Free Me. I wasn’t wrong. It was a phenomenal read and I’m hooked on this series now.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Cover Reveal: Reprise (Ruby Riot #3) by Lisa Swallow

Reprise_cover reveal
Today is the cover reveal for Reprise (Ruby Riot #3) by Lisa Swallow!

Cover designed by Najla Qamber Designs
Photography: K Keeton Designs
Models: Faith Danielle and Sager Dolson

RepriseTitle: Reprise
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Ruby Riot #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 29th 2016
Links:

Blurb:
Drummer Nate Campbell is a ‘Ruby Riot twin’ – and that’s all he wants anybody to know. The only person allowed close is his brother, Will, and even that’s not working out these days. For Nate, girls are a dispensable distraction and the rock star life suits his needs. Nobody will expect him to hand his heart over if he pretends he doesn’t have a one.

Falling for Nate Campbell was the second biggest mistake of Riley Sawyer’s life. Working as a junior PR girl on the Blue Phoenix European and Ruby Riot tour, she earned a reputation as unapproachable and unable to switch off from work. With a side to her life Riley keeps hidden, she was happy to maintain her distance. But after an encounter with Nate, and several difficult weeks, Riley left the circuit and vowed never to tour with bands again.

Two years later Riley achieves her ambition and is a PR manager and Ruby Riot are headlining stadiums. She meets Nate again for the first time in two years and nothing has changed. The animosity stands and so does the attraction. Neither sees this as a problem because they can avoid each other for the two days until Riley leaves.

What they don’t count on is that Nate’s bloody-mindedness and an unfortunate set of circumstances leads to the pair snowed-in at a pub on the Yorkshire Moors for several days. Forced to spend time together, Riley and Nate are pushed into discussing what happened on tour and find themselves in a situation neither of them expected.

When the snow retreats and they return to London, Nate discovers Riley has her own secret and it’s one deeply connected to his past. Nate backs away, unsure if he can continue a relationship with the girl who’s more like himself than he realised.

Nate won’t have long to decide because Riley isn’t prepared to let a damaged commitmentphobe into her life. And she has zero interest in fixing a man who refuses to fix himself.

Reprise is the third standalone book in the Ruby Riot series.

Previous Books in the series:
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“An egotistical front man, trouble-making twins and a girl you don’t want to mess with.”

Cadence (Ruby Riot #1)
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Shuffle (Ruby Riot #2)
Links:

About the Author:
Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2001. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, three children, and Weimaraner, Tilly, who often makes appearances on Lisa’s social media.
Lisa’s first publication was a moving poem about the rain, followed by a suspenseful story about shoes. Following these successes at nine years old there was a long gap in her writing career, until she published her first book in 2013.
In the past, Lisa worked as an English teacher in France, as an advertising copywriter in England, and ran her own business in Australia. Now she spends her days with imaginary rock stars.
She lived in Europe as a child and also travelled when she left university. This has given Lisa stories which would sound far-fetched if she wrote them down, and maybe one day she will. These days, Lisa is happy in her writing cave, under Tilly’s supervision.

Links:

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Review: Fixed on You (Fixed #1) by Laurelin Paige

Fixed on YouTitle: Fixed on You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Series: Fixed #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’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.

My Review:
It requires enormous skill to create such complex dysfunctional characters and not only make them likeable but have the reader rooting for them too. That is what Laurelin Paige has achieved in this book. It would be so easy to hate Alayna and Hudson because they have both done such horrible things in the past. Their actions have hurt others and caused huge conflict within their families.

Hudson is a conundrum of a character – on the outside he appears as a cool, collected, savvy businessman but it’s all a veneer. Internally, he is all cut up. He tells Laynie that he isn’t capable of love, but really, it’s that he feels unworthy of love.

She is actually the same – she tells him she loves too much (she has an obsessive personality and a stalker reputation/past) but that’s not true. She is pretty much running scared. So, they are more alike than they realise.

I raced through this book as if a gun-toting maniac was holding a weapon to my head. It sucked me right in and I struggled to put it down. The writing is superb, the plot is dark and compelling, the characters are multi-layered and about as complex as you can get, and the pacing is bang-on.

This is an excellent series by a hugely talented author and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Review: Someone to Love (Someone to Love #1) by Addison Moore

Someone to LoveTitle: Someone to Love
Author: Addison Moore
Series: Someone to Love #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
If you don’t give your heart away, you can’t get it broken.

When twenty-year-old Kendall Jordan transfers across the country to Garrison University, the last thing she’s looking for is a one-night stand. Unfortunately that’s exactly what gorgeous Cruise Elton offers. Kendall has long since come to realize that love is an illusion, and Cruise couldn’t agree more, but something deep inside her wants him all for herself. So Kendall devises a plan to ‘play the player’ and proposes that Cruise tutor her in becoming a female version of himself, Garrison University’s own playboy. But as real feelings emerge, the game gets complicated, and Kendall and Cruise will find themselves questioning everything they thought they knew about love.

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

New Adult – Contemporary Romance *Intended for mature audiences 17+* Sexual situations

My Review:
Addison Moore is one of my favorite authors, and I love her Beautiful Oblivion series, and I’ve also enjoyed her 3AM Kisses series. So, it pains me to have to rate one of her books a 3 star, but this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy reading it – because I did – but there were issues with the plot and the writing that impacted my enjoyment.

Kendall has just moved from California to Massachusetts, and she’s attending a new college. Her mom’s oldest friend (Aunt Jackie) has a son, Pennington, at the same college, and he’s supposed to be looking out for her. When she meets him, it’s clear he is going to be of no help to her. Penn is a stoner who has done nothing to sort out her accomodation as he promised, so she finds herself homeless on her first night in a new state.

Cruise Elton makes a beeline for Kendall the minute he spots her. A notorious player, she pegs him for what he is instantly, and kicks him to the curb. Only to go home with him a few minutes later given that she’s homeless. As you do. Shack up with a total stranger, who ten minutes ago you were deflecting because you knew he was only after sex.

I could forgive that though, as the first half of the book was sweet and funny to read. But after that there were so many plot holes that I became frustrated with Kendall (Kenny) and the author. Blair is the villian of the piece. She is Cruise’s nasty ex-fiancee out to cause trouble. Kenny is presented as a smart sassy girl but she seems to lose all her brain cells when it comes to Blair and I wanted to reach into my Kindle and bang her head against the wall. Not only that, her supposed friends Lauren and Ally, see her acting friendly towards Blair on at least two occasions, and neither of them think to warn her about the bitch? Not believable.

Cruise is aware that Blair is back in town and trying to worm her way back into his affections, but even he doesn’t warn Kenny. Then there was an issue with Cal, Cruise’s best friend. Lauren is afraid her boyfriend (Cal) is cheating so she engages naive Kenny to flirt with her man’s BF to try to lure him into cheating. None of them talk to the other about it, and Ally doesn’t tell her that Cruise showed up in the cafe with flowers for her and saw her flirting up a storm with Cal? Come on? Seriously? There were just far too many plot holes for me to overlook and I became very frustrated by the end of the book.

Which is a shame, because it still has a lot going for it. Cruise is much more than what we are led to believe, and I loved his character, and how it developed gradually. If Kendall had been written consistently I would have been more enamoured with her. But she was smart once minute and dumb as a box of nails the next.

There’s plenty of hot steamy sex in this one, balanced with sweet romance. I liked that, and how patient Cruise was in waiting for Kenny to be ready.

Now I need to address the writing. Addison is an amazing writer and I’ve loved all her other books, but it’s like she was trying a different style in this book, and I don’t think she pulled it off. Parts of it were beautifully written, almost poetic, but other parts were trying too hard, and it was jarring to read, and it pulled me out of the story. It was overly descriptive at times and I found myself skimming those sections.

I’m going to read the next book to see if I like it any better, but if there are the same issues then I won’t be continuing this series. I have the first couple of books in her Celestra series on my Kindle and I’m dying to read those.

All in all, this is a decent enough read, but not up to Addison’s ususal superb standard. If you can overcome some glaring plotholes and suspend belief then you will enjoy Someone to Love.